Cedar Point announces animatronic dinosaur attraction, new Soak City slides

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is a press release issued by the park. -J]

Cedar Point has some pretty big plans for next summer. The Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park/resort earlier today announced plans to introduce Dinosaurs Alive! on Adventure Island, a prehistoric themed attraction, for next summer. The new attraction will be located on four acres on the wooded island that is located in the lagoons toward the back of the park.

In addition to Dinosaurs Alive!, Cedar Point will also add a mat-racer slide complex to the Soak City waterpark located adjacent to the park.

Dinosaurs Alive! will cost approximately $1 million to build. The journey into Dinosaurs Alive! will be multi-sensory and interactive. Guests will be able to see approximately 50 life-size animatronic dinosaurs that will roar and move. Each will be handcrafted and covered with skin-like materials that will replicate almost every feature. Four of the dinosaurs will have interactive consoles that will allow guests to guide their movement to create an up-close look at how these dinosaurs moved their arms, tail, eyes and mouth.

“We are extremely excited about introducing Dinosaurs Alive! to our guests next summer,” said John Hildebrandt, vice president and general manager of Cedar Point. “Our guests will have the opportunity to visit the Jurassic Age up close and see some of the amazing creatures that called it home. Dinosaurs Alive! will be educational but fun, too.”

Overall, Dinosaurs Alive! will feature approximately three dozen types of dinosaurs. The dinosaurs will range in size and height. The largest will be the Ruyangosaurus that will stand nearly 40 feet tall and 72 feet long. The smallest will be an Angustinaripterus that will only be two feet tall and eight feet long.

Other dinosaurs in Dinosaurs Alive! will include the vicious Tyrannosaurus Rex, Irratator, Baryonyx and Spinosaurus, the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs. A plated Stegosaurus and three-horned Triceratops will also inhabit the island. The half-mile-long path will feature more than a dozen themed exhibits and displays and will veer underneath several of the larger dinosaurs providing a very intimate encounter with the prehistoric beasts.

Guests will enter Dinosaurs Alive! by crossing a bridge near Camp Snoopy. In addition to the dinosaurs, explorers will also encounter an excavation site and paleontological dig. There will also be informational signs for each exhibit and guides and fossil displays that will make Dinosaurs Alive! an entertaining three-dimensional educational tool for school groups as the discovery and identification of new species of dinosaurs increases annually. At the conclusion of the journey, there will be a prehistoric-themed gift shop.

Admission to Dinosaurs Alive! will be $5 per person. Special rates for groups and schools will also be available.

With the addition of Dinosaurs Alive!, the Paddlewheel Excursions boat cruise will be retired from the park. The pioneer-themed boat ride will be in daily operation through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5.

Cedar Point’s newest attraction will be created and produced by Dinosaurs Unearthed, an innovative traveling exhibition company that creates dynamic, multi-sensory experiences about the world of dinosaurs. Since 2005, the Richmond, British Columbia, Canada,-based company has provided multi-faceted exhibitions to museums, science centers and zoos throughout the world.

Next to Cedar Point, the Soak City waterpark will also have a new look for 2012. Next summer it will add a new mat-racer complex that will offer racers a speedy ride through a series of dips and plateaus. Additional information will be available later this year.

Related parks

No room for dinos at CW ;)

mlnem4s's avatar

I think the park is caught quite off-guard about the negative reactions across the board to all this....I expect to see an emphasis put on the mat-racer slides coming in 2012.

Last edited by mlnem4s,

I'd imagine it would be difficult for the park to completely ignore the negative reaction, or at least the surprisingly intense discussion surrounded such a low-key attraction. A certain level of dissatisfaction with a new attraction announcement is almost always a given nowadays, but this time the uniformity of the negative reactions (thrill ride fans upset over no thrill ride, traditionalists saddened by the apparently needless loss of an old family attraction) is somewhat remarkable.

But as is often said here and elsewhere, what enthusiasts think does not dictate what a park will do with their capital improvements. Whether the general public feels the same way as the online enthusiast community in this case remains to be seen.

Last edited by TimChat2,

"Thank the Phoneticians!"

DejaVuNitro's avatar

Save the Whizzer... err I mean Paddlewheel! Seriously I hope they change their mind on retiring Paddlewheel. Most people here have hit the nail on the head. Cedar Point should not be taking out classic family attractions like this for anything whether it be a new coaster, flat ride, or lame upcharge I can see at my local zoo for a buck a pop.

I know it costs more but *gasp* they could build an elevated bridge that will allow Paddlewheel to continue operating. However that would cost money and they would not be able to use the floating bridge they took from Geauga Lake.

I'm sheriff of this here rollercoaster.

Tekwardo's avatar

Y'all are all a bunch of flaming mos. Or maverick.

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

mlnem4s's avatar

The little that I know is the negative reaction has gone WAY beyond coaster/enthusiast forums. PWE will definitely be gone next year BUT...the question is for how long? 3? 2? 1? forever? This could get interesting.

Last edited by mlnem4s,

So here's a question to ponder...Why did they so painstakingly design Shoot the Rapids to work around the lagoon for the boats to go under? Even the maintenance bridge is high enough for the boats.

