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Dreams from the Past: The Roller Coaster of Life at Cedar Point - CMBA News and Information

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Posted by: Mark Cicero on May 10, 2021

The legal profession is often a very busy one and my “to do” list always seems to be pending. It is therefore imperative to find a healthy getaway. Several of my favorite activities include playing music, attending concerts, going to baseball games, and visiting amusement parks. However, Cedar Point and enjoying roller coasters in general are activities that have stuck with me as long as I can remember. A roller coaster is both an exciting thrill ride and a breathtaking astonishment of what can be done through the work of brilliant engineering. Even if you are not a fan of roller coasters, it is hard to deny that the Cedar Point coastline is gorgeous. In order to understand why Cedar Point is so special to me, we must first go back in time and explore the evolution of the park’s roller coasters.

I was born during the year of the Magnum in 1989. The Magnum XL 200 became the gold standard in terms of what a roller coaster could be. The Magnum was the first roller coaster to go over 200 feet, making it a hyper-coaster. Park visitors would wait for hours to ride it. By 1989, Cedar Point had a wonderful lineup of roller coasters and was considered the roller coaster capital of the world. Cedar Point is not a Disney World or a Universal Theme Park where a theme is the main concept. Cedar Point is known for its roller coasters and currently has eighteen roller coasters which is second in the world.

Although today Cedar Point is well known for roller coasters, the park’s first main attraction was its beautiful fresh water beach. Cedar Point started as a modest beach resort in 1870. Northeast Ohioans would travel for the sandy fresh water beach, grand pavilion, bathhouse, and beer garden. It was a wonderful vacation spot for the emerging middle class. Cedar Point did not even have a roller coaster for 22 years until 1892 when the Switchback Railway opened. The Switchback Railway did not have a chain lift which meant riders had to walk up two flights of stairs to get to the top of the hill. This “monster” of a coaster was 25 feet high and went as fast as 12 mph. The next coaster to make its way was Loop the Loop in 1902. This coaster did have a chain lift and led the way for other early coasters such as Dip the Dips, Leap Frog Railway, High Frolics, Leap the Dips, and the Racer. However, the most famous of the early roller coasters was the Cyclone. This beast of a coaster was built in 1929 and went up 72 feet high while going 60 mph. Some say the Cyclone was Cedar Point’s first “famous” roller coaster. Sadly, it was demolished in 1949 after Cedar Point went through rough times due to the effects of the great depression.

I was born during the year of the Magnum in 1989

After the Cyclone was demolished, Cedar Point would go without a real roller coaster until 1964. The Blue Streak, which still stands today, is 78 feet high and travels about 40 mph. It is a classic ride and is looked upon today as Cedar Point’s true old-school roller coaster. It was named after the local high school team, the Sandusky Blue Streaks. In my humble opinion, the Cedar Point of today originated in the 1960s. The Main Midway began to expand and new parts of the park such as Frontier Land and Frontier Trail were created. New roller coasters also came which over the years included the Mine Ride, Jumbo Jet, Wild Cat, Corkscrew, Iron Dragon, and Avalanche Run (later transformed into the famous Disaster “we’re losing control” Transport). The Gemini was built in 1978 and at the time was a record-breaking coaster. The Gemini is a hybrid roller coaster that stands 125 feet in the air while going 60 mph. The Gemini is famous for its racing and the construction of the Gemini also added a new midway conveniently known as the Gemini Midway. The Gemini is one of the few racing roller coasters where the riders can actually give “high-fives” to each other while racing.

