Remember Raphael? Our Brazilian friend that gave us amazing first-timer opinions of almost all Californian theme-parks?! He came back to the US and is sharing his adventures with us again, of course comparing it to the Golden State of California! Join Raphael as he takes us all to Cedar Point!
As a South American theme park lover, it is a disaster living where I live. Our parks seem to be stuck in the last century, not because they want to, but they must face a challenging scenario: taxes all over the place. It is not easy to buy a Technical Park Frisbee, even more so a B&M. Because of all this, not only I, but also 99% of South American coaster maniacs have a dream to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain or Cedar Point, especially because of their great number of roller coasters. You followed me last year, when I realized my California dream, and this year I decided to visit the other part of my South-American-without-great-coasters goals. I flew to Ohio… and to Illinois… and Kentucky.
The 4 stars represents the parks that I have visited: Cedar Point, Six Flags Great America, Kings Island and Kentucky Kingdom
After a little trouble at the airport (apparently, the homeland security does not like a boy travelling alone in the US without a car or knowing anybody), I have arrived safe and sound and went to Cedar Point… by Uber. Yeah, I do not drive. I know it sounds crazy travel to the US without a driver permission, but life is life, and I have not had the chance to learn how to drive yet. It is easy to leave this behind, especially because Gatekeeper was just in front of me. I had to contain my anxiety to not run and jump the walls, so I got in peacefully and ran to exchange my Fast Lane Plus. When you come from Brazil and you have just one day, you must make money sacrifices.
The fastlane-pass craziness
With FLP on my wrist, it was time to ride Gatekeeper finally! I’ve never ridden one of those wing coasters, so my expectations were high. And it did not disappoint me! Going on the last seat made me experience some serious airtimes and great G-forces. Gatekeeper is not more insane than X2, but certainly is more enjoyable.
Since V2 at Discovery Kingdom, I have a thing for Inverted Impulse Coasters… Riding the queen of them, Wicked Twister, was like feeling my soul going in and out of my body each time the train passed through the station. I cannot say if Wicked Twister is more terrifying than V2, but what I do know is that both are my babies for the rest of my life.
Pokémon fever! But where is my favorite!?!?? WHERE IS BULBASAUR!?!?
The forecast said the sun would swap places with the clouds during the day, but the morning felt like a Californian summer to me. As I roamed around the main street, I decided to ride the repainted Raptor. My experience on this B&M inverted was “okay”, being smooth, but not so thrilling. Even on Flight Deck I screamed more.
Blue Streak had a terrible line, so I ran to Valravn… and… the coaster was down. I confess that I almost panicked, thinking of the possibility that the coaster wouldn’t open for the day, but I left this behind me and went to Corkscrew. What a terrible classic coaster! Lots of pain, Demon at California’s Great America is a lot more comfortable and rideable.
After the pain passed, I looked to Top Thrill Dragster and immediately thought of how unstable this coaster is, so it was better to go in it quickly. The line for TTD was clearly the longest in the park with FLP, even with 3 trains operating. The train was fired up and ready to go (just like the coaster music!), I went on the most incredible launch of my LIFE!!! Although it did not have a rollback (damn!), I saw one of the best views ever! G-Force, airtime, smoothness… Everything was awesome! I wish I had more time to ride it again and again.
By this time of the day, the guests were pretty spread out through the park and Magnum XL-200 had no line. At first, I was surprised by that, because I thought hyper coasters were the favorite ones by the public. However, I quickly understood why Magnum was unpopular. After the first drop, the coaster could be considered as a mild adventure. Not even the airtime and the smooth ride saved Magnum for me.
Fortunately, Gemini was the next one up and what a surprise! The steel racer coaster is a lot of fun, especially with the perfect synchronization between the trains, something that I missed on Twisted Colossus.
All my happiness was about to be destroyed in the moment that I seated on Mean Streak (R.I.P.). The coaster is absolutely the worst I’ve been on in all my life. For an instance, I felt sad, because this coaster could be so much more than it was as a wooden coaster. Hopefully it will be a better experience as an RMC.
Prior to my trip I have heard that Maverick could surprise me. When I was in the most well-themed queue line of Cedar Point, I admired Maverick trains launching. I could not even imagine that I was waiting for my favorite coaster ever. Maverick’s incredible launches, stupendous and sudden turns and forceful inversions conquered my heart. This coaster is the combination of everything I love on a ride. I could not help but ride this again, because, you know, fast lane plus.
After two a-m-a-z-i-n-g rides on the best coaster ever, I headed over to Millennium Force. Before any statement of Millennium, I must register my indignation with Cedar Point’s rollercoasters stations maintenance. All rollercoasters stations have spider webs, faded paint jobs and old and broken scenery. These things make a horrible contrast with the painted buildings, rides and the cleaned paths. Millennium Force’s station looked like it had never seen a refurbishment. Despite this sad fact, the coaster made me lose control of my vision in the first drop – I shouldn’t have looked at the sun during the lift. It only came back after a few hills, which made the ride a lot more terrifying to me. Even with this, and the fact that I spent more time out of my seat than in it, Millennium Force was not able to steal the position from Maverick. Why? Too much force.
Guess who came back from the dead? Yeah, Valravn. The new coaster for the 2016 season did not look like a new thing. Almost empty lines. I do now know how good the impact of Valravn was this year, but to me the coaster is intense on the first drop and after is something like a calm smooth ride with inversions.
At least the souvenirs were incredible, as the others I-have-to-buy-it-now kind of things that Cedar Point has in their stores.
After a mandatory ride (and beautiful photos) on the Skyride, time to feel the rage of Rougarou.
I was curious to see what was the result of the conversion of stand-up to floorless, and I loved it! The compact turns, common to the stand-ups, were terrific!
The next coaster did not have a FPL entrance, so I entered in the line for Iron Dragon already tired. It was far from being better than Ninja, it took a long way to get exciting, even for a family coaster. I’m curious how the VR will work on this one.
The very last one was Blue Streak, a decent wooden coaster. Although it has a lot of bumps, Blue is well preserved, and apparently, has loyal fans.
I finished my unforgettable day at Cedar Point walking around, going in some flat rides and buying useless souvenirs.
The atmosphere of the park is something beautiful, with good music, colorful scenery and the respective presence of Snoopy and his friends. I will never forget my favorite beagle dancing Applause by Lady Gaga right in front of me. It is magical. It is something very close with what I witnessed at Knott’s. Cedar Fair may not be the best theme park chain, but they sure do have a uniqueness about them. This goes beyond the free Wi-Fi and tasty pizza; it goes with the perception of a good service. It’s the combination of the basic services with the “theme park service”, like the right number of trains operating on a rollercoaster, even if the coaster hasn’t had a crowd to ride, reasonable wait times, all rides were open and the theming was immersive.
Thank you for following along with Raphael’s adventures, stay tuned for his Kentucky Kingdom and Kings Island adventures! His Six Flags Great America Adventure is now LIVE here. If you haven’t read about his amazing travels around California last year, or would love to read his first-timer outsider point of view again check out any of his Californian articles:
- Raphael’s Lego Orcas Seaside Adventure
- Raphael’s Universal, Ghost Town, and Radiator Springs Adventure
- Raphael’s Twisted Beach, Six Flags, and Disneyland Adventure
- Raphael’s Northern California Adventure