We figured it to be a low-attendance night, between the cool and the heavy rain that'd just rolled through. We got some idea how low when we took early admission to go to Maverick, which always has a line, sometimes among the longest lines in the park. We got a walk-on. We got a bigger idea how low-volume the day would be when we got back to the station and because nobody --- not one person and I am not engaging in hyperbole --- was waiting at the station they said we could just stay in our seats and ride again. Cedar Point never lets you re-ride. This weekend we would do the most re-riding since our Pennsylvania Parks Tour and time spent in all these tiny, quirky local parks.
We went to Millennium Force, again once of the park's perennially popular rides, and while we didn't walk on, the wait was just a couple minutes. With the wait so short we figured to go back around and take another rid since how often could we? And after that the ride operators offered, since there wasn't anybody waiting in the launch station, to just let us through the secret gate from the exit to the entry station (they're separate from one another) to essentially re-ride. Seriously, what the heck?
Outside Millennium Force we ran into our pinball friend, and his cousin (whom we'd met at a Free Play Day), and two of their other friends part of the group, and we resolved to meet up for pinball later. We would have plenty of chances to ride things, but also chances to duck under cover because it was cold and, intermittently, raining. We may have spent longer than we figured on in the Midway Market, and the buffet dinner, just because it was a warm and dry space.
But we had time to do some discovering, too, for example that the old-time farm on the Frontier Trail, a relic of the 60s-70s idea of making part of the park historic and educational, had been renamed The Barnyard and has a cute cartoon calf mascot, Curtis, and a bunch of animals in petting-zoo range. It's also got a couple turkeys hanging around, I assume deliberately. The Frontier Trail also has something I'd seen in old-time photos of Cedar Point: a photography point consisting of a barrel labelled, ``A BARREL OF FUN AT CEDAR POINT O''. I've loved the old photo and was delighted they had what I assume to be a modern reconstruction of the photo opportunity. It's a very small barrel, and it was a bit damp because of the rain. We also saw in one of the main food courts a seagull that looked about twice as big as a seagull ought to be, and it wasn't the only one.
We prowled around the location of Mantis, the roller coaster that's being converted from a standing to a seated coaster and that's being renamed, and speculated on what parts of the area leading up to it are likely to be renovated out of recognition. And, after a GateKeeper ride, we thought the line for one of the new haunted houses, ``Hexed'', was not so intimidatingly long; indeed, it wasn't bad. We don't often get to haunted houses because they attract impossibly long lines; twenty minutes was about our speed, even if it was cold and rainy minutes.
That cold and rain is why we spent over an hour inside the Casino, where they have old video games and a dozen pinball machines, even if two of the pinball machines are Hercules. Our pinball friend later confirmed that they used to have more pinball machines, including then-modern ones like Monster Bash; how they've come to have a dozen games from the 1970s is a mystery but we can make guesses.
In the last hour we'd find Blue Streak in fine shape; there's nothing quite like a wooden roller coaster with a slightly rain-slicked track. And we pressed our luck a little bit and went back to GateKeeper, which yes, had a line, but not so bad a one. We were able to get one of the last rides of the night, just past midnight, and to walk back through the park while seeing the packs of staff performers walking back from just-closed areas.
Trivia: During the Invasion of Normandy the Germans had 14,500 trucks for the entire front; the 7th and 15th armies, facing the French coast, relied on 67,000 horses. Source: Why The Allies Won, Richard Overy.
Currently Reading: The End Of War, Jon Horgan.