Exhibition Report:
Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH

Ringgggg!!!! "Hey, want to go to Cedar Point with our Church?"

Ah, the call I had been dreading. Every year I get invited to the amusement park which is famous for having 16 roller coasters, including the biggest, the fastest, as well as some of the oldest in the country. Every year I say "no" because I am scared of roller coasters. My friends are roller coaster fanatics and I am afraid that I'll get dragged from death trap to death trap in a part which is roller coaster heaven or hell (depending on your point of view).

My friend, who knows and understands my phobia, interrupts my thoughts, "You know if any one tries to drag you on anything too big, I'll bite their head off." What a nice friend! How could I resist?

So after a quick conference with the mom-droid, I agreed to attempt to face my phobia, once and for all!

Fast forward two weeks: I'm in the car off to my friend's church, the gathering point for the trip's participants. Of course, in walks the Queen of the Roller Coasters, who swore that she'd never see me coming on one of these trips in a million years? And she was going to harass me, just for being here!

"What are you doing here???"

"Going to Cedar Point, duh!" (I wish I could have come up with something more clever!)

"Yada yada blah blah blah," was her less than inspired response.

Whatever now ... back to Cedar Point. We set off at about seven in the morning — it's a long drive. All the people coming are classmates at the same school, so the entertainment of choice was a lovely mélange of classmates' baby pictures set to music from our graduating class video as we rode in the convoy of cars heading to Cedar Point. Fun and humiliating!

When we were about an hour away the car behind us, also transporting teenagers to Cedar Point, got a flat tire. It was a church-sponsored trip, so we did the Good Samaritan thing and shuttled people to Mickey D's, shared spare tires, etc. We felt good about the good deeds, and thus were geared up for some debaucherous fun (even though I still quaked in fear of the roller coaster posse).

But one does not want to be a spoilsport ... and I realized my fear of the roller coaster was preventing me from hanging out with my friends. You see, the really popular rides, including the one at the very front of the park called The Raptor, have long, long lines. It's the place where we end up talking and gossiping and stuff ... so I figured I'd get on the line so as not to miss out on the juicy talk!

The Raptor line was 1¼ hours long. It was a warm day and halfway, one of us fainted! So she had to beg out of the ride ... and you know how you don't like being with someone you don't like or know when your body is being whipped around in those roller coaster cars ... well they needed another person because the fainter begged off. I got picked on enough that I said, "Okay! I'll go!"

I was wondering what I'd said, because as we got closer to the front of the line, I found out that it went upside down six times. But I got on ... and I'm glad I did! It was soooo much fun! The Raptor is an inverted steel-track roller coaster and over the course of the day, it became my favorite, so much so that we went on it again later! For the second time, we got a "fast pass" for later — this is a time stamp that lets you onto the ride at a specific time, and you get to bypass the line.

Cedar Point is not all roller coasters; they realize not everyone coming to the park can handle the thrills. We also went a a less intimidating Derby Ride. You straddle some horses, which move back and forth on a rotating platform, and you got to race others in the same session as you. Because of all the rocking and rolling, no one really won, but it was fun.

The fainting girl had to be fed, so we went to a diner on-site, where we got french fries and fruit punch, which were fine. Then back to the rides: we did the Wildcat roller coaster with it's green and purple little four-person cars. The fast drops didn't agree with me!

We took a ride on the Iron Dragon, where there was no line at all. It's an inverted coaster with a spectacular view of the pretty scenery of Cedar Point. The ride's scariest aspect might be that it goes over a dyed blue water pond, which just looked nasty; followed by Thunder Canyon, a raft ride which went under a waterfall and we got SOAKED!

We figured after that that we were wet anyway, we did a Water Flume ride and got splashed around the Snake River Falls. (Note to self, bring extra clothes in waterproof bag ...)

We decided to split into two groups: one went to the record-breaking Millennium Force, and the other to the classic Cedar Creek Mine Ride, one of the oldest coasters in the country. I was in the latter group, and ... it was okay. After having experienced the Raptor, will I ever be the same again?

Then, probably because we were damp anyway, the heavens opened up and it poured. We had no choice but to wait till it stopped, and when it did, we did the Iron Dragon again twice more. Alas, it rained again, so we decided to get back to the locker area to get under cover. But with squishy sneakers, wet clothing, huddled bodies, I got overheated and so I ran right back out into the cooling rain ...

So we decided to get under cover at the Red Garter Saloon. We watched the show with singers and dancers, and we imbibed in Caesar Salad. It was much more pleasant than getting wet again.

We finally met up with the other group and activated our fast passes for the second time on the Raptor. It was great fun, and our clothes were just about dry from all the motion in the roller coaster! (Who would have thought I was scared of roller coasters?)

All wobbly legged, we got off and decided to spend the rest of our visit on carnival rides. Most notable were the Chaos, which flips you and spins you; and the Troika which lifted you and dropped you along a spiral arc. We were pretty rided-out, so we wasted our remaining money on carnival games and shenanigans. It sounds lamer than it was, we had fun even if we lost money and got some silly prizes worth nothing but memories.

We figured that despite the rain and one of us fainting and being ill, it'd been a pretty good day, but when we got back to the car we'd left in the parking lot, we discovered that the window had been broken! Nothing seemed to have been taken (since anything of value was taken into the park with us), but the open pane had allowed water during the downpours in and things were wet inside.

One of us held an umbrella open in the glass-less window all the way home because it had started to rain again. My feet were sore from having walked around in squishy wet sneakers for a large part of the day. Major bummer ... and to add insult to injury, we were forced to listen to another friend's crappy Usher CD all the way home ...

You win some, you lose some ... So we went back during Halloween to lift the curse of rain and broken windows from our Cedar Point experience. Employees were in costume, there were fun house type of displays to go through, and we went onto our favorite roller coasters again. Nothing like neutralizing bad karma with fun times! (Even though it rained on our second trip, too!)

By the way, it's worth going back to Cedar Point because they keep improving and adding to their roller coaster collection. They used to have the biggest, fastest, highest, but other parks are looking for those record-breaking statistics for their coasters, too. You can bet Cedar Point will be building another one to reclaim the title. I can't wait!

Images from www.cedarpoint.com

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