Reporting Scott Ryan
SANDUSKY, Ohio (WWJ) - Cedar Point opens one month from Thursday, and you can’t miss their newest roller coaster.
That’s because GateKeeper zips riders over the park entrance, hence the name. Cedar Point Marketing representative Annie Zelm said the ride will send thrill seekers hurtling toward a concrete beam.
“The coaster flies right through these two keyhole towers, so it will feel really like a close call when you’re coming up on this slab on concrete. I mean, boy, it looks like you might not make it through, but you twist and turn just in time,” she said.
With a 163-foot vertical drop and speeds of 67 mph, the blue-steeled tubular coaster will have riders on seats that extend sideways from the track, with nothing above or below them. According to park officials, GateKeeper will be the “longest winged roller coaster and boast the longest drop of any winged roller coaster on the planet.” (More ride facts – .pdf format)
Two rides, Disaster Transport and the Space Spiral, were torn down to make room for GateKeeper, which entered into the testing phase last week. Zelm said they’re testing the ride with “water dummies,” 200 pound water drums in the seats that simulate the effects of gravity, so they know it’s safe to let real people give it a whirl.
“The most important part of construction on any ride is the testing phase,” she said. “The engineers are always the first to test, our first riders if you will. We just want to take that added step and have people ride the ride before the general public does to make sure of the forces at play, to make sure the restraints are properly fitting on people, and that’s really the only way we can do it, is by having real, live people on the coaster before we open it.”
Also new this year, security cameras that will track attendance at the park’s entrances instead of old-fashioned turnstiles. Plus, mobile food trucks will roll through the park throughout the day, offering guests a larger variety of choices than the typical faire food, such as Lake Erie perch sliders. The park will also now serve Coca Cola products, as opposed to the Pepsi products it has historically offered.
Zelm suggests to plan your visit ahead and buy tickets online to get a $10 discount, all season long. You’ll get to bypass the ticket line and go straight into the park when you get there. Or, you can also use the promo code BESTDEALS to get a $35 ticket good for admission any day in May — that’s $20 off the normal ticket price.
Get ticket information and plan your visit now at www.cedarpoint.com.