Our family was able to take a trip to Cedar Point this past summer before they closed two long-standing attractions, the Space Spiral (opened 1965) and Disaster Transport (first opened in 1985 as Avalanche Run, re-themed in 1990). Land was needed in order to make way for the park’s newest roller coaster, GateKeeper. The newest ride will be a “winged coaster” where riders sit on either side of the track, suspended above the ground, with nothing above or below the passengers. The attraction, scheduled to open in May 2013, will set world-records for the longest drop (164 feet) and total length (4,164 feet) of any winged coaster. The ride will reach speeds over 65 miles/hour, and take 2 minutes, 40 seconds to complete. Continue reading for more details, photos, and video of a simulated ride.
Updated: These photos from February 25, 2013 gives us the first look at the trains for GateKeeper all red, gold, and illuminated with lights.
You can see all of the construction photos for GateKeeper in the slide show below. Click on any photo to be taken directly to the gallery.
Original article follows below…
From Cedar Point’s Press Release:
Sandusky, OH – Cedar Point amusement park and resort, known around the globe as the leader in innovative coaster thrills and the “Best Amusement Park in the World,” announced plans to build a new world-record-breaking coaster for the park’s 2013 season. Named GateKeeper, this new winged roller coaster will take guests on a ride unlike anything else at the famed park. Set to debut in May, the mammoth ride will be the longest winged roller coaster in the world and will boast the longest drop of any winged coaster on the planet!
GateKeeper will forever change the landscape of the Cedar Point Peninsula, as the track will dramatically fly above the main entrance to the park, passing over arriving guests with rolling flyover maneuvers. Riders will twice narrowly slot through new front gate portals and slide by buildings for near-miss excitement. GateKeeper will feature Sunset Gold trains with coaches that extend out sideways from the track, exposing riders to nothing above or below them, simulating the feeling of flight.
“GateKeeper’s world-record-breaking statistics, incredible flying maneuvers and special elements make it a unique coaster experience,” stated Cedar Point General Manager John Hildebrandt. “GateKeeper is a roller coaster only Cedar Point can build and we are proud to add it to our incredible lineup of world-class attractions.”
Designed by world-renowned coaster manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland, a ride along the 4,164 feet of dark and light blue steel tubular track on GateKeeper will take approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds.
Once riders crest the top of the 170-foot-tall lift hill, the coaster train will rotate 180 degrees to the right, turning riders upside down before plummeting a record 164 feet toward the ground at speeds reaching 67 mph! Then the train will enter a half loop, go through a half twist and curve out in the opposite direction from which it came. A towering 105-foot-tall camelback hill awaits just before riders glide through a 360-degree giant flat spin. The train will then fly through the middle of two support towers that will dominate Cedar Point’s new Main Entrance. The coaster will then make a tight, 180-degree turnaround which pushes riders through an overbanked turn and rockets them back towards the station. A 360-degree in-line roll, camelback drop and spiral round out the amazing elements that GateKeeper will treat its passengers to next summer.
GateKeeper will feature three 32-passenger trains and will be able to accommodate approximately 1,710 riders per hour. Riders will be secured with over-the-shoulder restraints and interlocking seat belts. With the addition of GateKeeper and the redesign to the park’s main entrance, Cedar Point will invest approximately $30 million on improvements for the 2013 season.
Thrill-seekers can view more statistics and photos about the new world-record-breaking coaster, GateKeeper, and follow the progress at CedarPoint.com all winter long. GateKeeper will be Cedar Point’s 16th roller coaster and is scheduled to open with the rest of the park in May of 2013.