Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Top-10, Cedar Point Style

Okay. This is going to be my first official post. I took a half hour the other night writing about the National League's ineptitude in Interleague play, but I lost my signal as I was posting it, so it is gone. I just got over the anger and am going to take a second stab at a post. I just went to Cedar Point over the weekend, so I'm going to post my top 10 rides at the park. If you agree or disagree, let me know.

Without further ado...

10. Mantis
Pros-The biggest pro for the Mantis is that it's long, lasting 2:40. Also, there are three loops and a figure eight finish, which I think are positives.
Cons-Some people may like the idea of a stand-up coaster, but I'm not crazy about it. The bicycle seat you sit on is not comfortable (especially for a guy), and it just never really gets to be a comfortable experience. Also, the line is always at least 45 minutes, which isn't too bad, but over an hour is too long of a wait for me on this ride.
Overall-It's a good ride that I would probably like better if it were a regular sit down coaster. I understand the idea of diversity, though, and if it were a sit-down, it would be too much like the Raptor. It's one that I'll usually try to get one once while I'm there, but never more than that.

9. Power Tower
Pros-The thrill of a freefall is always cool, especially because it seems to always come unexpectedly. Also, it goes up to 60 mph in the drop, which is pretty sweet. It's can be nice to have a choice whether you want to get blasted up or dropped down. For a ride like this, the 45 second ride time is good too, especially since it's rare to wait more than 10 minutes in line.
Cons-The ride time is good for the kind of ride, but it still leaves you wanting more.
Overall-I really enjoy the Power Tower, and I barely have anything bad to say about it, but it just doesn't match up with those farther up. It's something that I turn to when I need a little break so it can't be considered one of the top rides on my list. It's definitely one I'll do more than once, though, because the wait is nothing. I always prefer to be dropped. Being shot up just doesn't do much for me.

8. Wicked Twister
Pros-Nothing else offers a ride like this one. The back-and-forth motion is unique, and that's a definite plus. It's fast, going 72 mph. The track is a U, meaning you are looking either straight up or straight down when you get to the end of the track. The 450-degree twist in the end of the track adds a little extra.
Cons-It goes 5 times down the track, which never feels like enough on this ride. The line usually seems longer than I feel it should be too, especially since it never seems the ride is long enough.
Overall-When I first saw this ride, I didn't think it would be cool at all. I thought it would just go back and forth a couple times and be totally boring. I was definitely wrong. Once you get through the line, you find out that the mixture of speed, suddenness and 90-degree bends in the track make it really enjoyable. The fact that it goes through the station each time it runs the track offers a chance to entertain too, such as acting like you're running through the station or being pulled through. It just never seems long enough.

7. Skyhawk
Pros-It takes you 125 feet in the air at 60 mph in both directions. It gives you the feeling of weightlessness. Being able to look straight in front of you and see the ground 125 feet below. The wait is never very long.
Cons-It doesn't twist, spin or drop, and one minute is just not long enough.
Overall-I love the Skyhawk. It's only been at Cedar Point for 2 years, and it's gaining some popularity. It may not look great since it just swings back and forth, bringing to mind the tameness of the pirate ship, but it does offer a thrill. Being able to look straight ahead at the ground 125 feet below is unlike most feelings you can have.

6. MaXair
Pros-You go 140 feet in the air, up to 70 mph, and not only do you swing back and forth, you're spinning. The line is usually less than a half hour, and it lasts 2:30, which is awesome. At the top, you feel weightless whether you're looking up or down.
Cons-None really
Overall-MaXair is a sweet ride. It's like the Skyhawk on steroids, which kind of sucks for Skyhawk since it's a year newer. For some reason, less people are riding MaXair each year, which is alright with me because I can get on it more. It has a short wait, and lasts a long time. My favorite part is when you get to the top and you spin from the side to looking straight down at the ground.

5. Magnum XL-200
Pros-It has a 205-foot first hill, goes 72 mph, and every time you go over a hill, it feels like you're floating out of your car. The tunnels provide a good thrill, and in the middle the back-to-back turns are a chance to lean out of the car and act like you're falling out. Also, now that the Millennium Force has moved ahead of it by being taller and faster, the line is usually amazingly short. It's pretty long too, lasting 2 minutes.
Cons-Compared to some of the others, it can feel a little bit jerky, and the seats are tiny.
Overall-This is an old favorite. It was my favorite ride in the park for a long time, and though it's fallen a bit, it's still awesome. I love that I rarely have to wait to get on it, and the floating feeling you get, especially being the first car over the first hill, is amazing.

