Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH) vs Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, NJ)
Let’s just get right to the spoiler here: Cedar wins, hands down. As a person who absolutely adores GA, it kills me to admit that. However, Six Flags has nothing to be ashamed of here. CP is just unfair in how amazing it is. No amusement park could possibly top it. Sure, Six Flags could learn a thing or two from Cedar Point, but still… it’s like Great Adventure is Tony Gwynn and Cedar Point is Ted Williams.
I just came back from my first Cedar Point road trip with my girlfriend The Virgo, friend Crackerman, and his wife Siamese Dream (formerly unoriginally known as Crackerwoman), hitting Hershey Park (thumbs way up) on the way there and Dorney Park (big let down) on the way back. Upon returning to Queens, we all wanted to turn around and go back. If you are a roller coaster fan and have been toying with the idea of a trip to Sandusky: stop dreaming about it, just do it. Everything you’ve heard about it is true (including the bad–yes, the park layout is horribly frustrating, but you really don’t care in the end). The place is roller coaster heaven. Let’s get to the comparisons, shall we?
(AGAIN, these are by no means definitive arguments, just my own personal opinion)
Top Thrill Dragster vs Kingda Ka
The Dragster is more functional, has a faster moving line, and no shoulder harness. Ka is 36 feet higher and 8 mph faster, edging Dragster for tallest and fastest (456′/128 mph) on Planet Earth, and includes a 129-foot hill after the 418-foot drop for kicks. Do any of these factors make a difference? No. As The Virgo points out, once you break the 100 mph barrier your brain stops comprehending what’s happening. When riding these two, the only thing on your mind is “HOLYSHITHOLYSHITHOLYSHITHOLYSHITHOLYSHIT!” Edge: Draw
Millennium Force vs Nitro
Unfair to pair Nitro up against MF, you say? Maybe not. Each came out around the same time, and each boasts the second-tallest-and-fastest status in their respective parks. Their designs are similar at best, but close enough in my book. What this matchup really comes down to is speed vs air time. MF is a beauty, and at a cruising speed of 93 mph, it’s a joy to ride–but I’m sorry, it just doesn’t have any of the air time I like in a coaster, something Nitro has buckets of. In my book, MF is a 9, but Nitro is a 10 for mixing the amazing speed with solid air. Edge: Nitro
Maverick vs El Toro
If you haven’t ridden both of these rides, you’re probably screaming “you can’t compare a steel to a wooden!” Typically you’re right, but in this case you’re wrong. With the constant amazing speed and ridiculous twists and turns, these rides feel very similar. The difference is that Maverick does all the things El Toro would do if it weren’t restricted to wood standards. Maverick is just… there are few words. “I want to make love to this ride” might be some of them. “I want to tattoo this ride on my face” might be a few more. El Toro, I’m sorry. You were my all-time favorite roller coaster before my trip to Ohio, but now–Edge: Maverick
Raptor vs Batman
All the stats show that Raptor is the better of the 2 inverteds. However, all the stats in the world can’t measure up to the sentimentality I have towards Batman, nor can the stats live in a special place in my heart–where Batman currently resides. Edge: Batman
Wicked Twister vs Superman: Ultimate Flight
I know these 2 rides are nothing at all alike, but here’s why I paired them off: they are both unique to their parks, and have designs you don’t often find in a common amusement park. Besides all the obvious differences, there is one glaring disparity between the 2 rides: Superman looks much better than it rides, Twister rides much better than it looks. Edge: Wicked Twister
Mantis vs Medusa/Bizarro
Let me start off by saying I don’t approve of the Bizarro makeover to Medusa. You know what I approve of even less? Getting my balls squished and having my head battered around, like I did on Mantis. Edge: Medusa/Bizarro
Magnum XL-200 vs Great American Scream Machine
Each ride is celebrating it’s 20th birthday this year. One has aged amazingly well, and is essentially an early-Nitro. The other gets worse and worse, rougher and rougher, and seemingly slower and slower each season. Scream Machine, you were my first true coaster, and we had a long love affair–but these days, if word comes that you’re getting torn down, I sadly won’t shed a tear. Edge: Magnum XL-200
Gemini vs Rolling Thunder
Gemini feels like a race that happens to be a roller coaster. Rolling Thunder is a roller coaster that happens to be a race (bonus points for the “this thing is just going to collapse one day” thrill factor). Edge: Rolling Thunder
Disaster Transport vs Skull Mountain
After years of riding the horrific Skull Mountain when bored at GA, Disaster Transport was a delight. “That is how all in-the-dark rides should be!” I exclaimed after riding it. Don’t ask me why, but for whatever reason, I just freakin love DT. Edge: Disaster Transport
Cedar Creek Mine Ride vs Runaway Mine Train
While the CCMR was fun, the RMT is one of the rare roller coasters on this Earth that scare the shit out of me. It’s so small and so old, I’m pretty convinced I’ll either fall out of it or the train will fall off the tracks. It’s truly a thrill ride. Edge: Runaway Mine Train
Wildcat vs Dark Knight
Wildcat is almost a Wild Mouse-type ride, Dark Knight is secretly a Wild Mouse-type ride. Wildcat is simply more fun because you know it’s a POS coaster before riding it, so there are no expectations. Dark Knight opened with a lot of hype, making one believe there was a legit roller coaster somewhere in its ugly box of a building–and it makes you sit through a too-long movie beforehand. It’s very irritating. Edge: Wildcat
Let’s see then, after counting up the totals, we are dead even at 5-5-1…
…except Cedar Point also carries Mean Streak, Blue Streak, Corkscrew, and Iron Dragon (not to mention SkyHawk, MaxAir, and Power Tower). Give CP another 3 points (because riding ID and the Streaks is better than riding nothing), and GA one (because riding nothing is better than riding Corkscrew).
YOUR WINNER: CEDAR POINT (8-6-1)
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. I already told you Cedar was winning at the get go, dummy. CP also wipes the floor with GA in terms of atmosphere, food, and location (not that Ohio is easy to get to for everyone, just that it’s much nicer to be on a peninsula with a beach than in middle-of-nowhere New Jersey). Extra points to CP for the new Starlight Experience at dusk, truly the perfect way to wind down from hours and hours of walking, waiting, and riding.
Bottom line: Great Adventure can be done in a day. Cedar Point can’t, nor should it be.
If I eventually make it out to Six Flags Magic Mountain (a.k.a. Walley World) outside of LA, I’ll have completed what is–in my estimation–the American Trifecta of Coaster Parks. I’ll then let everyone know how it stacks up against CP and GA. In the meantime…
The Top 5 Coasters that Ham City Kev has ridden in his life:
5. Superman: Ride of Steel (Six Flags America)
4. Milennium Force (Cedar Point)
3. Nitro (Six Flags Great Adventure)
2. El Toro (Six Flags Great Adventure)
1. Maverick (Cedar Point)
If you’ve read this far, that means you love roller coasters. Nice.