The year 2000 ushered in a new millennium, one chalked full of possibilities. Six Flags decided to head into the new century with huge aspirations for its newest acquisition at that time, out in Aurora, Ohio. The plan was simple really – plop down as much coaster track as humanly possible in one off-season. Then, go after the big boys up in Sandusky. Some were skeptical, and it turned out those skeptics were justified, as this ill-conceived plan fell apart and the park was sold to Cedar Fair. Many know of the horror stories that came from this park in its Six Flags days. Yet, despite all that mess, and somehow lost in the shuffle of park owners and coaster names, there is an incredible floorless coaster from B&M that happened to be one of the few, if not the only, good decisions that Six Flags made while in possession of the park. That coaster is Dominator.
It’s an appropriate name for the ride, because that’s what it does – it dominates the skyline towards the back of the park along the lake or swamp or whatever they’d like to call that murky gunk that festers underneath the coaster’s supports. It actually makes for a neat setting for the ride, as you various times skim the marshy surface just waiting for Nessie, an alligator, or just about anything to emerge and say howdy! Heading towards the back of the park through "Power City" (don’t blink or you’ll miss it, as it’s essentially "Dominator and Pizza City"
, you see the massive structure that is Dominator glisten in its yellow and purple hues, creating a stunning eyesight that will grab even the most novice coaster fan’s attention. When we went to Geauga Lake, the crowds were sparse at best, and I was delighted (yet also stunned) that this marvel of B&M expertise was a walk-on! We rode 17 times over our 2 shorter days at the park, which is a testament to 2 things: 1) The greatness of this floorless roller coaster, and 2) The level of my coaster riding craving! Once you quickly parade up the stairs to the station, I recommend heading to the very front seat, as that is the best spot on this thrilling journey. The back gives a few better airtime moments, but not enough to offset the incredible views up front, where frankly the floorless effect works best.
Dominator boasts the highest traditional lift hill in the park, at 160 feet, and as you climb high into the sky, you get some great views of the lake and park. Once you reach the summit, the quick paced blend of speed and forces is about to get underway. The first drop is just as good, if not better, than it looks, as the train swoops down a tightly twisting drop that is rather steep. The speed picks up wonderfully at the bottom of the 150 foot plummet, and you immediately head into a massive 135 foot vertical loop. This dynamic one-two punch to kick off the ride is truly the highlight in my opinion, and the sensations in both the drop and loop are quite stunning! After swooping up and over the station, the coaster then dives down and tackles the cobra roll, aptly named in this instance. Like the snake it is named after, the roll hits with a biting ferocity, yet is almost unimaginably still smooth! I do love cobra rolls on coasters, and it continually amazes me how B&M can create such a wicked element that is equal parts thrill and intensity and still keep it from being rough. Exiting the cobra roll, the train heads back up and turns left, hitting the mid course brakes. After the pause to take a breath, the coaster dives down a wonderfully designed drop with impressive airtime. In the back of the train, this little dive produces airtime that is massive, especially considering that this is a floorless train with shoulder harnesses. Due to the small footprint the park had to work with, the ending portion of the ride is very tight and the elements are packed close together, which adds to the thrill. Dominator concludes with interlocking corkscrews and a ground-hugging end turn that leads to a hop up to the brakes.<