For its 17th coaster, the thrill machine kings at Ohio's Cedar Point (God bless 'em) have decided not to attempt any height or speed records. In fact, when Maverick opens in 2007, it will scale a relatively puny 105-foot hill, and drop a mere 100 feet. From there, the coaster will mostly hug the ground. That doesn't mean maverick won't be a load of fun, however. With its low profile and wild layout, the near-ground-level maneuvers will actually seem all the more intense. And a mid-course launch through a darkened tunnel will be among the highlights of the rootin'-tootin' Western-themed ride.
- Type of coaster: Launched Steel Terrain
- Height: 105 feet
- First drop: 100 feet
- First drop angle: 95 degrees
- Top speed: 70 mph
- Track length: 4450 feet
- Ride time: 2:30 minutes
How the West was funThe sleek coaster will be located in Cedar Point's Frontiertown section. The compact three-car, twelve-passenger trains will be designed to look like they're from the steam locomotive era. But this won't be a relic of the Old West. A new-age magnetic launch system will quickly propel the trains up the lift hill--no traditional chain lift or pokey click-clack-clicking. The first drop will be a slightly more-than-vertical 95 degrees and will accelerate the trains to a respectable--but not face-melting--57 mph.
Rather than scale more hills, Maverick will remain close to the terrain. As it whizzes through low-slung arches and inverts a mere few inches from the ground, passengers will feel more vulnerable and the ride will seem more out-of-control than if the trains were soaring above the treetops. That's the intent of a terrain coaster. (A great example of a terrain coaster is the mountain-hugging Boulder Dash, an incredible woodie at Connectcut's Lake Compounce.)
Among Maverick's elements, it will perform a 360-degree corkscrew roll, bank at 72 degrees close to the ground, and then enter a second 360-degree corkscrew roll to right itself. (Appropriately enough pardner, Cedar Point calls the acrobatic trio a "twisted horseshoe roll.") It will also navigate a dizzying 360-degree heartline roll.
About halfway through the ride, Maverick will come to an abrupt halt inside a tunnel next to its loading station. A second magnetic launch will catapult the trains to 70 mph straight through the 400-foot darkened tunnel. Passengers will burst back into the daylight to face more terrain-hugging action.
Although Maverick will not reach nosebleed heights, Cedar Point promises that the combination of high speeds and low hills will nonetheless deliver some great moments of airtime and bone-crushing positive-G forces. Maverick is scheduled to open in the spring when the park opens for the 2007 season.
To view pictures of the new coaster, go to the Maverick Preview Photo Gallery. Animated preview videos of the ride include an aerial view, a point-of-view perspective, and a mixed-perspective action sequence.