Reviews, Cedar Point
In this post I will review some of the roller coasters and other rides I’ve been on at the amusement park Cedar Point, Ohio.
The first time I visited Cedar Point was in 1991. Magnum was the huge, thrilling new ride that attracted people from afar, mainly because of its huge first drop. Well, a lot has changed since then. Magnum is still a big attraction at Cedar Point, but a lot more rides have been added since then. I have never been a frequent visitor, mostly because I’ve been too busy being a mom. But now that my kids are teenagers, I have been able to go again a couple of times in the last few years.
When reading my comments on each ride, just keep in mind that I like huge coasters and it takes a bit to give me a thrill. So if your family is rather reluctant of big rides, know where I’m coming from; if I say it’s not scary, it may be scary for someone else! I mainly go on the big rides, as I find the smaller ones mostly annoying. So I won’t comment on those.
Rides and Roller Coasters
Gate Keeper: This is a newer roller coaster located at the very entrance of the park. Made from steel, an extremely smooth ride, no jerking. Very comfortable. Some find this a scary and thrilling ride, while I really didn’t. But it was a very fun one! There is a right and a left side as to where you sit, and the two sides feel quite different from each other. If you want the full experience of this ride, you should try both sides.
Raptor: Steel structure. This is a medium sized ride toward the entrance of the park. Very fun, your feet dangle as you hang from the bars above, swinging to either side as you go. It’s very smooth and comfortable, though still thrilling, and it’s just a fun, fun ride. Not jerky at all. I could go on this ride over and over.
Maverick: Steel. A fantastic roller coaster! Very similar to Gate Keeper, but a bit larger and much more thrilling with a few surprises. Not as comfortable as Gate Keeper, as it shook my head around a little, but it was worth it. It was a bit jerky at times because there is such speed, intensity, and sudden turns. There was a LOOONG wait to get on (took us 2 hours, compared to 45 minutes otherwise), but it was worth it. My daughter, who had been on it before, insisted that it was more fun to be in the very front seats, while I thought (since that takes extra waiting time) that it would be just as good to be in the second row. Wrong. It was a ton of fun regardless, but the seats in first row blocked too much of the view. I could see her point after the fact. It would have been worth the extra 15-20 minutes to be in row number 1. This ride did give me some headaches, but not so much that it was really bad. If the lines had been short, I would have gone on it several times in a row as long as my head could have tolerated it. This was one of my favorite rides. Absolutely thrilling and FUN! FAST! (Oh, by the way, I lost a cheap head band on this ride; it just flew right off and I didn’t even notice because of the intensity of the ride . It was there when we started, and gone when it was over. Another girl lost her cell phone.
Mantis: BAD BAD BAD. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this ride. Steel structure also, this was an extremely painful ride for me. I had terrible migraines during good parts of the ride. This roller coaster is actually known to be a painful one. People say that you should do this ride toward the beginning of the day, not the end, since your feet might be a little swollen after all the walking. What happens (they say) is that the power you experience will cause blood to pool in your already swollen feet, which is very painful. You stand up on this ride. We went on it in the beginning, so I noticed nothing in my feet, but my head shook and vibrated terribly and got a ton of beating and bumping. There was just pain and more pain. Very fast ride, thrilling for sure, high intensity, very high pressure, but I mainly had to concentrate on my poor head and if I would make it through till the end. I had forgotten just how bad this ride was last time I went, but now I remember and I will NEVER intentionally go on this ride EVER again! This is actually part of why I’m writing this review, so I’ll personally have a reminder never to go on this ride again.
Iron Dragon: Judging from looking at it, this one seems like a smaller roller coaster, but it really isn’t. It’s not a huge ride per say, but it is thrilling and powerful in parts. This roller coaster was uncomfortable for me in the beginning. When it slowed to an almost stop and I thought it was over, I told my daughter next to me that I was glad it was over, that I didn’t like it. She told me “Sorry, it’s not over yet…” And there was a second half to it that was worse than the first. My teenaged daughter liked this ride, but it shook too much for me and banged my head around, and very much contributed to my headache. It would have been fun had I not ended up with such a headache from it. Fortunately my headaches go away again when the ride ends, but it still is awful while it lasts.
Gemini: Two carts go at the same time, side by side, racing. I thought this was a fun one. It’s a wooden coaster, but not too rough. It wasn’t as jerky as I would have thought. Not a huge thrill, just fun. This ride doesn’t look that big, but it is much more fun than you’d think just looking at it.
Top Thrill Dragster: I LOVE this roller coaster, it is definitely a significant ride and my very favorite. It’s a very short one in duration, actually, only 17 seconds I think, but you get a lot of thrill in those few seconds. It’s huge! It speeds up so fast that this part itself is downright scary. Then you go straight up, straight down, then it quickly stops. Going down, for me, was not nearly as scary as speeding up and going up: When you go down, you go in a spiral a little bit, so that takes off some of the feeling of falling. It hides the steepness and height. It is a lot while you’re in the middle of it though, but once it’s done, it’s just the most awesome thing ever! Given the choice, I would stay on it several times in a row. I love this ride more than any, even though Maverick is a very close second.
