The entrance to Cedar Point has been unchanged over the last half century, but that will change in 2013. The whole ticket area is going to be change to make it easier for guests to access Guest Services, Group Sales, and the like. But that’s not all, there’s going to be a new coaster flying around this new entrance. GateKeeper, the park’s first B&M coaster since 1996, will open as the tallest, fastest, and most inversion-filled Wing Coaster in the world. The ride will also feature the tallest inversion in the world, a dive drop at 170’ high.
Cedar Point was pretty much devoid of inversions. Corkscrew, Raptor, and Mantis were the only coasters in the park with a heavy influence on upside-down elements, with Maverick leaving it as sort of an afterthought. All of the other record breaking Intamin coasters at Cedar Point were all about height and speed, not inversions. With these four coasters, Cedar Point’s inversion count stood at 15, 20 less than Six Flags Magic Mountain. With GateKeeper, Cedar Point’s inversion count went up to 21, and is now the third highest in the world, behind Thorpe Park, which sits at 22, and Six Flags Magic Mountain, who’s inversion count decreased by one with the removal of Déjà Vu and addition of Full Throttle.
Because of the addition of GateKeeper, Cedar Point had to remove two rides to make way. Disaster Transport, the park’s indoor bobsled coaster, was dismantled piece by piece, and Space Spiral, a double-decker observation tower, was brought down via implosion.
GateKeeper is a mixture of the other two B&M Wing Coasters that currently reside in the United States. The ride includes the long, unique elements of Wild Eagle at Dollywood, and also the opening inversion and fast-paced near misses of X-Flight at Six Flags Great America.
GateKeeper can be found at the former spot of Disaster Transport, next to Wicked Twister and Windseeker, which both dominate the skyline at this section of the park. GateKeeper adds to the skyline, with an impressive height at 170’ high, and vibrant blue color scheme. Once seated on either side of the track, riders pull down their restraints. After the thumbs up is given, the train moves forward, takes a right out of the station, and slowly clicks up the lift hill, the suspense building with every inch traveled.
Once at the top, riders get a beautiful view of the parking lot, and then take the unique dive drop, which twists and drops riders 164’ at speeds of 67 MPH, just 5 MPH shy of Magnum XL-200’s top speed across the park. Riders then loop up and twist, executing an Immelman. The train then flies high into a soaring floater airtime hill. They then corkscrew over the late-course brake run, which leads into one of the key elements of the ride, a zero-g-roll. But this isn’t a normal zero-g-roll; the train goes through keyholes, which are located on structures placed on top of the new entrance area, another reason for the renovation and for the name as well. The train then turns back around, in the form of a dive loop. After a small breather which marks the halfway point in the ride, riders do a barrel-roll, which rests alongside of the two keyhole structures. Riders rise up into the late-course brake run, and drop into a tight helix, which is sure to feature plenty of positive g-forces. After quick bunny hill, riders come to a stop in the final brake run.