Cedar Point has never been a den of mediocrity. Though recent history points towards skyline shifters like Top Thrill Dragster and Millennium Force, perhaps even Arrow’s penultimate creation in the venerable Magnum XL-200, it is easy to forget that Cedar Point has been the home to several other record breakers.

At its debut, Gemini, Cedar Point’s lone racing coaster, was the tallest roller coaster in the world. The park’s first looping coaster, Corkscrew, was the first in the world with three inversions, Mean Streak was tallest and Maverick at Cedar Pointfastest among woodies, and perhaps important only to coasterphiles, the Jr. Gemini is the first roller coaster designed by the legendary Intamin. Intamin’s most recent coaster based foray at Cedar Point is Maverick.

Maverick is not the tallest of the coasters that soar over the once wooded peninsula of Lake Erie. It is not the second tallest, third, or fourth either. It is the tenth, at one hundred and five feet. It is not the longest, shy of that mark by several thousand feet. It broke no records at its debut, and it is the sixth coaster from Intamin at the park. Really, all Maverick has going for it is that is quite simply the best ride at Cedar Point, an opinion shared by virtually everyone waiting in line to ride, even as the fragile beast lay broken.

Yes, broken. While my foray last year to the Point was Maverick free, as was the first day of this particular two day venture, line related in both cases, this time I had promised The Coaster Critic a review of Maverick. I told our group, the normal wife, daughter and Lukas team bolstered by friends Maggie and Greg, that no matter the line, I was riding Maverick. Fate, it appeared, had other plans.

We arrived the second morning about twenty minutes before park opening, Lukas and I raced across the park to Maverick, Greg and Maggie stuck in the regular people waiting area, and we rolled in to see…nothing. Maverick was down. We asked the ride op what was going on, he of course didn’t know, and then a bunch of folks as dumb as us asked the same thing, how in the world was this teenager going to know exactly why a twenty million dollar machine with several hundred thousand parts wasn’t working? We stacked up at the que, rider after rider running to meet disappointment, and when Greg and Maggie showed up we left our spot at the front of the makeshift line to wait with them. About a minute later, a sign turned and we walked into the queue.Maverick at Cedar Point

The lines the day before, and at the trip the year prior, had stood at about two hours, with midday being even worse. That’s a hard nut to crack, especially when Millennium, Top Thrill and pretty much everything else is running an hour or less. Now, allowed into the Maverick que about a half an hour after park open, the line was non-existent. We raced through the empty rails, up the stairs and stopped dead, Maverick’s trains in clear view. A group of goth folks passed us in the exit, with them came a storm of cursing. Maverick was broken. Again.

I try to be a positive person, I really do, and normally that comes out pretty ok. Now, stuck waiting for a ride that might not open that day, or who knows, maybe ever, reality set in and so did a thick funk. My friends, ever mindful of the fragile persona of the burgeoning coaster journalist, decided that mocking me and the situation would be the best possible entertainment as we waited for Maverick. Good enough friends to give me static, and wait with me for a dead coaster, we were rewarded a few minutes later. More quitters had left, and Maverick was open for business.

She loaded like no ride I’ve ever seen, two separate trains at a time, right before the launch area. Not like Top Thrill or other launch coasters where the time spent loading exceeds that of riding, Intamin went out of there way on this one to Maverick at Cedar Pointmaximize riders, and it works.

The restraints are like those on Fahrenheit, Storm Runner, Intimidator 305 and Kingda Ka, thin, soft over the shoulder pieces with thick tubes of foam that lock over the hips and waist. To put it simply, my absolute favorite over the shoulder pieces, miles ahead of Arrow and even a fair clip past a B&M OTSR. Lukas and I made it a point to mention to both Maggie and Greg that it was unnecessary to hold on while wearing such a harness. Hoo boy.

