A Guide to 2.5 Minute Ride’s Roller Coasters

In 2.5 Minute Ride, Lisa Kron juxtaposes a trip she and her father took to Auschwitz, where her grandparents were murdered; her brother’s wedding to a woman he met in an AOL chat room; and her family’s annual trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio.

The visceral experience of riding a roller coaster was important to her: “For a moment here and there you don’t know where you are,” Kron said about structuring a show about the Holocaust around both Auschwitz and Cedar Point. “I was interested in the way that humor and horror are flip sides of the same coin.”

For folks who don’t know the 150-year-old amusement park, here’s a quick introduction to four of the roller coasters Lisa and her father ride in 2.5 Minute Ride.

Magnum XL-200

“At the entrance to the Magnum there are signs all over which say under no circumstances is this ride suitable for people who are elderly, diabetic or have heart conditions. I look at my father. He can’t read the signs because, in addition to having all the conditions listed, he is also legally blind.” —2.5 Minute Ride

When the Magnum XL-200 premiered in 1989 it was the world’s tallest and fastest complete circuit roller coaster, with a 205-foot-high and 5,106-foot-long ride. It is considered the first hypercoaster, meaning a roller coaster that exceeds 200 feet. In 2004 the Magnum was recognized as an ACE (American Coaster Enthusiast) Roller Coaster landmark.

Iron Dragon

“This is poor Mary standing on the exit stairs of the Iron Dragon. Under no circumstances would they let us bring a video camera on a roller coaster.” —2.5 Minute Ride

The Iron Dragon is a steel suspended roller coaster, which features cars that hang below the track, which allows them to swing side to side. Built in 1987, the Iron Dragon is a 76-foot-tall, 2,800-foot-long coaster with top speeds of 40 mph. It is now the longest operating suspended roller coaster in the world.

Demon Drop

It’s hard…it’s hard to describe a three-story free fall. It’s not bad, really. It’s not good. It’s just like— (A sudden, shocked exhalation of all the air in her lungs.)” —2.5 Minute Ride

An original Freefall attraction from manufacturer Intamin, the Demon Drop remains one of five remaining Freefall rides in operation. Passengers are loaded into a gondola that climbs vertically to the top of a tower, slide forward, and hang for several seconds before dropping 60 feet in less than two seconds. The Demon Drop opened at Cedar Point in 1983 and was relocated to Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom near Allentown, PA in 2009.

Mean Streak

“2.5 minutes is a really long time on a roller coaster if you are having a good time. If you think the experience is killing your father it’s a really, really long time.” —2.5 Minute Ride

When it opened in 1991, the Mean Streak was the tallest wooden coaster in the world at 205 feet and with the longest drop height (200 feet). The full coaster was 5,427 feet, made of southern yellow pine, and was regularly voted one of the most popular wooden roller coasters in the world in the Golden Ticket Awards, administered by trade publication Amusement Today to recognize industry excellence. In 2016, Cedar Point closed the ride to remake it out of steel. It is now called the Steel Vengeance and is still in operation.