Monday, August 20, 2012

Cedar Point Revisited

The space spiral in early retirement
I made it out to Cedar Point during my vacation last week. It had been decades since I had been there just to ride the rides, and not attend some company picnic or corporate function at the same time.

I must confess, though, that it was with some trepidation that I went, knowing that I was 53 years old and not a high school kid any more. Would my middle-aged carcass survive the park's modern, intense rides? Sure it would!

As usual, however, my most humble goal was to be denied. I knew that the Space Spiral – one of the last holdovers from the 1960s – was going to be gone after this season, and I wanted to catch one last nostalgic ride on it. Alas, the park management must have deemed it too much of a snoozer for today's park patrons to worry about; the ride was not even operating and it was enclosed behind construction walls. I knew something was up when from outside the park, I could see that it wasn't going up and down. Oh well.

To my surprise, I had a great time at the park. It had something to do with the fact that the spouse had her young, high-school age niece with our party, and we were able to see and experience the park through her eyes. In fact, with her encouragement, I rode many more of the newer rides – maXairRaptor, Wicked Twister, Mean Streak, Iron Dragon, Power Tower and Mantis – than I ever expected or intended to. I even rode the Top Thrill Dragster, as well as the WindSeeker (twice)!

The WindSeeker was my favorite, although I'm relatively scared of heights. It was a relaxing ride in a way (once I managed to suppress my panic attack), reminiscent to me of the Space Spiral with the fantastic view of the park.

One of the views from the train
The park crowds were light the day I went, and most of the waiting times for the rides were 15 minutes or less.

Of course, any visit to Cedar Point puts me in a nostalgic mood, and I had to point out to the niece that there used to be a Pirate Ride, and that at one time, the Blue Streak was the park's signature roller coaster. (By the way, the Blue Streak was still an intense ride!)

After spending more than ten hours at the park, we finished up with an old favorite: a ride on the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad. I'm happy to report that the train still goes through Boneville.

This sign just reeled me in for dinner
Dinner at Pink's was very good too. I'm a sucker for a good chili dog with cheese, and that was my dinner fare there. It was air-conditioned too, which was a plus.

So even though I got a little nostalgic remembering my family's fun trips to Cedar Point in the 1960s, I had to admit that I had a good time there in 2012.

The park was impeccably clean and tidy, the landscaping was flawlessly manicured, the lines were short and the number and variety of rides was incredible. The ride operators were friendly, talkative and focused on safety and fun. What more could you ask for in an amusement park?

We're lucky to live so close to the best one in the country.

So after a day of fun, I bid adieu to Cedar Point, and – more or less – vacation time and summer time as well. It was a bittersweet feeling, not unlike leaving the park as a kid and knowing it was going to be a while before you went back.

The end of a long day


Ken said...

What a beautfiful picture of the sky ride. Almost brought tears to my eyes.

Ken said...

Last time i was at Cedar Point, about ten years ago, what gratified me the most was the music piped through the park-- it was still the old late 19th Century Marching Band and Calliope style music, like the old days-- but then about 5 PM it switched over to the modern stuff! But I enjoyed the nostalgia while it lasted.

Cedar Point Food Blog said...

Pink's is an excellent option for a chili dog when visiting Cedar Point, a great choice for park food! This year we may see some new selection with Chickie's and Pete's entering the park.