Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cedar Point's GateKeeper: Complete!

GateKeeper's final helix from the park side
Yesterday was a big day for Cedar Point as the park lifted the last of the 102 track pieces that make up GateKeeper into place, completing the coaster's 4,164 foot course.

Only a few pieces remained after the helix before the course was complete
The park sent out a press release about the completion of the ride, touting the design efforts that went into creating GateKeeper.  “GateKeeper is truly an innovation in thrills,” said Rob Decker, Cedar Fair’s corporate vice president of planning and design. “Every twist, turn and near-miss element was created exclusively for Cedar Point, and we can’t wait to see our guests experience it.”

Up goes the last piece of track!
“This project has truly been a collaborative effort,” said August Lococo, project manager and corporate director of maintenance and compliance for Cedar Fair. “Our crews worked six days a week through rain, snow and freezing temperatures, and we’re pleased to have completed the track ahead of schedule.”

Positioning the final piece into place
GateKeeper starts with a 170 foot tall lift hill along the beach before flipping riders upside down at that height.  The ride will soar down the first hill, reaching a maximum speed of 67 miles per hour.  With seats suspended from the car, there will be nothing above or below riders while on the coaster.

Cedar Point is spending an estimated $30 million on GateKeeper along with renovations to the main entrance gates and plaza.  According to the park the ride will break seven world records including "tallest drop, longest track and most inversions of any winged coaster on the planet."

Congratulations to Cedar Point on finishing the ride ahead of schedule, we can't wait to see the trains get on the track for testing!  Cedar Point will open, along with GateKeeper, in just 71 days on May 11th, 2013.