Millennium Force has been placed at the top of enthusiasts’ rankings more than once. It’s even been voted the number one steel roller coaster in the world by Amusement Today nine years since it opened in 2000! But is it really that amazing, or is it overrated? I, for one, had to find out.
Millennium Force was the tallest, longest, and fastest complete circuit roller coaster in the world when it opened. Its stats are pretty impressive, considering that it towers 310 feet over the expanse of Lake Erie.
Located at Cedar Point, Millennium Force helped the park earn its well known title, “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World.” Since Cedar Point is home to 16 roller coasters, my mind was made up – I HAD to pay it a visit. Of course, the highlight of my trip was Millennium Force.
As I entered Millennium Force’s line, I was much taken aback by its extreme height. Maybe 310 feet doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re standing next to it, you start thinking second thoughts. Stepping aboard, I chose the front left seat and slammed the T-bar across my lap. I did NOT want to fall out of this thing. Finally, it was all set. The riders cheered. The train lurched forward. The ride had begun.
As I found myself blinking in the sunlight, I noticed several things about the lift hill. First off, it was very steep. I felt like I was laying down, going straight up. Second, the view was amazing. Lake Erie stretched out as far as the eye could see. Thirdly, I found that the lift was noticeably faster and quieter than a that of a traditional roller coaster. The secret lies in the lift mechanism – instead of the usual chain lift, Millennium Force is equipped with a cable system that silently pulls the train at speeds of 15 miles per hour.
Before I knew it, I was at the top. With a quick dip, I felt myself being plunged towards the lake at unheard-of speeds. That drop was INSANE! I felt a mix of euphoria and terror (talk about a paradox), the entire way down. Imagine being pulled off of a skyscraper and you’ll come pretty close to the feeling I felt.
Immediately following the drop, I was crushed by the 4.5 g-force (that’s almost five times the normal gravity on earth) and sent flying into the next element: a huge over-banked turn. Around here, I felt as if the Millennium Force lost its gusto. After the turn came a tunnel, followed by an “airtime” hill and a few more over-banked turns. I put “airtime hill” in quotes, because I felt little to no airtime (weightlessness) whatsoever. I tried riding in the middle and the back; still no airtime! More on that later.
Coming out of the hill, I felt completely relaxed as the train gracefully took on the turns. Next came another forceless hill, followed by a second tunnel (where the on-ride camera is located). A quick bunny hop and final turn sent the train into the brake run.
I exited the coaster feeling disappointed and awestruck at the same time. To me, the first drop made the ride an incredible roller coaster, completely disregarding the rest of the ride. And yet, it was lacking some thrill. Here’s where the ride got the nickname “Millennium Forceless,” by its haters. Although the drop is amazing, and the rest of the ride is by no means forceless, the coaster is definitely overrated. Nevertheless, Millennium Force remains one of my favorite roller coasters, and I recommend riding it, if only for that drop.
Watch Millennium Force’s official on-ride video:
Overall, I’ll give the Millennium Force 9 out of 10 stars. Despite the lackluster finale, the ride deserves at least a little bit of its renown. What do you think?
All images © Cedar Point.