After the big Mine Train Wait Fiasco, though, we got back to a pretty normal day for attending Cedar Point. As bunny_hugger had projected, the Thursday crowd wasn't too bad, and the weather, trying intermittently to rain, kept the lines from being too long for most anything. We were even able to get on one of the eternally packed rides, Millennium Force, with a tolerable wait of something like twenty minutes. (Millennium Force, besides being a smooth and fast ride, goes over grounds that now house most of the park's dinosaur animatronics, and if there's anything that makes a roller coaster better, it's dinosaurs.)
As referenced, Cedar Point's been putting decorations and trim and lighting effects on a lot of stuff, making the park look newer and more festive for what we imagine to be a pretty modest investment in hardware. Just the way the Midway is brightened up in twilight by (basically) Christmas lights makes going to see the park again worthwhile. They've also added spot lighting, with stuff ranging from Peanuts characters to promotions of some of their program events, to heighten the thing.
For example, there's now besides a nightly stunts-and-magic-and-dance show (roughly; we were in the wrong part of the park when it went on), also an actual bar, to give a few touches of nightclub atmosphere and activity to the place, and to bring back fireworks at the end of the night. These we saw only from a distance: we'd closed the night out with a front-seat ride on Magnum, which had been closed earlier in the day, and a final-ride-of-the-night moment on the Carrousel, which quite literally turned off the lights after we left the ride. (This was apparently an accident; they turned them back on a minute after that, but they didn't take any more riders.)
As we left --- and there's something great about leaving a park long after it's properly closed, since we spent time admiring how it looked at night, and watching the last rides of various roller coasters (they don't chase people out of the queues) going on --- we realized neither of us had actually paid attention to where we parked. We did remember being tolerably near a lifeguard-type stand, though, and that guided us back to our car.
Oh, yes, and ... GateKeeper.
Trivia: About 350 tons per day of British salt was unloaded in New Orleans from 1857 through 1860, mostly as ballast for the cotton trade. This was about a quarter of all British salt brought to the United States in those years. Source: Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky.
Currently Reading: From Falling Bodies To Radio Waves: Classical Physicists and their Discoveries, Emilio Segrè.