The Magnum Xl-200, simply named ‘Magnum,’ is a steel roller coaster built by Arrow Dynamics at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. The Magnum XL-200 was first unveiled on May 6, 1989, and was the first roller coaster to break the two hundred foot height barrier.

The coaster is fabled to have created an amusement war of sorts, making amusement park developers and coaster creators to compete to build the tallest and fastest coasters in the world.


Arrow Dynamics was originally founded by world war two veterans Ed Morgan, Karl Bacon, Bill Hardiman, and Angus ‘Andy’ Anderson. They formed a machine shop just north of Downtown Mountain View, California, in the United States in 1946.

In 1953, the company was contacted by Walt Disney himself, who was in the beginning stages of creating what would become Disney Land in California. Arrow Development Company Inc., as it was initially deemed, helped in the creation of the Mad Tea Party, King Arthur Carrousel, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Casey Jr. Circus Train, and Snow White’s Scary Adventures.

Walt Disney continued to commission the company to design and foresee the creations of many other famous Disney rides, including Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Autopia, and Alice in Wonderland.

Arrow Development designed their first rollercoaster called the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland in Anaheim, California in the year 1959. After the company constructed the Matterhorn Bobsled project, Disney ended up purchasing one third of Arrow Development and moved the company to a larger plant in the North Bayshore area.

Other highlights of the Arrow Development company career include creating the modern log flume ride, which can be found and ridden at almost every popular amusement park today. Around the year 1965, Bill Hardiman and Angus Anderson sold their portions of the company to Karl Bacon and Ed Morgan.

In the seventies, the company perfectly and re-popularized the modern loop roller coasters we know and love today. The most inverting roller coaster, the Corkscrew, made its debut at Knott’s Berry Farm in 1975, which changed the pace for roller coasters forever.

The seventies also saw the remaining founders, Bacon and Morgan retiring and selling Arrow Development to the Rio Grande Railroad. After a decade of solid ownership, Rio Grande sold the company to the German manufacturing firm, Huss Maschinenfabrik, in 1981.

In the eighties, the company was forced to close due to bankruptcy and in 1985, thirteen of the company’s American officers negotiated a buyout. The company resurrected as Arrow Dynamics, and has since continued to improve the world of roller coasters in monumental ways. In 2001, the company filed for bankruptcy again and the assets were sold to fellow amusement ride manufacturer S&S Power.

The company has now created more than four hundred roller coasters, high-thrill rides, and family amusement rides in over thirty countries. S&S is the international leader in the creation, design, innovation, engineering, and manufacture of amusement rides and roller coasts around the world.


1989 was the year. 1989 debuted the world’s tallest roller coaster over two hundred feet tall at the famous Cedar Point amusement park located in Sandusky, Ohio. Today, the Magnum XL-200 is the world’s second tallest and faster roller coaster in the world.

The first tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world is Moonsault Scramble, located in Fuji-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan. The coaster is 61 meters in height, but it not considered a hyper coaster, because it is not a full-circuit design.  

Moonsault Scramble features the first, and only Pretzel Knot design. The Pretzel Knot is a double-inversion that is similar to the Batwing that crosses over its own tracks. Let’s get back to the Magnum, though.

The Magnum XL-200 took the world by storm when it was first debuted, because it featured a lot of roller coaster firsts. It is considered both a hyper coaster as well as an out-and-back roller coaster. It was the first hyper coaster in the world. A hyper coaster is a roller coaster that features any complete circuit with a height measuring over two hundred feet tall or sixty-one meters.

An out-and-back roller coaster is a coaster that climbs a lift hill soon after leaving the starting point that race out to the far end of the track after the daunting first drop. The coaster then performs a 180-degree turn and returns back to the same starting point.


To understand the coaster and its legendary value in amusement park history, we must look at Cedar Point, the home of Magnum XL-200. Cedar Point is also known as the amusement capital of the world.

Cedar Point is a 364-acre amusement park located on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio. The historical park was first opened in 1870, making it the second oldest operating park in the United States.

The park is owned and operated by Cedar Fair and is considered the flagship amusement park of the company’s famous amusement park chain. Cedar Point is referred to as ‘America’s Roller Coast,’ and offers a record breaking seventy-one rides, including seventeen roller coasters.

Cedar Point is the only amusement park in all of the world that features more than six roller coasters that are taller than two-hundred feet, including Magnum XL-200, Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, Valravn, and Steel Vengeance.


So we know the monumental firsts that the Magnum XL-200 brought into the thrill zone of roller coasters in the world, but let us dive into the specifics of this iconic coaster. The Magnum XL-200 is located in Cedar Point’s midway section.

The coaster is located across from the park’s Top Thrill Dragster, a steel accelerator roller coaster built by Intamin. Top Thrill Dragster was the first full circuit roller coaster to exceed four hundred feet in 2003 when it first debuted.

The Magnum XL-200 is located near the back entrance and is one of the first rides that cross through the thoroughfare. The roller coaster itself is painted red with white trains and has seated more than 40 million riders as of 2009.

The coaster held the title for the tallest roller coaster in the world until 1994 when Pepsi Max Big One opened at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the United Kingdom. From 1998 to 2000, the Magnum XL-200 received the Golden Ticket Award for the world’s ‘Best Steel Roller Coaster.’

The same publication named Magnum the world’s 13th best roller coaster in the world in 2014. The coaster was originally announced in August of 1988 and construction began shortly after. The completion came in 1989 and Dick Kinzel was one of the first riders of the famous coaster.

The name Magnum XL-200 came about because of the huge popularity of Magnum P.I. at the time. The roller coaster cost eight million dollars after the final plans were drawn out for the coaster’s design. In 1989 when the coaster opened, Cedar Point set a record for attendance at the amusement park.


six person riding on roller coaster at daytime

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As soon as the Magnum leaves the station, it travels west over the pathway leading to Cedar Point Shores. The coaster makes a ninety-degree turn to the right and begins its two hundred and five foot ascent to the top of the chain lift hill.

After the coaster reaches the peak at two hundred and five feet, the train descends at a sixty-degree angle, reaching a top speed of seventy-two miles per hour. The train then ascends a one hundred and fifty-seven foot camelback hill before curving left into the first tunnel of the ride.

The train then ascends a third hill that is eighty foot tall hill after it enters a pretzel-shaped turnaround to lead the train back into another tunnel. The train then turns left to head back towards the walkway to Cedar Point Shores.

The roller coaster then leads into the brake run, followed by a ninety-degree right turn back into the landing station. The entirety of the ride lasts a little over two minutes. The trains feature three white and black trains with blue, red or black stripes at the front.

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