When Steel Vengeance was announced I, like most enthusiasts, knew I’d be making a pilgrimage to the coaster mecca of the world. I already though Cedar Point had the world’s best coaster collection (sorry Magic Mountain fanboys), so adding potentially the world’s best roller coaster is a display of riches beyond belief. I was fortunate enough to be in Pittsburgh for work and Cedar Point was *only* an extra 3 hours away so it was a no brainer for me.
I planned to be at Cedar Point Wednesday-Friday and was prepared to get FastLane Plus every day if need be to avoid that horrifyingly long Steel Vengeance line. Work finished up early on the Tuesday, so I was able to arrive in Sandusky 2.5 hours before Cedar Point closed. I made a pit stop at Target to get some light reading for the queue line (since my phone would be trapped in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo) and checked into my luxurious accommodations for the next four nights.
After making my way through the Magnum gate, I was drawn to Steel Vengeance like bugs to Cedar Point riders. Was there any doubt where I’d head first? The queue was only an hour, which seemed incredibly short based on the wait times I had seen all summer. I threw everything except my fantasy football prep magazine into a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. The employees stopped me at the entrance and pointed to the massive bulge in my pocket, but they had no issues when I showed them it was a crumpled up Sports Illustrated.
The wait was painstakingly slow and my anticipation mounted as I’d see a train full of screaming riders speeding over the airtime buffet. It’s a shame I missed out on all the great photo opportunities, but it was for the benefit of my fantasy football team. The Brady Bunch are currently 1-2 thanks to all the sleepers I read up on busting. Or maybe it’s because I have a ton of Patriots but that's besides the point.
They were assigning seats, but they were more than happy to grant me the back row. Of the almost 40 rides I had on Steel Vengeance, my seating requests were obliged all but twice. The loading procedure was significantly faster than what I had seen days prior at Twisted Cyclone or all summer at Wicked Cyclone. It’s almost as if they were preparing for the third train to be added the day after I left Cedar Point. Though despite a million warnings, there was always at least one yahoo who would pull down their restraint. Or even rarer, you’d have the following exchange:
Employee- “What’s that in your pocket?”
Employee- “Show me.”
Guest pulls out phone.
Employee- “No phones allowed. You cannot ride.”
Guest storms off angrily after blatantly lying to the employee.
The view up the lift was incredible. On one side you had the marina. On the other side, you had the most spectacular theme park skyline out there. Though it was admittedly hard to focus on because of the deafeningly loud lift hill and anticipation of awesomeness ahead. We crested the lift and it was pure coaster euphoria.
I had seen multiple reports calling the first drop the most forgettable part of the coaster. I call BS. Maybe the sheer length of this coaster causes you to forget the first drop is even part of the attraction, but it’s truly one of the best drops out there. The yank in the back is incredible and it’s complete ejector the whole way down. RMC drops are always awesome and this is an even longer version.
The following speed hill has a quick pop of air, but it’s easy to forget considering what follows. You have two massive camelbacks giving some El Toro level airtime. It’s massive sustained ejector. The second of the two is an outward banked camelback and the highlight of the ride. Getting that kind of airtime while being launched sideways is one of the most memorable coaster elements out there.
The hill leading into the first inversion gives another strong pop and that’s followed by an incredible zero-G roll. It’s extremely whippy, but the unique thing is that the pullout is a miniature drop that keeps riders out of their seat. Just picture being suspended upside down and still being firmly out of your seat when you’re eventually right-side up. That’s followed by an inversion that’s arguably even wilder. It’s one of RMC’s beloved zero-G stalls, but this one is different in that the train is barreling downwards during the element. The snap as it uncorks is absolutely vicious in the best way possible.
There’s a sudden drop with some powerful airtime and that’s followed by arguably the most intense part of the ride, the double up into the brake run. The pullouts on both hills are extremely tight and banked, resulting in a crazy combination of ejector air and side-splitting laterals. The MCBR did slow the train down a bit on each of my rides, but it wasn’t enough to thwart that second half.
The drop off the MCBR isn’t anything more than some mild floater, but it regains all your speed. It honestly may be as tall as the first drops on several of their other I-Box coasters. The double up provides two powerful pops of air and that’s followed by this slow, funky banked turn with some really awesome airtime. The train then dives back into the structure, whips around an overbank, and snaps riders through a speedy zero-G roll.
