Corkscrew opened in 1976 as Cedar Point's first record breaking roller coaster. Corkscrew was the first roller coaster to go upside down three times and the first to go upside down over a midway!
In the 1960's Cedar Point began its transformation into '' The Disneyland of the Midwest''. This meant that many popular rides would open. The first ride that was brought in was the Western Cruise. It proved to be so popular that over the years Sky Ride, Rotor, Space Spiral, Mill Race and many other rides started to appear. In addition to rides, Cedar Point started to add roller coasters again. After not having any roller coasters in operation for 7 years, Cedar Point added: Wild Mouse ( 1959-1962), Scamper (1962-1969), Broadway Trip (1964-1964), Blue Streak (1964), Cedar Creek Mine Ride (1969), Wildcat (1970 - 1978), and Jumbo Jet (1972 - 1978). Over the years rides got much bigger, faster, and much more impressive. Cedar Point was on the fast track to becoming a modern amusement park!
While Cedar Point was making its comeback from when the park fell from its greatness, elsewhere in the world, parks were adding coasters that would change the world and eventually Cedar Point.
In 1975, a prototype coaster opened at two parks. Knott's Berry Farm in California as Corkscrew ( 1975 - 1989) and Opryland in Tennessee as Wabash Cannonball ( 1975 - 1997). In 1990, Knott's ride was relocated to Silverwood Theme Park. These two roller coasters would be the first roller coasters in the world to send riders upside down with their corkscrew elements. On May 8, 1976, Magic Mountain in California opened Great American Revolution, the first roller coaster in the world to feature a vertical loop, just a weekend before Cedar Point, a little park in Ohio would introduce its new roller coaster that would break many records and stun the public.
Until 1976, Cedar Point had never had a world record breaking roller coaster before.
With other parks building roller coasters that went upside down, Cedar Point wanted to have their very own ride that also had loops.
According to newspaper articles from when the ride was being built, the new roller coaster would be called ''The Great Lake Erie Roller''. For unknown reasons, the ride name was dropped and renamed Corkscrew before the park would open.
The day before the ride opened, Arrow was testing the ride out. While testing was going great, two of the trains had collided while the incoming train was going into the station. Arrow quickly pieced the two trains together and started manufacturing a new train for the park. No one was on the train or hurt. If that were to happen today the ride would be delayed. Until Dick Kenzil's book was published in late 2015, only Cedar Point and Arrow had known about the innocent.
Being built in 1976, Corkscrew was painted red, white, and blue to help the country celebrate its 200th birthday!
Corkscrew Records Broken
1. Corkscrew was a first of its kind attraction in the world.
2. First Roller Coaster to go upside down 3 times! (The record was held until Carolina Cyclone was built at Carowinds in 1980.)
3. First Roller Coaster to go upside down OVER a midway!
4. Most Roller Coasters at a single Park! (5)
1. Tallest Roller Coaster at Cedar Point. (Until 1978)
2. Fastest Roller Coaster at Cedar Point. (Until 1978)
3. First Roller Coaster to go upside down!
Corkscrew was such a popular ride, that it put Cedar Point on the map and started a tradition of tallest and fastest. Corkscrew cost 1.75 million dollars in 1976, that is $7,457,995.50 in 2017!
Corkscrew was a very popular ride from the start. It helped Cedar Point beat an attendance record of over 3 million people for the first time. The ride was an instant hit. It was smooth, fun and a great ride for the park!
Corkscrew's beautiful station is located far away from the busy main midway of Cedar Point, at the far end of the ride.
After turning 180 degrees, Corkscrew sends its 24 passengers up the lift hill.
Withstanding The Test Of Time!
Due to the park expanding, Today Corkscrew is located in the center of the park. The ride still retains its classic 1976 color scheme and feel.
Corkscrew is an ok ride to start people out on that have never gone on a coaster that goes upside down, but we suggest that you start on something like Maverick or GateKeeper first because going upside down has changed so much in the last 40 years.
Since Corkscrew opened in 1976, 20 roller coasters have been added to Cedar Point! Over the years, bigger and better rides were added to the park including: Gemini (1978), Ocean Motion (1981), White Water Landing (1982 - 2005), Demon Drop (1982 - 2009), Avalanche Run (1985 - 1989), Iron Dragon (1987), Magnum XL-200 (1989), Disaster Transport 1990 - 2012), Mean Streak (1991 - 2016) Raptor (1994), Mantis (1996 - 2014), Millennium Force (2000), Wicked Twister (2002), Top Thrill Dragster (2003), MaXair (2005) Sky Hawk (2006) Maverick (2007), WIndSeeker (2011) GateKeeper (2013), Rougarou (2015), Valravn (2016), and Steel Vengeance (2018).
Over the years, rides have gotten bigger and better!
Photos by: Jake Hamons, Joel Rogers, Cedar Point
Last Updated: 5/20/2020