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Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Insanely Crazy Day at Cedar Point on Opening Day

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Traveling at 120 MPH on the Top Thrill Dragster
Yesterday, March 11, I had the honor of visiting one of America’s best theme parks, Cedar Point, with my high school marching band.  I had an awesome, yet crazy day that I felt was worth sharing.  While I had a great time, we had unfortunately chosen one of the busiest times of the year, opening day, to go.  However, it still turned out to be an exciting day.

The New Gatekeeper
Our first destination was the Gatekeeper, a record breaking winged coaster, with a length of 4,167 feet and a 164 foot drop.  Unfortunately, this had also been everyone else’s first destination, as it was opening day for the new ride.  A line of hundreds of people stretched even before the entrance to the ride itself.  We found ourselves waiting three-and-a-half hours to reach the ride.  Excitingly, while in line, I caught a free t-shirt, commemorating the opening of the new ride.

The ride was exciting, giving us the sensation of flying through the air in what felt like one of the longest roller coasters I have ever ridden (which I liked).  The seats were extremely comfortable, and I enjoyed the ride quite a bit.

Touchscreen Coke machines with over 100 flavors.  Need I say more?
By the time that we had ventured through the maze of thousands of people to ride the Gatekeeper, it was now around 3:30.  We made our way to the buffet in the center of the park, which carried several types of American and international food, dessert, and the amazing new touchscreen Coke machines that I have learned to greatly admire from Five Guys.  For anyone going to Cedar Point in the coming days, I would recommend hitting the buffet, as you will be able to eat enough to skip dinner altogether.

Top Thrill Dragster image via Wikipedia
My next destination was the Top Thrill Dragster, a 120 mph strata-coaster that stretches 420 feet in the air.  Little did I know that I would be standing there around four hours, as the ride was continually shut down, with around every other car initially rolling back and not reaching the top of the track.  The ride was then closed due to high winds.  After this extravagantly long wait, I finally gave up, while my friend chose to stay.  A few minutes after I walked out, the coaster call was pulled back to the station, and the ride was starting back up.  Needless to say, I was quite frustrated, knowing that I had just waited hours, only to have the ride start up right when I left.  Fortunately, I was able to make my way back to my friend and get on the coaster, as people understood my situation.

I have ridden nearly every kind of coaster on the East Coast, but I have to say that the Top Thrill Dragster stood out as one of my favorite coasters that I have ever ridden.  The sensation of being flung into the air 120 mph is like no other, and I would greatly recommend it as the best ride to hit for anyone going to Cedar Point.  While I was EXTREMELY frustrated with the inefficiency of the way the ride was being operated, it was most definitely worth the wait.  After the ride, my friend’s mom very courteously purchased us both pictures, showing just how hilarious we looked, as we were being launched at an insanely high speed.

After riding the Top Thrill Dragster, the day was then over.  I spent an entire day at an amusement park, with the chance to ride only two roller coasters.  I am hoping that this is out of the fact that it was opening day, but I cannot be quite sure because this is the only time that I have visited this park.  While I had a great time, I hope that this is not the way they have wait times managed throughout the year.  According to the quality of their roller coasters, they are one of the best parks in the world.  However, I cannot say the same for the management and design of their wait times and ride traffic.  The wait times were much higher than any park I have ever been to: various Six Flags parks, Disney World, Sea World, Universal, etc.  However, as I stated, I like to hope that the management of their lines is better on other days.

However, while I only got to ride two rides, I had an amazing time.  The Top Thrill Dragster was an experience in itself, I had the chance to be one of the first day riders on a record-breaking coaster, and I was happy to be given the opportunity to spend the day with all of my friends from band.

One more crazy experience occurred before the day concluded; I nearly lost my 32 GB iPhone 5.  I had placed it in a friend’s bag before embarking on a ride, my friend thought that another friend’s mother picked it up, and no one actually picked up the bag.  It was really no individual’s fault, just a jumble of confusion.  When we found out after embarking the bus that the friend’s mom did not have the bag, we ran full speed back to the park through the rain to attempt to find it.  I thought that my social life online was about to be destroyed.  However, luckily, we found the bag in lost and found, showing that there are still courteous people in this world.  While it was a bit frightening, it resulted, in the end, in a good story to start a conversation.

So, as you have just read, my trip to Cedar Point was pretty crazy.  While I only had the opportunity to ride two roller coasters, it was still a great time and resulted in many stories that I can now share.  Losing my phone was a bit frightening, but it was really no one person’s fault, rather just a bit of confusion, and in the end, it turned out okay, as my phone and friend’s bag were recovered.  I hope that in the future that I get the opportunity to return to the park.  However, I hope that if I do, I am able to ride more than two roller coasters.  I had an awesome time though and will greatly miss the band that has become somewhat like a family.
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