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May 13, 2013

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Click here for complete GateKeeper coverage including related articles, video and photo galleries. 

Fear is good

As I stood beneath the new GateKeeper ride, I wondered if I could come up with a plausible excuse to chicken out and still face the other reporters.

Fear is always a good sign when approaching a roller coaster, and indeed, GateKeeper is a solid ride.

The first plunge and upside-down flip is particularly strong and the ride is long enough to give a solid experience. The business of hanging out there on the wing with your feet dangling adds a nice bit of uncertainty. 

I’m fairly tall and I sat on the right, on the outside. I noticed that when the girders rushed past, it seemed like they were about to smash into my head. That’s a clever bit of design that I haven’t noticed on other Cedar Point rides.

The experienced coaster fan sitting next to me (who wouldn’t give his name) thought the ride was sweet in the initial part, but cooled off toward the last, and that was my impression, too. I interviewed various coaster fans, and two of them told me they give the ride an “8.”

— Tom Jackson

Worth the wait 

I nearly hurled my entire breakfast before boarding GateKeeper.

I wasn’t really that nervous to ride the most talked-about roller coaster, but I felt a tad queasy due to eating breakfast prior to visiting Cedar Point Thursday morning. My mistake.

My ride partner, friend Justin Zelm, who is married to former Register reporter and now Cedar Point spokeswoman Annie Zelm, kept me calm throughout the ride. I never ended up puking, thanks to his help. He also encouraged me to keep my eyes open during the climb up the 170-foot drop, which I did and almost saw my head decapitate when the coaster shot through the “keyhole.”

I recommend anyone who likes roller coasters to try this one. It’s a very smooth ride. Just expect a long wait to ride it this summer.

— Andy Ouriel

GateKeeper, Cedar Point make us proud 

Five times. I had a goal of 10, but I rode GateKeeper five times. 

There was a lot of talk about where you sit on the coaster — it’s supposed to make all the difference. I sat in the front and back, and my preference is the front because of the great views. 

Many of you will see a sunset from the top of the ride and other rides in the park, but seeing it rise from the lake as we rose up that first hill topped my five trips.

And speaking of views, I had to remind myself I was walking into Cedar Point on Thursday. The retro-style lettering and brick-lined walkways are a huge improvement over what I remember seeing for the past 30-plus years of entering the park. 

Cedar Point and all of us who live in the area should be extremely proud of the new ride and what visitors to our amusement park on the lake will see when they visit in 2013.

— Jason Werling

Got mess? GateKeeper crew can handle it 

There have been a few times through the years that I have felt a bit queasy during or after a Cedar Point ride, but luckily I never went beyond the queasy stage.

On Thursday I saw someone who did.

When the train I was about to board pulled into the station, we were notified there would be a delay because a passenger became ill on the ride. I watched the crew jump into action with latex gloves, safety glasses, cleaning supplies and buckets of water. They went about the clean-up as a team, and none of them seem phased by what many would consider a disgusting task.

I heard from several sources that it was not the first clean-up of the day.

GateKeeper offers a very smooth, exhilarating ride. But if you have a tendency toward motion sickness, I recommend that you medicate yourself before riding.

— Karen Mork

Always sit on the right side, near the back 

To a Sandusky native, a new Cedar Point roller coaster is like an addition to your family.

Since I was a little girl I’ve watched new rides alter the iconic landscape across the lake, each providing a distinct, delightful experience to area thrill seekers. After waiting in eager anticipation, my favorite amusement park consistently delivers.

GateKeeper, Cedar Point’s newest addition, is certainly no exception.

I’ll admit, the ride isn’t what I expected, but that’s OK with me. It isn’t terrifying, lightning fast or sky-high, but it’s a fun, smooth ride with a fantastic view of beautiful Lake Erie beaches. It’s an all-around enjoyable coaster. Those keyholes are pretty awesome, too.

After recently removing intermediate coasters Wild Cat and Disaster Transport, GateKeeper is just what Cedar Point needed. I can see it being popular with riders still building up the courage to tackle larger coasters, as well as riders who want to have enough time to simply take in the moment.

I rode it three times Thursday — just to get enough insight to write this, of course — and I’ve decided each seat provides a different experience because of the ride’s winged design. I encourage you to fly on GateKeeper multiple times and find your favorite spot.

My advice: If you’re a thrill-seeker like me, pick a seat on the right side, near the back. It’s jerkier, faster and scarier, and that first drop is intense.

— Alissa Widman

GateKeeper is a must-ride

The bright blue rails of the newest coaster stretching across Cedar Point’s entrance were an exciting sight as I walked into the park. Here I was about to ride this record-breaking wing coaster.

Standing in line with my sister,  her nerves began to get the best of her — she couldn’t stop talking. Although I wouldn’t admit it, her nerves were rubbing off on me.

Finally we found ourselves buckled into our seats on GateKeeper and climbing the first hill. That first hill on any major coaster is enough to get your adrenaline pumping.

The ride was very smooth, and it seemed to include a little bit of everything, twists, turns, loops — and keyholes. The keyholes caught me off guard, as it seemed impossible my dangling feet would not hit them.

Although I get more of a thrill from other roller coasters at Cedar Point, GateKeeper is a great, solid ride. One I could ride over and over again. For any coaster fan, it’s a must-ride.

— Karen Holcomb

Comments

4shizzle

@ — Tom Jackson
"I’m fairly tall and I sat on the right, on the outside. I noticed that when the girders rushed past, it seemed like they were about to smash into my head. That’s a clever bit of design that I haven’t noticed on other Cedar Point rides."

How about the Gemini?