austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Join with true Great Pumpkin friends

We rode Gemini, the racing coaster, and that was about our only substantial line of the day. It turned out they were only running one train, which must be the result of some serious problem on the other line, and it made us realize that we tend to ride the Blue train --- the one that was down that day --- so often that being on the Red train felt fresh and novel.

One of the public performances is a group we'd seen last year; they're a quartet dressed as skeletons who do this amazing gymnastic routine from a tower set up around many trampolines. The description will utterly fail to express what's amazing, but the core of it is, they keep falling and bouncing back up to the top of the tower. We delighted in this last year, and we were thrilled by it this year too, both by the show and by seeing the audience's response. There's a bit in the show where, in the midst of the bouncing, to music, that looks and sounds like a 1930s Fleischer cartoon in life, doors slide open in the tower and the performers pop into it. The audience gasps when they see it, and we got to see not just the stunt but the people who'd never seen it before being surprised and delighted. We were in position to see this a couple times over during the weekend and it never got old.

For a snack we got to one of the Cheese on a Stick places in the back of the park, and got the last Cheese on a Sticks that they sold that weekend; they started closing the shop down while we sat and ate. Also while we ate I noticed a curiously-dressed fellow, in long white jacket and wearing a white-brimmed hat, with black handkerchief and gloves, puttering about on a Segway. He can't have been a security guard, what with being nowhere near any kind of plausible security guard outfit on (and having no apparent radio or anything on him, and no markers on the Segway suggesting he had any role). But it doesn't make sense as a person in the park in costume, either, since it wasn't much of a costume; he just looked like an oddly-dressed elder man. He didn't seem to be trying to amuse anyone except by virtue of being a person riding a Segway, which seems to rule him out as an entertainer, and besides Cedar Point really doesn't do free-roaming entertainers like that; even the Halloweekends cast sticks to designated spots. And if he were just an ordinary person visiting the park, well, I could imagine park management letting people in on Segways as accommodations to people with mobility issues (though they have those motorized scooters that people seem more likely to be on), and, who goes to an amusement park in jacket and tie and hat, now that it isn't the 1920s? I have no explanation for this person's presence there, but I have photographs showing I didn't make him up, and I got bunny_hugger's attention so she saw him too.

We returned to the Cedar Creek Mine Ride for a sunset ride on the roller coaster that gave us our first and pretty near only long wait in a summer of walk-on rides. And from there we found something surprising: Skyhawk was operating. Skyhawk is a ``Screamin' Swing'', a hundred-foot-tall pair of swings which has been down every single time we've visited Cedar Point all year. Several times we'd seen big cases of equipment beside the ride, and we wondered whether the ride was doomed. But here it was, swinging. Or at least half of it was swinging. Skyhawk has a pair of swinging arms, normally running symmetrically, and one of them wasn't. But one was, and we turned to it immediately because goodness knows whether any part of Skyhawk --- which was almost the last ride we took last summer (with an almost unprecedented re-ride), and was almost the last one we took this time --- would run next year. We had our chance and took it.

The park was drawing near its close, 8 pm, and we had to figure what should be our last ride. There were a couple roller coasters we could plausibly get to, including Blue Streak and GateKeeper, although we really had one logical conclusion: the Kiddie Carousel.

(This makes me realize I was wrong in saying the Kiddie Carousel was our last ride Saturday: it was Raptor, the roller coaster, which we rode after midnight because of how late we got onto the line.)

We didn't rush out of the park, of course, because who would, not just because it meant leaving the park but also because there'd be traffic. Instead we went to the coffee shop near the front, so we could get snacks and coffee and tea to start off our journey home. At the cafe --- which proudly serves Starbucks but doesn't insist that it is a Starbucks --- well, naturally, many people with the same idea were lining up.

Incidentally, we'd visited there earlier in the day for hot drinks, and saw what we first thought of as the saddest thing: a guy with an open laptop and a sheaf of papers, looking for all the world like someone grading his class's assignments. bunny_hugger was facing an oppressive load of grading herself, when we got back home. Think of having to do work so urgently that you couldn't even go to an amusement park! … And then we remembered that not everyone at Cedar Point is coming from hours away. We realized that if we lived in the backyard --- say, if we were no farther from Cedar Point than my parents' home is from Great Adventure --- and we had season passes (as we have) so that parking and admission were free, well, going to the amusement park to grade would be the second-best possible way to have your grading done.

By the time the park was closed, our grader had left, sure. They were running out of snacks, too, but we found muffins or cookies or whatnot and at this point does it matter? Yes, a little, because they told the guys ordering after us that they were clearing out cookies at two-for-the-price-of-one deals. If we'd known we might have found two anythings that we'd both liked. We probably should have guessed that they'd be trying to clear stuff out after the end of the park day on a Sunday with the next operating day five long days in the future, though. And they were; when they finally rang us up the cashier said he'd give us the two-for-one discount too, and for that matter, charged us for the cheaper of our snacks. We felt petty for starting to grumble.

So, with that, we left the park and concluded our Summer of Walk-ons. ... Although, of course, there was the one more weekend that Cedar Point would be open, and we didn't have anything particular planned for the next, say, Sunday, and the closing day of the season. It'd be a bit mad to make a day trip to Cedar Point not seven full days after the last one, but ... why not?

Trivia: Fred Thompson publicized the 1903 opening of Luna Park on Coney Island with the claim that the park cost a million dollars. (Of course, if the park did cost that, he would have surely publicized it as costing two million.) Source: The Kid Of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements, Woody Register.

Currently Reading: The Secret History of the World, Mark Booth. OK, this book is mad. It's an engaging mad, mind you, but it's utterly mad. So far the only sane thing mentioned has been Booth's assertion that Plato's Cave is obviously a metaphor for the skull, with our perception limited to what the contained brain receives and the world all outside that, and I don't know what philosophers make of that but I have the feeling bunny_hugger would not slap silly an Intro Phil student who suggested that. But otherwise ... I mean, when he puts forth that the reason there are inconsistent details of Jesus Christ's birth when you compare different gospels is because there were two Jesuses who in a partial reenactment of Romulus killing Remus chose to merge into a single being so as to instantiate self-awareness in a humanity finishing its transformation from a vegetable-like form of life into an animalistic one and that's a relative patch of sanity, wow, but this is a major ride.

Tags: amusement parks, cedar point, halloweekends

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