A new Gemini Midway highlights a new season at Cedar Point
Written by Jim Koehl
The area of Cedar Point known as the Gemini Midway has always been problematic. From the moment it was created it has basically been a wide, flat, open-aired boring hallway, connecting the original Midway with Frontier Town. One side is dominated by Gemini, a massive wooden coaster which was one of the tallest, fastest and steepest wooden racing coasters in the world when built in 1978, while the other side was lined with a shop, some carnival games and two small kiddie spinners, backed by the Jr. Gemini, a misnamed kiddie coaster that was not a double coaster despite its name.Tweet
This year that has all changed. A multi million dollar renovation has made this once drab stretch of asphalt into an exciting stretch of rides, new and improved snack areas and attractive landscaping, and a lighting design unique at Cedar Point. Two new rides, Pipe Scream and Lake Erie Eagles, several refurbished ones and another one under construction (SlingShot) promise to make the Gemini Midway one of the most exciting areas in the massive Cedar Point Amusement Park.
Photo courtesy Cedar Point
Pipe Scream is a Disk'O Coaster manufactured by Zamperla, and is located on the south side of the Gemini Midway, where the kiddie rides and carnival games once stood. It runs on a 302 ft. long track and reaches heights of 43 feet and travels up to 43 m.p.h. Not record-breaking, but it never was intended to be. It is part of Cedar Point's intention to expand family-friendly attractions, and it accomplishes it very well. It is surprisingly an extremely fun ride, much more so that one would expect from just observing it from the ground. The constant spinning of the train on the undulating track provides air time, a continually changing view and a chance for young or less-adventurous riders to experience the thrill of a coaster without the fear that some have of them. Thirty-six riders at a time get to experience this ride, which has been described as a flat spinner on a coaster track.
Lake Erie Eagles is a flying scooter ride by Larson International, and stands opposite the entrance to Pipe Scream in the grassy area in front of Gemini and next to the beautifully repainted Monster. Eight cars painted like giant eagles can hold one person comfortably or two people cozily, and a large rudder on the front of the car allows riders to control the flight of their "eagle" as it spins around the central tower. Once again, no records broken, but Lake Erie Eagles brings a ride unlike any other at Cedar Point to allow families (and couples who like to get cozy on rides) to discover a favorite ride of amusement park patrons since the 1930's.
Several rides and structures that stood on the old Gemini Midway have been either removed or renovated. The Frog Hopper, a children's drop tower, has been moved to Camp Snoopy and renamed Woodstock's Airmail, and the Junior Gemini, now called Wilderness Run, had a new entrance built to include it in Camp Snoopy also. The children's bumper boats ride was removed completely. Several of the structures that housed carnival games have been reconstructed to house a Coca-Cola Freestyle and Yogurt Plus stand.
The entire midway has been redesigned and lined with benches for seating, large round shades to ease the notorious heat that this area was formerly known for, and strings of overhead lights that cross the midway and will make this once dark zone a much more welcoming and festive place to visit when the sun goes down. The media day ended before I could see these lights on, but from what I could tell it will be a major improvement to the former gloom of this part of the park.
One new addition to the Gemini Midway is still under construction and won't open until June. A Sling Shot ride (up charge but no idea what the price will be yet) will be located next to the Gemini loading station in the grassy area between it and the restrooms. It promises to launch riders 360 feet into the air, making it the second highest attraction at the park.
Cedar Point continues to redevelop and improve itself. Two years ago Celebration Plaza and the Luminosity Stage was created. Last year we got a new main entrance and the beautiful Gatekeeper Plaza. This year a once rather dreary stretch of asphalt and tacky carnival games has been eliminated and replaced with an exciting mixture of new rides, attractive vistas and a festive lighting scheme. The Gemini Midway is no longer someplace to walk through as quickly as possible- it's a place to stop, admire and enjoy.
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