Archive for July, 2009

Starlight Experience Behind the Scenes

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G.A. Boeckling’s Eerie Estate Outside in Summer

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Anniversary Week

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Join Cedar Point as they celebrate anniversaries of some of our biggest and best coasters on Monday thru Friday, July 27-31, 2009.

Cedar Point Press Release

SANDUSKY, Ohio, — With 75 rides including 17 roller coasters, Cedar Point is known around the world for having more rides and more roller coasters than any park in the world.  This summer six of the Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park/resort’s roller coasters are celebrating special anniversaries.  To commemorate this special occasion, Cedar Point will be honoring each of the six classic coasters with its own special day during “Roller Coaster Anniversary Week.”

Celebrating special anniversaries this summer are:  Blue Streak (45 years); Cedar Creek Mine Ride (40 years); Jr. Gemini (30 years); Magnum XL-200 (20 years); Raptor (15 years); and Woodstock Express (10 years).

Beginning Monday, July 27 through Friday, July 31, “Roller Coaster Anniversary Week” will honor a different coaster each day with a short ceremony held at the entrance of the featured coaster at 10 a.m.  Following the ceremony, a commemorative ride pin will be given out to the lucky riders in line.  At the exit, the first 250 riders will also receive free birthday ice cream, courtesy of Toft Dairy, Sandusky.  In addition, guests can enjoy trivia from the year the rides were built at the coaster queue.

The schedule for “Roller Coaster Anniversary Week” will be: Monday, July 27:  Jr. Gemini and Woodstock Express; Tuesday, July 28:  Blue Streak; Wednesday, July 29:  Cedar Creek Mine Ride; Thursday, July 30:  Magnum XL-200; and Friday, July 31:  Raptor.
For more about the coasters of Cedar Point, as well as Roller Coaster Anniversary Week, guests can log on to cedarpoint.com or call the Cedar Point Information line at 419.627.2350.

Wallenda takes sky walk on Cedar Point’s Sky Ride

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From the Sandusky Register

SANDUSKY

Somewhere around 30 steps into this whole spectacle, there is the unmistakable sound of a few thousand people simultaneously letting out a quick gasp.

“This guy is insane,” says Jerry Wright, 41, of Norwalk. “Oh, he is definitely crazy.”

It’s minutes past 5 p.m. on Sunday. Wright and thousands of other thrill-seekers are packed hip-to-hip along the boardwalk inside Cedar Point, where every face is turned upward, staring at the man who’s tiptoeing along the cables of the amusement park’s nine-story cable car ride, the Sky Ride.

“He’s still got a long way to walk,” Wright says. “He’s got to be doing some serious concentrating up there.”

Thousands of eyes are locked onto the man as his feet wobble, for a brief second. The wind isn’t terribly strong, but at 25 mph the breeze is steady and solid and the gondola cables are bobbing a bit.

The guy on the wire pauses and appears to mutter something under his breath, something only the seagulls could hear at that height.

A second later, the man settles his feet and continues walking. For the rest of the 400 or so steps, he doesn’t falter. He pauses only a few times to bow on a knee and steady himself, and once to wipe some sweat from his brow.

He ends the journey by lying backwards on the wire and pumping his fists in the air triumphantly. As a finishing touch, he gets up and does a little Fred Astaire-like dance before he hops off the wire and into the hydraulic lift that’s waiting for him at the other end of the cable.

It’s an impossible and amazing display of dexterity and fearlessness.

“I think he’s crazy, he’s insane,” says Jackie Findish, of Amherst. “But he’s awesome. Awesome.”

This is the life of Nik Wallenda.

Thousands of Cedar Point visitors witnessed a dazzling display Sunday when Wallenda, 30, a world record-holding highwire artist from Florida, traipsed across a section of wires at the gondola’s highest point. The breath-taking performance kicked off promptly at 5 p.m. as Wallenda was taken to the gondola wire by a hydraulic lift. He hopped effortlessly into position and toed his way across more than 300 feet of wire nine stories up, accompanied only by a curious seagull that flew within a few dozen feet of him.

Wallenda later admitted the winds were a little stronger than he’d wanted, and it caused his heart-stopping wobble about 30 steps into his 13-minute act.

“I definitely felt the wind,” Wallenda said nonchalantly as he signed autographs after his performance. “They were gusts up to 25 mile per hour.”

Robin Innes, Cedar Point’s marketing director, said it was Wallenda’s sixth appearance at a Cedar Fair park this summer, all part of a promotion the company has been offering to draw crowds. By all accounts, it did exactly that on Sunday.

“I’m scared just to get up on an extension ladder,” said Roger Dearsman, of Green Springs, who watched Wallenda’s act. “You wouldn’t catch me up there, no way.”

Dearsman’s wife, Evelyn, said she looked away every time Wallenda paused.

“I can’t watch it,” she said. “I have to turn away.”

There were no gimmicks like harnesses or safety nets to stay the concerns of the crowd, either. Wallenda walked across the entire section of wiring using only a balancing pole to steady himself.

The only assistance Wallenda received came from 20 Cedar Point workers on the ground, who were each harnessed to 20 cables attached to the gondola wire at 10-foot intervals. Every time Wallenda got to a 10-foot section, the workers pulled taut their own wires to help stable the gondola wire.

Save for the annoying wind, Wallenda said the biggest challenge came in walking on the thick gondola wire, which wasn’t something he was used to. He said he typically uses his own cables — thinner cables — for his acts.

Wallenda has been a lifelong highwire artist, and comes from a family of level-headed types just like himself. The Flying Wallendas have seven generations of performers who are internationally known for their high-altitude feats.

The family’s history is proof positive there’s no backup plan or secret safety mechanisms to catch the performers if they make a mistake. Karl Wallenda, Nik’s great-grandfather, died in 1978 in Puerto Rico when he fell to his death from a highwire. Bad rigging was blamed for the death, according to Wallenda’s Web site.

Sunday’s show at Cedar Point paled in comparison to Nik Wallenda’s accomplishment last October in New Jersey, where he set the world record for the longest distance and greatest height ever traveled by bicycle on a high wire. He rode a bicycle on a wire that was attached to Newark’s Prudential building, 20 stories high.

Nik Wallenda

Nik Wallenda’s Walk Across America Tour

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Watch world-famous high-wire walker Nik Wallenda walk across the Sky Ride cable over the Main Midway! The big walk happens at 5 p.m on Sunday, July 26, 2009.

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