Amusement Park

Summer Time in Ohio

As the weather warms we prepare for the changing of the season. Like the rain watering the flowers the warmer weather makes Ohio’s outdoor options grow. Ohio does not disappoint in the summer.

We have big plans for this Summer. We are excited to visit some more sports teams, see the new stuff at The Ohio History Center, goto a Drive in, and see a bunch of different roadside attractions along the way. So stay tuned over the next few months for a flurry of posts and reviews about the great state of Ohio.

Want to see the state, plan a trip with the help of Ohio’s tourism board or other helpful sites. Or just use our suggestions (click for more info):

Goto an Amusement Park:
Kings Island
Cedar Point
Coney Island
Zoombezi Bay

See a Show:
Drive-ins
Fraze Pavilion
Blossom Center for the Performing Arts
Riverbend Music Center
Express Live – Columbus
Toledo Zoo Ampitherater

See a game:
Dayton Dragons (the hardest seats to get in pro sports)
Cleveland Indians
Columbus Crew
Columbus Clippers
Cincinnati Reds
Toledo MudHens
Akron Rubber Ducks
Lake County Captains

Goto a Zoo:
Columbus Zoo
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
The Toledo Zoo

Go to a park:
Ohio State Parks
National Parks in Ohio

Goto a Festival:
Ohio Festivals – a crazy good list of them.

Goto a Museum:
Cleveland History Center (formerly Wester Reserve Historical)
COSI
Cincinnati Museum Center
Toledo Museum of Art 
Dayton Art Institute

Go for a Drive:
Ohio Roadtrips

While we hope this gave you some great ideas for the summer, this is just a small portion of things to do in Ohio.

 

 

 

Ohio’s “Amusing” Parks.

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Amusement parks are BIG in Ohio. From the record holding Cedar Point to the big Kings Island, Ohio has more than it’s share of rides and attractions to amaze.

History of The Ohio Amusement Park:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Amusement_parks_in_Ohio

Cedar Point:
Cedar Point is the second oldest operating park in the US. Cedar Point started life as a popular fishing and picnic peninsula.  In 1870 Louis Zistel started opened a ferry to locals to the area. A few buildings were built but it wasn’t until the 1890’s that rides were added. The first were simple raised tracks with cars that attendants had to manually move back to the top.

As with most parks in Ohio, Cedar Point was owned by a local transportation company and built up as a place for travelers to take a ride to. The company put George A. Boeckling in charge. During his tenure many more rides were constructed and the park expanded. Boeckling died in 1931 at the start of the Great Depression.

During the Depression and the War that followed little improvements were made to the park. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the aging park got a makeover. Over 1 million dollars were spent to bring the park back from the brink. in the 1960’s the idea of a “pay one price” ticket was all the introduced. in the 1970’s the great roller coaster boom began. In 1989 The Magnum XL became the first to break 200 feet and 70mph. From that point on Cedar point would be known as the roller coaster capital of the world with almost every new coaster breaking a world record.

Starting in 1997 Cedar Fair, the company that was created to own Cedar Point, started to buy other parks. To date the company owns 11 parks in 8 states and Canada.

Our Review of the park (from 2009)

Kings Island:
Kings Island was originally started as an effort to move the frequently flooding Coney Island (more below) to a drier location. Opened on April 29th, 1972 by Taft Broadcasting Company. The first few years saw many sitcoms and popular entertainers. Both the Brady Bunch (Cincinnati Kid) and The Partridge Family (I Left My Heart in Cincinnati). The most popular ride at the time was the Racer, thought to be one of the roller coasters that restarted the craze of the 70’s.  Over the years many famous, and a few infamous rides were added and removed. The Beast, still the world longest wooden roller coaster.

The parks has had many owners. First Taft Broadcasting Company, then KECO, then Paramount (former shareholder of Taft). Finally in 2006 the Cedar Fair, the owners of Cedar Point, bought the park along with many others.

