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    The last time I rode Millennium Force was the year it debuted and they would not let you choose your seat. As you know, I like riding in the front then going for the back if I enjoy the ride. Both times I rode it that year landed me in the same car in the same row: the eight car in the second row. The first time I was on the right, the second time found me on the left. Now was my chance to ride in the front row.

    It's nice watching the cars fly out of the station while you're waiting.  That lift hill is so fast! One moment the train is in the station, then in about three seconds it's all gone and heading towards the unknown. It's also great waiting for the front because the train flies by the final bunny hop  about five feet from you and it's going fast. So fast, that the wind from the train doesn't hit you until about a second after the train is gone. Yeah, this big boy does not slow down.

    We finally get to the front seat, the most coveted seat on this roller coaster. Strap on your seatbelt and pull down the lap bar. In the front, it does not matter if you leave yourself room on the lap bar or not, you'll see why once you experience it. Let's just say there's plenty of no-sitting-in-your-seat-time up here. These trains are extremely open and leave nothing to the imagination. To your left: nothing. To your right: nothing. All around you is just air. No sides to hold you in or anything. The lap bar's even this tiny bar that goes between your legs and a small yellow thing that holds you in. It's so small you know you're going to go flying out if it weren't for that seatbelt. Okay, so it's not that bad, but it is small and very comfortable. If these trains weren't on something like the Cedar Creek Mine Ride, you could fall asleep.

    But there will be no sleeping on Millennium Force. We get the thumbs-up from the ride operators and we're gone. We pull forward for a second and before we know it, we can wave the first one hundred feet of this lift hill good-bye. We're traveling at about 13 miles per hour up this 45-degree incline. Look left, there's Sandusky (it's really awesome at night). To the right is Cedar Point and Canada across the lake. Straight ahead is even more lift hill, but the top is approaching fast.  About two-thirds the way up, the lift speeds up. Why would they do this to their riders? To terrify them, that's why. The top of the tallest coaster in the Western Hemisphere is right in front of us and we travel over it like nobody's business.

What goes up must come down, correct? In the case of Millennium Force, we must come down hard. We begin to tilt down. And down. And down.     We hit the eighty-degree mark but it seems like this sucker's going to curl under itself. It's that steep. At the beginning of the drop, we get lifted out of our seats for the most extreme airtime imaginable. You're out of your seat for nearly 300 feet! There's still a length of track to go down, so we start to level out, all approaching our terminal velocity. At the base we pull some nice G forces, travel 93 miles per hour, and head into the first overbanked turn.

    169 feet in the air banked at 122 degrees is what's happening now. We come out of this heavily banked turn that carries some good forces in it and we fall back down to earth. We've got to be going over 90 miles per hour as we bank hard to the left and enter the first tunnel. The tunnels aren't elaborate or anything, they're just round metal sewer pipes, but that doesn't matter, we're gone in a millisecond.

    We go up into what has been dubbed the "Magnum hill" since it's only twenty feet shorter than what was once the tallest coaster in the world's highest point. Unbelievable! At the top we get some sweet lovin' from that thing called airtime and we stay out of our seats the entire drop down. A turn to the right and we hit the island turnaround. A sharply banked, extremely wide turn to the right approaches quickly. This turn isn't as banked as the others, but it's still banked hard. We tear out of it and we head in the same direction we exited the Magnum hill and into another overbanked turn to the left. This one's much smaller than the first three hills so we fly through it as we approach mach one. Well, it sure feels like it.

    Out of that we make a sharp turn to the right and head into a hill parallel to the Magnum hill.  This one's not nearly as high as the hill we're right next to, but that's good. We can get plenty of airtime in this hill. We enter the second tunnel and bank to the left. Out of the tunnel we're greeted by a bunny hop that provides us with even more airtime. We hit a quick banked turn to the left and a small section of straight track that looks like they may have thought about putting some trim brakes there. None are of existence so we tear through that section and enter the final overbanked turn. We take it at an incredible speed and bank hard to the right. This one seems the most banked of the others, but it's just smaller and tighter. We level out and hit the quiet, magnetic brakes. We slow down considerably and stop before the unloading station. We just traveled over 6,595 feet of track and still had the momentum to go 65 miles per hour into the final brakes. Millennium Force is a speed demon and a Force to be reckoned with. "Welcome back, riders. How was your ride?" We're speechless. Our jaws hang open, arms dangle to the side, and our eyes roll in back of our heads. Yeah, it's kinda like that: Millennium Force. One thing's for sure, this will top many people's lists as their favorite steel coaster and it's sure to remain there for a while.

 

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