|Opening date||May 11, 2013|
|Replaced|| Disaster Transport|
Rumors about GateKeeper began under Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel (ended term before GateKeeper opened). Rob Decker, Cedar Fair's VP of Planning & Design, said GateKeeper's first concepts were created in 2011 at the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) Expo. On April 24, 2012, Matt Ouimet, the new CEO of Cedar Fair, said at an Erie County Chamber of Commerce meeting that Cedar Point would receive an expansion for 2013 that would cost an estimated $25 million. On May 30, 2012, the Sandusky Register reported that a memo written to Cedar Fair's board of directors in February 2012 stated that a Wing Coaster, codenamed "CP Alt. Winged", would be opened in 2013, and would break records for a Wing Coaster. It was also stated that the ride would partially go over Cedar Point's entrance and parts of the parking lot. The report also said that the coaster would be 170 feet tall in height, and that Disaster Transport and Space Spiral were two attractions that would need to be demolished to construct the ride.
Marketing campaign and announcementEdit
To promote Cedar Point's new coaster for 2013, the park posted teasers on their "OnPoint" blog. Posters were placed around the park and on Cedar Point's website, with taglines referring to old Cedar Point coasters, such as Jumbo Jet, WildCat, and Disaster Transport. Each poster also had five wings with a black background, hinting possible clues for a ride logo. On August 3, 2012, Cedar Point launched a countdown clock on their Facebook page. The page read, "We can't keep it locked away much longer...Join us outside the Main Gate at 3:30PM on August 13, where all we've kept hidden will be set free!" On August 13, 2012, Cedar Point officially announced their plans for GateKeeper, with a trademark for the name filed later that day.
Construction and openingEdit
On July 13, Cedar Point announced the closure of Disaster Transport and Space Spiral. The former was demolished in early August, and the latter was imploded in mid-September. Over 200 footers were poured on October 2, 2012. The first track pieces arrived at Cedar Point on October 23, and installation of the track and supports began on November 5, 2012, starting with the station. The lift hill was topped off on November 30, and by January 7, 2013, an estimated 40% of the ride was finished. The construction crews installed the first keyhole tower on January 29, 2013, with construction finishing nearly a month later, on February 27, 2013. GateKeeper held a media day on May 9, 2013, before debuting to the public two days later, on May 11, 2013.
Much like other coasters, Cedar Point held a first-riders auction to promote their coaster and raise funds for a local children's hospital. The auction ended on May 6, and 64 bidders won.
The ride begins with an 180-degree right turn out of the station. The train then begins to ascend the lift hill. After reaching the top, it enters a unique 170-foot Wing Over Drop, similar to a dive loop. The train then descends 164 feet and enters an Immelmann loop, followed by a 105-foot camelback hill. The train then enters a giant flat spin, followed by a zero-g roll, and the attraction's 100-foot keyhole towers. The train then returns to the ground and enters a slightly-inclined dive loop, followed by a 360-degree rotation into an inline twist. The train then makes a slight left turn before entering the mid-course brake run, before entering a downwards 360-degree helix, followed by a small hill, a small left turn, and the final brake run.
- GateKeeper is the longest and fastest Wing Coaster in the world.
- It also has the longest drop and the most inversions on any Wing Coaster worldwide.
- GateKeeper has the highest inversion on any roller coaster in the world, surpassing Volcano, The Blast Coaster at Kings Dominion.
- Several teaser posters hung at Cedar Point were purposely written to mislead readers.
- The first full-circuit test run on GateKeeper was completed on April 4, 2013.
- GateKeeper covers 3.5 acres.
- GateKeeper is the fifth Wing Coaster in the world and the third in the US.
- The coaster was constructed and designed by B&M, a Swiss construction company.
- 12 million pounds of concrete was used for the ride's construction.
- It is the third B&M coaster at Cedar Point, and is also the first coaster at Cedar Point since Maverick debuted in 2007.
- One cycle on the ride lasts 2 minutes, 40 seconds.
- GateKeeper's track is 4,164 feet long.
- On July 17, 2013, the ride's one millionth rider boarded the coaster. The guest was given $500 to spend at the park, a VIP tour of Cedar Point, and exclusive access to the coaster for the rest of the 2013 season.
- Cedar Point used local construction companies for the ride's construction.
Golden Ticket Awards: Best New Ride for 2013Edit
- GateKeeper was nominated in 2013 for the year's Best New Ride at the Golden Ticket Awards. The ride placed in third, behind Six Flags Fiesta Texas' Iron Rattler and Silver Dollar City's Outlaw Run, both also coasters.
Golden Ticket AwardsEdit