You reemerge outside the structure for two more airtime hills before charging back into the structure. The wave turn isn’t quite as good as the ones on other RMCs, but the amount of headchoppers is insane. That’s followed by a hangtime-filled zero-G roll that I think is most notable for the abrupt transition afterwards that leads into the homestretch- 6 tiny hills. Each hill tries to launch riders from the train and you barely return to the seat before you’re ejected again. The electricity as the train hits the brake run is palpable. Everyone knows they experienced a truly world-class coaster.
Steel Vengeance is an incredibly long and awesome experience. Just to put it into perspective, the first half alone is a top 5 ride in the world and the second half is probably a top 10-15 steel coaster. Each half could successfully exist as its own highly-ranked coaster, but Cedar Point went for the gold with Steel Vengeance. Was it the world’s best coaster? Maybe. I needed a night ride to confirm. 10 out of 10
I had every intention of getting back in line prior to close, so that left me with an hour to make a quick lap around the park. Maverick’s queue was too long, so I settled on Skyhawk. It definitely feels taller than the other screamin’ swings, particularly when you swing above the midway, but it still suffers from the painfully short cycle. There were only 4 max swings I believe. Each swing gave some great airtime and that’s the problem, I always want more. 8 out of 10
Since Cedar Creek Mine Ride isn’t on FastLane, it was one of my priorities for the evening. The ride was a total walk-on and so deserted that they were roping off the back two cars. I waited an extra train for the front. It was predictably jerky like most of the older Arrow mine trains, but I do like the ride’s location around the pond. I was also caught off guard by a tiny pop of air on the second hill. While it’s a decent coaster, it’s really just a one-and-done at Cedar Point due to their collection’s quality. 5 out of 10
I planned to hit Gemini, but I noticed something far more intriguing; Top Thrill Dragster was testing. The strata coaster had been still for my first hour in the park. That wasn’t a shock considering the ride has a 33% chance of being down for wind and a 33% chance of being down for mechanical issues. I booked it over to Top Thrill Dragster where a decent-sized queue had begun to form. No less than 5 minutes later, they let us into the queue and I was only four trains from the front.
I anxiously watched thinking each launch may be the last, but I boarded and rolled up to the launch track without incident. When the Christmas tree turned green, we shot off like a rocket. I could feel the lenses on my glasses warping backwards from the brute force of the launch. It’s absolutely breathtaking. The climb is always suspenseful. Would we make it over? It never feels like it will, but it made it. I guess the proper gauge is if I get that nice pop of air at the top. It’s over in a flash, but it delivers on its promise. You really do race for the sky and reach it. 9 out of 10
Knowing it wouldn’t have a line, I had just enough time to squeeze in a quick ride on Magnum. Magnum is a polarizing coaster. It’s a borderline painful coaster experience. With B&Ms, every hill seems meticulously crafted down to the last tenth of a G. I feel like Ron Toomer just shrugged his shoulders, grabbed a coat-hanger, and bam, Magnum was created.
The lift provides some outstanding views of Lake Erie and the first half has some decent airtime, but the ride’s bread and butter is that return leg. It’s so wrong that it’s right. The pullout over each bunny hill is so abrupt that riders are violently launched skywards. I can’t emphasize how important it is to fully tighten down your seatbelt. Failure to do so may inhibit your ability to have kids. 9 out of 10
I returned to Steel Vengeance just in the nick of time and was surrounded by fellow coaster enthusiasts in line. They were quickly recognizable by their Knoebels, Coaster Studios, and ACE t-shirts. Further back, there was someone in a West Coast Bash t-shirt. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that at least half the train was populated with coaster enthusiasts.
While the coaster didn’t feel any faster at night (I mean it was absolutely hauling earlier anyway), weaving through the structure was absolutely mesmerizing. Being enveloped by structure while simultaneously barreling through a zero-G roll or wave turn made it impossible to tell which way was up and which way was down.
