Before the crack of dawn Thursday, myself and Reflector photographer Jeff Van Natta traveled to Cedar Point to experience media day for the park's new ride, GateKeeper.
If I remember correctly, Thursday was the fifth media day I participated in at the park.
I recall going to Wicked Twister in 2002, Top Thrill Dragster in 2003, Skyhawk in 2006 and Maverick in 2007.
Just a side note, I think I just got over the sunburn I received in May 2003 at the media day for Top Thrill Dragster. I recall that day was very sunny and hot and the ride worked a little and then rested a bit. I believe I stood in line four hours to ride.
On Thursday, there was no waiting.
We checked in, Van Natta positioned himself to shoot about 400 pictures and video, and I made a break for GateKeeper. (NOTE: To see those photos, click HERE.)
Sliding in through the back-door media gate, I waited just a few minutes to ride.
I hopped in the GateKeeper seat and before I knew it, I was climbing up the hill.
GateKeeper is a wing roller coaster, so you sit off to the side of the train.
The first hill is about 65 mph and riders kind of dive-bomb like they traveling in a fighter jet.
GateKeeper reminds me of the Raptor on steroids, which is cool because I love the Raptor.
The new ride is fairly smooth and twists you around and takes you upside down several times.
Toward the end of the ride, I felt a tad queasy probably because I didn't have anything to eat or drink that morning. I certainly didn't want to be the first one to "toss" as I exited the ride.
GateKeeper is a good new ride and should keep park-goers occupied and free-up some of the other rides -- namely -- the Millennium Force.
GateKeeper is new and cool, but it is not the Millennium Force.
The first hill on the Millennium, especially riding in the back car, is complete devastation. I recall blacking out for a second or two at the bottom of that first Millennium hill once. Now, that's a good ride.
Anyway, it's nice to see the GateKeeper located at the front of the park. It really changes the look of Cedar Point as you're driving up.
Staff Writer Scott Seitz occasionally writes entertainment columns for the Reflector. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.