Spinning Rides

Red Cross’ WindSeeker First Rider Fund-Raiser Offers a Night of Firsts!

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Cedar Point Press Release

SANDUSKY, Ohio – Sporting a new look and format, this year’s Red Cross First Rider and Party at Pink’s hosted by Cedar Point will offer participants rides on the park’s new WindSeeker towering swing ride and more!

For starters, the new-look event will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 13, the night before the Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park/resort will open for its 142nd season.
That night, special guests will be treated to rides on the 301-foot-tall WindSeeker, (Riders must be at least 52 inches tall.), complimentary hot dogs at Pink’s, Cedar Point’s new gourmet hot dog stand, and a preview performance of Tropical Heat, Island Beat that will be presented at the Red Garter Saloon throughout the summer.  (WindSeeker will be the only ride that will be in operation that night.)

Participants will also receive free parking and guests who preregister for the event will automatically be entered in a drawing for special prizes that will include WindSeeker merchandise and membership to the Great Ohio Coaster Club (GOCC).  All WindSeeker riders will also receive a commemorative medallion.

To register, interested guests must complete the entry form on the event’s website (www.firelandsredcross.org) by Thursday, May 12.  Preregistration will begin immediately.  There will also be day-of event registration at the Guest Services Booth at Cedar Point on that night.  Guests who register that day will also receive a Certificate of Participation.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Firelands Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Cost to participate will be $100 for riders and $50 for non-riders.  Children age 2 and under are free.

For more information about the event, please call the Firelands Chapter of the American Red Cross at 419.626.1641 or toll-free at 1.800.589.2286 or visit its website at www.firelandsredcross.org.

The 2011 Park Map (Spoilers)

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Thanks to the help of my friend, Christopher Huges (@chriswc11), I stumbled upon the 2011 park map.  It’s not the full map as it takes up half a page in the school group brochure, but it gives you an idea of what the map and park will be like next year.

WindSeeker

Starting off at Cedar Point’s new ride WindSeeker we find the the Beach Entrance is going to be placed on an angle and it looks like WindSeeker’s queue line will start by the Extrema Sports Stadium as shown in the animation.

Chaos

We all knew it was coming, it looks like Chaos is leaving and a 3-point challenge is going in it’s spot.  As seen in the next image, it looks like the Demon Drop 3-point challenge has vanished from the map.

Ocean Motion

Cedar Point’s other “new” ride for 2011 is Ocean Motion.  Moving from it old location where WindSeeker is going to the Demon Drop’s old site.  A pond will be placed next to it to add to the theme of the ride.  As you can see the 3-point challenge is no longer shown.

Cedar Point Off-Season (January 17, 2011)

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Cedar Point - Off-Season Welcome Sign

For my first trip of the year, I had the opportunity to visit the park in the winter off-season. Mr. Innes was very nice and agreed to take myself and a few select CP Guide members on a tour of the main midway, wicked twister midway, and a small part of the wildcat midway.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Bay View

Cedar Point - Off-Season Toll Booths

To start we walked through the Hotel Breaker’s parking lot and saw the roller coaster cars awaiting a winter check-up.

Cedar Point - Coaster Cars

Cedar Point - Coaster Cars

Cedar Point - Coaster Cars

Cedar Point - Coaster Cars

Then we moved on to the WindSeeker construction site.  They had just poured the foundation the Friday before and they were working on setting up the concert mold for the ride base.

Cedar Point - WindSeeker Construction

Cedar Point - WindSeeker Construction

The concert they used was special concrete that need to be done in one pour, the reason behind the giant concert pour.  The foundation is 60ft by 60ft and the ride will go down 6ft.

Cedar Point - WindSeeker Construction

Cedar Point - WindSeeker Construction

Cedar Point - WindSeeker Construction

The ride is currently scheduled to open on opening day, but so was Shoot the Rapids, so we will have to see.

