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June 17, 2008

Gemini Double-Racing Coaster Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Sandusky, OH -- Thirty years ago today, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio introduced Gemini, a double racing steel coaster that was also the tallest, fastest and steepest roller coaster in the world.

Gemini Roller Coaster Cedar Point
Cedar Point's Gemini made headline news around the world when it opened as the tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coaster in the world.

On June 17, 1978, Gemini debuted making headline news around the world. While the records no longer stand, the ride was impressive for its time. Gemini stands 125 feet tall, reaches speeds of 60 mph and has a 118-foot drop at 55 degrees, which was steeper than any roller coaster in the world.

To celebrate the anniversary today, Cedar Point guests will be able to sign a Gemini 30th Anniversary Banner to commemorate the occasion. The Gemini crew will also wear red or blue racing shirts while the top tunes of 1978 will be played at the ride.

Last year more than 1.4 million rode Gemini. Since opening, it's been one of the most popular rides at Cedar Point giving more than 83.5 million rides in 30 years.

The roller coaster cost $3.4 million to build.

Gemini is made up of approximately 600,000 board feet of unpainted Western Fir wood from Washington and Oregon. It uses nearly 4,000 feet of steel tubular track. It is Cedar Point's only racing coaster. The red and blue trains run side-by-side as they race along the figure-eight course that dips and turns for more than two minutes.

On that historic day three decades ago, two of Gemini's first riders were then Ohio Gov. James Rhodes and Cedar Point Chairman of the Board George Roose. The prestigious pair was greeted by the all-girl crew that worked the ride. Gemini's opening was delayed for more than a month because of the blizzard of January 1978 that stopped everything in its tracks in Northern Ohio.

The Gemini was the first of four Cedar Point roller coasters to hold the title as the "World's Tallest and Fastest Roller Coaster." Since then the park has introduced three other world-record-holders: the 205-foot-tall Magnum XL-200 (1989); Millennium Force (2000), a 310-foot-tall steel coasters that looms over Sandusky Bay and the 42-story Top Thrill Dragster (2003) that stands 420 feet tall and reaches speeds of 120 mph!

Known as the "Roller Coaster Capital of the World," Cedar Point has more rides and more roller coasters than any park in the world. Overall, it has 75 rides, including 17 roller coasters. Last summer, Cedar Point gave more than 32 million rides, including 16.4 million roller coaster rides.

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Photo courtesy of Cedar Point Amusement Park. All rights reserved.

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