Located on a panoramic peninsula of Lake Erie sits a giant of iron, steel and concrete with striking moly orange paint. Set on the far end of the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio – the self-proclaimed Roller Coaster Capital of the World – is Magnum XL-200; an innovative, breathtaking and record-setting thrill ride.
Built in 1989 Magnum boasts being the world’s first Hypercoaster. Built by Arrow Dynamics, Magnum is the first full circuit coaster to exceed 200’ in height (205’ to be exact), setting a Guinness World Record. Three trains take 36 riders each through an adrenaline fueled adventure at speeds up to 72 mph, another first for its time. The epic innovations, world record and ride experience of the Magnum XL-200 started the global “Coaster Wars” competition between theme parks and engineers that continues to this day.
With a healthy 2:00 ride time Magnum boasts 5,106 feet of tubular steel track. After leaving the station the train takes a right-hand turn and proceeds up the 500+ foot-long lift hill. As the coaster climbs, clicking along the way, adrenaline beings to pump as riders arrive at the top, 205 feet in the air secured by their lap bar restraints. Those brave enough to open their eyes are treated to a panoramic view of Lake Erie that is nothing short of breathtaking. On clear days Canada is easily visible in the distance. The view, however, doesn’t last long as the train suddenly plummets steeply down 195 feet towards the earth.
In celebration of Magnum XL-200’s 30th anniversary, the team at Cedar Point wanted to ratchet up the thrills for one of its most famous coasters! The plan was to give the riders one final thrill as they blast through a wall of sound, lights and fog as they rocket through the final tunnel before arriving back on the unload platform.
When it came to the fog effects, Technical Supervisor Jerry Beck realized during the design process that off-the-shelf fog machines are not designed for the duty-cycles of theme parks, which often operate 14 hours a day, 7 days a week and need to run their machines at full output every couple of minutes. Accessing the machine is also a challenge, making machines difficult to service, or even to change fog fluid containers. Sometimes, the machine is not only installed in an area that is not easily accessible, many times the ride needs to be shut down and locked out for the safety of the crew in order to reach the machine.
Enter Rosco’s Intelligent Fog System (IFS). Specifically engineered for permanent installations in long-running attractions, the Rosco IFS was able to provide the fog effects, serviceability and reliability that Cedar Point required. Jerry and his crew were able to install the fogger inside the tunnel, exactly where they needed it, without duct work that would, over time, collect condensation of fluid.
Designed as a modular system, the IFS features a remote 1500-watt Heater Unit, which is populated with industrial grade electronics, and can be installed up to 15 feet away from the Control Module. Completing the IFS installation is Rosco’s sealed Remote Fluid System that features drums of fluid with a quick-disconnect and a siphon tube, and a positive displacement diaphragm pump. It’s worth noting that, while Cedar Point found it easiest to place the drum in a service room directly underneath the tunnel, the fluid system has the capability to be placed hundreds of feet away – wherever they be accessed most easily. The Rosco IFS also features a unique self-cleaning feature that can periodically purge the heater units of old fog fluid using compressed air – greatly extending the service life of the heat-exchangers to minimize required maintenance.
There is no doubt that Cedar Point hit another home run with Magnum ensuring thrill seekers will be jumping right back in line to experience the new effects over and over again.