Cedar Point has been on my bucket list for as long as I've known it existed.
I'm pretty sure I heard about it on a Discovery Channel special on the world's best roller coasters, and it featured so many times, I just knew I had to go there. And after all these years of longing, we were on our way.
Arriving to Sandusky
The drive from Madison to Sandusky wasn't too painful, and it was early evening when we arrived and checked in to our cabin at the campground. It was cute, with only one room, but it had AC and it was cheap, which was all that mattered to us.
After dropping our gear, we headed to Walmart, of course. As we walked in, I pointed out to Zev that this marked exactly two months since we'd left New York at the start of our road trip, which was also the first time we went to Walmart on this trip. These are the milestones you need to keep track of.
With my dwindling underwear supply topped up, and a holographic new fanny pack and some anti-nausea medication added to my possessions, we were sorted for the next day.
We were a well oiled machine. I dutifully took my anti-nausea medication about an hour before I thought we'd be on our first ride (I didn't want a repeat of the blackout incident at Universal Studios), I had a stash of medication to top up with if I needed it, we packed all our necessities into my new fanny pack (most of ride don't allow purses or loose items in pockets, but 'waist packs' are fine, and we didn't want to have to pay for a locker), we were armed with a list of the top 10 roller coasters at the park, we'd researched the best order to do them in, and we'd bought tickets online. We arrived just after 10am, when the park opened, and went for it.
Top Thrill Dragster
We'd read that this ride was notoriously fickle, so it was best to get it out of the way early in the day while it was still running. We managed to catch it with a queue of less than five minutes, and I can tell you that it's better than a cup of coffee to start your day. This incredible roller coaster goes from zero to 120mph in less than four seconds before shooting you up an arched track 420 feet in the air. The whole thing is over in 17 seconds, and it's mind blowing.
With one ride already under our belts, we didn't mind waiting the 40 or so minutes to get on our next ride, Maverick. After an initial ascent, you drop 105 feet at a 95 degree angle (yes, you read that right, 95 degrees!) at 70 miles per hour. From there, it's 2.5 minutes of mind boggling fun, with twists and turns, and a 400 foot long speed launch through a pitch black tunnel.
After a stop for some snacks and a slurpie, we were ready for the next adventure.
The newest ride in Cedar Point, this is probably the best roller coaster I've been on in my life. Some say it's the best roller coaster in the world. A steel-wood hybrid, the framework of the roller coaster is wooden, but the track is steel. The result is an incredibly smooth ride, with inversions that wouldn't be possible on a solely wooden coaster.
The ride begins with a 90 degree drop at 74mph, and the entire ride features a world record breaking 27.2 seconds of airtime (meaning the time that you're not in contact with your seat). It contains four inversions, and it is FAST AS HELL.
For someone that worries a lot about motion sickness, I can tell you that this ride was a dream. It was so silky smooth that I felt no nausea at all, and had the time of my life. If it weren't for the massive lines, I would have ridden this roller coaster all day!
Gemini is a wooden racing coaster. While this coaster has well and truly been surpassed by the newer, faster, steeper and taller coasters in the park, it's still a fun ride. The red and blue trains set off at the same time, and throughout the ride, we passed each other a few times. Sadly, we were beaten in the end.
Next, we hit up a more classic coaster. Debuting in 1989, the Magnum XL-200 was the first hypercoaster in the world (ie the first to exceed 200 feet in height), and at the time was the tallest, fastest, and steepest complete circuit roller coaster in the world. The ride begins with a 205 foot climb to the top of the chain lift hill, before dropping you 195 feet at a 60 degree angle at 72mph. Unfortunately the ride hasn't aged well, and after riding the much newer Maverick and Steel Vengance, we really felt every shudder and bump on our two minute ride. It was still fun though, even if we spent the rest of the day checking for signs of internal bleeding...
This ride is an improvement of an older ride, named Mantis. Mantis was a stand up roller coaster, where riders straddled a kind of saddle during the ride. There were complaints from men regarding a level of... discomfort... and in 2015, the ride reopened as a floorless coaster, renamed Rougarou.
When the ride opened in 1995 as Mantis, it was the tallest, fastest and longest stand up coaster in the world. Although relatively tame now, it was still a fun ride with our feet dangling in the air.
Despite opening in 2000, Millennium Force is still considered among the best roller coasters in the world. Over the course of the two minute ride, you go up 310 feet before dropping at an 80 degree angle at 93 miles per hour. This was the fastest coaster we rode all day (aside from the Top Thrill Dragster, which was bonkers), and it was AWESOME!
This roller coaster holds a number of world records: tallest dive coaster, fastest dive coaster, longest dive coaster, longest drop on a dive coaster, most inversions on a dive coaster, and highest inversion on a dive coaster. This coaster was 2.23 minutes of amazing. After climbing to the top of the first dive, they hang you over the edge for four seconds before dropping you 214 feet at a 90 degree angle at 74 mph. Halfway through the ride, you reach another drop of 131 feet.
An inversion roller coaster, where the carriages are under the track, Raptor was the tallest, fastest and longest inverted roller coaster when it opened in 1994. Since then, the coaster has dated a little, but the 2 minute and 15 second ride still contains a most enjoyable six inversions, and reaches a top speed of 57mph.
Our last ride for the day, to complete our top 10, was the Gatekeeper. The tallest, fastest and longest wing roller coaster in the world (are you sensing a theme in the rides here??), the 2 minute 20 second ride takes riders up 170 feet before dropping them at 67 miles per hour. One of the highlights of the ride were the turns through impossibly tight keyholes right over the entrance to the park.
Thoroughly exhausted after a day in the heat and sun, being thrown around like ragdolls, we headed back to the campground to recover, and prepare for the final leg of our road trip - the drive back to New York.
Lots of love,
S & Z