GRAVITY HAS ITS ADVANTAGES BUT weightlessness is where all of the fun is. At least that's what Cedar Point is banking on for the 2005 season with its newest thrilling attraction, maXair.
Essentially a swinging pendulum with riders facing outward in a giant circle on suspended seats, this 70-mile-an-hour, upside-down experience reaches a height of 140 feet, while simultaneously allowing participants to catch some air in the process.
Exciting to some, harrowing to others, entertaining to say the least, the $10 million maXair is the latest and greatest at Cedar Point.
"This will be the second such ride like it in the country," said Public Relations Director Robin Innes. "It's very thrilling, and we thought with a new thrill ride that it would be popular and a very good addition to the park."
Once back on the ground, presumably with innards intact, there is plenty to do on the shores of Lake Erie.
Cedar Point, which last year attracted 3.2 million visitors, offers the most rides (68) and roller coasters (16) in the world.
Invariably, when describing the 364-acre park, located in Sandusky, two adjectives stick out: tallest and fastest.
"Top Thrill Dragster is the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster," Innes said. "And with Millennium Force, which was the tallest and fastest when we introduced it, we have the two tallest and fastest roller coasters in America right now."
Roller coaster leader
In fact, over the years, Cedar Point has featured four rides in total that at the time of their introduction were the tallest and fastest. This includes the Gemini (1978), Magnum (1989), Millennium Force (2000) and Top Thrill Dragster (2003).
Essentially, the park's roller coaster roster details the evolution of the attraction over the past half a century. While its first such thrill ride dates back to 1892 (Cedar Point opened in 1870) its list today includes numerous classics such as the Blue Streak (1964), Corkscrew (1976), Raptor (1994) and Mantis (1996).
As far as other new attractions this year, "Snoopy's Summer Vacation" is a brand new ice-skating show in the Good Time Theatre.
"We are constantly looking at what we have to offer and what we think will be the best addition to the park," Innes said. "Sometimes that will be an attraction, sometimes that will be a ride, sometimes that will be resort accommodations. So, we're always looking for what we think will best fit our need. Generally, our goal is we want to make sure that all of our guests have a complete and full day of fun at Cedar Point."
Similar to the trend of other parks in the region, Cedar Point's 18-acre waterpark, Soak City, is aimed at making the park doubly fun, or a two-day family destination. The park boasts over 1,400 hotel rooms available on its grounds, as well as boat slips and a campground with cottages and cabins.
"To be honest, because the park has grown so much, I would say certainly take your time and enjoy it," Innes said. "There's a lot to see and do. If you try to rush through it, I think you'll miss a lot of the excitement."
Naturally, Cedar Point also has plenty to do for the nonthrill seekers, including three antique carousels, an authentic steam locomotive ride, bumper cars and plenty of options for kids (Kiddy Kingdom, Camp Snoopy, Gemini Children's Area and PEANUTS Playground).
"I'd say this year we're going to have an exciting summer," Innes said. "We've got a thrilling new ride plus all of your Cedar Point favorites. I think it would be a great place for the family to get together again."