Great GateKeeper Documentary – 3 Things I Learned

From Dreams to Screams: GateKeeper at Cedar Point Documentary

Devin Olson (creator of Coaster-Net) is back with another impressive roller coaster documentary. This time he gives us a great look at Cedar Point’s $25 million dollar wing roller coaster GateKeeper.

Cedar Point Wanted to Open Up the Park’s Shore Line

At 1:37 – GateKeeper’s preferred location on the beach was a strategic choice as Decker felt that the park had “walled in” guests from the shore line with attractions like Disaster Transport. I can appreciate this sentiment. If Cedar Point’s location is one of its key hallmarks, then they should definitely take advantage of it.

When I visited, I only really remember feeling like I was near a beach when I was in line for Wicked Twister and when I was riding Magnum XL-200. Obviously, you can see Lake Erie from a number of the park’s rides, but opening up the views of the lake exposes it to everyone and adds to the park’s atmosphere a bit.

GateKeeper Was Born at IAAPA 2011

At 2:55 – I’d heard this mentioned before, but it was really cool to get the behind-the-scenes dynamics. At the 2011 IAAPA conference Rob Decker shared Cedar Point’s five year plan and Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimett wasn’t impressed. He was basically put on the hot seat to come up with something better.

Quoting Ouimett: We need something really strong for Cedar Point. It’s got to be strong. Go back to the trade show floor and come back and let me know what you find.

So I was going to come back with a good report. Or go to the airport. Never to be seen again.
– Rob Decker, VP Planning & Design

It’s just fascinating to me to hear how roller coasters are chosen and designed. Thankfully, he ran into Walter Bolliger and they discussed their new wing roller coaster design. What if Bolliger wasn’t on the trade show floor at IAAPA then? Would Cedar Point have cooked up something else? This also makes me wonder what the five year plan included. Was there a different roller coaster in the plans that didn’t impress Ouimett?

I am hoping to make it to IAAPA 2013 this year to meet the designers and industry executives while also learning about new attractions.

Disaster Transport & Space Spiral Doomed by Maintenance Costs + Low Ridership

5:05 – Also, it wasn’t too surprising (but always good to hear on the record) that Disaster Transport and Space Spiral were on the chopping block due to maintenance costs and low ridership.

Disaster Transport and Space Spiral were kind of a pain from a maintenance perspective and had declining ridership…..It was six person and we made it ten person because we thought we needed more capacity. We changed the sleds from being smaller to being bigger and when we did that we think it lost some of its oomph. Some of its excitement.
– John Hildebrant, General Manager

I know that some miss these attractions, but I can see from a business standpoint why they had to go. Watch a Space Spiral Implosion video.

Lastly at 16:45, there’s a nod to the future. Have fun decoding what this quote could mean:

We’re always looking to go taller, faster, more experiential…We have some other things in the works. Some could be quite hard to do given that the park is so well-developed at this point.
– Rob Decker

From what the park wanted and from most rider reviews, it sounds like GateKeeper was a home run for Cedar Point.

Here’s a direct link to the video: From Dreams to Screams: GateKeeper at Cedar Point
Also watch and get my take on: From Dreams to Screams: Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of the video? Leave a comment below.

2 Comments

  1. Devin has a home run in his latest documentary. One of his best. I met the team while filming. Great bunch of guys too. Can’t wait to see what CP has up their sleeves next!

  2. thanks for the video i always get ecxited when I see that it’s a devin olsen production

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