SANDUSKY, Ohio - NewsChannel5 was given the opportunity to experience Cedar Point's much-anticipated 16th coaster, the $30 million GateKeeper. It sits at the front door to the roller coaster capital of the world.
Cedar Point's first winged coaster is incredibly smooth taking dangling riders up to 170 feet above the beach. The train takes sharp 180-degree turns and then plummets riders to within six feet of the ground. Riders soar through two massive keyhole towers, which now make the parks entrance
"You don't have the security of those cars around you, you don't have any sides. There's really nothing above or below you so it's the closest you can come to flying," said Annie Zelm, Cedar Point's marketing representative.
Cedar Point specially mounted GoPro cameras for our ride. They recorded every twist, turn and inversion. They caught us threading the eye of a needle while traveling sideways through the twin keyholes. Riders get a choice of sitting on the right or left wing.
"Depending on where people ride, it's going to feel like a totally different ride to them," Zelm said.
"You're going to make a couple turns, you're going to go up the hill. You think you're going to go over, then you're going to spin a couple times and go straight down. Then you're going to go flying over the gate of Cedar Point. It's amazing," said Ben Freeman, a coaster enthusiast
The GateKeeper has broken seven world records for a winged coaster including the biggest drop, the longest track and most inversions.
"It's just such an incredible sensation and it's unlike any ride that we have here and unlike anything most people have experienced," Zelm said.
Using coaster lingo, the GateKeeper's innovative elements include a wing over Drop, an immelmann, giant flat spin, camelback and a camelback drop, a zero G-roll, an inclined dive loop, 360-degree inline roll, and a wicked 360-degree spiral, all while traveling at up to 67 miles per hour.
Coaster enthusiasts say this ride ranks among Cedar Point's very best attractions.
Any thrill seeker wishing to ride GateKeeper can do so when Cedar Point officially opens this Saturday, May 11. This will be the park's 144th season.