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2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Cedar Point's Millennium Force

By Robert Niles
Published: March 12, 2010 at 10:24 AM
Theme Park Insider readers have selected Cedar Point's Millennium Force at the top seed in the Best Roller Coaster bracket of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament, which begins Thursday.

Cedar Point's Millennium Force

Installed in 2000 (and thus, the name), Millennium Force takes riders up 300-foot lift hill for an awesome view all of Cedar Point, as well as much of the Ohio coast. Look quickly, though, because you're about to fall down those 300 feet, just yards from the edge of Lake Erie. Barely missing the lake, you then bank into a sweeping right turn that leaves you with a breathtaking feeling of flying over the treetops.

From there, it's all about speed and airtime, as Millennium Force swoops and dips up and down the Lake Erie shore. Come ride with us:

Millennium Force was Intamin's first coaster to be dubbed a "Giga." A second Giga, Intimidator 305, will open at Kings Dominion this spring. (Interesting to note that Cedar Fair's other "Intimidator"-themed coaster for this year, at Carowinds, will be a Bolliger & Mabillard Mega - the second seed in this year's Best Roller Coaster tournament bracket.) Intamin Megas - essentially the same design as the Giga but with smaller (gee, only 200-foot) drops) - include Bizarro at Six Flags New England and Superman - Ride Of Steel at Six Flags America.

So far, you've ranked Millennium Force as the best roller coaster at the nation's top theme parks. Can it survive head-to-head match-ups in the tournament to claim the title of the Best Roller Coaster in America? Tournament voting starts Thursday. You've seen the bracket now, so let's hear your thoughts in the comments.

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on March 12, 2010 at 10:31 AM
Lemme kick off the comments by noting that the top five seeds in this bracket do not have inversions (i.e. upside-down loops). Anyone care to comment on that?
From Wes Lindquist on March 12, 2010 at 10:42 AM
Manta should be much higher but I'm not sure enough folks have been on the ride to vote for it. Not sure Top Thrill Dragster should be in the top 16. It's a one-trick pony although that's one fantastic trick.
From Erin B on March 12, 2010 at 11:19 AM
That is interesting, Robert. Personally, I agree with it. I don't care so much for inversions as I do airtime, speed, and a classic out-and-back format. Inversions disorient me, haha.
From Ray Schroeder on March 12, 2010 at 11:22 AM
Best coaster ever....
From Joshua Counsil on March 12, 2010 at 12:01 PM
Inversions are overrated. Good airtime is not, and that's why I'll take a coaster like this over something like Raptor any day.

Still, its greatest strength is its greatest flaw: it's too smooth. The first drop is a whopper, but I find that I get very little thrill after the first crest. Don't get me wrong - it's an excellent ride, with a great integration of research and development - but I find Magnum-XL to be a superior coaster with far more airtime. I'd still give it a 9-Outstanding, but I don't consider it the best coaster in this tournament, nor in the Point.

From Anthony O'Neal on March 12, 2010 at 12:19 PM
Simply put, it's my favorite.

Interesting note about the inversions. I suppose that I prefer speed and height to inversions, but still, coasters like Raptor, Batman: The Ride, and Montu are still great!

From Robert Niles on March 12, 2010 at 12:35 PM
My only beef with this coaster is that Cedar Point, like here at Knott's Berry Farm, just can't seem to move coasters as quickly and efficiently as Busch Gardens can. (Or even, gulp, Six Flags Magic Mountain is doing more often these days. How that park has turned around!) Capacity should deliver some bonus points.

That said, I hope The Voyage goes far in this bracket. A Voyage/MF semi would have been a pretty strong final, IMHO, but the brackets didn't work out that way.

From Derek Potter on March 12, 2010 at 12:36 PM
Right where it belongs. Now lets just hope that another robbery doesn't take place....did I say that? Sorry, couldn't help it : )

I think that the smooth and sleek nature of this ride is it's allure. Some people say that it's too smooth, but I say that it's so smooth that it makes the train disappear and truly accomplishes the feeling of flight. Nowhere on the ride do you really feel the restraint of the train, yet you are going 90 miles an hour and are hundreds of feet in the air. If you ride in the front, it's almost as if the train isn't even there as you go through the course. Taking absolutely nothing from the rest of the coasters in the tournament, I have to go with this one as the heavy favorite to represent the coaster bracket, and if the Cedar Point fans show up, an odds on favorite to win the tournament.

