It was a bad time to be a Maverick earlier this month. The Dallas Mavericks got eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN) announced that its Maverick rollercoaster wouldn't be ready in time for the start of the 2007 season at its flagship Cedar Point park.

There's good news on the horizon -- though it doesn't involve Dirk Nowitzki getting his hands on a championship trophy. Cedar Fair will open its Maverick coaster tomorrow, giving the Ohio thrill haven a record-breaking 17 coasters.

It's a welcome surprise. On May 8, just two days before the coaster's media preview day, Cedar Fair warned that the ride wouldn't open on time. It would be "delayed until early June" as modifications were made to a few segments of the steel track.

These things happen, but it's equally infuriating to park operators and coaster enthusiasts when new rides at seasonal parks fail to open on time. When I toured Six Flags (NYSE:SIX) Great Adventure in New Jersey late last May with CEO Mark Shapiro, he couldn't hide his displeasure over the delayed opening of the park's new El Toro coaster. He faulted the chain's former executives, who ordered the wooden coaster three months too late. When he worked at Disney (NYSE:DIS), his company would plan new rides five years in advance. Six Flags was winging it season to season.

You can't run a park that way anymore, which may help explain why Shapiro's now at the helm. There's just too much anticipation and news dissemination to mess up. Parks tease enthusiasts with blog entries, construction updates, and even the occasional webcams.

Maverick is a perfect example. During the 2006 season, Cedar Point's website offered clues about the new ride. It wasn't much of a secret; I saw the coaster track myself when I was there in early June. By the time Cedar Point made the official announcement in September, it even offered up MySpace templates to piggyback on the viral splendor of social networking.    

History will be kind to Maverick if the last-minute modifications limit its downtime without taking the zing out of the ride. Even though the Cedar Fair season opened earlier this month, the largest crowds hit the park in July and early August.

Other anticipated coasters, including Dollywood's Mystery Mine and the Griffon at Anheuser-Busch's (NYSE:BUD) Busch Gardens Europe may have beaten it to the punch in 2007, but after a pair of flat seasons at Cedar Point, Cedar Fair hopes that its fashionably late Maverick can buck the trend.

Disney is a recommendation for Motley Fool Stock Advisor subscribers. Anheuser-Busch has made the cut for Inside Value readers. Cedar Fair is an Income Investor selection. Whichever investing style gives you those coaster thrills, we have a newsletter to take you along for the ride, complete with a 30-day free trial.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz enjoys taking his family on coaster treks over the summer. He does own shares in Disney and units in Cedar Fair. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.