Cedar Point reaffirms coaster credentials with Gatekeeper

Los Angeles Times staff writer

After a half decade without a new roller coaster and the removal of two aging rides from its coaster fleet, Cedar Point can once again reclaim its self-proclaimed title of “America’s Roller Coast” with the addition of Gatekeeper in 2013.

> Photos: Gatekeeper winged coaster at Cedar Point

Billed as the tallest, fastest and longest winged coaster with the highest inversion of any coaster in the world, the $30-million record-setting ride will fly over Cedar Point’s front entrance as the new icon of the Ohio amusement park.

Set to debut May 11, the Swiss-based Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Rider sits riders on either side of the track in a winged formation as the train navigates multiple inversions.

To date, B&M has built four winged coasters: Raptor at Italy’s Gardaland, Swarm at England’s Thorpe Park, Wild Eagle at Tennessee’s Dollywood and X-Flight at Six Flags Great America outside Chicago. A B&M Wing Rider is also set debut at China’s Ocean Kingdom in 2013.


After climbing a 170-foot-tall lift hill, Gatekeeper will rotate upside down before plummeting into a dive drop at speeds topping 65 mph.

The coaster will pass over the new Cedar Point entrance twice - first during a zero-G roll through a pair of keyhole towers and again during a 360-degree inline roll.

Along the way Gatekeeper will feature a total of six inversions, including an Immelmann twist, a corkscrew spin and an inclined dive loop along with a couple of airtime camelback hills.

Cedar Point’s coaster count will stand at 16 with the addition of Gatekeeper and the recent removal of the aptly-named Disaster Transport (built in 1985) and the outdated Wildcat (1979).

Arch-rival Six Flags Magic Mountain’s coaster count will rise to 18 in 2013 with the addition of the Full Throttle launched coaster, keeping the California amusement park ahead of Cedar Point in the battle for the coveted title of Roller Coaster Capital of the World.

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