Cedar Point: rollercoaster heaven. This record-breaking amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, is home to some of the tallest, fastest, and most intense rollercoasters in the world. For all you rollercoaster enthusiasts (and even those who aren’t), check out this article for more information on what this world famous park has to offer.
|I felt like I was in a disaster film. Shrieks filled the air as the ground quaked beneath my feet. A loud crash, like thunder, pierced the once-quiet atmosphere and disappeared just as quickly. But I didn’t worry; I wasn’t in the middle of a natural disaster. I was at Cedar Point—the roller coaster capital of the world. Or, as roller coaster enthusiasts call it: heaven.|
For the uninitiated, Cedar Point is located in Sandusky, Ohio, almost directly between Toledo and Cleveland. Without the amusement park, Sandusky would be a quiet city with scenic views of Lake Erie and little else. However, the presence of one of the world’s premiere thrill parks turns this town into a thriving tourist center, and for good reason. Cedar Point offers visitors some of the most exciting rides humanity has ever devised.
The park opened in 1870, making it the second oldest amusement park in the country. What began as a picnic area with a beer garden, dance floor, and playground structures has exploded into something quite different. With 75 rides in its arsenal, Cedar Point now boasts more rides than any other amusement park on the planet.
I fancy myself a thrill-seeker, at least when it comes to roller coasters. For me, the taller and faster the ride, the better. That’s what makes Cedar Point such a sought-after destination for people like me. Cedar Point doesn’t build roller coasters just to entertain—they do it to break records. If a roller coaster won’t open as one of the tallest or the fastest in the world, it doesn’t get made.
Don’t believe me? Head on out to Cedar Point to see for yourself. The moment you turn onto the bridge leading to the small island that houses the park, you’ll get a perfect view of everything the thrill destination has to offer. Picture a city skyline—only instead of steel skyscrapers, picture terrifyingly intimidating roller coasters, and you get the idea.
Make no mistake: this isn’t just some kiddie park. Sure, there’s a small area with small rides for children, but no fluffy mascots or colorful parades divert attention from what truly matters. Instead, the appeal is the colossal structures that send visitors rocketing around the park at unheard-of speeds.
The Main Attractions
When you do make it to Cedar Point, I recommend getting there the moment the park opens and running to one of two attractions: Millennium Force or Top Thrill Dragster. The lines for these two rides form quickly, and on weekends and holidays the wait can last up to two hours—which is totally worth it in my opinion. But why wait if you don’t have to?
Millennium Force is my favorite, and it’s one of the easiest rides to spot from a distance. Topping off at a staggering 310 feet, this beast is known at Cedar Point as a “giga” coaster. When it was introduced to the world in 2000, Millennium Force broke ten world records, claiming the tallest and fastest coaster titles. Prepare to reach speeds of up to 93 miles per hour as you descend the first hill at an 80-degree angle. However, the ride is surprisingly smooth. Despite the intense speed, dizzying heights, and banking turns, riding Millennium Force feels almost like gliding effortlessly through the air. No trip to Cedar Point is complete without a go or two (or three) on this ride.
That’s just the first ride on the ideal itinerary. Top Thrill Dragster comes next, and believe it or not, it’s even bigger than Millennium Force. Towering at 420 feet, it dwarfs all other rides in the park. Riders board cars resembling racing dragsters and are shot out of the loading station at speeds exceeding 120 mph. The track angles straight up, stalls slightly at the top of a giant hill, then sends you straight down, before coming to a stop back where you began. The only downside to Top Thrill Dragster is the duration of the ride. At only seventeen seconds, it’s almost over before it begins. Even so, the thrill is too tempting to pass up.
Something for Everyone
After hitting these two rides, you will have to make some real decisions. Cedar Point has a total of seventeen (that’s right, seventeen) roller coasters, and the chances of riding every single one of them in one day is next to impossible. Some rides are better left untouched if time is an issue, like the Disaster Transport. I hesitate to even call it a roller coaster. It’s slow, clunky, and does little more than swerve in and out of what is referred to as a bobsled track. The only redeeming quality for Disaster Transport is the fact that it’s all indoors, so if you need to escape from the heat for a bit, it’s your best bet.
There’s something for everyone who likes a good coaster, even if an enormous thrill isn’t what you’re looking for. The Cedar Creek Mine Ride is relaxing, and it won’t leave you breathless like some of the other rides in the park. Blue Streak is a traditional wooden roller coaster, and many consider it a classic. If you want to experience a bit of history, that’s the ride for you. Blue Streak is the oldest coaster in the park, and when it opened in 1964, it too broke world records.
In between the somewhat mild and the amazingly wild, Cedar Point has plenty of other roller coasters that thrill and delight. Magnum XL-200 stands opposite Millennium Force and was the first coaster in the world to break 200 feet. Raptor sends you whirling through corkscrew loops and cobra rolls. Gemini provides twice the fun by having dueling racing coasters. And as the newest addition to the coaster fun, Maverick has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, including a 95-degree first drop. Yes, you read that correctly—that’s steeper than going straight down.
I’ve only scratched the surface with what this park has to offer—there are log flumes, tower drops, pendulum swings, and more traditional carnival-type rides like bumper cars and swing rides. To get a full look at all the rides, head to www.cedarpoint.com. It all adds up to more than you can handle in a day. I suggest spending at least two days at the park in order to experience everything that’s available, but plan for three if you can spare the time. After all, even if you’re able to ride every coaster Cedar Point has, you’ll only want to ride them again—and by that time, you’ll be the one doing all the screaming.
– Colin Baker
A “film strip” of bystanders watching as another boat shoots down Snake River Falls. Don’t stand on the bridge if you don’t want to get wet.