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Cedar Point Announces New 'Winged' Roller-Coaster

SANDUSKY, Ohio (WWJ/AP) - Northern Ohio's Cedar Point amusement park has announced plans for a "winged" roller-coaster designed to make riders feel like they're flying.

Cedar Point's 16th coaster, "GateKeeper" will be the park's first new one since Maverick opened in 2007.  It's scheduled to be completed before the park opens for next season in May of 2013.

With a 163-foot vertical drop and speeds of 67 mph, the blue-steeled tubular coaster will have riders on seats that extend sideways from the track, with nothing above or below them. According to park officials, GateKeeper will be the "longest winged roller coaster and boast the longest drop of any winged roller coaster on the planet." (More ride facts - .pdf format)

The coaster will be built at the main entrance and will pass over arriving guests as it inverts riders and sends them upside-down.

"GateKeeper's world-record-breaking statistics, incredible flying maneuvers and special elements make it a unique coaster experience," stated Cedar Point General Manager John Hildebrandt, in a release out Monday. "GateKeeper is a roller coaster only Cedar Point can build and we are proud to add it to our incredible lineup of world-class attractions."

GateKeeper is part of a roughly $30 million project overhauling the park's entrance. That includes tearing down Disaster Transport, a longtime indoor coaster that was attracting fewer riders as maintenance costs increased.

Hardcore CP fans can follow GateKeeper construction progress online at this link.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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