At Cedar Point’s Media Day on Thursday, while waiting to take my first ride on The Gatekeeper, Cedar Point’s newest attraction, I felt the anticipation and excitement building. That anticipation was prolonged as we were told a rider needed to get on before us. That rider was Matt Ouimet, President and CEO of Cedar Point. My companion joked to Ouimet that he was prolonging her nervousness. He assured her she would love the ride and that it is one of the smoothest rides he has ever been on.
When we had our turn riding The Gatekeeper [video embedded at end of the article], that was the word that ran through my mind--smooth.
Cedar Point wants to focus The Gatekeeper as a ride for the family, something I believe they have accomplished. The Gatekeeper is simply a fun ride. The smooth transitions make this coaster one that can reach a broader audience. The thrill of riding a big coaster is there without the feel of being whipped around that you can experience on other coasters.
To make The Gatekeeper a reality, Cedar Point again teamed up with long-time partner Bolliger & Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland. The world-record-breaking coaster took over a year to design before being fabricated in southern Ohio. The Gatekeeper is completely Ohio-made.
The Gatekeeper is a wing roller coaster, which means the riders are set off to each side of the track instead of above or below it. This gives the rider the unique feeling of flying. It has the longest track length (4,164 feet), tallest drop (164 feet) and most inversions (six) of any wing roller coaster in the world, at speeds approaching 70 miles per hour.
Something else that Cedar Point wanted to accomplish with the Gatekeeper was opening up views of Lake Erie. By placing the ride along the coastline, it was possible to make new sight-lines of the lake. This greatly improves the whole park and takes advantage of the Lake Erie shoreline location. The front entrance to the park was totally redesigned to accommodate the new coaster. It truly is exciting to walk up to the front gates of the park with The Gatekeeper soaring over your head.
For the past 15 years Cedar Point has been voted the best amusement park on the planet. The 2013 improvements promise to keep that winning streak going. The Gatekeeper not only adds another thrill ride to the park, it makes Cedar Point an even more enjoyable place to spend a day.
New at Cedar Point for 2013
- Dinosaurs Alive!, an island inhabited by lifelike prehistoric creatures, is back for a second year with a newly-hatched exhibit featuring dinosaurs so cute and tiny, you’ll want to take them home with you.
- Fast Lane has returned along with the new Fast Lane Plus, which includes unlimited rides on GateKeeper and Top Thrill Dragster as well as more than 20 other attractions.
- “On Broadway” in the Aldrich Theatre is an all new Broadway revue show beginning June 8, featuring show-stopping musical moments from the past and present.
- The Beach Band is an all-new midway brass band that will stroll the park and play an eclectic collection of band tunes.
- Frontier Trail has been inhabited with a band of town folk that will interact and entertain all those who stroll through their neck of the woods.
- Frontier Merchant opens in Frontiertown, a re-themed cabin on the trail that features handcrafted wood items.
- With the addition of GateKeeper, Cedar Point’s new main gate has undergone major renovations and uses cameras, rather than turnstiles.
- Guests can save $10 by buying single-day adult tickets online.
- From May 17-19, ALL students in kindergarten through college may purchase a one-day ticket for $39.99.
- From May 17-19, all Season and Platinum Passholders can purchase a Bring-a-Friend ticket for $27.50 and enjoy discounted rates at Hotel Breakers, Sandcastle Suites and Breakers Express.
- From May 25-27, all active, retired or honorably-discharged members of the United States Armed Forces can receive one free regular admission ticket to Cedar Point with valid ID. Additional tickets may be purchased for spouse and children at the normal military discount price of $39.99.