Getting Season Passes to Cedar Point did in fact turn out to be a great idea, and has gone down in history (for me at least) as possibly the best summer of my life. (Which isn’t too hard really, considering I generally dread summer.) That summer, however was AMAZING.
There turned out to be a lot of reasons why having season passes totally rocked, some of which we hadn’t really considered. The first was, obviously, it was relatively cheap. The passes cost us 109 dollars each, and although we only used them 10 times and 9 times respectively (Linnea was unable to join me one week because of a family gathering or some such nonsense, so I took my little brothers with me instead.) we definitely got our money’s worth. A single day’s admission at that time was around 35 dollars. Plus, if we’d wanted to, (and didn’t have to be bothered with such things as “jobs” or “lives outside of going to Amusement Parks”) we damn well could have went there every day. (That would have topped out at about a dollar per visit!)
Normally, when one goes to an amusement park, the idea is to get up at the crack of dawn, hustle down to the place at the earliest possible time, drive down like a maniac and spend the entire day within the confines of the park, squeezing every last ounce of enjoyment out of the day. We, however, had season passes, and we knew we were going to be back again the next week, so it took some of the pressure off of having to make sure we got the most out of every visit.
We developed a pretty steadfast routine. I’d pick Linnea up from her house around 8. We’d mosey on down the road in no big hurry, swinging through McDonald’s in a little town called Dundee (around 9) for hash browns and fountain cokes (because of our weekly tradition from that magical summer I still associate those golden brown grease sponges with Cedar Point) arrive at the park around 10, make one pass through our usual circuit of rides, and then get the hell out of there before the noonday crowds and heat started making the place practically unbearable.
It wasn’t actually until after our first couple of visits that one of us came up with the novel idea of spending the middle part of our day exploring the rest of Sandusky, then returning to the park for another round, and it was usually a lot cooler and a little less crowded in the late afternoon, early evening portion of the day. We did a lot of cool stuff there. We usually had dinner at a different place every week (and it was always cheaper than inside the park) We checked out the mall, we went mini golfing, and we went to a few movies, including Chicken Run, The Crew, and Me Myself and Irene. (I know there was one other, but I can’t recall it right now.)
Our weekly routine never varied much, so I’ll regale you with a few of the funnier incidents that took place that summer.
The First Parking Lot Incident.
Our first day back to Cedar Point we were so excited we literally jumped out of the car and sprinted towards the front gate. (Much like The Griswolds upon arrival at Wally World.) That first day we did in fact stay in the park the whole day, having a hell of a great time. It wasn’t until we walked back out near the end of the night that we realized, to our horror, neither of us had paid the slightest bit of attention to where we parked. It took us…an hour… to find my car. (A whole. fucking. HOUR.)
The Second Parking Lot Incident
The first thing you have to understand about this story is the car I had at that time was a convertible, and usually, if the weather was nice, we drove into the park with the top down. The second thing you have to understand about this story is Linnea and I used to make these mix tapes together for our weekly road trips, pulling songs from my massive collection of cds, records, cassette tapes, and sometimes Linnea would bring over a few selections of her own to throw into the mixes. We would hang out late into the night, taking turns putting songs on these 2 hour tapes, and it got to be sort of a contest to see who would put the weirdest shit on them, and there was virtually nothing off limits. One day, as we pulled into the park one of my own favorite tunes was playing and I had turned it up pretty loud. (There’s a pretty good chance it was Message in a Bottle by the Police, a song I still crank up even now.) As we sidled into a spot, right next to a perfectly normal looking family piling out of a big station wagon, my selection fades away and Linnea’s comes blasting through the speakers. Zippadee Doo Da. (Zippadee Fucking Doo Da.) I quickly turned the music down, but not before the entire family was staring at us like we were lunatics. (I can’t make this shit up.)
The Greatest Gag Ever Orchestrated (By Me)
At some point it occurred to me that my friend Sean Seger lived just a little way off the path of our usual route to Sandusky. (This was a guy I’ve known since 4th grade, and Linnea had come to know him pretty well too, through her friendship with me) I called him up to see if he and his wife would like to join us on our weekly trip, and he said “Hell yeah!” I didn’t utter a word of this exciting news to Linnea. I simply charted a path out that would take us right by Sean’s house, which just happened to be in the middle of an area that looked a lot like the area Children of the Corn was filmed in.
As we cruised further and further off the beaten path, down a disturbingly straight path through corn row after corn row, Linnea began to express some concern.
L: “Where are we going?”
D: “Oh I figured out a new shortcut!”
L: “Ooohhh…kaay?” (Always the skeptic.)
Shortly before we arrived at our destination, I admit. “Ummm, I think I may have fucked up. Look I’m just going to stop at this house here and ask for directions.”
The look of terror on her face was priceless.
“You’re just going to walk up to a complete stranger’s door and ask for directions?!? Have you lost your mind?!?”
“Oh come on, Nothing out here but perfectly friendly, simple country folk.” As soon as I exited the vehicle, I’m pretty sure I heard the click of the car doors locking behind me.
I knock on the door. Sean answers it. (I’ve made sure my body is blocking Linnea’s view of who is at the door.) I let Sean in on the gag, and tell him I’m gonna milk it a little more. He laughs, and goes back into the house to get his wife. I return to the car.
“Wow, this is so crazy, these folks just happened to be going to Cedar Point today too, so I invited them to just ride along with us! Can you believe it?”
“You…can’t… be serious.” The look of pure horror on her face was killing me, but still I somehow managed to keep a straight face. After a few minutes Sean and Cindy exited the house, and the gag was revealed. We all laughed and laughed the rest of the way to Cedar Point. (And had a great time at the park too, I might add.)
The Mean Streak
The plan had always been to attempt to add one more ride to our itinerary every week. We figured our courage would grow a little with each subsequent visit and by the end of the summer we’d be old hands at riding everything in the park. Alas we were only able to convince ourselves to get on one additional coaster. It was The Mean Streak; a COLOSSAL wooden roller coaster much bigger, much taller, much faster, and much MUCH more shaky then the Gemini.
We both enjoyed the ride, but agreed it was only ridable once per visit. (That thing shakes you up like nobody’s business, and there was almost always puke on the stairs leading away from it. Never ours thankfully.)
I actually have (somewhere) a picture of us on that ride, but I can’t find it right now, so instead here’s a picture of some tiny kittens inside some tiny tea cups. Enjoy it while it lasts, because as soon as I find the photo I wanted to post here, these kittens will be lost forever.
And here’s the only other photographic evidence I have of “The Summer of the Season Passes.” One day we decided to get our pictures taken in “Old West Garb.” (There’s all kinds of cool shit you can do at Cedar Point, aside from riding roller coasters)
And there’s one other hilarious story to plug in here:
The Time We Got Bored With Cedar Point and Decided to Go Hang Out In Grand Rapids Instead,
Which I’ve decided to save for another blog all it’s own.
Eventually the “Summer of the Season Passes” came to a close. It was to be the last time Linnea and I would go to Cedar Point together, as she eventually grew up, got a real job and a family, whereas I am determined to avoid doing any of those ghastly things until i am at least 70. (or so.)
My adventures at Cedar Point actually have one more chapter, which could be entitled “Camping, Drinking, and Gettin’ CRAZY At Cedar Point” but will most likely be entitled, simply The Cedar Point Chronicles Part 4; and for that exciting conclusion to this long winded tale you’ll have to wait one more day.
I know, I’m falling behind. But the night is still young, and I still got a couple more days of this so called “Vacation.”