Robert Niles
Editor

Published: May 11, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Great post, Jim. Thanks for being there for us!

Question: What appeared the be the top wait time for Gatekeeper during the day? (And how long did you end up waiting?) What were the wait times like for the other coasters, in comparison?

James Koehl
Writer

Published: May 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

We waited about 1&1/2 hours to board, from the time the queue lines were opened to the time we boarded (not including the time we stood inside the park waiting for the dedication ceremonies- which we couldn't see or hear- to finish). Others who arrived said that they waited about two hours, which was a consistent wait time that was heard most often.
Cedar Point was really cold, and since my son and I both were cold and we live so close, we decided to leave the park and come back another (warmer) day. We should have layered better! Others who stayed told me later that it seemed like many did what we did- left after riding Gatekeeper- and the wait times throughout the park were relatively short. I don't have exact figures, but it appears that Gatekeeper is going to absorb lots of people and result in shorter wait times for other attractions.
I suspect that lots of people who have skipped Cedar Point recently due to lack of a major new attraction will be back this year. Gatekeeper has received a huge amount of local press and lots of locals are planning on heading to The Point this summer.
24.228.62.99

Published: May 12, 2013 at 1:48 AM

I must say I really like having other people posting on this site, great post thanks
James Rao
Writer

Published: May 12, 2013 at 4:28 AM

Hi James, thanks for the report. I am curious if B&M has improved the seat restraints on the Wing Rider since Wild Eagle opened at Dollywood last year? On WE the restraints were very uncomfortable regardless of rider size or girth because they tightened automatically throughout the ride until ultimately they were crushing your collarbones. The restraints were so painful at times that they made me a bit reluctant to go on repeat rides (you know, one right after the other) even though we had the Q-bot that day and could skip most of the wait. Did you have any issues with the restraints on Gatekeeper?
Tyler Harris

Published: May 12, 2013 at 4:38 AM

A friend told me how great this ride is on the phone during the Tampa Bay Rays game last night. He attended it, and said it is the smoothest coaster he has been on! I might go during September or early November.
James Koehl
Writer

Published: May 12, 2013 at 5:17 AM

I didn't notice any problem with the restraints, but my son did notice that the soft rubber/plastic over the shoulder restraints tightened during the ride. He didn't say it was too tight, just that it happened and had never seen it before. I didn't notice it until we were waiting at the station to return and disembark, and at least for me it was not uncomfortable. Perhaps it was because this was the first coaster I've ridden since dropping 40+ lbs?!
I'll ask around.
James Koehl
Writer

Published: May 12, 2013 at 7:38 AM

OK, I just finished reading through pages of comments on some of the Cedar Point Forums about Gatekeeper and the comments about the restraints. There were just about as many opinions as their were riders. Some said the restraints were painful, especially around the collarbone area; others said it was not painful at all and very comfortable. There was no correlation between body size and/or shape. Some tall, thin people hated it, others loved it. There are some seats in the back of the trains designed for larger guests, and those who used them said just about the same thing as everyone else as far as the restraints and comfort level goes.
One consistent comment was about the smoothness of the ride. Everyone raves about the smoothness of the coaster. One thing I learned about it was that, over the entrance gate, the towers and track tubing is filled with sand. It added considerable weight, but deadened the sound it makes when a train goes by. This make the gate area much quieter than a similar area under Raptor, which is deafening when a train goes overhead.
As far as the restraints go and the comfort of them, there is no consistent answer. Some love them, some hate them, and there is no one body type to predict how you will like it. You just have to try it. Rumor from Media Day is that there will be some "adjustments" done to them, but who knows what and when that will be. We'll just have to ride it and find out.
Rob Pastor

Published: May 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM

Jim; Excellent report. Sounds like one of the most beautiful parks has added another gem to it's fleet of coasters..... So you had a cold day at the park. I remember driving up in the past from Pittsburgh on a sunny hot July morning dressed in cutoff jeans & a t-shirt. When we got to Cedar Point it was in the 40's with a light, but very cold, rain. We had to buy sweatshirts to survive the day. When Cedar Point is warm & sunny it doesn't get better. But, when the Lake Erie weather gods warrant, it's as cold as cold gets.
James Rao
Writer

Published: May 12, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Thanks for the added info, James. Sounds like the exact same feedback Wild Eagle received. FWIW, I am 5'7" or so and weigh 150 lbs, so I am on the small side...perhaps the shorter, lighter folks are the victims this time around. Serves us right, I guess!

Weirdest decision on the restraints is in making them tighten as the ride goes along. By the time you get to the end, as you stated, there is almost zero freedom of movement left. Very uncomfortable.

Still, it didn't stop us from riding several times that day!

Russell Meyer
Writer

Published: May 13, 2013 at 9:21 AM

I have yet to ride a B&M Wing Rider yet (hopefully will get on Gatekeeper in August), but from the picture and my understanding of the restraint system is that they're the same style as the ones used on B&M fliers. The OTSRs are locked, which secure your waist more than anything else, while the "vest" system, made of a rubberized material, is linked to a ratchet system (like a seatbelt), that will tighten as slack is created when your body shifts in the seat.

My guess is that these systems are uncomfortable because there's a lot more zero-g sections on a wing rider than are on a flier, so your body shifts a lot more in the seat, allowing the ratchets to continuously tighten the restraint. I have found B&M flier restaints very comfortable, but could see how they would be annoying when used on a standard seat on a coaster with quite a bit of airtime.

Lori Schueren

Published: May 13, 2013 at 10:28 AM

My husband and I have a trip planned to Cedar Point for our 4-year wedding anniversary this June. I can't wait to ride this ride!
James Rao
Writer

Published: May 13, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Thanks for the details, Russell, and what you describe is exactly what happens while you ride. The restraints just get tighter and tighter as the g's flatten you against the back of the seat. If you let the ride just "happen to you", you'll be squished by the time your train is unloaded. Ouch!
Mike Gallagher

Published: May 14, 2013 at 1:08 PM

^^That tightening of the vest happened to me on Kingda Ka Sunday...it was a back seat ride, rough as all get out. It was the first time I'd had that happen on that ride to the best of my memory.