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.
You Might Also Like:
I cannot wait for my first visit to Cedar Point this coming July, to try out all these coaster beasts at last.
I'll reserve judgement on the coaster experience until after I ride later this month, but I think Cedar Point is missing an opportunity here, especially after their last two big coasters (Gatekeeper and Maverick) attempted to utilize at least some level of minimal themeing and elements that enhance the coaster experience beyond the track.
It will be interesting to ride a dive coaster with the new B&M OTSRs. I know a lot of people were upset when Banshee utilized the new style restraints (I actually really like them, but can understand some complaining when the vest ratchets in tight in the middle of the ride), so I'm curious to see how the new restraints change the dive coaster experience. Also, I'm a bit surprised Cedar Point did not go for the larger 10-across trains...Perhaps with the new restraints, 10-across is no longer an option because of the wider OTSRs.
B&M dive machines don't actually "hang" at the top. They lock into a slow moving chain that gradually tips the train over the edge until the chain dogs on the train let go. To riders, it feels like the train is being dangled over the edge, but the reality is that the train never stops moving once it locks into the drop chain drive.
There's actually very little control over when the coaster lets go since it's driven by the tightness of the chain dogs and overall weight of the train. You may experience slightly different "hang times" between the different trains, and full trains versus empty trains. The "hang time" may also change over time as the coaster breaks in.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.