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Magnum XL-200

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Magnum XL-200
Magnum XL-200.jpg
Cedar Point
Coordinates 41°29′7.25″N 82°41′10″W / 41.4853472°N 82.68611°W / 41.4853472; -82.68611Coordinates: 41°29′7.25″N 82°41′10″W / 41.4853472°N 82.68611°W / 41.4853472; -82.68611
Status Operating
Opening date May 6, 1989
Cost US$ 8,000,000
General statistics
Type Steel
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Designer Ron Toomer
Model Hyper Coaster
Track layout Out and Back
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill
Height 205 ft (62 m)
Drop 194.7 ft (59.3 m)
Length 5,106 ft (1,556 m)
Speed 72 mph (116 km/h)
Inversions 0
Duration 2:00
Max vertical angle 60°
Capacity 2,000 riders per hour
Height restriction 48 in (122 cm)
Trains 3 trains with 6 cars. Riders are arranged 2 across in 3 rows for a total of 36 riders per train.
Fast Lane available
Magnum XL-200 at RCDB
Pictures of Magnum XL-200 at RCDB

The Magnum XL-200, also known as just Magnum, is a steel roller coaster built by Arrow Dynamics at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. When built in 1989, it was the tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coaster in the world as well as the first hypercoaster – a roller coaster that exceeds 200 feet (61 m) in height.[1] Some have credited Magnum with starting a period in the industry known as the roller coaster wars, in which amusement parks competed with one another at a rapid pace to build the next tallest and fastest roller coaster.[2][3] More than 40 million people had ridden Magnum as of 2009.[4]

Magnum XL-200 held the title of tallest roller coaster in the world until 1994 when Pepsi Max Big One opened at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the United Kingdom. Amusement Today presented Magnum with its "Best Steel Roller Coaster" Golden Ticket Award for three consecutive years in a row from 1998 to 2000. As of 2014, it was ranked thirteenth in the world by the same publication.[5]



By the mid-1980s, Cedar Point had grown into a successful collection of roller coasters and other smaller rides on the shores of Lake Erie. Dick Kinzel took over as president and CEO of Cedar Fair, the company that operates the park, in 1986. In 1988, Kinzel saw a report on CNN about the opening of a new coaster in Japan called Bandit at Yomiuriland that emphasized height and speed but had no inversions.[6] Kinzel wanted to introduce a similar coaster that emphasized steep drops and negative g-forces over inversions and spins, which were common at the time. It had been 10 years since the last major addition, Gemini, was introduced. Cedar Point asked for proposals from TOGO, Dinn Corporation, Intamin and Arrow Dynamics to build a roller coaster without inversions or over-the-shoulder restraints. They chose Arrow, which proposed a 187 feet (57 m)-tall coaster. That got Cedar Point's management interested in breaking the 200-foot (61 m) barrier, partly because of the publicity to be gained from building the first roller coaster to do so. The name Magnum XL-200 was chosen because Magnum, P.I. was popular at the time and Cedar Point's management wanted to incorporate the height into the name.[7] The original proposal was to cost $7.5 million, but was raised to $8 million after the height was extended to 200 feet (61 m).[7][8]


Entrance sign introduced on Magnum's 20th anniversary in 2009

Magnum XL-200 was announced on August 16, 1988, and construction began shortly thereafter.[9] Following its completion in 1989, Kinzel was one of the first people to ride the coaster, boarding the train after one test cycle.[10] It officially opened to the public on May 6, 1989 as the world's tallest, fastest and steepest complete-circuit roller coaster. It was measured for the Guinness Book of World Records on June 2.[11][12] Cedar Point set a record attendance in 1989, due in part to the introduction of the Magnum.[4]

Magnum was awarded the ACE Roller Coaster Landmark award on June 21, 2004.[13] Magnum has been repainted once in its history. The original track color was scarlet red, but the park started painting Magnum moly orange in 2005. The job was completed in 2006.[14] Cedar Point celebrated Magnum's 20th anniversary on opening day in 2009 with a ceremony and an appearance by Ron Toomer, its designer. A new entrance sign was also introduced.[3][15]

Magnum XL-200 has been the target of false rumors since 1998 claiming the structure was sinking due to unstable ground. The rumors supposedly started as an April Fools Day joke in an Ohio newspaper, but quickly spread via the Internet. Cedar Point has quickly denounced such rumors.[4][16]

Ride experience[edit]


