Ride Review: Cedar Point GateKeeper Winged Roller Coaster

Roller coasters are part of Cedar Point’s DNA, and for their 144th season the amusement park completely transformed the front entrance to the park to showcase their 16th mega-coaster GateKeeper.  The $30 million dollar, record-breaking attraction is the world’s longest winged coaster with the longest drop as well.  What’s a winged coaster you ask?  Imagine this, ever wanted to sit on the wing of an airplane to experience flight?  How about dangle underneath the wing?  That’s GateKeeper.  Continue reading for more of our impressions of Cedar Point’s newest coaster, GateKeeper and two videos of the ride.

Cedar Point GateKeeper

It’s impossible to miss the new attraction soaring through the signature “keyholes” directly over Cedar Point’s re-designed main gate.  GateKeeper welcomes you to Cedar Point like no other amusement park, and, if you didn’t know it already, you know this park is America’s roller coast.

Cedar Point GateKeeper

In addition to changing the main entrance profile, GateKeeper opens up views to Cedar Point’s expansive beach – stretching over a mile along Lake Erie.  Riders view directly out towards the beach and lighthouse exiting the loading platform, and can’t miss breezes off the lake as you fly through the air.

Cedar Point GateKeeper

Once strapped into your seat, there’s nothing above or below to hamper the sensation of flight.

Cedar Point GateKeeper

The lift hill climbs 170 feet into the air (with more spectacular views of the beachfront) before twisting 180 degrees towards the ground during the first drop that plummets you within six feet of the ground.

Cedar Point GateKeeper

That first “wing over” drop reaches speeds of nearly 70 mph.

Cedar Point GateKeeper

After the drop, the train heads into an “Immelmann” half loop maneuver, going through a half twist, and curving out in the opposite direction.

Cedar Point GateKeeper

Next, a 360 degree flip provides different ride experiences for guests on the right vs. the left side (meaning – ride GateKeeper twice, at least).

Cedar Point GateKeeper

The train completes a Zero-G roll flying through the two “keyhole” support towers that now define Cedar Point’s main entrance gates.

Cedar Point GateKeeperCedar Point GateKeeper

And one final 360 degree spiral brings the coaster train back into the station house.

Cedar Point GateKeeper

The entire trip on the 4,164 foot coaster lasts approximately 2 minutes.  Overall, what did I think?  GateKeeper is a fantastic addition to Cedar Point’s roller coaster lineup, and is one ultra-smooth run.  The coaster flips you through six inversions (5 of which unique from each other).  However, even with all those twists, turns, and time upside-down, the coaster doesn’t feel too intense or nauseating.  Instead, the inversions and rolling hills add to the feeling of weightlessness thus creating a wonderful, fast, sleek sensation of flight.  This is a ride that families can definitely all enjoy together.  To get a better sense of the ride, check out Cedar Point’s point of view video of GateKeeper as well as the video of my experience on the attraction.

During the grand opening ceremonies for the new roller coaster, Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet said (before taking his turn on GateKeeper),

When all of life seems too busy.  Remember that having fun is part of what makes America great, and we just want to be a little part of it for this summer.

No doubt, families are going to have lots of fun and get plenty of enjoyment from Cedar Point’s GateKeeper this summer and beyond.

Cedar Point GateKeeper

Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet (right) takes a ride on Cedar Point’s new GateKeeper roller coaster

 

OK coaster fans, now it’s your turn.  What do you think?  Are you excited for Cedar Point’s new GateKeeper roller coaster?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I’m a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.