Mean Streak - What's Next?
Cedar Point has just announced that Mean Streak is officially getting the axe. Come September 16, 2016, the iconic wooden roller coaster will run its final rides and close forever as Cedar Point begins plans for “future development in FrontierTown.”
When it debuted on May 11, 1991, Mean Streak was the tallest and fastest wooden coaster in the world, boasting a 161 foot lift hill and speeds up to 65 mph. Although it’s no longer the record holder for height and speed, Mean Streak still packs a punch, lasting a total of 2 minutes and 45 seconds and taking its riders flying up and down hills and through the structure of the ride itself.
Although Mean Streak is gorgeous to look at on and off the coaster, the ride itself is admittedly rough - not quite whiplash-inducing, but rough nonetheless. It’s unsurprising, then, that Cedar Point targeted the wooden giant as its next project. The coaster’s footprint in the park is huge, making the possibilities for future expansion endless and exciting.
So what exactly lies ahead for Mean Streak? While Cedar Point has been mysterious since its post on August 1st, signs are pointing to a collaboration with Rocky Mountain Construction, an innovative roller coaster company that has not made its mark on Cedar Point...yet. An RMC coaster would be a fantastic addition to the park, especially given what they’ve done for other parks throughout the country. And the exciting part? There are a few different ways that RMC could design a new coaster for Cedar Point:
- Topper Track: This type of coaster still belongs in the wooden coaster family because the steel track top rests on six layers of laminated wood. This allows the coaster to maintain a wooden feel but with a much smoother ride experience (no more sore backs, hurrah!). Six Flags Great America’s Goliath and Silver Dollar City’s Outlaw Run are perfect examples of what a topper track can do to enhance a wooden coaster: faster speeds, steeper drops, and insane inversions such as the zero gravity stall inversion.
- IBox Track: Also known as an Iron Horse Track, the IBox Track features a total steel track that sits on steel ledgers. This track can retrofit an existing ride, as was done with Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas. The IBox Track is also considered a hybrid, meaning it contains elements of both wooden (the architecture) coasters and steel (the track) roller coasters.
- Traditional: RMC also designs “traditional’ wooden roller coasters, so this type of coaster could be comparable to El Toro or Boulder Dash. This type of coaster would be great for the park, but my guess is that Cedar Point would go with one of the other two tracks since they incorporate more extreme elements, such as inversions, into their ride design.
Great Coasters International could also be a potential provider of Cedar Point’s newest coaster. Since Cedar Point might want to replace Mean Streak with a killer wooden coaster, it would make sense to go with a company that specializes in wooden coasters. GCI, however, is already working with Kings Island on a brand new wooden coaster for 2017. Cedar Fair Entertainment Company owns both Kings Island and Cedar Point, so it is entirely possible that GCI will be building two new wooden coasters for the company.
That said, my money's on an RMC coaster with the IBox Track, which would allow the new ride to open in 2017 and maintain the gorgeous wooden structure of the ride. Although a Topper Track would be my preference, it seems unlikely given RMC’s past projects. A Topper Track on Mean Streak might mean total demolition, since RMC has never done a refitting with a Topper. That said, it is completely plausible that Cedar Point will take its time with this ride and opt to open in 2018, so a Topper is still on the table.
All eyes will be on Cedar Point in the months to come. The park contains some of the world’s best coasters, so there is no doubt that this new coaster will be record-breaking. An RMC coaster is just the ticket to enhance the Cedar Point, so let’s see what happens next!
By - Tracy Brätt