Cedar Point: America’s Roller Coast!

All set for a day or coasters! Hanging onto my Galaxy S7 with Mophie Juice Pack.
All set for a day or coasters! Hanging onto my Galaxy S7 with Mophie Juice Pack.

One of my absolute favorite places on this planet is Cedar Point.  If you haven’t heard of Cedar Point, let me tell you about it for a minute.  The amusement park, located in Sandusky, Ohio, is home to a slew of coasters.  I was going to count them but decided to just say ‘a slew’ because I was lazy.  These aren’t just any coasters, though.  They are award-winning, record-setting coasters.  Their newest, Valravn, is a dive coaster that sets world records for both the coaster itself and the park, 10 if you’re counting.  Look them up.  They’re on the website.

I had the opportunity to visit CP last week and had a fantastic time.  Here are a few things that I did to enhance the trip:

First off, I grabbed the Mophie Juice Pack, a charging case designed for the Samsung Galaxy S7.  This case is designed to give you 60% more battery life when connected to your phone.  I figured with the chance of being in lines all day, having 60% extra battery might be a good thing.  It definitely came in handy.  I didn’t find myself conserving much at all.  I actually spent a lot of time playing Pokemon GO for the first half of the day.  (FYI: There are PokeStops everywhere at Cedar Point.)  The case also provided some extra grip to keep the phone in my pocket throughout the day while on the coasters.

We were able to ride 21 coasters throughout the day!
We were able to ride 21 coasters throughout the day!

It was important to have a lot of juice because one thing I wanted to do was to check in for every ride on Swarm.  This was crucial to keep track of everything we had ridden throughout the day.  By the end of the day, that list included 21 total rides, all of them roller coasters.  We had ridden Millennium Force 3 times, Top Thrill Dragster twice (once in the front car!), Valravn 3 times (once in the front car!), Raptor twice, Magnum twice, Gatekeeper twice, and several other coasters at least once.  The only coaster-like ride that we didn’t ride was Cedar Creek Mine Ride, which we honestly just forgot about.

You may ask how we were able to ride so many rides.  The answer is the Fast Lane Plus pass.  My thoughts before this trip included sentiments such as “These fast pass people are annoying.” and “I’ll never pay that much for that pass.”  My thoughts after this trip are essentially a 180 from my prior thoughts.  The pass, priced at $93 on the day we went, is worth every penny.  Going during the week and having that pass ensured that we never waited more than 20 minutes for a ride.  Lines were topping out at around an hour or so for the most part for the bigger rides on that day.  I won’t go again without buying the pass.  Yes, it’s expensive and yes, it was worth the price.

Special tickets were needed to ride the Iron Dragon during the VR testing.
Special tickets were needed to ride the Iron Dragon during the VR testing.
Rocking the Samsung Gear / Oculus VR Goggles.
Rocking the Samsung Gear / Oculus VR Goggles.
A train of riders returns to the station wearing their VR headsets.
A train of riders returns to the station wearing their VR headsets.

There was one ride that had a slightly longer wait and that was the Iron Dragon.  *screeching tire sound*  Wait, what?  The Iron Dragon had a wait?  Indeed, it did.  Let me explain why.  The ride was going through some pilot or beta testing using Samsung Gear VR.  In this exclusive event, guests could sign up for a time to ride the coaster while wearing a pair of goggles equipped with a Samsung device.  Each set of goggles was washed before being given to the next train.  When they handed out the goggles, they noted which car of the train you were in and gave you the appropriately-calibrated equipment.  Riders would then put the goggles on and enjoy as the train left the station.  Keep in mind that with true virtual reality, you aren’t seeing your surroundings.  Instead, you were immersed in a fantasy world filled with a horse, angry monsters, a winged dragon, and hostile villagers.  It was a unique experience.  They will have a few things to figure out before this hits the masses (such as alleviating the dizziness the goggles caused), but it is a really cool concept and could breath new fire… err… life back into that coaster.

Overall, the trip to Cedar Point was a fantastic adventure filled with high-speed acrobatics… and that’s just what I have come to expect from America’s Rockin’ Roller Coast!  Ride on!

What’s your favorite ride at Cedar Point?  Let me know by leaving a comment or sending me a tweet @TT_7.  My favorite is probably Millennium Force.

 

Note: Verizon provided me the Mophie Juice Pack and the Samsung Galaxy S7.  If I do not like a product, I do not have to write about nor endorse it.  Both of these have been great.  The Galaxy S7 is highly water resistant, but I’m not positive about the Mophie.  Keep that in mind when using it around water.  The Galaxy S7 has been the best smartphone I’ve ever had.

 

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The Cost of Water at Residence Inn

aquafina_pepsico_new_ecobottleI get really frustrated when companies try to charge an arm and a leg for everyday items.  I know I’m on the road and staying in a new town and at a hotel, but work with me here, people.  You probably need some backstory for this one.  Here goes.

I was in Tallahassee staying at the Residence Inn on I-10 north of the city.  I got myself breakfast then went to grab a bottle of water for the road.  It was $3.  The bottle of water was only 20 oz. and it wasn’t one of those nifty reusable bottles with the sport cap.  It was a typical 20 oz. bottle and the hotel was charging $3 for it.

I’ll be honest.  If the cost was $2, this wouldn’t have been a big deal.  Two-and-a-quarter. Fine.  Even two-and-a-half would’ve been okay.  For some reason, that three dollar mark just set me off.

I took to the Twitter and posted the following tweet mentioning @ResidenceInn:

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Country Roads, Take Me Home (Actually, Not Quite Yet!)

"Somebody left the gate open!" - Devil's Lake north of Madison allows for all kinds of outdoor adventure. It took some courage to climb up here, but I'm so happy I did!

It is hard to believe that 8 months have gone by since I signed on to be a trainer at Weather Central in Madison, Wisconsin.  I still remember that kid who almost didn’t take his first real TV job in Johnstown, PA because it was too far. (Luckily, I had a few key people on my side for that one including family and some very good friends.)  In my time in Johnstown, I never imagined I would ever leave my 3-hour window to go to Madison, Wisconsin, but it happened and I am so very happy that I did.

As all of you probably know, I have two goals in life.  One is to get back home to Pittsburgh to do weather on one of the local stations and the other is to be a game show host.  I read an article tonight on Nerd Fitness and it inspired me to think about my goals and how I can get there.  I think where I’m at is right where I need to be for now.  I’m making connections, meeting new people, learning about different cultures (yes, even within the United States), and seeing so many cool things I’ve never seen before.

I’m going to recap some of the cool places I’ve been and some of the cool things I’ve had a chance to do while on the road…

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