SANDUSKY, Ohio (WTVG) - High-octane thrills are a staple of Cedar Point's repertoire, but this is a bit of a change-up.
"Monster Jam: Thunder Alley" will showcase some of the event's biggest stars, all included with park admission. Modified 10-seater versions of "Megalodon" and the legendary "Grave Digger" will take guests off-roading just outside park grounds.
The crew had a little under 3 months to build these from scratch. Plenty of blood, sweat and gears later, they're happy with the result.
"They're actually race trucks, with the same wheel base and design as what we use during Monster Jam," says BJ Johnson, driver and builder of the two new machines. "All the seats face forward, you'll wear harnesses like we do, and you can sit right next to the driver to see what's going on as we run around the track."
Guests also have the chance to get up close and personal with their favorite monster trucks on the midway, and they're not just purpose-built for this attraction. Highlights include El Toro Loco, Zombie, and Grave Digger -- all used in actual competitions, the latter having won over 400 contests.
Kids can also build their own mini monsters with custom decals and run them around the sandbox, or chat with the drivers and mechanics who keep the trucks delightfully untamed.
"A lot of the Monster Jam fans ask, 'What's it like driving Grave Digger, freestyling and crashing this truck?'" says driver Adam Anderson. "You know what I tell them? It's just like riding a roller coaster, but the track ends!"
While Anderson is used to being adventurous in the arena, he says it took a little convincing to take on the resident scream machines.
"I'm a thrillseeker, but I'm scared of heights... and here we are at Cedar Point, with some of the biggest, baddest roller coasters in the world, so I have to ride them."
The park and pit crews alike are eager to get rolling. Johnson says if you've never watched Monster Jam on TV or in person, "this is your chance. If you come one time, you'll be here every weekend."
"Monster Jam: Thunder Alley" revs up this weekend, and runs through June 30th.