Monday, June 4, 2012

Goodbye, WildCat – and Space Spiral too?

It's been a rough time lately for fans of the old Cedar Point and the way it used to be in the 1960s and 70s.

First, in early May 2012 it was announced that the WildCat roller coaster was being permanently removed and dismantled. The roller coaster featured small cars that held four passengers; the Wiki entry reveals that it was actually the second roller coaster to bear that name, as the original WildCat was removed in 1978.

But the bigger bombshell was quietly dropped last week.

A new roller coaster is in the works for 2013 (according to this Morning Journal article.) As usual, when a new ride is added, something has to go to make room for it. According to this WKYC Channel 3 report, to make room for the new coaster, two rides are going to have to go: Disaster Transport and – the Space Spiral!

Here's the link to the Sandusky Register's version of the story; be sure to check out the comments section.

I find it hard to believe that Cedar Point would actually remove one of its iconic rides to make room for yet another roller coaster. The Space Spiral has been there since 1965 and is one of the classics; a family ride that offers spectacular views of the amusement park, as well as Lake Erie and the whole surrounding area.

A nighttime ride on the Space Spiral was usually one of the last stops for my family before leaving the park. It was always a memorable and magnificent finish to a day of fun. It'd be a shame if the park management got rid of yet another family-friendly ride, one of the final links to the Cedar Point of old.

Looks like I gotta get to the Point this year for one last ride on the Space Spiral. (I tried to get on the Space Spiral last year, but it didn't work out.)


Anonymous said...

They also took out the river boats, and Demon Drop was moved to California. Cedar Point is going downhill. Of course, these are the same dopes that ruined Geauga Lake. They've also made some bad decisions involving King's Island, so that that park's also not as fun, and no longer worth the trip down.

Randall Chet said...

Wow - now you are talking! Our family did not take too many vacations, but we ALWAYS made it to Cedar Point once a year. My parents would never tell us kids ahead of time, lest we'd stay up all night in anticipation. I think the only other morning that rivaled Cedar Point was christmas morning! Of course I hardly recognize Cedar Point any longer - we would usually ride the double ferris wheel as our last ride. Some of my other favorites from my youth: the mill race for a quick cool-off at lunchtime since it was so close to the picnic pavillions - we always brought plenty of fried chicken, potato salad and oreos. A big deal was the year I finally got to ride the Jumbo Jet with my dad, since you had to be 60" tall to ride it. The best french fries were to be had over by the Wildcat and the funhouse. With lots of malt vinegar and ketchup. And of course we always picked up a couple of boxes of salt water taffy - when it was made right there in the park, not in China!

Dan Brady said...

Hi Randall!

What a great, charming reminisce... you really hit the nail on the head, especially about the anticipation of going (we prayed it wouldn't rain) and the mill race being scheduled near lunch so you could dry out. (We always brought a lunch as well but dinner was at the Silver Dollar!)

At least the Sky Ride still takes you from one end of the park to the other, when you are up there it is 1967 all over again!

Randall Chet said...

I could reminisce for hours about Cedar Point. I'm sure my younger sisters could too - they both worked there for several summers. By that time the park really began to change. I remember coming home after college and visiting CP for the first time in several years with my then-fiancee, now wife Cathey. We had a blast as I always had, but what struck me was the product tie-ins and the standardized concessions. I think at about that time the park lost it's individuality. It had become just another park in Cedar Faire's portfolio. : (

We always liked spending the late evening over in Frontier Town area. We could ride the Mine Ride and Shoot the Rapids over and over again with no lines - everyone was heading back to the front of the park. Then we would hop on the last train or the Sky ride back just in time.

I have fond memories of Chippewa Lake Park too. I remember riding the Wild Mouse there. I think it was moved there from Cedar Point in the late 1960s.

Anonymous said...

The Double Ferris-Wheel was awesome fun and scary as heck, my favorite back then...but the Pirate Ride, Earthquake, the Up-side Down Fun House and Jungle Larry's were great family attractions too.