3 Full Days at Cedar Point

Ten years after visiting the best amusement park in the world, I headed back for 3 awesome days of coaster riding with a college friend.

Recap of my 2009 Visit

In summer 2009, I visited Cedar Point with my family on a crowded day with long lines. I had hoped to ride Top Thrill Dragster, but it closed while we waited in line and I had to settle for Iron Dragon instead. We waited over 2 hours to ride Maverick, and I remember thinking that it was good, but I was pretty confused as to why some people were saying it was the best coaster they'd ridden. I also got one ride each on Blue Streak, Wildcat, and Woodstock Express. I wasn't too impressed with any of the above coasters and was feeling a bit let down. That was until I rode Millennium Force, my favorite coaster to date. It was so fast, smooth, and fun! When I planned a trip a decade later with a good friend of mine who is also an enthusiast, I was excited to try all the coasters I missed in '09 as well as the the new ones. However, I was just as hopeful to get re-rides on Millennium Force.


The day after I graduated college, my friend and I made the trip to Hotel Breakers, where we spent 4 nights. We had a great view of the park from our room. We spent the next three days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, at Cedar Point from 9AM-8:30PM. It was pretty busy on Memorial Day, but the next two days had very light attendance. We lost 3 hours of coaster riding time on Tuesday due to thunderstorms. Even worse, Steel Vengeance closed when the storm hit and did not re-open for the remainder of our trip. However, we still managed to get a lot of rides on the coasters without Fast Lane: 11 on Millennium Force, 9 on Maverick, 6 on GateKeeper, 5 on Valravn and Top Thrill Dragster, 3 on Steel Vengeance and Rougarou, 2 on Magnum XL-200, Raptor, and Blue Streak, and 1 on Gemini, Cedar Creek Mine Ride, Iron Dragon, Corkscrew, and Wicked Twister. We also rode most of the major flat rides and transportation rides. While my friend wanted more rides on SV, I was satisfied with our ride totals given the circumstances. Overall I thought Cedar Point was charming, clean and beautiful. It is filled with awesome coasters, and remains my favorite amusement park. If Cedar Fair wants to continue adding more jaw-dropping coasters, some good candidates would be a modern woodie or something with a ton of inversions.


After riding in different seats and on different days and weather conditions, Millennium Force still reigns supreme for me. It's my favorite coaster at the park and in my overall rankings. I think people who say this coaster is boring and forceless are nuts! While I admit that some parts of the layout are repetitive, it's still really fun to be whizzing through tunnels and trees. Millennium Force has the best sustained speed and pacing, which is the biggest reason why I love it. I got great airtime on all hills, and the drop was breathtaking. I enjoyed the first overbanked turn more than the others, but they were all speedy. The Intamin T-bar restraints are the most comfortable out of all restraints in my opinion. After 11 rides, I concluded that my younger self knew what she was talking about, and now I have clearer thoughts about why I like Millie so much.

The best surprise of the trip was Intamin's Top Thrill Dragster. The launch was insane, and on my first ride I thought there was a chance that it could top Millennium Force. Riding in the front is significantly more terrifying on TTD. The top hat and spiral down were neat too, but the reason this coaster is my #2 is because of the 120mph launch, which gave me a rush every time. This coaster does have major reliability issues, but the capacity is good when it's running. Top Thrill Dragster also has a great location and those same T-bar restraints that I love.

Next up was the most anticipated coaster of the trip: Steel Vengeance. I can see why so many enthusiasts claim that this is the best coaster ever built. It has great speed, pacing, inversions, laterals, and smoothness. However, for my preferences, the second half was a bit too intense. I was jostled around incessantly after the MCBR. On the brake run, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck, whereas on Millie and TTD I felt energized and ready to ride again. For me, Steel Vengeance was the jack of all trades but master of only airtime. Some of the airtime was painful and I didn't care for the RMC restraints. I loved the entire first half though, especially the outer-banked hill and drop. While I was a bit bummed that I only got 3 rides (all in the back), I don't think my opinion overall or ranking would've changed with more rides.

I love B&M wing coasters, so it's not a surprise that my next favorite coaster at Cedar Point is GateKeeper. To start, this ride has a gorgeous setting, looks great, and has restraints that I really like. The layout is long and contains giant, graceful inversions. It reached pretty fast speeds too at the bottom of the dive drop. The only downsides to this coaster for me were the pointless "airtime" hill and the lackluster helix at the end. If B&M had omitted those elements or replaced them with almost anything else, this coaster might've made my top 5 or higher. I liked GateKeeper best in the back outer right seat for a better experience on the dive drop. On our 6 rides, we never waited more than 15 minutes in line.

Another awesome B&M, Valravn, was a ton of fun. It was my first dive coaster, and I actually liked it in the back row best for a smoother experience and getting tugged through the elements. I enjoyed being suspended before the drop, and the inversions were all good. Valravn is a little short, often has a long line, and the brake run is harsh, but otherwise this coaster is a gem. I think Valravn was a great addition to Cedar Point's coaster lineup.

