SANDUSKY - Cedar Point officially unveiled its new Western-themed thrill ride, Maverick, this morning to local, state and national media, as well as a handful of coaster enthusiasts.
The ride really opened Saturday to park-goers. The original media day, which was slated for May 10, was postponed, as part of the ride's track had to be reconfigured.
Today's gathering was small, especially in comparison to the mobs of people who attended the opening of Top Thrill Dragster in 2003.
But some still were fired up.
A group of coaster enthusiasts from Elyria said they had ridden Maverick 19 times by 7:30 this morning.
Others who made the 5 a.m. wakeup call, said it was quite different and thrilling to ride Maverick in the dark.
Maverick, which is located in Frontiertown, takes its passengers down toward Earth at a 95-degree angle at speeds of up to 57 mph. The 2-minute, 30-second ride, also contains eight airtime-filled hills, two inversions and a second launch through a 400-foot dark tunnel that reaches speeds of 70 mph. The first hill is 105-feet tall. It has 10 banked turns from 62 to 92 degrees.
The ride can accommodate about 1,200 riders per hour. It has a rust-colored track with brown support columns with the train colors being gold, copper, brass, iron, gunmetal and silver. The cars feature over-the-shoulder restraints.
The new ride came with a $21 million price tag. Guests must be at least 52 inches tall to ride. The ride boasts one of the steepest first drops on a coaster and is the fourth-longest coaster at Cedar Point. It is also the third most expensive coaster at the park.
"I bumped my head around a little bit, but maybe because I'm shorter," said a coaster enthusiast from Elyria.
Others said the ride was smooth, but some said their shoulders took some hits from the shoulder harness. Everyone said they loved the second launch from inside the tunnel.
Television crews from Toledo, Cleveland and Detroit were in attendance. A television camera was mounted on the front of one of the passenger trains, making live or "almost live" reports possible.