4. Raptor
Pros-Just listen to the special features: Six upside-down turns: one vertical loop, two inverted corkscrews, a zero-gravity roll and a "cobra roll" that turns riders upside down twice. Add that to the fact that your legs are dangling, and this ride is awesome. It goes up to 57 mph, which isn't terribly fast, but on this ride it feels faster. 2:15 ride time is solid.
Cons-Usually, the wait is pretty long. Don't go early in the day because a lot of people just coming in go straight to Raptor. Also, they don't have pictures anymore. They tape your entire ride and show you the whole time, which I think is just creepy.
Overall-This has always been one of my favorite rides in the park. The loops and spins are sweet, and for some reason always make me feel like I'm about to black out, a feeling I don't get on any other ride. It's all good though. I love the ride too much to worry about that.

3. Top Thrill Dragster
Pros-420 feet tall, 120 mph in less than 4 seconds, a 270-degree twist while descending 400 feet straight toward the ground.
Cons-The line is usually very long, it lasts a measley 17 seconds, and it shuts down for the slightest of bad weather conditions.
Overall-It looks like I just didn't say much about this ride, but what can you really say?? It's the tallest and fastest coaster in the world, and the thrill it gives you by going from 0-120 mph in less than 4 seconds is unmatched. It just isn't all good things. It feels like it's over before it starts, which makes it not worth it for some people because of how long they have to wait. And it shuts down for any kind of threatening weather, which also sucks. It's just an unbelievable ride, though. Totally worth it to me.

2. Maverick
Pros-There is nothing like it. It has a 95-degree drop, and two corkscrew rolls, which have never been seen before. Also, there are 8 different spots where you get airtime. There are two launch pads, and it's cool that you don't hit top speed until the second half of the ride. 2:30 is amazing considering the wait.
Cons-The wait, the wait, the wait. You have to wait over 2 hours almost every single time. That might go down in the coming years since this is only its second year, but I doubt it. Also, there is no high hill.
Overall-I have never seen a ride like this before, and I'm so glad that I have now. A 95-degree drop and 8 airtime moments?! Are you serious?? That's ridiculous and amazing. The corkscrew rolls are awesome, and this is such a smooth ride for all of the twists. You have to wait forever to get on, but the ride last 2:30, so it makes it worth it. For not having a high hill, this ride overcomes that and then some.

1. Millennium Force
Pros-It takes you 80-degrees up the first hill straight out of the station to the top, 310 feet away. Immediately, you drop 300 of those feet at 93+ mph back to the ground. The ride lasts 2:20, and it has two more hills that are higher than the tallest hill on most coasters.
Cons-Usually the longest wait in the park, easily topping 2 hours most times.
Overall-This ride has everything you want. It has height, speed, twists, turns, tunnels, lights, and airtime. The only thing it doesn't offer are rolls. It's not the tallest or fastest coaster in the park even, but when you are that big and that fast and last 2:20, that's just awesome. I love this ride, and it's well worth it for me to wait to ride it twice in one day. From the first time I rode it, it was my favorite ride in the park, and that hasn't been challenged thus far.


Matt Barnes said...

Alright, here's my top 10. I can't count Maverick cause I haven't ridden it yet, though I've heard ntohing but good things

1. Raptor (By far the best...nothing like it anywhere else. Ranks higher in most magazine coaster rankings too for a reason)
2. Millennium Force (Just a smooth ride)
3. Magnum (Oldie but goodie. That sound of clinking up the first drop and view to the north is priceless)
4. Top Thrill (Most thrilling but also the shortest)
5. Power Tower (ONLY if you get a jackass operator who makes you sit up top for at least 15-20 seconds waiting to drop)
6. Wicked Twister (ONLY if you sit in the way front or way back)
7. Mantis (ONLY if you get comfortable before they lock the seats. If not, forget this being a fun ride)
8. Disaster Transport (ONLY if you go with people who have a good time no matter what. Perfect getaway from the heat)
9. MaxAir (ONLY if you haven't eaten for at least 3 hours)
10. Mean Streak (Classic wooden coaster. One HAS to make any Top 10 list)

Jeff Young said...

A few thoughts....

-Mantis consistently has the longest line in the park. Sure Millennium Force, Dragster, and Maverick will have longer lines on busy days, Mantis has a 45 minute line even when there is no one there. Regarding the other wait times, you aren't going on the right days if you're waiting more than 45 minutes for anything in the park.

-Wicked Twister's line is as long as it is because it can only run one train.

-Top Thrill Dragster is not the tallest coaster in the world anymore. See Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey.

-Corkscrews have been seen before Maverick (See Corkscrew), but a "twisted horseshoe roll" with two corkscrews in between a sharp turn has not ever been done before.

-In general, I don't think people give enough love to some of the smaller rides, like Blue Streak and Iron Dragon. These rides are classics, and really good rides to build up courage to go on the big ones. It's unfortunate too, because they typically have short lines. When you go to CP, you can ride as many rides as you want, provided that you do it in the right order and don't just plan on hitting the big ones.