Cedar Point, Sandusky Ohio
Cedar Point Coasters:
Cedar Point is Dexter's favorite theme park to date. Located on a peninsula extending into Lake Erie at the top of Ohio (it is actually an island, notice that a bridge over water is required to access the park), this park currently boasts 16 rollercoasters and several major thrill attractions. Unlike many parks advertising coasters by number, all of Cedar Point's coasters are worthy coaster enthusiast contenders. Dexter considers 8 of the rides on this list to be modern, exciting thrill rides, any one of which worth an extended visit to the park from a distance. The older, classic coasters here are each unique, thrilling examples of their genre. Not a single one is "filler" serving solely to boost the park's coaster count.
The beauty and layout of the park is stunning and provides encouragement to take an extended holiday. Several days will be required just to take in all the thrills available. The park provides a variety of on-site hotel and camping options (including a lot for RVs and a marina) making extended stays simple and relaxing. A decent selection of restaurants on and off site adds makes this an easy decision. Many local hotels and motels are also available for guests desiring a bit more distance from the park.
Aside from the excitement of witnessing so many enormous coasters all on one site, Cedar Point also offers the ambience of seaside relaxation, including hotel pools and beaches on Lake Erie. Also included is a rather large waterpark, Soak City, with several attractions of various sizes for additional family fun. In November of 2004, Cedar Point is opening a new indoor waterpark and resort, Castaway Bay, with a tropical Caribbean theme. For children, several attractions with a Peanuts theme are available along with membership in the Joe Cool Club, allowing patrons special benefits such as early entrance to the park.
The water, landscaping, layout, and attractions of Cedar Point combine synergistically to create the perfect atmosphere for a coaster lover's fantasy.
The Cedar Point website at www.cedarpoint.com offers photos, brochures, trip planning, and even online hotel reservation and ticket ordering functionality.
Cedar Point Coasters:
Top Thrill Dragster
2003 (Go to Top Thrill Dragster specs)
Top Thrill Dragster is a launched coaster using a hydraulic launch system to propel trains around a closed circuit at a top speed of 120 mph. Designed to provide the ultimate thrill of speed and height, the layout of the coaster is a simple oval, forgoing any traditional hills, curves, or inversions. Instead, a single 420 foot tall top hat element brings riders to a pinnacle never before reached on a rollercoaster. To celebrate the achievement of reaching the 400 foot height, the name Strata-Coaster was coined to describe the ride. Observing past tradition, this new ride once again shatters previously existing records for height, speed, and thrills.
2002 (Go to Wicked Twister specs)
Wicked Twister opened in 2002 as the tallest and fastest "double twisting" coaster in the world. A relatively simple "forward and back" ride with vertical spires front and back, Wicked Twister adds several features that make the ride unique.
The ride is an inverted design, with cars hanging beneath the track. Trains are launched from the station using a powerful linear induction motor system that uses over 3 Megawatts of electricity to propel trains to an ultimate top speed of 72 mph in 2.5 seconds. The train is launched a total of 5 times over the course of the ride: three times forward and twice backward. The second forward launch thrusts the trains forward with enough force to reach the top of the front spire, 215 feet in the air.
To add additional thrills, each spire of the "U" shaped track is twisted 360 degrees in the form of a heartline spin which spirals the riders around their centers during ascent and descent.
2000 (Go to Millennium Force photos and specs)
In the year 2000, Cedar Point unveiled their newest coaster, a monumental achievement in rollercoaster planning, design, and construction. Opening as the tallest and fastest rollercoaster in the world, Millennium Force broke existing records by a large margin. As the first coaster ever to surpass the 300 foot mark, the park and the manufacturer coined the term gigacoaster to mark the new milestone. With a top speed of 93 mph, and 80 degree first drop, overbanked turns, trains with open cars and stadium seating, a brand new elevator lift system and new magnetic braking system, Millennium Force is a perfect addition to Cedar Point's arsenal of thrilling attractions.
1999 (Go to Woodstock's Express specs)
Following the theme of the Peanuts characters incorporated into the park to represent and entertain children and families, the Woodstock Express adds a second kiddie coaster into the mix of rides at Cedar Point. Quick dips and fast turns provide fun for small riders and coaster-enthusiasts-in-training.
1998 (Go to Power Tower photos and specs)
Developed by S & S Sports Power, Power Tower takes the concept of the popular "freefall" ride to the next level. Using a highly compressed air, the ride features two towers that blast riders 240 feet in the air, and two towers that thrust riders downward towards the ground after lifting them to a height of 240 feet. All four towers bring riders to speeds over 50 mph in under 3 seconds, using a newly developed system which provides propulsion using highly compressed air. Power Tower debuted in 1998 as the tallest and fastest example of this new style of theme park attraction.
1996 (Go to Mantis photos and specs)
Mantis is another unique innovative coaster from the masters at B&M. Again taking their cue from examples of existing coasters on which passengers ride in a standing up position, B&M applied their own track, train, and design technology to take the concept to the next level.
Near the top of Dexter's very short list of favorite coasters, Mantis' course strays a bit from the "traditional" B&M layout, providing new elements that maximize the experience of the stand-up trains. All of the elements are excellent, but strung together in a properly paced sequence they provide a rhythm, embodied in the feel of the drops, the sound of the turns, the thrill of the experience. The synergy, timing, and thrill resulting from the design and construction of this ride combine to make it stand out as a top world class coaster.
