For thrill seekers interested in an amazing ride with the thrill of a bird of prey, there is no better roller coaster than Raptor at Cedar Point.
About Cedar Point
Cedar Point is a large amusement park located in Sandusky, Ohio. As home to seventeen unique roller coasters, Cedar Point is a coaster fanatic's haven, with designs ranging from classic wooden and steel rides to innovative scream machines that loop, twist, and dangle riders in every possible way. Some coasters launch, others run both backwards and forwards, and one is even in the dark, but none rule the sky like Raptor.
Raptor opened in 1994 after an investment of nearly twelve million dollars and is only the seventh inverted roller coaster ever built (the first was Batman the Ride at Six Flags Great America, which was built in 1992). With great fanfare, the new coaster was unveiled and is the coaster closest to the park's main entrance. It dominates the Main Midway and the swooping first drop runs parallel to concrete walkways. The brilliant green track curves over three acres of the park's prime real estate, luring riders into its talons with a distinctive roar as each train passes.
To fully appreciate any roller coaster, knowing its stats is essential. For Raptor at Cedar Point, those numbers add up to some impressive figures.
- 3,790 feet long
- 137 feet tall with a 119 foot drop
- Six inversions, including a 100 foot tall vertical loop, a zero-gravity heartline spin, a dual twist cobra roll - the first of its kind ever built on a roller coaster - and a pair of twisting corkscrews
- Top speed of 57 miles per hour
- Ride duration of 2 minutes, 20 seconds
Plain numbers may not seem impressive, particularly when modern roller coaster facts include much more impressive heights and speeds, but the entire experience of Raptor has made it a favorite of roller coaster fans for years. In 2005, Amusement Today magazine rated Raptor as the eleventh best steel roller coaster in the world, just the most recent of the ride's awards and recognitions.
Riding Raptor is not for the faint of heart, the uninitiated, or the unprepared. As an inverted roller coaster, the design places riders beneath the primary track, suspended in ski lift style seats and secured with padded shoulder harnesses and seat belts. After riders board the train, the steel floor drops away and they are ready to "kick the sky."
During the trip up the lift hill, riders have a superb view of the park from either side, but that view quickly blurs as they plummet back toward the midway on a graceful swoop that leads directly into the vertical loop. After a breathless moment where nothing is visible but sky, riders continue along the track through the heartline spin and dive once again toward the ground before encountering the menacing cobra roll that twists the train through two inversions mere seconds apart.
Riders have a quick breather as the train glides toward the block brake, one of the many safety features on this advanced ride, but then it's a quick drop into the exciting finale: two corkscrews and an intense helix. As the train approaches the finish, the final stop can be abrupt: riders had best brace themselves to avoid being thrown against their harness as Raptor comes to rest.
Tips for Riding Raptor at Cedar Point
With its quick changes of direction and convoluted track, Raptor is not suitable for every rider. Guests must be at least 54 inches tall to ride, and the restrictive shoulder harnesses may prevent guests of exceptional size from riding; there is a test seat available at the entrance so guests can determine whether or not they can comfortably ride. Guests with heart, back, or neck trouble or guests who are pregnant are advised to avoid Raptor. Guests must be able to brace themselves effectively, and no arm slings or casts are permitted on the ride.
All loose articles (hats, glasses, cell phones, cameras, backpacks, etc.) must be left with a non-rider, stored in a locker, or left in the large boxes available on the ride platform. Cedar Point employees are not responsible for any items lost, stolen, or damaged. Guests should also remove loose footwear before riding.
Because of Raptor's popularity, the line can stretch up to three hours on a crowded summer day. To avoid the longest waits, guests should try to ride either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. The line is partially covered by canopies for shade, and soda machines are available in the line.
In case of poor weather, Raptor may not operate. During heavy rain and lightning all the roller coasters are closed, and if strong winds are coming in the wrong direction, Raptor will be closed to avoid the possibility of roll backs (where the coaster is pushed backwards and cannot complete a circuit of the track). The ride will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.
Raptor at Cedar Point has been enjoyed by more than 27 million riders since it first opened in 1994. With six inversions and enough surprises to offer an amazing thrill, this coaster is sure to continue being rated as one of the best steel coasters in the world.