From the Sandusky Register

SANDUSKY

As Cedar Point begins to shuffle an old ride off stage, a new star is preparing to make its entrance.

The amusement park has put an old ride, the Ocean Motion, up for sale, and begun dropping clues about the new ride it will debut next year.

Offers for Ocean Motion are being taken by Ital International, which sells new and used rides. The ride is identified on Ital’s website as a Huss Pirate Ship, reference No. 1392.

The asking price is $179,000.

“In our industry, this is a very good ride,” said Carlo Guglielmi, founder and chief manager of Ital. “It’s a classic in the business.”

Ocean Motion is in good shape, well made and would cost more than a $1 million as a new ride, he said.

Cedar Point spokesman Robin Innes said Ocean Motion, which dates back to 1981, is less of a drawing card for Cedar Point than newer rides at the park. Reviewers discussing the ride at the ThemePark Critics website note that “short lines” are a major attraction for the ride. A YouTube user who posted a video of the ride labeled it “lackluster” and wrote, “this ride in hardly popular anymore.”

Fans, however, have noted on the internet that the ride is well-landscaped and that the beach location adds to the ride’s ambiance.

Jeff Putz, webmaster for Pointbuzz.com, said a swinging ship ride is “kind of a staple of theme parks everywhere. The fact that they are selling it surprises me.”

It’s also a surprise considering that Cedar Point has made a considerable investment to keep the ride in good shape, Putz said.

Construction markers near the ride have given rise to speculation that the space vacated by Ocean Motion will be used for the new ride.

Cedar Point announced Tuesday that it will reveal its plans for 2011 at 2 p.m. Tuesday. It began posting  clues about the new ride from its Facebook site. Tuesday’s clue linked to lesson plans for teaching students how to make a wind detector.

Over the weekend, the amusement park celebrated getting more than 500,000 Facebook fans by posting a clue about the new ride. The clue is “IEItRmA,” which unscrambles as “airtime.”

That’s not much of a clue, because most of the rides at Cedar Point spend time in the air, Putz said.

He said he’s confident the new ride will not be a roller coaster but will be a thrill ride with broad appeal.

Speculation has been rife at roller coaster websites that the new ride may be a ride resembling the StarFlyer, a ride made in Australia. At Vienna’s Prater Park, the ride has a tower 236 feet tall that spins guests seated in chairs at the end of a chain.

Roller coaster fans at a Dutch website have pointed out that Mondial, a Dutch ride manufacturer, is producing a new ride that resembles the StarFlyer but can operate against stronger winds.

Mondial said early this year that it designed the Wind Seeker ride “following requests from clients who wanted a Star Flyer-style ride they could still operate within normal wind conditions.” The company said then that “negotiations are currently under way to find the first client.”

Ocean Motion facts

• Manufactured by HUSS Park Attractions, Bremen, Germany

• Debuted in 1981 at Cedar Point

• Seats 54 people

• A boat that swings back and forth in the air

• Located next to the beach in the northeast part of the amusement park