The Casual Runner

Roller Coaster Rankings: Cedar Point

Ranking the Coasters of the Roller Coaster Capital of the World
Cedar Point Amusement Park,

Sandusky, Ohio
Annually, May to Halloween

Casual Runners know that while running is a part of our lives, it is not our entire lives. Better yet, as Casual Running allows us to be healthier and live more active lifestyles, it allows us to experience new and wonderful adventures. In this special series, we will look at fun Casual Adventurers that our Team takes on when we are away from our training, even if its only for a day or two!  Check out other installments in this series by clicking here.

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Check out our review of the 2015 Cedar Point Half Marathon.

Watch our YouTube video of the 2015 Cedar Point Half Marathon 

The shores of Lake Erie and the roller coaster community are all abuzz with the debut of Valravn, the newest addition to Cedar Point’s record-breaking roller coaster lineup. As we get set to check out this latest beast at the upcoming Run & Ride Cedar Point Half Marathon Weekend, we thought it was a great opportunity to share with you our definitive rankings of the Cedar Point roller coasters from top to bottom, and the list may just surprise you!

Want to know how Valravn stacks up? Well, you’ll just have to check back in a few weeks to find out.

The Esteemed Panel:

In addition to CR Team Members Nick, Candace, Steve, and Mike, we asked several readers to weigh in with their opinions. These include Kelley and Kari, both veterans of previous Cedar Point race events, and Brit, who is a native of northwest Ohio and self-described expert on all things Cedar Point.  She is also the creative force behind the awesome Bottles & Banters website, which you should check out. Rounding out our panel is Tim, who is both a Casual Runner and Casual Adventure’s newly designated in-house roller coaster expert.

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How We Did It:

Our panel members separately ranked each of the coasters 1-14 without knowledge or influence by anyone else (though there were some not-so-subtle attempts at aggressive lobbying, but we won’t name any names). We added up the votes. Like golf, low score wins.

Both Steve and Nick took issue with our coaster lineup (evidently telling them that only currently existing coasters was not illustrative enough. So Steve protested the omission of MaxAir, saying that its “Not a roller coaster, but a great ride nonetheless.  It’s got two different movements: the back and forth of the pendulum, and the rotation of the seats.  It’s great!” Correct Steve, but still, not a coaster, not going to be ranked!

Nick’s also lodged a protest vote, calling for recognition of the former Dis(patch M)aster Transport: “Ok, I cheated. This isn’t on the list. Let’s pour one out for this now razed bobsled coaster. I LOVED riding this! It had an obscenely long line for what it was, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t great for an air conditioning break during the heat of the summer.”

OK folks, are we done with our protests votes? Can we go onto the real rankings? Thank you… IMG_5854

14) Mean Streak (10, 9, 12, 11, 14, 14, 14: 84 points)

Steve: I have a soft spot for the old wooden roller coasters.  The wooden ones are bumpier and make the rides more fun in my opinion.  Also, like Magnum, it is a very short wait, if at all, to get on the ride.

Kelley: I used to love this ride when I was young. Now it just gives me whiplash. I do like that the track path winds you through the coaster itself.

Mike: Wooden Coaster. Impressive sight lines. Great design concept. Massive. Placed right next to the lake. I should love everything about this coaster…but sadly, I don’t.

Nick: Die in a fire. Seriously. Catch it on fire. Get long sticks. Roast marshmallows. It’s right next to the campground, so those folks would love it!

13) Iron Dragon (13, 13, 13, 9, 10, 11, 12: 81 points)

Kelley: Smooth and a great starter coaster for young’ns.

Nick: Affectionately known as Draggin’ Iron. Great little suspended coaster with great views of the park.

Steve: this is mostly sentimental.  When I go with my family, it’s tame enough that everybody will go on the ride, but has enough going for it that makes it more interesting than other, more beginner rides.  The buckets are unique enough, and make the curves fun.

Mike: I really have no idea why this one is still hanging around (yes, pun intended!)

12) Corkscrew (14, 11, 4, 10, 12, 13, 13: 77 points)

Steve: it’s got, what, one corkscrew, and that’s it?  It’s just a metal track coaster, low energy (sad!).

Mike: This coaster was groundbreaking in its day, unfortunately its day was a long time ago and it no longer stands the test of time.

