Posts tagged June 2010

Cedar Point’s Shoot the Rapids finally makes a splash

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From the Sandusky Register

SANDUSKY

The first splash came at 10:40 a.m.

The new Shoot the Rapids water ride finally began, after several weeks of delay while Cedar Point officials fixed the ride’s problems.

The first riders were 24 people who bid in a Red Cross charity auction for the privilege.

When that was completed — that first group actually got two rides apiece — it was opened up to the general public.

Cedar Point spokesman Robin Innes estimated that about 8,000 people would ride it on the first day.

Jeff Harper, 43, a Southfield, Mich., resident who bid $105 to be one of the first riders, said that although the ride is aimed at the entire family, its two hills make it substantial enough to please coaster fans.

“I think a lot of the coaster fans will really enjoy those drops,” Harper said. “Those are good drops.”

Harper can draw on plenty of experience when discussing Shoot the Rapids. He has been on 682 roller coasters in 191 amusement parks.

“Cedar Point is my favorite in all those parks,” he said.

“It was great. The first splashdown was the best. Really good stuff,” said Andy Rybarczyk, 28, of Chicago, who drove four and a half hours to get to Sandusky.

Rybarczyk had spent the whole winter watching the construction of Shoot the Rapids on a Cedar Point webcam and decided he’d be one of the first riders. He bid $125.

Cedar Point is marketing the ride as suitable for all ages. The youngest first rider Saturday was Abe Haprian, 8, of Wadsworth, Ohio. The oldest was his grandmother, Meredith Hickey, 70, Huron.

Cedar Point officials had not been completely sure the ride would launch on Saturday. It flunked a Thursday night state inspection, but inspectors from the Department of Agriculture returned Saturday morning to complete the licensing process.

Innes did not specify what the last-minute mechanical hitches were, but said Cedar Point and the state inspectors agreed to raise the height requirement for Shoot the Rapids. It had been 42 inches. That was raised to 46 inches for a person accompanied by an older adult, and 48 inches for a person riding by himself.

Shoot the Rapids originally had been supposed to open on May 15. That was delayed to May 29, and then was delayed further. Although other rides have launched behind schedule, the six-week delay for Shoot the Rapids was the longest ever logged for a Cedar Point ride, at least within recent memory, Innes said.

The Firelands Chapter of the American Red Cross has been having auctions for first riders since 1994, and has raised $150,500 with those auctions, said Judy Kinzel, who is active in the local chapter. Shoot the Rapids raised $7,000.

Not everyone could attend Saturday’s debut on short notice — the ride’s launch was announced Thursday — so a few of the people claiming the first 30 seats will come later.

Each rider who won a spot in the auction received the first two official rides on Shoot the Rapids and all-day admission to the park. They also got yellow Shoot the Rapids rain slickers, a Cedar Point mug, a Cedar Point beach towel, a Cedar Point T-shirt, a commemorative medallion and a certificate.

The highest bidder was Jeffrey Brashares of Columbus who bid a total of $2,400, or $800 apiece, to put himself and two family members on the ride. As the top bidder, Brashares got the first pick of available seats.

Cedar Point’s New Shoot the Rapids Water Ride Opens For The Summer

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Cedar Point Press Release

SANDUSKY, Ohio — Cedar Point’s Shoot the Rapids water ride is now open!

The newest ride at the Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park/resort, Shoot the Rapids, opened for the season earlier today, Saturday, June 26.

“The first hill rocks,” said Jeff Braschares, from Delaware, Ohio, who rode the new water ride with his wife and 9-year-old daughter.  “You get super wet at the bottom of the first hill!”

Located on the Frontier Trail, Shoot the Rapids is Cedar Point’s third water ride.  The new family thrill ride features two hills and two splash landings.  The first hill is 85 feet-tall, one of the tallest water ride hills in the world, while the second hill crests 49 feet above the ground.  At the bottom of the first hill, boats are traveling nearly 50 mph!  To ride Shoot the Rapids, guests must be at least 48 inches tall or 46 inches tall and accompanied by a responsible adult.

Shoot the Rapids uses more than 730,000 gallons of water.  The 2,100-foot journey carries riders through a dark mist-filled tunnel and in between canyon walls with spraying water before sending the boats skimming across churning rapids at the bottom of the ride’s second hill.

