Share thoughts, photos, and reviews from visits to Carowinds or any other amusement park
By Edwardo
Adventures of Edwardo & Wormy

I was just at Cedar Point in 2013 for my first ever Coastermania event. I didn’t expect I’d be going back again so soon, as I rarely get to visit one of my favorite parks being that it is such a long drive. When they announced the conversion of Mantis to Rougarou, I knew I wanted to get back, because I really hated Mantis. And with Maverick’s new restraints, it was just too tempting. Then the stars aligned, I asked another coaster geek if he wanted to go, since this would be his first visit, and I tacked a few other parks on to sweeten the deal, and viola, we had a trip planned.

Doug got to my house just before 6am on Friday, May 22, and off we were on our 9 hour drive to Sandusky. This was the first time I actually made the drive with someone else, which was nice, because I had someone to talk to.

Somewhere in West Virginia I stopped and introduced Doug to the amazingness that is Tudor’s Biscuit World. It was so worth it. Then, around 4pm, we finally arrived at Sandusky.

We had to make a few stops, I needed a new battery for my camera. I plan on getting a newer, better camera, but for now, this is what I got, so we stopped and I picked up one of Kodak’s stupid proprietary camera batteries for $40 (And they wonder why they went bankrupt). Then I realized that I forgot to grab a memory card, so we went from the battery store (yes, we went to a battery store) to Target, where I picked up a $10 8GB card. Afterwards, we checked in to our Motel for the next two nights. Disclaimer: Never stay at the Roadway Inn in Sandusky. Always book a 3 star room on Hotwire. Even if the reviews are good.

Anyway. We headed over to the park. It was a little chilly, and honestly, I wish I’d packed a hoodie, but I didn’t. Doug, on the other hand, brought his brand new warm hoodie with him. I knew the breeze on the lake would be cold. Oh well. We got to Cedar Point just before 5pm. I always tend to park in the Gemini lot, so we circled around so Doug could see the park and then got ready to head inside. The day was beautiful, if a bit cold. We got to the counter to pick up a ticket for Doug. I presented my Platinum Pass, and much to our surprise, it was only $10 to get Doug in. Then, when I asked how much the ticket would be for all day Saturday, we were even more delighted to be told $10. It was a promo that apparently wasn’t promoted very much, but Platinum Passholders could get tickets for $10 for other people for the weekend. I actually toyed with spreading some love and giving the people behind us the discount, but they had already prepaid for their ticket. Oh well.

The park wasn’t extremely busy, which I figured would be the case. Fridays on Memorial Day weekend are rarely that busy at parks. First up we headed over to Magnum. It had a small line, and stopped running for about 5 minutes, but quickly picked back up.

Magnum XL200-I love me some Magnum. We sat in the infamous 1-3 seat for Doug’s first ride. Magnum was running very well. The third hill always delivers airtime, and the return trip is always fun. The trim before the turn around wasn’t too strong, so no discomfort there. Every time I ride, I’m reminded of the time it hit so hard and sent me into my seat so hard that it knocked a kidney stone loose. But I still love me some Magnum.

We walked around to Dragster, which had about an hour line. Then we walked over to Iron Dragon, which may have had a 20 minute line, so we hopped on there to get Doug’s credit and get it out of the way.

Iron Dragon-It is what it is. It’s certainly not the best, but it is a fun ride, and kids tend to like it. You get some good views of Dragster and Rougarou, plus the pretzel turnaround is fun. There just isn’t much to say about the ride that hasn’t been said of it during its lifetime.

Next we headed over to the park’s newest attraction on an old track, Rougarou (Where are you?!).

Rougarou-The ride looks so much better with its new paint job. And the station looks neat as well. I think our wait was about 30 minutes. This part was so much better than Mantis, as they were hauling getting people on the train, and not sending out half empty trains like they always tended to do on Mantis. This change has made a world of difference for an otherwise unimpressive coaster. The trim on the first drop is no longer on. This layout is really made for a floorless. Very re-ridable and very smooth. Everything Mantis was not.

After Rougarou we walked to Millennium Force but it was down so instead we headed over to the Red Garter Saloon for dinner and drinks. I’m not a fan of country, and the show was going on, but whatever. I had a sub (included with my Dining Season Pass, score) and a RougaBrew.

We headed back thru Frontier Trail to check out the line for Maverick, which was way too long and we were going to have all day with Fast Lane on Saturday, so we went over to Mean Streak instead.