Cedar Point - WindSeeker Construction

Moving down the midway, we find Chaos, or the spot Chaos used to occupy.  Chaos is undergoing its off-season maintenance, but it doesn’t sound like it’s coming back.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Chaos Gone

Troika, like Chaos has been taken apart for its off-season maintenance, the rumor circulating is the Troika will go to Chaos’ spot and open up space for Disaster Transport to be replaced with a new coaster. Of course, this is just a rumor, and I don’t have any real facts to support it.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Troika

Cedar Point - Off-Season Troika

Throughout the park many rides have been shrink-wrapped; maXair is one of them as well as the test seat.

Cedar Point - Off-Season maXair

On the main midway, the games are all closed up as expected and Raptor was hibernating until May.

Cedar Point - Off-Season maXair Area

Cedar Point - Off-Season Johnny Rockets

Cedar Point - Off-Season Midway Games

Cedar Point - Off-Season Main Midway

Ocean Motion, on the other hand, will be getting a new home at the old Demon Drop location and it will be complemented with a pond when it opens in May. In the Blue Streak area, we find Calypso taken apart for its maintenance.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Calypso

Boo Hill has been reverted to its normal season look and the Blue Streak was nicely covered with snow.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Blue Streak

Cedar Point - Off-Season Blue Streak

Cedar Point - Off-Season Raptor

Moving onto the Wildcat Midway, we find that Dodgems has been enclosed so the floor doesn’t get ruined and Wildcat’s queue ramps have been taken apart for easy access to the track for car removal.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Corkscrew

Cedar Point - Off-Season Dodgems

Cedar Point - Off-Season Wildcat

Many of the fences around the park have also been removed for easier access to the rides.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Iron Dragon

The train cars for the CP and LE Railroad are at different parts of the track: one set back in Frontier Town and one is parked by the Mantis.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Train Cars

Moving on to Millennium Force, we find two cars left on the midway.  Of course we all went crazy taking pictures of it and the brand new wheels.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Millennium Force Car

Cedar Point - Off-Season Millennium Force Wheels

Cedar Point - Off-Season Millennium Force Wheels

Cedar Point - Off-Season Millennium Force

Cedar Point - Off-Season Millennium Force Car

Cedar Point - Off-Season Millennium Force Car

Cedar Point - Off-Season Millennium Force Wheels

Cedar Point - Off-Season Frontier Trail

Cedar Point - Off-Season Millennium Force

Ending the tour, we walked back down the Wildcat midway and by Scrambler and Matterhorn.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Skyride Station

Cedar Point - Off-Season Main Midway

Cedar Point - Off-Season Scrambler

Cedar Point - Off-Season Matterhorn

We passed Kinzel’s Castel and through the parking lot of coaster cars.

Cedar Point - Cedar Fair Corporate Offices

Cedar Point - Off-Season Power Tower

Cedar Point - Off-Season Top Thrill Dragster and Magnum XL-200

Cedar Point - Off-Season Hotel Breakers

On the way out I took some pictures of Mean Streak’s off-season track work and some views of the park from the road.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Challenge Racing

Cedar Point - Off-Season Mean Streak

Cedar Point - Off-Season Mean Streak

Cedar Point - Off-Season Blue Streak

Cedar Point - Off-Season Cadillac Cars

To finish the day I took a picture of me in front of the “Welcome to Cedar Point” sign.

Cedar Point - Off-Season Welcome Sign

Cedar Point - Off-Season Welcome Sign

Cedar Point - Off-Season Welcome Sign

As you might expect, those were only a small chuck of the pictures we took, click here to view all 150 pictures on flickr.

Cedar Point to Pour WindSeeker Foundation Tomorrow

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Cedar Point Press Release

SANDUSKY, Ohio – Although there is ice on the lake and snow on the ground, the Cedar Point Beach will be a hub of activity tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 14) when the concrete foundation for its new ride, the 301-foot-tall WindSeeker swing ride, will be poured.

