The “Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island” does not compare to anything Cedar Point has done before.
There are, however, some similarities with “Tom Sawyer Island” at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park in Florida. That’s a good thing.
At the Forbidden Frontier, guests will feel as if they took a trip back in time to visit a foreign land.
During an exclusive media tour Wednesday, I enjoyed this unique experience first-hand.
I am a child at heart, so I loved every part of the island; however, even those who are not as fond of childish activities or playtime will be able to find something to enjoy. This new spot is perfect for families.
To start off our journey, we were welcomed as “explorers” and given maps.
The first activity involves a four-person raft. Guests use a rope to pull their group across the Snake River Swamp.
As we entered the Forbidden Frontier, we noticed many cast members. These “islanders” interact with guests. We immediately felt welcomed and had plenty to keep us busy.
Each character with whom we spoke either offered help or gave us a task or item to deliver.
There are physical activities, mind challenges, puzzles and games, as well as many areas to relax or play.
The full story of the island is on Cedar Point’s website. The general idea is that there are two clans who want to find treasure on the island. Intense competition led to out-of-control fighting. Commander Etta Fox was sent to keep peace on the island. “Truce Day” is held to settle the issue, as the two clans compete for the treasure map. In order to do so, they each need support from guests on the island.
While exploring the island, we received offers from members of both clans, who tried recruiting us to join them and explained why theirs is better than the other.
Cody Caplinger, 12, of Wadsworth, got to preview the island with his parents, Laura and Chad Caplinger, as a guest with an iC.A.R.E. mentoring program.
The boy and his parents said they had fun participating in different tasks with the islanders. Cody joined the same clan I did — the Cuyugas.
An islander painted the Cuyuga symbol on my hand. As I walked around, the symbol invoked a reaction from many cast members — positive and negative, depending on their clan.
Throughout the day, competitions take place and guests are encouraged to participate. I was invited to ring a bell to start the first game of the season, which felt like an honor.
We helped out with a wagon race, which was a lot of fun. There will be plenty more competitions and activities throughout the season to help settle which clan deserves the treasure map.
Guests likely will have a different experience each time they visit. Cast members will try to make sure each guest’s experience is interactive and exciting.
There are so many little buildings to explore, characters to talk with and sights to see, in addition to farm animals, places to dig for treasure and much more.
How did the idea for this unique attraction come about?
Cedar Point staff members are often asked what there is for guests who do not ride roller coasters. Adventure Island is an answer to that question.
“Guest feedback is really what drove this attraction,” said Tony Clark, the director of communications for the Sandusky amusement park.
Clark added guests can go at their own pace and spend a couple minutes, a couple hours or all day on the island.
There was so much to do and to keep us entertained, we could have easily been there all day.
My favorite part of the island is called “highground.” This is a huge playground with rope courses, slides and climbing nets. Outside the playground, there are many hammocks and sitting areas. There will also be shows and live entertainment near this area, so it will be a good spot for families to spend time together.
Children can easily spend hours climbing throughout the highground, but adults are welcome to join in on the fun too! I definitely plan to return to that spot, bringing my younger sisters with me.
The offerings at a nearby food area include mini hot dogs on a stick, charbroiled sirloin and firecracker shrimp. Each of those items were delicious and filling. The sweet chili pepper sauce also was tasty.
Overall, I had a great time in the Forbidden Frontier and look forward to bringing my family with me to experience more of the island.
Adventure Island will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., starting this Saturday and continuing through Labor Day weekend.