Gatekeeper Opens at Cedar Point (Media day 2013) May 9, 2013Posted by ronannarbor in Cedar Point.
Tags: Gatekeeper Coaster Cedar Point
add a comment
Directly after work today I sped down to Cedar Point for Media Day 2013 and the opening of CP’s newest coaster: Gatekeeper.
Here’s me on the ride:
Thanks to a friend in CoasterBuzz coaster club (and I believe the Plain Dealer) there I am — making my maiden voyage flight. Incidentally, I’m already home. 1:45 there — 15 minutes in line — 2 minute ride–another 15 minutes in line and 2 minutes to reride — 15 minutes to grab a souvenir — 1:45 home….and its a day.
So, what’s the verdict? The coaster is great. It’s smooth as can be, and the feeling of “flying” on the wings of the coaster is quite amazing. The wind blowing over you as you fly feels great, and I imagine will feel awesome on a hot summer day at the Point (although it was about 75 degrees and hot when I rode). The OTSRs feel really comfortable, and you don’t have to worry about the “size” problems like you do on Top Thrill Dragster and Millenium Force, where many riders can’t fit into the seatbelts. Here, a chest-protector “shield” holds you in with the over the shoulder restraints comfortable and cozy.
There isn’t much air time on Gatekeeper, because you are snuggly strapped into your seat, though you do get a bit of the “feeling” in your stomach on the final few hills. Starting relatively quickly, the coaster slows slightly as it approaches two “keyholes” over the entrance way to the park and then continues to slow through the remainder of the ride. But it will be those keyholes you will most remember. They don’t look big enough, and because the coaster twists directly as you go through them, they appear much smaller than they really are.
There is some degree of nausea factor. I had already been warned by a friend earlier in the day — and sure enough, if you get that nauseous feeling on Raptor, you are going to feel it here. I got off feeling just a touch queasy, but not enough so that I didn’t immediately get back into line to ride it again.
So what’s the grade? I give Gatekeeper a solid A. My CoasterBuzz friends were even more enthusiastic than I and rode it multiple times throughout this media day.
Cedar Point, by the way, was amazingly gracious. Not only was Gatekeeper enough to keep everyone happy, but they also opened up Raptor and Millenium Force (no doubt to help train new employees for tomorrow’s pre-opening Ohio State Day at the park and Cedar Points Official Opening at 10:00 am on Saturday). Platinum Pass holders and Resort guests can enter starting at 8:30 0n Saturday.
One final warning: get there early and ride immediately, or ride with Fastlane+ because the lines are expected to be 3 hours long on the busiest days and at least an hour on normal operation days. Each train carries 32. Only one train runs on the track at a time similar to CP’s other major coasters. A new train launches about every two minutes at peak. That makes about 960-riders an hour. Keep that in mind as you plan your next trip to CP. And remember that everyone else 52″ or taller will ALSO be getting into line first thing in the morning. For resort guests and season pass holders, use your pass, get there an hour early, and park in the Soak City lot and walk along the entire beachfront until you reach the new gate right next to Gatekeeper’s entrance. I’ll update on how the lines look after I spend two days there next weekend.
Happy 2013, Cedar Point!
Tags: Cedar Point Avalanche Run, Cedar Point Disaster Transport, defunct coasters, Disaster Transport, Space Spiral, toboggan coasters
add a comment
It’s been a long time coming — and Disaster Transport (nee Avalanche Run) will offer its last toboggan run on Sunday July 29th. The ride is slated for demolition (along with Space Spiral a few weeks later) to make room for next season’s new B&M-manufactured wing coaster.
Built in 1985, Avalanche Run opened with great fanfare along with a handful of the toboggan coasters opening across the country.
Seen here outdoors, it was a fast favorite of fans, despite its low thrill factor, with very long wait times and slow load times. A few years later in 1990, Lake Erie, sand, and the elements were beginning to have their way with the track. Throwing good money after bad (most parks that installed the toboggan coasters removed them within a few years because of the extraordinary and expensive maintenance required on them vs the low interest/thrill factor) Cedar Point enclosed it in a large warehouse type structure; themed it to outerspace transport gone amok, and Disaster Transport was rebranded.
Known mostly as the coaster you road when it was really hot outside; Cedar Fair did little in the way of maintenance. As lighting and effects wore out, they were simply abandoned. The queue line was shortened to its current lackluster state. Over the years paint, lights, animatronics, and other effects were simply afterthoughts and most current riders don’t even know what it looked like in the early 90′s since most of the effects have been gone for 15 years.
There are plenty of other blogsites that carefully discuss the history and the effects in the ride — so I will leave that to them, and to your Google search.But I will leave this for last, a photo of Disaster Transport taken from the Skyride with Space Spiral in front of it. I had a final ride on Disaster Transport/Avalanche Run yesterday — and for all those many years of lackluster (but fun and air conditioned) rides, I salute you. Goodbye Disaster Transport.