Kelley: This ride has been around a while and is usually a great spot to hit a quick ride while you wait for someone to ride Top Thrill.

Nick: Revolutionary? Yes. Whimsical? You bet. I’m not the biggest fan, but my chiropractor certainly is.

11) Wicked Twister (12, 8, 8, 14, 8, 8, 10: 68 points)

Steve: I like the hangers?  So, while this one has one of the most innovative concepts in the park (going up and down a “U” shape over and over), I give Raptor the edge though; the ride itself is shorter than I’d like.

Nick: Too short of a ride time and inefficient loading (kind of a given because of ride style) push it down for me. But it’s a great ride if the line is down and you’re in the area of the park. We were train #3 to the public on this one.

Kelley: I’ve only ridden or one time. It didn’t impress.

Mike: Wicked Twister is your standard small coaster you’d find at an oceanfront pier amusement park. So, it is really not befitting of a place in the roller coaster capital of the world. Its also not on the way to anything, which makes it an easy skip for me. Yes, I know, Cedar Point spoils me.

10) Blue Streak (8, 12, 9, 13, 9, 5, 8: 64 points)

Kelley: This ride exists to test your whiplash threshold.                 

Nick: Who doesn’t love the classics? Plus, we can thank Sandusky High School for the name. Fun fact: I lost in a wrestling match to a guy from Sandusky. Ugh.

Mike: I love this underrated and timeless classic, do not overlook it!

Steve: The only thing I like about it is that it’s a wooden coaster.  Otherwise, I’d never ride.

Tie 8. Cedar Creek Mine Ride (7, 14, 5, 2, 13, 3, 11: 55 points)

Nick: The fastest? Most exciting? Best themed? Nah. None of those are true. But you can bank on literally no wait, every single time you ride. Plus: it’s an easy intro to get kids excited about roller coasters! Gotta raise the newest generation properly.

Kelley: Call me crazy but I’ve always loved mine rides and flume rides (which is why I love most coasters at Disney’s Magic Kingdom).

Mike: I can’t quite put my finger on why I like this one as much as I do, but I do. It is always enjoyable (just don’t invest too much time waiting in line, should there be a line, which there won’t because people do not appreciate this one enough). 

Tie 8. Gemini (4, 10, 6, 12, 11, 6, 6: 55 points)

Kelley: I’m not a big wooden coaster fan. (EDITOR’S NOTE: We know that technically Gemini is considered a steel tube track on a wood coaster. Half of our panel believes it should still be referred to as a wood coaster, half doesn’t. We will continue to fight it out among ourselves, but you should feel free to let us know should you have strongly held beliefs either way).

Mike: This twin coaster has such amazingly high capacity that it has little to no wait for what would be the top coaster at many amusement parks. Add in the re-rideability and this coaster is perfect for “instant replays,” just get right back in line.

Steve: Interesting concept, but Mean Streak is better for wooden coasters.

Nick: Twins, Basil. Twins!

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7) GateKeeper (6, 2, 10, 7, 5, 12, 9: 51 points)

Nick: A solid “Meh” from us. Flew up from Austin, TX specifically to ride this one.

Kelley: It says a lot about Cedar Point roller coasters that this ride is number 7 on my list.

Mike: I think Candace wanted to punch me when she saw how low I ranked this one. The 2 best parts about this coaster are the cool new restraint system (which are surprising comfortable for a coaster) and its prime placement bringing kinetics to the front of the park.

6) Rougarou (formerly Mantis) (11, 7, 3, 4, 7, 10, 7: 49 points)

Kelley: I’ve always loved this ride but it’s so much better now that they changed the cars.

Nick: Like Chicago’s Sears Tower never being called Willis, so too will Mantis forever be Mantis. Plus, who can EVER forget listening to Hootie and the Blowfish on repeat for the whole wait?! Love.

Mike: My memories of this coaster on dominated by the in-queue music videos on endless loops and the pain it causes if you aren’t positioned…just right.

Steve: Dead damn last. I haven’t ridden this either, but this is a protest vote because I loved Mantis.  I would rank Mantis #4 on this list, but here we are.  Protest vote.

5) Magnum XL-200 (2, 6, 14, 8, 6, 4, 3: 43 points)

Mike: This coaster is essentially the Blue Streak in steel and on TONS of steroids. In a word, its awesome.

