Ive given Cedar Point crap in the past for its absurdly inflated reputation and collection of overrated rides, and thankfully Maverick broke the mold and delivered a fantastic experience from start to finish.
Where the rest of CPs coasters rely almost entirely on the parks gaudy and misguided reputation to breed popularity, I am fairly certain that Maverick would draw crowds even if it were built in war-torn Iraq and all ride operators wore car-bombs.
Indeed, Maverick is a hell-born Wild West coaster experience that even Clint Eastwood himself would have trouble wrangling. From the initial superb lifthill to the relentless and furious race back to the station, Maverick literally NEVER lets up. A lot of coasters are described to "never let up" but Maverick redefines this figure of speech. For all you woodie-enthusiasts out there --- this is the steel coaster for you. Taking a spin on Maverick is a physical endurance test to say the least...the stengel dives and ruthless twists and turns ferociously toss riders to and fro. The ride is absolute madness. Period.
Now onto the meat of the review:
Ill begin by describing the queue line. It is very well organized and decently themed -- although of course its not exactly the hardest thing in the world to pull off a run-down ambiance The theme music they play really gets you into the wild west sort of mood, however, which I think added a great deal to the experience. Hell, on one of my rides, a good old-fashioned saloon fight broke out in the main queue area, but I wouldnt recommend playing the part to that extent hehe.
Now onto the ride itself. The lifthill as we all know if freakishly fast --- that pretty much goes without saying. In a way it detracts from the rides already diminutive stature in comparison to Millennium Force looming in the distance. But nonetheless, the nice view of Lake Erie and stiff breeze to the top is very much welcomed. But be sure to take a deep breath before that 95 degree drop, because its unlikely youll have a chance for another until the final mag brakes set in...
The train is ripped down this drop in utter demonic fashion. It is truly an outrageous experience -- not quite as jaw-dropping as El Toros famous airtime hill, but still damn good. Just as your shoulders and knees begin to beg for mercy from the ripping gs pulled on the first drop, the train levels out, only to be slung through a couple of dastardly intense ground-hugging banked turns. These turns fling all riders about like rag dolls --- absolute madness. It is then onto one of the highlights of the ride, the main airtime hill. This hill delivers one powerful punch, although the restraints have undoubtedly been plastered to your lap by this point so all you really feel is "upward thrust" like on El Toro. The train then rounds a corner and enters the rides weakest portion: the horseshoe inversion(s). They seem a bit overkill to me...inversions dont really thrill me so much. But whatever, they dont kill the pacing of the ride at all, so I cant really complain. After the two back-to-back corkscrews, its onto the tunnel...
Now among my 6 rides on Maverick, the train never once came to a consistent speed in the tunnel portion. Im not sure if it had to do with the timing of the trains or what, but on each ride the train seemed to either come to an almost complete halt only to be catapulted forward, or it drifted at considerable speed headlong into the launch strip. The latter was my favorite, of course...seemed to maintain the pacing much more effectively and on the best of my rides on Mavvy occurred when this was the case.
Regardless, the launch is a very solid launch and the lights at the end of the strip that turn blue before you plunge into the sunlight are quite spiffy. The sharp left turn leading out of the tunnel is pretty intense, and the trim