Steel Vengeance is without a doubt my number one steel coaster. I can’t quite give it the edge over Lightning Rod though. Steel Vengeance may be a significantly longer ride, but I think each of Lightning Rod’s pack a stronger punch and that setting (particularly at night) takes it over the edge. Lightning Rod really is my dream coaster, so it’d be hard for any coaster to top. Steel Vengeance came close though.
Day 2 began with the Running of the Bulls. I knew I’d be fighting a mob going to Steel Vengeance first thing in the morning, but I was sort of intrigued by the challenge. I sort of wish the Magnum gage wasn’t available for early entry purely so I could watch all the sprinters collapse halfway through the park when they realize Steel Vengeance is a mile back.
After everyone stood all patriotic during the national anthem, but once the word “brave” was said, it was like everyone awoke from a hypnotic trance and charged forwards. As a 7 letter varsity athlete in high school (chess and math team totally count
), I was towards the front of the crowd. I was the fourth to reach Steel Vengeance’s plaza and the first at the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo. The employees were reminding everyone that no phones were allowed so I thought I would walk right onto the front row. Not so fast.
It probably took me a minute or two by the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo, but that was enough time for the line to stretch back to the gift shop. I find it hard to believe all 100 people ahead of me all didn’t have a cell phone. Heck I saw the person ahead of me playing Pokemon Go before we were admitted into the queue. But no one was stopped. Not one person. I was a bit upset my athletic performance was put to waste (much like Tom Brady in the Super Bowl last year), but that’s the price of being an honest Boy Scout.
I probably had to wait 8-9 trains for the front, but it was worth it. While I preferred the back for full effect of that first drop and the extra snap in the inversions, it was another incredible experience. The visuals of Mean Streak’s former structure are breathtaking. I didn’t notice just how many headchoppers there were the day before. This ride would give a NBA player a heart attack.
One of the best benefits of Steel Vengeance is that it has made every other attraction a ghost town for early entry. I was able to walk right onto Maverick twice, once in the front and once in the back. I’m very thankful for the soft straps, but does anyone else find the seats to be a pain in the butt (literally)? By the end of Maverick, I always seem to be sitting directly on the crotch nub. Nonetheless I still do really enjoy Maverick.
It’s an intense jack-of-all-trades that really does everything- drops, turns, airtime, inversions, and launches. And it does everything well. The airtime on that first drop is ridiculously powerful and the snappy turns are like a miniature Intimidator 305. Those turns are so intense that they always reset my watch. The photogenic camelback gives some epic ejector air and that’s followed by two inversions that were better and snappier than I remembered.
Then I was pleasantly surprised by the added theming in the launch track. It wasn’t much, but the added lights and sounds of the railroad crossing was a very nice touch. The launch is pretty strong, but I think that abrupt turn at the end of the tunnel is more intense. How many launches, especially at such a high speed, are followed by a turn rather than a hill? Not many.
The finale is bonkers. The post-launch hill maybe gives a hint of air, but the next two Stengel dives are out-of-control. I probably would have hated these with the hard restraints, but with the soft straps, I had no issue with Maverick trying to fling me sideways into Lake Erie. That’s followed by one more strong airtime hill for good measure and a run into the brake run.
Maverick could be the star attraction at most parks. Yet at Cedar Point, it’s three for me. That’s more a testament to the rest of the collection. It really is a perfect ride outside of the seat molds. 9.5 out of 10
I had an interesting dilemma. Do I get FastLane Plus? On one hand, the park was as empty as it’d ever be. The last full week of operations and forecasted downpours kept crowds away. FastLane would only be necessary for Steel Vengeance. Even still, Steel Vengeance’s queue was only at the 45 minute mark. On the other hand, I had heard it wasn’t unheard of for Steel Vengeance’s FastLane queue to reach 30-45 minutes on busier days.
The rare opportunity to marathon Steel Vengeance won out and I caved for a FastLane. I have zero regrets. I was able to ride Steel Vengeance 30 times in one day. FastLane was a complete walk-on and I was often on every third train. In retrospect, I probably should have ridden it more considering the following two days were considerably busier, but I wanted to complete a full loop of the park.
