Cedar Point 8/18: “Last Days of Summer” trip; Town Hall Museum coolness

Sunday, August 24, 2014 12:57 AM

Last Monday, August 18th, my mom and I decided to head to the park one last time before school started. We arrived around 9:15 and went for Maverick to get in a little early entry riding. We got 2 early entry rides in (first in the back, then in the front), and there still wasn’t a line so we rode again in the back. It was 10:15 and it still only had a station wait, whereas on a previous trip, the line was already halfway in the queue house by this time. We hoped this would be a sign that the day wouldn’t be too busy…it ended up not being too bad, but still fairly crowded.

We took our time up to Dragster and in total waited about an hour/hour and 15 minutes including waiting for the front row. I love the convenience Platinum Passes give you, since it allows you not to be rushed. I love being able to wait for specific rows like the front or back, since it doesn’t matter if I have to wait an extra 20 minutes. I will always go Platinum.

Next was Millennium, and we ended up waiting about as long as Dragster, again for the front row. I just love the view you get from the front on this coaster. The smell of Panda Express while waiting in line was making us hungry, so we decided to get some lunch there next. I got my usual, the bowl with half-and-half fried rice/noodles, and the orange chicken. I really do love this place, considering it’s fast food. Good quality and tasty. It was nice and relaxing sitting down, people watching, and enjoying the park’s atmosphere. Plus it’s fun watching all the little birds fly around and even come right up to you looking for crumbs.

After this, we ran into a good problem. We didn’t know what we wanted to do. Not a big coaster or ride yet after just eating, so we decided to take our time and walked through Frontier Trail. We stopped for a while at the Barnyard and enjoyed the animals. One of the little goats escaped twice, so that was pretty funny.

We decided to go on Skyhawk next, after watching Snake River Falls for a little bit. At the time, still only the 1 arm was running and we waited about 15 minutes. Had a great ride as usual, although I still wish the ride cycle was longer.

Since we couldn’t remember the last time we stopped into the Town Hall Museum, we decided to pop in for a little bit. We didn’t plan on staying long, maybe just a couple minutes, but this turned out to be my favorite part of the day. We started off just exploring through everything set up. I honestly think I’ve only ever been in there once, and it was a long time ago so it fun seeing all the memorabilia. After about 15 minutes, an employee named Kenneth came over just to see how we were doing and asked if we had any questions. We ended up talking with him for the next half hour! He was really nice and I could tell he took great pride in his job and Cedar Point. Basically, he said that he’s the “curator” for the museum. He knows everything about the park’s history and loves sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm. He also said he’s had that job for the past 14 years. We got to talking how much I also love the park and coasters and how I one day hope to get into the industry. I think since he could tell my mom and I were pretty much coaster geeks, he spent a lot of time with us talking about the park and the museum. Eventually we got on the topic of the museum itself. This is where things got really cool and interesting.

He said that when Ouimet first went through the museum when he came to Cedar Fair, he was thoroughly disappointed. Not with the concept of the museum itself, but just what it was like, such as appeal and what is displayed. So Kenneth started working with the Planning and Design team to help come up with a plan to renovate and revamp the museum. He told us that it is by no means definitely going to happen, but there are some plans for it—and Ouimet realizes that the museum needs some TLC. First off, the museum would get all new floors and ceilings. No more “school cafeteria” (as he called them) drop tiles and old, mismatched floor tiles. Also, he said that there is so much more park memorabilia in storage that isn’t even out in the museum, and he feels like there is a lot potential for new displays. He also said that many current items in the museum aren’t even related to the park. For example, the entire general store shelves/display at the front of the museum has nothing to do with Cedar Point. Mixed in might be a few park items, but most of it has no relation. Also, the fire engine and Sandusky Clock don’t relate to the park. They may be cool, but again…the museum is supposed to be a Cedar Point museum, not a Sandusky museum. So all of these unrelated items would be removed, and replaced with a plethora of new Cedar Point related items that are currently away in storage. He also explained to us that along the right wall as you enter the museum, there would be a series of U shaped alcoves. Each alcove would represent a time period. For example, the first one when you enter would be the history of Sandusky and the park’s property before it even existed, and it would make references to the War of 1812, in which battles were fought near the peninsula. Then as you progress through the alcoves, they would take you all the way up to the present day. This is another issue Kenneth has with the current museum, everything pretty much ends with the 1970s. He said that’s when the museum was opened, so pretty much everything from the 70s on is not included in it.

