By Chris Cowan
Almost all of the historical information prior to the
1970's was obtained from Cedar
Point's web site at
Thanks to Mark Harris for brochure scans.
1870 – Louis Zistel
arranges to have the first
guests to the 364-acre peninsula brought across Sandusky Bay by steamboat.
Swimming, picnicking and camping were the main activities.
The Grand Pavilion is added in response
to other resorts that have been built in nearby communities. It features a
large dining room, an auditorium and a bowling alley.
Cedar Point’s first roller coaster, the
Switchback Railway is added. It stands 25 feet tall and reaches speeds of
10 miles per hour. Cars must be manually pushed back to the top.
1897 – George Arthur Boeckling forms
Point Pleasure Resort Company, which purchases Cedar Point for $256,000.
Flower gardens and a pony track are added.
The boardwalks are repaired and the buildings are all repainted.
The Grand Pavilion’s auditorium is redecorated.
The bathhouses are renovated and 3000 bathing suits are made available for
1900 – The
Switchback Railway roller coaster is
1901 – The White House, Cedar Point’s first
hotel, opens with 55 rooms.
new roller coaster, the Three Way Figure Eight Roller Toboggan, is
The Ladies Pavilion is moved closer to the beach and becomes the main
entrance to the bathhouse.
Flowerbeds are added to the lawns along the beach.
The bathhouse is expanded to 500 changing rooms.
merry-go-round is added.
Two new wings are built onto the White House hotel, adding another 70
A 1200-seat Opera House is constructed.
The Grand Pavilion is remodeled, with the second floor
becoming a dance hall and the first floor consisting of a café, lunchroom
new restaurant, The Crystal Rock Castle (named after a local beer),
is added and features sunken gardens.
covered wharf is installed on the landing where the ferries dock for guest
arrivals and departures.
An outside stairway is added to The Grand Pavilion between the first
and second floors.
The Hotel Breakers opens on July 12 with 600 rooms and also features
the Breakers Café, which seats 400 guests.
The swampy and mosquito-infested northern end of the peninsula is drained
into three miles of specially built lagoons.
The bathhouse is enlarged to 1000 changing rooms.
The boardwalk is renovated and expanded.
In the beach area, 5000 trees, shrubs and plants are added.
Cedar Point’s first midway, The
Amusement Circle, is added. Attractions include:
o The Circle Swings,
o Miniature Railway,
o Skating Rink,
o House of Mirth and
o Shooting Gallery.
The Coliseum, a 2-story, 90000-square-foot building is built,
featuring a dance hall.
Two dormitories are constructed to house the seasonal workers.
A new dock is added on the western end
of the peninsula to accommodate the larger ships which are now bringing
passengers directly from cities on Lake Erie to Cedar Point.
walkway is constructed from the dock to the resort area.
Another roller coaster, The Scenic Railway, is added to the
Amusement Circle. It stands 53 feet high, is over 4000 feet long,
and features 18 dips.
The skating rink is removed and replaced with Mundy’s Trained Wild Animal
Two new restrooms and a check room are constructed.
Steamboat service from Detroit and Toledo is added.
1909 – A new ferry, christened the “G.A. Boeckling”, begins carrying up to 2000 passengers per trip across
The bathhouse is rebuilt to accommodate 5000 guests.
Due to the bathhouse construction, the Three Way Figure Eight Roller
Toboggan is moved further down the beach, rebuilt, and renamed The
1912 – The
the Dips Scenic Railway roller coaster is added.
– The seven mile long Cedar Point Road,
connecting the peninsula to the mainland, opens.
1915 – The White House hotel is renovated and
renamed The Cedars Hotel.
1918 – The Scenic Railway roller coaster is reprofiled to 70 feet tall and renamed
Leap Frog Railway.
Bon Air wing, a 3-story, 160-room
addition to the Hotel Breakers, opens.
The entrance to
Cedar Point Road is moved.
Since alcohol can no longer be served due to Prohibition, The Crystal
Rock Castle restaurant is converted into a sandwich shop.
Caterpillar flat ride is added.
– Noah’s Ark, The Scooter Ride, Tilt-a-Whirl and Shoot the Chutes are added.
