Honoring the Oldest Roller Coaster in Ohio

July 25, 2022, 12:46 PM · Here's a TIL [today I learned] - the oldest operating roller coaster in Ohio is not at Cedar Point, or even at Kings Island. It's at the Columbus Zoo.

Ohio boasts one of the United States' most stacked roller coaster line-ups, thanks to those two major theme parks. Cedar Point's Steel Vengeance and Maverick are both top 10 roller coasters, according to our readers. But the oldest still-operating Cedar Point roller coaster, Blue Streak, opened in 1964, despite Cedar Point tracing its history back more than 150 years.

Kings Island is the relative newcomer in the state, celebrating its 50th anniversary this season, meaning that its opening-day classic wooden dueling coaster, The Racer, is 50 years old this year, too.

That leaves the title of oldest operating coaster in the state of Ohio to the Columbus Zoo's Sea Dragon, which opened in 1956 as Jet Flyer. Located in the Rides at Adventure Cove section of the zoo, Sea Dragon is one of 24 remaining Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters still operating, including Cedar Point's Blue Streak. The 1,320-foot Sea Dragon reaches a height of 35 feet and top speed of 25 mph.

American Coaster Enthusiasts has honored Sea Dragon as its 47th ACE Roller Coaster Landmark, which drew my attention to the coaster. The Rides at Adventure Cove section of the Columbus Zoo, along with the adjacent Zoombezi Bay water park, were once a Six Flags park called Wyandot Lake, before the zoo regained control of the property in 2007, when it refurbished the coaster.

"We are incredibly proud that Sea Dragon is receiving this wonderful recognition from American Coaster Enthusiasts," Columbus Zoo Vice President of Waterpark Operations and Guest Services Anthony Sabo said. "We value sharing the roller coaster’s history with our returning guests and those who are experiencing the excitement and thrill for the first time."

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Replies (3)

July 26, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Sometimes I get the feeling that ACE is running out of coasters to honor and stretching the definition of "coaster landmark". Nothing against Sea Dragon, which I've seen but never ridden, but just because the calendar clicks over a year doesn't mean older coasters suddenly got better or more important.

July 28, 2022 at 4:51 AM

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July 28, 2022 at 5:49 AM

RMC that puppy! (Just kidding.)

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