Monday, October 24, 2011

Trip Report: Cedar Point 10/23/11

Went to Halloweekends yesterday with our Psych group to test the effects of coaster phobias. I'll report our findings when we finish, but for now, here's what was going on at the park. Like last year's experiment, execs and other heads of the park made the rounds with us. We were very lucky they let us use the exit to get on the rides and avoid waiting in line. This was the only time I've ever skipped the line for Maverick, and if you've been on Maverick, you know how big of a deal that is.

 We started the day off at the Cedar Creek Mine Ride. We were some of the first on since the ride had not opened upon arrival. The national anthem played over the speakers while we waited, a morning ritual at CP.

Next up was Wildcat. This was the only coaster here I had never been on (other than the two kiddie coasters). It's a lot more thrilling than it looks. Is it just me, though, or does this one look like Cedar Fair found it at a carnival, hauled it over with a lift, and dropped it next to Iron Dragon? It looks as if they were saying "Here's the new coaster. That was easy." Maybe it's just me.

Early morning at Cedar Point's Raptor.

Tim Burton and Henry Selick should get ready to sue.

 It had only been a year since my last visit, but it had taken that length of time for me to forget the outrageous prices in the park. Seriously, this place is more expensive in one visit than two days at Disney or Universal. I had just a medium-sized meal at Coasters, and that was roughly 16 bucks! I didn't eat anything the rest of the time because your average food or drink was at least 3 or 4 dollars, and we're only talking a small Pepsi, one hot dog, etc. Oh, and it was Sunday, so Chick-fil-A was closed, and we all know what that's like.

Getting nearly dehydrated, I found out that I had to ask for water. That's right. I think it was $3.50 at the (very few) vending machines that had it. It is not on the menu at food stands. They'll give you a tiny cup, but that's it. I was very fortunate to have a nice worker give me a full glass, no charge. Keep this in mind on your next visit.
The midway stage awaits the arrival of The Overlord and his minions of Screamers.

Peanuts characters are all over. They have a show on the Iron Dragon stage that is so loud, one can hear it for several miles.

Mantis, or as I like to call it, The Man-Crusher

The park is all decked out for Halloween.

The entrance to the nightly scare zone that runs along Frontier Town.

This guy actually moves. He had quite a crowd.

Millennium Force was stuck early on.

Wind Seeker was down as was Iron Dragon despite very little wind.
Disaster Transport is not open due to its overlay as a nightly haunted house.

I could swear this dude looks just like the old Sinclair dinosaur.

Jack occasionally springs from his box at night.

At night, this thing plays a very creepy toy jingle.


Even Johnny Rocket's was decked out in dead musicians.
 Many of the decorations around the park are from previous years, but I'm glad they kept this graveyard of lost rides. It's a nice tradition. I wish they added new headstones each year, but it's still pretty impressive with how many they included.

That's all?! No Bear Country?! I'm offended, CP!


The hay bale maze in front of the kiddie haunted house in the Blue Streak area.

These inflatable guys are new this year.

Am I alone in thinking they look like the old Tangy Taffy characters?
What could be in that tomb?


The ogre snores for a while before waking.

Every two minutes, he stands and recites a morbid poem.

Glad to know Hard Rock Park had a proper burial.

I saw this and laughed because it reminded me of this.

Part of the steampunk area of the Frontier Town scare zone.

Snake River Falls and the other water rides were down.

This is interesting. From behind the petting zoo, you can see the Christmas decorations.

Every kind of spooky music you can think of, from Beetlejuice to Zombie Stomp, plays in areas like this.

Some of my favorite Halloween songs like "Do the Freddy" from "Freddy's Greatest Hits" and "Surfer Ghoul" from the Dr. Demento show were absent from the playlist. I'd like my admission money back, Cedar Point!
The really great Cedar Point history museum.

I love how this shows the sign of the times. A strong Christian emphasis, Indians chasing Pilgrims, and Death in an old lady's house would not necessarily fly today as animations for this organ.

During the day, "Thriller" music plays nonstop here. Don't like it? Too bad!

Too soon?
 I was lucky to obtain some info from a park head on the status of the paddle wheel boats. The new Adventure Island will become home to the dinosaurs, so some of the scenery will probably not stay. However, the boats might not disappear entirely. They recently had one of the old ships out by the marina for guests to ride.

The former loading dock is now just a "rest area."

"O Fortuna" played while we were in line. Intimidating to say the least.
As the night falls, the Grandmaster (from behind) addresses his subjects.

The Blood on the Bayou haunted house by the Dragster.

If Jack didn't look spooky enough during the day, he will now.
Gone is the "Thriller" music, replaced by more haunting fare.

Not a great shot, but the adult Carn Evil scare zone is in Camp Snoopy, a children's area. I won't ask why.

 All in all, a fun trip. Exhausting, however. My complaints were mostly just the conditions of the day. The wind was merciless on the coasters, forcing my eyes shut and blurring my vision among other things. The weather shifted from extremely  cold to very hot which is how I have frost marks and sun burn on my skin at the same time as well as blisters on blisters from the excess walking. After tackling seven coasters, I didn't have the strength to do any more.

I was very fortunate to see this place late at night, something I have never done before. I could truly feel the magic of the park's 50's and 60's heyday shine through all the lit rides and oldies rock music. Some of what I felt must have been prevalent in the 1800's and early 1900's was still there: classic rides like the horse derby and tin lizzies, the shore of Lake Erie, and impressive-looking gardens. Also, I don't think I've been to a park before where I've seen so many young couples practically turning the thing into a private make-out booth. If that doesn't take one back to the old eras of the park, I don't know what will.

There is not a lot of new features for this year's Halloweekends, but for someone who rarely goes in October, I didn't mind. For you locals, there are two new houses, new scenery, and some new shows. Other than that, the park looks almost identical as it did a year ago. Oh, but this time the midway prizes aren't as great. Playing to win a giant monkey is as epic as that time I won a life-sized doll of Tails from the Sonic games.

In other news, we should have our research and results of the Psych experiment done by January at least, so I'll try to post it then. Also, I received my acceptance letter from Disney this weekend. I'll be working there this spring. Thanks for reading!

UPDATE: My friend and I are doing our research on the effects of the Face Your Fear experiments from this year and last year. If you are interested, our local NPR station had this to say about it:

Also, Cedar Point's blog had an entry:

Here's one on last year's trip:

If you'd like further information, we also have a Facebook page:


ParkImpressions said...

Great article, Aaron! Nice pictures and a very thorough report. I always love the ride graveyard in particular. Can't wait to see your experiment results!

Reesie Cup said...

Thanks a lot!

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