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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Cedar Point 5/16-5/17 Short Trip Report w/ GateKeeper Reivew

Cedar Point 5/16-5/17 Short Trip Report w/ GateKeeper Reivew


5/21/13 at
4:53:38 PM

I get it! I feel like I finally get it!
I've been to Cedar Point 4 times since MF opened and I can safely say I rode **most** of the big, famous coasters in America. But 13 years later, after riding Millennium Force in the front seat, I FINALLY get why it's STILL the #1 roller coaster in the world.

But let me start from the beginning:
I was in the United States for 2 weeks, mostly to take care of things, but my friend and I decided we want to hit up Cedar Point since we're both Coaster enthusiasts and haven't been to a crazy amusement park together for a while. We also knew that with Gatekeeper opening, it would be very busy, so we managed to schedule getting to Ohio (from St. Louis) Wed. night, going to the park on Thursday and a few hoRaurs on Friday before driving back 9.5 hours.

1. Gatekeeper, front right
2. Millennium Force, Front row
3. Maverick, Front Row
4. Top Thrill Dragster, 2nd row
5. Gatekeeper, back left
6. Magnum XL200, 2nd row
7. Iron Dragon, Towards the back
8. Millennium Force, back row
9. Top Thrill Dragster, Middle-ish
10. Raptor, front row
11. Wicked Twister, front row
12. Windskeeker
13. Gatekeeper, front left
14. Maverick, middle-ish(?)
15. Millennium Force, 2nd row
---------(Day 2)-----------------
16. Top Thrill Dragster, Front row
17. Magnum XL200, middle-ish
18. Maverick, Last row
19. Millennium Force, 2nd row
20. Max Air (seats 49&50.. not that it matters)

Closed: Skyhawk, both days; Max Air, the first day; Maverick, Wicked Twister & MF all down for some time Thursday

Full Report:
We were at the gate by 9:40ish and sipped our coffee as we were marveling at the awesome looking Gatekeeper as it glides in front of the entrance and through the gate. When the gates opened at 9:50 we jogged/ran over to Gate Keeper. As has been mentioned before, they do assign seats but you can also tell them you want to wait for the front seat or the back seat. We tried the right side first even though we heard that the left side is more intense. 15-20 minutes later we found ourselves riding the front right seats of this brand new winged coaster, and both of our first winged coaster, since neither of us made it on Wild Eagle or X-flight last year. One thing I HAVE TO MENTION is about the restraints: Yes, they start out being extremely nice and flexible, but without exception, they end up suffocating me and hurting me when the train comes to a stop. This was the case for 3 out of 3 times, for 3 different seats, not only for me but only for my friend, Ashleigh. I'll give my full assessment of the ride later on, after I rode it a couple more times. Let's just say that for the first ride of the day it was VERY fun, and I really loved it, but it did feel a bit slow at times and the big airtime hill doesn't deliver much air.

Next up was Millennium Effing Force. We jogged again to Millennium force, and waited in line for probably 20 minutes or so, and another 10 for the front seat. I've ridden MF several times in my day, but OH-MY-GOD! I can't describe the feeling, if you haven't ridden MF in the front, you MUST. I'm generally a back-seat fan of hypers/gigas, but I recently have been changing my stance on that. There are no words to explain the rush, with only the lap bar on you, allowing all the air to rush though your mid and upper body. I agree that I305 is more intense at times, but the lap bar makes a HUGE difference!! It's like you're riding the track without a train - just your body and the track. It's so smooth and so forceful, I loved every millisecond of the ride. Wow.

Our next ride after a quick bathroom break was Maverick which always has a little longer lines than others.. I guess their capacity isn't that great and the operators aren't very efficient at times. So 45-50 minutes or so we got on the front seat (there isn't much of a longer line for the front seat than any other seat). Now, I remember Maverick being super forceful and intense, kind of like an I305 without the big drop. It's still pretty accurate! I now think the side-to-side "twisties" on I305 are more intense than Maverick's BUT that whole ride is still very forceful and the 95° first drop certainly adds to the overall intensity. The low airtime hills are SUPER powerful and amazing. Maybe B&M should learn something from Intamin - lower hills = more air while cresting them.

We then hit up the Dragster, after being extremely disappointed with Skyhawk being down and not looking like anyone is attempting to fix it or open it. Magnum was also down as we passed by it, so we went straight to Top Thrill. About 30-40 minutes or so and we were on the second row. Another top-class ride! Dragster remains on my top 10, easily beating out Apollo’s Chariot, Nitro and the likes (though Ashleigh doesn't agree about Nitro) and it's always an amazing and unparalleled rush.