But there was one lengthy queue I couldn’t skip. And that was Chick-fil-a. I’m very fortunate I grabbed my delicious fried chicken sandwich before the lunch rush since the queue line often stretched back to the chairswings. Usually slow service would be to blame, but they were efficient. I think it’s the chain’s popularity and their affordability. While every other restaurant in the park has the typical amusement park prices, Chick-fil-a’s prices seemed no different than any of their outside locations.
Usually I skip shoot-the-chutes unless they have gratuitous fire effects, but I decided to give Snake River Falls a spin since it was pretty humid out and the fact that it’s twice as tall as the others out there. Alas Snake River Falls proved bigger isn’t always better. The drop is severely trimmed. It’s like there’s a resistance band tugging on the boat the whole way down, which sapped out all of the thrills.
As a precaution, I avoided the front row in case the nose dipped below the water a la Escape from Pompeii. I fully expect to get drenched on these shoot the chutes, I just don’t want my sneakers to be swimming. But I was in for a very unpleasant surprise. I rode in the back and during the drop, a cascade of water entered through the bottom rear of the boat and flooded my sneakers. I’m not sure if there’s a hole or what, but the final splashdown was far less soaking than that. 4 out of 10
90% of the time, I skip SkyCoasters. The exception is if I can ride one for $10 or less. My Fun Spot season pass grants me this opportunity on the two in Florida, but I’ve also been able to ride the ones at Lake Compounce and Six Flags Great Adventure during holiday events. I guess swinging from an exposed metal archway is the last thing people want to do when the temperature is at freezing.
Frontier Fling was moved to the plot where the ill-fated Shoot the Rapids once stood. I noticed single riders were only $10 as opposed to the usual $30-40. I figured others would be jumping at the bit as well, but the ride has two things working against it. One, it’s rare for a SkyCoaster to be dwarfed, but that happens at Cedar Point. Even Millennium Force’s 2nd or 3rd overbank stands taller in height. Second, it’s a bit recessed from the main pathway so I could see people breezing right by it on the way to Millennium or Maverick.
While it’s always gut-wrenching to pull that ripcord, the ones at Fun Spot have spoiled me. The drop on this one felt a whole lot shorter. It barely felt like I was traveling straight down before the pullout began. If you’ve never done a SkyCoaster, $10 is an awesome deal, but I can’t recommend this if you’ve been on any of the bigger models out there. 7 out of 10
How have I written such a long report and not talked more about Millennium Force? I absolutely love that coaster, but unfortunately the maintenance staff probably weren’t as enamored with the blue beast as me. It was down the two days leading up to my visit. But then I saw a test train cycling. I high-tailed it over there and saw two more trains cycle through. Things were looking up, but then Millennium stalled at the base of the lift hill. Aw shucks.
Iron Dragon tried cheering me up. It’s hard not to smile when you see a rare Arrow suspended, but Iron Dragon probably has the worst layout among them. It simply doesn’t do much. It doesn’t go fast enough to induce the swinging that a Vortex or Bat can. The lone good swing comes as the ride enters into the brake run. Iron Dragon is scenic and a decent family coaster, but definitely a one-and-done at Cedar Point. 5 out of 10
The skies were darkening as I entered into Rougarou’s queue. My front row ride went without a hitch, but I tried to reride in the back row when the heavens opened up. A complete deluge fell from the sky and Rougarou’s floating queue line started to flood. Needless to say the coaster closed. But at least there was some entertainment as a poor employee had to weather the storm to transfer off two trains.
I patiently played Roller Coaster Tycoon until the storm stopped. At that point, the employee transferred back on a second train and I was treated to a back row ride. The layout is undeniably unique for a floorless coaster. The tilted loop and Georgia Scorcher-esque twisty finale in particular stand-out, but it’s a coaster I need to ride defensively (i.e. lean forward) to fully enjoy. It’s a solid coaster but Cedar Point has better loopers towards the front of the park. 7 out of 10
While not a conventional looper, Valravn is technically one such coaster. I think Valravn tops all other dive coasters in terms of layout and that view is breathtaking, but those vest restraints prevent the copious floater air that a Griffon or SheiKra can provide. I love those vest restraints on inversion-centric coasters, but not rides centered around airtime.