Mean Streak-Everyone says it’s rough. I’ve contended for years that it isn’t rough, it’s boring. Doug agreed. The trim kills any excitement it may have had, but the ride literally just meanders around. In fact, I didn’t even bother riding on my last visit, and this visit was really only because Doug had never ridden. I know it’s not on the plans at this point, but in the future, an RMC makeover of Mean Streak would, in my opinion, fix the last ‘bad’ coaster in the park. And by bad, I mean absolutely boring.

I took Doug thru the Town Hall Museum. Now that I’ve discovered it, I always make it a point to visit; I love it in there, looking at all the old pictures, models and what not. It really does have great atmosphere.

Next we walked over to Gemini midway which has changed significantly since the last time I was there, and it looks absolutely amazing. I love the string lights overhead. I love the LED light packages on the rides there. And I really, REALLY hope Carowinds takes notice of this. A few nice flat rides with great light packages would really make that park pop. Since we were there, we got on one of my favorites.

Gemini-We rode both sides. They weren’t synching up to race for what seemed like most of the weekend tough we did get one or 2 racing rides. The ride was running as good as it ever has, smooth and fun, airtime in all the right places, some hand slapping. We rode both sides of the ride before moving on, but honestly, I could have marathoned it. And there was no line so it would have been easy to do.

We walked over to Pipe Stream and gave it a spin. It made me a little queasy, but I’d still love to see one of these at Carowinds. We walked around and saw that Dragster didn’t have but about a 40 minute wait, so we got in line.
Top Thrill Dragster-It’s such a great thrill ride. Such a terrible coaster (But way better than Kingda Ka). We opted for a back seat ride. When I first rode Dragster, it terrified me up till the actual launch. Then I loved it. Again, not as a coaster, but it’s a great ride. Doug agreed with me. And it’s running as good as ever. I love the launch and how it literally takes your breath away. And if you can see it, that view…IS…AMAZING.

By this point the park was near closing time and it was dark which meant that Magnum was sitting darkly across the midway beckoning for us to come and get some end of the night rides in the dark.

Magnum (again)-There was still a hint of sunlight in the corner of the lake, while the rest of everything else was pitch black. Magnum is already a great ride. My first nite ride cause me to have a kidney stone (I kid you not). The last time I was here, we did the last few rides on Magnum for Coastermania ERT. But I’d never had rides like the 2 we took this time. It was already breathtaking that you look out on the second hill to see nothing before you and then you drop and turn. The third his is amazing, but then, something happened that I’d never had happen before…No trims! Oh My Goodness! I already loved Magnum, but these 2 rides pushed it up in the rankings because that second half is brutally fantastic without the trims. Amazing! Ejector air! In the Dark and pitch black tunnels! It was amazing! We ran around for another ride (or was it 3? I don’t remember) because it was so amazing.

The evening was really wonderful. I absolutely love Cedar Point, and really wish it wasn’t so far away from me. We finished the night with some pictures and headed to grab a bite at McDonalds then back to the hotel to rest up for a full day at one of my favorite parks.
The great thing about working Ripcord was becoming buddies with the Magnum crew so that they would flip the trims off when we rode. I've had so many trimless rides on that thing I couldn't even count. The trims are also off for the first few rides of the morning every day. That's one of the only rides I know of where the trims can actually be turned on or off by an operator in the booth (I believe Gemini recently had its trims changed to computer controlled). Sometimes on slower nights they would even rope off a car for us to stay in for re-rides. So many memories of speeding over those hills with the moonlight shining off the lake. There were also some intense alcohol fueled marathons on it. And that's why it probably remains my favorite steel.

I'll always love Cedar Point. Everyone seems to have such an extreme opinion on it. On the one hand you've got the "BEST PARK IN THE WORLD" fanboys, and I struggle to see how anyone could make an objective case for that being true, but then on the other hand to counter that you have the "MOST OVERRATED EVER I DON'T EVEN LIKE GOING THERE" people who are equally annoying. I'll probably try to make a visit next year for their new ride.
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By Wormy
Cedar Point is a fine corporate park no doubt, and thoroughly enjoyable. Aside from its picture perfect beach location, and a richer history (all but relegated to a museum) than others in the chain, it’s honestly comparable with any other Cedar Fair offering. Which is no complaint - certainly glad to see CF spreading the wealth around. Not the be-all end-all in my opinion as many make it out to be, but shouldn’t be discounted for the great park that it is. For the 18 hours we spent there, had a blast!

Finish up Day 2 (don’t leave out Hotel Breakers), and then get to the good stuff!

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