Cedar Point announces Gatekeeper, a B&M wing roller coaster, for 2013

Posted Monday, August 13, 2012 6:50 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Cedar Point amusement and Cedar Point /resort, known around the globe as the leader in innovative coaster thrills and "The Best Amusement Park in the World," announced plans today to build a new world-record-breaking coaster for the park's 2013 season. Named GateKeeper, this new winged roller coaster will take guests on a ride unlike anything else at the famed park. Set to debut in May, the mammoth ride will be the longest winged roller coaster in the world and will boast the longest drop of any winged coaster on the planet!

GateKeeper, will forever change the landscape of the Cedar Point Peninsula, as the track will dramatically fly above the main entrance to the park, passing over arriving guests with rolling flyover maneuvers. Riders will twice narrowly slot through new front gate portals and slide by buildings for near miss excitement. GateKeeper will feature Sunset Gold trains with coaches that extend out sideways from the track, exposing riders to nothing above or below them, simulating the feeling of flight.

"GateKeeper's world-record-breaking statistics, incredible flying maneuvers and special elements make it a unique coaster experience," stated Cedar Point General Manager John Hildebrandt. "GateKeeper is a roller coaster only Cedar Point can build and we are proud to add it to our incredible lineup of world-class attractions."

Designed by world-renown coaster manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland, a ride along the 4,164 feet of dark and light blue steel tubular track on GateKeeper will take approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

Once riders crest the top of the 170-foot-tall lift hill, the coaster train will rotate 180 degrees to the right, turning riders upside down before plummeting a record 164 feet toward the ground at speeds reaching 67 mph! Then the train will enter a half loop, go through a half twist and curve out in the opposite direction from which it came. A towering 105-foot-tall camelback hill awaits just before riders glide through a 360-degree giant flat spin. The train will then fly through the middle of two support towers that will dominate Cedar Point's new Main Entrance. The coaster will then make a tight, 180-degree turnaround which pushes riders through an overbanked turn and rockets them back towards the station. A 360-degree in-line roll, camelback drop and spiral round out the amazing elements that GateKeeper will treat its passengers to next summer.

GateKeeper will feature three 32-passenger trains and will be able to accommodate approximately 1,710 riders per hour. Riders will be secured with over-the-shoulder restraints and interlocking seat belts. With the addition of GateKeeper and the redesign to the park's main entrance, Cedar Point will invest approximately $30 million on improvements for the 2013 season.

For extended coverage of Cedar Point and Gatekeeper all winter long, visit PointBuzz.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:29 AM

I dunno, Neuski, but the on-ride shows such a freakin near miss with the structure back there that I'm ok with it!
I can't wait for this ride, I think it's the best thing we've seen from CP in a long time.

Last edited by RCMAC, Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:31 AM
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:00 AM
LostKause's avatar

Yeah. At first I thought that the return over the park entrance should have gone through some keyholes too, but the near misses there as seen in the videos look really cool.

And speaking of the videos... WOW! The animation looks really really great!


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:07 AM
mlnem4s's avatar

I am somewhat amused by the several comments about having seperate load/unload stations. People view it so simplistically, they don't take into account the additional costs of building an extra station, the daily fixed operational costs, the engineer and programming costs, etc. Do people have so little confidence in Cedar Point these days to not know what is going to be best operationally for this coaster?

Now that this is announced, I suppose it is ok to talk about the fact that this original place-holder contract with B&M was meant for the installation of another Leviathan-type coaster at a West Coast park and was cancelled, thus becoming Cedar Point's baby. I am kind of fascinated by what plans "Team Ouimet" might be brewing for competing with Disney on the West Coast!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:33 AM
Vater's avatar

mlnem4s said:

I am somewhat amused by the several comments about having seperate load/unload stations. People view it so simplistically, they don't take into account the additional costs of building an extra station, the daily fixed operational costs, the engineer and programming costs, etc. Do people have so little confidence in Cedar Point these days to not know what is going to be best operationally for this coaster?

As with any new product, those considerations are made and some are often compromised to keep costs down. Other features/functions that aren't necessary (but might be more attractive to the customer) are often included, but drive the cost up. It's a give and take process until a final product is reached. My confidence in Cedar Point knowing whatever is irrelevant to the questions I had about a dual station.

Besides, I mentioned both cost and space limitation as prohibitive factors...but maybe my comment wasn't included in the ones that amused you.

Last edited by Vater, Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:37 AM
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 12:16 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

Vater, I actually was reading through some of the negative-nellie comments on other sites which I guess I should have been more clear that I was refering to those. Some of them are amusing in that I suspect it is kids just discovering their passion for theme parks and rollercoasters...I give them some slack. Others you can tell are clearly written by adults who simply need to get a life (or Prozac.)

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 1:28 PM

I am kind of fascinated by what plans "Team Ouimet" might be brewing for competing with Disney on the West Coast!

You know, the Disneyland fanboys are already finding KBF to be on the upswing, despite the background music in certain sections of the park. For example:

http://micechat.com/8519-knotts-food/


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 1:30 PM
birdhombre's avatar

CoasterDaddy said:

I have not ridden any wing riders yet so for those who have , how are the restraints and will Gatekeeper have the same ones?

