Cedar Point is a 364 acre (1.5 km²) amusement park located in Sandusky, Ohio, U.S. on a narrow peninsula jutting into Lake Erie. It currently holds the world record for most roller coasters with 17, one of them being the world's second tallest and second fastest roller coaster, Top Thrill Dragster, which reaches speeds of 120 mph and a height of 420 feet. Cedar Point is also the only amusement park with four roller coasters that are taller than . As of 2008 Cedar Point is the only park in the world with 75 rides, becoming the park with the most rides. The park also has a mile-long white sand beach, two water parks (Soak City and Castaway Bay, an indoor waterpark (which also includes a hotel service), two marinas, several hotels, and "Challenge Park" featuring attractions such as go-karts and miniature golf. Known as "America's Roller Coast", Cedar Point has been voted "Best Amusement Park in the World" by Amusement Today for the past ten years.
The park opened in 1870 and is the second oldest amusement park in North America after Lake Compounce. Cedar Point is the flagship park for Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (which is headquartered at the park) and, along with Valleyfair, was one of the original parks in the company.
Cedar Point's normal operating season runs daily from early May through Labor Day, then for nine weekends following Labor Day. Operating hours vary throughout the summer, however on most days the park opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 p.m. Guests of the on site hotels (Hotel Breakers, Sandcastle Suites, Lighthouse Point, Camper Village, Breakers Express, & Castaway Bay) are granted 1 hour early access to the park. In 2008, Cedar Point will be open daily from May 10 through September 1, then on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from September 7 through November 2.
Prior to development, the Cedar Point peninsula
was covered by native cedar vegetation and the crystal clear waters provided superb fishing grounds. From the 1840s through the 1870s, local fishermen often leased space on the peninsula in order to ply the profitable waters.
In the 1860s, during the American Civil War, a housing for a battery of four field artillery pieces was constructed at the tip of the peninsula to guard access to the Confederate prisoner of war camp on nearby Johnson's Island. When the war ended, Cedar Point resumed its role as a summer picnic area, and the initial park was constructed in 1870.
Beginning in 1899, businessman George Arthur Boeckling
spent several decades expanding the park by planting flower gardens, adding a boardwalk and rides, constructing lagoons, and opening several hotels including The Hotel Breakers
, which opened on June 12
, and still operates today. He retired in 1931 and died later that year.
Cedar Point continued to expand over the course of the century, adding a series of new rides and roller coasters. In 1929, The Cedar Point Cyclone was built by legendary designer Harry Traver. The Great Depression had an adverse effect on Cedar Point. Edward Smith directed Cedar Point through these hard times. But it did not fully recover until the 1950s when businessmen George Roose and Emile Legros bought the park. When they first bought Cedar Point, Roose and Legros planned on tearing down the existing park and turning it into a residential area. With this in mind, they built a marina and constructed a causeway leading from the amusement area to Sandusky. Once the citizens of Sandusky found out about Roose and Legros' plans, they wrote letters to the governor of Ohio urging him to intervene. With the uproar occurring and the sudden popularity of Disneyland in California, Roose and Legros decided to end their plans to tear down Cedar Point and instead announced their plans to turn Cedar Point into the Disneyland of the Midwest.
The park continued to expand rapidly through the next fifty years. Many of its roller coasters were record setters when they opened. Blue Streak, a wooden coaster named for the Sandusky High School mascot, opened in 1964 and has given over fifty-four million rides. Cedar Creek Mine Ride opened in 1969 as one of the very first run-away mine train style roller coasters, and one of the first steel coasters. In 1976, Corkscrew was the first roller coaster to turn its riders upside down three times. Corkscrew was also the second-ever coaster to feature a modern-day vertical loop, the first coaster being Revolution at Six Flags Magic Mountain, opening just eight days before Corkscrew. Corkscrew is also the first coaster to pass over a midway. In 1978 Gemini debuted as the tallest, fastest, and steepest roller coaster on earth. In 1989, Magnum XL 200, designed by Arrow Dynamics, opened as the tallest, fastest, and steepest full-circuit roller coaster in existence, as well as being the first full-circuit roller coaster to be taller than 200 feet (60 m). In 1991, Mean Streak opened as the tallest and fastest wooden coaster.
