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Raptor (Cedar Point)

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Title: Raptor (Cedar Point)  
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Subject: Amusement Today, Cedar Point, GateKeeper (roller coaster), Bolliger & Mabillard, Raptor
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Raptor (Cedar Point)

Raptor is a steel inverted roller coaster designed by Bolliger & Mabillard at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, United States. When built in 1994, it broke many records and held many firsts when it opened. Instead of having a short layout designed to fit into a compact area like Batman: The Ride, Raptor was designed with a larger, 3,790-foot (1,160 m) layout, making it the tallest, fastest and longest inverted roller coaster in the world when it opened. It features six inversions, including a cobra roll, a first for inverted roller coasters.[1] At its opening, it was the largest investment in Cedar Point history.[2] The ride is themed as a bird of prey.[3]


On August 19, 1993, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company filed a trademark for the name Raptor.[4] Raptor was then announced on September 1, 1993 during a press conference. Regarding the design of the attraction, Cedar Point management, said: "Raptor will be the most exciting and ambitious project ever ... a project that will challenge the boundaries of imagination and change the Sandusky, Ohio amusement park/resort like nothing before it."[5]

Construction started after the 1993 season with the site clearing of the Mill Race log flume water ride. The Midway Carousel and Calypso were relocated in October to other areas of the park to make room for Raptor. Footers also began to be poured that month. The lift hill was topped off in December with track construction continuing through January 1994. The first trains were tested about two months later in March. Final preparations were made in March with the entrance plaza being built and 85,000 square feet (7,900 m2) of midway replaced.[2] Media day was held on May 6 before the ride opened to the public the next day for the first time.[6] The ride was originally painted with dark green supports, bright green track and unpainted rails. It was repainted for the 2002 season and the rails were painted dark green, matching the supports.[7]

Ride experience

Raptor is located on three acres (1.2 ha) at the front of the park near Blue Streak. The ride travels over the pathway to Blue Streak then passes by the Cadillac Cars and Cedar Downs Racing Derby.[2] The queue features a DJ booth that is used on the weekends. They take requests from people in the queue for family friendly songs. They can also be found daily in Millennium Force's queue.[8] Raptor is themed as a bird of prey, not a velociraptor.[3]

View of Raptor from the Sky Ride


The ride begins with a left-hand turn out of the station to the lift hill that ascends 137 feet (42 m). Riders are pulled up by a 9,000 lbf (40 kN) chain lift. At the top, the train dips slightly into the pre-drop before turning 90 degrees to the left as it drops 119 feet (36 m) down the first hill. From the bottom the train immediately enters a 100 feet (30 m) vertical loop. The train then enters a zero-g roll followed by the cobra roll which inverts riders twice. The cobra roll was a first for inverted roller coasters. After the cobra roll, the train climbs through an upward spiral and enters the mid-course brake run. Next, the train dives down to the right transitioning into a brief straight section of track. Riders then enter the first of two corkscrews which rotates the train 360 degrees to the left. The track straightens briefly again before turning to the right and entering a short dip before taking riders into the second corkscrew. The ride finishes with a 1.5 revolution flat helix where riders encounter strong positive G-forces before making one last left turn into the final brake run.[1][9][10] One cycle of the ride lasts about 2 minutes and 16 seconds.[7]


The steel track is approximately 3,790 feet (1,160 m) in length and the height of the lift is approximately 137 feet (42 m). The first drop is 119 feet (36 m). When the coaster first opened, it was painted with dark green supports, bright green track and unpainted rails. 1,500 gallons of paint were used to originally paint it. Raptor was repainted for the 2002 season and the rails were painted dark green, matching the supports.[7] Most of the 117 sections of track were manufactured by Clermont Steel Fabricators in Batavia, Ohio.[2] The roller coaster will be repainted again for the 2016 season with its original colors.[11]


Raptor operates with three steel and fiberglass trains. Each train has eight cars that have four seats in a single row for a total of 32 riders in Ski lift like trains. Riders are secured by an over the shoulder restraints with a locking belt.[12] The trains were manufactured in Switzerland at Bolliger & Mabillard's headquarters.[2]


Raptor is adversely affected by unfavourable weather conditions as both a high altitude and high velocity ride. "Rain, high winds, and/or lightning" may result in the closing of the ride depending on the severity. It closes in high winds and any type of precipitation.[13]

There is no minimum age requirement, but passengers must meet the miniumum height requirement of 54 inches (1.4 m) to ride.[14] Some persons over a certain weight/waist size are not be permitted to ride if the seat and lapbar harness cannot accommodate them.[13] Passengers on Raptor may not bring any loose articles onto the train and are required to wear shirts and footwear. Headphones must be removed before boarding.[13]

Passengers are advised that they must not ride Raptor if they have "a history of recent surgery, heart trouble/high blood pressure, neck trouble, back trouble, or any other condition that may be aggravated by riding, or who are pregnant".[15]


On July 6, 2009, a guest complained of feeling faint after the ride. Raptor was immediately shut down as the guest was transported to a local hospital. The ride remained closed for the remainder of the day, reopening the next afternoon after a thorough inspection was completed. The guest was later released from the hospital.[16]

On June 21, 2015, a 37-year-old man's leg was gashed by the ride's loading platform gates. He was taken to a local hospital where his wound was sutured.[17]

On August 13, 2015, a 45-year-old man entered a restricted area of the Raptor to look for a cell phone he lost while riding. He was then struck by a moving train and died on the scene. The ride was immediately closed for inspection and reopened the next day.[18]


Raptor is one of the first inverted roller coasters built in the world and is still considered a top steel roller coaster supported by the Golden Ticket Award rankings.


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External links

  • - Official Raptor page
  • Raptor Documentary
  • Roller Coaster Philosophy review of Raptor
  • Raptor at Coaster-Net
  • Raptor Photo Gallery at The Point Online

Preceded by
World's tallest inverted roller coaster
May 1994–May 1996
Succeeded by
Preceded by
World's fastest inverted roller coaster
May 1994–May 1996
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Batman: The Ride
World's longest inverted roller coaster
May 1994–May 1996
Succeeded by
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