Shoot the Rapids Accident
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.
This weekend Cedar Point celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad. During this celebration, Cedar Point is highlighting the long standing tradition and history that the railroad has at the amusement park. The event started with a dedication given in front of the Main Station and continues through the weekend with self guided tours of the engine house.
The railroad opened in 1963 through the work of then president George Roose. However, it was not as easy to accomplish. After scouring the country, two steam engines were found that could fit the purpose for what Cedar Point needed. Maud L. and Albert would open the 1963 season as Cedar Point's first railroad locomotives. Since then, the park now operates five locomotives and is one of the few parks that utilizes coal fired steam locomotives. The train would be an especially important part of Cedar Point with the opening of Frontiertown in 1970. At this time, the railroad represented only one of two ways to actually reach the new area with the other being the now defunct Frontier Lift sky ride. That year, the CP & LE Railroad delivered 4.5 million rides to the guests of Cedar Point.
Throughout the years many engines have come and gone. However possibly the most interesting story is that of the most traveled train and newest at Cedar Point. The now named G.A. Boeckling was originally used as a coal mining train but eventually came under the ownership of Marriott's Great America in Gurnee Il in 1980. In 1984, it sold to the private ownership of Bill Norad who eventually traded it to Disneyland in 1996. In 1997, it traveled to Disney World eventually being put on display at EPCOT. In 1999, Cedar Point traded their original engine, Maud L. for it. It stayed at Cedar Point until the 2007 season where it traveled to Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. It's current home is back at Cedar Point when it returned from Knott's in 2010.
Today, the train is still an important part of the Cedar Point landscape. The fifteen minute ride that traverses two miles of track has served over 116 million guests over its 50 year history. According to Brian Smith, former Assistant Supervisor of the railroad at Cedar Point, the CP & LE offers something different for families and enthusiasts. When asked what in specific he says, "you get beautiful views of the bay and get to go see some of the behind of the scenes parts of the coasters that you might not be able to see any other way." He also adds that this railroad is special because "you get the full experience of being able to smell the coal smoke and the oil. It's a nice way to relax or end your day at a great coaster park like Cedar Point." Like Brian, we hope that the CP & LE Railroad keeps on chugging for another fifty years.
Blue Streak Damaged in Collision
On Friday April 26th, the classic coaster, Blue Streak, at Cedar Point sustained damage after an accident with a construction vehicle. According to The Sandusky Register, a dump truck collided with the wooden supports when driving near the structure with its bed raised. According to Bryan Edwards, Cedar Point spokesman, "It was a fluke accident." Damage cannot be seen from the ground and occurred at the ride's turnaround. It is unknown how much the damage costs. The ride is already being repaired and the park is hopeful that the ride will open on Opening Day on May 11th. This though is dependent on an inspection by both park officials and the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Amusement Rides Safety Division. It is a yearly occurrence that every ride is inspected by officials, so this accident and subsequent inspection does not represent anything out of normal procedure.
Blue Streak, which was built in 1964, is many fans' favorite wooden ride at Cedar Point. The coaster was named after the Sandusky High School "Blue Streak" athletic teams. Blue Streak features a classic out and back layout that is heralded for its immense amount of airtime generated throughout the ride.
The roller coaster capital of the world may have lost two of its coasters in the past few years, but those coasters are not going to be forgotten. According to a report in the Sandusky Register, Cedar Point is going to take pieces of two beloved coasters and donate them to the National Roller Coaster Museum. The odd part about this story is that the museum has not even been built yet.
Cedar Point has taken pieces from Disaster Transport and Wildcat, two coasters that have been torn down since the arrival of Matt Ouimet, the new CEO for Cedar Fair. The park sent the pieces to a warehouse in Texas and even paid for the shipping of the pieces. This act shocked many coaster museum board members. “That's an unusual act of generosity”, said Richard Munch, a project director at a Cleveland architectural firm who sits on the museum's board. “The attitude of most amusement parks is, you want it, come pick it up." There are those that believe that Cedar Point was doing this to help the cause of getting the museum built somewhere in Sandusky. According to the board, the final spot for a permanent museum has not been decided, but Sandusky is on top of a short list of places in the country.
The Wildcat roller coaster was taken down in 2012 when the park decided to create a new entertainment complex on the strip between the Midway and Iron Dragon roller coaster. Wildcat was opened in 1979 and was a family favorite of many. Many coaster enthusiasts were sad and upset to see it go, but many Wildcat-type coasters have been going away as of recent years.
