Steel Vengeance Roars to Life
The retirement of Cedar Point’s legendary Mean Streak wooden roller coaster in 2016 set the stage for a new and smoother record-breaking ride.
Even with 17 other roller coasters racing over a total of more than 10 miles of track, Cedar Point enters new territory with Steel Vengeance. With the click of a seatbelt and the compression of a lap bar, thrill seekers begin their ascent to the top of a 205-foot hill that climbs the skeleton of the park’s legendary Mean Streak wooden coaster before sending them over a 90-degree drop on smooth, steel track.
Steel Vengeance shattered 10 world records when it debuted this spring, making it the tallest, fastest, steepest and longest hybrid roller coaster in the world. The Sandusky amusement park’s 18th coaster is also the world’s first hyper-hybrid coaster. The “hybrid” part comes from the fact the ride merges a wooden structure with a steel track, while the “hyper” portion designates that the coaster’s initial drop is between 200 and 300 feet.
“It’s amazing. It is an incredibly thrilling ride experience,” says Cedar Point vice president and general manager Jason McClure, who talked with us after his first ride on Steel Vengeance. “It’s so smooth that it makes it a re-rideable experience. It doesn’t beat you up on the ride for something as intense as it is.”
Part of Mean Streak’s appeal when it debuted in 1991 was its pedigree as the tallest wooden roller coaster in the world at the time. Over the years, it began to show its age with a bone-shaking rougher ride that led to underwhelming feedback from park visitors and decreasing ridership. It was retired in 2016.
By working with Rocky Mountain Construction, an Idaho-based coaster manufacturer that specializes in revitalizing old thrill rides, Cedar Point was able to use Mean Streak’s lattice-like wooden structure as a significant portion of Steel Vengeance’s design.
“That’s just how we do things at Cedar Point,” says McClure. “We could’ve re-tracked what was there with Mean Streak, but for us, when we’re going to do something, we want to do it bolder, bigger, wilder than other folks.”
1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky 44870, 419/627-2350, cedarpoint.com