Opinion: Why Cedar Point is still a must after all these years

Cedar Point has been a staple in my family since I can remember. We went at least twice a year until we all grew up and went our separate ways. This year marks my first time going in at least five years, and I still find myself excited.

Since I have been there, Cedar Point has done some work on their park, by removing some old favorites -- including Mantis, Disaster Transport, and Wildcat -- while adding some monsters with Gate Keeper, Valravn and Rougarou.

Gate Keeper, our first ride of the day, is a Steel-Wing Coaster built by Bolliger and Mabillard. It is 170-feet tall and hits speeds as high as 67 mph. What a trip this ride was. The cars extend out of from the tracks, so there is absolutely nothing underneath you.

The ride is called Gate Keeper for a reason, as well. Its track layout which is an out and back style coaster spans the front of the park and has two towers that you travel right towards then spin through right over the gate. See hence the name. This being the first time on the ride, I didn’t know what to expect but I was really unmistakably pleased with the ride.

It's a very nice addition to the Cedar Point Family of rides, and I would absolutely hop back on this bad boy

Valravn, built by the same company that built Gate Keeper, was the new addition this year. It opened as the tallest, fastest, and longest Steel-Dive Coaster in the world. Standing at 223 feet with a 90 degree drop and speeds up to 75 mph.

This thing is a BEAST!

It’s the third tallest coaster in the park. Being right next to the Raptor is what makes it look tiny. It has a typical chain lift system but two unique elements make the ride stand out. It has three rows of eight seats each that stick out from the track with an open floor concept, which exposes the track to make for a more rousing experience and the ride stops and pauses, leaning over the first drop hill letting you soak up the experience if only for a brief second until you plummet 214 feet straight down.

I’ve seen dive coasters before and they usually go into an underground area which could have made the ride that much more exciting, but I’m guessing Cedar Point couldn’t do that being on a peninsula and so close to Lake Erie. This ride is new so the wait was what felt like FOREVER, so I don’t know if that took a part in me only enjoying it a little bit. I also felt rather dizzy afterwards so that might have done it too. Once the hype goes away and the lines aren’t as long, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it just as much as the others.

Rougarou was formally known as Mantis, with the difference being that they changed the cars on the ride from stand-up style to floor-less style and gave it a shiny new paint job. This made the ride so much more tolerable. When it was Mantis, the ride was so rough that it would surely ruin your day if you had a weak stomach, or at the very least, give you a giant headache. I’m certainly glad they changed this ride up and kept it, because it really is a staple of the rides at Cedar Point.

That was what I wanted to ride when I was there. Even though that's about all I got to ride. My wishes came true and I even got to ride Millennium Force front row. Which in my opinion, is the best Steel Coaster in the world. That baby is built for one thing, SPEED and 310 feet of Fury. Not a single set of brakes on the whole ride. When Intamin built this ride they knew they had something special.

There are a few like it, but this baby stands out and alone.

If you have never been to Americas Rocking Roller Coast, you need to go.

Seventy-one total rides, 17 Roller Coasters, five of which are more than 200 feet. 

It won the Golden Ticket Award from Amusement Today for “Best Amusement Park” 16 consecutive years from 1997-2003. It has six of the top 50 Steel rides in the world and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. The one downfall to Cedar Point is the area. Being on a peninsula they just don’t have the space to build long speed coasters. Probably why Carowinds Fury 325 has taken over Millennium Force as the best steel ride in the world. If only Muskegon would let Michigan’s Adventure and Cedar Fair, the parent company for both parks, build hotels we could have one of the greatest parks in the world right here in our own back yard. Perhaps one day.