Kings Island may be one of the newest parks in the state it is still one of the most loved and active in the nation.

Our Review of the park (2012)

Coney Island:
Coney Island was started in the 1870’s by James Parker, a framer who found that his land was more profitable as a tourist destination than a farm. Soon a dance hall, dining hall, and bowling alley were added. Eventually he sold the property to The Ohio Grove Company who labeled it “Ohio Grove, The Coney Island of the West.”

Over time the park expanded adding rides and carnival games. It had become one of the major attraction in Cincinnati. The location next to the river however lead to almost annual flooding. To fix this problem the park entered in to talks with Taft Broadcasting to build a new park further from the river. This park would come to be known as Kings Island. in September of 1971 the rides of Coney Island were moved to the new park. Eventually the new owners became to busy with its new parks to worry about the land near the river. In 1973 Coney Island reopened. With all of the attractions gone the park built Sunlite Pool, one of the largest in the world, to draw in customers. a few years later the park donated land to build Riverbend Music Center. This venue, which opened in 1984, is one of the leading concert venues in Ohio. Everyone from the Cincinnati Pops to the super popular Jimmy Buffet play there.

Despite all of the problems with nature, Coney Island is still one of the most popular attractions in the ever growing Cincinnati entertainment market.

Old but not Forgotten:

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Many old parks are gone, but not forgotten. Most have been turned into local parks, such as Argonne Forest Park becoming Possum Creek Metropark in Dayton. Some are still shells of their former life like LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park. The Ohio Channel will frequently play a great special about the old abandoned parks of Ohio. 10 Cents a Ticket The Stories and Glories of Old Amusment Parks

Cedar Point

Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, 44870

http://www.cedarpoint.com/

Cedar Point, the self-proclaimed “Roller Coaster Capital”, is one of the nation’s best amusement parks. It is not just a boastful marketing ploy. The park was named “Best Amusement Park in the World” in Amusement Today’s annual Golden Ticket Awards a record 11 straight years.

The park first opened in 1870 making it the second oldest continually operated park in America.  While the new rides get all the attention and are the easiest to see from a distance, the park still holds on to its tradition. Throughout the park are opportunities to see how a park built on a small peninsula in a great lake crams in more and more rides over time. A lot of the roller coasters seem to twist and turn back on themselves as if folded into the space available. Unlike larger parks with grand walkways and long hikes between rides, Cedar point has something to do only feet away.

The big draw to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio is the amount of rides at the park. The park boasts 17 roller coasters, almost all a record breaker at one time or another. Even with a record breaking number of record breaking coasters the park still has something for everyone. From the newest and greatest modern ones to the old wooden classic Blue streak the park is the destination point of every roller coaster enthusiast.

If roller coasters are not your thing, the smaller rides scattered in between are a good option. The traditional scrambler, swings, or carousel are spread out enough that one can feel like they are seeing everything with having to go on the larger rides. The park boosts a pretty good kid’s area called Planet Snoopy. Seniors will not be left out as the park has a giant wheel, Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad, sky ride, space spiral and antique cars. There is literally something for everyone.

Looking to rest for a bit, the park does have many shows to see. The park has shows from extreme motorbikes to hits of the 50’s and 60’s. Shows can be a great way to escape the hot summer sun in the afternoon. The night time also lights up with an outdoor music, sound, light, video and pyrotechnics show.

The park, having been built on a peninsula that sticks out into Lake Erie, has amazing views. From the top of the larger rides one can see for miles, and possible into Canadian waters. With the great location comes many opportunities to enjoy the lake. The park has campgrounds, beaches, and a grand hotel all along the waterfront.

Suggestions for getting the most bang for your buck is to come to the park early and got to the newest ride or your favorite first.

It seems every time you come to Cedar Point you experience something new and exciting. One thing that cannot be said about Cedar Point is that there are not enough activities to fill up your day.