By KATHRYNE RUBRIGHT
The appropriately-named Steel Vengeance feels, in the best way, like the ride that will never end.
It could be the two-and-a-half-minute ride time, the more than a mile-long track, or the series of airtime-inducing small hills near the end of an already-thrilling ride.
Whatever it is, Cedar Point’s newest roller coaster is a great time. And it’s worth the wait of Mean Streak being shut down and transformed over the past year and a half.
The new ride is a hybrid roller coaster that uses the wooden structure of the former Mean Streak to support a new steel track.
Mean Streak “was a wooden roller coaster that was not a very exciting experience anymore. I mean, based on some of the other new rides that are out there,” said Tony Clark, director of communications for Cedar Point.
Plus, it had grown physically painful to ride — but riding Steel Vengeance, you’d never know that.
The park wanted “to repurpose it instead of just taking it down,” because disassembling what was once the world’s tallest wooden roller coaster is expensive, Clark said.
Fortunately, Rocky Mountain Construction’s specialty is “taking old wooden roller coasters and making them these new modern experiences. They take the wood structure, they put a steel track on top of it, and then all of a sudden it does things a wooden roller coaster can’t do,” Clark said.
“So it’s got smooth track, inversions, big hills and a 90-degree straight-down drop, which wooden roller coasters traditionally do not have.”
Those features make the ride one of the park’s most exciting — which was the goal.
“The story that we’re telling here is that three outcasts that used to be in FrontierTown were chased out of town,” explained Clark. “When Maverick came in in 2007, he was the big guy on campus, the whole town respected Maverick. These guys got angry for one reason or another.”
No spoilers — you can read the stories of “Digger” Wyatt Dempsey, “Wild One” Chess Watkins and “Blackjack” Jackson Chamberlain while you wait in what will rightfully be a long line.
“And they were developing this thing to come back to FrontierTown with that would just surprise everybody, and everybody would pay attention to them,” Clark said.