Sean: The unique collection of Cedar Fair parks are home to some of the world’s greatest and biggest coasters. While all parks are currently closed due to COVID-19, now’s a good time to discuss the company’s best coasters:
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5. GhostRider – Knott’s Berry Farm (Buena Park, California)
When this 118 ft. tall wooden coaster opened in December of 1998, the ride was an instant hit. The combination of stellar pacing, fierce turns and airtime made for a crowd pleaser in a market with mostly old wooden coasters. To renew interest, the coaster was relaunched in 2016 bringing a full retrack, removal of the mid-course brakes, and new Millennium Flyers. The ride runs even more aggressively (yet smooth as butter) and doesn’t let up ’til you’re back at the station. GhostRider is a wild woodie with even wilder laterals.
4. Magnum XL-200 – Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio)
Next up: the nearly-mile long original hyper coaster that stands 205 ft. tall. This classic Arrow doesn’t just have a ton of character, it also has murderous airtime on the return. The old-school trains allow for more than your average amount floating over the hills and the ride’s pacing is wondrous. To top it all off, the amazing views of Lake Erie and the departure of the park’s main midways make for great scenery. Magnum XL-200 is a trendsetter that has aged like particularly well.
3. Fury 325 – Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina)
One of the best coasters on earth is argued to be Fury 325. As the name implies, this B&M Mega Coaster towers 325 feet over the border of South Carolina and North Carolina and is the world’s tallest Giga Coaster. Fury 325 combines swooping new hyper-elements with classic air-inducing acrobatics. The airtime and pacing on this twisted airtime machine are so outstanding that it is well deserving of a spot on this list.
2. Intimidator 305 – Kings Dominion (Doswell, Virginia)
Taking the #2 spot is the incredibly violent 2010 addition to Kings Dominion. This 305 ft. tall Intamin coaster has redefined the possibilities for a Giga Coaster. After rapidly reaching the top of the cable lift, Intimidator 305 dumps you to the ground at 85 degrees, reaching a speed of 90 miles per hour. The ride opened with a flat turn on ground level, which was later altered to lessen the intensity of the ride. Intimidator 305 continues to be so intense that it’s not unusual to “grey out” on the coaster. Besides the intensity factor, this Intamin beast also has the sharpest and fastest transitions between turns. Though too intense for many, this coaster ranks so high for a very unique and certainly memorable ride experience.
1. Maverick – Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio)
Coming in at #1 is the first Intamin Blitz Coaster ever built! Maverick pairs a set of launches (one disguised as a lift hill) with snappy transitions, strong airtime, and quick inversions. One of the inversions was taken out prior to the ride opening due to the amount of stress it put on the trains, structure, and riders. The element sure doesn’t feel like its missing as the horse themed coaster continues to amaze and thrill riders. The balance of speed, touches of theming, inversions, a killer first drop and airtime is near-perfect, placing Maverick at #1.
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