From Kevin Smith on March 12, 2010 at 1:09 PM
The best coaster ever made. Has hight, air time, and speed that is nearly unrivaled among other coasters. Simply the greatest by,imo,a significant margin.
From Tim W on March 12, 2010 at 1:35 PM
I'm not such a huge roller coaster fanatic, but i have to say that Millenium Force is perhaps the best thrill out there and has been for years, and for years to come. I wonder if we will have to wait till monday for the top show. Better be Fantasmic!!
From Ryan Sanford on March 12, 2010 at 2:01 PM
No other coaster in this tournament holds a candle to Millennium Force
From Sean McAvella on March 12, 2010 at 4:04 PM
Millennium Force is absolutely the best as mostly everyone else has stated! Who wants to go on a ride and get beaten up in the process? Not me. The smoothness is one of the best parts of this ride. Inversions do nothing for me anymore. Taller, faster, and more air time are what matters to me. I agree that Dragster may be a one trick pony, but it's a trick that never gets old! The front seat is amazing on both of these coasters!!!
From 71.115.27.192 on March 12, 2010 at 8:01 PM
Millennium Force will get my vote for number one. I agree with the other comment about this still being a smooth ride. Even though it's ten years old, I know when I ride this one I am not going to get beaten up. The last time I rode Manta, I felt like I had a concussion, so I pass on that one these days.
From Joshua Counsil on March 15, 2010 at 9:13 PM
Edit: I've reseeded my bracket to NCAA b-ball standards.

My predictions for this bracket are below. For the record, this is easily the toughest bracket to call. Last year, Maverick blew away Beast, and they are paired up once again, but I think that because Maverick is no longer a new ride, Beast will win by a fraction. I think long-time TPI favorite Kraken will succumb to Apollo's wrath, namely because people have been complaining about Kraken losing its smoothness. That, and SeaWorld's newest coaster addition takes some of the novelty away of having one really fantastic coaster at their park. Speaking of Manta, I think it will bury the ever-popular (and successful opponent of tournaments past) Griffon, namely because it's still very hyped.

Regardless, it all comes down to fanboy presence... unfortunately.

Round 1

1. Cedar Point's Millennium Force [Intamin Giga/Mega]
16. Cedar Point's Raptor [Bolliger & Mabillard Inverted]

8. Kings Island's The Beast [Charlie Dinn Wooden]
9. Cedar Point's Maverick [Intamin AG Custom]

4. Dollywood's Thunderhead [Great Coasters International]
13. Dollywood's Mystery Mine [Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter]

5. Holiday World's The Voyage [The Gravity Group]
12. Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster [Intamin AG Accelerator]

2. Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Apollo's Chariot [Bolliger & Mabillard Mega Coaster]
15. SeaWorld Orlando's Kraken [Bolliger & Mabillard Floorless]

7. Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure [Bolliger & Mabillard Sitting (Launch)]
10. Six Flags Magic Mountain's X2 [Arrow 4D]

3. Six Flags Great Adventure's El Toro [Intamin Wooden]
14. Six Flags Magic Mountain's Goliath [Giovanola Mega]

6. Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Griffon [Bolliger & Mabillard Dive]
11. SeaWorld Orlando's Manta [Bolliger & Mabillard Flying]

Quarterfinals

1. Cedar Point's Millennium Force [Intamin Giga/Mega]
8. Kings Island's The Beast [Charlie Dinn Wooden]

4. Dollywood's Thunderhead [Great Coasters International]
5. Holiday World's The Voyage [The Gravity Group]

2. Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Apollo's Chariot [Bolliger & Mabillard Mega Coaster]
7. Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal's Islands of Adventure [Bolliger & Mabillard Sitting (Launch)]

3. Six Flags Great Adventure's El Toro [Intamin Wooden]
11. SeaWorld Orlando's Manta [Bolliger & Mabillard Flying]

Semifinals

1. Cedar Point's Millennium Force [Intamin Giga/Mega]
5. Holiday World's The Voyage [The Gravity Group]

2. Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Apollo's Chariot [Bolliger & Mabillard Mega Coaster]
11. SeaWorld Orlando's Manta [Bolliger & Mabillard Flying]

Finals

1. Cedar Point's Millennium Force [Intamin Giga/Mega]
2. Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Apollo's Chariot [Bolliger & Mabillard Mega Coaster]

Winner: 1. Cedar Point's Millennium Force [Intamin Giga/Mega]

From 65.12.173.131 on March 15, 2010 at 4:21 PM
Now that I look at the bracket, did maverik take rock n roller coasters place(launching)?

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