December 19, 2014

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Updated: Cedar Point planning kid-friendly upgrades for 2014

Cedar Point's new ride, Pipe Scream, combines a roller coaster and a flat ride.

Cedar Point’s new ride, Pipe Scream, combines a roller coaster and a flat ride. (Courtesy photo)

SANDUSKY – You can’t give them the biggest, baddest roller coasters in the world every summer.

That’s why Cedar Point on Tuesday announced two new family-friendly attractions for the 2014 season.

“When you have a big coaster there’s a lot of buzz out there, but there was a little less hype this time since we can wait until the park closes for the season before we start working on them,” said Bryan Edwards, Cedar Point’s marketing programs manager.

Next year’s new attractions will include Pipe Scream, known in the industry as a “Disk-O” style ride.

Pipe Scream combines elements of a roller coaster and flat ride as it propels riders who face each other in a two-sectioned car along a 302-foot track as they slowly spin and coast up to 43 mph.

Manufactured by a New Jersey firm, Pipe Scream will be built along the Gemini midway, which will receive a major facelift.

“We heard from guests who wanted new family rides, so we’re focusing on adding some very family friendly rides next year,” Edwards said. “Not everyone is into big rides, or kids are not tall enough to get on the big roller coasters.”

Eric Gieszl of Ultimaterollercoaster.com likes the park’s strategy for 2014.

“Parks don’t have unlimited means to add major attractions every year,” Gieszl said. “They put in GateKeeper this year and it’s going to be a signature attraction for years to come, so the park is also catering to families with young children who can’t ride that. Families are a really important demographic because younger kids are the future riders of Top Thrill Dragster and Millennium Force.”

And families spend money at big amusement and theme parks. Gieszl said he always rides “Disk-O” rides at other parks.

“They’re a lot of fun, and it looks like with 302 feet of track the one at Cedar Point will have a hill in the middle for airtime,” Gieszl said.

The other new ride is Lake Erie Eagles, which seats riders in eight carriages suspended from overhead arms that swing outward as the ride spins to simulate a sensation of flight. A paddle inside each carriage can be moved by riders to make the ride more or less intense.

“This is a new version of a classic flying scooter ride that has become a lot more prevalent in parks in recent years,” Gieszl said.

Lake Erie Eagles and Pipe Scream will be focal points of a makeover to the Gemini midway and to Camp Snoopy, which will see some children’s rides moved around.

“It’s nice to see them expand this area and relocate some rides,” Gieszl said. “This clearly says the area is very popular with guests.”

Another major component of Tuesday’s announcement was a two-year renovation of Hotel Breakers, the park’s biggest – and original – resort, which has grown to 600 rooms.

Improvements will include a redo of the exterior, including a revamped main entrance, and upgrades to rooms and other inside features after the 2014 season.

Cost figures were not disclosed for the new rides or the Hotel Breakers project.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.