When you think of record breaking and coasters in the same sentence, there is one park that will always come to mind. That park is of course Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Most coaster enthusiasts know that the park really became popular with the Coaster Wars in the 1990’s and early 2000s, but did you know that the park itself is the second oldest in the country? The park is unlike any other on the planet and the history of the park will show you exactly why.
Cedar Point is located on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie and the place has been an economic mainstay way before the park ever existed. The area was known as a fishing paradise and beach goers dream as many who were too far away from the ocean could get a beach effect in the late 1890s right on the lake. As more people came to the area, the park sprung up and in 1891 the first ride was installed at the park which was a toboggan ride that sent people into Lake Erie.
In 1891, the park got electricity and the first roller coaster was built called the Switchback Railway. In 1897, the Lake Erie and Western Railroad bought the Peninsula and they put a business man from Indiana in charge of the park. George Boeckling took the park from a resort area to a big time amusement park during his tenure.
After the death of Boeckling, the park was in a constant up and down phase depending on the decade. During the World Wars, the park would fare well some years and others it would not. By the end of WW2, the parks coasters were rotting and were in need of financial help. It was not until the 1960s did the park begin to rebound with the building of the Blue Streak. At the same time, the park believed that it was best if guest would pay one price and experience the entire park and this really made a difference.
In 1986, Cedar Fair hired Dick Kinzel to run Cedar Fair Entertainment and the park began to flourish into the 1990s. Coaster Wars put Cedar Point on the map as they tried to break every record in the book with roller coasters. The park became known as America’s Roller Coast and rides like Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster brought people in by the millions. The park had continued success throughout the first decade of the 2000s and kept adding great coasters like Wicked Twister and Maverick. Kinzel retired in 2012 and left the seat to former Disney executive Matt Ouimet who has taken over and already added Gatekeeper to the park. This attraction not only added a coaster but changed the face of the park in the process.
Cedar Point is named for the many Cedar Trees that were found on the peninsula and today has 16 roller coasters. The park is known as an intense thrill park and has the most rides in the world at 78. You can spend one day at the park and not even get through half of the park. The park also includes some great shows and family fun for the kids with four different kiddie areas. If you are a true theme park junkie, you do not want to miss going to Cedar Point where Thrills Connect and Fun Starts At the Gate.