Cyclone, a 72-foot-tall roller
coaster designed by Harry Traver, replaces the Racer.
The stock market crashes late this year and the Great Depression
1931 – George Boeckling dies.
The Leap Frog Railway roller coaster is rebuilt and renamed High
The Tumble Bug is added.
1935 – The
the Dips Scenic Railway roller coaster is removed.
1939 – The dance hall on the second floor of
the Coliseum is renovated and renamed the Coliseum Ballroom. “Big Bands”
are hired to provide live entertainment.
1940 – The High Frolics roller coaster is
– The Ferris Wheel, Merry-Go-Round, Moon Rocket, Octopus,
and Rocket Ships are added.
1946 – The Midway Carousel, which is
Point’s oldest existing ride, is added.
The park’s last remaining roller
coaster, The Cyclone, is removed.
The ferry “G.A. Boeckling” is retired
from service after Labor Day.
1952 – A new ten-ride
1956 – A real
estate group headed by George Roose and Emile Legros purchase the entire
peninsula and announce plans to close the Cedar Point resort and build a
housing development. However, the amusement park’s lease runs until 1959.
1957 – A new, shorter causeway between Route 6
and the peninsula, constructed at a cost of $600,000, opens.
1958 – Encouraged
by Cedar Point’s small profit under their first year of management,
and Legros decide to abandon their housing development plans and concentrate
on rebuilding the park.
Wild Mouse, a steel tracked roller
coaster, is added along with a Monorail and the Turnpike Cars.
A new bathhouse is constructed.
The Cedar Point Marina debuts.
The Cadillac Cars are added.
Noah’s Ark, the Crystal Rock Castle and the larger bathhouse
The Rotor, the Sky Wheel and the Western Cruise
paddlewheel boats are added.
A miniature golf course is constructed next to the Coliseum.
The Sky Ride is added.
The Wild Mouse is removed.
1963 – The Mill Race log flume and the
Point and Lake Erie” Railroad are added.
The Blue Streak
(John Allen/PTC wooden roller coaster) is added.
Monorail is removed.
The Space Spiral tower is added.
Safari Island debuts.
Attendance this year surpasses 2 million for the first time.
San Francisco Earthquake and Pirate
Ride, both purchased from Freedomland in New York, debut.
The Hollywood Wax Museum is added.
“Live Shows” department is formed to create and perform all of the
live entertainment throughout the park.
Frontiertown, the park’s first themed area, is added. It
includes the Shoot the Rapids log flume, a train station for the
railroad and a gift shop.
Cedar Downs, bought from Euclid Beach in Cleveland, debuts.
1968 – The Frontier Lift sky ride is added to
connect Frontiertown with the main midway.
1969 – The Cedar Creek Mine Ride (Arrow steel
mine train coaster) is added to Frontiertown.
1970 – Wildcat, a Schwarzkopf portable steel
roller coaster, is added, along with The Centennial Theatre and Million
1971 – The Frontier Trail walkway is added to
connect Frontiertown with the main midway.
1972 – Jumbo Jet (Schwarzkopf
Jet Star 3 steel
roller coaster) and the Giant Wheel are added.
1975 – Cedar Point IMAX Cinema
Corkscrew ($1.75 million Arrow steel
roller coaster), the first coaster in the world to turn riders upside down
three times, is added, along with Troika and Dodgem 1.
1977 – The Witch’s Wheel is added.
Gemini (a duel tracked Arrow racing roller coaster with wooden
structure and tubular steel track) is added at a cost of $3.4 million.
Jumbo Jet is removed.
1979 – Jr. Gemini (Intamin steel children’s
roller coaster) and the Wave Swinger are added.
Oceana is added.
Ocean Motion is added.
Sky Wheel is
White Water Landing and Kid Arthur’s Court are added.
Shoot the Rapids is removed.
Demon Drop (Intamin Freefall) is added.
Avalanche Run ($7.4 million Intamin
bobsled roller coaster), Schwabinchen and Bearenstein Bear Country
The Frontier Lift, Rotor and San Francisco Earthquake
Admission this year is $13.95.
