Cedar Point -- The Amazement Park!
Some of my best memories as a child were the trips that my family took every year to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. My parents owned a rather large boat and we were able to make the trip from Mentor Lagoons by Yaght. Cedar Point has an excellent Marina with facilities for boaters who prefer to take the Lake (Lake Erie, that is), than to drive.
Every summer, around the time of my birthday in July, the four of us would climb aboard my father's boat (I would go to sleep in the cabin, rocked by the waves -- unless they were too rough! -- and the sound of the engine). The trip usually took about five hours, depending on the cruel nature of the lake, and then we would dock at the Cedar Point Marina.
Taking the boat was convenient. My father loved (and loves!) yaghting and the docking fees were far lower than the rate to rent a room for four people for a two day period. Though I have always longed to stay at the Sandcastle or the Breakers hotels, the boat served us well, with its roomy cabins, including a full galley.
The Roller Coaster Capital of the World
Cedar Point is the roller coaster capital of the world. It holds the world record for the most rollar coasters (with seventeen coasters!) and has often been the home to the largest and the fastest roller coasters in the world. In fact, Cedar point has more rides than any other amusement park in the world!
When I was a child, I found this quite intimidating. I was afraid of heights and I didn't enjoy roller coasters at all. My mother and my sister, on the other hand, loved them. My father would stay on the boat or hanging out at the Marina while "us girls" went into the park and played for twelve or fourteen hours before calling it a night and heading back to the dock.
Until I was fourteen years old, I never touched one of the roller coasters. Then my boyfriend when I was fourteen managed to get me to board what was, at that time, the largest and fastest roller coaster in the world. I guess there is something about young love! The Magnum XL-200 was terrific, and I loved every minute of it! That trip, it was followed by the Raptor and then we had to go home (unfortunately). I've been a roller coaster addict ever since!
A "Must See" For Thrill Seekers and Roller Coaster Lovers!
Cedar Point has the most amazing selection of roller coasters anywhere in the world. In fact, if you want to get the most out of your Cedar Point vacation, you need to plan on staying at least two days, if not three. Lines can occasionally be quite long and you'll want to hit all of the best rides -- including all of the seventeen rollar coasters in the park!
Cedar Point has long had a reputation for the biggest, the fastest and the best, but the competition has gotten quite fierce. It is still, however, an experience to ride the Mean Streak (one of the fastest and tallest wooden roller coasters in the world) or the Millennium Force! They may no longer be the biggest, but they are still some of the best!
Just for Fun -- Cedar Piont "Trailer"
Planning your Cedar Point Vacation
When planning your Cedar Point vacation, try to plan around times of the year when the park isn't going to be at its busiest (or its hottest!). Late spring and early fall are of course the best times to visit the park, due to school still being in session. You will find that the park is easier to access and that the lines are shorter during these times of year.
Plan to stay for two days. If you are a boater, consider the Marina -- it really is terrific! If not, there are two resorts attached to Cedar Point -- The Sandcastle and the Breakers. There are other, smaller hotels in the Sandusky area but plan on paying high rates for mediocre service in these hotels (I've stayed in one!).
The Blue Streak
The Blue Streak is the ride that saved Cedar Point! The park was close to shutting down in the 1950s and needed a headliner. Thus, the Blue Streak was built! At the time this wooden roller coaster was the most thrilling ride in the park!
45 years later, the Blue Streak still stands, overlooking the lake, and remains one of the favorite rides in the park. Even after so long there are almost always lines (and therefore a wait) to ride this roller coaster!
This ride drops you down one tall hill and then coasts you up and down a series of smaller hills before finishing.
The Cedar Creek Mine Ride
Even the most novice of coaster riders can handle the wonderful and nostalgic Cedar Creek Mine Ride! One of my favorites in the park, the Cedar Creek Mine Ride. This roller coaster is located in Frontier Town, one of the areas of the park where I have personally spent the most time.
The Cedar Creek Mine Ride is the second oldest roller coaster at Cedar Point (after the Blue Streak, and is surprisingly not a wooden roller coaster, as many think. In spite of its appearance, the Cedar Creek Mine Ride is made of steel tubing!
The Cedar Creek Mine Ride in Action
When it was built in 1976, the Corkscrew was the first roller coaster to have three inversions. Growing up, I can remember this being my mother's favorite roller coaster, but even in my later years, I found that unless you reach a particular height the harness can give you a bit of a bashing.
This coaster is a patriotic coaster, featuring the colors red, white and blue in honor of the nation's bicentennial in 1976. It features prominently on the midway and visitors will be able to walk under the coaster itself!
I have never ridden this roller coaster. The lines are "hidden" inside the building and I am therefore cautious, as with the Blue Streak, to join the queue only to find myself waiting for three hours.
