austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Follow him as he ascends

There's this sports bar type restaurant in Cedar Point. It's named Chickie & Pete's or something like that, and I think it's a franchise. It's got crab fries on the menu, though, and we've been interested in them. It's crab flavoring, not actual crab meat, that goes into it. We'd gone there the last day of Cedar Point's season in 2014, hoping to try them out, and found they were out of crab fry seasoning. We gave it another try this time, to make our lunch. And they had the crab fry seasoning. It's nice enough, although not worth a yearlong wait. bunny_hugger pointed out the pieces of the restaurant that showed its old existence as a non-franchise park-managed sports bar and, I think, a seafood place before that.

After lunch we went to the Blue Streak roller coaster, naturally. Along the way we saw the Charlie Brown's Coloring Zone. This was an activity area set up for kids who, I guess, didn't feel like going to the Egyptian Mummy-themed ride nearby or the maze built of straw bales. To my delight the sign explaining what this was had safety guidelines. That's just boilerplate, of course, but I'm still giggling over how one of the rules is ``shoes are required''. The rest of the boilerplate isn't worth giggling about --- you have to be under 54 inches tall, finish food and drink before ``entering'', and follow all directions the attendant gives. Normal stuff.

One of the roller coasters we hadn't gotten to before was Raptor. (You might've heard about this one on the news over the summer. A guy had climbed over the safety fence to recover a lost cell phone, and got struck and killed by a train.) The ride hadn't operated on Roller Coaster Appreciation Night, due to the rain, and we missed it Friday and Saturday nights if it was running at all. We saw them just opening up the ride's queue and figured this was our best chance to ride without a long wait. We were a bit foiled, though: despite their opening the queue they weren't quite ready for riders just yet. We did get to see them doing preparatory work, including taking the weighted dummies off the test trains. The dummies for these cars are plastic mannequin figures that get filled with water so they have passenger-style weights. So that's neat to see park operations, at least. This also meant there were parts of the queue, underneath the station, that were dripping surely cold water, and the wise rider was skipping that.

When they finally started letting people ride we were just at the queue gates, ready for the next train, when a problem hit. One of the riders on the previous circuit had vomited. You understand the problem. They had to help him off first, of course, and then clean both his seat and a couple rows behind, ours included, because of spillage. The ride operators debated what to do with the just-cleaned train: it would need a couple ride cycles to dry off, but, re-loading the necessary test dummies with water would take forever. They finally decided to load the rows in front of where the sick passenger had been, and send the train out that way. After explaining this a couple times, when the gates finally opened, someone at the gate two rows behind our spot still didn't understand what was going on or why. But that train finally set off, and the second operating train --- stopped at the braking area all this time --- finally pulled in, to applause. There was also a third train, stopped just before the braking area, and think of all the time they got to appreciate the ride.

After, at long last, the ride, we explored the exit area some. bunny_hugger had a recollection of entering the park from an entrance in that area when her high school band performed at Cedar Point. But she couldn't figure how that made sense, given the locations of existing park entrances. But that was before Raptor was built. On closer examination we could see where it would have made sense for, once upon a time, a service entrance to have been there. Her recollection seems to be plausible, at least, if not confirmed.

We went back out toward the Frontier Trail, taking in another ride on Rougarou. The ride's got a pleasant movement. It just needs to not have ear-bashing restraints. The ride's so close to being right now. Maybe next year.

Trivia: Cotton candy was launched at the Saint Louis World's Fair of 1904, the same fair that made ice cream cones a thing. Source: Sweets: A Natural History of Temptation, Tim Richardson.

Currently Reading: Arresting Dress: Cross-dressing, Law, and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco, Clare Sears.

PS: Reading the Comics, December 13, 2015: More Nearly Like It Edition, as I get closer to caught up on mathematically-themed comics.

Tags: amusement parks, cedar point, halloweekends
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