The Rougarou Files #3

I think the lots of people think of CP as only a place for giant coasters. I disagree with that as a parent of a 3 and 7 year old; we've been pass holders for the last 5 years. Making 10 to 20 visits a summer. We live close (about 45 minutes away) and even spend 2 to 4 nights a summer at Breakers or Lighthouse Pointe. It's been great. Best money I could have spent on summer fun for the kids. However, it's amazing to me how many friends and family are shocked we go to CP so often. Many, many have commented that they didn't know Cedar Point had any kids rides or family rides.

I'm always amazed because I went there every summer with my family growing up and continued to go as an adult. Even without kids I knew the park had family rides and kiddie areas. It's amazing how many people don't realize the park has 3 really great kids areas. The park may not have a huge number of family rides, but with the train, big wheel, smaller flats, etc there are still easily a dozen rides that families can ride together.

I think the coaster capital campaigns along with all the extreme ride programs on travel channel have given the impression with many that the park is only for thrill seekers.

Brian,Favorite flat: MaxAirFavorite coaster: Millennium Force

I agree with Pete and Jeff, however my personal case reflects the opposite (and I am not stating that I am the norm or represent any group of people other than maybe a handful). I discovered Cedar Point in college, and always attended with groups of kids from school. Would we have wanted to make yearly 400-some mile trips from Bowling Green, KY if there were only 2 or 3 big coasters? No....were we interested in the family rides? Again, no. But somewhere along the way, without knowing it, I fell in love with the rest of Cedar Point. Frontier Trail, the beach, The Sky Ride, and CP & LE RR, which sadly, I cared nothing about on my first visits.

Now, as an adult (I guess I actually I was an adult back then, just a younger one) and more importantly, as a parent, I still love the coasters, but there is so much more that I love to share with my kids. I can have just as much fun being driven around by a smiling kid on the Cadillac Cars as I do on Millennium Force. Oh, and I am the reigning Cedar Downs champ in the family....that's big time bragging rights.

Case in point, you can draw people in with big coasters and bring them back for other reasons....although people like me are probably the exceptions to the rule.


Pete's avatar

Maybe the "coaster park" perceptions is a perception caused by marketing, but I did look at the 1989 park brochure and these are the family rides, attractions and games that are no longer available in the park (in no particular order):

Space Spiral, Kid Arthur's Court, Oceana Aquarium, Oceana animal shows, Sky Slide, Schwabinchen, Mill Race, Pirate Ride, Dodgem 1, Cedar Point Cinema, Trabant, Berenstain Bear Country, Remote-Controlled Boats, White Water Landing, Fascination, Frontier Town Carousel, Jungle Larry's Safari and Paddlewheel Excursions.

Some have been replaced with other attractions such as Dinosaurs Alive, Snoopy on Ice (RIP), Shoot the Rapids and All Wheel's Extreme, but most have not.

Could it be that the removal of a number of non-roller coaster attractions and the addition of roller coasters have changed the perception of the park to a haven for coaster enthusiasts but a less desirable entertainment destination for non-coaster demographics?

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

Thabto's avatar

Out of 67 total rides, only 16 are roller coasters and 5 of those are family friendly. Cedar Point even added 2 new family rides in 2014. There are a great deal of family friendly flat rides in the park. I do think the marketing and TV shows gave the general public the perception that CP is only a coaster park. There is also a great deal of family friendly live entertainment. I would recommend the park to all families since there is a diverse selection of activities in the park.

Valravn Rides: 24| Steel Vengeance Rides: 27| Dragster Rollbacks: 1

I think many misunderstand the type of attraction gap we are referring to. The rides in Kiddy Kingdom, Camp/Planet Snoopy are all (minus a few) rides just for little ones. Just because there may be 30 rides for kids, doesn't mean they are memorable or even worth a family's time. I've never once enjoyed my time on Camp Bus, for example.

Most of us are wanting rides/attractions that ages 2-92 can enjoy. These are things like dark rides, aquariums/animal exhibits, flume rides, walk through attractions, motion simulators, 3D/4D movies, etc.

The only attractions at Cedar Point that fit that stature are: Sky Ride, Railroad, Petting Farm, Frontier Trail, Beach, Museum, The 3 Antique Car Rides, Dinosaurs Alive (which is an up charge)

Again I'm referring to attractions that appeal to guests age 2-92. I think it's safe to say that in the battle to claim the title of Coaster Capital, many demographics were lost.

