In early August, Cedar Point’s blog revealed that the Witches’ Wheel flat ride would be removed in the interest of “future expansion.” So, on August 26, I rode Witches’ Wheel for the last time. As I took my final spin, I did a little reminiscing about what made this ride special to me over the years.
The height requirement
This is an odd tidbit to get sentimental about, but hear me out. To ride Witches’ Wheel, you most recently had to be at least 54 inches tall. This is a bit taller than the height requirements for most of the park’s other rides (even some of the major coasters). Furthermore, I remember some years during my 1990s childhood that riders had to be at least 60 inches tall to ride unaccompanied. If you were a short little kid like me, the ability to ride any ride by yourself was a significant milestone. Finally hitting the Witches’ Wheel height requirement signified the end of having to chart my growth in pencil on the kitchen wall. My most recent ride brought back great memories of how utterly obsessed I once was with measuring up for those “big kid” rides.
Yes, Witches’ Wheel riders must sit in a cage-like gondola, but you’ll find no lap bars or seat belts. Even during my last ride, I appreciated that I could slide around freely in the cage. I felt like I was flying – albeit awkwardly. I took my last ride alone, but flying in that gondola with a partner in years past (usually one of my siblings) always made for a memorable and giggle-inducing experience.
It was a park institution
I can’t even remember a Cedar Point without a Witches’ Wheel. While I was enamored with its vertiginous thrills as a kid, my interest had waned as an adult. On my way to ride either Magnum or Gemini, I gave it little more than a passing glance. Witches’ Wheel has always been one of those amusement park staples that you could take for granted and assume would always be there… next time. I am glad Cedar Point announced the removal of the ride early; I am glad I had the chance to say so long.