Raptor, designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, opened in 1994 as the tallest, fastest, and longest inverted roller coaster with the most inverting elements. Mantis, also designed by Bolliger & Mabillard, opened in 1996 as the tallest, fastest, and longest stand-up roller coaster with the most inversions. In 2000, Cedar Point and Intamin AG debuted Millennium Force, which at the time was the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster and the first coaster to top 300 feet (90 m) in height. Millennium Force and Superman - Ride of Steel (Six Flags New England) both get voted either one or two in the Amusement Today Polls. In 2002, Cedar Point announced Wicked Twister, the world's tallest, fastest and first double-spiraling impulse coaster. Cedar Point continued its record breaking tradition in 2003 with Top Thrill Dragster, also designed by Intamin AG, which features a four-second launch to 120 mph (190 km/h) and a 420 foot (128 m) hill with a 90 degree spiral vertical ascent and a 270 degree spiral on the vertical descent.
Maverick, a linear synchronous motor-launched roller coaster manufactured by Intamin AG, debuted in the Frontiertown section of the park in 2007. It was awarded the "best new ride of 2007-amusement park" Golden Ticket Award by Amusement Today. Cedar Point made changes to its food service lineup for the 2007 season. Chick-fil-A debuted at the former Frontier Inn near Maverick, and Panda Express opened across from the Red Garter Saloon, replacing Trail's End/Dastardly Dan's restaurant.
Over the years, Cedar Point evolved from a simple amusement park into a full-service resort with numerous hotels and camping areas. Since its inception many people have sunbathed along its Lake Erie beach, but more recently Cedar Point has also added Soak City, an eighteen-acre water park largely surrounded by the path of Magnum XL 200, including more than twelve water slides, two lazy rivers where guests can float on innertubes, a 500,000 gallon wave pool, two kids' areas, an adult pool with a swim-up bar, and plenty of shaded and sunbathing areas. Admission is separate from admission to the park.
Between Soak City and the amusement park is Challenge Park, which has two 18-hole miniature golf courses, two go-kart tracks, RipCord, a swinging thrill ride, and Skyscraper.
In 1971, Cedar Point opened the Camper Village, located behind the park, where guests could rent a lot and live out of their campers or RVs while they enjoyed the park. In 2001, Cedar Point opened Lighthouse Point near Camper Village, with individual cabins located between Camper Village and the amusement park, and single-family cottages along the waterfront of the Point. Guests staying at the cottages enjoy views of Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, the Lake Erie Islands, and the Marblehead Peninsula.
In 2008, Cedar Point opened a new Snoopy themed children's area, Planet Snoopy, in the location of the former Peanuts Playground. It features seven rides, formerly located at Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom, for kids, including a mini tea-cup style ride, miniature train, 4 x 4 trucks, a bouncing tower, spinning balloons, rocket ships and a crazy sub ride. It also includes a parents area and a new themed restaurant, featuring a "kids only" menu with a small section at the bottom for parents. Also, four new live shows are featured: "Snoopy's Big Bow Wow on Ice", "All Wheels Extreme", and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" at the Good Time Theater, Aquatic Stadium, and Centennial Theater, respectively. There will also be a new musical revue in the Red Garter Saloon. In addition, Cedar Point debuted Skyscraper, a ride that recently operated at Valleyfair in Shakopee, Minnesota, that is a propeller-like ride that will be located in the Challenge Park.
- Chaos - A Chance-Morgan Chaos that opened in 1997 as one of the first ride of its kind in the world. It inverts its riders in three degrees of motion: lifting, inverting, and spinning.
- Demon Drop - An Intamin AG first-generation Freefall attraction. It carries four passengers at a time up an elevator shaft, slides forward, and then falls downward on a track, giving two seconds of weightlessness. It is one of the only two remaining of its kind in the United States.
- maXair - A Huss Giant Frisbee ride that swings back and forth at an arc of up to 120 degrees.
- Skyhawk - An S&S Screamin' Swing, it is currently the world's largest swinging ride, reaching speeds of 60 mph and swings up to an arc of 92 degrees.
