Magnum XL-200 opened in May 1989 as the world's first roller coaster over 200 feet. Built by Arrow Dynamics of Utah. Magnum XL-200 set the standards of all Hyper Coasters ever built!
The 1980s was a huge decade of growth for Cedar Point. In 1980 Cedar Point introduced Oceanea. Oceanea was Cedar Point's dolphin stadium where the dolphins performed. Ocean Motion started sailing the high seas in 1981. In 1982, guests were treated to Cedar Point's newest log flume technology with White Water Landing. In 1983, Demon Drop began dropping riders from its 131-foot tall tower. Avalanche Run opened in 1985 as the first bobsled roller coaster in the Midwest. In 1986 Thunder Canyon treated guests to a true river rafting experience. Iron Dragon was the first successful suspended roller coaster in the region when it opened in 1987. Guests began to be soaked daily at Soak City Water Park in 1988. With all these new and big improvements, the best was yet to come.
By 1988 Gemini had already been at Cedar Point for 10 years. In the late 1980s, Cedar Point and Dick Kinzel began talking to roller coaster manufactures to create what would be the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world. What did they come up with? a roller coaster that was 187 feet. It would be just tall enough to become the tallest roller coaster in the world!
The new roller coaster was to be built in an area between Gemini and Corkscrew.
When park officials took the idea of the new roller coaster to the board for approval, it was there that a board member suggested that the ride needed to be bigger. Kenzil then went and talked to the manufacturer where the project changed. The new roller coaster would now be 201 feet tall.
The plans were then approved and Cedar Point then began building its new masterpiece.
Magnum XL-200 took the record of the tallest and fastest roller coaster from Bandit, a 167-foot tall roller coaster that was built in 1988 by Togo for Yomiuriland.
The construction of Magnum XL-200 was completed in April 1989.
Today, new rides and roller coasters go thru weeks of testing to make sure everything is working correctly. In 1989 that was not the case. When Magnum XL-200's first train was run Cedar Point officials and arrow crews were on the platform of the ride discussing its performance. After return to the station from its very first run, Dick Kinzel with Jack Falfas in controls became the first person to ride the new ride.
When the ride was officially measured by the Genesis Book of World records on June 2, 1989, it was found that Magnum XL-200 was actually 205 feet and not 201 feet. As it turns out, Cedar Point and Arrow Dynamics forgot to include the height of the footers.
Magnum XL-200 was an instant hit! Guest loved it!
Magnum XL-200 was built by Arrow Dynamics of Clearfield, Utah. Arrow had built several other rides for Cedar Point including: Turnpike Cars (1959-2014), Cadillac Cars (1958), Mill Race (1963-1993), Earthquake (1965-1984), Pirate Ride (1966-1996), Shoot-the-rapids (1967-1981), Cedar Creek Mine Ride (1969), Antique Cars (1969), Corkscrew (1976), Gemini (1978), White Water Landing (1982-2005) and Iron Dragon (1987). Magnum XL-200 was another great arrow ride for Cedar Point!
Magnum XL-200 ride facts
Height: 205 feet
Drop: 194 feet
Speed: 72 MPH
Type: Hyper roller coaster
Designer: Ron Toomer
Company: Arrow Dynamics of Clearfield, Utah
Opened: May 6, 1989
Number of Coaster at that time: 8
Cost: 8 Million
Cedar Point's 6th oldest roller coaster
Magnum XL 200 Starts A War
When Magnum XL-200 opened it broke many world records. Magnum XL-200 was so big it started the roller coaster wars. The roller coaster wars was a race to see who could build the biggest, tallest, fastest and steepest roller coasters imaginable. The roller coaster wars started in 1989 and ended in 2003 when Cedar Point built Top Thrill Dragster. Over the next 14 years, Cedar Point would add 8 roller coasters, 3 of which were over 200 feet tall. It is safe to say that Cedar Point had won the roller coaster wars. No other park has as many roller coasters over 200 feet as Cedar Point does. Today Cedar Point has 6 roller coasters over 200 feet.
The line leads all the way to the station building where the riders are loaded into the train. The station building is very big and has a weird look to it. Most of the time Magnum XL-200 has a wait time of about 5-15 minutes. On the weekends the ride can get a line of about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
After climbing up a set of stairs riders finally arrive in the station.
Once the ride operator gives the ''all clear'' the train is dispatched from the station.
The train leaves the station and heads over the midway. After the track gets over the midway it goes into a small dip.
Magnum XL-200 then lifts its riders 205 feet in the air. The ride uses a 1,060-foot long chain to get to the top of the lift. The chain lift is moving at about 6 MPH.
