Snake River Expedition

Ask the Epcot planners how edutainment is going over these days. World of Motion begat Test Track. World of Energy begat Guardians. Horizons begat Mission Space. I loved all of those original things...but I'm not the target market anymore.

"You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world...but it requires people to make the dreams a reality."

-Walt Disney

Those dreary world’s fair rides have definitely seen their day. Everyone’s favorite (including mine) was Horizons and even that one couldn’t cut it today. If a park is looking for repeatability they should lean into more active rides that appeal to a broader range of guests. Looks like we’ll always have Spaceship Earth though.
I’ll have to admit I’ve fallen asleep on a ride before, and it was Energy. It was slow, dark, cool in there, it smelled weird, and I guess was ready for a nap. When I came to we were coming back in to park in the large theatre room, lol.
Riverboat rides can seem outdated as well, and not many parks include them in their roster anymore. Snake River had the best intentions, but the upgrade fell short. Now they’re stuck with what amounts to a white elephant. I guess SarahB’s insistence that a return to the olden days makes sense except for ill-fitting boats and miles of steel reaching up into the sky all around the path. Those things make suspension of disbelief near impossible.

I have been going to the park since the early 70s. Late 60s actually but don't have any memories of it from then. I prefer the park now. Some of those rides were fun at the time. But you need to update and move forward. And there are a lot of things to do there besides ride roller coasters.

^^Did the upgrade to SRE “fall short”? Or is it lack of staffing? I heard mostly positive reviews of last year’s attraction. So I guess I’m wondering if CP decided the ride was poorly received or if they would have continued the ride with the live actors but didn’t have the staffing? Anyone have any insight? IMO it was an excellent addition to the park, last years version that is.

Kevinj's avatar

I saw it as an extension of Forbidden Frontier. When that went, so did the upgrade.

We enjoyed it as a family; mainly because my girls always (well, they were 2 for 2) got picked to be the smugglers.

Now it sort of reminds me of late-stage Disaster Transport in a way, with some theming that no longer makes sense (since the theming elements were all designed around the storyline). OK so it's not that bad.

The charm of the original ride, which they now seem to be attempting to recreate in the absence of the story/actors, is absolutely not there.

Kudos for trying, but this one needs some "reimagining".

Last edited by Kevinj,

Promoter of fog.

I always enjoyed the “Western Snooze”, because it offered a bit of relaxation, and the corny dad jokes became a sort of a love-hate tradition to look forward to. As I recall, back in the late 70s and 80s, they kept things moving, with a train arriving as soon as the previous one left, just as shown in the picture. Interestingly, though, I didn’t feel compelled to ride SRE. I guess I’m just not into story lines, and I think they’re often lost on younger kids and a lot of people who just want to enjoy a ride. I also never felt compelled to visit Forbidden Frontier. I guess I’m not really into the interactive thing. I don’t mind character portrayals if I’m visiting a place like Colonial Williamsburg, but I think that’s because it’s mostly observational rather than interactive.

I fall into the camp that misses the charm of the Cedar Point of the 70s and 80s, but I acknowledge that the park needed to adapt to the current thrill ride culture and I think it’s done a very good job of doing so. Personally, I wish it had a few more non-spinning flat rides, but I may be in the minority on that.

jimmyburke's avatar

A few posts above Bigmal wondered about a non-goofy historical narrative. Remembering and preserving history has it's place but at an amusement park that desires to pack in the crowds I don't think this is the place for that to be a sustainable solution. There's a few small history spots close by such as:

Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton

International Womens Air & Space Museum at Burke Lakefront Airport

Merry Go-Round Museum in Sandusky

Thomas Edison's birthplace in Norwalk

Town Hall Museum at Cedar Point, errrrrrrrrrrrr strike that one

This is just a small sample size, but each of those serves a niche crowd. I just imagine people on the boat glazing over as the narrator is speaking about "then in 1972 so and so became gm and brought a philosphy and then they built this ride and that ride and people gotta eat and so on and so forth. On the other hand I can imagine people exiting the boat and chuckling to each other about the corny jokes. They can keep it fresh by having some creative writers submit new/different material.

Uncle Steve's avatar

Maybe just make the boat ride like an extension of Boneville or something similar that doesn't require narration or corny jokes.

JohnMosesBrowning's avatar

Jimmy, Edison birthplace is in Milan. I’ll throw out a couple more museums I like.

Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland

Ernest Warther Museum in Dover

1974: Catering Slave for Interstate United
1975-77: Catering Manager for Cedar Point

99er's avatar

What if instead of trying to be an attraction with some type of storyline, it was just used as transportation like the train. I know I would not mind taking it from its current dock over to the Frontier Trail when I want to cut across the park.

kylepark's avatar

That's a great idea, and the existing route could be maintained at the same time. Transportation and a relaxing quiet boat ride.

Kevinj's avatar

That had never crossed my mind, but that is a reimagining I would support.

Promoter of fog.

Good idea, but how many people can the current boats carry? Maybe 24? If the route was going to be used for transportation they'd have to either add more boats or build larger ones to handle the traffic; otherwise the wait times would be a nightmare.

99er's avatar

How many boats are currently in use? Considering the route is not that long, if 3 to 4 boats were always in operation, the wait would not be very long.

When I went last weekend, I think they were running 2 boats. The line filled one half of the queue inside the building and we waited maybe 25 minutes, and then another 10 once we got to the squares outside, before we got on the boat. Of course if it was used for transportation the slideshow shed could be removed, since it wouldn't serve any purpose.

I like the idea of the boats being used as transportation; the question is whether CP would be willing to invest the $$$ to hire extra boat operators, dock workers, and create a landing on the other side of the loop. That SRE is right next to Camp Snoopy and TT2 would make it a destination. The landing on the other side could empty out right at the entrance to Frontier Trail.

99er's avatar

Cost is always the deciding factor but it could still be advertised as an attraction, just as the CPLE Railroad and Sky Ride are, but still be transportation. The jokes, scenes along the river, etc can stay. The actual question would be whether or not the park feels the need to transport guests across the park in that direction and my guess would be that no, they do not see a need. Would be a nice option though.

Sparty42's avatar

A direct shot for people going to the water rides from Cedar Point Shores and vice versa would be ideal though. It's definitely an interesting idea and one the park really should consider.

99er's avatar

When Halloweekends had a scare zone on Millennium island, they would not only connect a floating bridge for visitors to enter/exit at the current dock, but the park would also connect another floating bridge on the backside that brought you out behind Mantis. This was only for employees but it made it so much quicker to get across the park when you were in a hurry. It was my favorite shortcut that almost nobody knew about. I always wanted it to be around all summer long.

djDaemon's avatar

Capacity would be a self-solving issue, since it's wouldn't be the only way to get across the park. As the wait time increases, there would be a natural decrease in willingness to queue up.


GL2CP's avatar

I was hesitant to ride SRE because I really don’t want to be involved in a story. It was nice the first year and I can see the appeal for families. I personally want to sit and chill like on the train or the old paddle wheel. Same reason the train at kings island isn’t much of a reprieve because you’re blasted with either music or narrative and that can overload the brain when trying to relax from coasters.

First ride; Magnum 1994

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