- Power Tower- A Drop Tower ride featuring both a Space Shot and Turbo Drop. Power Tower is the only four-towered Drop Tower ride in the world, devoting two towers to each drop cycle.
- Troika- A common Troika ride
- Witches' Wheel- A thrilling variation of the Ferris wheel, the Witches' Wheel turns riders upside down more than a dozen times nearly 60 feet above the midway.
- Snake River Falls - A Shoot-the-Chutes ride designed by Arrow Dynamics, Snake River Falls opened in 1993 as the tallest, steepest water ride in the world upon opening.
- Thunder Canyon - A River Rafting Ride ride designed by Intamin AG, Thunder Canyon opened in 1986. Thunder Canyon was the second ever Intamin AG River Rafting Rides built, and currently is the oldest operating water ride of its type. Thunder Canyon normally closes in early September in order to transform into a Halloween attraction called CornStalkers (formerly Werewolf Canyon).
- Antique Cars - An automobile track ride designed by Arrow Dynamics. One of three track rides in the park.
- Cadillac Cars - A second track ride with cars designed to look like a 1914 Cadillac. Also made by Arrow Dynamics.
- Calypso- A Mack Calypso ride that spins riders in two degrees of motion.
- Cedar Downs Racing Derby Built in 1920 by Prior and Church and brought to Cedar Point in 1967, this Carousel simulates a horse race, and is one of only three still operating today. The other two are located at Playland, in Rye, New York; and Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, in Blackpool, UK.
- Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad - Opened in 1963. The 15-minute train excursion encompasses a two-mile (3 km) trip along Lake Erie and through a western themed "Bone Town".
- Giant Wheel - A Ferris wheel Manufactured by Anton Schwarzkopf, at tall, Giant Wheel is one of the tallest Ferris wheels in North America.
- Kiddy Kingdom Carousel - A carousel designed by the William H. Dentzel firm of Philadelphia. It is located in the Kiddie Kingdom section of the park.
- Matterhorn - A Mack Matterhorn circular ride that swings riders as it moves in a clockwise motion while traveling up and down.
- Midway Carousel - One of the few remaining Daniel Muller Carousels, it was built in 1912, and moved to Cedar Point 1946. It's the oldest existing ride at Cedar Point.
- Monster - A standard Eyerly Monster ride.
- Ocean Motion - A Huss swinging pirate ship ride.
- Paddlewheel Excursions (formerly Western Cruise) - Boats that transport its guests on a relaxing voyage around Cedar Point’s lagoons past scenes depicting early Americana.
- Scrambler - An Eli Bridge Scrambler ride that is one of the oldest rides at Cedar Point.
- Sky Ride - Manufactured by Von Roll, this standard aerial tram-way opened in 1961.
- Space Spiral - This tall Von Roll observation tower gives riders a 360-degree view of the surrounding area. Space Spiral was the first amusement park ride in the world to top , and was the tallest in the world when it was built. Space Spiral is the second tallest ride in the park if you include the antenna.
- Super Himalaya - A circular Mack Musik Express ride that travels in a clockwise motion on a track of various elevations.
- Tilt-a-Whirl - A Sellner Tilt-A-Whirl ride.
- Turnpike Cars - The park's third car track ride, it features big 1960's-style cruising cars.
- Wave Swinger - A Zierer Wave Swinger ride featuring hand painted murals.
- Balloon Race
- Bumper Boats
- Camp Bus
- Dune Buggies
Snoopy's Express Railroad
Flying Ace Balloon Race
Snoopy's Space Race
Snoopy's Deep Sea Divers
Peanuts Road Rally
Kite Eating Tree
Rock Spin & Turn
Sir Rub-a-Dub's Tubs
New for 2008
Planet Snoopy is a kiddie themed area that replaced the PEANUTS Playground. Planet Snoopy features seven children's rides from Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom, including a mini-tea cup-style ride, miniature train, 4 x 4 trucks, a bouncing tower, spinning balloons, rocket ships and a crazy sub ride. Planet Snoopy also features games, themed décor showcasing Snoopy’s worldly travels and special live appearances by the PEANUTS characters. Planet Snoopy’s 1.25 acres holds a family center with changing stations and private areas to feed children in a quiet atmosphere. A new children's themed restaurant, named Joe Cool Cafe' has been added to Planet Snoopy.