You still can feel a bit of airtime though. I’m not saying the coaster goes all Great America’s Grizzly. The immelmanns are graceful, but not overly forceful. For forces, I know there’s a green bird right down the midway. The one inversion I really love is that super slow-mo zero-G roll. Time really does stand still as you crawl through it. Unfortunately it’s probably my least favorite dive coaster due to the restraints, but it’s still a fun coaster. 8 out of 10
Blue Streak is my guilty pleasure ride at Cedar Point. I don’t hear many people singing the praises for this classic wooden coaster. Admittedly, you need to ride in either the very front or second row. Otherwise, you will get a spine adjustment. But in those two seats, you are treated to a smooth ride with some magical airtime.
Every single hill offers airtime. The larger hills offer small pops, but the smaller speed hills launch you right into that lap bar. I suspect this coaster had buzz bars at one point and I can only dream how awesome that airtime would have been. I think I probably rode Blue Streak more than anything not named Steel Vengeance, Millennium (spoiler alert- it reopened), and Maverick. It’s always a walk-on and I can’t help but come off smiling. 8.5 out of 10
Raptor may have topped Top Thrill Dragster for downtime during my visit. When it wasn’t down for wind, Raptor was down for some technical issues. I don’t think it opened at all on my last day at the park. For that reason, I consider myself lucky to have snagged two rides on it since I now have a much more favorable opinion on this invert.
I never hated Raptor, but I found it to be one of B&M’s poorer inverts. I have to apologize and say I have no clue what I was smoking 2-3 years ago. This is one of the most forceful inverts out there. I was greying out on the loop, being flung like a ragdoll on the zero-G roll, and snapped through the cobra roll and corkscrew. The whole coaster is violent in the best way possible, except for that jolt into the brake run. That’s just violent. 9 out of 10
GateKeeper is the perfect foil to Raptor. Raptor offers 6 leg-numbingly intense inversions; Gatekeeper offers 6 floaty inversions. Actually I need to correct myself. GateKeeper has 4 floaty inversions. That wing-over drop actually caused me to see some grey and in some ways feels like a bizarro pretzel loop. The near-misses with the towered entrance are really convincing, especially since they seem to be taken in slow motion. Plus there’s that nice, air-time filled camelback straight out of one of their hyper coasters. I really do like GateKeeper, even if I now do prefer Raptor slightly. 8.5 out of 10
Wicked Twister is one of the forgotten children of Cedar Point. At a park like Dorney, their impulse is a star attraction. At Cedar Point, it’s no more popular than a flat ride. I don’t know why, but speeding towards the end of the tower freaks me out considerably more on Wicked Twister than the other impulse coasters. There’s no palpable air, but the uncork offers some wild laterals. 6 out of 10
Luck was on my side as Windseeker was actually operating. Say what you want about these Mondial reliability nightmares, but I find the ride experience superior to the star flyers. And Cedar Point’s is the crown jewel. Cedar Point’s skyline is mesmerizing in its own right, so adding in Lake Erie is just unfair. I don’t know if any large swing ride could ever top this one’s placement.
I like it a fair bit more than several of the park’s coasters and it’s my favorite flat there. It’s just cruel irony that a ride called Windseeker can’t operate in wind. 10 out of 10
I wasn’t sure if I’d even ride Corkscrew since I remember the ride doing a fair bit of screwing. I decided to ride up front this time and was treated to an ok ride. It’s far from great, but the corkscrews didn’t make me question why I ride these aging Arrow coasters. That airtime hill following the first drop has some sneaky awesome air and I’ve always found Arrow loops to be criminally underrated. 5 out of 10
Gemini is another guilty pleasure of mine at Cedar Point. Like Blue Streak, it’s always a walk-on, has some good airtime, and is smooth if you avoid certain seats. This is one that you have to ride in the peak hours. If you ride early or late in the day, the park may only run one side. That takes away the rare opportunity to slap hands with follow riders as you speed around the turnarounds.
I can’t decide if I prefer Gemini in the front or back. The back’s airtime is stronger when it occurs, particularly on the first drop and drop before the final turnaround. Meanwhile the front’s air is more plentiful. Fortunately I could just keep riding both as the line was never more than 1-2 trains. 8 out of 10
The crowds were already pretty light before the rainstorm, but the park seemed totally empty at close. Steel Vengeance was a walk-on. I’m not sure if that has happened at any other point this year, but my FastLane was comically unnecessary in the final hour. The empty queue was so unexpected that the wait time sign outside couldn’t accurately depict the wait time. I think 30 minutes is the smallest it went.
