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Goodbye Disaster Transport (Avalanche Run) Cedar Point 2012 July 27, 2012

Posted by ronannarbor in Cedar Point, Entertainment, Travel.
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It’s been a long time coming — and Disaster Transport (nee Avalanche Run) will offer its last toboggan run on Sunday July 29th. The ride is slated for demolition (along with Space Spiral a few weeks later) to make room for next season’s new B&M-manufactured wing coaster.

Built in 1985, Avalanche Run opened with great fanfare along with a handful of the toboggan coasters opening across the country.

Seen here outdoors, it was a fast favorite of fans, despite its low thrill factor, with very long wait times and slow load times. A few years later in 1990, Lake Erie, sand, and the elements were beginning to have their way with the track. Throwing good money after bad (most parks that installed the toboggan coasters removed them within a few years because of the extraordinary  and expensive maintenance required on them vs the low interest/thrill factor) Cedar Point enclosed it in a large warehouse type structure; themed it to outerspace transport gone amok, and Disaster Transport was rebranded.

Known mostly as the coaster you road when it was really hot outside; Cedar Fair did little in the way of maintenance. As lighting and effects wore out, they were simply abandoned. The queue line was shortened to its current lackluster state. Over the years paint, lights, animatronics, and other effects were simply afterthoughts and most current riders don’t even know what it looked like in the early 90’s since most of the effects have been gone for 15 years.

There are plenty of other blogsites that carefully discuss the history and the effects in the ride — so I will leave that to them, and to your Google search.But I will leave this for last, a photo of Disaster Transport taken from the Skyride with Space Spiral in front of it. I had a final ride on Disaster Transport/Avalanche Run yesterday — and for all those many years of lackluster (but fun and air conditioned) rides, I salute you. Goodbye Disaster Transport.

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Cedar Point 2009 – End of Summer report August 24, 2009

Posted by ronannarbor in Entertainment.
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With the summer winding down, Cedar Point is entering what is considered “Dead Week” – the smallest crowds of the summer this week and next week as students return to school….Michigan folks might be surprised to learn that Ohio Schools have already gone back — we have the new law that schools can’t start until Labor Day, which makes for a frighteningly long summer this year for parents.

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I’ve had three great weekend stays at Cedar Point this year between the Hotel Breakers and the Lighthouse Point Cabins…and have used my season pass 9 times so far this year with two more planned trips before the season is over.

In short — two of the big attraction shows have already closed for the summer (Signed, Sealed, Delivered and Extreme Wheels Stunt Show), and the remainder are scheduled to close this coming weekend. That will put Cedar Point solidly into fall Hallow-weekends mode, with the Halloween funhouses opening in mid-September and the Halloween parade and other annual attractions ready to go.

The Twilight Experience has proven to be a huge hit, with throngs passing through each night; and their set-up time got down to less than 10 minutes (another plus, given the initial half-hour setup at the beginning of the season).

Rumors abound for next year’s new attraction – t0 be announced on or around Labor Day, but this warning in advance: Ride the Paddlewheel Excursion while you still can, enjoy the awful jokes as you float around the lagoon with its half-broken animatronic displays. Cedar Point has fired it’s animatronic maintenance division which means great changes are in store for this attraction next season, even without an announcement at this point. Another heads up, if you like soakers, better get your final rides in on Snake River Falls as well.

The Cedar Point forums are abuzz with rumors of next years attractions and Cedar Point apparently likes it that way, feeding the rabid 15-year olds with twitter and facebook “clues”…it’s all nauseating. One certainly: land has been cleared on Millenium Island for an attraction said to span from the “mainland” across the lagoon and onto the western side of the island. Rumors range from new log flume to minor family coaster. My money is on the log flume, since CP announced when they tore out White Water Landing to build Maverick that they would be replacing it with a new water attraction down the road. CP is desperately in need of family attractions right now, and that would fit the bill. Frankly, I totally don’t care what new attractions they put in next year, but they are in vital need of updating their bathrooms and providing enough cleaning staff to make them less disgusting.

Overall, the coasters ran for the most part. No attraction was closed for more than a day or two at the most (Millenium Force being the ride with the worst track record this season, especially compared to Top Thrill Dragster which seems to run on it’s own will most of the time, but which seemed to run most of the summer this year). Chaos and Demon Drop, both for sale for years now, are still open and running as well. Disaster Transport looks to be on its final legs as well. I don’t give that one more than another season or two of operation, if that long. Mean Streak is also heading for the scrap pile. Ride it now if you want to experience a backpain-migraine inducing-teeth-rattling ride on one of the worst wooden coasters ever built, and one of only a handful remaining of the designer’s coasters in the country. No amount of repair can fix that one.

Cedar Point remains a fantastic local vacation spot — but with the shows now closing for the year and Halloweekends spook houses ready to open, it will only be a few more short day trips for myself. I leave that to the teens. But a few more rides on Millenium Force and I’ll call it a season. A few shots from this past weekend:

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