People are often surprised when they find out that I am a roller coaster addict.  The image of an thrill seeking adrenaline junkie seems to be at odds with the mild mannered bookworm they see in front of them.  In fact, I grew up in fear of coasters.  Then, one time I was at an amusement park with my cousin, who is two years younger than me.  He was going to ride a roller coaster.  I didn’t want to show fear, so I mustered up the courage to ride.  The ride up the hill was incredibly harrowing … but a few seconds later I was hooked on coasters.

If you are a roller coaster addict, you must visit Cedar Point.  Cedar Point is located on a peninsula in Lake Erie, in Sandusky, Ohio. The Lake provides an absolutely incredible backdrop for many of the rides. Cedar Point features 17 roller coasters (more than any other park in the world) and a variety of other thrill rides. They have a wide variety of coasters. Whether you like wood, steel, standing, suspended, inverted, or even kiddie coasters, there is something you’ll like. I made my initial pilgrammage to Cedar Point in 2002, and returned there with my wife in 2005. I’m anxiously awaiting the day when my daughter is 48 inches tall. She’s halfway there, so it should just be a couple more years, right? Let’s jump right in and I’ll take you on a tour of some of my favorite rides at Cedar Point.
There are two Cedar Point coasters that I have not yet been able to ride.

  • Top Thrill Dragster is tops on my “most wanted” list.  It opened in 2003.  In theory, we should have been able to ride it when we were at Cedar Point in 2005.  Unfortunately, it was closed both days, which really sucked.  The ride launches you 450 feet in the air and you reach a speed of 120 mph.  It looks absolutely awesome.
  • Maverick opened in 2007.  It is “only” 105 feet tall, but it does have a 95 degree drop angle, the sharpest drop of any coaster in the park.  I don’t really have a good feel for how Maverick would ride.

Now I’ll take you on a tour of some of my favorite rides at Cedar Point.  These are in order of preference.

  • Mean Streak – This is a mile long wooden coaster.  I am personally a big fan of wooden coasters, although my wife is not.  As the wood in the coaster has aged over the years, Mean Streak has gotten even more mean.  It’s definitely a bone jarring ride.  I happen to love a rough ride on the rails, so it’s definitely my cup of tea.  Also, the ride is 3 minutes long, and the lines are often short, because many people fear the Mean Streak!
  • Wicked Twister – The best way to describe Wicked Twister is that it is shaped like a U.  You start at the bottom of the U.  You are launched 200 feet in the air – with a couple of nice twists toward the top.  Then you back down and get launched 200 feet up the other side.  Half the time, you’re going to be backward.
  • Millenium Force –  The key element is the raw height, as the ride takes you 310 feet in the air and immediately drops you 300 feet.  You are carried up the hill – not launched – so it is a nice slow ride up the hill, and you have a great view from the top.  When you get to the top, you’re a football field (end zone to end zone) from the ground.  Pretty cool.
  • Gemini – Gemini is 30 years old, tops out at 60 mph, is only 125 feet tall, has a meek 55% drop angle.  Why is it on my list of favorite, beating out rides such as Mantis and Raptor?  Because you race.  There are two tracks.  One track has the blue train and the other has the red train.  You race side by side, and you can never be sure which train is going to win the race back to the station.

I’ve only scratched the surface.  Check out Cedar Point’s web site for more details.  There’s also a water park (Soak City), but I have never set foot inside Soak City – simply because it would mean taking time away from coasters.

Are you looking for a place to stay while you’re at Cedar Point?  There are some nice on site options, but if you’re looking for a nice, quiet place, I would suggest  McKenna’s Inn, a bed and breakfast on nearby Catawba Island.  It appears that their web site needs a bit of work, but don’t let this fool you – this place is first class.  Not only are the facilities nice, but the location is great.  It is located on a private lane that ends at Lake Erie.  You are with very easy walking distance from the lake.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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