Skyscraper is a ride that was moved from Valleyfair in Shakopee, Minnesota. Four riders, two on each arm, sit in open cars with their feet dangling, on opposite ends of the propeller. The arms of the propeller quickly rotate in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, spinning riders 16 stories into the air at speeds of up to 55 mph. At its highest point, riders are upside down 160 feet above the ground.
On Site Properties:
Short Drive From Park:
Cedar Point has received the Golden Ticket Award
by Amusement Today
for "Best Amusement Park in the World" for the past eleven years. The park also placed in the categories for "Friendliest Staff", "Best Outdoor Night Production", and "Best Halloween Event". Cedar Point also won "Best New Ride of 2007" with their new roller coaster, Maverick
Roller coaster rankings
The following coasters were ranked by Amusement Today
Cedar Point also holds several IAAPA Big E Awards for Live Entertainment productions.
- Early 1900s: "America's Most Beautiful Summer Pleasure Health Resort"
- Mid 1930s: "Queen of American Watering Places"
- 1951-56: "The Most Popular Summer Vacationland in the Midwest"
- 1972: "Cedar Point 72, It's like you've never been there before!"
- 1974-75: "All the places that you wanna go this summer are at Cedar Point"
- 1976: "Cedar Point, for the time of your life"
- 1977: "With more rides than ever before, and a lot more than just rides. Cedar Point."
- 1978: "And share it, with someone you love, Cedar Point"
- 1979-1985s: "The Amazement Park," while ads featured "Cedar Point is the cure for the summertime blues" (sung as a modified version of the classic Eddie Cochran song "Summertime Blues")
- 1986-87: "The Cure for the Summertime Blues!"
- Late 1989-early 1990s: "Get to the Point!"
- Early 1990s - present: "America's Roller Coast"/"America's Rockin' Roller Coast"
- Mid 1990s: Commercials featuring hairstyles caused by Cedar Point's collection of roller coasters hit local television. One actress had a large wind-whipped "Frankenstein's Bride-esque" hairdo caused by a day at Cedar Point and her line at the end of the commercial was: "I call it the Sandusky!" This commercial ran during the "Get to the Point!" ad campaign.
- 1995: "Real Thrills"
- 1996: "Get to the Point!"
- Early new millennium: "Hold On!"
- 2003-04: "Are You Ready?"
- 2004-05: "Absolutely Amazing"
- 2006-Present: "America's Roller Coast"/"America's Rockin' Roller Coast", "Ride On!"
- 2008: "An American Tradition"
Among the notable rides and attractions Cedar Point was home to in the past (with their last year of operation):
- Switchback Railway (c.1907) Cedar Point's first roller coaster.
- High Frolics (1940) Built in 1918 by Andy Vettle, this coaster was originally called "Leap Frog Railway"
- Cyclone (1951)- A Traver built wooden twister built in 1929.
- Scamper (1969) Wooden Wild Mousecoaster built in 1962
- Jumbo Jet (1978) — a steel roller coaster similar to the Wildcat, but larger and longer. It used individual self-powered cars to run up a spiral lift hill unassisted. The coaster run had some 90° sections, and an ATC-style radar prop rotated up above the ride. The Jumbo Jet had the tallest height requirement in the park at the time. One of several built by Schwarzkopf, CP's Jumbo Jet is now at Beoland in Russia.
- Sky Wheel (1980) — Two smaller Ferris wheels mounted on opposite ends of a giant pivoting arm, allowing one wheel to turn high in the air while the other was being loaded. It was located in the middle of the Funway in front of the main entrance.
- Fun House (1981) — A creepy 3-story walk-through house. Of particular popularity was the upside-down room (which featured someone in a rocking chair on the ceiling) and the labyrinth room where the floor was at an angle. At the end of the tour was a stairway back to ground level, but kids had the option of exiting via one of three enclosed spiral slides. Replaced with the Kid Arthur's Court play area, which would also eventually be removed. Portions of this attraction are used in the Holloweekends attraction "the house on boo hill"
- Shoot the Rapids (1981) — a lengthy flume ride with twin tracks. Located in Frontiertown near the train station.
