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Rendezvous Run

Uphill water coaster at Cedar Point's Castaway Bay indoor water park

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Water coaster picture Castaway Bay

GOING UP. Water jets propel the Rendezvous Run coaster uphill at Cedar Point's Castaway Bay.

Cedar Fair 2004. Used with permission.
Like most of the water rides at Cedar Point's Castaway Bay indoor water park, the Rendezvous Run water coaster is a bit more aggressive and out-of-control than similar attractions at other parks. And that's a good thing if you crave thrills.

Two complimentary elements: water and air(time)

  • Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 4
    Moderate drops and speed. No seat belts. Moments of darkness.
  • Type: "Master Blaster" uphill water coaster

For a short ride, the zip coaster packs a surprising punch. It's no Millennium Force, but Rendezvous Run delivers some impressive airtime as its rafts navigate the hills at its start and about midway through the ride. The amount of float depends on the weight and distribution of the passengers.

The mechanics and sensations of a water coaster's G forces are different from a traditional roller coaster. Unlike a coaster car, a water ride's raft is not tethered to the track (or more appropriately, trough), so the entire raft lifts into the air and crashes back down as it crests the hills. Also, like nearly all water rides, Rendezvous Run does not offer safety restraints, and riders can experience varying degrees of airtime and jostling depending on how tightly they hang on to the grab handles.

Cool your jets

To reach the coaster's loading station, riders climb a few flights of stairs at the rear of the park. When the operator gives the signal, two passengers board a raft. (If it's slow, the park may allow one per raft, but it's more fun with two anyway.) The raft nudges over the edge and zooms down the first hill. About halfway back up, water jets propel the raft up and into an enclosed, lights-out tunnel.

The water jets are a signature feature of the Master Blaster water coasters found at many outdoor water parks and a handful of indoor parks (including the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells). It's a wild sensation to accelerate uphill, and the momentum sends the rafts momentarily airborne before they enter the tunnel. After a few disorienting twists and turns, the ride emerges from the enclosed tube, takes a second drop, and another pair of water jets pushes the raft back uphill and into another opaque tube.

The second enclosed tube is longer than the first and includes some red lights that zoom past for an approximation of the effect in Space Mountain's reentry tunnel. The tube takes a short jog outside the building (although you'd never know it, since it's dark) before sending the rafts zipping into the splash pool for unloading. A conveyor belt takes the rafts up to the loading area.

It wouldn't be a Cedar Point park without a coaster, and Rendezvous Run provides a worthy addition to Sandusky's legendary arsenal of thrill machines.

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