Most people, of course, come to the roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point, in Sandusky, Ohio to ride the many elaborate, fastest, highest, and craziest rides. A couple weeks ago our family got to return to Cedar Point for a fun day of kid rides and activities. Last year when we visited Cedar Point, the boys rode select kid rides as we wondered around the property and picked up some tips for traveling with kids. This year we not only wanted to take the boys on some of their favorite rides, but also try and see some shows and explore some different areas of the park.
Upon entering the park, we were presented with a large dinosaur display, highlighting the new Dinosaurs Alive exhibit. However, right off the get-go, I knew we would not be going to see the dinosaurs because 1) our oldest son (3) typically is not a huge fan of dark places or dinosaurs, and 2) Cedar Point charges an extra admission ($5) to see the exhibit.
In 2001, the State of Ohio deemed Cedar Point a historical landmark, and titled “The Queen of American Watering Places.”
Cedar Point became a popular beach resort in the late 1870’s, when visitors traveled to the peninsula by steamboat from Sandusky. The Grand Pavilion (1888), the oldest building in the park, dates from this era. Promoter George Boeckling formed the Cedar Point Pleasure Resort Company in 1897 and vastly expanded the resort’s attractions. During the first decade of the 1900’s, he built the lagoons, an amusement circle, and several hotels, including the landmark Breakers in 1905. The Coliseum, opened in 2906, became the centerpiece of the park and hosted many of the famous big bands through the Depression and World War II years. In the late 1950’s, Cedar Point began its transformation into a modern amusement park.
On a late August day, you could already see the start of the Halloween season coming. Pictured is a horse-drawn casket carriage car set up with eerie reminders of what happens after the sun goes down.
As typical for our family adventures, no trip would be complete without some time spent on the train. The trains around the park are labeled the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad. The railroad has been in daily operation since 1963, and features three trains in its armada. On this day at Cedar Point, we were able to ride the Judy K, named after the wife of Cedar Fair, L.P. CEO and president Richard Kinzel.
I was quite surprised to learn about Cedar Points tie in with Disneyland. In 1999, Disney made a trade with Cedar Point of engines. Cedar Point gave Disney the Maud L., while Disney gave to Cedar Point the Ward Kimball engine (now the G.A. Boeckling No. 1 engine). Unfortunately, Cedar Point never rehabilitated the Ward Kimble, and it was eventually sold to Knott’s Berry Farm. [Update] In 2010, Cedar Point reacquired the G.A. Boeckling No. 1 engine from Knott’s Berry Farm.
The train makes its way around the park on a 2 mile track. After stopping at Frontier Station at the rear of the park, the train takes guests through Boneville, a skeleton city with great animatronic scenes. Personally, I am kind of attached to the Boneville scenes, as corny as they may be, because they are probably the first animatronics I ever saw as a kid.
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