Sandusky — On Thursday, May 9th thousands of coaster enthusiasts from across the globe flocked to America’s “roller-coast”, Cedar Point, for the opportunity to take flight on the amusement park’s latest record-shattering rollercoaster—GateKeeper.

Riders aboard GateKeeper pass behind the entry gate.
Riders aboard GateKeeper pass behind the entry gate.

“GateKeeper is unlike anything our guests have experienced before,” said John Hildebrandt, Cedar Point’s Vice President and General Manager. “It’s innovative thrills, like those our visitors will experience on GateKeeper, that keep them coming back year after year, earning us the honor of ‘Best Amusement Park in the World.’”

For Rob Decker, corporate vice president of planning and design for Cedar Fair, GateKeeper and the completely revamped entrance to Cedar Point is the fulfillment of a dream he has held since arriving at the company. Though Cedar Point has been recognized as the “best amusement park in the world” for several years, Decker believed that the front gate did not reflect the park’s “great collection of world-class rides and entertainment”.

Though Cedar Point is not known for being “theme heavy”, it does have “a rich history to honor and build upon.” said Decker “which is why remaining patient and waiting for the right ride to come along was so important to us. With GateKeeper, we remained true to [the park’s] identity as a destination for the best rides, and in the process created something truly majestic.”

Manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland, a company known around the world for its smooth steel coasters; GateKeeper was designed specifically for Cedar Point by Decker’s team and engineers from Bolliger & Mabillard.

Renown for its collection of thrilling rides that push the boundaries of height, speed, and length, Cedar Point has added a new category with GateKeeper—acrobatics.

Members of Cedar Fair's leadership such as VP of Planning & Design Rob Decker (above) were on hand to discuss  the planning and design of the ride and revamped entry plaza.
Members of Cedar Fair’s leadership such as VP of Planning & Design Rob Decker (above) were on hand to discuss the planning and design of the ride and revamped entry plaza.

Sitting suspended from the train, as if on the wings of a plane, GateKeeper riders are provided with the sensation of flight; dangling 170 feet above the pristine sands of Cedar Point Beach before experiencing a sharp, 180-degree turn and plummeting to within six feet of the ground. Adding to the excitement are six unique inversions and rolling hills, which help create the feeling of weightlessness. Riders complete the first leg of their journey by soaring through two massive keyhole towers that flank the park’s redesigned main entrance, twisting just in time to miss them at speeds of almost 70 mph—“creating a dynamic experience for those entering the park, and bringing the excitement of Cedar Point’s collection of world-class coasters to the front gate.”

True to its roots, Cedar Point has broken seven world records with the addition of GateKeeper—including the longest track (4,164 feet), tallest drop (164 feet) and most inversions of any wing roller coaster in the world.

But GateKeeper will not be the only new attraction this year.

Returning in 2013, Cedar Point’s popular nighttime show, “Luminosity,” lights up this June with an all-new lineup of music and choreography that is sure to have everyone dancing long after dark. Those who love big-city entertainment also won’t want to miss “On Broadway,” a musical revue debuting June 8.

Guests also have more food options, including the ability to customize their beverages with more than 100 flavor combinations at the park’s new Coca-Cola freestyle machines. Visitors may choose their own yogurt toppings at Yogurt Plus, located near GateKeeper, and enjoy their favorite soft pretzel flavors at Auntie Anne’s.

Cedar Point opened for daily operation on May 11th and remains open through Labor Day, Sept. 2, and Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 27. Be sure to check out for additional information.