I love roller coasters. Motorcyclists refer to cars as “cages.” Well, the same comparison works for me between flying in an airplane versus riding a good coaster. The speed, the wind through my hair, the rolls and twists. Its probably as close to actual flying as I will ever get. And it’s a blast.
I spent yesterday riding coasters at Cedar Point. Occupying a spit of land jutting out from the Lake Erie coast, or America’s Roller Coast as a tag line once named it, the amusement part is world-renown for the number (16) and quality of its coasters. And place never disappoints.
Yesterday, however, started out a bit slow. Apparently many middle schools that were still in session decided to bring their classes to the Point on the beautiful kick-off to the weekend. I have nothing against middle-schoolers individually, but encountering large groups quickly resembles a trip to the zoo, except the animals aren’t in cages. So we hit the less popular rides, starting with Wicked Twister. Technically, you might not consider this a coaster because it is not a loop. But if you’ve never been to Cedar Point, I recommend you start here. There is nothing like being launched out of the gate at 72 miles per hour to rise into 450 degree vertical spirals.
Or… you think there is nothing like it… until you ride something else.
We moved on to the Magnum, one of my traditional favorites. It was the first coaster to top 200 feet, but that was a long time ago. 1989, to be precise. Same speed as Wicked Twister. But more suspense. More sheer awe. After hitting the Mine Ride (a small coaster), the Gemini, and the Mean Streak, the hordes of middle schoolers had mostly left, and it was time to hit the main event – the one coaster we would wait any amount of time for, simply because we could leave without riding it.
The Millennium Force is not a new coaster, having a dozen years under its wheels. As the first coaster to have a 300 foot drop, first coaster to use a cable lift hill, and a number of others firsts. Millennium inspired many coasters developed after it. And while it is no longer the fastest (although 93 mph is still really fast), or the tallest, in my opinion, it remains THE best coaster in the world. Don’t believe me? Take a look.
Why is it the best? It’s a matter of opinion, but Millennium perfectly balances all the factors that go into a good ride experience – the right length, a smooth ride mimics flying, incredible speed, breathtaking and beautiful height. I could go on, but I will just leave it at this: we waited to ride it twice yesterday. We considered a third time. Yes. It is that good.
So it you love coasters and haven’t been to Cedar Point, you need to get yourself there. But if you go, don’t start with Millennium Force. Everything else will pale in comparison.