I liked the restraints on Wild Eagle, and wish Intamin would have done something similar for Maverick, et al. The over-the-shoulder part on Maverick (as I understand it) isn't intended to actually keep a person "in" the ride, but rather to restrict intentional arm/body movement.

Wild Eagle's OTSR's go out at an angle rather than straight down -- fulfilling the purpose of restricting arm movement without the threat of head/neck-banging. Photo here.

(Edit: In that photo you'll also see a piece that wraps in front of the rider's left leg on the inside seat. IIRC those are only on the front row, and are kind of annoying on a ride where you're apt to swing your legs.)

I did learn, however, to push forward on the restraint while on the lift; otherwise it would lock down unnecessarily tight. My re-rides were much more comfortable and free-feeling when I did that.

Last edited by birdhombre, Tuesday, August 14, 2012 1:35 PM
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 3:41 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

@Brian, isn't it interesting how Team Ouimet is using specific individual parks as testing grounds for the rest of the chain? Last year it was Kings Island developing/testing FastLane (aren't they the test park for FunPerks this year?), now it seems Knott's is the focus park for reinventing the food experience. Both GM's seem to be falling under Ouimet's "development" wings for greater roles in the company and I am incredibly excited to see this type of leadership finally at Cedar Fair.

The rest of the announcements for 2013 are going to be interesting, though we know a few there could be a few surprises thrown in too!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:08 PM
Jeff's avatar

I'm not convinced that it's necessarily a push from the top as much as it is that people around the company are now empowered to do as they see fit. When you trust people to do the right thing, and give them the room to do so, I think they will consistently surprise you.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:23 PM

My pick for name was Vulture. Intimidating bird, plus one of Snoopy's best impersonations is the vulture.

GateKeeper's ok. When I hear it I think of Ghostbusters with the Key Master and Gate Keeper meeting.

First hill already making me queasy, can't wait!

Last edited by CoasterBeagle, Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:24 PM
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:36 PM

Is it me, or does anyone else picture the large inflatable Staypuff standing above the entrance between the tall columns? :)

The one thing on my wishlist for the new ride didn't happen. I was hoping for the ride to BELOW the entrance as well as above. Would have been cool to walk over big sections of plexiglass with the train roaring underneath!


Jerry - Magnum Fanatic
Famous Dave's- 206 restaurants - 35 states - 2 countries

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:41 PM
Vater's avatar

Don't cross the streams.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 5:45 PM

I couldn't help it, it just popped in there!

Should have some sort of sweepstakes where 32 Keymasters get the first ride.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:25 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I am interested as to what Knotts is gonna do with PP's spot since its leaving. I hope all the parks get better food now that Dick is Done.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:32 PM

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 7:01 PM

I'm not convinced that it's necessarily a push from the top as much as it is that people around the company are now empowered to do as they see fit. 

That's my guess, too. It's easy to assume that it has to come from on high, because that's how it always was done in the past. But, based only on reading some interviews with individual GMs, it really does seem as though they are more independent entrepreneurs than loyal soldiers.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 7:38 PM

It was hard to tell at the presentation, because it was such a large throng and I was a non-credentialed nobody at the periphery, but I didn't notice Mr. Ouimet as being present at the event. Which, if that was the case, speaks volumes about his perspective not only on empowering park management to determine the future course of the park, but also on letting them receive the primary credit and acknowledgement for undertakings such as this.

Neither did I spot Dick, which, even though I wouldn't have begrudged him coming and half expected to see him there, was very appropriate.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:52 PM

RollerCoasterGod said:

I REALLY like everything about this coaster except I don't understand one thing: Why have a mid course brake practically at the end of the ride? Most mid course breaks have quite a few elements after them. This almost seems like an ending break run. This ride has the mid course break, then does a 360 spin, small turn and then final breaks? Just seems like an odd placement.

You know, I watched that video, and I thought, "Hmmm...it looks like it peters out at the end a la Great Bear. I hope that is not the case".

I don't really care for the name, either, unless it would be in direct relation to Ghostbusters, but then I like the name Zuul better.

Last edited by bunky666, Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:52 PM

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:59 PM
Jeff's avatar

Ensign Smith said:

It was hard to tell at the presentation, because it was such a large throng and I was a non-credentialed nobody at the periphery, but I didn't notice Mr. Ouimet as being present at the event.

It's my understanding that he's only there a couple of days a week, if that. I guess he travels quite a bit to do chief executive stuff.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 10:59 PM

bunky: Interesting comparison. Looked both of them up, and was mystified. I don't understand how GK (4100' long, 170' tall) can have a ride duration 15 seconds shorter than GB (2800' long, 90' tall). Just the much longer chain lift ought to make the former significantly longer lasting than the latter.

Last edited by Ensign Smith, Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:00 PM

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 11:02 PM

Jeff: are you suggesting that Mr. Ouimet is the chief executive of a whole chain of amusement parks spread across the continent, and not merely the overseer/overlord of one property two hundred feet from his house?

I'm astounded.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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