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Cedar Point tweaks Steel Vengeance to improve ride experience

By Justin Dietz • Updated Feb 28, 2019 at 11:29 PM

SANDUSKY — Cedar Point Amusement Park hopes a few tweaks will make Steel Vengeance even more enjoyable this year.

Converted from the former Mean Streak wooden rollercoaster, Steel Vengeance opened last year to much fanfare, being billed as the tallest, fastest and longest hybrid coaster.

After the ride handles were placed onto the trains, however, park officials realized a change was needed because guests’ hands were banged and rubbed into each other.

Therefore, the handles have been removed.

Prior to the cell phone ban, up to 30 phones per day were being thrown from the trains.

The park also realized the “no phones in line” policy was not sustainable.

So, ride pouches are being installed on the Steel Vengeance trains.

The 205-foot coaster owns 10 world records, including for the tallest, fastest and longest hybrid steel-wood roller coaster. It also has the steepest drop on a hybrid, and the most airtime — the feeling of weightlessness over a large hill — at 27.2 seconds of any roller coaster in the world.

Steel Vengeance had an auspicious first day last May. The trains "lightly bumped" into each other, forcing the ride to close while the incident was reviewed. It then re-opened that night. Four riders were looked at by medical personnel and later returned to the park.

But overall, reviews have been outstanding.

“This ride is amazing,” Andrew Rybarczyk told the Norwalk Reflector on Media Day 2018. “From start to finish, there’s intensity throughout the entire ride. The inversions take you by surprise; you don’t expect what they’re going to do and when you go through them, it’s complete fun.”

 

New additions for 2019

Cedar Point also unveiled some new additions for the upcoming seasons, including new dining options and a new festival. 

Cedar Point recently held its 2019 Winter Chill Out event, which is an annual gathering of enthusiasts to tour the park and learn some insider secrets on what guests can expect for the upcoming season. This year, 1,200 guests helped raise $60,000 for A Kid Again charity.

Tickets were limited and sold out within six days of going on sale at the end of November 2018.

The format for the 2019 Winter Chill Out event was quite a contrast to years past, where guests toured Cedar Point at their leisure. The self-guided tour included behind-the-scenes access to park services (inside the former Pirate Ride), the costume shop inside the historic Cedar Point Ball Room, the Engine House to see the steam engines, the maintenance shop, and Planning, Development and Sign shop.

Highlights of the tour included an exclusive look at Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island.

Guests will enter the new Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island via the former Shoot the Rapids station entrance.

The first encounter will be at Snake River Swamp, which will include multiple paths and a raft experience.

One guests cross the swamp, you will enter the former Dinosaurs Alive area. Guest encounters include Eda Fox, Peacekeeper of the Island. Guests will encounter many interactive elements throughout the island. Be on the lookout for the gypsy.

There is also supposed to be unique menu items available on the island.

In addition, the site of the former Witches Wheel will now feature a new BackBeatQue restaurant near the Magnum park entrance.

"Live music and savory smokehouse barbeque come together at BackBeatQue,” according to a news release from Cedar Point. “This new rock ‘n’ roll and Motown-inspired eatery will serve smoked brisket, rotisserie chicken, pork platters and fresh perch. Southern sides like okra, cornbread muffins and house-made mac & cheese will also be available.

"BackBeatQue’s outdoor dining space will give guests a great place to eat, relax and take in the sights and sounds of the BackBeat Quartet and Cedar Point’s Gemini Midway,” the release states. “BackBeatQue will be located between the Monster ride and Magnum XL-200 roller coaster."

BackBeatQue will feature two to three smokers capable of cooking up to 260 pounds of meat per unit. Also available is a giant rotisserie oven, and all items will be made from scratch. Menu items include mac ‘n cheese, smoked pork, brisket and perch.

BackBeatQue will also be included on the Cedar Point dining plan.

Midway Market, the former buffet near the Raptor roller coaster, has been converted to Hugo’s Italian Kitchen for the 2019 season.

"A taste of Italy is coming to America’s Roller Coast,” the news release states. “Hugo’s Italian Kitchen will serve traditional Italian fare like hand-made pastas, fresh pizzas baked in a large open-flamed brick oven, chicken Parmesan sandwiches, salads, meatball sandwiches and fresh desserts.”

Hugo’s Italian Kitchen will be located in the former Midway Market location, next to the Raptor roller coaster, the release states. Hugo's will feature a gas grilled pizza oven with signature menu items including calzones, fresh pasta, tiramisu and cannoli.

Both BackBeatQue and Hugo’s Italian Kitchen will be included on the Cedar Point dining plan.

The highly popular Brew & BBQ returns in 2019, with some new rebranding and activities for families.

Frontier Town, already home to the “Best New Ride of 2018,” Steel Vengeance, turns up the WILD factor this summer during the new Frontier Festival – an immersive Old West, sunflower-inspired street festival with local artisans, kids’ crafts and games, continuous live entertainment and wild food and drink to sample and savor.

A bounty of family activities will be available, including the Flower Patch – an opportunity for kids to choose their own flower and decorate their own flowerpot; the Junkyard Jamboree – where guests can make their own music on antique metal items; and the daily Balloon Stampede – where kids can stomp on balloons for prizes.

Guests can also enjoy live music from Cedar Point’s Bluegrass Jamboree and other local bands on the Gossip Gulch Stage. Plus, guests can tap their boots during line and square dancing lessons at the Hubbub Hoedown and meet the Frontier Townsfolk for special photo opportunities.

Frontier Festival also features specialty food items made right on the midway, like two-meat barbeque baked beans, bison chili, pulled pork sliders, fire roasted chicken drums, smoked wings, toasted sunflower vinegar slaw, smoked brisket, wild strawberry shortcake, peaches & cream and more. Guests can wash the wild food down with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage samples, including craft brews, ciders, wines and handcrafted lemonades.

Frontier Festival runs daily June 7-30 from 4-10 p.m. There is a nominal event fee for food and beverage tasting cards.

 

Live Entertainment

New live entertainment lineup for 2019:

- Blackjack, Chess, and Digger will appear in new Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island

- No more Broadway shows

- Nashville Hits show

- Backyard Pickers replacing Bluegrass Jamboree

- New Grand Old Pickers show

- Backbeat Quarter to perform outside new BackBeatQue

 

Random Facts

• Only 40-45 percent of guests ride Millennium Force each day.

• Camp Snoopy will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. Tilt-o-Whirl will be rethemed as Linus' Beetle Bugs.

• In preparation of Cedar Point's 150th anniversary, there are discussions of holding a special 24-hour day and/or being open for 150 days.

• Old sipper cups and Belgian waffles were the number one requested vintage food items the park is looking into bringing back for the 150th anniversary.

• Lots of new limited edition collectibles will be coming inside the park. More Nano coasters coming. More coaster trains for purchase in 2020.

• It was asked if a dark ride could be in Cedar Point's future, and they said they look into it, but ride capacity is relatively low.

• New deals page coming to website.

• Why does Top Thrill Dragster not run six trains? More riders are accommodated with five trains, and they would not launch as fast.

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