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Cedar Point 2011 Trip Report
Sept. 1, 2011

After our phenomenal visit to Kennywood, the Season Pass "Wheels on I-80" caravan moved on to Sandusky, O-High-O, for two full days at the scream machine Shangri-La known as Cedar Point. Safe to say that this was the "headliner" of the trip, with an in-park podcast recording scheduled to feature the debut of their newest attraction, Windseeker. (And if you haven't already enjoyed said podcast, feel free to do so now by clicking here.)

As longtime readers of this site know, Cedar Point is easily one of my most favorite places in the observable universe (amply documented in my ride reviews for Power Tower, Millennium Force, and Top Thrill Dragster). And I fell even more in love with the joint on this visit, for reasons that caught me very much by surprise.

Of course, much love is due to this park's collection of roller coasters. But far from all of it. Because, let's be honest, Cedar Point has a few clunkers. Mean Streak? Abominable. So handsome, but I weep for the many trees that gave their lives for that thing. Corkscrew? A big thumbs-down from the few among us who dared ride it. Mantis? None of us bothered. Iron Dragon is okay; all Arrow Suspended coasters are at least "okay" for me. But Draggin' is pretty pokey. And while the Wildcat is certainly fun, I remind Cedar Point that Magic Mountain got rid of its Mountain Express in 1982.

(And here's my really dark secret: I'm not all that fond of Magnum XL-200 any more. It's gotten too nasty on the thighs for me to enjoy thoroughly that's what she said.)

The Point does have several roller coasters that are extraordinary. Along with the aforementioned Force and Dragster, Wicked Twister and Raptor are very wicked and rapturous both; Blue Streak is not OMG-amazing, but is a solidly decent out-and-backer; and Disaster Transport, which is now entirely dark inside, was way cooler than I remembered it from prior trips. Nice! Maverick, we'll get to shortly.

But the flat rides; wow. I am not traditionally a lover of spinny contraptions. Coasters, dark rides and water-propelled devices, that's usually about what I'm game for. But some of the flats here are gimongous and don't ask me why, I got on 'em when the opportunity arose. And super-tall rides? Also very, very, very scary for me, usually. Not this trip. The Point worked some kind of juju and turned me around (literally) on a number of rides I would have otherwise avoided like the plague. And I loved them. And that's why I love Cedar Point more than ever.

Okay, so there's one kind of ride I'm still pretty sure I don't need to get on ever again: the swinging pirate boat-type deal. CP shuffled around some stuff in preparation for Windseeker's arrival and Ocean Motion is now right at the front of the park, looking like a million bucks. Love the logo, the rockwork, the flowers, classy job all around. Have at it; I'll just watch.

As this was Doug and Co.'s first visit to CP, we had unanimously decided that the first ride of the first day would be Millennium Force. And man, what a way to kick-start the party. That extra-speedy lift, so steep, was startling all over again. Closing in on the 310-foot-peak, I made a mental note that riding Windseeker would be a positively insane thing to do.

But all thoughts of Windseeker vanished as we soared down that heavenly first drop. The greatest ever? Maybe not anymore. I won't argue that The Force is perfect, but it will always remain a Top Five coaster for me.

A towering milestone in roller coaster development, a visual icon recognized worldwide, and a ride so smooth, so fast, so joyfully pure, The Force is a jewel in Cedar Point's crown. And it still rolls like it was built last week. Love it to death.




© Robert Coker
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