The B&M parade continues with Rougarou, another very good coaster that gets overlooked by many. Each ride we got was a walk-on or station wait. The swamp setting was a nice touch. I got one instance of head-banging each time we rode when turning into the MCBR. Also, I thought the remainder of the ride after the corkscrew was boring. I really liked the rest of the layout, forces, and pacing though. Rougarou doesn't quite stand up to the other floorless coasters I've ridden because of its size. However, it's underappreciated at a park like Cedar Point.

The final B&M coaster at Cedar Point, Raptor, is my 7th favorite coaster at the park. It was a bit disappointing due to its roughness. Perhaps we just got 2 bad rides, but this was a very shaky roller coaster that gave many moments of head/ear banging. Raptor's layout was brilliant though, and its length, drop, and inversions make it my favorite B&M invert. I might still prefer Great Bear, but I'll need re-rides on both inverts to determine that.

Maverick is my next favorite coaster, and was too intense for me to consider it one of the best in the world. I enjoyed the cool rock work and setting, unbanked airtime moments, inversions, and most of all the speedy second launch in the tunnel. I was not fond of the Intamin OTSR, especially when I was violently flung around like a rag doll on this coaster. I strongly disliked the crazy laterals, even when I tried to brace for them. We rode this coaster 9 times, mostly during ERT, because my friend loved it. If it were up to me, 4 or 5 rides would've been plenty. Once again, I now have more specific thoughts about Maverick, but otherwise my feelings from 2009 are unchanged.

The last Cedar Point coaster to make my top 50 is Magnum XL-200. Contrary to most enthusiasts, I enjoyed the first half of this coaster more even though the pacing was worse. The second half in the back row was far too rough to enjoy. I don't care how great the airtime is if it's unbearably painful. I did like the first half up until the turn around though, and I give Arrow Dynamics credit for building a classic, record-breaking coaster that has kind of withstood the test of time.

Speaking of classic coasters, PTC's Blue Streak clocks in at my #10 spot at Cedar Point. For a smoother experience, it's better to sit in the middle row of a 3-row car. Riding Blue Streak always brings a smile to my face. It delivers thrills and airtime, and is a great in-between coaster for kids and adults. I appreciate that Cedar Point has taken care of this classic woodie.

Wicked Twister was a coaster that I didn't like too much. I enjoyed the launch, but the twisted spikes were rough, disorienting, and caused head-banging. While the stats look good and this coaster is photogenic, I look for Cedar Fair to scrap or relocate it.

Although short, Corkscrew gave a better ride experience than I expected. It was smooth for an Arrow Looper, had pleasant inversions, and played a big role in Cedar Point's history.

I don't know why people speak highly of Gemini, which I found to be bumpy and repetitious. It slowed to a crawl on almost every turn, and didn't race on our visit. Gemini had some good airtime, and I liked the ending helix, but I would not be sad if its days are numbered at Cedar Point.

I'm not going to comment much on the "bottom of the barrel" coasters at Cedar Point. My order from best to worst of what's left is: Iron Dragon, Wildcat, Cedar Creek Mine Ride, and Woodstock Express.

Other Rides

My favorite flat ride was Skyhawk. I found its swings to be thrilling and restraints to be comfortable. We also rode maXair, Cedar Point's typical discus ride, Pipe Scream, a family ride that was more fun than expected, and Windseeker, which might be the tallest flat ride I've done and had nice views. On our last day, we took the cable cars along the midway for some nice photo opportunities. We also rode the train just because. Additionally, Cedar Point has a drop tower, shoot the chute, and plenty of kiddie rides.

Food & Merchandise

At the park, we ate at Chick-fil-A, Hugo's Italian Kitchen, and Melt Bar and Grilled. My favorite of those was Melt. We got terriffic service, and the food was fresh, delicious, and generously portioned. Additionally, we at at Perkins, TGI Friday's, and Tomo Hibachi Grill located inside Hotel Breakers. I did all of my shopping at Pagoda Gift Shop, where I bought 3 t-shirts. Cedar Point has some of the best merchandise.


The 4-night/3-day stay at Hotel Breakers and admission to Cedar Point cost over $1200, which I split with my friend. This price was steep, but it was convenient to stay on-site because we didn't have a rental car. The food was marked up 60% or so. For example, my usual meal at my college Chick-fil-A cost $7.02, but was $11.63 at Cedar Point. My three shirts were $59.75 combined. When factoring in transportation, the trip cost me nearly $330 per night. I was able and willing to pay a premium to visit Cedar Point this time, but that might not alway be the case. It's worth noting that we also had access to multiple pools, the beach, and Cedar Point Shores included in our package, but we spent all of our time at the dry park.


These photos were taken by me. Please credit this website if used.