Can Cedar Point turn Gemini into the next Twisted Colossus

There is nothing awful about Gemini's trains. And Gemini is quite a decent ride.

The trains that need to be replaced, or at least redone, at Cedar Point are the ones on the Streaks. There's not a thing wrong with the Gemini and Magnum trains (well except for the stickers on the Magnum train where it is supposed to have decorative relief elements...). Okay, perhaps it would make sense to put underwheels on the Gemini trains.

Please let me point out a few things...

First, the timing on Gemini is spectacular. It's hard to see today because they don't run all six trains (and they don't run four 'on time'). But the ride was precisely paced. Right down to the interactions of people entering and leaving the station. When the last person exiting from the red train reaches the merge point in the exit path, the first person from the matching blue train steps in behind him. When the last person from the blue train reaches the merge point, the first person from the next red train arrives. And that's just the exit queue! (Which, in case you haven't noticed, is arranged with the entrance path to look like the ride's logo). The ride timing is designed so that the pairs of trains will meet up with each other at the points where the tracks are close. In other words, it has a dueling element to it. It is visually dominating, and there are three places on the course where it looks like it is going to take your head clean off. It provides just a touch of airtime at the top of every hill, and it makes the most of its once record-breaking speed. The trains run close enough together that you can actually touch the people in the other train, and it may well be the last coaster at Cedar Point that was designed to come roaring into the station at full bore, rather than stopping outside and creeping in slowly.

In total, Gemini serves as a living (albeit badly wounded) reminder of what record breaking coasters used to be like, what classic thrills looked and felt like beyond simply being taller, faster and steeper. Gemini is a complete package and reminds us of what it means to just be a really good ride, before reasonable safety precautions turned into complete paranoia.

Finally, have you considered what you would probably get if you replaced the trains on Gemini? And have you considered if it's what you would really want? Start with a form-fitting seat that is much more 'snug' than the ride has now, almost certainly with a wedge popping up between your legs, probably with a headrest, and almost certainly with a much tighter lap bar. I'd also expect a rail or barrier on the side of the car to keep you from being able to reach out to the other train. For good measure, probably some kind of a bar or plate to pin your feet to the floor as well. That's the new style in coaster car design, and I'm just as happy to have good examples of rides out there that don't have all that junk on them.

(And get off my lawn!)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

"Underwheels on Gemini"... *snickers*

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eightdotthree's avatar

Great post RideMan.

RideMan gives great reasons to just be happy with what we have in Gemini. If my kids were no longer able to high five people on the curves they'd be devastated. One of them rarely chooses to ride when only red is running. Form fitting seats might be bearable today I suppose if that was our only choice but 22 years ago riding that sucker in my wedding dress with form fitting seats would have been a no go. Our memories made on rides often depended on them being their quaint little selves. One of my best memories of Blue Streak as a kid was my best friend and I puposely squashing each other on the hairpin turn. Not thinking when you get in the train? Sucker, you're getting flattened! I can't do this with my kids and they will never be able to do it with their friends all because someone decided the original wasn't good enough.

slithernoggin's avatar

Slamming into the unsuspecting on that turn... good times. :-)

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Gemini is good for the park because it is a high capacity ride that minimizes wait times on busy days.

Arrow track/trains on anything other than a mine train gives a "clunky" ride. Magnum included.

As far as racing coasters go (and we are losing too many of them recently), Gemini is ok but not excellent as far as the racing aspect. The trains are not together on the initial drop or the between the 2nd and 3rd turnarounds. The finish is horrible (and clunky) with the split helixes. It's hard to tell who won.

I think the coaster could be made better in several ways, but also Mean Streak is a better candidate for a complete overhaul.

We don't have a lot of racing coasters left, and very few of them actually race well these days. Lightning Racer leads the list for racing and train interaction. King's Islands Racer is not racing these days because of different braking in the turn around. American Eagle is messed up with different lift hill speeds and braking that is giving one side the advantage every time. Rebel Yell is not racing because of different lift hill speeds. The Kennywood Racer I never did understand how the tracks are even lol but even at that one side just plays catch up until the end. Come to think about it, Gemini is racing better than all those listed except Lightning Racer these days!

Last edited by super7*,

What this thread reminds me of is the growing number of people who can't fully appreciate things for what they are. They spend too much time thinking "what might have been" or "could be" to fully appreciate what is standing before them. I've seen this so many times in and outside of the coaster community that it is almost sickening. There seem to be a lot of people with half empty cups out there. Don't get me wrong: I fully support creative expression. There just seems to be more complaining than creativity.

Gemini is unique and enjoyable. To change a unique piece of history that is satisfying guests 37 yrs later, (even by today's standards) would be a mistake. As long as the ridership and operating costs aren't out of balance, Gemini should continue to thrill guest in it's current form for many years to come.

