2019 Teasing Begins...

MichaelB's avatar

Paddlewheel excursions seems likely a possibility to me with that picture there.

GL2CP's avatar

Could be another flume type ride as well giving river tours

First ride; Magnum 1994

I have always thought Paddlewheel would make a return after Dino’s left. The river unused just doesn’t make sense to me :)

Urumqi's avatar

Put me in the team of "those who wish the paddlewheel boats do not return." Don't get me wrong, I would have loved if the park kept the attraction and would have advocated that they retain and maintain the boats. But, now that the attraction is gone and the park evolved, reinstalling Paddlewheel Excursions (or something similar) would seem and feel out of place.

Tall and fast not so much upside down...

djDaemon's avatar

On the contrary, I think PWE could be excellent specifically because the park has evolved. Given the park's recent emphasis on storytelling with new and existing rides in FT, there's opportunity for a cohesive storyline incorporating SV, Maverick, CCMR, and a revived boat ride. Throw in a flume with proper height requirement and you've got a varied assortment of experiences for the whole family, from hand-held infants to hardened enthusiasts.


I also think “Crystal Rock” is a name we need to keep an eye on. It’s showing up on a lot of these posters, and is even mentioned as a brewing company on that poster. Could this be the name for a new area of the park, or a future attraction?

Last edited by CPFanboy,
Skyhawk06's avatar

'Crystal Rock'...Maybe an improvement to the crystal rock cafe in CP shores? Maybe it's a tie in to thunder canyon?

Steel Vengeance rides: 210

I'd rather be sailing

Marina operations attendant 2021-2023

^^Crystal Rock Bottling Company (now changed to Brewing Company on those posters) was a company used in teasers for Shoot the Rapids as well as the Intimidator coasters for 2010 (tying in the moonshine theme of StR with the NASCAR theme of the two coasters).

When Shoot the Rapids was announced (and opened), boats were boarded in the "Crystal Rock Bottling Company".

Will be interesting to see what unfolds out of all of this.

shamrockcb's avatar

Booze cruise on the Paddlewheel Excursion, with the moonshine made by Boneville residents!

Paisley's avatar

Do other parks have attractions similar to Paddlewheel Excursion or was that truly unique to CP? I know Geauga lake did but I'm wondering about major parks still operating? If not bringing it back could fit nicely into the whole "place like no other" slogan. Personally I'm crossing my fingers for a massive Woodie but if we could have a Woodie and revive Paddlewheel that would be awesome.

Dvo's avatar

Disney has multiple boat rides, in Magic Kingdom alone. I'd say the most apples-to-apples comparison is Jungle Cruise.

380 MF laps
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darkrider68's avatar

I always felt, from what I've read, that Western Cruise shared DNA with Jungle Cruise. It's been said that George Roose et al. had plans to turn CP into the "Disneyland of the Midwest." Maybe the similarities between the rides are coincidental. But I can't wait to get back to Florida to get my Western, er Jungle Cruise fix!!

Last edited by darkrider68,

Enjoying the Ohio park on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie since the mid-1970s!

jimmyburke's avatar

As for CCMR, there is little doubt that it is need of something to re-energize it. Too often I hear young riders expressing how slow and boring it is. Not to mention the complaints from riders of all ages how it hurts them. It is an agonizingly slow loader, even with the efficient crews with Jake & Jacob. It is quite evident it will get something per those posters about 5 trains & 1969 2019. I look forward to what it evolves into.

I rode it today & looked very carefully for telltale signs of impending work such as survey stakes or paint marks, but didn't notice any. The only thing I could tell is the grass in the infield is in need of a mowing and there doesn't seem to be as many fish at the cat food feeding frenzy area.

It’s been said by George Roose himself. When CP was reinvented in the early 60’s many new attractions were a direct result of everything that made Disneyland attractive. It was touted as The Disneyland of the Midwest.
CP&LERR, Skyride, Satellite Jets, Stagecoach, Western Cruise, Turnpike, Cadillacs, live shows, and a frontier atmosphere in certain places were attractions that led the way.

I believe a return of a boat ride is imminent. To use StR’s station as a load area would be ideal, especially in order to finally place the ride in an area where it would be most believable, theme-wise. Then the island could be used as an area for a new coaster or something and it could approach from any direction, hopping over the lagoon waters where applicable.

I think with Witches Wheel’s removal we will see a new-fangled flat of some sort in its place.

CoasterGuy15's avatar

If a boat type attraction we added again I feel as though CP would make it an additional charge attraction (boo). But I always felt operating costs for the ferry cruiser and the upkeep for the river was the ultimate reason for its demise.

