SANDUSKY — “Families rule.” That’s the mantra at Cedar Point this summer.
Before adding anything further about 2008, park public relations coordinator Bryan Edwards reflected on the past.
“Last year was a good year,” he said. “Maverick was voted best new ride by Amusement Today and the year was capped by HalloWeekends which were extremely popular.”
Edwards said the first Halloween parade was a big success.
“The weather was great for the parade and it was great to see people smiling, laughing and waving,” he said.
“Now, in 2008, it’s all about families,” he said.
It starts with Planet Snoopy.
Planet Snoopy will feature seven rides, including a mini-tea cup-style ride, miniature train, 4-foot by 4-foot trucks, a bouncing tower, spinning balloons, rocket ships and a crazy sub ride. Planet Snoopy also will feature games, themed decor showcasing Snoopy’s worldly travels and special live appearances by the Peanuts characters. Planet Snoopy’s 1.25 acres also will feature a family center with changing stations and private areas to feed children in a quiet atmosphere.
“This is the 10th year of Snoopy here at Cedar Point and we’re extremely excited to offer our fourth children’s area for those who aren’t yet ready to ride the park’s bigger rides and coasters,” said John Hildebrandt, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “We’re known around the world for our roller coasters — but we’re also a destination for families looking for a wide range of thrills. Planet Snoopy will be a great start for the young thrill-seeker this summer.”
Cedar Point opens for the season May 10 and runs daily through Labor Day. It then is open weekends through Nov. 2, which is the latest the park has ever been open.
“We’ve also expanded the First Aid center and private areas where high chairs are available and changing stations are located,” Edwards said.
The former Macaroni’s restaurant has been renovated into a children’s restaurant.
“It’s called Joe Cool Cafe,” Edwards said. “The menu features an expanded children’s menu.”
Next to Planet Snoopy, “All Wheels Extreme” is set to wow guests young and old in the former aquatic stadium. Skilled stunt bikers, skateboarders and rollerbladers will perform flips, tricks and unbelievable stunts in this high-energy BMX-style show, said park officials.
In the Centennial Theatre, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” will feature live singers and dancers in a spectacular stage show celebrating music of the ‘50s and ‘60s, while the Red Garter Saloon will showcase an all-new musical revue, the press release stated.
In addition to the new attractions, a two-year refurbishment at the Sandcastle Suites Hotel will be completed by this summer. The $3 million in renovations include an improved lobby and registration area, upgraded suites and rest rooms and newly decorated hallways. Last summer, the exterior of Sandcastle Suites was upgraded.
Overall, the park has added about $5.2 million in improvements in 2008.
At Challenge Park, which is technically outside Cedar Point park, Skyscraper is the new attraction.
“Skyscraper will provide a huge thrill factor,” Edwards said. “It’s like being strapped on an airplane propeller.”
The economy and weather play big roles in Cedar Point’s success.
“Yes, we are 100 percent weather dependent,” Edwards said.
“We are located in the heart of the Midwest where the economy is struggling,” he said. “That’s why we’re keeping the park as an affordable option for families.
“I hear people say, ‘I don’t like coasters, why should I come here?’”
“There is fun here for all ages.”
A regular season pass costs $109.95.
The platinum pass is $150 and gets you into any Cedar Fair park or outdoor waterpark. It also includes free parking at all Cedar Fair parks and membership in Point Perks, which was formerly known as the Joe Cool Club.
Junior and senior passes are $59.95, while junior/senior platinum passes run $89.95.
Funday tickets are $42.95 for those ages 3 to 61, 48 inches and taller.
Junior/senior tickets are $15.95. A junior is 3 and older, less than 48 inches tall.
The starlight ticket is $25.95. It’s in effect after 5 p.m. when the park closes at 10 p.m. or later or after 4 p.m. when the park closes earlier than 10.
A Ride & Slide two-day tickets is $71.95 or $33.95 for juniors/seniors.
Children ages 2 and under are admitted free to the park and Soak City.
Things are different this summer at Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom.
“The market just could not support the ride side,” Edwards said. “The waterpark remains open with very attractive prices.”
Edwards said some of the rides at Geauga Lake were moved to other Cedar Fair parks, while others will be auctioned off. The land where the rides were located also will be auctioned off this summer.
Edwards said people should look at Geauga Lake in a positive way.
“I know there has been some negativity about the ride side closing,” he said. “But if it were a new waterpark that just opened there it would be huge.”
Geauga Lake season passes are $44.95, $34.95 for juniors and seniors.
Single day tickets are $23.95, $15.95 after 4 p.m. and $11.95 for juniors and seniors.
What’s in store for Cedar Point in 2009?
“Can’t say, but there is a three- to five-year plan,” Edwards said.
Kings Island, located in Mason, northeast of Cincinnati, opens for the season April 20.
Single day tickets are $29.99, $24.99 for juniors and seniors. Season passes are $89.99, $64.99 for juniors and seniors. Platinum passes are available for $150, which again gives one entrance into any Cedar Fair park.
For details visit www.pki.com.