I couldn't think of a better way to end the night.
But then I saw something off in the distance. It was a mysterious force. It was a Millennium Force. And it had riders! There was only 15 minutes before closing, so I scurried down the Frontier Trail hoping my enthusiast eyes weren’t seeing a mirage.
And then I found out why Steel Vengeance’s queue was empty. I think everyone in the park was waiting for Millennium Force. Apparently the coaster opened about an hour before closing and I must not have gotten the memo. The queue was through the entire first set of switchbacks. Millennium Force’s FastLane queue is one of the longest in the park because of how early the merge point is, but I can’t complain about skipping 2/3 of the wait. I had a dilemma as I approached the station. Would I play it safe and grab row 2 or the back? Or would I go for broke and try to get the front? I’m a high roller. I went for the front.
Unfortunately I realized I would be 3-4 trains short, so I moved towards the back before it was too late. The operators made the last train of the night announcement. The others in the front row were too busy whining that they didn’t move to another row. I couldn’t help but chuckle, but the operators caved into their complaining and ran one more train.
Millennium Force has one of the best drops out there. In the back row, the airtime is absolutely divine, especially at night when you plunge into a black hole. Then that first overbank should immediately discredit anyone who nicknames this coaster Millennium Forceless. I often lose my eyesight until we’re through the tunnel. The rest of the ride is noticeably less enjoyable without the rush of wind you get in the front, but it’s still a lightning fast thrill with another 3 airtime moments. 9 out of 10 (back row)
There was little doubt where I was going for early entry the next day. I was going straight to Millennium Force. I queued up by the Marina Gate. I knew there’d be less people compared to Magnum the day before, but I didn’t realize just how empty it’d be. There couldn’t have been more than 50 people there and I was comfortably able to be the first rider over at Millennium with nothing more than a gallop.
Millennium Force was finishing its morning testing as it had graduated to three trains (it was only running two the night prior), but about 20 minutes into early entry it opened and there was little doubt where I was heading. In the back, Millennium Force is a very good coaster probably on par with the B&M hypers. In the front row, Millennium Force is a borderline top 5 steel coaster for me.
There’s nothing quite like leaning forwards on that first drop. With those open trains, it feels like you’re skydiving. Then the rush of wind makes everything better. The speed feels twofold faster. The airtime feels stronger. And there’s just something undeniably awesome flying through Millennium Island as you murder bugs by the dozen. It was breathtaking and I needed more.
Upon returning to the station, my eyes were opened to the wonders of the Magic Gate. What is the Magic Gate you may ask? When Millennium Force isn’t more than a station wait (something that can only happen at early entry or ERT), the operators pop open a gate that saves you the half mile walk down the exit ramp and back up the entrance. It’s glorious and everything that is right with America.
I’d like to thank Steel Vengeance for making this possible. But as Steel Vengeance gives, it also takes away. Steel Vengeance failed to open during Early Entry due to technical issues, so the crowd flocked on over. Still I was able to get five front row rides to start the day before the line reached the merge point. 10 out of 10 (front row)
I considered FastLane Plus again, but Steel Vengeance’s FastLane queue was at the entrance for most of the day. I suspect people who were scared by the bad weather the day prior changed their plans to such a beautiful and sunny day. I caught the line when it was only an hour and hopped in line at closing when it was only a half hour, so I still got two rides on Cedar Point’s new marquee attraction.