Disaster Transport was torn down this past season as the park was gearing up for Gatekeeper. The indoor, bobsled type coaster was a place that many guests would go to escape the heat of summer and enjoy a family friendly ride in complete darkness. The ride opened in 1985 as Avalanche Run and was an outdoor ride, but that soon changed when the park hired ITEC to redesign it to be an indoor ride in 1990. There was mixed emotions about the departure of the coaster, but many are now excited about the arrival of Gatekeeper and the new entrance to the park which takes the place where Disaster Transport once stood.
Over the next 3 years we can expect to see many changes occur to the Cedar Point hotel properties. According to a story by toledobalde.com, Cedar Fair will invest in a 3 year $60 million project to upgrade its hotels and beach. The sale proceedings from the recent sale of Knott’s Soak City San Diego to SeaWorld will be used to cover the makeovers of the hotels and beach. The company plans to spend $18- $20 million annually on the project, without disrupting Cedar Fair’s annual capital budget that funds new rides and attractions at other Cedar Fair parks and waterparks.
Matt Ouimet, CEO and president of Cedar Fair, says he believes that the Lake Erie beach that was once sprawling with guests a century ago, can become the same way it used to be. He plans to make drastic changes to some of the hotels as well as refreshments and refurbishing in others. His main goal is to be able to give families of all budgets a nice accommodation. To do this, Mr. Ouimet will ask guests of Cedar Point what they would like to see changed in the hotels and the beach. All answers will be taken into consideration in order to meet the guests standards.
Once the upgrades are completed, two things will be able to happen; new vacation packages will be made available to purchase and more nighttime entertainment will be added. Rick Munarriz, an analyst for the Motley Fool online investor Web site said spending up to $60 million to improve the hotels isn’t likely to pay off right away for Cedar Fair. “But it’s something that needs to get done even though it won’t be major driver of their income,” he said. “It’s a smart move in theory and one what will pay off in time, I believe.”
Gatekeeper Coming to Cedar Point
The moment coaster enthusiasts have been waiting for has finally arrived as Cedar Point has officially announcedGatekeeper, their new coaster coming for the 2013 season. The park will be receiving their very own Bolliger and Mabillard Wing Coaster. Of course, it would not be true Cedar Point fashion if they didn't break a few records along the way as well.
With its announced height of 170 feet with a 163-foot vertical drop, speed of 67 miles per hour, and length of 4,164 linear feet Gatekeeper will steal the record for biggest drop, length, and speed by a wing coaster from Dollywood's Wild Eagle. But it won't stop there, with its inverting first drop it will also grab the record for largest inversion on any type of coaster. Gatekeeper will also sport a layout featuring six inversions, including a Wing Over Drop, Immelmann, Giant Flat Spin, Inclined Dive Loop, Spiral, and a Zero-G roll as the ride passes over the entrance to the park.
The impact Gatekeeper will have will go beyond just its eye popping stats. It will bring new life to the front of the park, especially the entrance. One of the coaster's star elements comes as the track soars right over the park gate while gracefully inverting through two tight keyhole passes.
Another one of the gifts that Gatekeeper will bring is a bit of beautification towards the front of the park. The ride will be replacing the now defunct Disaster Transport. In doing so it open up the view of Lake Erie and present the park with a much more attractive looking coaster.
Gatekeeper will be Cedar Point's first B&M coaster since Mantis in 1996 and Raptor in 1994. It will also be the park's first non-Intamin AG coaster addition since Mantis as Millennium Force,Wicked Twister, Top Thrill Dragster, and Maverick were all Intamin installations. It will also bring the park's coaster count back up to 16.
Cedar Fair has recently bought a piece of land to be used by Cedar Point. No, this doesn't mean the park is expanding for more space to build rides. Instead this is an effort to make the drive into the park more attractive while providing the park with some extra storage space.
According to the Sandusky Register Cedar Fair bought the land for $735,000. This includes a 13.8 acre lot as well as the former J.D. Byrider building. This building includes a layout of 17,800-square-feet including office space as well as a showroom. The lot also contains a warehouse with 7,800 square feet of space inside.
The lot is located at 2000 Cleveland Road in Sandusky. This is just over three miles from the front gates of Cedar Point. This distance means its a building that guests will not use. In an interview with the Sandusky Register Annie Zelm, a Cedar Point spokeswoman, said, "It’s not going to be for guests, but something useful for us."
Zelm also told the Sandusky Register, "“People should see some enhancements to the area. We look forward to developing it."
It is expected that work will be started on the site in the near future. Could this be a site where the park can hide new coaster track? We will keep you posted on any further developments.