Thunder Canyon (white water rafting
ride) is added.
Iron Dragon (Arrow steel suspended roller coaster) is added for $4
Monster is moved to the Gemini midway.
Western Cruise is moved to the Gemini midway and renamed
The “Soak City” water park debuts.
Magnum XL-200, an Arrow steel “hyper”
coaster, is added at a cost of $8 million. It’s the first roller coaster to
reach a height over 200 feet and the first to reach speeds over 70 miles per
Admission this year is $18.50.
Avalanche Run is enclosed and renamed Disaster Transport.
The “Sandcastle Suites” hotel opens.
Admission this year is $19.95.
– Mean Streak (a $7.5 million Summers/Dinn
coaster) debuts as the tallest, fastest and steepest wooden roller coaster
in the world.
Challenge Park, a separate area with up-charge attractions, debuts
with Grand Prix (Go Karts) and Challenge Golf.
The “Sandcastle Suites” hotel is expanded.
Snake River Falls, a shoot the chutes water ride, is added.
The Mill Race log flume is removed.
The Midway Carousel is moved to the main gate area.
Raptor (B&M steel inverted roller coaster) is added for $11.5
The Turnpike Cars track is shortened.
The east wings of the Hotel Breakers are removed and construction
begins on their replacement.
is expanded, including Zoom Flume, Renegade River and Choo Choo
The “Cedar Point Summer Spectacular” laser light show is added.
The “Breakers East” wing is added to Hotel Breakers.
Mantis (B&M stand-up steel roller coaster) is added at a cost of $12
Rip Cord is added to Challenge Park.
Chaos flat ride is added.
Soak City is expanded again, including a 500,000-gallon wave pool,
three tube slides, an activity pool, a volleyball court, lockers, showers
and merchandise shops.
The Midway Market restaurant is added.
Pirate Ride is converted to a video arcade.
Power Tower (300 foot S&S combo tower) and Frog Hopper are
Oceana is removed.
The west wing of the Hotel Breakers is removed and construction
begins on its replacement.
Camp Snoopy children’s area is added,
featuring seven new rides, including Woodstock Express (Vekoma steel
“Rollerskater” coaster), the park’s 13th roller coaster.
10-story “Breakers Tower”, with a 5-story connecting link to the Hotel
Breakers, opens. The addition includes 230 rooms and a TGI Fridays
Snoopy Boutique replaces Berenstein Bear Country.
Attendance this year is 3.3 million.
Millennium Force (Intamin steel “giga” coaster) is added at a cost of
$25 million. It’s the first continuous-circuit roller coaster to break
the 300-foot height.
Breakers Express, a 350-room hotel, is constructed outside of the
park (off the peninsula).
The Giant Wheel is moved to the beach midway.
Kid Arthur’s Court is removed.
A “Johnny Rockets” restaurant opens,
replacing “Fascination” game room.
A new camping complex,
is built and includes 10 cottages, 50 cabins and 59 campsites.
VertiGo is added to Challenge Park.
Dodgem 1 is removed.
Attendance this year is 3.1 million.
Wicked Twister (a $9 million Intamin Impulse launched shuttle coaster) is added.
“Snoopy Rocks! On Ice”
replaces Cedar Point IMAX Cinema.
VertiGo is removed after one support
collapses during the winter.
Schwabinchen is removed at the end of the season.
Top Thrill Dragster (Intamin Rocket coaster)
is added. It's the world's first
"strata-coaster" (exceeds 400 feet) and reaches speeds of
120 mph twice: once at launch (0 to 120 mph in 4 seconds) and again coming
down the hill.
Admission this year is $43.95. Parking is $8.00.
Attendance is 3.3 million.
Lighthouse Point adds 14 new cabins.
Famous Dave's BBQ replaces the Boathouse
restaurant in the Cedar Point Marina.
Donut Time, a bakery, replaces the arcade at
the front of the park.
Game Day Grille, a sports bar, replaces the Silver Dollar Cafe.
Admission this year is $43.95. Parking is $8.00.
Attendance is 3.1 million.
MaxAir (Huss Giant Frisbee) is added.
Admission this year is $44.95. Parking is $8.00.