My Vacation: The Rides! Part One

5 Sep

After the long drive and a night in the hotel resort came a long day at the park. We arrived early and I took the opportunity to take a picture of the entrance:

We are really here!!

We are really here!!

Once we got in we walked (most everyone else ran) around the corner to our first coaster of the day: Millennium Force. Even though we did not run, we were still there in time to get on the 2nd train of the day. Millennium Force opened in 2000 (hence the name) and was the first coaster in the world to break the 300 foot barrier. Its lift hill sits a whopping 310 feet off the ground with AMAZING views of the rest of the park and Lake Erie. The coaster moves up the lift hill very quickly (15mph) and sends you over that 310 foot peak into an 80 degree 200 foot drop hitting a top speed of 93 mph before going up the next hill. The ride has no true inversions (never goes upside down) but the speed and over-banked corners combined with the insane airtime on the smaller hills made this an unbelievable ride. When it opened it broke 12 World Records!

View of the 310 foot lift hill from the ground

View of the 310 foot lift hill from the ground

This ride is definitely not for those who are afraid of heights…or is it? My dad is afraid of heights but for some reason he decided that riding a couple of the biggest baddest roller coasters in the world was something that he wanted to do. I was actually shocked to see Dad had followed us through the queue. He looked like a ghost getting off of the ride however. He then decided to jump on with us when we rode the newest roller coaster at Cedar Point, The Maverick.

The Maverick opened in 2007 and was voted Best New Ride by Amusement Today in 2007 and is an awesome coaster. It features not one, but two launches! The first is a launch up the lift hill so you fly over the peak and immediately into a 95 degree drop. For those of you who know your geometry, 95 degrees is actually MORE than straight down. The track actually turns back towards the lift hill for an amazing drop. The Maverick features smaller trains which whip through 10 over-banked turns with great airtime on the hills.

Here is a bad pic of The Maverick with Lake Erie in the background

Here is a bad pic of The Maverick with Lake Erie in the background

The second launch area actually takes place in a tunnel and is a slight mind trick. If you aren’t paying attention you feel the coaster slow in an enclosed area and you think that the ride is done. It then launches you back up to 60+ mph for the finish of the ride. This is a very good coaster with a unique element named the “Twisted Horseshoe Roll.” Whenever a ride features a launch system there is always the possibility of rollback (when the coaster is launched but does not manage to clear the hill and rolls back into the launch area). There are signs warning of the possibility on The Maverick, but I had not read that they were as common. Seeing one while on the next ride I will speak of is much more common. On our second ride of The Maverick I experienced my first rollback. This rollback was not caused by any mechanical failure but was actually a safety concern. A teenage girl sitting behind me had not listened to the multiple warnings and was wearing her glasses. Wearing glasses down a 95 degree drop? Not the best idea. The ride operator hit the E-Stop, but we had already begun the launch. We made it about 3/4 up the hill before the brakes hit and then we slowly rolled back down. It was fun to experience a rollback, but the delay it caused was annoying.

My dad decided after Maverick that he would take a break when we headed to the tallest fastest coaster in the park, Top Thrill Dragster. Top Thrill Dragster was the first roller coaster to top the 400 foot barrier (yes, I said 400 feet!) and was the first to reach over 120 mph, which it does on its launch. Since this ride is a dragster the start of the run is actually timed with a “tree” of lights. The initial thrust of this ride is unparalleled! The ride takes you from 0 to 120+mph in less than four seconds. That is not a typo! Unfortunately the day we were there the speed sign was not working so I cannot tell you the exact speed of my rides. The ride launches you that fast because at the end of the launch is a turn 90 degrees straight up! The ride’s momentum takes you 420 feet in the air where you go over the peak and plummet 420 feet down. The drop has a 270 degree twist before you hit the finish line and brake area. The ride takes only 17 seconds to cover 2,800 feet of track!

View from the ground

View from the ground

Trying to give you some perspective

Trying to give you some perspective (those aren't junior coasters in the background)

Now, I am not one of those people ballsy enough to carry my camera on the ride, but while in the queue line I shot a video of the ride in motion. It isn’t the best, but it is something!

Check back tomorrow for some more rides and my top 5 list from this trip!!!

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4 Responses to “My Vacation: The Rides! Part One”

  1. erin September 5, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    omg, i would have thrown up. seriously, 400 feet? i love roller coasters, but don’t think i could do that.

  2. sunshinekmp September 5, 2008 at 8:17 pm #

    Crazy!!!! I don’t think I could ride that last one though!

  3. Dating Tips from Derek October 17, 2008 at 2:04 am #

    wow that roller coaster is scary. But I guess Ill enjoy myself when I get there. I have a fear of heights before but I over come it by riding roller coasters and now, it is my favorite ride for all time.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Vacation: The Rides! Part Two « Eternal Rambling of a Boy With Two Brains - September 6, 2008

    […] 6, 2008 by Joe O. So I split the rides up because there was too much to talk about! Yesterday I wrote about our first three rides (Millennium Force, Maverick and Top Thrill Dragster) and all […]

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