A couple weeks ago, I took a much anticipated trip to Cedar Point, the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World.” While at the park, I was able to ride the new Rougarou and many of the park’s other world-famous coasters.
After arriving at the park half an hour before it opened, the first ride on my list was Millennium Force. Though I had already ridden it several times on previous trips to the park, the ride never gets old. Its line was only around thirty minutes long, so I decided to ride in the front row. The view from the top of the coaster was incredible, with the expanse of Lake Erie seemingly directly under the hill. Then came the plunge. I threw up my hands and waited for the extreme airtime, but it never came. There was speed, yes, but my stomach refused to drop after being tamed by the even steeper and longer drop on Fury 325. The over-banked turn was as fun as ever, and I loved the rest of the ride, but it just seemed a step below Fury. Later in the day, I tried the very back row, and was reassured that Millennium’s drop is indeed very thrilling in the back. In the end, I decided that although Millennium Force is a great coaster, Fury 325 definitely outclassed it.
New for 2015, the park’s stand-up coaster (Mantis) was transformed into a floorless model called Rougarou. Having never ridden a floorless coaster before, I was excited to see how it compared to the extremely painful Mantis. The line was fairly short for a such a “new” coaster, and I found a seat within half an hour. As the train began to ascend the lift hill, I recognized every movement from Mantis, but without the severe jolts. The pre-drop provided a brief view of the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World” before sending the train plunging down into the mist. My stomach dropped the whole way down the 52 degree drop before the train flew through the first inversion. All of the loops were super smooth and intense and the ride was fun overall. One of my favorite parts was the dive loop that sent the train flying around the station. If I wasn’t concerned about riding the other scream machines at the park before closing, I probably would have ridden Rougarou again. Though Rougarou is obviously not the best coaster at the park, I strongly approve of Cedar Point’s efforts to revive their mediocre stand-up and wish more parks would do similarly with their run down coasters.
Of course, as a huge drop tower proponent, I had to give Power Tower a try. With two “shot” towers and two “drop” towers, Power Tower has two options to pick from. Choosing a seat facing the lake on the drop side, I climbed aboard and nervously awaited the ascent. It was a long way up, and I could see the entire park from the top. The suspense was unbearable. With every vibration, my body became more tense. Suddenly, the brakes released and I flung my limbs straight out for maximum airtime. Before I knew it, the ride was over. I highly recommend riding Power Tower if you take a trip to the Point.
Top Thrill Dragster
Something about Top Thrill Dragster’s launching mechanism causes it to temporarily break down pretty frequently, so I was lucky to get a ride in without any problems. Though the line was extremely long (as usual), I decided to ride in the front seat, and I’m so glad I did. In the very front, there’s nothing between you and the 120 mph air hitting you. The launch was INCREDIBLE! From the front seat, I was awarded an amazing view of the entire park from the ride’s top-hat element, and I leaned forward through the spiraling drop. I only wish that the ride would last longer, since the start-to-finish time is only 17 seconds.
After breaking for lunch at Chick-fil-a, I headed over to Maverick, which had been closed earlier in the day. While waiting in line, I witnessed a couple trains that refused to propel up the hill. A ride op kept having to manually roll it back into the station and re-dispatch it. So, the line dragged on and on. Eventually, I made it to the platform and choose a front seat. I had ridden Maverick before, but it had been awhile, so I was excited to try it out again. (For those of you wondering about the new restraints, they are so much better! Instead of head-banging hard restraints, they are now rubbery and flexible. Unfortunately, the lap bar is still bound to crush your thighs.) Finally, the ride started. After rolling out of the station, the train kicked into gear with a quick climb to the top of the hill. The first drop was every bit as amazing as I had remembered it, with an intense turn at the bottom. Next came an S-curve followed by an extreme airtime hill. During the disorienting twisted horseshoe roll, I lost my sunglasses, which were in my pocket. Of course, the best part of the ride was the tunnel: After slowing to a stop in the dim light, the train launched at 70 miles per hour and whipped back into the wild course. Maverick is definitely one of my favorite coasters, but I do wish that the line wasn’t always so long.
I didn’t exactly want to ride Magnum, which I consider a jerky and painful ride, but the line was short, so I was able to get a front seat within half-an-hour. Everything about the ride screamed “REPLACE ME!” from the iron-hard thigh-bar to the aging trains and rough track. The hill dragged on forever, but I had to admit that the view was incredible. I wasn’t surprised to find that the first drop didn’t provide any airtime, and neither did the second hill. The turn-around was painfully long, and the bunny hops at the end sent me flying into the hard lap bar. I got off the coaster gripping my thighs in disgust. Cedar Point, please replace Magnum with a B&M Hyper Coaster!
One of my favorite flat rides at Cedar Point was Skyhawk, the park’s Screamin’ Swing. The thrill of being swung through the air was relaxing, and the crest of each swoop was packed with airtime. Definitely a must-ride.
Shortly before the park closed, I got a ride on GateKeeper. I picked a back-left seat and swung the restraint into place. The ride was unbelievably smooth, with the inversions taken so slowly I could hardly tell I was upside down. The keyholes never delivered a good headchopper effect for me, but the second zero-g-roll was long and made the blood rush into my head. Overall, it was not a particularly thrilling ride, but very relaxing. I think that GateKeeper would be a great ride if it weren’t for its vest restraints, which tightened during the course until it was hard to breathe.
Barely getting into line before the park closed, I enjoyed a night ride on maXair, Cedar Point’s giant frisbee ride. It was fast and relaxing, with alternating airtime and g-forces.
Overall, I had a great trip to Cedar Point. Though the park lacks a good wooden coaster and a B&M Hyper Coaster, it still lives up to it’s title, the Roller Coaster Capital of the World. After all, how many parks have coasters comparable to Millennium Force, Maverick, and Top Thrill Dragster? Anyways, I can’t wait to visit the park again next year to try out Valravn.
Have you recently taken a trip to Cedar Point? What did you think?