Disaster Transport was formerly "Avalanche Run," and the coaster cars resemble bobsleds as a result. Since then, the coaster has been re-themed and brought indoors.
Sadly, this roller coaster is being gradually shut down and most of the special effects have now been turned off, including, in 2008, the sound.
Disaster Transport Commercial
The Gemini is a true Cedar Point classic, and one of my favorite coasters in the entire park. It includes two tracks (which run parallel for most of the ride) and two trains, red and blue. The trains "race" one another back into the station.
This coaster is known as a wooden roller coaster but is truly a hybrid of wood and steel. It therefore has the best of both worlds, the ability for the trains to go "inside" the structure of the coaster as well as a smoother ride provided by the steel.
Cedar Point claims that at the time this ride debuted in 1978 that it was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world!
The Iron Dragon
Built in 1987, the Iron Dragon is the first coaster I can actually remember being built at Cedar Point. At the time of its creation, the Iron Dragon claimed to be the world's first suspended/inveted roller coaster.
I love it. This is a simple, easy ride with a shoulder harness over the water and through the mists. The ride is fantastic and the lines are almost always short. Anyone visiting Cedar Point should give this steel coaster a go!
The Iron Dragon
The Magnum XL-200
Ah... The classic! The first coaster I ever rode!
Built in 1989, the Magnum XL-200 was the first complete-circuit roller coaster to break the 200 foot barrier. In its time, this coaster was truly huge and monstrous and was, for quite a period of time, the largest coaster in the world.
There were, for a while, rumors circulating that the structure was sinking into the ground and that it would be moved, but the Magnum XL-200 still stands!
The Magnum XL-200
Opening in 1996, the Mantis was the first roller coaster to allow for passengers to stand up during the ride!
Having ridden this coaster, I can tell you that it is one of the best at Cedar Point, but you must ensure that you take the front car of the train, as the coaster can cause quite a pain in the groin (I'm female, I can't imagine what this would do to men!). The seats are similar to bicycle seats.
The Maverick is the newest addition to the Cedar Point family of roller coasters, built in 2007. I regret to say that I have not so much as seen this coaster, but it gives me an incentive to get back to Cedar Point in the summer!
The Mean Streak
The Mean Streak was added in 1991 and I remember my mother being very excited to try this ride before roller coasters became too much for her.
This is a classic wooden roller coaster in the tradition of the first coaster ever at Cedar Point, and it can be a true "mean" ride. When choosing this coaster, please be aware that though it is truly up to par with all the other great coasters at Cedar Point, the wooden structure can cause a lot of jostling and you may come away with a headache. Be prepared with some aspirin, the ride is worth it!
This is also a long ride as the video below shows!
The Millennium Force
In 2000, Cedar Point once again crushed records with the Millennium Force roller coaster, the first roller coaster in the world to be more than 300 feet high! This is the type of coaster that you truly have to see to believe!
The Millennium Force has been repeatedly voted one of the best roller coasters in the world, though it is no longer the largest and fastest (these records are so fickle!).
In my opinion, this ride changed the park. Although Cedar Point had always been dedicated to roller coasters during my lifetime, this coaster changed the layout of the park and emphasized the focus on the coasters.
The Millenium Force
The Raptor is probably my favorite ride at Cedar Point. Only for the Raptor would I wait in line in the blazing heat for three hours in order to board -- and then do the same thing all over again as soon as I got off!
The raptor was the 11th coaster built at Cedar Point, added in 1994 and at the time was the largest inverted coaster in the world.
The most amazing thing about this roller coaster is the way that it feels to have your feet hanging free in the air. I remember coming off the ride feeling as though my feet had gone numb. Insane! And wonderful!
Top Thrill Dragster
The Top Thrill Dragster debuted in 2003 and was loosely defined as a "full circuit coaster" making it the tallest of its type at that time. This is a hydraulically-launched coaster, which only adds to the thrill of riding it!
At the time of its opening, the Top Thrill Dragster set five new records!
Top Thrill Dragster
The Wicked Twister
The Wicked Twister was not the first roller coaster of its kind, but it is the tallest and fastest inverted roller coaster in the world!
This coaster is quite a thrill to ride, as the coaster is propelled forward rather than being dragged by chains. Upon boarding the car, you will hear a countdown and the train will shoot out of the gate and up the twisting track.
The ride spirals back down the track (backwards) and up the other side (backwards).
The Wildcat is a "crazy mouse" style roller coaster, quite an old design. This coaster was originally built in 1970, but has since been moved twice.
It's a nice little coaster, and rarely has much of a wait if you are interested in taking this crazy mouse for a ride!