In the year 2000, the coaster world was changed forever. Coasters were
introduced that reached heights and speeds never before imagined. New styles of roller
coasters were introduced, including the Flying Coaster - Stealth, Impulse Coaster -
Superman: Ultimate Escape, and the Giga-coaster.
And if you are wondering the significance of the last one... well, that's
simple. A Giga-coaster is any complete circuit roller coaster that
breaks the 300-foot barrier.
In 1989, Cedar Point in Ohio and Arrow Dynamics introduced the world to the
first hyper-coaster, Magnum XL-200. Magnum broke all the
height and speed records for a complete circuit coaster. Now, eleven years later,
Cedar Point has introduced us to yet another record breaker: Millennium Force, the world's
Built by Intamin AG, Millennium Force stands 310-feet in the air and features a
300-foot drop at an 80° angle. MF is also one of the fastest rides on the planet
at 93 mph, falling only behind the 95 mph Steel Dragon 2000, and the 100 mph Superman: The
Escape. And at 6,595ft long, the ride is one of the longest steel coasters in the
Millennium Force's giant structure is truly a sight to behold. It tops
out the height of the 300-foot Power Tower, and can be seen from anywhere in the park.
But with a 310ft lift at a 45 degree, a standard chain lift would not suit the ride well.
Therefore, Millennium Force utilizes an elevator lift system, which is faster, quieter, and
more efficient than a standard chain lift.
The queue line for Millennium Force is among the longest I have ever seen.
On opening day, the line reached in excess of 5 hours! Luckily, on the day I went in
August, the line was only 1 hour, 30 minutes.
After zigzagging through what seemed to be an endless line, I finally reached
the boarding station. Luckily, I was assigned the very last row. I would have
preferred being able to choose my seat, but I was happy just to be getting on this
As I entered the nine car, 36 passenger train, I pulled down my T-shaped lap
bar, fastened my seat belt, and prepared for the ride of my life. Thankfully, the ride
ops did not staple me, so I had a plenty of room. Overall, I found the trains to be
very roomy, comfortable, and open.
Finally, it was time. Suddenly, we began to climb at a very rapid rate up
the incredibly steep 310-foot lift hill. Soon, we approached the top; but instead of
slowing down, we did the complete opposite... sped up! We reached the apex of the
lift, and began soaring down the amazing 300-foot drop.
The drop is simple incredible; it is extremely steep and keeps you out of your
seat the whole way down. However, it ends fairly quickly and does not seem as long as
it actually is.
Following the drop, you fly into an 122° overbanked turn, which is a very
fun element. You head through this very quickly, and then head through a bit of
straight track and into the first tunnel. Inside of the tunnel is a left-hand banked
turn, which leads into a 182-foot hill. You lose some speed going up the hill, but it
offers a nice pop of airtime.
After the hill, you speed through the island turn-around segment of the ride,
which gives you a true perspective of how fast you are really going. Next up comes the
second 122° turn; once again, you fly through this turn fairly quickly.
From here you head over another hill, which is parallel to the first one, only
smaller. Coming out of the hill, you soar through another left-hand banked turn inside
of a tunnel - this one leading away from the first. Following this, you head over a
small bunny hop which provides a very surprising pop of air. Next up, you speed
through a long section of flat track, and take one last 122° turn over the queue line,
and finally reach the brake run, which utilizes a magnetic braking system.
Overall, Millennium Force is an incredible ride; if offers a non-stop, high
speed journey that never seems to give up. The only major complaint I have about the
ride is the excess flat track... another bunny hop near the end of the ride could have
easily been added. Also, I would have liked to have seen a helix near the end of the
ride. But despite its few flaws, Millennium Force is one of the best roller
coasters in the world and should definitely not be missed.
And with the opening of Japan's Steel Dragon 2000, we can only hope for more
Giga-coasters in the near future...
Airtime over the hills
Maintains its speed
Lift hill is too fast
Excessive flat track