Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which owns and operates fourteen amusement parks in the midwest and California, has announced plans to bring virtual reality to its slushy slurping customers. And those plans involve making a virtual space in the most famous roller coaster-centric park in America, perhaps the world.
This isn’t a new carnival trick, mind you. Attractions purporting to be VR roller coasters have been around for some time. But most of these attractions have consisted of little more than rumble seats installed in theaters showing 3D movies. That’s fun, but it isn’t really virtual anything.
At Cedar Point, Cedar Fair wants to go one step further and test VR capabilities on an existing coaster, which makes the possibilities actually mind-blowing. Imagine how disorienting it would feel to see a coaster going one way but actually feeling it go another way? The visuals could also be changed regularly so no ride will ever be the same.
Cedar Point's historic Hotel Breakers, one of the oldest and largest hotels in Ohio, reopens next month with fewer rooms and a new, modern look.
Cedar Point is in the final, frenzied weeks of a massive remodel of the aging lakefront inn, which opened in 1905, when most guests arrived by boat.
As was the case then, the most spectacular feature of the hotel remains its location: on a wide, sandy beach, steps from Lake Erie.
This past weekend, enthusiastic park fans raised $27,000 for Give Kids The World, a non-profit organization in Orlando, Fla., that provides cost-free, weeklong vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world. For their generosity, the fans were given the opportunity to see a snow-covered Cedar Point and were the first to learn about even more new offerings at the park during the Winter Chill Out, held on Saturday.
In addition to a park-wide walking tour, the fans were the first to learn about these previously unannounced additions and changes to the park:
Tiki Twirl – the park’s Calypso spinning ride will be relocated to the Wicked Twister Midway and renamed as a nod to a former ride at the park.
Joe Cool’s Dodgem School – the kid-friendly Krazy Kars kiddie bumper cars will be renamed and relocated to Planet Snoopy, making this fun family universe even bigger.
Dodgem – the park’s popular bumper cars ride will be relocated near the park’s maXair thrill ride.
Sweet Spot – this new candy shop, located next to the Pagoda Gift Shop, will feature fresh fudge, caramel apples and other mouth-watering treats. Large front windows along the Main Midway will allow guests to watch the candy-making process.
Rougarou – guests had the opportunity to “kick the tires” and test out the seats in the first cars to arrive for the new floorless coaster experience, opening in May.
Season Passholder Preview Night – held on Friday, May 8 from 7-10 p.m., this new event will be open to all Season and Platinum Passholders. Select rides, including Rougarou, will be open in this exclusive season preview.
Participants were also able to see the changes taking place at the new Lakeside Pavilion catering area and the park’s historic Hotel Breakers, which will soon wrap up a two-year renovation project. Changes include remodeled interior spaces and rooms, a grand new entrance, a completely transformed main lobby, a new family water activity pool and a full-service Starbucks.
“We’re excited about the record turnout for this year’s Winter Chill Out, which provides an opportunity to connect with our biggest fans and support a great organization like Give Kids the World,” said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager at Cedar Point. “With the investments we’ve made at our historic Hotel Breakers, our midway attractions and with the addition of Rougarou, our first floorless coaster, Cedar Point is now more of destination for families than ever before.”
Cedar Point opens to the general public for the 2015 season on Saturday, May 9.
Cedar Point, The Roller Coaster Capital of the World!®, will introduce a dynamically new riding experience when it unleashes Rougarou™ in the spring of 2015!
Named after a terrifying werewolf-like creature in French folklore, Rougarou [roo-guh-roo] feeds on screams and lurks in and around the swampy lagoon at the center of the park, shared with other coasters like Iron Dragon and Top Thrill Dragster.
Rougarou’s floorless trains will take riders on an epic journey at speeds reaching 60 mph as their feet dangle just inches above the track and the murky waters below. The trains will be manufactured by Bolliger & Mabillard, Monthey, Switzerland, the same team behind rides like Raptor and GateKeeper, and will transform the ride experience dramatically while utilizing the structure and track of the former Mantis roller coaster.
The ride begins with a climb to the top of the 145-foot-tall first hill, providing amazing views of the Cedar Point skyline. After reaching the apex, the trains will make a 180-degree turn to the right and plummet 137 feet, at a 52-degree angle, to within inches above the water. Thrill-seekers caught in Rougarou’s grasp will then be flipped upside-down by a 119-foot-tall vertical loop, spun around a 103-foot-tall dive loop, whipped around a highly-banked 360-degree turn and then twisted upside-down again by the world’s only inclined loop on a floorless coaster, angled at a wicked 45 degrees. Just when guests think the ride is over, the steel beast will take them through a 360-degree flat spin, tight and twisty turns and a figure-eight finale. Riders must be 54” tall to ride Rougarou.
