It’s funny how something so maligned can quickly become something so beloved.

The old Mean Streak wooden roller coaster at Cedar Point was a teeth-rattling ride that slowly lost ridership since its opening on May 11, 1991.

By the time it was closed for good last fall, the only ones wistful for the ride were chiropractors.

Workers from the Rocky Mountain Construction Co. spent the winter adding a steel track to the old wooden timbers, making it capable of going upside down and sideways — something a traditional wooden roller coaster simply can’t do.

They also made it taller — some 205 feet at its peak, a world record for a hybrid coaster.

All told, the coaster now renamed Steel Vengeance sets 10 world records and racks up another five for the park, including having the most roller coaster track at one amusement park at 57,865 feet or 11 miles, and being home to the most rides at 71.

The ride has a record amount of out-of-your-seat airtime 27.2 seconds, and a record of four inversions.

Cedar Point General Manager Jason McClure said they are pretty confident that they have a winner on their hands.

So confident, they have built the second longest queue line in the park — second only to the Millennium coaster — capable of a two-plus hour wait.

“This has exceeded our expectations,” McClure said. “We knew this would be a great ride. And we knew that by taking it up to 200 feet tall, it would make it special and different than any other hybrid coaster.”

The original plan, McClure said, was to simply tear down the Mean Streak and start over, but the coaster gurus at RMC convinced them otherwise.

“It is a real comfortable ride,” he said. “It’s weird to take a ride and make it more intense and more comfortable at the same time.”

That intensity has also prompted Cedar Point to raise the rider height from the planned 48 inches to 52 inches tall.

Steel Vengeance is situated in the park’s Frontier Town section near the Maverick roller coaster. The backstory has three wranglers, Chess, Digger and Blackjack, who are trying to take back the town from mine owner Maverick.

As park guests make their way to a newly themed queue area that can handle more than 1,000 riders an hour, they read about the Wild West characters.

The coaster will open to the public on Opening Day, May 5, but it will have a soft opening Friday with a First Rider Benefit to raise money for the LeBron James Family Foundation.

The 2018 ticket price for an adult at the gate will be $72. More info: cedarpoint.com. Steel Vengeance, which has a top speed of 74 mph, is simply one of a kind, said Robb Alvey, who travels the world for Theme Park Review.

And that’s saying a lot, considering Alvey stopped counting the number of coasters he’s ridden years ago, when he hit 1,500.

“This will be ranked as one of the best coasters in the world and it deserves that distinction,” he said. “It is absolutely out of control. There are elements on this ride you do not even think should be possible.

“It is so out of control it’s hard to be keep track of what you just did. And that’s not a bad thing.”

Craig Webb can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3547.