Plus all the live entertainment, which is often overlooked by many. You could easily spend nearly an entire day going from show to show until you see everything, with just enough time to travel between places and eat!

You forgot the Carousels--CP has two of them. Also Pipe Scream and Lake Erie Eagles. Woodstock Express is also for adults with kids. With older kids there is Ocean Motion, Iron Dragon and the list goes on.

You might not have enjoyed your time on Camp Bus but I bet the kids did.

Pete's avatar

I think "overlooked by many" is the problem, if there even is a problem. CP does need one or two new large scale rides that are enjoyable from ages 2-92, but they do have a lot right now to keep everyone entertained. I think it is the perception of people who visit CP infrequently that it is just a "coaster park" may keep them away if they are not coaster fans. I think they have to market to those people to make them realize CP is more than coasters. With the Gemini midway last year and the addition of the bluegrass band and the western skits on Frontier Trail, I think they do get it. Probably it just takes some time and work to get the word out, and a little bit of tweaking.

A new dark ride geared to everyone would, of course, steer the ship in the right direction. The pet farm renovation last year was great, maybe an addition to that like an arena for a bird show or a dog show would probably be well liked. People love animal shows. The Frontier Trail can really be developed to be front and center in entertaining guests with interests outside of coasters.

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

Bluestreaker said:

You forgot the Carousels--CP has two of them.

Actually, they have 3: Main Midway Carousel, Kiddie Kingdom Carousel, and Cedar Downs

Last edited by Captain Hawkeye,

This Isn't A Hospital--It's An Insane Asylum!

I didn't include Cedar Downs as you can't (or I wouldn't) take a young child that cannot ride alone on Cedar Downs.

Jeff's avatar

When we left Cleveland, Simon was 3. We had a blast visiting Cedar Point that summer, and even the summer before. But the fact of the matter is, we basically did Giant Wheel, the train, Sky Ride, carousel, together. I suppose I did some laps with him on Jr. Gemini, but if you've ever tried to get in that ride, you know why that experience sucks.

I complained a lot that I didn't get to ride very much stuff when he was along, but in retrospect it's that I didn't get to ride very much stuff because I couldn't ride with him. This became particularly obvious when we moved in down the street from Magic Kingdom, and we got to ride or experience almost everything with him. I think the only exception is Space Mountain.

I'm not saying that Cedar Point needs to be Magic Kingdom, but there's a great deal of room to meet in between.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

Admit it- you miss Sir Rub a Dub Tubs and drag the kids on it with you on every trip! I checked the list there's only 16 kids only rides. Many of them can have a supervising companion. We have made so many memories in our annual trips and my husband doesn't even ride coasters! The rest of my family rides, but the moments we remember are the small things. We'll see what the park brings in next.

MichaelB's avatar

A large Disney/Universal-esque dark ride would probably do well.

In 94 minimum wage was $4.25. I don't know just guessing it probably cost $25 to get into CP. No cell phone bills, cable was cheaper, utilities, gas, etc. Red's and Indian's games were a hell of a lot cheaper at that time.

Seems now everything is alot more expensive than it was. Taxes are higher. Reliable cars are more expensive. I think that's whats pinching the attendance issue. Not that people don't have the funds to provide the CP experience. But that it's a choice now between that or school trips, ballgames, camping, etc. I'd say in 94 you could do more. But I was only 16 in 1994.

Jeff's avatar

Federal taxes are not higher. The nominal rate for $50k married was 28% in 1994. It's now 15%.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

This chart felt somewhat relevant to the family rides discussion. While Magic Kingdom is obviously tailored for families in general I never quite considered just how many attractions the entire family can experience together there regardless of height/age.

"Thank the Phoenicians!"

Jeff's avatar

Wow, I didn't realize that Space Mountain was 44". I guess that means my kid can now officially ride everything at age almost-5. Of course, i doubt he'll want to get on it (we still can't talk him into Test Track), but hopefully, one day!

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

Amazing that Astro Orbiter, Aladin's Magic Carpets, Flying Dumbos, Pitates of the Carribbean and Mad Tea Party have zero height requirement at all. Those are all pretty legitimate "rides" that would likely have at least a 42" height requirement if they were at Cedar Point. But I guess that's the result when a park is willing to pay whatever it takes in insurance premiums to have those true family attractions.

Pete's avatar

I would hope it is not just paying the insurance premiums, but that the rides are mild enough to actually let infants ride safely. Wouldn't be much of a family ride if you wipe out half the family.

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

Jeff's avatar

Safe relative to what? Infants aren't 36" tall.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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