1994 (Go to Raptor photos and specs)
In 1994, Cedar Point added its first B&M coaster: A large, sprawling, steel inverted ride themed for a large, dark, bird of prey. As one of the world's tallest and fastest inverted coasters, Raptor became an instant hit and regularly finds its way onto rollercoaster "top ten" lists. Located near the entrance of the park, past the carrousel, Raptor is the first major ride that one reaches during a visit to Cedar Point. Many insiders still consider Raptor to be "the best ride in the park."
1991 (Go to Mean Streak photos and specs)
A massive wooden structure built from 1.7 million board feet of Southern yellow pine, Mean Streak is as intimidating to look at as it is to ride. The layout is a large, dense circle, open in the middle. The queue for the ride is located within the layout, with the ride's tall, hills and turns surrounding the soon-to-be riders. The trains circle the oblong course a total of three times before completing a journey which includes plenty of speed, intense airtime and G-forces, and tightly banked turns. Mean Streak is a large, massive, awesome ride.
1990 (Go to Disaster Transport specs)
Originally operating since 1985 as the "bobsled" style coaster Avalanche Run, the ride was renovated, enclosed, and rethemed as Disaster Transport in 1990. With effects designed and created by ITEC Productions, Inc., the $4 million renovation incorporated a new futuristic theme that includes large screen video projectors, simulated lasers, and more than 150 props, including two lifelike robots.
As a bobsled, or swiss bob style coaster, cars travel on a freewheeling course, riding through a steel trough rather than on rigid track. The ride and effects simulate an "out of control" travel trip toward the passengers' "destination." A dismounting station separate and unseen from the loading station completes the "trip" experience.
1989 (Go to Magnum XL-200 photos and specs)
Magnum XL-200 was the first rollercoaster to break the 200 ft height limit, and defined a whole new style of coaster and the new coaster category of hypercoaster. Before Magnum, most steel coasters featured many inversions and twisted layouts, taking advantage of the technology of the steel tubular track design. Magnum broke tradition with an out-and-back layout style, open trains with no overhead harnesses (not needed since the coaster has no inversions) and a ride focusing on height, airtime, and speed.
Magnum 200-XL remains a top choice on lists of America's favorite coasters.
1987 (Go to Iron Dragon photos and specs)
Iron Dragon is another classic Arrow designed suspended coaster. The 4-passenger cars are suspended below the track on hinged carriages that allow the cars to swing left and right as the train negotiates turns and spirals. Like the Big Bad Wolf at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Iron Dragon has two lift hills, the first dropping riders into a swinging slalom through the treetops. After the second lift, the trains emerge into the open and around a tight helix over the midway lagoon. Mist and spray heighten the thrill of the ride.
1979 (Go to Jr. Gemini photo and specs)
Directly across from its larger namesake, the Jr. Gemini accommodates young riders not yet old enough (or tall enough) to take advantage of the thrills that adult coasters have to offer. Jr. Gemini follows a small figure-8 layout, and can seat one adult in the front car if accompanied by a child.
1978 (Go to Gemini photos and specs)
The Cedar Point Gemini coaster has a deceiving nature when first seen. Although the wood structure gives the ride the appearance of a classic twisted woody, the track structure is actually the same steel tubular design used in other steel coasters. The wooden structure gives the ride a unique characteristic smoothness as it bends and gives in response to the forces of traversing trains
The Gemini is a racing coaster with a figure-8 layout. Trains are close enough to passengers to reach across and touch the other train at several locations during the ride.
1976 (Go to Corkscrew photos and specs)
One of the early Arrow corkscrew rides, this coaster was the first to feature 3 inversions: one vertical loop followed by a double corkscrew roll. Nicely positioned on the Cedar Point midway, park guests pass under the double corkscrew on their way toward the back end of the park. The Corkscrew is decorated with a red, white and blue color scheme to celebrate America's bicentennial on the year of its opening.
1970 (Go to Wildcat specs)
Cedar Point's Wildcat is a fun example of this style of coaster. Cars travel in succession through a twisted figure-8 layout through a series of hills and curves.
Cedar Creek Mine Ride
1969 (Go to Cedar Creek Mine Ride photo and specs)
A nicely themed and constructed Arrow mine ride, with wood support structure and steel track. The wood structure allows a lot of sway, which can be disconcerting to amateur coaster riders waiting in the queue.
The Cedar Creek Mine Ride is the second oldest coaster still operating at Cedar Point.
1964 (Go to Blue Streak photos and specs)
A classic "out and back" woody built in 1964, Blue Streak remains a small, fun coaster packed with airtime and thrills. The oldest standing coaster at Cedar Point, the out and back track of Blue Streak rides along the western coast of the Cedar Point peninsula.
(Go to Giant Wheel photos)
Of course Cedar Point includes a classic Ferris wheel. Originally located on the Midway near Mantis, the 150 ft Giant Wheel was moved in 2000 to make room for the Millennium Force entrance queue. It is now located lakeside, near Disaster Transport.
All coaster specs and descriptions are gathered from park info, manufacturers specs, ACE and other coaster literature, and the Roller Coaster DataBase project at www.rcdb.com.
All photos unless otherwise noted were taken by Dexter. Park logos and other graphics are from the parks' official websites.
All pages, images and info © Copyright 1997 - 2009 David W Creighton.
All rights reserved.