I've seen this same type of discussion many times about the BEAST. "Too much straight track and trim brakes" are the most common complaints I've heard. Here we have the worlds longest wooden roller coaster with short underground sections and tunnels that feels like the world's most epic Mine Ride Coaster. ....and people still complain about what it is not. sigh.....

Mean Streak is a completely different animal. In my opinion, it's the biggest turd east of the Mississippi River. It's disliked by almost everyone I know who has taken a lap on it. A RMC conversion is what enthusiast communities are salivating for. I have no doubts that RMC would design it to feel different from anything in their already impressive lineup.

slithernoggin's avatar

Totally agree with Blackie about Gemini. It's a great ride (if, having once been the world's tallest coaster and by today's standards, an average-sized coaster....) that continues to deliver on fun and on ridership.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

rollergator's avatar

Before anyone wondered which RMC were "wooden coasters" and which ones were wooden or steel conversions....

There was a coaster which got changed from wooden to steel. Without having ridden it as a woodie, I have no basis for comparison....but the Seabreeze Bobsleds are an absolute hit!

With all the Gemini love going on, couldn't help but reminisce about the ride that (arguably?) got turned INTO Gemini...

Last edited by rollergator,

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Gemini needs to be left alone. It's continuing to serve its purpose as a high capacity, fun, and thrilling ride.

As we get further away from the days of 6 train operation, it gets even more amazing just how fast and efficient ride operations were 20 years ago. Gemini epitomized what Cedar Point's ride operations used to be about. I barely remember it, but it was as simple as standing behind the yellow line, getting in, pulling down a lapbar (no seatbelt), ride ops briskly walking by and pulling lapbars up, hearing the clear, and away you went.

It was unusual to stop in Gemini's queue, even if there was a long line. The station's front and back entrances were almost too small to keep funneling people in towards the middle of the station in order to fill the trains. You never heard the scream for 'single rider' because it really didn't matter. Furthermore, it was pretty much automatic that if you were in the blue train, the red train would be rolling right next to you on turn #2 while you were halfway up the lift. That's how you knew Gemini was running at its highest capacity. Ride designs were completely different, in that Gemini wasn't designed to be stopped. I mean, you could, but you really wouldn't want to. I think I've only ever seen trains stopped once on the brake run before turn three, and from what I heard, those trains needed to be pushed out of the brake run.

Before MF was built, it was very rare to see two trains parked on the transfer and it was almost unheard of to see one side closed unless it was down mechanical. And even then, it was rarely down. (I think the ride is still relay logic today!)

Rideman pretty much summed up just how nicely designed Gemini is. But leave it up to him to point out the little things that promoted the 'theme' of the ride, that frankly many of us (including myself) didn't notice.

Raven-Phile's avatar

Blackie said:

37 yrs

In a row!?

Not sure if it is due to the trains aging but over the years you can get a pretty drastic jerk in the helix. One of the most unique coasters ever built. Always thought it spent a little too much time of the ride in the turns but has an great head chopper on a drop and a pretty cool architecture for the station. A little weird watching the sandbagging procedure to get the ride up and running though.

Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

What year is it?

Mean Streak needs Millennium Flyers...err Timberliners...err RMC!

Personally, I'm sticking with "bulldozer".

tservo said:

Not sure if it is due to the trains aging but over the years you can get a pretty drastic jerk in the helix. One of the most unique coasters ever built. Always thought it spent a little too much time of the ride in the turns but has an great head chopper on a drop and a pretty cool architecture for the station. A little weird watching the sandbagging procedure to get the ride up and running though.

I think that jerk is just typical Arrow bad transitioning of the track. On a lot of Arrow rides you can look at the track and see weird transitions.

Somewhat unrelated, but what is the highest "+1" count a post has earned on CoasterBuzz? As of right now RideMan's Gemini response is at +24 and I can't remember seeing a higher number than that.

"Thank the Phoneticians!"

I got 20 once, but that was when I foolishly promised a new hat to anyone who called. Suddenly I was looking at 20 guys who wanted a new hat.

Can't speak for Gonch, but I bet he's got a big one out there somewhere.

RCMAC said:

Can't speak for Gonch, but I bet he's got a big one

*cue Beavis and Butthead laugh*

slithernoggin's avatar

I *think* Gonch had a post with upwards of 40 likes, but I lack his mutant ability to search Coasterbuzz with astounding specificity.

Also, I'm still waiting for my hat.

Last edited by slithernoggin,

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I think I had one in the +20's and asked the same question a while back. I know at the time it was up there.

I seem to remember Jeff posting something after that got near/above +30.

Not sure though.

The +25 Dave's post is currently sitting at has to be among the highest. It deserves to be.

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