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$27 M Leviathan roller coaster heads Cedar Fair $90 M capital investment for 2012 theme park operating season


The signature attraction of Cedar Fair’s 2012 expenditure program is the $27 million Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland in Toronto. This 306-foot-tall, 92-mph steel machine will be one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world and its elements include an 80-degree first drop, barrel turns and high-speed curves. With the addition of Leviathan, Canada’s Wonderland will have a new place on the coaster map, staking claim to 16 scream machines. Roller coaster riders will be able to buckle up for their first Leviathan ride when Canada’s Wonderland opens in May.

SANDUSKY, Ohio, Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, has announced plans to invest $90 million in new thrill rides, family attractions and resort amenities at its 17 properties for the 2012 operating season.

In the last 15 years, Cedar Fair will have invested more than $1 billion in capital improvements across its arsenal of amusement parks, water parks and resorts. “We have a strong philosophy of reinvesting in our parks,” says Matt Ouimet, president of Cedar Fair. “Our goal is to provide each and every guest who visits a Cedar Fair park with a best-day-of-the-year experience. We realize people have choices, and by adding new rides and attractions we are committed to keeping the parks relevant and remaining the first choice for family entertainment.”

Riders at Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania will be injected with a pure rush of adrenaline as they sit face-to-face with friends on the park’s eighth roller coaster, Stinger. This 138-foot-tall inverted shuttle roller coaster resembles a scorpion ready to strike, as riders get flipped six times and race along overhead track both forward then backwards at speeds up to 55 mph.

At Kings Dominion near Richmond, Virginia. and Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina, guests will get panoramic views while experiencing towering thrills on WindSeeker, an amazing 30-story swing and spinning ride. Riders will sit two across in 32-passenger swings with their legs dangling and will slowly begin to rotate in a circular motion as the swings climb the massive 301-foot-tall structure. At the top, the swings will reach speeds up to 30 mph while fanning out at nearly 45 degrees before its descent. Each WindSeeker ride is a $6.5 million investment.

Family fun in gigantic — and prehistoric — proportions will debut at several Cedar Fair parks in 2012, including Cedar Point inSandusky, Ohio and Kings Dominion. Families will roar way back in time with Dinosaur’s Alive!, a world-class animatronic dinosaur collection showcasing the life-sized relics in an interactive exhibit. Dinosaurs Alive! will inspire, entertain and educate guests with the sounds and movements of each animatronic creature made to replicate nearly every feature of the dinosaurs; each piece is hand-carved and scientifically accurate based on the latest paleontological knowledge. Guests will walk through thematic scenes that tell compelling stories about each dinosaur and their primeval world.

For water lovers, Kings Island in Cincinnati, Ohio will make a big splash with its rebranded Soak City water park and offer plenty of new ways to get wet with a major $10 million expansion that will nearly double its size to 33 acres. The makeover will include a new wave pool surrounded by a large deck and lush greenery and a new action river featuring interactive areas and elements such as waterfalls, tipping buckets, spray hoses and rain curtains. A new entrance and plaza will greet guests to the waterpark; plus amenities including new family changing rooms, cabanas, sand volleyball court and additional lounging areas will be part of the renovation. Kings Island will also celebrate its 40th anniversary season in 2012.

Cedar Point’s Soak City water park will also have a new look for 2012 with the edition of a new mat-racer complex that will offer racers a speedy ride through a series of dips and plateaus.

Additional investments across Cedar Fair’s group of parks will feature new restaurants, entertainment offerings and resort upgrades.

Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Its parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri,Michigan, and Toronto, Ontario. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in California under a management contract. Cedar Fair’s flagship park is Cedar Point.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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