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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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A Cedar Point Experience, FAMILY STYLE!--Part Three
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, May 07, 2002



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Just when I thought my Cedar Point Experience was to become nothing but a big stinky goose egg, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. My oldest brother, Anh Kim (he's 14) yelled over to me, "HEY, BABS! YOU WANT TO RIDE 'MILLENNIUM FORCE' WITH ME? RICHARD'S CHICKENED OUT, AND I NEED A RIDING BUDDY!!" (It was about 8:30, nearing the end of the day.)

I would have crossed the Atlantic Ocean to answer that call, which was, as you might have guessed, a RESOUNDING "Yes."

So, Anh Kim and I got into the queue line of the "Millennium Force"--only to be greeted by an extremely long line of eager people who all had the same idea: to ride "Millennium Force,"Cedar Point's newest, tallest, and FASTEST roller coaster.
"Oh, THIS IS JUST GREAT!!" Anh Kim grumbled. "WHY didn't I get my WHEELCHAIR??" (Anh Kim is an amputee. He lost a leg to cancer when he was only six, and now he gets around on crutches and a prosthetic leg--or a wheelchair on long trips.) I just shrugged my shoulders.

The person behind us happened to notice Anh's two crutches. He then proceeded in yelling as loudly as he could,"HEY!! LET THIS KID UP TO THE FRONT!! HE'S ON CRUTCHES!! HE CAN'T STAND THAT LONG!!"

Anh Kim (not to mention myself) gave the guy a Look of sheer annoyance and a Look that could melt steel. I'm sure they heard the guy yell clear in AFRICA, it was so loud.

Anh Kim and I both wanted to DIE.

Eventually, we made it to the front of the line, where people were loaded onto the ride. The ride loader-upper took one look at us and said, "Hop in, kids, but before you do, I'm afraid the young man can't take his crutches onto the ride with him. He'll have to leave them with me. He'll get them back when you return to the station. Now--you're about to ride the BIGGEST, BADDEST, and FASTEST coaster on the planet--'MILLENNIUM FORCE!' May the FORCE be with you!!"--and, emitting an evil cackle, the man then gave the signal to the ride controller who was in charge of running the ride. Soon, we were off.

As soon as we left the station we were already on our way up the hill. The BIGGEST HILL I'd EVER seen in my LIFE!! Somehow, the hill looked even BIGGER than it did when I'd first seen it while we were coming into the park earlier in the day......

Oh, HELP.

Oh, dang.

There was NO WAY I could POSSIBLY back out now.

Twenty-two MEASLY SECONDS was all it took for the coaster train to ascend the hill. Soon we were looking down. STRAIGHT DOWN.

GULP.

The view was absolutely terrifying. It nearly took my breath away.

Soon we were hurtling down the hill--at an INCREDIBLE 92 miles an hour. 92 miles an hour, MY FOOT--it felt more like 1,000!!

The wind whipped my hair back from my face, and the wind howled in my ears, and my eyes filled with tears--not because I was scared, but from the force (get it?) of the wind.

It was absolutely mind-boggling. And absolutely horrifying.

And FUN.

I decided right then I LIKED it. Upon returning to the station, I felt a rush of pure excitement wash over me.

I HAD SURVIVED. I RODE THE TALLEST, FASTEST, AND STEEPEST ROLLER COASTER IN THE ENTIRE WORLD--And I HAD SURVIVED. I WAS ALIVE.

I, Barbara Sandusky, 12 years old, had survived "Millennium Force!" It was a memory I'd NEVER forget as long as I lived!

If we get back to Cedar Point this year I'm DEFINITELY making plans in riding "Millennium Force" again!!

And maybe, JUST MAYBE, I'll be riding their new coaster for this year, "Wicked Twister!" That new one sounds like it ROCKS!!!!


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