Riders Forced to Walk Down After Roller Coaster Stops Before the Top

Angel Yuan
By Angel Yuan
August 5, 2023US News
Riders Forced to Walk Down After Roller Coaster Stops Before the Top
The Magnum XL-200 ride at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, in August 2011. (Google Maps/Screenshot via NTD)

Riders aboard a roller coaster in Ohio experienced more thrill than they were hoping for after it froze midair near the top of a 205 feet drop on Aug. 3.

About 12 people were forced to walk down the Magnum XL-200 ride by metal exit stairs due to a mechanical problem that resulted in an abrupt halt of the ride. It took half an hour for workers to come and assist the passengers to safety. Local media outlets and social media users shared posts on the incident.

According to Tony Clark, Cedar Point Amusement Park’s director of communications, the incident occurred due to a “standard ride stoppage” after a “check engine light” came on and the ride could not be restarted. It led to the evacuation of guests as a standard safety procedure.

When the ride initially opened in 1989, it was the “Guinness Book of World Records holder for its leading edge height,” which “is enough to amaze anybody,” according to Cedar Point’s website.

Tony Cafego, a tourist from Alaska, stayed on the ground and recorded the incident while his wife and son rode. He told WTVG that he realized “this was not a glitch” after the ride stalled and did not restart for about 15 minutes.

His wife Laina Cafego said that the uncertainty and waiting caused them to be anxious. She said that after a few minutes, an automated recording instructed the riders to stay seated as the ride would soon resume. As the train started climbing up the hill, a brief sense of relief washed over them with the familiar clicking sound of the roller-coaster. However, when the ride came to a stop once more, and the clicking sound ceased, Ms. Cafego said that anxiety levels escalated.

“Everyone was kind of thinking the same thing,” she said. “Did it actually lock, or were we going to start going backward?”

In the midst of the rescue ordeal, the most challenging aspect, as noted by Ms. Cafego, was “trying to get out of your seat because we were at such a [steep] angle.” They were also unable to hear the rescuers’ instructions, despite yelling at the top of their lungs. While workers offered assistance by allowing visitors to hold on to them, she personally opted to clutch onto the sturdy steel railing for support.

“My legs are still sore from walking down those stairs,” she said.

The roller coaster lasts for two minutes and 45 seconds and can reach up to 72 miles per hour.

Its distinctive “pretzel turnaround” provides riders with breathtaking views of Lake Erie’s renowned shorelines, and as the coaster twists and turns, it returns to the Cedar Point skyline. On clear days, lucky riders might even catch glimpses of the Canadian coast on the distant horizon.

Cedar Point isn’t the first theme park that has recently experienced an error that has confined riders.

Last month, thrill seekers at the Forest Country Festival in Crandon, Wisconsin, were confronted with a terrifying predicament.

On July 2, the Fireball roller coaster experienced a malfunction, causing it to halt and leaving passengers stuck upside down for around three hours. Emergency personnel were eventually called in to help the riders.

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