Walt setup an off-season nerd gathering at Cedar Point for PointBuzz folks, complete with a Chet & Matt's pizza and wings buffet. I don't remember the last time I went to a group function like this (probably 2001, at Dave & Busters), but visiting the park in the winter is a long-standing tradition going back I think to 1999 or 2000. It was weird to not have that option the last couple of years.
Truth be told, there isn't much that I haven't seen out there, although today I got to roam around under Mean Streak a bit, which surprisingly is not something I've done before. It's probably due to my contempt for the ride. I've never thought to call someone up and be like, "Hey, I'd love it if you could walk me around Mean Streak."
It's weird to think about how things have changed over the years. Twelve years ago, it was all about relationship building and working to create a reputation for the site. These days, it's all about seeing friends. I mean, I've been to weddings of friends who work there, they've been in my wedding(s)... it's so weird. It kind of stopped being about the sites a long time ago.
In fact, I couldn't help but think about all of the good times there when the park was closed. There were all of the construction tours, of course, but also visits with just me and a friend. 2000 was a particularly neat time, because the construction of Millennium Force meant you had to drive through the park, and that became a frequent occurrence (last time was probably 2009). Some days were outright historic. For example, the media day, or morning at least, for Maverick was the day that I met Diana for our first date. The funny part of that story is I spent a great deal of time flirting with some chick from the Plain Dealer that morning.
I'm always thankful that the Web sites have given me a fun distraction, but I'm even more thankful for the many social ties they've enabled. My deepest and most storied relationships may not have even existed were it not for the Internets.
I really look forward to spring, when I can bring Simon and he can see the marching bands on opening day, and hopefully be a little more open to riding some stuff. He is definitely the next chapter in my theme park memory-making endeavors.