I didn’t have too many issues riding anything else without FastLane. I did have to hit Maverick early, but other than that, I tacked up rerides on coasters and hit a few other rides I missed the day prior. These included:
Train- I had never ridden this before, but it is a pretty big timesaver going from Millennium to Maverick or Steel Vengeance. Plus it offers some rare views of the aforementioned coasters. 9 out of 10
Pipe Scream- Cedar Fair may not consider super loops coasters, but they consider these Zamperla diskos/skaters coasters when Six Flags doesn’t. So I guess the chains are even. Call them what you want, but I find these flats enjoyable. The spinning is pretty disorienting and I even got a tiny bit of air on the speed bump. 8 out of 10
Witches’ Wheel- I made sure to hit this enterprise in its final operating week. I was sliding around quite a bit in the car, but I still appreciate how intense these things are. 7 out of 10
maXair- I forgot how bulky maXair’s restraints are, especially considering SFNE added their giant discovery this year, but the ride cycle is outstanding. It gives 7-8 max swings and each offers some nice airtime. 8.5 out of 10
Power Tower- This is another tricky one to ride due to the wind, but it's worth the hassle. On the drop side, you have plenty of time to fully appreciate the view and you get some nice air on the way down as well. 8 out of 10
I also made sure to visit the Cedar Point museum. I’ve always found this the perfect escape from the sun, but I was wowed in particular by the Steel Vengeance model. I heard they had one, but I figured it’d be a detailed tabletop model. I didn’t realize it was going to be twice my height! That thing is incredibly impressive and now the best thing in the entire museum.
I also stuffed my face with food. Since Chick-fil-a’s line was out-the-door, I went with Chickie & Pete’s crabfries (they don’t taste like crab, but they’re delicious regardless), Cedar Point’s “famous” fresh cut fries (delicious, but small porition), and Pink’s. I got a cheesesteak hot dog at the latter. It was good, just very pricey.
My final day began and ended with Millennium Force. I decided to repeat my early entry strategy, except I was in for a treat. Low and behold Single Rider Bob was there. He was an incredibly enthusiastic guy and clearly wanted you to know who he was. If the neon green t-shirt wasn’t enough, he also had “Single Rider Bob for President 2020” pens that he handed out.
Bob and I were in the front row of Millennium Force’s first train of the day. Sharing a ride with a Cedar Point legend was pretty cool to say the least. Bob prioritized getting as many rides as he could. I prioritized front row rides and probably got another 6 or so during early entry.
My final ride on Steel Vengeance at closing was a bitter-sweet ride. After several days at an awesome park like Cedar Point or Disneyland, you always feel a bit sad that it’ll be a while before you return. I couldn’t think of a better way to end the night, but Cedar Point said “hold my beer.”
I saw Magnum running on the way out. I was a bit puzzled since there was no conceivable way that coaster would have a longer queue than Steel Vengeance unless 100 enthusiasts were all in line waiting for the ejector seat. I asked the employee at the entrance what was going on and figured I’d be turned away, but surprise! It was Season Pass Holder Appreciation Weekend. Anyone with a Platinum Pass got an hour of ERT on Magnum.
As often as I’ve ridden Magnum, I don’t think I have ever ridden it at night. Millennium, Maverick, and now Steel Vengeance take priority at the end of the night. I went with the front row and the first half was its usual self. We careened into the pretzel turnaround and it was dead silent. Was it the closed water park? No it wasn’t that. Then it hit me. The trims were off. Holy guacamole. I was getting an untrimmed ride on Magnum! I was both excited and secretly terrified.
I was trying to fathom just how much more powerful those final bunny hills could get. Turns out the last 2-3 hills were no more powerful. But all of the hills leading up to it now offered comparably intense airtime. It was definitely an endurance test enduring such an aggressive barrage of airtime, but I loved every moment of it.
I would have been fine riding that the rest of the night, but out of curiosity I asked the operators if anything else was open. They informed me Top Thrill Dragster was supposed to open. “Supposed to” were the key words. Since that ride struggles to make it through a normal operating day, it wasn’t a surprise to see the coaster down for the count.
But the operators informed me Millennium Force was open as a replacement. Never have I been more thankful for Dragster’s reliability (or lack there of)! I made it on over and got an hour of ERT. Many riders took the Single Rider Bob approach and maximized their number of rides. I refused to sit anywhere but the front and got another 6-7 rides, never having to wait more than 2-3 trains. Now that was the perfect way to end my night!
Cedar Point is an absolute holy ground for coaster enthusiasts. I am hesitant to call it the best park since comparing it to theme parks like Disneyland is splitting hairs. Both excel where they want to. What I can say is that Cedar Point is one of the world’s best parks. No other park can match Cedar Point in terms of breadth and depth. That’s something that I could have said before Steel Vengeance, now I can say it with more conviction.