Riding a record breaker
During the two-hour drive down to Sandusky, Ohio’s Cedar Point, impress – or terrify – your kids by rattling off stats about the amusement park’s newest coaster. “We’re excited for guests to try the new Steel Vengeance, the world’s first hyper-hybrid roller coaster,” says communications director Tony Clark. “It combines a support structure of wood with a smooth steel track on top. The ride is 205 feet tall, has a 200-foot first drop at a 90-degree angle, four inversions, overbanked turns and the most airtime of any roller coaster on Earth.” Phew. If your child isn’t ready for all that airtime – or doesn’t meet height requirements – Cedar Point offers a cool program called Parent Swap. Dad waits in line for a coaster while mom watches the kiddos (or vice versa). After his turn, he gives his pass to the ride operator; then mom bypasses the line and struts right up for her turn. Find forms at guest services at the main gate, Town Hall Museum or the resort entrance.
Thrill-seeking for all ages
Anticipation builds as you rise 125 feet in the air – before plunging down another 122. Michigan’s Adventure’s signature ride, the aptly named Shivering Timbers, is the longest – and fastest – wooden roller coaster in the state. But the Muskegon park caters to small fries, too, says Laure Bollenbach, director of marketing and sales. “Visit Half Pint Paradise, which is new in 2018. This area provides a splash pad, kiddie slides and unique sea creatures.” Her top tip? Hit the neighboring WildWater Adventure first thing in the morning. “This is the best time to find that perfect lounge chair and start your day of water park fun.”
‘Looping’ for fun
This spring, Six Flags Great America near Chicago unveiled its latest entry into the realm of roller coaster legends-in-the-making: Mardi Gras Hangover. As the “world’s largest loop coaster,” not only does it spin you in 360-degree revolutions that’ll literally leave your head spinning, but it’s also got face-off seats – meaning you’ll be staring at your kids/spouse/friend/a totally stunned stranger as you loop again and again … and again.