Cedar Point History: 1950 – 1969

1870 – 1904  |  1905 – 1949  | 1950 – 1969  |  1970 – 1994  |  1995 – Present

After nearly being sold, Torrence Melrose leased the peninsula for the 1950 and 1951 season. Gaudy bright orange and white painted buildings gleamed on the midway, in 1950, to catch visitor’s attention, and to show that the park was being improved. Also that season a road was built to the Hotel Breakers so guests wouldn’t have to carry their luggage to the parking lot or docks.

At the end of the 1950 season, Dan Schneider took control of the lease of Cedar Point and became president. At about this time, the decaying Cyclone roller coaster was torn down. The amount of money to refurbish the roller coaster was unavailable at the time. Also at the end of the 1951 season, the steamer G. A. Boeckling made its last trip to Cedar Point and was sent to Wisconsin to be used as a floating warehouse. The public dreaded having their old ship gone, but Cedar Point introduced three new all-steel vessels over the next few years. The new sixty-five foot boats were named G. A. Boeckling II, Cedar Point & Cedar Point II. Also around this time, a series of jetties were built to protect the precious white sand beach from erosion. Made from sandstone, these jetties remain today near the Sandcastle Suites Hotel on the tip of the peninsula.

The classic Fascination game, that countless guests enjoyed until 2001, was added in 1955. The point of this ‘game of chance’ is to roll a series of balls into holes that connect to make straight or diagonal lines, much like BINGO. The first player to make a straight line is the winner of a Fascination coupon that can be redeemed for a prize.

New housing plans plagued Cedar Point’s future when residential businessman George Roose and his partner Emile Legros acquired the property in 1956. Their intentions to turn the resort into a housing development seemed to be coming to pass until public outcry arose. The state government got involved in the controversy and stated if they tried to turn the land into a residential community, that the state would purchase the land. The housing plans came to an end when they saw that Dan Schneider’s lease of the land wasn’t over until 1959.

The Chaussee, which was the only road that connected Cedar Point to the mainland, was crowded on busy days and disturbed the residents that lived on the peninsula. The remedy to this problem was the addition of the Cedar Point Causeway, which opened in 1957. Built on part of the peninsula that jetted out, the Cedar Point Causeway cost $600,000 to build and remains today where most guests enter the park.
Built under large shady trees with attractive landscaping, the Cadillac Cars first pleased guests with miniature antique cars in 1958. Drivers of these replica automobiles drove on a guide track and traveled through and under a beautiful covered bridge.

For the 1959 season, improvements were seen throughout the resort. A beautiful new marina opened on the site of the old pier area containing 250 dock spaces. Also that year, the Wild Mouse was added where the Raptor roller coaster now stands. This compact roller coaster used two passenger cars. The most popular ride to open that year was the Monorail. Located on the area of today’s Blue Streak roller coaster, the Monorail was purchased from Akron’s Summit Beach Park. Trains were suspended nine feet from the ground and traveled a three-quarter mile of track with gasoline motors.

The newly paved midway, which changed the look of Cedar Point forever.In 1961, Cedar Point, Inc. was formed in place of the old G. A. Boeckling Company and offered stock to investors. The dirt midway was paved this year and it was about this time when the park began to transform from the old Cedar Point to the Cedar Point most know today.

A year later in 1962, the Wild Mouse roller coaster was removed and in its place the Scamper was added. The wooden structure ride was built in the area of today’s Corkscrew roller coaster turnaround and Matterhorn ride. Also debuting that year was the Sky Wheel double ferris wheel. Standing an amazing eighty-five feet above the midway, the ride opened in the center of the midway.

The year was 1963, and the park was showing a modest profit and able to invest in larger improvements. One of these improvements was the addition of the Mill Race water ride. The second such ride in the world, the Mill Race opened on the site of today’s Raptor lift hill. The water flume ride featured boats that resembled logs, which would travel through flumes. The ride contained two lift hills with the second having a height of twenty-eight feet. Another addition that year was the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad. This narrow gauge railroad was built during the off season of 1962 and originally was equipped with two authentic steam locomotives. These restored locomotives pulled new passenger cars into a series of scenes and a new station was constructed on the midway for guests to board. The ski lift-like Sky Ride also opened in 1963 in the center of the new midway. Riders board gondolas at one of two stations on the midway and travel a height of ninety-two feet. Passengers on the Sky Ride are then treated to the many floral displays under the ride.

Western Cruise riverboat rideThe lagoons, which were dredged in 1906, were used for the new Western Cruise riverboat ride that opened in 1964. Riverboats traveled through a series of scenes depicting such things as log cabins and animated animals. The Blue Streak was also added in 1964 on the location of the Monorail ride. This roller coaster has a seventy-eight foot high lift hill and extends out 2,400 feet. At the top of the lift hill they built a copula where the car passes through. During its first few years in operation, the ride remained unpainted and was not the the blue color that it currently is. Blue Streak was named in honor of Sanudusky High School, as their team name is the Blue Streaks. after the . Today this ride remains as the oldest roller coaster existing at Cedar Point.

Jungle Larry’s Safari opened in 1965 in the area of today’s Power Tower ride. Run by zoologist Lawrence Tenzlaff and his wife, this attraction featured wild animals such as elephants, lions, birds and chimpanzees to name a few. The enormous Space Spiral opened as well that year near the beach and parking lot. This 330-foot tower rises guests up 285 feet in its rotating two-level observation deck. The splendid new ride was quick to receive the phase, “New Heights, in Fun!” and became a Cedar Point landmark.

San Francisco Earthquake ride Debuting in 1966, the Pirate Ride originally operated at Freedomland, an amusement park in New York. Located next to the Blue Streak roller coaster, the ride’s ship looking trains traveled on a single track into a dark funhouse full of pirate themed scenes. Each of these scenes was lit with black lights. Also acquired from Freedomland, the San Francisco Earthquake ride was installed between the Pagoda Gift Shop and the Coliseum. Prior to boarding the ride, radio earthquake news flashes from San Francisco were played in the ride’s station. During the dark ride, buildings and walls were simulated to look as if they were falling down while on the ride. The Upside-Down Funhouse opened near the new Space Spiral that year as well. The attraction included rooms such as an upside-down room, a tilted room, and a rotating barrel. At the end of the attraction, three spiral slides were used to exit the funhouse.

In 1967, the Rotor was installed near the Coliseum. Riders would enter a circular room, lean against the wall and the room would spin. The riders would ‘stick’ to the wall due to centripetal force and the floor would drop giving them the illusion of floating.

Since Cedar Point’s beginning, the tip of the peninsula never saw any major expansions. The first development in this area was in 1968 when Frontiertown was added. This themed area features an Indiana village and town square area. A second station for the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad was added so guests could access this remote part of the park. Another way for guests to access this new themed area was the new Frontier Lift, which carried passengers from the main midway to Frontiertown. Another ride that was added to Frontiertown was the Shoot-the-Rapids water ride that opened in the area of today’s White Water Landing water ride.

The next year in 1969, Frontiertown was expanded with the addition of the Cedar Creek Mine Ride. The forty-eight foot tall roller coaster opened that year and has a track length of 2,450 feet. This ride was one of the first roller coasters to use tubular steel track and was built partially over the lagoons. Also that year in Frontiertown, the Antique cars opened along with the Town Hall Museum that houses a collection of Cedar Point memorabilia.

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1870 – 1904  |  1905 – 1949  | 1950 – 1969  |  1970 – 1994  |  1995 – Present