Digital Press Goes to
Cedar Point (2003)

by Dustin Carter

The first annual Digital Press at Cedar Point (DPCP) was anaffair where forum members could meet outside of the digital realm withoutvideogames as the main focus of the gathering. Of course, it didn’t hurt that there was an excellent arcade in thepark-but the rides were the main attraction, and Cedar Point has some of thebest around.  That’s why manypeople consider it to be the “roller coaster capital of the world”.

Above pictures courtesty of Todd "Kid Fenris" Ciolek

Arrangements were made to meet near the Space Spiral, and total of eight forum members attended. Those in attendance were Achika, Den68, Bizounce, Wizdawg, Ubersaurus, Kid Fenris, Bargora, and myself, Oobgarm.  A few of us had never been to Cedar Point before, and fewer still had not ridden a roller coaster before.  That quickly changed, as the first ride the group went on was the Millennium Force.   Standing at an impressive 310 feet tall, it was the world’s tallest roller coaster up until last year.  The line for the ride was short, since that section of the park opened up just as we were walking by.  Everyone got to know each other a bit better while we waited in line.


The ride was very intense.  One could gather that the ride was fast just by watching it, but riding it was a different experience entirely.  The 92 MPH drop was amazing; I had never felt that kind of force before.  After the initial fall, the rest of the ride was cake.  Having never ridden an actual “roller coaster” before, I thought that it was a great way to “pop the cherry”, so to speak.  That mention of fruit lead to us talking about the forums and game collecting while we waited in line for the next ride, the stand-up coaster called Mantis.

We were lucky with our first ride, as the line for the Mantis was close to an hour wait.  Bizounce and Ubersaurus sat this one out, but went and rode some other rides instead.  While the ride was not quite as exhilarating as the first one, the Mantis was fun, even though it banged your head around the headrest while flipping upside down three times. 


Everyone then decided to find someplace to eat, since long hours in the sun tend to make a person hungry.  Some ate pizza, a few had ice cream, while fewer still went for the more dubious “hot dog on-a-stick”.  The group split up afterward, some went to ride the Blue Streak, a wooden coaster, while a few decided to let our food settle and head over to the arcade.

The arcade looks like standard fare from the outside.  There are a few DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) games at the front, along with the traditional ticket redemption games.  A bit further back were some of the recent arcade titles, such as the Star Wars Trilogy sit-down machine, plus some other ride-on games.  The back of the arcade, however, was a Mecca of classic gaming goodness.  The early era of the video game arcade was well represented, with classics such as Pac Man, Galaga, Centipede, and Berzerk.  (Unfortunately, Tempest was mysteriously absent.) Most of the popular older machines were working, but sadly, many of them were not.  There was a person performing maintenance on a couple of machines, but not on that Turbo machine I longed to play.  Strewn about in the arcade were some very old machines that pre-dated the arcade boom, some of which used little plastic toys and other silly gimmicks.  There were also some very old pinball machines lining the back wall.


Sitting outside the arcade was a quirky little machine called “Lighthouse”.  It’s one of those machines where the prize inside is usually worth less than the money you put into it.  Amazingly, there was a Game Boy Advance SP hanging in there as a prize.  The objective of the game is to ascend the five levels of the lighthouse and light up the top by stopping a spinner.   The spinner had both positive and negative numbers on it, taking the player up or down the tower.  I personally placed at least $20 into it, with no avail.  Wizdawg then proceeded to obtain the prize for a meager $6.  Congratulations are in order on his excellent score.

It was getting rather late at that point, so the decision was made to ride the Magnum XL200, the third biggest coaster at the park, before the sun had totally disappeared.  Game Boy Advance SP’s were played while waiting in line, which ended up being about a 45-minute wait.  I will go on record to say that it was the most fun of the three coasters I rode that day.


The group then decided to make a trek back to the front of the park to ride the Raptor.  The sun had gone down at that point, and we all decided to go through the “Terror Walk”, a haunted walkway complete with music, fog, and crazy people who jump out at you.  The fog was very thick, and the group got separated at one point.  Everyone got back together and headed to the front of the park.  I made a trip back to the arcade to play some more Berzerk (and more of the Lighthouse game), while everyone else rode the Raptor.

 It had come upon 10:00 at that point, so I had to leave and face that terrible 4.5-hour drive back home.  It was a great time, and I’m sure that all the others would concur.  I look forward to DPCP ’04, and I hope to see some new faces there.


Charter members of the DP@CP Expedition: (from left): Bizounce, Wizdawg, Bargora, Ubersaurus, Kid Fenris, Den68, Oobgarm, Achika.


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