These 1st Generation freefall towers from Intamin are certainly something to behold when you first see one. They are so archaic in design, yet so genius at the same time. The first time I saw Demon Drop, I was admittedly a little bit intimidated, as it looks so menacing towering over the front of the park. This placement, by the way, couldn’t be more perfect for a ride like this, as it is one of the first things you see upon entering through Cedar Point’s front gates. Not to mention that the name of the ride fits great as well, as this thing looks pretty demonic! Rides like Demon Drop basically focus in on a primal fear of being in an elevator, only to have it malfunction and plummet to earth at an unsafe feeling speed. Power Tower is the smooth, polished thrill tower, controlled by computerized precision and compressed air. Demon Drop, on the other hand, is the primitive, rough around the edges thrill tower that is more minimalist in design. When in line you hear the creaking, clanging, and otherwise loud operation of the ride, and you wonder if the thing will fall to the ground that very instant. I for one think that adds to the ride’s personality, and certainly heightens the nerves and anticipation. The crew is relatively efficient on this ride, doing about as good as they can with it considering that it is no capacity machine. Waits usually aren’t too bad on Demon Drop, somewhere in the 15-30 minute range.
A ride on Demon Drop starts by boarding one of the simple cage-like cars. If you are mildly claustrophobic, I would wager these ride vehicles are a bit unnerving! After things are checked and ready, the slow and steady climb up the tower begins. The cars shimmy and shake a bit as they creak steadily towards the top. On a first ride, you can’t help but notice your pulse quicken a bit. At the top, the car stops and then slowly lurches forward before coming to a stop. What a nice view, right? Yeah, it’s nice, but your brain is filled with the question that every rider in the car with you will also be thinking – aw crap, when are we gonna fall??? And they build up to it pretty well, leaving the car still up there for about an eternity and a half when you’re up there. Loosely translated, from the ground, it’s about 5-10 seconds. Then comes the drop, and it is great, filled with some very good floating sensations the whole way down! The track curves riders onto their backs, and the car is backed up and uprighted back into position. This ending part isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world, but it’s bearable enough considering the ride itself is otherwise very good. The drop is the highlight of course, but the whole package is put together nicely to deliver a great overall ride experience. It is a shame that it’s up for sale now, but it has done Cedar Point a great service, dishing out the rides and heightening guest’s fears. While it is still there, catch a ride on it before it is too late. You’ll enjoy the ride, and this demon’s clutches feel pretty darn good!