Weather permitting, more than 1,600 tons of concrete will be needed to build the 30-story ride’s foundation.  The dimensions of the foundation are 60 feet by 60 feet by 6 feet deep and will require more than 800 cubic yards of concrete.  Prior to the pour, more than 36 tons of steel rebar and 176 steel anchor bolts were placed in position.

Overall, the total weight of the foundation will be more than 3.3 million pounds or 1,650-plus tons of concrete and steel.

The Adena Corporation, Mansfield, will build the foundation while Huron Cement, Huron, will deliver the concrete.  The pour is scheduled to begin at approximately 7 a.m. and should be completed by 5 p.m.  A fleet of 14 trucks will make 80 continuous trips to the park to transport the concrete to the park.

To watch the construction progress, Cedar Point’s web site: cedarpoint.com will have two of its webcams covering all of the activities.  You can also follow the conversation about the construction via Cedar Point’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Costing more than $5 million to build, WindSeeker will stand more than 30 stories above the Cedar Point Beach.  Seated in two-passenger swings with their feet dangling in the air, riders will be treated to breathtaking views of Cedar Point, Lake Erie and the Cedar Point Beach.

Cedar Point will open for the summer on Saturday, May 14.

Cedar Fair says patent dispute won’t halt development of new rides

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From the Sandusky Register

SANDUSKY

Cedar Fair officials say that when they bought four new WindSeeker rides, they were seeking riders, not a legal dispute.

But they say an argument over whether the ride violates a U.S. patent won’t slow deployment of the rides.

The amusement park chain announced Tuesday that it bought four WindSeeker rides, one each for its Cedar Point, Canada’s Wonderland, Kings Island and Knott’s Berry Farm amusement parks. The 301-foot-high ride spins riders high into the air.

The Funtime Group, an Australian company, says the WindSeeker is based on its own StarFlyer ride.

Brian Mirfin, the owner of the company, said he thought he had a deal brewing to sell StarFlyer rides to Cedar Fair after a delegation of Cedar Fair officials, including CEO Dick Kinzel, visited the Magical Midway in Orlando on Jan. 25, which has the only StarFlyer in the U.S.

Mirfin said that after the sale somehow fell through, he found out that Cedar Fair was buying a very similar new ride from Mondial.

“It’s almost like Mondial’s plagiarizing our idea,” said Mirfin. “It makes us very, very angry. …Now, not only do we not get the contract, now we’ve got to get into litigation.”

Mondial has not answered two e-mails asking for comment, but Stacy Frole, Cedar Fair’s director of investor relations, said Mondial’s U.S. patent attorney has told Cedar Fair that Funtime’s claim has no merit.

It is standard procedure that when Cedar Fair buys new rides, the contract has a provision that “would insulate us from intellectual property claims,” Frole said.

“We’re comfortable with our agreement with Mondial and we’re excited to build WindSeeker,” she said.

Robin Innes, a Cedar Point spokesman, said it’s normal for Cedar Point to talk to more than one ride vendor when considering a new ride.

It’s like buying a new car and going from dealership to dealership, he said.

“You look around and you see what fits best for you,” said Innes, who said Cedar Point is considering Funtime’s claim but has the legal brief from Mondial’s lawyer saying the claim has no merit.

Tony Handal, a Connecticut attorney specializing in patent law who represents Funtime, said Cedar Fair officials have told him they are considering the claim and have said they expect to get back to Handal within a few days.

Handal said he is “absolutely” confident his client has a legitimate patent claim.

Park World Online, apparently citing a Mondial press release, published an article on Feb. 2 this year about Mondial’s new ride.

“Designed following requests from clients who wanted a StarFlyer-style ride they could still operate within normal wind conditions, the WindSeeker is the result,” the article stated.

After the Sandusky Register published an article and blog posting quoting the Park World article, the wording of the article was changed. It now says the ride was developed “following requests from clients who wanted a tall swing ride they could still operate within normal wind conditions.”

Park World Online did not respond to an e-mail asking why it changed the wording.

For more coverage of “Ride Wars” click here.

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