For the 2016 season Cedar Point is debuting Valravn, a record breaking Dive Coaster. Tonight I had the opportunity to attend the First Ride Benefit to try out the new ride and share a Valravn Review with my readers.
For the last two years I have attended Bloggy Conference which is held in the fall at Cedar Point. As part of the registration for the 2016 conference, Cedar Point offered invitations to the First Ride Benefit night to early registrants. Since I knew I wanted to return for the conference, I purchased my pass early to ensure I could attend tonight.
Overall Valravn Review
Valravn is an awesome coaster. It starts with a steep lift hill, hangs over the initial drop, and then plummets you down and through 3 inversions and 2 drop hills. The ride was super smooth. It easily surpassed Gatekeeper as my favorite Cedar Point Coaster!
What is a Dive Coaster?
I had never heard of a dive coaster beforeCedar Point announced Valravn last year. A dive coaster is one that features a large drop and pauses at the top. Last month, my family had our first experience on a dive coaster. During Spring Break we visited Busch Gardens Williamsburg and rode Griffon, their Dive Coaster. We all loved the ride which increased our anticipation for Valravn.
Record Breaking Coaster
Valravn is a true world breaking coaster. On it’s own or as part of the Cedar Point Roller Coaster family it breaks 10 world records.
- Valravn Records
- Tallest Dive Coaster – 223 feet
- Fastest Dive Coaster – 75 mph
- Longest Dive Coaster – 3415 feet
- Longest Drop on a Dive Coaster – 214 feet
- Most Inversion on a Dive Coaster – 3
- Highest Inversion on a Dive Coaster – 165 feet
- Cedar Point Records
- Most Coasters taller than 200 feet at one amusement park – 5
- Most Rides at one amusement park – 71
- Most Steel Roller Coaster Track at an amusement park – 9.9 miles
- Most Roller Coaster Track at an amusement park – 11.4 miles
Ride Experience on Valravn
Valravn is located near the Marina entrance to Cedar Point. From the main entrance, the best path to Valravn from the midway is near Chickie & Pete’s and Blue Streak.
Each ride vehicle on Valravn has 3 rows which each seat 8, for a total of 24 riders per launch. They were running up to 3 vehicles while I was at the park. At least tonight, there was one person assigning people to rows to ensure the cars were full. I really like when they assign you to a row rather than having to guess which is the best row to wait in. There is a special queue for the first row since it tends to be more popular. I rode Valravn 3 times, twice in the first row and once in the second row.
Valravn has a 52″ height requirement. You also cannot bring loose items on the ride. There are no loose object bins on the load platform. You can wear a waist pack on the ride (I use an old camera case). There are lockers available for rent near the ride entrance. We typically try to travel light so we don’t have to rent a locker for rides.
The overhead restraint for Valravn is similar to the restraint for Gatekeeper with a flexible piece that fits tight on the body and the rigid bars further out. As a woman, I feel more comfortable and secure with this configuration. I also noticed that most of the tethers that clip from the seat to the harness were yellow, but each row had a red tether. When I asked the operator, I was told that the red tethers are a little longer to accommodate larger guests. If you feel you would need the extra length, be sure to look for the red strap.
Valravn’s leaves the station and goes around a curve before beginning it’s initial ascent. The initial ascent felt like one of the steeper coaster ascents that I have been on. It felt like we were at close to a vertical angle. The climb was quite smooth and relatively quick without the choppiness of a chain drive or the extreme launch of a ride like Top Thrill Dragster. If you happen to be seated on the left side of the train you get a view of the marina during the climb.
Views from Valravn
Valravn features amazing views. As you reach the top of the lift hill to the first drop you have a great view of the Cedar Point coasters – Millenium Force, Top Thrill, Rougarou, Power Tower, Maverick, Magnum XL. Then as you turn towards the drop you see Hotel Breakers, Wind Seeker, Wicked Twister, GateKeeper, and Lake Erie. The view is definitely amazing at night when the rides are all lit up. The view was slightly better from the front row than the second. These were definitely the best views I have seen in the park from any roller coaster.
The highlight of Valravn is the pause before the drop when you are hanging over the drop. This view is definitely better from the first row (although if you’re hesitant to ride, I suggest sitting in the second or third row). From the front row, the coolest part of the drop is that you cannot see the track all the way down because of the steep angle (90 degrees).
Once you are released from the pause, you are off on a whirlwind. From the initial drop hill, you go straight into the first inversion where your ride picture is taken. The ride has two more inversions including a 270 degree roll. There is also a second dive after a break run (although it is a shorter pause and a lower height).
Visiting Cedar Point
Cedar Point is located about 2 hours from Ann Arbor. I just wish there was a more direct way to get from the Ohio Turnpike to Cedar Point. It seems that the route is quite circuitous.
Cedar Point opens for the 2016 season this weekend, May 7th and 8th. Cedar Point will be open daily beginning May 13 through Labor Day. Then will then be open on weekends for HalloWeekends through October 30th.
Discount admission tickets to Cedar Point can be bought at Meijer, or you can look for online deals. Online, they are currently running a discount where everyone pays the kids price ($45).
I have heard that they are expecting long lines for Valravn particularly during opening weekends. A Fast Lane add-on allows you to avoid the line on many popular rides. Only the Fast Lane Plus option includes Valravn, Maverick, GateKeeper, and Top Thrill Dragster.
First Ride Benefit
I also wanted to share a little bit about the First Ride Benefit. The event supported the Lebron James Family Foundation with most of the guests purchasing tickets. Tickets were also made available to VIPs, Bloggy Conference attendees, and some local companies.
The event ran from 6-10p however Valravn and the dinner buffet were only available beginning at 7p. From 6-7p there were red carpet photos, Peanuts characters, and snack foods available (fries, walking tacos, donuts). I have to admit that the event did not get off to a good start with long lines for the red carpet photos and the food with the tacos actually running out. However, once 7p rolled around, we were greeted and the group was staged into the Valravn plaza to ride and enjoy the dinner buffet.
Upon arrival attendees were given a card with a bird themed movie – Angry Birds, Happy Feet, and The Birdcage were some of the movies that I heard. Once my group was admitted, I waited about 15 minutes for my first ride on Valravn. We were allowed to ride as often as we wanted. The line had grown a bit by the time my ride was over, so I went to visit the buffet. The spread was quite impressive and more than made up for the long lines and running out of food earlier. I enjoyed crab claws, scallops, shrimp, vegetables, fruit, and a steak taco. There was also fresh carved beef. The desserts looked excellent and also included a Valravn World Premiere Cookie and Valravn themed Dippin Dots ice cream. For future events, my only suggestion would be to have one more “kid-friendly” entree offering. There were quite a few kids present, and no traditional kid-food – although I think many of them ate the walking tacos while waiting for 7p.
After eating, I was able to ride Valravn two more times. I debated riding a fourth time, but it was 9:20p and I was facing a 2 hour drive home. Also, they had no restrooms open in the Valravn area, so by the time I headed back to the Midway for the bathroom, I was ready to leave.