Last weekend during our adventure to Ohio, all six members of my family spent an afternoon at Cedar Point amusement park. I use the term "Amusement Park" because to call it a "Theme Park" would be a great injustice to those parks which truly carry a theme. Unlike the Disney parks of which I'm so fond, Cedar Point doesn't tell a story with its design and rides, but rather has one overriding objective....the thrill.
In all, the park boasts over 17 roller coasters, and many other rides designed to separate lunch from your body. Many of the coasters are record holders in one form or another. From Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster, which are both in the top five tallest and fastest coasters in existence, to the Mean Streak, one of the longest wooden coasters on the planet. One thing is for certain, the rides at Cedar Point are a far cry from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
This would be my third trip to Cedar Point, and I was thoroughly exciting to get back on Millennium Force. There was a bit of business that had to be tended to first, however. It seems the owner of the B&B at which we were staying had told my Dad that the launch on Top Thrill Dragster was the closest thing to taking off on an aircraft carrier he had ever experienced. Well, that sold Dad right then, and there was no way he was leaving the park without riding it.
Top Thrill Dragster is naturally themed after a drag race. The coaster is launched reaching speeds of 120+ mph, then climbs straight up 410 feet, curls over, and returns straight down 410 feet. The whole thing is over in 17 seconds, but it's the build up and staring at this monstrosity that makes you question your sanity. We all questioned Dad's sanity as well, except for my wife, as she was the only one brave enough to take it on with him. I had ridden it once before, and that was enough for me. My brother and his wife also decided life could be lived happily having never rode, and they sat out as well.
After spending 45 minutes wondering if Dad would walk off Dragster under his own power, we headed over to the Gemini. This is a great old wooden coaster, where two trains race one another. I've always loved this ride, because throughout the ride it's possible to actually reach out and slap hands with the people in the next train. I don't know why I've always been fascinated by this, as the ride itself is actually quite lousy.
Having had sufficient "warm up rides," it was now time to head to my favorite...Millennium Force. This coaster at one time was the tallest, fastest, and longest metal coaster in the world. The first hill is 310 feet down at an 80 degree angle, and reaches speeds of 93 mph. Due to its design however, its incredibly smooth, and the only thing that tells your body you're going that fast is the wind in your ears. What I love most about this ride is the length, as this thriller lasts for over two minutes, which is an eternity in coaster terms.
|On our way up...|
Finally, we decided to take on the Mean Streak. Some words of wisdom: Do not for any reason ride this coaster. The allure of taking on an old wooden coaster will pull at your insides, but trust me, don't do it. During the ride you'll feel as though you'll soon be removed from your head, internal organs, and all your limbs. In a nutshell, the Mean Streak should be recycled into planking for a new lakeside boardwalk at the park.
One thing is for certain, Cedar Point is most definitely not for the faint of heart. Years ago, I never would have put myself in that category, but it seems with age I'm slowly making that transition. Top Thrill Dragster at age 24 seemed like a great idea, but at 30 maybe not so much. Am I really getting old, or is it simply my mind convincing me that I'm old? Either way, I'll always know I did them once, and that may just be enough for me.
Besides, there's always Space Mountain...
Enjoy Your Stay