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 Review of Jr. Gemini @ Cedar Point
1 Rating Posted by: Timberman on 5/9/2006 1:06:00 AM
Like countless parents before me, I now have the sacred responsibility of fashioning a roller coaster curriculum that will hopefully instill a lifelong love of these wondrous machines into my own offspring. For young children, Jr. Gemini is an excellent first step, offering a gentle introduction to the classic roller coaster experience. Im not sure if Cedar Point has established any minimum physical qualfications for this ride, but my two-year-old son was welcomed right aboard, with me squeezing into the seat beside him. The primary restraint is a seatbelt that, once fastened, can only be released by the attendant (as I discovered earlier in Kiddy Kingdom when I set a very bad example by trying to climb out of my loosened belt on the 4x4, so I could free my son once the ride stopped). I felt a brief twinge of regret that the boy will grow up in a world in which seatbelts are pretty much a given on all coasters, but on this ride, at least, they make sense. A t-bar also comes down between the riders and proved a tight squeeze for this daddys legs. Once the brakes are released, the single four-car train (seating four riders per car) rolls directly onto the lift hill. Unlike some other childrens coasters, this is a traditional gravity-powered design, which I considered a must for the boys maiden voyage. (After all, I dont want the kid growing up to think these things routinely launch from a standstill.) Because riders board from a raised platform, the top of the lift is 19 feet off the ground, a very respectable height for a junior coaster. The first drop is nicely done, a swift left turn with minimal banking that transitions into the mid-course camel back, which crosses over and above the lift. Sitting in 3:1, we did not get any air to speak of, but its a fun manuever nonetheless. The track then ascends into a right-hand turn that leads back into the station. Its all over very quickly, but once the ride op checks everybodys restraints, passengers can traverse the course again without disembarking. I would have been happier if they just let er rip the second time through without stopping, but they apparently want to give youngsters who were freaked out by the first circuit a chance to bail. I really like the figure-8 layout of this ride, which gives the poor tots a break from the constant centrifugal forces found on most kids rides. Jr. G features just enough height, speed, and directional changes to provide kids with an agreeable thrill, while still leaving them eager to tackle the next step. My own son took it all in quite impassively, but it obviously made an impression, as hes been talking about roller coasters ever since and wanting to look at roller coaster books and DVDs. From this humble beginning, the seeds of a dynasty are sown.
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