It has been exciting watching the construction of Steel Vengeance as it transformed. From a lame-duck, once record-breaking wooden roller coaster, the former Mean Streak has come out of it’s wooden and steel cocoon to be reborn as a stunning and acrobatic-looking predator. Certainly no butterfly, Steel Vengeance appears to have been fed off of the intense energy and longing of the enthusiasts biding their time during the off-season.
A Little Background
Mean Streak opened in 1991 at Cedar Point, a rare wooden variant of the Sandusky, Ohio park’s many volleys launched during the roller coaster wars, mostly aimed at against Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. However, it was never a great ride, took up a huge piece of real-estate in Cedar Point’s Frontier Town, and it’s ridership dwindled as it became rougher and more boring over the years. Fortunately, it proves to be a solid basis for an ambitious Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) steel and wood hybrid project.
I have had exactly one ride on Steel Vengeance. Unable to attend the park’s media day, I was quite happily able to attend one of Cedar Point’s Passholder Frontier Town Hoedown ride preview events (where you were allotted one ride for the evening, scheduled in 90 minute time-slots). I would also like to clarify that this was my first RMC.
Having no basis for comparison against the manufacturer’s other reportedly world-class installations, I offer that it exceeds in many areas roller coaster enthusiasts relish. Steel Vengeance has a full palette of varying-intensity and frequent airtime moments (floater, ejector, and extreme), fantastic drops, amazing head choppers, unrelenting speed, re-rideable smoothness, and the twisting gravity-defying acrobatic spins and dives RMC has become famed for.
The Best Part?
My favorite element (hands up all the way): the outward-banked hill. I’m certain this is the longest and strongest sustained airtime moment I have ever felt. If you were not supremely confident in the restraints and didn’t know what to expect, I imagine it could be terrifying. It makes a good effort at tossing you right out into the middle of Lake Erie. Follow that up with a strong speed-gathering dive, a floater-air pop before heading up into what I’d call a 570 degree zero-g roll, and it is just simply glorious.
You can catch your breath and pinch yourself for 3 or 4 seconds as Steel Vengeance glides right through its mid-course brake run then drops the hammer. Barreling through it’s own superstructure, the second half leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. There is an intensity added by the innumerable beams and bents’ close proximity as the train flies through maneuver after maneuver, easily making you lose sense of which way is normally up, down, or anything else for that matter.
It Keeps Going
In the second half of the ride, there are a few brief retreats when you are back in the open, the train dashing from end-to-end, always including some pops of airtime. Finally, as if there was a need to remind the rider that they have been subject to something special, 5 more pops of airtime provide a thrilling icing to this cake.
I simply haven’t ridden a better coaster. That is not to say that it has become my new favorite, I haven’t ridden it nearly enough to decide on that! Final Rating – 10 out of 10 (Superior)
So What’s Your Take?
Have you ridden Steel Vengeance or other RMCs? How do you think Steel Vengeance compares to other well-appreciated coasters like El Toro, New Texas Giant, and Outlaw Run? Is there anything that would prevent this coaster from being a hit? Do you think Steel Vengeance will live up to the CoasterCritics’ Picks for 2018?