This takes us back to 1989 where the park was filled with colossal coasters. As I learned to walk, I began to ride the kiddie rides including the Junior Gemini (now Wilderness Run). However, I always dreamed of riding the real roller coasters. The first coasters I would ride were the Mine Ride and the Iron Dragon because they had shorter height restrictions. I want to say I was able to ride all of the roller coasters by 1997. The next major attraction to come was the Mean Streak which was a giant wooden roller coaster. It’s only rival was the Beast in King’s Island. However, I believe the Beast is the greatest wooden roller coaster of all time. The Mean Streak was eventually converted to the Steel Vengeance in 2018. The Steel Vengeance is a thrilling steel-hybrid roller coaster that was built by RMC. I have heard many people say that this is their new favorite ride in the park dethroning the majestic Millennium Force. After the Mean Streak was built, the next gigantic addition was the Raptor which is an inverted roller coaster that goes below the track and lets your feet dangle. This style of coaster was designed by B&M who manufactured many of the rides at Cedar Point including the stand-up roller coaster, Mantis, which arrived in 1996. However, the “stand-while-you-ride” aspect which was removed in 2015 when the ride was re-themed to become Rougarou which still stands today.

A new era of Cedar Point ushered in when the Millennium Force was built in 2000. The Millennium Force was the world’s first Steel Giga-coaster standing at 310 feet tall. At the time, it was the tallest coaster, fastest coaster, and coaster with the longest drop. The Wicked Twister came next in 2002, but the next mind-blowing attraction was the Top Thrill Dragster. The Dragster, which is currently the second highest roller coaster in the world, goes up 420 feet in the sky and zooms at 120 mph. Although the ride is brief, there is not an experience more exhilarating when you are blasted to the top of the world. Cedar Point then played “small ball” with the next major roller coaster by constructing Maverick in 2007. The Maverick is a rambunctious ride that is only 105 tall but it keeps low to the ground and goes fast with its own unique features. The Gatekeeper replaced Disaster Transport in 2013 and is a steel wing coaster allowing you to “dangle” on the side of the track. The ride is a literal “gate keeper” and was built into the actual gate into the park. In 2016, Valravn became the tallest, fastest, longest dive coaster in the world. If you ever get a chance to ride Valravn, make sure to ride in the front!

Cedar Point has always been an escape for me throughout my life. I have had a season pass as long as I can remember. When I was a small child, I would go with my family and my mom’s friends and their kids in massive groups. Back then, the days were never-ending. A day at Cedar Point was a long adventure which would end with my dad driving us home while we slept and listened to WTAM 1100. As I got older and more rebellious, I would still go to Cedar Point in between going to Slayer, GWAR, Anthrax, and Megadeth shows. In the summers of 2005 and 2006 I would often go with my mom, stepdad, stepsister, and brother to Soak City all day on Saturdays. As I got a bit older, I would go to Cedar Point with my dad and his dental staff once a year. However, I did not have a season pass from 2008 to 2016 and I would only go about once a year, if that.

... there is not an experience more exhilarating when you are blasted to the top of the world.

After I took the bar exam in July of 2016, I planned a vacation which included attending Paul McCartney at the Quicken Loans Arena, going to Cedar Point, and then flying out to Hollywood Beach for a family event. I fell in love with Cedar Point all over again and I began going with a group of old friends starting in 2017 on one Monday once a month. We would wake up early, go to Cedar Point and hang out all day. However, after the pandemic came and my friends got a little older, these days have too passed. I started dating my girlfriend, Jennifer, last year and we often went to Cedar Point to pass the time during the pandemic with her daughter, Alaina. During Labor Day weekend, Jennifer and I began looking at houses while waiting in line for the Magnum. Before I knew it, we were shopping for houses every weekend. We eventually found the perfect house in Parma, Ohio. Once again, Cedar Point has been a guiding point as I evolve and grow in life. It is important to work but it is also important to be able to get away. Find your happy place and do not be afraid to visit it from time to time.

Mark A. Cicero’s practice is focused on estate planning, probate, asset protection, guardianships, elder law, and Medicaid planning. A native of Cleveland, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Akron, School of Law. While in law school, he received awards for earning the highest grade in several courses including property law and the law of wills, trusts, and estates. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Cleveland State University where he studied political science and history. In his free time, he is the drummer for a rock and roll band and an avid Cleveland Indians fan. He has been a CMBA member since 2017. He can be reached at (216) 373-2828 or



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