Magnum's unique station

The queue is in a shaded area surrounded by trees and shrubs, and is filled with posters listing facts about the ride. Music from the 1980s is typically played in the queue area, true to the decade in which the ride debuted. There is a DJ booth next to the queue, but it is no longer in use. The Fast Lane entrance is near the exit of the ride; it joins the regular line near the bottom of the stairs leading to the station. The queue used to have a staffed refreshment stand where people waiting in line could buy soft drinks. At some point in the mid 1990s this stand was removed and replaced with vending machines as seen in the queue entrance photo.[17][18]


Magnum XL-200 is classified as a hypercoaster and an out and back roller coaster. After the train departs the station, it travels west over the walkway leading to Soak City and Challenge Park. It then makes a 90-degree turn to the right and begins the 205-foot (62 m) climb to the top of the lift hill. It drops 194.7 feet (59.3 m) at a 60-degree angle, reaching a top speed of 72 miles per hour (116 km/h). The train then ascends a 157-foot (48 m) hill, curving to the left into the first tunnel. Coming out of the tunnel, the train ascends a third, 80-foot (24 m)-tall hill. After the third hill, it enters a "pretzel" turn-around (a set of trim brakes can be found in the first curve of the turn-around because there is no mid-course brake run) where it curves to the left toward the beach and then left again into another tunnel. From the turn-around to the station, there are seven "bunny hops" and two tunnels[clarification needed]. After the last tunnel, the train turns left and goes back over the walkway to Soak City and Challenge Park. It then turns right and enters the brake run.[2][19][20] One cycle of the ride lasts about 2 minutes.[1]


Riders coming back to the station

Magnum XL-200 has three white-and-black trains. Each train has red, black or blue striping at the front.[21] Each train has six cars; riders are arranged two-across in three rows for a total of 36 riders per train.[11] Magnum was the first coaster in which Arrow Dynamics used its Hypercoaster trains, which were subsequently installed on dozens of other new rides. Riders are secured by a single lap bar and a seat belt.[22]

When Magnum XL-200 opened, it used pads similar to those still in use on Gemini. Shortly after its debut, however, these up-stop plates were replaced with more traditional up-stop wheels that keep the train from flying off its rails.[23]


Magnum XL-200's steel track is 5,106 feet (1,556 m) in length, and its main hill is approximately 205 feet (62 m) high.[1] Magnum XL-200 originally had a scarlet red track with silver supports. The track was repainted moly orange in 2005, but the supports remained silver.[14] The track consists of a tubular steel spine connected by struts to tubular steel running rails.[22] When it opened, a steel out and back roller coaster without any loops was unheard of. Magnum is not a smooth-riding roller coaster, partly because its pieces were welded together, unassisted by computer design.[18][24] The track sections range from 2 feet (0.61 m) to 200 feet (61 m) and 157 support columns were used.[8]


On May 26, 2007, one of the coaster's trains collided with another at less than 10 miles per hour (16 km/h), causing minor damage to both trains and minor injuries to at least three passengers. Two people were taken to a first aid station, and a third person was taken to a local hospital because of an asthma attack. The ride reopened the next day and park spokesman Robin Innes said the accident was caused by rain: "We think it was just caused by excessive moisture on the tracks due to the heavy rain storms we had in the morning" he said.[25]

Awards and rankings[edit]

Magnum's Ace Landmark sign

Magnum XL-200 was awarded the ACE Roller Coaster Landmark award on June 21, 2004 at the 27th Annual Convention of the American Coaster Enthusiasts. It won the award for inspiring more than a dozen similar rides on three continents and for being the first hypercoaster.[13]

Golden Ticket Awards: Top steel Roller Coasters
Year 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ranking 1[26] 1[27] 1[28] 3[29] 3[30] 4[31] 3[32] 3[33] 3[34] 5[35] 7[36] 9[37] 8[38] 10[39] 8[40] 9[41] 13[5]
NAPHA Survey: Favorite Steel Roller Coaster
Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011


Preceded by
Dragon Mountain
World's Tallest Complete Circuit Roller Coaster
May 1989–May 1994
Succeeded by
Big One
Preceded by
World's Fastest Roller Coaster
May 1989–May 1991
Succeeded by
Steel Phantom


  1. ^ a b c "Magnum XL-200 stats and info". Ultimate Roller Coaster. Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Magnum XL-200". Experience the Point. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Magnum XL-200 20th anniversary ceremomy". PointBuzz. Retrieved September 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "A Blast from the Past Part 3". News Plus Notes. November 12, 2009. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
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  16. ^ "Is Magnum XL-200 sinking?". Archived from the original on November 13, 2007. Retrieved December 16, 2007. 
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External links[edit]