“Rougarou is going to be a fantastic addition to our coaster lineup and our guests are going to love it,” said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “With the swampy waters below, the vibrant colors of the supports and track, lighting and other effects, it will be a ride like no other at the park.”
2015 will also mark the debut of the newly-renovated Hotel Breakers. Located along the mile-long Cedar Point Beach, Hotel Breakers will complete its two-year transformation into the ultimate resort destination. Along with a new exterior, the modernized hotel will have a new entrance portal, classic interior finishes, newly-furnished and remodeled rooms with LCD TV’s, new furniture, bedding and décor, and many other amenities and offerings. Additional enhancements include a new Starbucks and the Surf Lounge bar inside the famous rotunda, widened exterior green space with panoramic views of Lake Erie and an outdoor water play area with zero depth entry and splash features.
“We want to provide a well-rounded and complete vacation experience for our guests, and the enhancements at the Hotel Breakers will help them have just that,” said Jason McClure. “It will have a fun and fresh feel, is steps away from the park and it’s a great place to start new family traditions.”
Other amenities include two pools and Jacuzzis, access to the Cedar Point Beach and Boardwalk, a gift shop, arcade, exercise room, three restaurants, Early Entry (access to some of the biggest rides and coasters before the park opens to the general public), discounted Cedar Point admission tickets, complimentary Wi-Fi and the comfort and convenience of staying right next to the rides and roller coasters of Cedar Point. Reservations for the 2015 season can be placed now online at cedarpoint.com/hotelbreakers or by phone at (419) 627-2106.
The charming waterfront hotel first opened its doors in 1905 as the “largest and greatest hotel on the Great Lakes.” Known for its breathtaking views and cool summer breezes, Hotel Breakers has been an important part of any complete Cedar Point experience. Notable guests over the years have included celebrities such as sharpshooter Annie Oakley, comedians Abbott and Costello, composer John Philip Sousa and six U.S. presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
It’s the “last stand” for one of Cedar Point’s steel scream machines. Earlier today, the park announced that the Mantis roller coaster will soon give its final rides.
Mantis was billed as the tallest, fastest and steepest stand-up roller coaster in the world when it opened on May 11, 1996. Featuring trains that secure guests in a standing position, Mantis provides its passengers with a unique ride experience. Mantis was built by the same legendary manufacturers that brought guests the Raptor and GateKeeper roller coasters – Bolliger and Mabillard (B & M), Monthey, Switzerland. In its 18-year history, Mantis has given more than 22 million thrilling rides.
“It’s time to say goodbye to one of the park’s coasters, and it’s certainly been a different kind of ride for our guests,” said Jason McClure, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “But we’re extremely excited about what the future holds here at the Roller Coaster Capital of the World™.”
Guests still have time to give Mantis a “standing ovation” before it shuts down permanently on Sunday, October 19 at 8 p.m. Additional plans for the 2015 season will be announced at a later date.
Last night, Cedar Point's Skyhawk experienced an accident that injured two people. At around 10PM, one of the cables on the Skyhawk ride vehicle detached. Reports from eyewitnesses say that the cable then knocked down a significant portion of the fencing separating the ride area from the midway. Two guests were injured in the incident. One was taken to a local hospital for evaluation while another was treated on scene. It is unclear if the guests were injured while they were on ride or when they were viewing the ride. According to the Theme Park Maniacs, the injuries include one man who suffered facial injuries when debris hit him and one boy who had a broken leg. Specific injuries though were not confirmed by the park. According to the Plain Dealer, park spokesperson Bryan Edwards stated, "Safety is our top priority at Cedar Point. Skyhawk will remain closed until our investigation is complete and the ride can safely reopen."
Skyhawk which opened in 2006 is the world's largest swing ride swinging riders up to 125 feet in the air. Last season though, the ride experienced many mechanical issues that required either the entire ride or half the ride to be closed for the majority of the year.
After seventeen years, fourteen studio albums, three soundtracks, and a motion picture, Midnight Syndicate is proud to announce that they are teaming up this fall with world famous amusement park Cedar Point to launch their first live performances! Midnight Syndicate Live! Legacy of Shadows, a multimedia horror-themed concert blending live music, theatre, and film will run Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays from Sept. 12 through November 1 at Cedar Point's 18th annual HalloWeekends event.