Nick: Two words: Ejector. Seat. Those are the only words that matter.

Steve: Controversial pick here, but hear me out.  Magnum is basically pre-Millennium Force. It’s tallest hill is about 2/3 of Millennium Force, and Magnum goes about 3/4 the top speed.  But, you can walk right onto Magnum, whereas Millennium Force you need to wait forever to get on.  In fact, I’ve walked right on to Magnum, rode it, ran around to the start, and walked on again without having to wait again.  I don’t like waiting, and you never have to wait long for Magnum.

Kelley: This was my first coaster ever. At the time it was the world’s tallest. Now it’s not as impressive but it’s still fun and usually has short lines.

4) Top Thrill (5, 3, 7, 5, 3, 9, 5: 37 points)

Kelley: I love this ride. It’s fast and furious but it loses points for long lines and a short ride time.

Nick: Prom night. She was fast and intense, and it was over in seconds. True story! Super quick and exciting ride and who knows if you’ll make it over the hill! We were train #5 to the public – came to the park for exactly one ride on opening day for this before heading back home to get ready for Prom. Arms down! Arms down! Arms down!

Mike: This one scares the crap out of me every time I ride it, and I love it for it!

Steve: the top speed and height is just too much to ignore.  Only thing keeping it from being higher up is how long you wait for it.

3) Maverick (9, 5, 11, 6, 1, 2, 2: 36 points)

Kelley: This ride doesn’t look impressive, but the first drop is a surprise.

Nick: Another knocked out of the park by Intamin. Speed, agility, and theming (by Cedar Point standards, at least) make Maverick as exciting a ride you’ll find. It also holds a special place in my heart: Brittany and I were on the second train ever opened to the public.

Steve: I love the “inverted” hill, and the mid-race re-launch.  I think it’s also got the best banking curves out of any ride in the park.  Since it’s a newer coaster, it’s also one with a longer wait, so that’s a bit of a bummer.

Mike: Man, I am definitely the outlier on this one. Again, this would be the top coaster at many parks, but Cedar Point just has so many great options that I prefer more.

2) Raptor (3, 4, 2, 3, 4, 7, 4: 27 points)

Kelley: It’s a Cedar Point classic. The first time I went to CP, it had just opened and I couldn’t wait to ride it. It still thrills and it’s so different from other coasters.

Nick: Great ride, to be sure. It’s only down on the list for sentimental reasons. It surely deserves to be higher, but isn’t. Call this the AP Poll instead of the Coaches’ Poll. Obligatory: Here goes the floor, you’re out the door.

Steve: Perfect combination of top speed, length of ride, “tricks” (loops, banks, etc), and a decent wait.

Mike: This suspended coaster drops guests down onto the Midway. Couldn’t be better placed.

1) Millennium Force (1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1: 8 points)

Kelley: It is full speed full time. I love sitting in the left seat because when you come over that first hill, all you see is the beautiful lake view.

Nick: This is obvious. Millennium Force revolutionized the >300′ roller coaster experience and Intamin AG created a wonderfully smooth experience. Together with amazing views, virtually invisible cars, and amazing speed, this coaster is the tops for any amusement ride anywhere.

Steve: this is probably blasphemy to have Millennium Force this low, but I will not be convinced it’s anything other than just a tall and fast roller coaster.  Yeah, that’s nice, but it’s kind of pedestrian in that way.  There’s no interesting hook, like it hangs you from your chair (Raptor), or it launches you up very high/top speed (Top Thrill), or is bumpy (Mean Streak).  It’s just, a roller coaster.  I don’t know.

Mike: The first time I road this coaster I was wearing a shirt that buttoned in the front. When I got off. Every button had come undone. Every button. If there is higher praise for a massive coaster, I have yet to hear it.

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Well that will do it, at least until we get to ride Valravn during the 2016 Run and Ride Cedar Point Half Marathon Race Weekend. If you want to join us at this or any other Run and Ride race, you can still save money with our discount code!

Check out our review of the 2015 Cedar Point Half Marathon.

Watch our YouTube video of the 2015 Cedar Point Half Marathon 

Check out other installments in our Casual Adventurer Series by clicking here.

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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