Another winter off-season has passed in Sandusky, Ohio and Cedar Fair’s flagship park, located on a scenic peninsula surrounded by Lake Erie, has finally woken up. So what can visitors to Cedar Point expect to see that’s new in the park this year? The big news is the new water park, Cedar Point Shores, which opens Saturday, May 27th. That’s the big news, at least officially.
Unofficially, however, there is a lot going on in Frontier Town in the back of the park where construction on the former 1991 Dinn Corporation designed Mean Streak wooden roller coaster has been transforming the once tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster into an entirely new ride.
Cedar Point Shores
A new water park was a must-have in Cedar Point’s plans to keep guests coming back year after year. Originally opened in 1988, Soak City was seen as a weak-point for Cedar Point’s game in the business, and with major competition for watery thrills abound, this update was desperately needed. Taking over much of the area that used to be called Challenge Park (an area once home to up-charge attractions, mini-golf and go-karts) Cedar Point Shores now covers 18 acres and adds a large new slide structure with 6 new slides.
For the most thrill-oriented water park guests, four drop-capsule slides (essentially a chute riders enter then are dropped into the slide through a trap door) named Portside Plummet reside at the top of a new attractive and colorful 6 story tall structure. The other two are tube slides, named Portside Plunge and Starboard Surge, that are 5 stories tall, and 1-2 guests can ride each at a time.
In addition, the 2017 expansion includes a new family play area for the younger guests featuring pint-sized slides that drop into a pool with a zero-depth entry. Called Lakeside Landing, this area provides a deck and cabanas for supervising adults to watch their kids play in comfort. Also new and family-focused is a splash area called Lemmy’s Lagoon featuring an appropriately cute figure of the area’s namesake Lake Erie monster. Here, the family can enjoy geysers and curtains of water, interactive “water gadgets”, and another pint-sized slide.
Rounding out this large investment, Cedar Point Shores will also include expanded dining options in the new Crystal Rock Cafe, a new swim-up bar called Muffleheads Beach Bar, a new entrance-way and landscaping, and the former Bar adjacent to the wave pool has been renamed Schooner’s Beach Bar. The rest of the slides in Soak City have been renamed too, further enhancing the water park as new to the guests.
UPDATE 8/16: Cedar Point has announced details about the new roller coaster that will replace Mean Streak, read about the new Steel Vengeance roller coaster.
Mean Streak’s Transformation
One of the worst kept secrets and much fodder for roller coaster enthusiasts in online forums and social media is what’s happening at the back of the park. When Cedar Point officially announced Mean Streak’s closure last August, rumors were abound that it could potentially be transformed by Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC), a company which has a proven track record of breathing new life into old wooden coasters.
Debuting in 2011, RMC upended the roller coaster world with the creation of the New Texas Giant, transforming the similarly Dinn Corporation designed Texas Giant into a wood-steel hybrid to great acclaim from riders and the industry alike. RMC, using new track designs and techniques, has gone on to be tremendously successful with creating new rides from old, and entirely new custom rides as well for parks in the United States and at least one abroad.
With no official announcement from the park and very little in the way of information that representatives of Cedar Point have been authorized to release, guests can now confirm with their own eyes what’s happening to Mean Streak. New wood and track featuring a darker, dustier looking red color version of RMC’s patented IBox track tower over the back of Frontier Town.
Sitting atop the old structure of this formerly rough (and to some, unenjoyable) coaster the new track will allow a much smoother experience for riders. One that also can accomplish twisted maneuvers, dives, and hills that were not even in the greater picture of roller coasters prior to RMC’s entry into the game. The new ride, whose name we may not learn until the end of this current season, may very well be one of the best new rides in 2018 if Cedar Point and RMC’s considerable track records for big wins continues.
In part 2, I’ll cover some significant changes Cedar Point made that are aimed at improving overall experiences in the park.
What’s Your Take?
Are you excited for Cedar Point Shores? How do you think the new Mean Streak is shaping up? Leave a comment below.
Photo Credits: Image 1 – @TonyClarkCP Images 2 & 3 – John Patterson