In 1995, Cedar Point celebrated its 125th anniversary with seventeen million-dollars in improvements. Two eastern wings of the historic Hotel Breakers were removed that year for the addition of the new Breakers East. This new wing was built to match the architecture of the original part of the hotel with its new 102 rooms. Soak City was expanded that year as well with new attractions such as Renegade River and Choo Choo Lagoons. In front of the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad station, the park added the Cedar Point Summer Spectacular. This outdoor laser, light, and sound event turned the Million-Dollar Midway into a seating area at night, during shows. The old boxy logo from the 1980’s for the park was replaced that year with a sleeker design. Sadly, Jungle Larry’s Safari closed this year and the entire attraction was condensed to it’s other location in Florida. Also that year, Cedar Fair, L. P acquired Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri. This successful amusement park included a fantastic sixty-acre water park.
Originally named Banshee before it opened, the Mantis roller coaster opened as the tallest and fastest stand-up roller coaster ever. The red and yellow track is supported by purple columns and reaches a maximum height of 145 feet. Going up to sixty miles per hour, the Mantis conquers four inversions while traveling over the lagoons. The Ripcord Skycoaster opened in Challenge Park as well that year at an amazing height of 18-stories. Much like skydiving, the ride raises guests up a tower from a cord and lets them glide down up to sixty-five miles per hour.
Missing from the park maps in the 1997 was the classic Pirate Ride, which was partially converted into an arcade that year. Despite the loss, the park made many additions that year. One of these additions was the expansion of Soak City. The new improvements extended over 6 acres and included new attractions such as a wave pool, slides and other water excitement. The twisted Chaos ride opened near the Corkscrew entrance that year as well. The disorienting ride flips guests upside-down numerous times while in operation. In Frontiertown, near the Wave Swinger, Cedar Point added the peaceful Swan boats in the lagoons. Each holding two passengers, the paddleboats are shaped like swans and let guests move freely through the scenic lagoons. For the first time ever, Cedar Point hosted it’s own Halloween event called HalloWeekends in 1997. This end of the season event features haunted houses, haunted train rides and many other eerie events.
In the spot of Jungle Larry’s Safari, the massive Power Tower arose for the 1998 season. The 300-foot structure opened with four 240-foot towers which blast riders up or shoots them down. Near the Gemini roller coaster, a miniature version of Power Tower named Frog Hopper opened for children to enjoy that year. After the death of one of the dolphins at the park, the Oceana attraction was closed, but the building itself was not destroyed. Cedar Fair, L. P. purchased Knott’s Berry Farm in California and gained management control of Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America in Minnesota in 1998. Knott’s Berry Farm is America’s oldest themed amusement park and started off in the 1920’s as a modest berry farm.
The largest addition to the Hotel Breakers was complete in 1999 on the spot of one of the west wings. Breakers Tower rises ten stories high with 230 rooms and a TGI Friday’s® on the first floor with a lake view. The two-year renovation of the Cedar Point Marina was completed in 1999 with a new floating pier system and a grand total of 665 slips. A new kiddy themed area called Camp Snoopy opened near the Gemini roller coaster. Built inside the new Camp Snoopy, the Woodstock Express “family” roller coaster opened with a height of thirty-eight feet and reaching speeds up to twenty-five miles per hour. Also in this area included six other rides and many attractions for children. With the PEANUTS® characters replacing the Berenstain Bears as park mascots, the indoor Berenstain Bear Country was converted into Snoopy Boutique and the outdoor Berenstain Bear Country playground was converted into PEANUTS® Playground. The Oceana stadium that once housed dolphins and sea lions was converted that year into the Aquatic Stadium where high diving acts were preformed. Nearby, the Cedar Point Aquarium was converted into a small arcade.
The year 2000 will always be remembered for the record breaking Millennium Force. This ride reaches speeds of ninety-two miles per hour and has a drop of eighty degrees. The Millennium Force is the first roller coaster to break the 300-foot height with a lift hill height of 310 feet and opened as the tallest and fastest roller coaster on earth. For this roller coaster to be constructed, the Giant Wheel ferris wheel was relocated to the spot of the recently razed Kid Author’s Court. On the mainland, Cedar Point added the Breakers Express hotel which opened with 350-rooms. This new value-priced hotel includes a Snoopy shaped pool, outdoor spa and pool house.
Resourcefully, the park added Lighthouse Point to its Camper Village for the 2001 season. Built at the tip of the peninsula, the new resort features lakefront cottages, log cabins and additional RV sites. The centerpiece of this new area is the restored twenty-eight foot high Cedar Point Lighthouse, which was originally built in 1867. The game Fascination was removed from the games building and in its place they constructed the popular Johnny Rockets restaurant. Also that year the admissions gate was remodeled and Cedar Fair L. P., Cedar Point’s parent company, purchased Michigan’s Adventure near Muskegon, Michigan. This traditional amusement park and water park contains over fifty rides and attractions, including the famous Shivering Timbers roller coaster.
Wicked Twister, a double-twisting impulse roller coaster, opened to the public May 5, 2002. This extreme ride features two 450-degree vertical twists that rise a remarkable 215 feet. The teal and sunburst yellow ride is launched with linear induction motors and can reach speeds of 72 mph. In addition, 2002 brought “Snoopy Rocks! On Ice.” This family ice show features the popular PEANUTS characters and is located in the former Cedar Point Cinema.
Cedar Point has continued to expand and grow each year, adding major attractions such as Maverick, maxAir, Skyhawk, Shoot the Rapids, and Gatekeeper. Although we have lost some attractions along the way, the past of Cedar Point is still present throughout the park and continues to play an important role in it’s future.
Even though much of the ‘old’ Cedar Point has either been altered or removed completely, the park still keeps many reminders of its rich history. The old lamps that lit the park in the early years are now used in attractive settings near the Cedar Point Marina and Coral Dining Room. Memorabilia from the the beautiful Hotel Breakers’ lobby with the original circle couches and rotunda with its five story high balconies still contain the charm that they incorporated when they were constructed in 1905. The second floor of the Coliseum still contains the famous ballroom, which pleased guests with music of the Big Band era for many decades. The White House Hotel was built in 1901, and was incorporated in part of the Cedars Hotel in 1915 and still stands today as a dormitory for employees.
Throughout the years, Cedar Point has evolved from a shabby bathhouse into an award wining amusement park containing the most roller coasters and rides in the world. This combination of the old and new makes “Cedar Point-on-Lake Erie” a one-of-a-kind experience that a guest can pass on to the next generation.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this short summary of Cedar Point’s diverse history, we highly recommend reading “Cedar Point: The Queen of American Watering Places” along with the book “Cedar Point Images of America“.