There are many coasters that can have their teeth lessened thanks to youtube or Robb Alvey DVDs. Maverick is not one of them. I have watched POV footage of Maverick more than any other coaster before riding; and the video does it no justice. You’ve probably seen the video. No other coaster, save for The Beast is as poorly represented on digital media as Maverick, and Maverick leaves The Beast in the dust.

A terrain coaster with three inversions and two launches, Maverick is the only coaster that has ever shaken me so hard without ever scaring me. I trusted the restraints, I did and do, but my goodness, no coaster that I’ve ever ridden has ever offered such a concerted effort to throw me from its back. I will say this and say it firmly, no looping coaster that I have ever ridden has offered airtime this wild, and no coaster I have ever ridden has an experience as varied as Maverick. Dual launches, spraying water, tunnels, inversions, airtime galore, Maverick has it all.Maverick at Cedar Point

To put it simply, Maverick really is up to the hyperbole, it is quite literally the wildest ride I’ve ridden. My silicone coastin’ plugs, made by KAOS body jewelry for the big eared among us, have seen me through three seasons of coasters. Diamondback, Kraken, Fahrenheit and numerous others have had no quarrel with my jewelry. Maverick threw them in a lake.

Maverick is the kind of ride than can be polarizing, it is violent on purpose, the train really does feel like it might tear off the tracks, whether on an airtime hill or a banked turn that changes at the last second. I love Intamin, but this is a now ride, if this thing, perfect in its current state ever does loosen up, it will be dangerous. I trust Cedar Point to keep it safe. A terrain coaster wins again, and yet it’s still a surprise. Even in the land of giants, height is immaterial.

I rank Maverick a ten out of ten, and use it as a great reason to help my platform to elect a top ten looping coaster list. Maverick is unranked, yet three of its brothers rank in the Golden Ticket Top Ten. I’m here to tell you, Maverick is better than all of them, challenged only by Magnum, and Millennium and Top Thrill are a far skip behind.

So how is it that a coaster at such a prestigious park, with lines four times as long as the second highest ranked coaster in the world goes unnoticed? My group wanted to ride all day, but the lines just wouldn’t allow it, even on a day when everything else was a half hour wait or less. Are hypers unjustly ruling the rankings? Time will tell. Final Rating 10 – (Superior)

Check out this official POV video from Cedar Point:

Note – This video was filmed by professionals with permission from the park. For safety reasons, please DO NOT take a camera on a roller coaster.

Intense Roller Coasters - For Adventurous RidersMaverick is rated ‘IN’ for Intense. It’s a 4 out of 5 on my Thrill Scale for of its speed and loops.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Maverick? Do you agree with Aric’s rating? Leave a comment below. Images courtesy of Coaster Image.

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51 Responses

  1. Linaskye

    Maverick scared me in the best possible way. I still prefer to avoid the headbanger rides like this one, but this one was totally worth the headache. So much fun, though I gotta agree with the Toro hijacker. Maverick remains in my top 10 coasters, though I will not wait in such a long line ever again for it. Once will have to do.

  2. Mark

    Maverick would be perfect if it had the straps that 305 at Kings Dominion now has for the restraints. It's hard not to bang your head at least a little on the over the shoulder harness and it's not a good ride for keeping your hands up. I still like 305 slightly more than Maverick, but Maverick is excellent and deceptively intense given its relatively short height.

  3. CFC

    CC, if it's possible, could you review Maverick for us if you ever make it back to Cedar Point? I like Aric's review, but I'd like to see your opinion.

  4. Troy

    The maverick didnt rattle me around, neither did it have me feeling like we where going off the tracks, it was very smooth. But it has that feeling like your rideing the flight of fear, its fast and your somewhat not knowing whats going on when it whips you around turns and flippin you upside down.

  5. Scott

    The Maverick is an easy coaster to overlook if you simply compare it's specs to the other coasters there. We went on it on nothing more than a whim, and were quite shocked by this "little" coaster. By the end of the day my wife and I both agreed this was the best coaster in the park and got on a second time just before the park closed. While it does not have the great height that the Millennium Force has, which btw is my second favorite coaster there, it's easily a much more thrilling and fun ride.

