If you like ride photos, Cedar Point has a number of opportunities just for you. According to current park information, Cedar Point offers ride photos on 10 of their roller coasters. Yes, that means that well over half of their roller coasters capture a lasting memory for you. With the new addition of FunPix, Cedar Point gives you the most reasonable photo option out there, especially if you consider price per ride photo opportunity! It’s simply unmatched! If you are like me, you love ride photos. In fact, I do my best to make each photo a little unique, and all first time roller coaster ride photos are cherished a little more. As a result, it can be important to take a little bit of time and do some information gathering about where the ride photo is taken on each ride. You may want to be surprised by the photo to get the full ride experience expression while others may want to be ready for that split second moment in order to strike just the right pose. Either way, one thing is for sure – you should know which seats are best for ride photos.
The Front Row For The Win!!!
When it comes to riding roller coasters, many will say that the front row is the most popular row to ride in. As a result, the lines are a little longer. Often, other than the back row or a recommended row that some might say offers the sweet-spot experience, the front row is recommended for that first time riding experience. You can ride and reride a roller coaster over and over, but you can never take back or recreate your first time experience on a specific roller coaster. Now, in addition to the popularity of the front row, common sense tells us that the front row also offers the best spot to get a photo on every roller coaster that Cedar Point has to offer. The most obvious reason is that you do not have to worry about somebody sitting in front of you with his or her hands up or out in different angles that could potentially obstruct your important “Kodak Moment!” So, if ride photos are REALLY important to you, you might want to wait a little longer to get a front row seat!
But, what if you don’t have time to wait in the line for the front row on a roller coaster? Well, you will still want to know which side of the roller coaster train the cameras are on. Knowing this will better ensure your chances of getting a good picture. So, here goes (starting at the very front of the park and working our way to the back):
Since GateKeeper is a wing coaster, the roller coaster needs two ride photo cameras to effectively snap a photo of the riders. To get the best photo possible, sit on an outside seat. However, the overall likelihood that your photo will be messed up or obstructed on this roller coaster is almost impossible. This is mainly because this coaster uses the B&M vest restraint; while comfortable, it is tough to put your hands up and wave them all around like you might on other roller coasters, so you’ll be in the photo. One quick tip, however, is for those people using FunPix. If you are sitting on the inside seat, you might want to have a park associate who is working the photo station recenter your photo before loading it on your FunPix account. Once it is loaded on your account, the current version of its online software does not allow you to move it. Look at a recent photo of me on GateKeeper (below). I sat in the last row by myself, and I was automatically centered. Had I ridden this one with a friend, it is not likely he or she would have been completely in the frame. While I am sure the park will be fixing this in the future, it is always best to take an extra minute and ensure that the photo is centered before you head to another ride.
While this roller coaster seats four people across in each row, this coaster’s photo setup is similar to that of GateKeeper; actually, most inverted roller coasters are, and this is likely because the gap between the rows would likely not enough to take a good photo at such a steep angle. Essentially, this roller coaster has two cameras, one on each side of the train. Therefore, sit on an edge seat for the best picture!
Cedar Point’s new thrill machine, Valravn is a world record-breaking dive coaster made by B&M. Since this 75mph roller coaster only has three rows on each coaster train and locates its ride photo near the high-speed first drop, it literally one big photo that covers the 24 seats. Maybe it flashed three times, but I think it was only one flash. Either way, it is hard to find a bad seat for the photo here. Of course, the front row is the best, but this coaster also utilizes the B&M vest restraints, so the chances of somebody or something obstructing your photo is very slim!
This newly transformed floorless coaster (once a stand-up roller coaster called Mantis) sits four people across. However, unlike the inverted B&M roller coasters, Rougarou only has one ride photo camera. As a result, where you sit might be a little important. This thrill ride uses B&M’s over the shoulder restraints (OTSRs), so it allows for a greater chance (although not much greater) that the person sitting next to you could stick out his or her arm a little to get in-between the camera and you. So, where should you sit? Well, it is best to be the first one to get on the coaster – sitting in the seat on the exit side of the queue station (furthest from where the line spits you out into the various rows). By sitting on that side, you will be closest to the camera and have the best chance of the best possible photo opportunity.
Top Thrill Dragster
Likely the shortest ride duration on a coaster at Cedar Point (when counting from launch to brake run), this 17-second blast of a ride actually has two cameras, but that just means that you get two pictures. Built by Intamin, this coaster sits two people per row, and the ride cameras are located on the right had side of the trains – one near the end of the launch before the hill, and the second one after you arrive back down from that awesome 420ft tower. To be positioned for the best possible photo, you’ll want to be the first person in your row to enter the train. By sitting on that far side (which puts you closer to the crowds who like to watch each launch), you will be closest to both cameras. If you have a buddy sitting with you, try not to cover his or her face if you let your hands fly after launch. Of course, the front row seat is where it is at when it comes to photos, especially when you have nothing in front of you during that 120mph launch (in 3.8 seconds)
Sitting two people per row, many people consider this to be the best roller coaster ever built; Millennium Force offers a little bit of everything. From the great views atop the 310ft tall lift hill to the 93mph speeds and beyond, this ride is great. Now, where do you sit to get a great ride photo to show off to your friends? Well, sitting on the bay side is where you will want to be. Again, get in on the coaster train first and sit on that far side. That seat will give you the best views of the bay and also put you in position for a great ride photo in the last tunnel area. Smile!
So, you seem to be seeing a trend, right? Just get in the coaster first, and all is fine, right? Well, not on this classic hyper coaster. Let your friend get into the roller coaster first and then take the seat closest to the queue line. Like Millennium Force, this coaster sits two people per row, so you won’t really have to battle people for positioning when it comes time for the ride photo, but that left seat is going to offer the best seat for a good photo!
There are ride photos on kiddie coasters, too, so be sure to get a photographic memory of your child’s first roller coaster experience. To get the best photo for your child, have them sit on the far side of the coaster when loading. The photo will be on the left side, so make sure they smile and you make sure not to block anybody else’s photo – you never know if you are blocking the ride photo of a child’s first coaster experience!
The other kiddie coaster in Camp Snoopy also has a ride photo. To get the best photo, have your child enter first and sit on the far seat. This will put him or her closest to the camera! Again, be mindful that children in other rows. Just keep the hands down and ensure everybody has a fantastic ride photo to cherish forever!
With Mean Streak at the back of the park apparently not offering a ride photo anymore, Maverick is the last ride in the back of the park with a ride photo. With the new restraints in place since last summer, this ride offers a little more arm movement in addition to a comfortable ride. Sitting two people per row, this awesome thrill ride only has one ride photo, and it is not placed in straight section of track, so sitting in the right seat will help guarantee a better picture. On this coaster, let your friend or ride buddy enter through the queue line first, and then you will want to sit closest to the queue line that you just left. By sitting on the left side, you will be closer to the camera, and your photo will be amazing!
Well, there you have it. Follow these quick tips, and your ride photos should turn out much better than they might otherwise. At the end of the day, these cameras used on rides by Cedar Point are pretty good, so any seat is a good seat. But, the front row and the seat positions mentioned above will give you an even better photo! Now, buy your FunPix pass and go Ride On!
[Image of Valravn Ride Photo location courtesy of Coaster Addict David.]