There is also a viewing area with bleachers for this roller coaster, where you can see people “in waiting”, sitting in the train before it takes off… That in itself is a ton of fun, just watching people’s reactions as they wait for it to start, and also seeing it take off. Some people look downright petrified!
Note: People talk about this ride as something really huge and scary, which it is, but I’ve also encountered people who were so worked up before the ride due to the comments, that they were disappointed when they got off. Sure, it’s a big thrill, but your mind can make it up to be ten times worse than what it really is. Keep things in perspective; it’s just a ride, you’re not going to the moon. You’ll be fine.
Magnum: This roller coaster used to be very exciting years ago, with huge drop at the very beginning, but it is now terribly jerky even though it’s made from steel and not wood. I didn’t go on this ride last time I went to Cedar Point. Several people I know commented on it as a very unpleasant ride due to the jerking, and they did not enjoy it. So I figured my head wouldn’t appreciate it.
Millennium Force: A very big roller coaster with a larger drop than Magnum, and lots more going on after that. The thrill was very good but not huge for me, although the first drop is pretty thrilling. Others say it is a very thrilling ride throughout. It’s not jerky at all, but obviously big rides can be intense. It is the second fastest / tallest ride in the park, just behind Top Thrill Dragster. But it lasts much longer, so you do get a bit “for your money.” It’s well worth the wait, in other words.
maXair: A huge wheel that spins while swinging back and forth high in the air. Very fun ride, but, surprisingly, the most scary one for me. I think it’s the feeling that I’m going to fall out of it that gets me. Fingernails nearly imbedded into the bar the first time (we did it twice), my daughter told me to just go limp, relax, don’t hold on, just let it take me along. That made a huge difference for me. Holding on for dear life made it more scary, seemingly confirming in my head that I was really going to fall if I didn’t. So when I allowed myself to relax, it became really fun and I loved it.
Regarding food, the one place I will comment on is the Midway Market restaurant. Food in general is of course extremely expensive at amusement parks, and Cedar Point is no exception. But then there is Midway Market, which is an all-you-can-eat-style buffet. I didn’t know about it until after we left the park, when I heard others from my group (we had split up) commenting on it. The food was very good, they said, and about the same price as what you would pay for a meal at any of the other restaurants (such as a burger, fries, and a drink.) And you eat all you want, including drinks and desserts! Here’s a link to CP Food Blog, a blog that describes and shows lots of pictures from this restaurant. OK, I take it back; I’ll also mention that there’s a Chick-fil-A there, which is slightly cheaper than the buffet and most other places it seems like. There is also a picnic area right outside the park that can be used, so there’s always the option of bringing your own food. Someone even said there’s a beach connected to the park.
For drinks, there are wrist bands to be purchased that gives you “free” drinks throughout the day, but instead we just kept a water bottle that we refilled from drinking fountains now and again.
IMPORTANT: Be aware that on some of the rides you can’t even go in line if you have a huge purse or backpack with you, even for people who don’t intend to go on the ride, but are just hanging out with a group. You have to rent a locker for several dollars each time, or have someone outside of the ride watching it for you. I had a fanny pack, which was accepted on all the rides I went on. On many of the rides you can also put your extra stuff in locked boxes that they provide during the ride itself. I can’t remember which rides will not allow big bags in the lines, but I believe Gate Keeper and Top Thrill Dragster may have been among them.
There is also a fast-lane passes to be purchased. We didn’t do that. We waited around 45 min. per ride on average. Toward the end of the day, the last couple of hours, wait times go down significantly. A lot of people have left by then, and on some of the rides you can go right on or wait maybe 5 minutes.
Last time we went there were rain storms off and on, which seemed like such a bummer in the beginning of the day. But it ended up being almost a good thing, as the lines were much shorter with fewer visitors. So all in all I think we got more rides in than we did when the weather was good. Some rides will close due to high winds, and believe me, it doesn’t take much!
We’ve also been to Six Flags, Chicago, which is also an amusement park with roller coasters. Comparing the two, we personally enjoy Cedar Point much more, both because the rides are better (we think), and in addition, the lines are not nearly as long. Maybe we were at Six Flags on an unusually busy day, I don’t know. But the lines at this Six Flags averaged 2 hours each, while at Cedar Point it’s always been much shorter, averaging a little under an hour. I’m sure there are good and bad days both places, but we strongly prefer Cedar Point. We’ve also been to Six Flags in Atlanta, GA, also to Michigan’s Adventure, and Cedar Point in Ohio is much more fun in my opinion. All in all, I hope this review has been helpful. Feel free to comment below to add your own review of various rides at Cedar Point!