November 3rd, 2014

krazy koati

Five gallons gets me up the hill

Surely kid-friendly though is the Halloweekends parade. Its path had changed, though: instead of running between the front and back of the park it now starts at the front, goes to about level with the Windseeker ride, and turns around to go down the GateKeeper midway. We don't know why the truncated route, although it seems to use the spot in back where the parade used to end has been filled with some of the newer rides, and come to think of it the overhanging lights on the Gemini midway might be a problem for taller floats. We found spots near Windseeker and the stadium where they used to have dolphin shows back when dolphin shows were things people didn't feel bad about seeing in amusement parks.

The parade was about as long as previous years --- just about ten minutes --- although it stopped a couple of times so that groups could perform. Thanks to a bit of luck and eavesdropping on the people clearing the parade path we found a spot right in front of where a dance school troupe would stop, so we did very well in that regard. They also seemed to have better-organized marching bands this year compared to last, with flag twirlers that more nearly approached bunny_hugger's approval.

We realized after the parade that the path had shut people off from GateKeeper for something like twenty minutes, which, combined with the low-attendance day meant this was probably the moment for a walk-on to that ride, and our reasoning was correct. This is definitely going in our book of ProTips for Halloweekends at Cedar Point.

Something did disappoint us at the park: they didn't have Buffalo Fries anymore. bunny_hugger's brother's girlfriend had gotten a tray of them, when we visited over Labor Day and the ones we tried were great, but that weekend we only managed to get one made with the sauce and no bleu cheese crumbles. This time they didn't even have that. The garlic fries are great, sure, and will be, but we have to hope they just ran out of buffalo sauce earlier than they figured and that'll be back next season.

On another ride on Corkscrew --- and I think that Top Thrill Dragster was briefly running while we did --- I looked towards the Hotel Breakers and learned why the section of rooms above the entry way was called the Twin Section. It wasn't just made of two hallways, but of two complete lines of rooms with an open area between them (the roof of the first floor). They were literally twinned room paths, and we never suspected from inside. Due to the renovations, they've already been torn down.

As the early Sunday closing hour approached we started figuring how we wanted to close the park out. Blue Streak, obviously, and then to the back of the park and Mean Streak, its rather larger but less loved wooden cousin. Once more it was a walk-on, and delightfully on our first ride around some trim breaks on the first hill failed to fire, so that we got a faster, and probably smoother, and certainly more thrilling ride than usual. When we got back to the station few people were waiting so they offered everyone a re-ride if we wanted and nobody was waiting for that row. Of course we accepted. And they offered one again, and of course we accepted that. They offered re-rides again although we thought we'd maybe had enough of that for just right now. I was a little wobbly; one advantage of the normal no-rerides policy is that it does force you to get up and walk around and steady yourself if you need it.

Also at this point a bit of karma came and smacked us silly, but we wouldn't realize that for another couple hours.

We did walk and steady ourselves, and get over to Gemini where people were just waiting around, and that on just the one train. Ride operators were using the loudspeaker to call people over from the midway and get on the ride. It turns out that Gemini trains can't run empty or nearly empty; they need to have a sufficient number of riders, and suddenly their policy of running only one train on low-capacity days mostly makes sense. They'd been waiting for something like six more people to come on, so even after we got on we had to wait a touch longer before we could get on a ride.

They offered re-rides, although some of the people on the roller coaster had been waiting around long enough and understandably left. A handful of people trickled in, though. We pointed out that they should announce to the sparse groups of people that the park is closing and Gemini's their best chance for a last ride of the night. Finally a couple of the ride operators got in, sitting in front of us, to make minimum weight. (On the lift hill someone ahead of them took out a cell phone, and the operators started yelling at her to put it away. I joined in, with a vehemence that matches someone worried about getting a phone lodged in his forehead, although since bunny_hugger didn't see what was going on she didn't understand what I was hollering about.) And they offered a re-ride again, taking us just past the closing hour and the end of this particular Halloweekend.

We walked around the park a little, taking photographs of its lovely nighttime appearance, though as far as we could tell there weren't any rides still processing lines of people. It was that sort of night. I bet people got last re-rides on Millennium Force, if it was still running in the wind.

Trivia: James Monroe began the tradition of Presidents wearing only American-made clothing for their swearing-in in his 1817 inauguration. Source: A Nation Of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America's Financial Disasters, Scott Reynolds Nelson.

Currently Reading: Alley Oop: The First Time Travel Adventure, V T Hamlin.