GateKeeper Debuts with Fireworks

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General Manager John Hildebrandt and Snoopy officially open Cedar Point's GateKeeper. (Courtesy: Cedar Point)

General Manager John Hildebrandt and Snoopy officially open Cedar Point’s GateKeeper. (Courtesy: Cedar Point)

SANDUSKY, Ohio — The employees were just as excited as the guests when Cedar Point opened for the 2013 season Saturday, and with good reason.

The park debuted GateKeeper, the wing coaster with the longest track, longest drop and most inversions on the planet.

“Not only do our guests anticipate and wait for this day, but the employees do as well.  We miss having people in the park,” said Bryan Edwards, the marketing programs manager for Cedar Point.

The lines were long and the riders, who waited all winter for the experience, were ready for a thrill.

“Skies are a little overcast today, but it’s not stopping anyone from having an awesome day today,” Edwards added.

Fireworks and a ribbon-cutting marked the opening of the ride, and Snoopy played a role in the celebration.  The Ohio State Marching Band played the national anthem.

Because there had been such an interest in GateKeeper, the first rides went to the highest bidders to benefit two local charities:  The United Way of Erie County and the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital.

Edwards estimated between $25,000 and $30,000 dollars was raised, with all of the money going to the charities.

The winners also selected their seats based on their bids, with the top bidder choosing first.

Cedar Point is now open daily.  Click here for hours of operation.

Read more about GateKeeper here.