Since Magnum was still closed we hit up Gatekeeper again, this time waiting for about 30-35 minutes including the wait for the back seat, this time on the left side. I'd definitely say that the left side is indeed more intense than the right side. Again, full review after the last time I rode it (coming up).

We kept hoping Max Air would open but it didn't, and waited for Wicked Twister which looked like it was about to open but didn't either. So we walked over to Magnum. Here was another epiphany: I have been a vocal opposer of MagnumXL200's eternal placing on the top 20 steel roller coasters.. I mean, yes it's tall (nothing special anymore) and it's 'classic' (meaning OLD) but all of a sudden, after riding it in the 2nd row, I realized that there is actually some quality airtime on this ride! I don't know why I didn't think it was that special all the other times - maybe I didn't sit in the right places, or maybe it's especially smoother this year, but that ride really delivered! 3rd hill had some very good air, as did the bunny hills the 2nd half of the ride! I still wouldn't put it on the top 10, but I now realize being on the top 50 is definitely a must for this ancient roller coaster.

After lunch, Iron Dragon was a nice little coaster to take a break with, especially with no lines, MF in the back was definitely awesome but NOT NEARLY as crazy, intense, "WOW"y as in the front(30-40min lines), and Dragster was actually surprisingly insane and intense in the middle of the train! Before dragster we were also in line for Maverick for about 30 minutes before it had technical difficulties which didn't seem to get solved for another several minutes, so we left and hit up the Dragster (as mentioned above)

Throughout the day we kept wasting time checking up on rides that were closed like Wicked Twister, Max Air and Skyhawk. We also did want to ride Mantis and the Power Tower, but these weren't as important as some of the other stuff in our opinion, since we had a limited time and Cedar Point has SO MUCH stuff to do, and we have both done all the rides there besides Windseeker and Gatekeeper.

I wasn't going to leave Cedar Point without riding Raptor, and after hearing it was a walk-on we made a point to go to it next. The line was about 10 minutes, and would have been another 10 minutes or so for the front row, but luckily they needed 2 riders so we obviously volunteered. Still a great ride! I will put it close to Montu and Alpengeist in the ride experience, with the awesome 0-g roll, forceful cobra roll and of-course the nice first drop which turns you to the left and then gets steeper.

Wicked Twister was about a 15-minute wait for the front, and delivered, though I personally think V2/Vertical Velocity is better in the back than Wicked is in the front. Wicked Twister in the back is not nearly as good because it only goes all the way up the back tower once.

Windseeker was a very nice surprise, and had an extremely nice breeze and views of the park. It doesn't leave you up there for a long time, but just enough to be like "Oh, sh** this is pretty high" and "Wow that's cool, look at all the rides!" while bringing you some breeze. Definitely better than its lower cousins in the Six Flags parks.

Then we waited for Max Air which looked like it was going to open any second, but the line for Gatekeeper was SO SHORT it was a crime not to go back on it and try another seat. The line actually started where you split off into 2 sides! (This was about 6:30-6:50 and the park was closing at 8pm). So we decided to hit up the front left, and again, after like 15 minutes we were right there! Ok, so now after having ridden it 3 times we felt like we can assess the ride:
First of all, it's a fun ride! It's very impressive from the outside and in. The front left we think is the best seat because you really hang over that dive drop and enjoy the full effect of half a barrel roll at 170' up in the air (which, doesn't that make it the tallest true inversion in the world?)
As you go down the drop it definitely picks up and the immelman is decently intense. The airtime hill could be way better if it was either 10mph faster or 20-30ft lower (which would make you crest it faster) and the really tall corkscrew is cool too. The 0-g roll through the gate is 100% the coolest in the front left, though you get a pretty good visual on the right front, but I feel like starting out going up and over feels more intense than going down and under. The turnaround slanted dive loop is pretty quick and cool, and I do also like the in-line-ish twist which is half-way between 0-g roll and a barrel roll. After the breaks there really isn't anything special besides the bunny hop which surprisingly delivers the most air of any element in the ride, but it lasts for about 0.3seconds. So overall it's a REALLY fun ride. If only the whole ride was like 10mph faster, or if B&M wouldn't build each element so high that the train barely clears it, it would be an AMAZING PERFECT NEW RIDE. But not having that, it falls just short of the 3 big Intamins: Maverick, MF and TTD. The restraints also become a real problem at the end, right as you get back to the station and are waiting for the next train to depart so that you can unload. That's about 30-90seconds of actual pain. This might need to be fixed if more people experience it, but it seemed pretty inevitable as we both experienced it every time on every seat. Other than that, the ride IS very very smooth and the fact is that we went back to it and completely skipped power tower, mantis and Gemini.

