Cedar Fair Increases in 2014, Exciting 2015 Ahead With New Attractions
Cedar Fair, the parent company of Cedar Point, Kings Island, Carowinds, and Knott’s Berry Farm, had increases in 2014. The publicly traded company, with the trading stock symbol “FUN” (how cool is that?), held a conference call last week in which Cedar Fair President and CEO Matt Ouimet provided a report for performances for their theme parks last year. The most notable mention came from Kings Island, home of the Banshee roller coaster that opened last year to much fanfare and estimated high ride numbers. Matt said that caused increased park attendance and guest spending within Kings Island. This is a nice plus for the 43 year old park, who’s last biggest hit was Diamondback over a few years ago which caused thrill seekers to have renewed interest in the park.
To remind you about Banshee at Kings Island, it’s another hit manufactured by Swiss coaster creators Bolliger & Mabillard and it officially the World’s Longest Inverted Roller Coaster with seven sick inversions and is 4,124 feet long. The scream machine also has speeds of 68 MPH and a lift hill of 208 feet. You may notice something else different about the ride too…..something lady like. Well, this coaster is also billed as the first in the world to be inspired by and be themed after a female. Why? There is an old legend at Kings Island that there’s a female ghost that has reportedly haunted the park for many years and is suspected to be from the nearby graveyard just off the causeway to Kings Island. It’s like having their Halloween Haunt all year!!
video: Take a ride on Banshee!
We haven’t received the official ridership numbers yet from K.I. but we’re working on it getting those. Without a doubt, the coaster has brought some popularity back to the park with adding thrill rides that guests got plenty of in years past.
For Knott’s Berry Farm guests, they got treated to an updated Calico Mine Ride when they visited this past year. The 55 year old ride was refurbished with new animatronic characters and lighting, sound and structural upgrades. The 65-foot tall glory hole that passes through three-levels is still very intact in the eight minute long ride that guests take. Knott’s also revamped their Timber Mountain Log Ride and renovated Camp Snoopy (I guess even Snoopy needs a facelift too, huh?). Ouimet also mentioned the upgrades to the Gemini Midway and new attractions and entertainment that have been added to that part of the park. Another nugget of fun at Knott’s is adding the Voyage to the Iron Reef, a 4-D interactive dark ride that has guests battling sea bullies underneath the Knott’s Boardwalk.
Coming in 2015, includes Fury325 at Carowinds in Charlotte, NC, which will be over the main entrance, much like GateKeeper at Cedar Point. The coaster is designed after a swarm of angry hornets and goes up to 95 MPH (now, that’s an angry pack of hornets!!) It’s a giga-coaster, meaning it’s lift hill is over 300 feet and is part of over $50 million that Cedar Fair is investing into the park. The ride will have a three 32 passenger open air trains and after dropping down from the 325 foot hill, there’s a nasty 81 degree first drop. There’s 6,602 feet of track and lasts a bit over three minutes and is built by, you guessed it, B&M from Switzerland.
As for the flagship Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH, the park is undergoing changes with converting the Mantis coaster into Rougarou, including adding floorless trains. Ouimet described the Mantis as a less popular ride which is being revamped into a better experience for guests. (Deatils on Rougaru here)
The Point is adding a world famous Quaker Steak and Lube while also completely renovating their historic Hotel Breakers with new looks, furniture, and amenities in the rooms and throughout the hotel. Despite the legendary hospitality venue losing it’s landmark status over a decade ago due to doing renovations that lost that certification, the amusement company is fully committed to modern and upgraded features to keeping guests picking their hotels during every stay. Guests at Winter Chill-Out also were informed of SweetSpot candy store coming to Cedar Point’s Midway and the removal of the Turnpike Cars and Good Times Theatre for future expansion. Kings Island is also in the midst of adding a SweetSpot on International Street as well as an expanded Starbucks as well as updating rides in their Planet Snoopy kids area.
Cedar Point is always great to their guests and even played host to a Guest Appreciation Day last year! Let’s hope for a return event in 2015!
Cedar Fair will always bring us excitement and new things to look forward to each year and Matt appears to outline some awesome park upgrades and expansions. Keep it locked here and on our social media channels listed below for updates and breaking news!
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