Amusement Parks Behind The Scenes At Cedar Point, America's Roller Coaster Capital  

Donn Saylor
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There are more than 400 amusement parks in the United States alone, but not a single one is quite like Cedar Point. This Sandusky, OH, mainstay is a massive park renowned for its numerous roller coasters, several of which have broken world records. In fact, the some of the top coasters in the world are at Cedar Point.

These facts about Cedar Point illustrate how the park's history, behind-the-scenes secrets, and abundance of unusual occurrences offer just as much fun as any of the rides. Well... almost as much fun.

Cedar Point has broken many records since it opened, too. For example, it has six roller coasters taller than 200 feet - the world's first park to hold such a distinction. But lest you think Cedar Point is all about roller coasters, consider this: The park has more than 70 rides in all, plus three expansive areas just for kids, live entertainment, and a mile-long beach. These are only a few of the park's many amenities.

Now buckle in, and let's look at some things you probably never knew about Cedar Point. Just remember: Keep your hands inside the moving car at all times.

The Park Is Known As The 'Disneyland Of The Midwest'


The Park Is Known As The '... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Behind The Scenes At Cedar Point, America's Roller Coaster Capital
Photo: Patik/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Cedar Point garnered the affectionate nickname of the "Disneyland of the Midwest." This nickname makes sense, as it is the most-visited seasonal amusement park in America; the other names on the most-visited list - including the two Disney parks, Knott's Berry Farm, and Universal Orlando - are open year-round.

Disney first popularized the idea of themed areas within amusement parks, and Cedar Point soon followed suit. In 1967 Cedar Point's first themed district, FrontierTown, opened.

Cedar Point Opened In 1870, And Not As An Amusement Park


Cedar Point Opened In 1870, An... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Behind The Scenes At Cedar Point, America's Roller Coaster Capital
Photo: Chris Light/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Cedar Point stands as the second-oldest amusement park in operation in the US today, but it started out in a much different form. Way back in 1870, a German immigrant named Louis Zistel opened Cedar Point as a public bathing beach. He ferried passengers from Sandusky to Cedar Point for a fee of 25 cents per person.

Later in 1870, Zistel built a beer garden with a dance floor. Over the years, more people started visiting the area. By 1882, tourism in Cedar Point was booming, with eight bathhouses, a new dance hall, and more docks to accommodate the ever-growing influx of visitors.

Its First Roller Coaster Opened In 1892


Its First Roller Coaster Opene... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Behind The Scenes At Cedar Point, America's Roller Coaster Capital
Photo: Mike Sharp/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

The park's first roller coaster launched in 1892. By today's standards, the Switchback Railway sounds unimpressive, but for the time, it was a wonder. It stood 25 feet tall, reaching a maximum speed of 10 mph. The ride featured two side-by-side tracks, one for the trip up and the other for the way down. For the ascent, an attendant pulled the train.

The Park's Steel Vengeance Roller Coaster Broke 15 World Records


The Park's Steel Vengeance... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Behind The Scenes At Cedar Point, America's Roller Coaster Capital
Photo:  Ken Srail/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Steel Vengeance debuted at Cedar Point in May 2018. It's a monolith - with a ride duration spanning two minutes and 30 seconds, Steel Vengeance is the longest, tallest, and speediest coaster of its kind. It broke an astounding 15 world records.

Among its superlatives: the world's tallest hybrid (wood and steel) coaster; the fastest hybrid coaster; and the steepest and longest drops on a hybrid. It also features the most airtime - the amount of time riders experience weightlessness - of any roller coaster in the world, at a dizzying 27.2 seconds.