Cedar Point's Valravn sets records as it thrills riders
May 4, 2016, 9:53 PM ·
Every year there is big talk and bigger expectations in the amusement park world about the new batch of roller coasters coming on-line (well, may on-track). Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio has a long history of bringing the biggest, fastest, tallest, fill-in-the-blank-est roller coasters to its huge and uniquely-located resort on the shore of Lake Erie, and this year it has outdone itself. Valravn opens this weekend to the public, and in one fell swoop (like how I brought a diving bird image into this?), it breaks all sorts of records for dive coasters and amusement parks in general.
Today my friend and videographer Scott E. and I were invited with other members of the media to ride Valravn a few days before its official opening on Friday, May 6th. This is Cedar Point’s first major coaster addition since 2013, when Gatekeeper opened. (I don’t count Pipe Scream as a major coaster, and last year’s Rougarou was the old Mantis with new trains and a nice new paint job.) The wait was worth it — Valravn is a great ride, smooth, fast, and wow! It is a visually beautiful coaster — the huge curves of its 165-foot-tall Immelmann and 131-foot-tall second hill, its dive loop, the 270-degree roll that brings you to its air-time hill make it look, as I overheard someone say, less like a coaster and more like a sculpture.
It’s also fast, reaching speeds of 75 mph, and tall, towering 223 feet into the sky between the Marina and the Midway. Two attractions, the Dodgems and the Calypso, were moved last year to make room for its huge footprint, and two others, the Good Times Theater (formerly the Cedar Point Theater) and the Turnpike Cars were demolished. A new Marina Gate was constructed to provide access to the park from the marina, and this new entrance to the park brings guests directly under the coaster.
Here's our on-ride video:
Valravn is the 100th Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster, and certainly is worth that honor. (The Cedar Point website has everything you might want to know about Valravn's track layout and technical specs and the 10 world records that the coaster and Cedar Point broke with its opening.)
What did I think of Valravn? I loved it! It was smooth to ride, quick and comfortable to load and unload, and a great addition to the Cedar Point skyline. If I had any complaint, it was that it almost seemed too short. It's hard to imagine with it having well over a half a mile of track, but the lift hill is so fast and the fact that it hits speeds of 75 mph make the ride over too soon. They say "leave them wanting more," and I did. I guess I'll just have to go back and ride it again... and again.