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America’s Roller Coast

August 4, 2008

I took last Friday off and went to Cedar Point for the first time in something like seven years. I had fun, but nowhere near as much fun as I remember having there back in the day. I absolutely hate to use my age as an excuse for anything, but based on this visit I’m pretty sure I’m now too old to enjoy amusement parks the way I used to. No more can I happily spend the whole day going from ride to ride with periodic stops for something fried on a stick instead of a real meal. I can spend about six hours doing that, tops, then I run out of steam and would like nothing more than to lie down in a quiet place and nap. Except Cedar Point doesn’t seem to have many quiet places; the music in the queue areas is particularly loud and annoying. Next time, I’m bringing ear plugs. On the plus side, I did get to try two new-to-me flavors of Dippin’ Dots: birthday cake (yum!) and caramel brownie sundae (just okay—the brownie chunks were too disruptive from a texture perspective).

We started the day waiting in a very long line for the Maverick, which was last year’s hot new coaster. I was not impressed, probably because the thrill of the launches was overshadowed by the fear that I was sustaining major bruising to my neck as it banged into the shoulder harness at too frequent intervals; there seemed to be some rather severe lateral forces on that ride. I might try it again, but I’m sure not going to wait an hour for it like we did this time. It’s going to have to be pretty much a walk on, which is what the Mean Streak was when we went to it after the Maverick. The Mean Streak was never high on my list since it’s rather rough, but in comparison to the Maverick I didn’t find it that bad this time. Still, I was happy to leave it and go to the friendly Gemini, even though our blue train lost the race with red (they got a head start, I’m sure). The ride ops there were having fun with it, including tidbits in their spiel like “we’re going to take you upside down not once, not twice, but ZERO TIMES!” I still like the Magnum and love the Raptor and get scared in a good way by Millennium Force. Top Thrill Dragster wasn’t there the last time I visited, and I didn’t like the looks of it—too high, too fast, too scary—but figured I needed to try it at least once. We waited for a about 45 minutes, got in the train, sat for a bit, then got told by the ride ops to unload because the ride was not working correctly. I almost bailed then—surely that was a bad omen—but stuck it out and about 15 minutes later they got it working again and we loaded up again. At that point, I was still thinking it was not a good idea, but it turned out to be a huge rush. I would have done it again if the line were shorter.

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