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New For 2015: The Rougarou Roller Coaster
  I would start my Friday by having lunch with a friend of mine who I used to work with at Cedar Point 14 years ago at "Danny Boy's". I had a sub called the "Tony Soprano" which consisted of spaghetti and meatballs on a sub roll with fries, good eats!!! After lunch, my friend drove me up to the local Enterprise Rent-A-Car facility to pick up my rental car which for this year would be a well-traveled 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Why do I describe it as well-traveled? That's simple actually, for reasons I can't explain, the car had California plates on it! After picking up the car, I headed over to Meijer to pick up some food and beverages for the hotel room, and would continue writing this travelogue. The park opened at 6:00pm and I would only stay until about 9:00pm because I realized right away, it was very COLD outside and wearing four layers underneath the hoodie I was wearing were still not enough! Several rides weren't open due to high winds anyway so I would do some night photography and head back to the hotel, and so ends a cold but good day.
  On Saturday, my plan was to spend the whole day at the park (since it was open 11:00am-12:00 midnight) but once again, the cold would prove to be a big challenge. I wore five layers and brought an extra shirt which I would use later on. I briefly met up with a friend of mine who works for Amtrak who was at the park with his girlfriend and I would spend the day just riding some coasters and taking some more photos. This was my third visit to the park this year (I drove here back in May for Media Day & Opening Day, and I was also here on another road trip in July). The cold once again proved to be more than I was equipped to handle so I ended up leaving the park around 7:00pm and had dinner at Chipotle in Sandusky, then visited a used CD/DVD/Video Game store called "Buybacks" in Sandusky, though there wasn't anything there that I wanted. I would head back to the hotel and call it another day.
  The photos you'll see here and on the next three pages were a collection of photos taken from my three visits to the park in 2015. New for this year is Rougarou, which is Cedar Point's first floorless roller coaster meaning there is no "floor" under your feet, so they dangle in the air above the track! If this ride looks somewhat familiar, there's a reason for that. The coaster's track is that of the former "Mantis" Stand-Up coaster that was built in 1996 by Bolliger & Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland. B&M designed the new floorless trains for this ride and it closed as Mantis in October of 2014 so as to begin its conversion to Rougarou, meaning that the bug was "squashed". According to Cedar Point, the name "Rougarou" is a creature in French folklore that is similar to a werewolf. Below is some interesting trivia about this coaster, then it's onto the pictures! I have rode this coaster both in its original configuration as a stand-up coaster as well as floorless and honestly, I like the floorless ride experience much better than the stand-up. I had the privilege of attending Media Day for this awesome ride in May 2015 and rode it 4 times! You get a completely different ride experience in the front of the train verses the back so I recommend you ride it multiple times in different rows, OK, I can't get enough coasters!!!
  The new sign near Rougarou's entrance. There is also an audio track of a werewolf trying to escape played near here, spooky!  
  Looking up Rougarou's impressive 145ft tall lift hill as seen from the loading platform on Media Day with the help of a zoom lens!  
  After getting to the top of the lift hill, the ride takes a small "pre-drop" then turns 180 degrees and makes its first drop of 137ft.  
  Rougarou about to take its plunge down that 137ft first drop!  
  LEFT: Heading down the first drop reaching speeds of 60mph! RIGHT: Seen after going through its first of four inversions.  
  Heading up the impressive 119ft tall loop which is the first of four inversions.  
  Heading through a 103ft dive loop.  
  A wider-angle view of the same loop as above.  
  Now passing through an 83ft inclined loop at a 45 degree angle!  
  The final inversion on this ride consists of a corkscrew loop.  
  The train makes its way through some sharp turns before the end of the ride.  
  And now a "Blast From The Past", also from the "What A Difference A Year Makes" files! Here is the feature coaster operating as "Mantis" in 2014
making its first drop down the 137ft first drop.
  And here is Rougarou from about the same location as the photo above, this time in 2015! This ride is awesome!!!