Non-riders can also join in the fun.  Eight water geysers are located along the ride’s meandering course.  For only 25 cents, guests who want to stay dry can launch bursts of water at unsuspecting riders from an observation deck located near the bottom the ride’s grand finale!

Eight-year-old Abe Haprian of Wadsworth, Ohio, described the park’s newest ride in one word:  “Awesome!”  The first hill was cool and the geysers are really neat.  Everybody gets wet!”

With the opening of Shoot the Rapids, Cedar Point now has 75 rides, including 17 roller coasters, more rides and more coasters than any park in the world.

In addition to Shoot the Rapids, the park has introduced five new shows to its entertainment package.  This summer’s new shows range from country classics and a real-life version of MTV’s Rock Band video game to a high-energy ice skating show featuring Snoopy and the PEANUTS characters.

For more information, visit cedarpoint.com or call the park’s General Information Line at 419.627.2350.

Shoot the Rapids gets green light and splash down

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From the Sandusky Register

SANDUSKY

It’s finally here!

UPDATE: 10:40 a.m.

Inspectors and Cedar Point officials smoothed out last-minute snags and 24 Red Cross highest bidders took the inaugural ride today.

The ride is expected to be open through the weekend, barring any other problems.

Cedar Point official expect 8,000 people will ride the new offering on Saturday alone.

Shoot the Rapids snagged in inspection BREAKING NEWS (7:22 p.m. Friday)

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From the Sandusky Register

SANDUSKY

The wait for the inaugural splash has ended. Well, maybe.

UPDATED 7:15 p.m. Friday:

Cedar Point is battling last-minute snags as it works to try to get its new Shoot the Rapids water ride opened on the weekend.

“We have experienced some last-minute delays that may prevent the ride from opening,” said park spokesman Robin Innes, emphasizing the word “may.”

He said the park is working with the manufacturer to work through the problems, which he declined to describe.

On Thursday, leaders at Cedar Point said they plan to launch the new Shoot the Rapids water ride on Saturday…

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Ready, set, flow: Shoot the Rapids could launch Saturday

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From the Sandusky Register

SANDUSKY

The wait for the inaugural splash has ended.

Leaders at Cedar Point said they plan to launch the new Shoot the Rapids water ride on Saturday.

“GREAT NEWS! Shoot the Rapids is scheduled to open THIS SATURDAY, June 26 RT PLZ!” the park announced at about 3:50 p.m. Thursday on its Twitter feed.

The last two abbreviations are Twitter-speak, translated into English as, “Please spread around this announcement.”

A similar bulletin went out at the same time on Cedar Point’s Facebook feed, prompting hundreds of responses almost immediately. At about the same time, the Sandusky Register posted a bulletin on its website.

To clear the way for the ride’s launch, Cedar Point on Thursday asked the Department of Agriculture’s ride inspectors to inspect the ride.

As of Thursday afternoon, inspectors were tentatively scheduled to look at the ride at 10 p.m., said Kaleigh Frazier, a Department of Agriculture spokeswoman. A successful inspection means the ride will get a license to operate.

The first official ride is scheduled for about 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Thirty people bid in a charity auction to become the first official riders, and they’ll also get an official certificate attesting to the moment. The auction’s proceeds go to the Firelands Chapter of the American Red Cross.

One of the 30 riders had to drop out — a soldier who was sent to Iraq. The Firelands Chapter is checking to see if the other 29 riders can still make it.

After getting the official word late Thursday afternoon that the Saturday launch is on, the Red Cross began calling winning bidders to find out who can attend Saturday’s inaugural launch.

“We have to find out who is still able to come on short notice,” said Rod Rude, of the Firelands Red Cross chapter.

“We’ve left a lot of messages. I really don’t know how we stand,” Rude said Thursday. “We’ll have a better idea tomorrow.”

The twice-delayed ride was originally supposed to launch on May 16. That date was then bumped to May 29. When that date passed, too, Cedar Point promised it would make no further announcements until officials were absolutely sure the ride is ready.

Problems with the boats forced Cedar Point to retool the ride.

Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair’s president, chairman and CEO, has said the boats were initially the wrong size.

Maryland-based Intaride LLC created Shoot the Rapids, a 2,100-foot ride that cost more than $10.5 million.

Billed as a thrill ride the whole family can enjoy, the ride lasts three minutes and drops riders from two separate hills.

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