By Andy Guinigundo
Cedar Fair has announced that after a 26-year run at Cedar Point, The Demon Drop will be dismantled and reassembled at sister park Knotts Berry Farm near Los Angeles. First opened in 1983, the Demon Drop is an elevator-style drop ride that simulates a free-fall drop from a 10-story building.
In the summer of 1983, I was 10 years old. Being a 10-year-old in Cincinnati, Ohio I, like many of my friends, was already coaster enthusiast. Kings Island amusement park was just a short drive from my house. It was an easy drop off for mom to make. I had braved the longest wooden coaster in the world, The Beast, on many occasions. I had also ridden the classic out-and-back Racer forward and backwards many times.
I had heard about the “Roller Coast” up on Lake Erie in Northern Ohio in a city called Sandusky. I don’t really remember how I found out about the Demon Drop, but I remember hearing about it and “needing” to ride it. Somehow we convinced dad to take us. I remember riding Magnum Force for the first time. It’s still one of my favorites. I remember falling in love with looping coasters for the first time, having ridden the Corkscrew over and over with minimal wait. But we did wait, and wait and finally rode what we had come to ride: The Demon Drop.
Before Disney’s Tower of Terror or other lift and drop thrill rides like Kings Island’s Drop Tower, there was Demon Drop. Let’s take a look at some of its stats:
Height of Tower: 131 feet
Length of Drop: 99 feet
Drop Time: 2.5 seconds
Lift Speed: 18 feet/second (six seconds to get to the top)
Speed of drop: 80 feet/second, 55 miles/hour
Restraint system: Over the shoulder harness
Ride Vehicle: six, four-passenger cars
Total rides: 18,528,610
Manufacturer: Intamin AG of Switzerland (Millenium Force, California Screamin’, Colossus, Fahrenheit, El Toro, and others)
A ride move for Cedar Fair is not completely foreign. X-Flight was formerly at Geauga Lake in Northern Ohio before being moved and re-opened as The Fire Hawk at Kings Island in 2007. Demon Drop should make an excellent addition to the line-up of coasters and other thrill rides at Knotts Berry Farm. Cedar Point Demon Drop fans have a few last chances to ride. The last day of Cedar Point’s season is Nov. 1 and it will remain open until then. The Demon Drop is set to re-open at Knotts Berry Farm in 2010.
• Andy Guinigundo is the author of the Out of The Loop column in “Orlando Attractions Magazine”. Out of the Loop keeps you up-to-date with attraction news outside of Central Florida. Andy lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and three daughters. He grew up frequenting theme parks around Ohio and making trips to Orlando with his family. While for most of the year, he’s out of the Orlando loop, he tries to visit Florida at least once a year.