Coaster101 team members Nick and Kyle had the opportunity to ride the new record breaking wing coaster at Cedar Point and shared their GateKeeper reviews:
Kyle: For months now we have heard about how great GateKeeper was going to be, and if you are like me, that meant very high expectations. After many hours spent watching this coaster take shape, I was itching to get up to Sandusky and ride it myself. Monday morning (May 13th) finally came and I had the opportunity to put this coaster to the test.
Nick: I had the great fortunate of being able to attend the media day event on Thursday, May 9th. I first want to thank Cedar Point for putting on such an outstanding event. Short lines, free food, free souvenirs, and sweet surprises (like opening Raptor and Millennium Force) – it was one of the best amusement park events I’ve ever been to. Like you Kyle, I watched GateKeeper come together piece by piece all winter and couldn’t wait to get on it.
Kyle: Visually, the ride is stunning. The newly painted blue track gracefully twists through the keyholes high above the main gate. If this doesn’t get you in the mood to ride, I don’t know what will. Cedar Point definitely did what they set out to do. The renovated main entrance is now very appealing also, and the season pass center will have you taken care of in a flash. We got our passes processed in about two minutes.
Nick: I couldn’t agree more. Cedar Point finally has a front gate worthy of one of the best amusement parks in the world. Every visitor is going to go home and talk to their friends and coworkers about this ride.
Kyle: The GateKeeper entrance plaza is also exceptional. Guests can now enjoy the views of Lake Erie and the coaster while having access to concessions and seating right beside the ride. Cedar Point did a great job opening that area up.
Nick: I don’t think anyone is going to miss that hideous Disaster Transport building. I think Gatekeeper is almost as fun to watch as it is to ride too. It’s a very quiet coaster, especially for a B&M.
Kyle: As you queue for the ride you are right under GateKeeper’s lift and first inversion, giving you ample time to view what you are about to experience. And what you are about to experience will not disappoint. This coaster is unlike anything you have ever ridden before. The point-of-view videos do not do it justice. The first drop is possibly one of the best I have been on. It slowly turns you upside down 170 feet in the air and then sends you 67 mph into an Immelman loop. After going over a camel back and through a giant flat spin, riders are faced with the coasters icon, the keyholes. As you barrel through these, you will feel as if you are going to run right into them! It is truly a one of a kind experience. There is a brake run towards the end of the ride, but after it there is a quite intense helix that pushes you deep into your seat before sending you over a small hill back into the station.
Nick: The restraints aren’t the hard rudder over-the-shoulder harness that you’re used to. It’s more of a vest with two seatbelt like shoulder straps – no head banging here. My advice to anyone who thinks it gets too tight during the ride is to lean forward while going up the lift.
Kyle: Nick and I rode both sides of the train so we could let you know which is better, but I have an interesting conclusion. There is not a single best seat on the ride, there are four: front far left, front far right, back far left and back far right. Sitting on the outside gives you the most sensations throughout the very smooth ride. The very front provides you with wonderful views of GateKeeper’s keyholes and also is the slowest at turning down the first drop. Being turned upside down slowly is a very unique experience! On the other hand, the back whips you down the first drop and is also a unique experience. The back is more intense too. So, if you can, ride in all four seats and see for yourself how GateKeeper is different than any other coaster.
Nick: It’s a hard decision to pick one side over the other. I think the amazing first drop is better on the left hand side where it pushes you up then yanks you over. But for the entire ride I think I give a slight edge to the right side. All the head chopper effects seem to be amplified. During media day, the left side appeared to be more popular and usually had the slightly longer wait time.
Kyle: Overall, GateKeeper is truly a great ride and you will not be let down. I for sure was not let down and GateKeeper now finds itself among my top ten.
Nick: GateKeeper is a great addition to Cedar Point and complements their other coasters quite well. Here’s a short video I shot outside the park during media day:
View GateKeeper pictures here. Have you ridden Cedar Point’s GateKeeper yet? Share your thoughts about the coaster in the comments section below.