  6. Jack

    I rode Maverick Its jerky but it is really fun and goes upside down I did not know what to expect from this until that big launch

  7. Adam

    I'm 6'1" and copped a few bangs to the head on this one but nothing worth complaining about. The ride is a bit jerky at times, particularly after the tunnel launch, but there's so much speed, variety and airtime through the whole ride that it's easily worth the few minor bumps you'll sustain. I'd ride this a million times before I get on Mean Streak again. The wait times weren't too bad the days I was there, we waited over an hour once, but got on straight away a few times the next morning. Great aggressive ride, great speed and thrills, it's so much fun you'll forgive the few rough patches.

  8. Danielle

    I was very lucky to be at Cedar Point the month Maverick opened. The wait was long but we managed to get on around closing and got to ride is 2 times in a row. It is by far the most enjoyable roller coaster I have ever been on. It is aggressive and unexpected. Don't let its small size detour you from wanting to ride this beast. I have had the pleasure of riding it about 6 times since opening and every time was as good as the next. Smooth, tons of air time, and absolutely the most enjoyable experience by far!

  9. Joey Till

    This is one of the few rides that take a theme, and move the track into that theme. For example, Maverick and how the track is laid out gives you the sensation of riding a horse with its zig zag wild elements. I really like this ride, but you kinda half to prepare for its wild side to move with its turns,Its very unique and is somthing Intamin has over B&M, Uniqueness! Maverick is just plain wildly awsome, and you half to prepare for its funky bits.

  10. Jim

    I don't get the big deal about this ride. It was a nice litttle ride, but nowhere near as good as Magnum or Raptor or Milinneum Force or even Wicked Twister. Also, the second half rattled my head so bad I didn't want to ride again.

  11. DRU

    I agree with Aric's review 100%.
    I was stunned when after only one ride, Maverick became my new #1 over I305. It is so fun that words or video don't do her any justice. I also found her to be very re-rideable. Much more re-ridable than I305.
    For the people complaining about banging around just stay near the front. There is a huge difference in smoothness/ front, and Intensity/back. The 1st drop, ejector air, and the whip through the twists are all much stronger in the back.
    I was lucky enough to get 2 rides last Tuesday, 11 rides on her Wednesday [fastpass], and 1 ride Thursday on my first trip to Cedar Point. She never broke down. Maverick's only flaws are very minor, she really does need the I305 shoulder straps, and I would prefer that the water cannons were timed to go off so the riders could see them.
    Those 2 slightly upside-down turns are my favorite parts for sure. It is the closest I have felt on a coaster to doing something slightly "extreme" in real life. It feels like doing an off camber [sort of upside-down] ski or snowboard turn but with my snowmobile…because of how the whole train sort of bounces in and out of the upside-down turn sections. My new top coaster moments! These smaller trains are able to do incredibly dynamic moves that a normal size train cannot do…
    I did not watch any POV's ahead of time on purpose when I heard Maverick was better than Millie. I was so glad, I did't even know it was a launcher so I was totally surprised by the tunnel launch. Great! Great! Great!

  12. Mike M.

    After finally making it to Cedar Point, I have to agree with the reviewer. After riding Maverick, it easily became my favorite coaster of all-time and I’ve ridden over 100 by now. It literally has everything I could want out of a coaster. Insane first drop, high-speed turns, airtime, great loops, an intense launch, and even some crazy throw-you-out-of-your-seat twists that I DIDN’T KNOW I wanted. I even got the unintended sound effect of the Cedar Point Railroad train blowing its whistle while it was nearing the station at the same time that Maverick launched us over the water, so it gave the effect that we were riding an out-of-control wild bronco (complete with the water bombs going off around us)!

    After my first ride, I had to ask myself “did that really just happen”? I had to ride Maverick again that day just so I could confirm that I actually was able to ride something so awesome and intense. Easily a 10/10. Worth the trip to Ohio by itself!


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