Let me return to, and finish up, the Halloweekend report, since between travel, illness, and disaster it's gotten really behind the times.
One of the high points of a Halloweekend day in the park would be the parade, and we were ready along the path ahead of time. We spent a little while figuring out just the right vantage point, based on the assumption the parade would be going in the same direction as last year's, from the front to the back of the park. It didn't. What we realized was that the parade probably alternates directions on different days, costing twice the storage space but saving the bother of moving all the props back after the park's closed. But we had some fine time by a little bridge, figuring out what the better angles were likely to be, considering what looked like a riverbed below, and bunny_hugger identifying the many kinds of plants and picking out which ones were native and which ones weren't and which ones were edible and proving it. The Cedar Point security folks were concerned only that we not stand on the bridge, as that needed to be cleared for the parade. I don't know if they even noticed my wife picking and nibbling on vines.
But as much fun as the parade was, and it truly was, it wasn't the best moment of the day. I'd say the best moment was a more quiet, more private one, tucked out in back near Frontierland --- decorated in a steampunk style for an open walk-through haunted trail experience --- hidden enough we needed a couple go-rounds to figure out just where it was. Specifically, it was a vendor selling kettle corn, in sleeves a yard long, which we got, and sat down, to eat just a little bit, and just a little bit more, and just a little bit more after that. And we sat in the early-night shroud of the park, eating and talking and paying attention to one another. Also to a person who asked how much a sleeve of kettle corn was ($7, I think); he was surprised to find it was that reasonably priced.
The closing of Disaster Transport, and Space Spiral, and Wildcat were reflected in the graveyard of lost rides. Disaster Transport and Wildcat also gave some of their parts to new decorations, as cars from their trains were set out on the ground with skeletons inside and, for Wildcat, overturned as in a crash. The park's maps still showed Disaster Transport and Space Spiral on them, though Wildcat had been removed, suggesting something about the decision-making process regarding the taking out of those rides --- specifically, that the removal of Disaster Transport and Space Spiral were apparently made later than planning for Halloweekend this year began, or that the map department wasn't kept informed of the park goings-on.
Back in the hotel room, I fired up Roller Coaster Tycoon. I've been downloading people's reconstructions of parks and Cedar Point is, naturally, one of the more simulated parks out there. I thought it'd be fun to play Cedar Point at Cedar Point, and sure. The park was set up as a scenario, to meet various challenges, but the scenario designer didn't work out the game balance well. The objectives, about getting enough people in the park and reaching a satisfaction rating, were automatically meetable. I just had to let it run for ten months
without Cedar Point falling into the sea [Added 3 Nov, 4 pm: You know, I wrote that a week-plus ago and just realized what it sounded like and I'm sorry.] and victory was mine. Still, it's fun game, at a fun place.
Trivia: A 1924 study determined the average cost per student at Rutgers was $387 in liberal arts courses, $547 in technical science courses, and $808 in agriculture, for an overall average of $518. Source: Rutgers: A Bicentennial History, Richard P McCormick.
Currently Reading: Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America, Henry Petroski, of course.
PS: It Would Have Been One More Ride Because, concluding the main thrust of my study of how many rides on Disaster Transport bunny_hugger and I might have gotten. There's still some loose ends, though, so if you want them reported on let me know.