Going up the lift hill is a very unique experience. Riders get great views of Cedar Point Shores Water Park, Gemini, Hotel Breakers and Lake Erie. It is a beautiful view!
It takes about a minute to get to the top of the lift hill. From the top riders get great views of Lake Erie.
Magnum XL-200 then goes through a pretzel turnaround. Magnum XL-200 is the only roller coaster that features this kind of element in the world. The Pretzel turn around is two consecutive turns that are side by side. They are banked a bit and it feels like you are going thru a flat helix. The pretzel turn around is a very forceful element.
Magnum XL-200 then goes into a twisted airtime hill. The track then heads up and twists before dropping to the right. The very forceful hill gives minimal airtime.
The rest of Magnum XL-200 is low to the ground. The ride then snakes its way thru Cedar Point Shores Water Park.
The next hill once again ejects riders out of their seat as they go over a walkway path!
After taking your picture, Magnum XL-200 Then heads into the final tunnel. Inside the tunnel, the ride goes through its final airtime hill. Riders are ejected out of their seats!
After coming out of the tunnel riders experience the rides mid-course block brakes. It takes about 60 seconds from the time the train leaves the top of the first hill to reach this point of the ride.
When Magnum XL-200 opened it was very successful. The ride was considered an instant hit. Magnum was considered a world class coaster! To many people, Magnum XL-200 was considered the best.
Amusement Today started in 1997. Amusement Today is a magazine that covers the amusement park, theme park, and water park industry. Every year they post a list of what they consider to be the world's top roller coasters. Magnum XL-200 was the very first roller coaster to make the list of number #1 roller coaster on the planet. Magnum XL-200 has also always been in the top 25 roller coasters every year.
Magnum's Placements in the Golden Ticket Awards:
Magnum XL-200 was very popular when it opened. It often had full lines along with temporary lines set up that would extend all the way down to the Corkscrew.
Magnum XL-200 was so popular that it started the roller coaster wars. Over the next 30 years, Cedar Point would add another 5 roller coasters that would be over 200 feet tall! As time went on, it would turn out to be the last roller coaster that Arrow Dynamics would build at Cedar Point.
Changes Are Made To Magnum XL-200
Today's safety standards are much different then they were in 1989. In the era that magnum XL-200 was built rides and roller coasters rarely had seat belts and it was no exception. In the early 1990's safety standards were quickly changing. Seat belts were being added to new and existing roller coasters in the early 1990's. Magnum XL-200 received seat belts sometime in 1989 after the ride had opened. Safety standards were further changed in the late 1990's to require air gates be added to prevent riders from walking past the approved point while the ride was in motion. Around 2005, Magnum XL-200 received its air gates.
Seat belts weren't the only things being added and changed to the ride in the 1990's. In 1990 Magnum's braking system was changed from upstop plates to upstop wheels.
In 1989 a few months after it opened, Magnum XL-200 received its trim breaks. The original trim breaks were on top of the third hill. In 1990, the trims were moved from the top of the hill to their current location just before the pretzel turn around. Also at this time the bottom of the third hill was re-profiled to accommodate the new trims.
At some point in the mid 1990's the pretzel turn around was re-tracked and re profiled with new track that could better support the weight of the trains. The new track had a different shape then the original.
Back in 1989, roller coasters were still designed by hand. It was fairly common for coasters to be modified after they were built because the original design just didn't work out.
Trim breaks are added to roller coasters to slow them down so they go slower thru some sections of a ride. Trim breaks were later added 2 other Cedar Point roller coasters: Mean Streak and Mantis.
Becoming A Classic
After Magnum XL-200 Cedar Point would add another 14 roller coasters. Even though roller coasters are Cedar Point's calling card, other things were added including: Disaster Transport (1990-2012), Mean Streak (1991 - 2016), Challenge Park (1992-2016), Snake River Falls (1993), Raptor (1994), Mantis (1996-2014), Power Tower (1998), Camp Snoopy (1999), Millennium Force (2000), Wicked Twister (2002), Top Thrill Dragster (2003), maXair (2005), Sky Hawk (2006), Maverick (2007), Planet Snoopy (2008), Shoot The Rapids (2010-2015), WindSeeker (2011), GateKeeper (2013), Pipe Scream (2014), Wilderness Run (2014), Rougarou (2015), Valravn (2016), Cedar Point Shores Water Park (2017), and Steel Vengeance (2018), Forbidden Frontier (2019), and Cedar Point's 150th Anniversary (2021). All of these new attractions have brought Cedar Point new innovation and new technology that have made Cedar Point the Roller Coaster Capital of the World!
Photos by: Cedar Point, John B. deHaas, Russ Hauden and Jake Hamons
Last Updated: 05/20/2020