Over two long summers in Detroit, I dreamed of going to Cedar Point (and here I am sharing top 5 rides at Cedar Point with you!). It’s not that my grandmother wouldn’t take me, but it was a few hours away in the neighboring state. Every time we made plans with someone to go, it never worked out.
When Granny died last year, and I started using thrill rides to overcome grief and anxiety, I knew I had to make it there. So, with plans to scatter ashes in nearby Detroit, I found my way to Sandusky, Ohio. Overall, our visit to Cedar Point was a great experience and I know she was with me (especially on Valravn!).
If you’re interested, check out our videos from Cedar Point:
- Cedar Point Top Roller Coasters and Park Review
- Steel Vengeance POV video
- Cedar Point Express Hotel Review
Cedar Point Park Information & Experience
We’d stayed at the Cedar Point Express Hotel, which allowed us to enter the park an hour early! After a short five-minute drive, we found the parking lot almost empty. Then, there was no wait at Guest Services when we went to pick up our passes! If you’re interested in visiting, here is some park info:
It took more than 30 years to make it to Cedar Point, but I got there! My travel anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) came along for the journey, of course! Fortunately, the way the amusement park is run kept my nerves under control.
You can tell they are used to dealing with a lot of people, because everything moved rapidly and smoothly. In fact, we were blown away by the overall efficiency at Cedar Point. The well-trained ride operators actually enjoy their job.
It made every ride so much more enjoyable to have enthusiastic employees running things. That definitely helped to calm my anxiety. We visit a lot of parks and I can comfortably say that Cedar Point is among the best!
In terms of food options, you definitely won’t go hungry. Cedar Point has all of the traditional theme park-style food offerings. We even spotted fries made with potatoes from Idaho — it was like we were still in Boise! We also found popular chains such as Chick-Fil-A, Panda Express and Pink’s Hot Dogs. Eating at theme parks triggers my travel OCD, but the lines moved quickly and our food was fresh and hot (and handled in a sanitary way)!
Also, when people visit amusement parks, they tend to talk about the general public (or GP). This refers to the other visitors, often locals, you’ll interact with while at the park. Our fellow Cedar Point patrons were friendly, warm and kind. One woman even went out of her way to compliment me on my short haircut! Being surrounded by cool people made the day even better!
We love a good beyond-vertical roller coaster, but looking at Maverick from outside the park’s Chick-Fil-A, we truly underestimated it. Compact and unassuming, the red ride is so much fun! It features two launches — the first right before the 95 degree drop — and a unique series of elements. Later, we noticed some similar twists during Steel Vengeance (more on that in a bit!).
Here are some ride specs for Maverick:
- Year built: 2007
- Engineer: Intamin
- Drop height: 100’
- Total height: 105’
- Speed: 70 mph
- Inversions: 2
- Notable: With a 95 degree drop, Maverick is the steepest ride at Cedar Point
With a max height of just 105 feet, it’s easy to overlook this ride. However, when it reaches that max speed of 70mph as it spirals, dips and bucks all over the place, you’ll be completely enthralled. Honestly, this was a very fun ride and I wished we could have done it again. It definitely deserves to be in our top 5 rides at Cedar Point!
Top Thrill Dragster
For the longest time, Top Thrill Dragster has been at the top of my bucket list. Some part of me never thought I’d be brave enough to actually do it! The original strata roller coaster, it reaches a speed of 120mph in 2.6 seconds. Then, it rockets up and over a 420-foot top hat!
Here are some ride specs for Top Thrill Dragster:
- Year built: 2003
- Engineer: Intamin
- Drop height: 400’
- Total height: 420’
- Speed: 120 mph
- Inversions: 0
- Notable: Upon completion, Top Thrill Dragster was world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, the world’s tallest complete circuit roller coaster, and featured the world’s tallest roller coaster drop.
Riding Do-dodonpa at Fuji-Q Highland last month helped prepare me for the launch, but Top Thrill Dragster definitely feels faster. One thing I really love about it, though, is the hot rod dragster theming. The checkered flags, spectator bleachers and the car itself were so cool!
My favorite part was hearing the tires squealing as we got ready to launch. After that, it was all a spectacular blur, and so much more enjoyable than I ever imagined. It makes me sad to think that fear could have kept me from having such a joyful experience. I’m even sadder that it’s too far away for me to visit more often. It’s intimidating, but it’s worth it!
While I was most excited to finally ride Top Thrill Dragster, I was most nervous about climbing on Millennium Force. That’s why I chose to ride it first thing in the morning! After that, everything else felt easy! Very quickly, we understood why people love this ride and why it needed a spot in our top 5 rides at Cedar Point.