As we got off Gatekeeper, we waited in line for Max Air which had been running with people for the past 15 minutes, but as we were in line it broke again. So we got out of there and ran to Millennium Force, since it was getting into the last hour of operation. Did you know that you can get in line for rides up until 10 minutes AFTER the official closing time??? Well, Millennium Force was only running 1 train (red) and the line was over 45minutes which would have meant this was the last ride of the evening for us, especially if we wanted to ride it in the front row again. So we ran to Maverick and tried to see if we can get another ride on it, to make up for the wasted time and no ride earlier. We sat soewhere in the middle, and it was really awesome again. Then we went back to MF and waited out the 1 train line and ended up being literally the last ride of the day, not only on Millennium Force but in the entire park! When we got off the ride, there were no more rides running, since this line was so long and with only 1 train. Funny thing is that you can't wait for the front row if there are no longer enough people to fill trains after the park closes. Even if you had been waiting for the front seat, you have to get out of that row and fill in trains until there are no more riders.

Thursday Morning we were there again when the park opened for the General Public and hit up TTD for the front row. Granted this was a Friday and crowds were coming in more densely. But this was early enough for us to wait 20 minutes for the front row. WHAT A WAY TO START THE DAY!!!! TOP THRILL DRAGSTER! We still think it's better than Kingda Ka because of the lap-bars, which make it so much more intense in the front row!! What a rush. It's also generally smoother than Kindga Ka, though in the 2nd row we experienced some noticeable shaking the previous day.

We then hauled over to Magnum which was ok, but not as fun in the middle as in the front. Still a very unique and fun roller coaster. I really just developed a new appreciation for it, after years of thinking it wasn't anything special.

Next was Maverick, which apparently opens later than the rest of the roller coasters in the park. This was maybe 10:40am and the line was like 20 minutes. We rode it in the last seat and really loved it! This ride really delivers, but you really should hold the restraints on either side of your head with your hands to make the ride more comfortable, otherwise the "twisties" kind of throw your head around if you put your hands up the entire ride.

We REALLY wanted to get another world-winning ride on Millennium Force's front row. But even though they were running all 3 trains, the line was almost an hour until you get to the station, and looked like would have been another 40min-1hr for the front row, so we settled for the 2nd row, which was still awesome, but of course not as awesome as front.

At this point we wanted to start driving back to STL cause we still had a long drive and had things to do that night, but we paid a visit to the front of the park to see what was going on with our friends Gatekeeper and MaxAir. Well they were both running. We got in line for Gatekeeper, but realized even though the sign said 45min, it looked like it was going to be over an hour. We decided to just make Max Air our last ride because it really is fun and unique, so we waited the 30 minutes or so and were not let down. The only thing is that it was chilly this morning... I'll jus throw it out there for whatever it's worth.

Overall this was an AWESOME AWESOME time!! We had so much fun and definitely got our adrenaline rush, especially since I now live in Israel, where there are no good coasters... Skyhawk was the biggest disappointment, and we did get frustrated walking for many minutes to rides which turned out being closed. I wish they had HUGE banners and signs throughout the park announcing wait times for rides and any downs or re-openings. They should even have an app that tells you how long for each ride, or when a ride closes or opens. It would be SO convenient and would make your time more efficient.

Anyway, enjoy this really long report ;-)
Comments are welcomed.

User Submitted Picture
Re: Cedar Point 5/16-5/17 Short Trip Report w/ GateKeeper Reivew by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 5/22/13 8:39:50 AM
I think if you go to a park as big as CP and don't ever wait over an hour for a ride and get as many rides as you did, you had a phenomenal day!

Awesome TR, you just made me want Saturday to come even faster for me! (first time visit coming up!)

To comment on the restraints on Gatekeeper, that must be a Wingrider thing. I experienced it on Wild Eagle at Dollywood as well. I wasn't expecting it, but the force of the ride during inversions pushes it down. Of course I like to have a bit of space, plus I'm skinny, so it could have come down on me because of that. I wasn't in dire pain or anything, and I've experienced that with other rides, like Nitro, but if you're aware of the inversion it happens on, or maybe have the restraints "snug" from the get go, maybe it won't get slammed down.

So yeah, could be a Wingrider thing.

I agree on the speed of the train during inversions thing. Like how you described Gatekeeper as JUST making it through it's inversions. I'm not a fan of coasters that just get through high points with enough speed to make the decent, unless it's a hyper B&M and I'm on a huge airtime hill! hahaha

Awesome TR again, thanks for sharing. :)

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv