Wanted: More Places / Attractions to Escape the Weather & Relax

Friday, March 22, 2019 12:37 AM

This thought has been on my mind for a long time, but with all the positive change at Cedar Point and at its sister parks for the past several years, I figured we'd see more to alleviate this issue without mentioning it.

When the weather becomes unpleasant or tiring, when standing becomes exhausting, or when the noise becomes grating, there aren't enough places or attractions to escape inside the park. I feel like the situation has generally gotten worse over the years rather than better at CP.

I remember coming up with strategies with my Dad as a kid, choosing attractions to recharge us throughout the day or provide shelter from the weather. The Pirate Ride might be used to time a passing thunderstorm, Disaster Transport was a break from the sun and heat, and I even recall dozing off during a pleasant IMAX flight simulation in the Good Time Theatre. While I'm mainly thinking of soothing environments with dim lighting and A/C, even attractions like White Water Landing or the Swan Boats provided that quiet time needed.

One idea I'm surprised that we haven't seen yet is a Brew Kettle taproom or pub inside the park. It just seems logical to have the full selection of Cedar Point beers on tap in one place with a bunch of Brew Kettle's better beers rotating alongside. I'm picturing a soothing environment with poured concrete floors, real wooden tables and benches, greenery, and dim lighting from Edison bulbs. It'd be a great place to socialize in the park without being drowned out by a coaster, while getting refueled by an ice cold beer & air-conditioning. Bonus marketing points if Brew Kettle could brew some beers onsite, though that might be difficult to pull off.

And where are these dark rides that Cedar Fair promised would be in their parks within 5 years awhile back? Six Flags & Sally did an excellent job with their Justice League dark rides, considering the budget. Even though I couldn't care less about that theme, they seem very popular and well-received. One with its own unique theme would be very welcome at CP.

Lastly, I can't tell you how many times a day has been saved by a large-capacity indoor venue like Kings Island's Festhaus (or an updated version like Carowind's Harmony Hall). They can handle a large influx of people trying to escape a rainy period of weather, which means a bunch of people stay inside the park rather than head home.

Anyway, as excited as I am about Forbidden Frontier, the new restaurants, and entertainment offerings coming this year, I hope to see more attractions that will convince me that going on a 95-degree day in August is a good idea, for example. What are some things you do to escape & recharge at Cedar Point now, and what future attractions would you like to see for this purpose?

Last edited by Ffej, Friday, March 22, 2019 12:43 AM
Friday, March 22, 2019 6:49 AM
djDaemon's avatar

Ffej said:

One idea I'm surprised that we haven't seen yet is a Brew Kettle taproom or pub inside the park. ...

I'm picturing a soothing environment with poured concrete floors, real wooden tables and benches, greenery, and dim lighting from Edison bulbs.

It seems Trail Tavern is pretty close to what you're looking for. Granted, I haven't been inside there in a couple years so I don't know the breadth of their offerings, but I recall a decent selection of craft beer. Then of course you have Last Chance Saloon and Red Garter, both good places to take a break.

And where are these dark rides that Cedar Fair promised would be in their parks within 5 years awhile back?

This came up around PB lately, and I think the reasonable assumption is that guest response to these was not what was hoped for. Whether that means a modified approach to dark rides or abandoning the idea altogether is anyone's guess, but I think it's safe to say if those early projects were successful, we would have seen additional installations.

I do agree that the park could use a large scale eatery, a la Festhaus, Harmony Hall, and Plymouth Rock Cafe at Holiday World.


Friday, March 22, 2019 10:27 AM
Urumqi's avatar

I am similar to you Ffej in that I too would appreciate a place to "get away" for an hour during the day and to recoup some lost energy. I've spent a couple afternoons over the last two years enjoying time on the beach, but the beach doesn't help for rainy days or those 98 degree days when you really just need some air conditioning.

Tall and fast not so much upside down...

Friday, March 22, 2019 12:18 PM

During CoasterMania Q&A they mentioned that they know a day at CP can be overbearingly hot and they were looking into ways to allow guests to cool down and recharge. I think Back Beats Que being completely outdoors is a missed opportunity in that regard. Higo’s will remain indoor seating like Midway Market used to be (we never set foot inside)? I also think adding more shade and maybe bringing back the misting fans to the queues would be a huge improvement.

But then again, what do I know?
Friday, March 22, 2019 1:33 PM

A few thoughts on this matter:

- The park is losing too many trees. There is nowhere near as much shade as there used to be. I understand that expanding in new areas is necessary, but the value of shade in Busch Gardens parks and even other Cedar Fair parks is not to be underestimated.

- The Triotech dark ride expansion won't happen. They underperformed. Sad as it is, I don't see a dark ride coming to CP in the near future.

- I'm not sure if this is an unpopular opinion, but I think that the Main Arcade should be completely removed and refurbished into a Festhaus-style dining and entertainment hall. While I don't have figures on this, arcades just aren't as popular anymore and most games in the ballroom now are either old or broken. Move the salvageable games into Jitney or a new building, then make new dining locations, theme the ballroom to its original design as a tribute to CP history, and spruce up the air conditioning in the building to support an entertainment stage.

Friday, March 22, 2019 1:33 PM

I wonder what will fill the space in the back of the Coliseum which formerly was home to the old arcade and pinball machines that were auctioned off last fall. Perhaps there will be something new in there that would fit the bill.

Last edited by Rotunda_Chillin, Friday, March 22, 2019 1:34 PM

If all the players are ready...at the sound of the bell, ROLL EM!

Friday, March 22, 2019 1:57 PM

I wonder why the dark rides were a "failure", considering they seem to be the bread and butter of much higher-budget parks (ever heard people joke about Universal and "screen rides") and Six Flags has been successful with a series of more reasonably priced ones. CP is been missing ANY sort of enclosed ride - even a family-sized one.

Last edited by GigaG, Friday, March 22, 2019 1:58 PM


Giant Wheel Triangle 2018
maXair/Dodgem 2019
Iron Dragon 2020

Steel Vengeance Rides: 86
Last SV Ride: 9/27/2020

Friday, March 22, 2019 3:38 PM

Wonder Mountain Guardian is still very popular at Wonderland, with a queue even on the slower days. The ride, however, is already in pretty rough shape as of last year. We rode it in May and September and multiple seats were closed (the guns were not working) and the screens for the shooting portion were in bad shape. Wonderland had Wonder Mountain available for such an attraction, but it wouldn't be worth it in my opinion to create something like that a CP. Maybe something that used the old pirate ride building, it was interesting to go in there at Chill Out this year. In our presentation Jason talked about a dark ride, and from the comments it was clear that quality and capacity are both big concerns as to why there hasn't been one to come to the park in this era.

CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (28 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (182 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Raptor 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. GateKeeper 7. Valravn 8. Rougarou 9. Magnum XL 200 10. Gemini

Friday, March 22, 2019 4:01 PM
JohnMosesBrowning's avatar

Many years ago when I worked at CP, I used to just find a bench on the midway and watch the crowds. Back then the Hofbrau was attached to the picnic shelter and was also a popular hangout. Agree that at least a portion of the Arcade would make a cool beer hall, though, it will never be air conditioned.

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

Friday, March 22, 2019 4:06 PM
ImpulsivePhoenix's avatar

I definitely would love to see the arcade become a Festhaus/Harmony Hall like place. They truly are great places to relax in general, hot day or not, but certainly helps even more on a hot day with the beautiful gift of air conditioning. Can also work as a place to heat up on cooler and especially rainy HalloWeekends days.

Sacrificing playing video games to ride roller coasters.

Friday, March 22, 2019 4:38 PM
Kevinj's avatar

Ffej said:

One idea I'm surprised that we haven't seen yet is a Brew Kettle taproom or pub inside the park. It just seems logical to have the full selection of Cedar Point beers on tap in one place with a bunch of Brew Kettle's better beers rotating alongside. I'm picturing a soothing environment with poured concrete floors, real wooden tables and benches, greenery, and dim lighting from Edison bulbs.

I'll just echo what Brandon said and recommend you drop in the Trail Tavern. You just described it, and it's in one of the quieter more shaded parts of the park. The drink menu changes, and consistently offers something unique.

Last edited by Kevinj, Friday, March 22, 2019 4:40 PM

Promoter of fog.

Friday, March 22, 2019 5:07 PM

Trail Tavern is an interesting point. I went there quite a bit its opening year for a break, but I've barely been there since. Some of the reasons I stopped going: it wasn't reliable (often closed when I made a point to visit), no A/C, not enough new beers to try personally, and everything was poured from a can or bottle, which meant 12 oz vs a tap pint or 20 oz from Melt or Surf Lounge for the same price, in A/C.

Also interesting discussion on the dark ride. Having ridden both Cedar Fair Triotech rides and 6 of the Six Flags Sally Justice League rides, I'd have made the same decision to abort the Triotech plans. While my taste for Sally dark rides had soured after all the mediocre Boo Blasters, it's clear they can deliver when given a bigger budget to work with (though maybe too small of a budget is what held back the Triotech rides?). I feel like Six Flags already did the hard work and have the right formula in Justice League though. Unless SF has some kind of exclusivity contract with that ride system, why not just mirror that formula as close as possible with a Pirates & Lake Erie Monster theme?

Totally agree with converting the arcade or ball room into an A/C Harmony Hall-type place. My group was actually discussing this during the Winter Chillout tour this year. We understand the sentiment in keeping something original, but it's just wasted space that could be so valuable to park guests. Update that into a new space that salutes the past: different hubs of quality food like Harmony Hall, that Brew Kettle space I was picturing, and live entertainment...and updated bathrooms within! ;) I imagine some of the arcade space could even be kept intact. A major new venue tying back to CP's history....sounds like the perfect opportunity for their 150th anniversary.

Last edited by Ffej, Saturday, March 23, 2019 3:19 AM
Friday, March 22, 2019 5:59 PM
Kevinj's avatar

It's not that Cedar Point didn't make somewhat of an effort. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that Shoot the Rapids was supposed to be a reasonable replacement for White Water Landing, and to be the kind of experience that was suggested in the original post. It just turned out so, so poorly.

I was hoping they would have kept some of the boat portion and converted what was left into a slow-dark-boat ride...Pirate Ride 2.0, if you will. Toss in a couple tiny lifts in some enclosed sections and you would have had yourself a nice little family-friendly ride that would have been partially constructed.

What can I say? I still want a log-flume.

But I digress.

I am looking forward to Adventure Island.

And as far as Wonder Mountain goes....no. I'm not at all surprised that the ride is in a state of technological decay, because one of the first things that jumped out at me was...well, let me put it this way;

You know that feeling when you want a pop tart and you end up with the WalMart ripoff?

That's Wonder Mountain. I can't speak for Iron Reef, but I have heard that it was an improvement, but given Knott's dedication to aesthetics, I am not surprised.

I think the days of turds like Disaster Transport lingering at the park are long gone, at least under the current leadership. Mantis gone. Shoot the Rapids gone. Disaster Transport gone. Mean Streak gone.

It would seem the dilemma with a dark ride is finding the right balance of quality and high level of ride experience that the leadership wants (a good thing) with the economics.

Last edited by Kevinj, Friday, March 22, 2019 8:28 PM

Promoter of fog.

Friday, March 22, 2019 8:11 PM

It's time to say goodbye to the arcade. It is long overdue, I did not say tear the building down, but revamp the 1st floor. There are too many Dave and Busters out there and sadly this takes up a very large piece of the park. I really don't care what goes in its place, I'm sure Cedar Point has ideas, but the money generated on the arcade games cannot even come close to what it potentially could be bringing in.

Friday, March 22, 2019 9:18 PM

Please don’t get rid of the arcade. Condense it down, move it to a smaller space, but don’t get rid of it. My wife and kid enjoy it quite a bit.

But then again, what do I know?
Saturday, March 23, 2019 12:51 AM

Count me among those that would like to see a ground-up renovation or replacement of the Coliseum building. It was awesome to get upstairs and walk around the ballroom, but that building's time has come. To be where it is and be 75% useless at this point for most purposes has to be an issue the park is looking at. Harmony Hall is outstanding, with food, adult drink and entertainment plus an attached porch/outside area. That footprint is so large that it could be a Harmony Hall size space and keep some arcade portion, or anything else really. Climate controlled and right in the middle of everything. Cost would likely be high, of course.

CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (28 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (182 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Raptor 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. GateKeeper 7. Valravn 8. Rougarou 9. Magnum XL 200 10. Gemini

Saturday, March 23, 2019 9:45 AM
DSShives's avatar

I agree that I would love to see a Harmony Hall/Festhaus type dining/entertainment type venue somewhere in the park. I always thought a good location would be where the Jack Aldrich Theater and Bayou Refreshments are located and extending back into the Point Pavillion by Blue Streak. Looks to be adequate space and its right off the midway. If Cedar Point will ever entertain the idea of WinterFest, they will need something like this.

As far as where I go when the weather gets hot, its either back to the boat in the marina, CP Shores, Surf Lounge, Beach Bar or catch a show or two. Im there enough Im not going to be out on the midways or waiting in lines when the sun is baking.

Steve Shives
First Cedar Point Visit - 1972
Dockholder-Cedar Point Marina

Saturday, March 23, 2019 10:08 AM

The arcade is fun on a rainy day. It is retro and you can spend less than $5.00 ( multiply this by hundreds who go per day) to have fun. I have enjoyed the walk to TGIF on the beach for a drink, A/C, and quality chain food. I too agree a world class show and a dark ride is needed for diversity. I could ride coasters all day; any park needs that x factor.


Saturday, March 23, 2019 5:03 PM

Another idea for a new indoor eatery / venue: Authentic Mexican food (street tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, etc.), fresh-squeezed margaritas, and a live music serenade. Table service would be nice, but CP would need to carefully consider throughput.

Every time I'm with a group of people, Mexican seems to universally work for everyone. As of now, we're leaving the park to take a break and get that experience. Sorry, Buckaroo Burritos doesn't satisfy our needs.

If the quality of food isn't there, it won't work. That means no more of those carnival nacho corn chips or canned salsas within. A live performer could help draw people in and make the experience a little more special.

Saturday, March 23, 2019 6:45 PM

I’m in 100% agreement. If only Cedar Point would invest in a place where people could duck inside if it should be raining, if it’s too hot, too cold, or if they just want to relax.
My wish list for such a place would include a spacious, air-conditioned gathering area (somewhat like a lobby) with comfortable furniture suitable for relaxing or people watching. Make it carpeted to relieve sore, tired feet. Put some arty or historic Cedar Point photographs on the wall. Include a couple of restaurants, casual as well as upscale, and a coffee bar- you know, like a Starbucks or something. Have a couple of retail places, too, where you might pick up a souvenir hoodie to warm you up or a t-shirt to cool you down. Or an aspirin or sunscreen for what ails you. Another good idea would be a bar- not just a walk-up cart but a friendly, full service area with comfortable stools and tables, and windows with a view. Clean, cool, uncrowded, modern restrooms throughout the building would be nice as well.
It would be wonderful if this place had a veranda or a patio where you could sit outdoors in the shade and look at the beach or the lake. And throw in a couple of outdoor fire pits for end-of-the-day relaxing and conversation, too.
Another great feature would be a counter or a desk where you could check for overnight accommodations just in case you wanted to keep the fun rolling another day or two. Hell, throw in a pool or three for swimming, and easy access to the beach and the nearby water park for those that do decide to stay.
At the same time, though, be sure to make the place free of charge so patrons don’t feel obligated to spend money while they’re there if they don’t want to.

Yeah- I know. This place I’m dreaming of would be way to large to fit inside the park as it is. But maybe it could be close enough to a gate (or two) so that weary park guests had only a short walk from the oh-so-tiring amusement park atmosphere. That would be great. In fact, it could also be used by Cedar Point patrons who choose not to buy a ticket to the park that day.

It’s too bad Cedar Point continues to completely overlook the needs of those other than hard-core thrill seekers, isn’t it? All we ask for is an accessible, quiet and relaxing space where we can grab a bite, a drink, and spend a minute, the day, or the night if we need to. It’s a darned shame.


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