The main desk area would be moved to the middle of the museum, so it wouldn’t be cornered off and secluded like it currently is. It would be circular and would be spacious enough for several employees to be working there at the same time. He pretty much told us all of the plans he and the P&D department have been working on, including what types of displays there would be as well as where everything would be located. He really has an incredible vision for the museum, and hopefully it will come to fruition in the near future. Hopefully the museum could also be advertised more. He said he does take a head count of people who enter, and roughly 10% of an average day’s park visitors will stop inside the museum. When you think about it, that’s a decent amount, but not nearly as many as there should be. However, Kenneth did say that a big reason why so much non-related CP is still in the museum and why the renovation is still not confirmed is due to ownership issues. For example, a lot of the memorabilia has been donated by people…some of them can still be traced back to and returned…but there are no records for many items. And with the fire engine, it is only 1 of I believe 3 left in the world. Would the park just try to sell it to some random person? Try to track down where they received it from? Give it somewhere else? There are so many issues and problems with many of these items, so this is what’s holding them back. But hopefully everything can be worked out, so the renovation plans can move forward. At this point, I’d much rather have TLC put into this museum rather than a new ride. Big, brand new thrills are great, but it is little park details like this museum that really creates the world’s best amusement park.

I’d highly recommend checking out the Town Hall Museum the next time you go to the Point (it’s near Skyhawk, in case you’re wondering.) Cool off in the AC, enjoy some really cool park memorabilia, and say hi to Kenneth. I’m sure he’d be happy talking to more people about his love of the park and his job.

Next we wanted to get back on some more rides, but first stopped by SlingShot. We watched for about 20 minutes before riding Gemini , which had a 15 minute wait. We rode the red train and unfortunately lost, but only barely. We sat in the 2nd to back, as to not sit on a wheel seat, and we had a smooth, airtime filled ride. I forget how much fun the back is on this coaster. Add in the headchoppers, and this is a classic coaster that I will always love. We decided to ride it again, this time on separate trains. I rode the blue and my mom rode the red. This time we sat in the 2nd to front seat. Had another fun ride, but I definitely like riding near the back better. As for who won, neither of us were sure. Both trains pulled into the brake run and stopped at the same time, so it was a tie.

Following this was a 10 minute wait for the ejector seat on Magnum, and it was as crazy as always. I never get bruises from this ride, which is a good thing (although you shouldn’t even have to be saying things like that). Overall I still love this coaster. We started walking toward the front of the park and stopped by Power Tower on our way. Only 1 side of both launch and drop were running, my guess is due to staffing. Kids are going back to college, so they probably didn’t have enough employees to run all towers. The park was plenty busy enough to run all 4, since we waited almost a half hour. It was fun though, and we rode the drop side. We faced the beach and had a great view. Next was GateKeeper in the back right after a 20/30 minute wait. Then after a 45 minute wait, we were in the back row on Dragster.

It was time to get a snack, so we took advantage of the Platinum Pass deal at Happy Friar. Chili cheese fries, regular fries (with vinegar!), and 2 drinks all for under $8. We walked over and sat on the planters near SlingShot and watched it some more. Then we went out to our car to get the Coastermania jackets we brought, since it was starting to get a little cool.

It was about 9:15 and I wanted to go on WindSeeker. It’s an incredible night ride, and I really need to ride it more often. It’s the only spinny ride I can go on without making me feel bad, and I really love it. Then after this, we headed over to Millennium to get our last ride. We waited about 45 minutes, and in line we saw a family we knew so we said hi. Once in the station, we got in the front row line even though we knew we wouldn’t get on the front since there weren’t too many people in line behind us. We just wanted to wait it out to try to get on the last train of the night. Sure enough, we ended up getting to ride near the back on the last train. It’s such an awesome way to end a great day at the park.

There were definitely lots of bugs, and on our evening Dragster ride, people in the front seat were coming off completely covered with bugs. One guy’s entire face was covered. It was gross but hilarious. In total we got in 14 rides for what we called our “last days of summer” trip. Both my mom and I had a blast.

Last edited by Ride On_17, Sunday, August 24, 2014 10:30 AM

thrillsawait.weebly.com
Top 5 CP Coasters: 1. Steel Vengeance 2. Millennium Force 3. Maverick 4. Dragster 5. Magnum
Coaster Count: 102

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Sunday, August 24, 2014 8:40 AM

Great trip report. Thanks for the insight into the museum, I try to stop there every time I am in the park.


Cedar Point guest since 1974

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Sunday, August 24, 2014 6:00 PM

I was there on the 18th too with my niece. We didnt buy Fastlane and like you said the first ride on Maverick wasnt too long a wait. We came back in less than an hour and the line was way longer. I only go once a year so I bit the bullet and bought fastlane plus passes at the museum which me and my niece never even noticed before. They let us split 4 tickets with 2 strangers so i saved $20 which was nice. Ended up riding Maverick 4 times and Dragster 5 times so for me fast lane plus was totally worth it. I agree the bugs were pretty bad for the last hour and a half or so.


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Monday, August 25, 2014 1:38 PM

I visit the museum many times a year and have talked to Ken many, many times. He is very knowledgeable and interesting to listen to. Feel free to ask him any questions if he is there when you visit.

I hope the changes he mentioned become a reality. As things are now it's still worth stopping in and having a look.

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