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Cedar Point set to open for season with new ride

The Lantern

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May 10, 2011

The forecast is finally sunny over the Lake Erie peninsula as the park staff puts the final touches on preparations for the season ahead. As the snow melts, changes are sprouting up at Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Cedar Point, in Sandusky, Ohio, will open its gates this year May 14.

The park's new attraction, WindSeeker, is a 301-foot-tall tower that rotates passengers in minimal restraints, according to Cedar Point press releases.

Although some are disappointed that the ride will not join Cedar Point's litany of 17 roller coasters, WindSeeker's non-coaster status won't keep people from riding it.

"I'm always hoping for a new roller coaster to set some kind of crazy world record, but I like the idea for WindSeeker," said Alex Grant, a second-year in actuarial science and a Sandusky native. "The thought of being on swings 300 feet in the air is incredible, and I can't wait to ride it."

WindSeeker will not open on the park's first day because of continued construction, said Cedar Point director of public relations Robin Innes.

"Look at the weather in April: abominable, with wind and rain and cold," he said. "Add all that up, and it really put it behind schedule."

But WindSeeker will open as soon as possible, Innes said.

Cedar Point is still expecting strong attendance, despite the weather.

"We're hoping for a good crowd and a good start for the season," Innes said. "This winter and spring, it was wet and cold. I think everybody's tired of it and ready to have some fun."

Although Cedar Point declined to release attendance numbers, those who have trekked to the park on its first day in years past said Cedar Point is typically teeming with tourists.

"Opening day is crazy," Grant said. "It takes a while to get on most of the rides, but it's worth the wait."

The weather is a poor excuse for the park's lack of foresight and planning, said Dee Speir, a third-year in psychology and cognitive science who worked at the park for five years as a supervisor in the games department.

"Sometimes they're not the smartest in the way they make construction schedules," Speir said. "I get northern Ohio weather is ridiculous, but this is at least the third year in a row that a new ride won't open on time."

Another new addition to the park is Pink's Hot Dogs, a specialty shop that serves gourmet hot dogs, corn dogs and onion rings, Innes said.

"They're prepared with all the different extras you want on them," Innes said. "I've already got mine picked out: kielbasa with coleslaw and mustard."

Although the park is growing and changing, Cedar Point devotees like Speir and Grant said the park hasn't lost its charm.

"I love Cedar Point," Speir said. "I grew up going there every summer and I doubt that will ever change."


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