June 25th, 2013

krazy koati

On a Coney Island washboard she was playing

So our first Cedar Point trip of the year, apart from the other one that didn't actually get there (by design), we had planned for a Wednesday that ... actually, wasn't a very good day for us, because we didn't get much sleep and there was too much going on. That's how we used the day to see The Croods instead. We made up for it by going Thursday. Wednesdays are by reputation the lowest-attendance days at theme parks, but even if that's so, this Thursday --- which kept threatening to rain, and to rain worse than it did --- would work out quite nicely.

We wanted to use our new Season Passes, of course, and maybe even ride the new GateKeeper, even though a brand-new marquee ride is, at least in my experience, a seventeen-hour wait its first month in operation and settles down to a four-hour wait by midsummer. I had accepted that it might be a ride we could only look at this trip, and to actually ride sometime when we stayed at the park overnight (so as to get an hour of early admission the next morning), but you never know, we could get lucky.

The new roller coaster goes out over the front gates of Cedar Point, and accompanied a major renovation of the entry way. This was beautifully done. The ticket booths and customer service desks and all that are now tucked off to the sides, making the entry way much more spacious and open, and the two pillars which hold up the ``keyholes'' for the GateKeeper ride (more on that later) rise above it. The whole entry structure is given an Art Deco Resurrected style, with typeface to match (no Helvetica here!), so the entrance is utterly charming. It looks, its first month out, like it's always been there, or should have been, and looks likely to wear extremely well. That it opens up so much of the front space --- and now gives an early and great view of the dean of Cedar Point coasters, Blue Streak --- makes it all the better.

Naturally our big question was whether the Transport Refreshments area, near the lost Disaster Transport ride, had survived. It had; as bunny_hugger noted, of course with a major new ride in the area they'd need a food and drinks area. It hasn't been unchanged, though: instead of the different stalls having varied paint and detail work, implying that they're separate, they're now of a uniform style and paint scheme. And what had been a Fudge shop is now a frozen yoghurt shop, because everything is becoming a frozen yoghurt shop. Also as Cedar Point's now a Coca-Cola park, they have a kiosk with one of those soda machines capable of giving you any of a hundred different drinks, as soon as the person who can't figure out how to get a regular Coke gets out of your way.

Trivia: The ``A Trip To The Moon'' ride at the Buffalo Exposition of 1901 took passengers on a simulated trip from Buffalo, over the Niagara Falls, and ultimately to the Moon. Allegedly, people placed bets on whether the ride boat --- suspended by guy wires a central pole --- actually left the ground. Source: The Kid Of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements, Woody Register.

Currently Reading: How We Got To Coney Island: The Development of Mass Transportation in Brooklyn and Kings County, Brian J Cudahy. Apparently, after escaping New York City's jail, Boss Tweed spent about five months hiding out, not in Europe or Latin America, but on Coney Island. And this before they had the Sea Lion amusement park even.