By BRANDI BARHITE
SANDUSKY - The first riders on Cedar Point's maXair this morning said it doesn't have the "puke factor" expected from a ride that spins back and forth at speeds of up to 70 mph.
"It is awesome, it really is," said Jeff Putz, co-publisher of an unofficial Cedar Point fan Web site, www.pointbuzz.com. "Everyone worries about the spin, but it's not a vomit-inducing ride."
Tony Mihalic, 31, Lorain, arrived at the park at 5:30 a.m. to participate in today's media day event. Unlike Putz, Mihalic isn't a journalist, but was a special guest because of his membership in the American Coaster Enthusiasts and Great Ohio Coaster Club. The park opens to the public Saturday.
"It is an incredible experience," Mihalic said after getting off the ride at 6:30 a.m. "I was worried about the spinning, but I got off the ride and feel fine. I could go again."
The new thrill ride, sandwiched between the Main Midway and Kiddie Kingdom, stands 84 feet tall. With bright orange and blue colors, maXair takes the spotlight as the once-prominent indoor roller coaster, Disaster Transport appears to cower behind it.
"The view is nice and you are not too disoriented to take it in," Mihalic said. "They got a keeper. I love it."
While swinging 140 feet in the air in what has been described as an "out-of-control pendulum motion," riders can see all parts of the park, including the Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster.
While some may have been disappointed that Cedar Point's newest ride wasn't another record-breaking coaster like the Top Thrill Dragster in 2003, maXair ride operator Christie Color of Medina, Ohio, said it was a lot different than she thought.
"It's not a puke ride," she said. "Every seat is a different feeling."
Another maXair ride operator, Kurtis Harville of Maryville, Tenn., described the ride as "intense." Harville is studying mechanical engineering to become a ride designer, and gives his approval on Cedar Point's newest ride
"I thought it was going to make me sick the first time, but after that it was fun."
With the opening of maXair, Cedar Point now has 68 rides, which the park claims is more than "any other place on the planet." Included in that is 16 roller coasters.
Park spokesman Bryan Edwards said maXair was running properly this morning, and didn't expect any problems. Top Thrill Dragster was down several hours during the media day two years ago.
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