After a ride on Gemini, which had only one train running and so spoiled the fun of the racing coaster, we met up with our pinball friend and his nephew for a little impromptu tournament. Unfortunately the machines weren't really with us: many of them are single-player machines and while we could take turns it's kind of dull not alternating balls between players. At least it's less exciting than could be. The Fireball was in even worse shape than we'd seen the night before: the left flipper had fallen off its post and rolled down the lane, blocking the pinball from draining.
Our pinball friend mentioned he'd seen three credits left on the Hercules game, the ridiculously oversized pinball, but after one ball he'd been bored enough to walk away, which, yeah, that's about fair. We carried on with playing, though. I'd more or less gotten the hang of the 1976 Williams table Grand Prix, and that's a good four-player game in basically working shape, so we were able to play some pretty respectable rounds. He won, but he is that good.
One of the roller coasters we never pay attention to is Wicked Twister. It's nearly as one-trick a pony as Top Thrill Dragster: it uses an induction motor to speed the trains up, send everyone up a column, and then let them fall down and go, backwards, up a second column. But we hadn't ridden it this year, and weren't sure when we had riden it last, and supposed that it was better to give it some attention. After all, Cedar Point nowadays is willing to take roller coasters out; who knows when its time will come? It's a fair enough ride --- I like the feeling of linear induction acceleration and this does give you that, several times over, at least --- but you can also see why there isn't usually much of a line for this.
While heading over to Mantis for a final ride on it we peeked in on the Marina Entrance, one of the ways into the park it's easy to overlook because it's only useful if you're coming from the marina or the restaurants on that end, and confirmed that the statue of Mercury was still there. There used to be a gryphon statue outside the Iron Dragon roller coaster and that's been missing for years; it's reassuring that some of these old pieces of statuary survive.
Mantis, once again, didn't have any appreciable line for its last month of operation as a stand-up coaster, which is a shame. In the light though we did notice there's a lighthouse near the ride. It's a prop, surely from the days of the river boat ride that was severely truncated by, well, Mantis and other roller coasters, and finally closed in, I think, 2008. But it's gratifying it's still there at all. We noticed they were already testing paint on Mantis for its new incarnation as Rougarou.
We wandered around the Frontier Trail again and peeked inside the Candle Shoppe to discover that not only are they still making candles and offering candlemaking experiences to guests but the same person who was there in the mid-80s is still candle-dipping. Also that they've got souvenir candles that have mid-80s stylings, including one that makes a candle look like an ice cream soda, complete with the logo Cedar Point used at that time. Though sorely tempted we figured not to carry a candle around the rest of the day, and when we came back near the end of the day the shop had closed.
At the ``Ghoul Time Theater'' was supposed to be a show that somehow broke down the boundaries of movies, music, and reality and we wanted to see what that was about. It was, primarily, a concert, on a haunted-estate set, with spooky intrusions. What makes it really boundary-breaking is that at one point the guy holding the camera, who's till then just been focusing on the performance so it could be projected on the main screens, becomes the protagonist: terrified and running out of the theater, letting us see on the screens just what he's going through. It's a pretty good show, feeling a bit really creepy and experimental, and probably not really for kids.
Trivia: When the Library Company of Philadelphia first organized in 1731 members were allowed to borrow one book at a time from the company, on signing a promissory note covering the cost of the book. The note would be cancelled on the book's undamaged return. Source: The First American: The Life And Times Of Benjamin Franklin, H W Brands.
Currently Reading: Alley Oop: The First Time Travel Adventure, V T Hamlin.
PS: My Math Blog Statistics, October 2014, which are some pretty nice numbers, and this is the first of these posts since the last roundup.