Related post: How Scary is Millennium Force?
Here are some ride specs for Millennium Force:
- Year built: 2000
- Engineer: Intamin
- Drop height: 300’
- Total height: 310’
- Speed: 93 mph
- Inversions: 0
- Notable: When built, Millenium Force held the record for tallest and fastest complete circuit roller coaster for 3 months, until Steel Dragon 2000 opened in Japan. Millenium Force was the first complete circuit giga coaster ever made.
Millennium Force begins with a 300-foot, 80 degree drop and reaches a maximum speed of 93mph. My first time tackling a giga coaster (a roller coaster taller than 300 feet) was smooth and exhilarating! I’m also proud that my first giga coaster was the first one that was ever built!
I’ll confess, I greyed out after that first drop for a few seconds. It was the first time that’s ever happened to me on a ride, and I’ve wondered if it’s because this ride is a little older. Fortunately, I recovered quickly and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of it!
One of the biggest reasons for our visit was to experience Valravn. Having lived near Busch Gardens Williamsburg for years, we’ve ridden Griffon, the Virginia park’s dive coaster. With a drop of 205 feet and a maximum speed of 71mph, it reigned supreme until Valravn knocked it off its perch.
Here are some ride specs for Valravn:
- Year built: 2016
- Engineer: B&M
- Drop height: 214’
- Total height: 223’
- Speed: 75 mph
- Inversions: 3
- Notable: Valravn held six dive coaster records when it opened: tallest, fastest, longest overall, longest drop, most inversions, and highest inversion until Yukon Striker at Canada’s Wonderland surpassed it in all except inversion height.
The Cedar Point attraction features at 214-foot drop at 74mph, making it a little more intimidating. You won’t be surprised to hear that I was nervous during that initial climb. Then, I thought about my grandmother and felt her comforting presence.
After all, losing her is what has motivated me to live my life more fully. Feeling reassured, I let Valravn take over and it was fantastic — especially when we learned that all of our swooping actually spells out “Ohio.” How fun is that?
There’s something about wooden roller coasters that people find both thrilling and terrifying. Steel Vengeance is a hybrid coaster that combines wood and steel and it’s awe-inspiring. When we actually stood in front of it, my knees buckled a little. This ride kicks off with a 200-foot drop at a 90 degree angle which looks absolutely insane compared to any other wooden coaster I’ve ever ridden.
Related post: How Scary is Steel Vengeance?
Here are some ride specs for Steel Vengeance:
- Year built: 2018
- Engineer: RMC
- Drop height: 200’
- Total height: 205’
- Speed: 74 mph
- Inversions: 4
- Notable: When it opened, Steel Vengeance broke 10 world records including: tallest hybrid roller coaster, fastest hybrid roller coaster, steepest drop (90) on a hybrid roller coaster, longest drop on a hybrid roller coaster, longest hybrid roller coaster, most inversions on a hybrid roller coaster, fastest airtime hill on a hybrid roller coaster, most airtime on a hybrid roller coaster, most airtime on any roller coaster, and first hyper-hybrid roller coaster.
Even with our Fast Lane Plus passes, the wait was 45 minutes. By the time we reached the platform my stomach was flip flopping. After enjoying taller, faster rides, it felt silly to be scared, but I just didn’t know what to expect. In the end, Steel Vengeance ended up being my favorite ride of the day! It’s a no-brainer that this is among our top 5 rides at Cedar Point. In fact, it’s in our top five rides anywhere!
On this ride, roller coaster enthusiasts get the best of both worlds. It offers the stability and inversion capability of a steel track along with the coolness and unique feel of a wooden structure. The airtime was mind blowing with Steel Vengeance hurtling through drops, corkscrews and inversions at a maximum speed of 74mph. Both physically and visually, this has to be the most thrilling ride experience of my life, without question. It was just so much more than I could have imagined!
A Truly Magnificent Park
After more than three decades of waiting, Cedar Point made all of my dreams come true. It was absolutely so much more than I ever expected — and I went in with some pretty high expectations! Plus, my travel anxiety stayed in check! That’s really a sign that this is such a well-run park. We’d go back in a heartbeat. If you feel the same way, we hope that this list of our top 5 rides at Cedar Point is helpful for your visit to the park!
Sandusky is a bit of a drive from the major airports (we flew into Columbus and stopped at Mikey’s Late Night Slice), but it’s absolutely worth the effort. Not only is Cedar Point a truly magnificent park, but the drive through Ohio is peaceful and quite beautiful (don’t leave the area without trying Skyline Chili!).
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Buckeye State, but the food was excellent and the people were warm and friendly. Combine that with a thrilling amusement park and you’ve got a recipe for a great getaway!
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