- Earthquake (1984) — a dark ride based on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. This ride formerly operated at Freedomland U.S.A., and was relocated to Cedar Point in 1966.
- Frontier Lift (1985) — A second sky ride which operated separate from the existing one. It ran from the main midway to Frontiertown. The midway station is now the queueing area of the Iron Dragon, but the Frontiertown station still stands — unused except for its restrooms.
- Avalanche Run (1989) — Opened in 1985, this ride reopened in 1989 as Disaster Transport after it was enclosed and rethemed.
- Sky Slide (1991) — a huge cyan-colored fiberglass slide located just west of the Main Arcade. Guests had to sit on a burlap mat while sliding down. There were two long steep drops followed by a short dip, and the slide had 15 "lanes" for riders. Unfortunately, the adjacent first-aid station saw many treatments for slide-related friction burns.
- Mill Race (1993) — A more compact flume ride than Shoot The Rapids that was located near the main entrance. It was one of the first Arrow Dynamics flume rides opened. The final drop on this ride was once sponsored by "Nestea" and was called the Nestea Plunge, named after a very popular advertising slogan of the time. This ride was retired after the 1993 season to make room for Raptor.
- Jungle Larry's African Safari (1994) — a zoological attraction with live animal exhibits, including some trained-animal shows. Originally, guests had to walk a long bridge over a lagoon to get there. When the midway was extended in 1976, this part of the lagoon was filled in. For its remaining 18 years, Jungle Larry's was located in the shadow of the Corkscrew.
- Pirate Ride (1996) — a pirate-themed dark ride located near the Blue Streak queueing area. This ride formerly operated at Freedomland U.S.A., and was relocated to Cedar Point in 1966.
- Vertigo (2002) - An air powered thrill ride that uses three tall towers and cable to propel riders over . This ride was damaged during a storm and partially collapsed after its debut season. Park management felt the potential for failure of this ride design outweighed the positive impact made by repairing it for the next operating season.
- White Water Landing (2005) - a log flume built by Arrow Dynamics in 1982 on the former site of Shoot the Rapids. It operated for twenty-three years before it was retired to make room for Maverick. The station and queue are now part of Maverick's queue.
Former flat rides included:
- Zugspitz(1966) --a Himalaya-like ride; demolished when Super Himalaya was built in 1972.
- Comet (1969) --a Hrubetz Round-Up; removed to make room for Trabant/Schwabinchen in 1990.
- Bayern Kurve (1984) — a bobsled-themed ride that ran around an ovoid track.
- Rotor (1984)
- Tiki-Twirl (1984) — a Tilt-A-Whirl type ride. Similar to the Calypso except for tropical theming.
- Trabant (1990) and Schwabinchen (2002) — two rides in which the riders sat on the ends of a round disc-shaped object similar to a flattened cone. The ride motion pattern resembled that of a spinning coin before coming to rest. Theming was different; the Schwabinchen featured a beautiful German tavern dancer in the ride's center, where riders "sat" on the outskirts of the "Lady In Red's" dress, while the Trabant had a disco ball as its centerpiece.
According to TEA 2008 records, Cedar Point has had approximately 3 million visits since its opening day. It is the 16th most visited park in North America.
Cedar Point has surfaced in several movies, TV shows, and books:
- Characters in the series finale of Gilmore Girls discuss taking a summer-long trip to notable amusement parks, among them Cedar Point.
- A character in the TV adaptation of the Jean Shepherd short story "Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss"a sequel to A Christmas Story. is seen wearing a Cedar Point cap.
- A character in the Michael Crichton novel Next indirectly discusses visiting Cedar Point in order to film a documentary on "the novelty gene."
- In the movie "Knute Rockne, All American," as a life guard on the beach at Cedar Point. Knute and his college roommate and teammate, Gus Dorais, worked on the forward pass. The forward pass was first used in a scrimmage game on the Cedar Point beach.