Cedar Point Wing Rider
News of Cedar Point’s 2013 attraction have been unofficially revealed, and it’s something many Cedar Point “fanboys” have been predicting and hoping for, a new coaster. But this won’t just be any new coaster, it will be a massive Wing Rider according to an uncomfirmed memo released by Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet.
The Sandusky Register has reported that the coaster, code-named “CP Alt. Winged,” will be a $25 million project and will have the “longest drop [at 170 ft tall], run the fastest, and be the longest ride of its kind” according to Matt Ouimet. To make room for the giant new Wing Rider, the Cedar Point will be removing the Space Spiral, the parks skytower, and Disaster Transport, the parks indoor bobsled coaster. Ouimet was not available for comment, and Corporate VP of Marketing Lee Alexakos declined to confirm the memo, stating “we have not announced any plans for 2013 but we did announce a $25 million investement.”
In the alleged memo, Ouimet stated “Rob Decker (Cedar Fair VP of planning and design) and others have done a great job of creating a compelling, economically attractive new coaster for Cedar Point…we believe this particular ride design with this particular manufacturer balances the desire for marketable innovation and risk associated with early adaptations of prototypes.”
Ever since green Wing Rider track appeared outside of B&M’s manufacturing plant in Ohio, fans of Six Flags Magic Mountain and Cedar Point have been vying that the track would be for their park’s 2013 coaster. When it was discovered that the track was actually for a coaster in China, the rumors about the two park’s 2013 fates has still been under siege. If it’s true, Cedar Point’s Wing Rider will be the 5th installed, and the third in the US, following 2011’s Raptor (Gardaland), and the 2012 trio of the Swarm (Thorpe Park), Wild Eagle (Dollywood), and X-Flight (Six Flags Great America).
Again, this information comes from a memo that park officials have declined to confirm and not commented on further, but their silence and refusal to deny such a big rumor could be telling.
Cedar Point Removes WildCat
After over 4 decades, Cedar Point has done something they have yet to do in that span of time. WildCat, the park's small steel coaster produced by Schwarzkopf, will be dismantled prior to the start of the 2012 season.
The park announces this as they prepare that area of the park for the Luminosity show as well as Celebration Plaza. The park says that they will expand the new additions of the area to the WildCat site. The ride itself has seen its share of problems over the past few years, most recent being a brake failure which caused a collision in the station. The ride has also been prone to cars rolling backwards down the lift, dragging the chain with it.
WildCat is a Schwarzkopf Wildcat model set at 65 m, one of the size models among that design. It was 50 ft tall with a top speed of 40 mph. Along the course were sudden drops, tight turns, two helices, and forces close to a wild mouse style coaster. The ride opened in 1979, a year after Gemini opened, which was the tallest coaster in the world at the time. The ride served its life mostly as a beginner coaster for those getting their nerves used to how roller coasters work. Along with smaller coasters like Blue Streak, Iron Dragon, and Cedar Creek Mine Ride, WildCat helped supplement the larger rides.
Cedar Point Announces Luminosity
Dinosaurs Alive won't be the only new thing to hit Cedar Point next year. Pointbuzz and the Toledo Blade have managed to squeeze out some details regarding a brand new night time attraction that will feature fireworks, dancing, and a DJ. TheToledo Blade is reporting that the attraction will debut in June.
The new attraction will be named Luminosity: Ignite the Night. It is aiming to keep guests at the park later into the night. Pointbuzz told the Toledo Blade that the show will feature, "25 dancers, 3 drummers, 2 [acrobats], a DJ, and singers." This is on top of the lights, lasers, and fireworks that the show will bring.
The show is supposed to last around 40 minutes, but it will be followed up by a dance party led by a DJ. Also, the show will contain four themes land travel, sea travel, space travel, and a finale with fireworks. Most of these details have been confirmed by Cedar Point, according to the Toledo Blade.
A new stage is going to be built in the midway near Iron Dragon to host the DJ-led dance party. During the day time the stage will be used for a show featuring the Peanuts characters during the day. The new area will be named Celebration Plaza according to Point Buzz.
In an interview with the Toledo Blade, Cedar Point Spokesperson Bryan Edwards said, "It's unlike any other show we've ever done here at Cedar Point. It's really going to revamp the whole midway." He also said the show, "is really kind of our way of rejuvenating the night. After a seven or eight-hour day of riding some of the best coasters in the world, you can feel a little run down by the end of the day."
So if you're taking a trip to Cedar Point this summer be sure to stay a little later to catch the new show. Also, watch out for the show to make its way to other Cedar Fair parks if it proves to be successful at the chain's flagship park, Cedar Point.