Oh, I seriously doubt CP would bring back a beloved family attraction then charge by the head to ride it. (Dino’s is an upcharge, but isn’t it also a leased attraction?) I also don’t know why they would.
I’m not sure what expense is involved in the upkeep of a river, (technically it’s not a river, ya know. It’s a man-made lagoon with water that doesn’t flow or travel anywhere), but I suppose there would be the daily inspection for fallen objects and once-a-season prep. The fact that each journey is manned by a captain takes care of the eyeball inspection part of that- many times a day, in fact.
New boats would be in order, and there would be fuel costs. Would it be more expensive than powering a coaster like Maverick or TTD? I’m not sure, but there’s always the possibility of fuel efficient water vehicles as well.
Western Cruise/Paddlewheel Excursion was always a trackless, captain-driven ride. That would be preferred, and very authentic, but there are also many efficient towing systems out there to look at. European parks (Efteling comes to mind) have attractions on large bodies of water that use underwater towing to pull smaller sized boats around. They’re efficient, continuous loading from a turntable, and very popular with park patrons. Even Efteling’s water coaster has a towing system after the final splashdown onto a lake to return boats to the station. Disney also runs their boats on a track, but also a much narrower lagoon.
I’m projecting here, and these teaser posters could be pointing to anything. But let’s not count out the possibility of a return someday. It would answer the need for another attraction everyone could ride and patrons would lap it up. The line for it would be long. I’d be all for it- after all, I’m going to need something to ride when I get *really* elderly...

I was under the understanding that Paddle Wheel left because of coaster interference of Mantis and Millenium. When it shutdown only half of the animatronics were working (much like Disaster). As much as we would like Cedar Point will never be a Disney style park with theming galore and animatronic figures. They tried that and it didn't work, maintance couldn't keep them operating.

Don't get me wrong, I would love for Paddlewheel to return, but realistically it's not going to happen. The boats are gone, they would need a whole new fleet. The special effects are gone, ask the professor he even has a new job. Half of the banks along the river are being used for halloween haunts. Besides the island is large enough to accommodate multiple attractions, why waste the space with only one that doesn't even set foot on it.

My theory is that they are looking to expand or update the lazy river in CPS. The Crystal Rock is over there and the river could use an update. Of course it would be cool if they were to say add the next coaster there next year in the form of a water coaster. You would think the roller coaster capital of the world would have a water coaster. Whatever happens lets just be assured that it will be for the better (dinos are extinct, let them go)

Pete's avatar

There was no interference with Mantis or Millenium. When Mantis was built a new channel was dug shortening the boat ride a little and renaming it Paddlewheel Excursions. The original Western Cruise was better than Paddlewheel Excursions but I would welcome the ride back in any form. The park had a themed boat ride in some form from the sixties through the 2000's and had no problem with upkeep for most of its existence. Buying a fleet of boats, doing some work on the channel and adding animatronics and various scenes would most likely cost less than a major coaster and I think would pay back huge dividends in satisfaction with family groups.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

Actually, the Western Cruise was changed to Paddlewheel Excursions when Iron Dragon was introduced in 1987. That's when the lagoon was reconfigured. I was a captain in 1995 pre-Mantis and again in 1996 after Mantis. The only change that Mantis brought about was the removal of the Deer family prior to the Lighthouse and making the turn towards Delbert.

Following the end of the season in 1996, the original boats were replaced. Ogontz had developed a hole in the hull on the very last day of operation began to take on a significant amount of water. So much so that she had to be hoisted out of the water that day. You may not have noticed there was actually a hoist behind Muddy's shack just like is used to lift boats out of the water all around the lake. I think it was at the point where they knew they either had to invest money in replacing the hulls on the old boats and rebuilding the engines or replacing the boats altogether. There was pretty frequent downtime with the three boats due to engine issues, steering cables coming lose, logs getting pinned in the rudder, sniffer alarms, you name it. I did my fair share of evacuations on those old boats and loved every minute of driving them.

Mantis did introduce a lot of noise in what was formerly a very quiet section of the ride and we had to alter spiels to accommodate talking about Mantis. I would love to see the ride return and would absolutely be overjoyed to come back and drive a few more trips one last time. :) My dock neighbors are getting tired of hearing my jokes!

jimmyburke's avatar

Captain Matt, great post! I'm positive that your spiels & corny jokes entertained numerous people over the time you worked it. I would enjoy the excursion if it returned.

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