Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Cedar Point celebrates 150 years of operation in 2020 with new entertainment and experiences

The biggest celebration in Cedar Point’s history is about to hit the Lake Erie shoreline as the second-oldest amusement park in North America commemorates its 150th anniversary in 2020. All next season, the park will honor its past while embracing the future, providing the same family fun that has entertained generations and shaped the amusement park industry for decades.

Cedar Point’s history is rich, dating back to the summer of 1870 when Louis Zistel ferried the first guests to Cedar Point to enjoy a bathhouse, beer garden and the now famous mile-long sandy beach. There were no rides, midway games, live shows or cell phones. Whether it was catching some rays, cooling off in Lake Erie, dancing the day away or just lying on the beach, the root of a Cedar Point vacation was always (and still is) one thing – time spent together.

Over the years, new buildings and attractions began to appear on the 364-acre peninsula, with the first roller coaster appearing in 1892. The Switchback Railway, with its height of 25 feet, reached an unbelievable top speed of 10 miles per hour and thrilled guests who had never seen anything like it. Smaller attractions would be built in the 1800’s, including a pony track, diving platform, water toboggan, water trapeze and bicycle boats.

Under the direction of George A. Boeckling, the resort saw many improvements that kept it alive, including the addition of a merry-go-round, new entertainment in the updated Grand Pavilion and the construction of the resort’s first overnight property, the Bay Shore Hotel in 1899. With the popularity of multi-day visits, Boeckling would go on to build The White House hotel in 1901. And in 1905, the historic Hotel Breakers would rise above the beautiful sand as the “largest and greatest hotel on the Great Lakes.” To this day, the Hotel Breakers continues to welcome vacationing guests (albeit with modern amenities), just as it did back then.

Rides, attractions and landscapes would change over the years, and Cedar Point would eventually capture the imaginations of thrill-seekers everywhere. Often referred to as “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World®,” Cedar Point would debut some of the tallest and fastest scream machines on the planet, including Magnum XL-200, Millennium Force® and Top Thrill Dragster® – the industry’s first “hyper,” “giga” and “strata” coasters – along with the park’s current world-record-breaking thriller and world’s first “hyper hybrid” coaster, Steel Vengeance.

This American treasure truly is A Place Like No Other, offering a wide variety of family entertainment for all guests looking for a summer break. The mile-long Cedar Point Beach is still the centerpiece of a relaxing vacation on Lake Erie; boardwalk cruisers take guests up and down the boardwalk with “pedal power” as they did in the past; the Cedar Point Shores Waterpark provides a thrilling way to cool off with its own collection of slides and amenities; the steam-powered Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad still chugs along its two-mile track and through the town of Boneville; the Frontier Trail remains a special collection of unique shops, quiet places to relax and is home to the newest family attraction, Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island; and fresh-cut fries, cheese-on-a-stick, elephant ears and funnel cakes are still must-have Cedar Point treats.

As Cedar Point looks to the future, it will celebrate its grand sesquicentennial by introducing a multitude of new family entertainment and memory-making experiences.

Guests will enjoy a fully-immersive nighttime celebration along the Main Midway, try new, delicious and innovative food options (along with a few throwbacks of old), take home new memories with a complete line of nostalgic souvenirs and merchandise, step into a reimagined Town Hall in Frontier Town and climb aboard a river expedition for a new generation.

That’s just the beginning. The park will reveal the details on these additions and even more surprises in the months leading to Cedar Point’s opening day next spring.

Throughout the year, Cedar Point will also celebrate the very foundation of why the park exists – its guests.

Right now, the park is actively seeking photos, videos and stories from all who have visited America’s Roller Coast® over the years. Whether it’s currently an annual family tradition, or it was the place a couple connected for the first time, these memories will be shared across multiple platforms for all to enjoy, including the park’s website, on social media, inside the park and in advertising.

Guests who would like to share their photos, videos and written stories can submit them online. All assets must be in digital form and at their highest resolution for consideration.

To submit memories for consideration, and to learn more about Cedar Point’s 150th anniversary celebration, visit

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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