Midnight Syndicate Live! Legacy of Shadows will mark the first live performances for Edward and Gavin as Midnight Syndicate. In November of last year, the band cancelled their Midnight Syndicate Live! Kickstarter campaign citing an "exciting possible opportunity" that they needed to explore that would result in a "win-win" for both the team and fans alike. "HalloWeekends is the perfect place to launch the first Midnight Syndicate Live! experience," said Douglas. "The venue is awesome and will allow us to fully realize the exciting, one-of-a-kind show we first envisioned. We're also really psyched to be working with a legendary amusement park that Gavin and I grew up with." Charles Bradshaw, Corporate V.P. of Entertainment for Cedar Fair, added, "Working with these industry leading music producers on a live show is an exciting prospect. The final product is going to amaze."
Yesterday we reported that a new secret ride might be being placed into Cedar Point. We now know that the speculated SlingShot will indeed be placed into the new Gemini Midway. Details that have been released reveal that the ride will shoot two riders 360 feet into the air while reaching speeds up to 62 miles per hour. The ride will be manufactured by Funtime based in Australia and will indeed be placed on the new Gemini Midway. SlingShot will be an upcharge attraction but details on pricing have not yet been released.
In addition to this exciting news, Cedar Point also gave new details on the new food offerings being served for the 2014 season. Already reported was the addition of Chickie’s and Pete’s Sports Bar but we now know that it will be replacing Game Time Grille located on the Blue Streak Midway. The restaurant will have a unique menu including such items as Philly Cheese Steaks, Lisa’s Blonde Lobster Pie and their legendary Crabfries. Another restaurant changing names is Donut Time. The early morning eatery will now become Starbucks. It is still unclear if the legendary Donut Time donuts will still be served at the location. Finally, Cedar Point will roll out a new Coke Freestyle station and Yogurt Plus near the new 2014 addition Pipe Scream.
New General Manager Jason McClure stated, “These additions show our commitment to offering our guests the best in family fun for the 2014 season. With a collection of 72 rides, including 17 roller coasters, three kids’ areas, live shows, unique and interesting places to eat and spend the night, Cedar Point offers something fun for everyone.”
On Friday the 13th, Cedar Point unlocked the gates on the 2013 Halloweekends season. Instead of conducting the typical media day for its newest haunt Zombie High School, Cedar Point once again swung its doors open to an exclusive media and coaster club event that featured the official unveiling of Zombie High School. Following a similar format that found success in May with GateKeeper, the ZHS event included exclusive ride time on both GateKeeper and Millennium Force, a dinner at the Midway Market but most importantly the opportunity to be one of the first people to ever walk the halls of Zombie High School.
Zombie High School was created in response to the public's new fascination with the world of zombies. According to Annie Zelm, marketing programs representative for Cedar Point, some joked that the media was "oversaturated with vampires" in the last few years. Because of this, the vampire themed Club Blood was switched out in favor of Zombie High School.
Zombie High School takes guests on a journey through the halls and classrooms of the fictional Cleaver High School. Even from the outside of the "school" one can immediately see that this will be no ordinary day of class. Once inside, visitors will pass through a number of different locations including classrooms, offices, the cafeteria, the school dance and even the boys locker room. At each turn, members of the "student body" are there to greet you in their own unforgettable way. The only question that remains is will you be able to "graduate" and escape this school of horrors?
On Friday afternoon one of the rides at “The World’s Best Amusement Park” malfunctioned and injured several riders. According to the Sandusky Register, several witnesses say that the Shoot the Rapids boat rolled down the lift hill and flipped either to the side or upside down. Cedar Point officials have not confirmed any details regarding the accident yet.
Matthew Orr from Euclid, was one of the witnesses at the scene. He said that as soon as the boat flipped, several park employees, ride operators, and guests jumped into the water to flip the boat upward. It took approximately nine to ten people in knee-high water to flip the boat. "We jumped in and helped them get out," he said. "If we didn't help, I don't even know what would have happened.”
The boat consisted of adults and children, and Matthew stated that when the boat was flipped upright the passengers lap bars still held them into their seats. It has not been officially confirmed whether they were or were not still secured in their seats. "I'm positive," he said, that the children on the ride "appeared scared to death."
Park medical technicians arrived at the scene right away, transporting the passengers to the park’s EMT station. In the statement released by Cedar Point it states that six of the seven of the passengers were evaluated at the park and released, the other passenger was taken to Firelands Regional Medical Center and evaluated there.
Shortly after the incident the park said the following in a statement that was released: The safety of our guests is our number one priority.
Cedar Point officials are currently investigating the incident and have reported it to state of Ohio officials. Shoot the Rapids will remain closed until park officials and inspectors from the state of Ohio complete their review. No further information is available at this time.
As the report states, Shoot the Rapids is closed pending further investigation and it is unknown when the ride will reopen. The park is still working to gather details from witnesses and will not release new information until the details are confirmed.