You won’t be bored on this walk
Cedar Point celebrates its storied past, and Knott’s seeks revenge with coaster
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Let’s continue About Theme Parks’ coverage of what’s coming in 2023 to the Cedar Fair parks by turning to the company’s flagship location, Cedar Point. Located on a pennisula along Lake Erie in Ohio, the waterside park has been welcoming visitors for 153 years, making it the second oldest continuously operating amusement park in the U.S. (behind Connecticut’s Lake Compounce). Next year, it will be capitalizing on its considerable nostalgia with The Boardwalk, a newly themed area that will welcome the park’s 17th roller coaster as well as other rides and features. Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California, meanwhile, will be giving one of its classic coasters a major makeover and renovating its onsite hotel.
As has been the case for generations, screams will reverberate throughout The Boardwalk. Passengers aboard the Wild Mouse, a coaster from Zamperla that will be an ode to Cedar Point’s classic Wild Mouse that operated from 1959 to 1963, will contribute to the cacophony. Like the vintage ride, the new coaster will dispatch single cars that will navigate freaky hairpin turns and a few dips along its orange-colored track. Unlike the Wild Mouse of yore, however, the cars on this one will spin 360 degrees willy nilly depending on the weight load and distribution of passengers. Most of the cars will be themed as mice; one special car will be themed as cheese.
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With a top speed of 35 mph, and a height limit of 42 inches, the new, 52-foot-tall ride will be accessible to a wide swath of visitors. It will be scream-worthy, but not nearly as face melting as Wicked Twister, the wildly intense, inverted, launched shuttle coaster that occupied the spot along Cedar Point Beach until its removal last year.
Rounding out The Boardwalk will be other rides, including the Matterhorn and Scrambler, which will be relocated to the area, as well as existing rides such as the Giant Wheel, the 301-foot-tall swinging chairs ride, WindSeeker, and the wing coaster, GateKeeper.
In keeping with the old-timey ambiance, Cedar Point will be opening the Grand Pavilion, a two-story building that will evoke the era of the park’s original Grand Pavilion, which opened in 1888. The handsome looking structure, which will be located just inside the park along Cedar Point Beach, will be similar in architectural style to the park’s historic Hotel Breakers. The Grand Pavilion will include a new restaurant and a bar with commanding views of Lake Erie.
“The Boardwalk is our vision of what the classic Cedar Point Boardwalk would have felt like long ago: the sights, the sounds, the electricity of the experience–this new area captures it all,” Carrie Boldman, Cedar Point’s vice president and general manager, shared in a press release.
MonteZOOMa will have you screaming every which way
As part of a makeover of its Fiesta Village, Knott’s Berry Farm will be transforming its classic Montezooma’s Revenge coaster with snazzy new trains, a new station, and a new launch system that will randomly send the train and its passengers either forwards or backwards. The mystery will surely add to the anticipation of anxious riders.
To be known as MonteZOOMa: The Forbidden Fortress (I, for one, will miss the Montezooma’s Revenge moniker; come on, that’s a great name), the reimagined coaster will incorporate story elements, especially in the queue and station. Visitors will be cast as treasure hunters seeking Montezuma’s buried gold and will have to make their way past boobytraps in an Aztec fortress.
Opened in 1978, the original Montezooma’s Revenge was the first coaster to incorporate a flywheel launch, which accelerated its train from a standing start to 55 mph in 4.5 seconds. Known as a shuttle coaster, it navigates a loop, climbs a dead-end spike, peters out near the top of the spike, and then falls backwards to travel through the loop in reverse. The train then roars through the station, climbs a second dead-end spike on the other side of its layout, rolls to a halt, and falls forward to return to the station. With the randomized launch, passengers on the new version of the coaster will never know in which direction they’ll be heading.
As for the rest of Fiesta Village, Casa California will become a full-service restaurant that will feature burritos and tacos. Adult beverages will be available at Cantina Del Sur. Shops will be renovated, and walkways and landscaping will be enhanced.
The Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel, which is adjacent to the park, is undergoing a makeover as well. All 322 guest rooms, which sleep up to six guests and include a kitchenette, will be renovated. Common areas, including the hotel‘s lobby and restaurant, will reflect the Old West inspiration of the park’s famed Ghost Town. Work is set to be completed in 2023.
Have you been to Cedar Point and/or Knott’s Berry Farm? Do you agree with me that they are two gems in the Cedar Fair portfolio? What do you think about The Boardwalk coming to Cedar Point? How about the reimagined Fiesta Village and the almost complete transformation of the coaster formerly known as Montezooma’s Revenge?
The Boardwalk area is going to be a grand addition to Cedar Point...no matter what the Coaster Boys say! It’s another small step towards CP upping its theming and atmosphere. And all the Cedar Fair food additions in the past five years or so have been great - I’m thinking of the new barbecue restaurants they’ve added to their parks - so I have high hopes for this restaurant.