Winter Chill Out is Cedar Point's annual offseason event to raise money for A Kid Again. I bought a ticket and attended in 2016 and had an amazing time, so I decided to attend once again in 2017 and in fact, I'm pretty sure I was one of the first people to buy my ticket, as I frantically refreshed my page, waiting for the link to pop up.
WCO was far different than 2016. There were no new rides opening (I'll get to New Mean Streak later) and there were a lot less on the agenda that interested me. I won't say I was disappointed, I just wasn't as excited as 2016 had made me.
I was in the first morning group in 2016, so I decided to buy a ticket for the final group this year. I didn't realize that a bunch of the big coaster accounts from Instagram and YouTube (Coasternation, Coasterbob, even WKYC channel 3) were in my group and I can even been seen in the background of some of their videos. Strangely, when I pulled into the parking lot, it was pouring pretty steadily. By the time we were funneled out of the buffet place into two groups, it was partly sunny and not very windy at all.
Within about 20 minutes however, it turned overcast and colder and while winter in northern Ohio is expected to be as such, 2016 was about 75 degrees and sunny. I remember commenting to another member of my group that I either wanted a ton of snow (for cool photo purposes) or 75 degree weather again. Of course it was right in the middle.
The highlight for me was the water park expansion area. Not because of anything the construction manager said or the new entrance but because we finally got to see some of the Mean Streak construction up close. What was interesting was that all the speculation of what was after the drop in some of the leaked photos ended up being wrong as the track banked the opposite way from what most people were thinking. My next post will be dedicated to some of the talk of new MS. Much more construction has taken place and leaked photos have emerged showing some of the new track pieces and the first inversion.
Besides stops in merchandising and the warehouse, which weren't horribly exciting, the Q and A session provided some great info on the future of the park including:
- Ride Warriors Club returns with a lower price. - Joe Cool Cafe will be replaced by Melt Bar and Grilled - this was supposedly caused by a joke tweet between Tony and the Melt staff, but will be a fantastic addition to the park. - They finally acknowledged that something was happening to Mean Streak with a picture which appeared to be sitting on the track. They said an announcement would be made "when its right for business" which leads me to believe sometime in August or September (unless it ends up being ready for a late year opening, which I'm still doubting).
- Coastermania! will be on Friday, June 2nd and will basically be the same as past years, although they will be giving out a limited edition pin to attendees.
- Coaster Camp Out is back.
- Iron Dragon VR will be available daily from 6PM until close between June 9-September 4.
- RipCord was transplanted into the old Shoot the Rapids spot and renamed "Professor Delbert's Frontier Fling" as an homage to the former Paddlewheel Excursions.
- The Season Pass Drink Plan will debut for $26.99 and will allow all-you-can-drink refills (every 15 minutes) into either your souvenir bottle OR into paper cups (so you don't have to lug around the bottle). Guests without a season pass can still purchase the drink bottle.
- The Battle for Cedar Point returns.
- The Jack Aldrich theater will host "Lights, Camera, Action!", a new show which will treat guests to famous movie music from all eras.
- "Peanuts Perfect Day" will be a show in Celebration Plaza that sees the Peanuts characters come together to dance and sing with guests.
- Luminosity returns.
We ended up leaving from the 10:30am group around 2:30pm and while I was disappointed as compared to the year before, it's still a great experience to see the park behind-the-scenes, and also to help raise money for such a good cause.