One Tank Wonders: Cedar Point

Aaron Helfferich and Aaron Helfferich

While gas prices continue to increase, college students may find it hard to diversify their weekend entertainment plans. Some students at the University may not know they have one of the world’s greatest amusement parks right in their backyard.

Cedar Point is the self proclaimed “roller coaster capital of the world” that rests beautifully along the banks of Lake Erie. Within an hour drive from Bowling Green, Cedar Point becomes an obvious target for a one day trip of entertainment, refreshment and infinite thrills.

Since 1870, the small town of Sandusky, Ohio has shared Cedar Point with the world. In its early years it was known for primarily being a bath house and spa along the secluded beaches of the Lake Erie peninsula. It was not until 1892, when they built their first roller coaster, The Switchback Railway, that elevated riders 25 feet high and sent them racing down a wooden track at 10 miles per hour.

Today, Cedar Point has grown into one of the most recognized amusement parks of the world. As of 2007, Cedar Point is the home of 17 roller coasters that have invaded the record books at staggering heights and unimaginable speeds.

Over the years, the park has installed legendary coasters like Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster which were the first to surpass the heights of 300 feet and 400 feet respectively. This year, however, Cedar Point chose to break that record setting trend and design a roller coaster without all of the record breaking features.

Cedar Point’s 17th roller coaster, Maverick, goes back to the basics of an unexpected thrill based ride experience. The terrain hugging track incorporates inversions, a 95 degree first drop, overanked turns, airtime hills, and a 70 mile per hour launch through a dark tunnel.

The project was so innovative that Amusement Today awarded Maverick with a “Golden Ticket” award for the “best new ride of 2007”.

Still, if you are not the thrill seeking type, Cedar Point offers tamer roller coasters, a number of live shows and many different seasonal events.

Since the fall operation hours are restricted to Fridays through Sundays, Cedar Point transforms into Halloweekends for the month of October. Halloweekends is Cedar Point’s premiere holiday event that incorporates the regular thrills of the park with Halloween themed food, parades, magicians, and haunted houses. It is a fun filled event with thrills for every member of the family.

Now is a better time than ever to make your way to Cedar Point. With discounted tickets at participating Meijer stores like Bowling Green’s, you can get everything the world’s greatest amusement park has to offer with an added Halloween bonus.

Along with being recognized for their remarkable collection of roller coasters, Cedar Point was, for the tenth year in a row, awarded the prestigious Golden Ticket award for “the best amusement park in the world.”

Now, when thinking of the phrase “the happiest place on earth”, Disney World can’t even compare to “the roller coaster capital of the world.”