LostKause's avatar

They have been slowly killing PWE over the last decade or so, anyways. Every year, I wanted to see them improve the ride some way or another, but instead every year they made it worse. This news makes me very sad.

obxKevin's avatar

Not that the end of Paddlewheel isn't a personal loss, but...

An old attraction that has takes money out of the coffers vs. a new attraction that puts money IN the coffers.

I think I understand.

The poster formerly known as 'Zcorpius.' Joined 2004

OK, I haven't posted on here for years and I visit infrequently. But with that said, I feel compelled to say this:

This is the worst new addition I've ever seen. At any park. And, removing a much beloved (but neutered) park attraction to boot. They are a bunch of idiots! What are they thinking??

There, I've said it. Oh yes I did.

So who has the over/under on how long before a dino catches fire, and then one for how long before the majority of dinos stop working completely? Cedar Fair has never shown any desire to seriously keep up theming properly, and it sounds like those problems are already plaguing the KI attraction.

Last edited by maXairMike,

Original BlueStreak64

Right, Mike, that was exactly what I was thinking. I see it getting trashed and shuttered within 5 years.

I see the removal of Paddle Wheel Excursions as similar to the removal of the car ride at Kings Island. They both did not have long lines, but they were a nice relaxing change of pace from the lines and thrills of the other rides in the park. Both of these rides also provided an atmosphere to the park that is difficult to replace.

Ironically the only reason why my family and I did not ride PWE the last two times at the park this season is because the line was too long for our two year old to endure. Doesn't look to me like a ride that needs to be replaced.

Interesting about Cleveland Zoo already having this - when Kings Island announced this last year, I remembered back to when the Cincinnati Zoo had a Dino exhibit for a summer (also extra charge), and the Museum Center has hosted the traveling version a few times.

As I recall, when KI announced this last year, the reaction was generally a "Ho hum, it will be nice for the parents to take the little kids through while the big kids ride Windseeker" It also helped that the one at KI didn't take away a cherished ride. (We had our hearts ripped out, stomped on, etc, when the Flying Eagles left for Back Lot Stunt Coaster, er, no, Three Point Challenge, sorry) KI lost the brand new Euro Bobbles (most likely a booked in concession anyway), but gained a dino themed birthday pavilion in it's place. Not a bad move to encourage kids birthday parties at your attraction, parties mean catering revenue, not to mention all the admissions from the friends.

Yes, we did lose the Iwerks motion movie, to a pay extra dino 3D movie. No big loss there.

I do like how they are putting the CP Dinos in the back of Camp Snoopy, as that seems to be the target audience for it. I also agree that getting rid of one of the few "all ages" rides is not the way to go. Thinking back, when Cedar Fair bought the Paramount Parks, wasn't the comment made along the lines they noticed that Kings Island had drifted more to the family side, and so they were going to put more thrill rides into KI to even it out, and at the same time they commented that Cedar Point was leaning too much towards the thrill side, and so they were going to add more family stuff to even it out. Removing a family ride doesn't seem to be the way to go if that is the goal they want to achieve.

Speaking for myself - I did the Dino's Alive at KI, once, just to see exactly what they had come up with. What they have come up with is basically the same thing the zoos have been exhibiting, right down to the sand box "archeological dig site", and having one or two you can control. The technology may have gotten better, the control consoles for the interactive exhibits look to more vandal proof and reliable than what the zoo was using. What I thought was great about KI's was the landscaping, there are really only a few spots you can see outside of the Dino's Alive area, which really helps give it that "place to relax away from the hectic pace of the park for an hour" feel that I used to associate with the Wild Animal Habitat monorail (sniff). Also, even going atop Tower there is really no place in the park you can see into Dino's Alive. The one thing that gives me the impression that they plan on keeping this around for awhile is the fact that when they laid the new walkway to tour the exhibit, they went to great pains to give the pavement the look of dino footprints all over them. This would seem to make it harder if, let's say 5 years from now, dinosaurs are out of fad, and for sake of discussion, let's say GI Joe is back in as the hot new craze for the pre-teen set. If they had just used plain pavers, it would seem to be a matter of: wheel the dino's out, and the tanks, and animatronic soldiers and other military combat theme props in.

All in all, I think they should have taken a wait-and-see for two years on the Kings Island Dinos Alive. This year, they may well sell a bunch of tickets on it so that people can see what it is. (Curiosity is a strong sales motivator), but did they go through it again on repeat visits. That, I think is key. It has been noted that KI has a very large season pass base, and thus a lot of repeat guests, do those repeat guests translate into repeated visits to Dinos Alive? Will people opt to see the dinosaurs again in 2012? Also the second season will give them a taste of what is required for the Care and Feeding of robotic dinosaurs.

As for public reaction - we'll know soon enough if in future marketing pieces, the park really stresses the waterslide and "Oh by the way, we are also getting Dinos Alive" Sort of the exact opposite of the press release segment above.

David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville
My Blog -> http://coasterville.blogspot.com

CPcyclone said:
So here's a question to ponder...Why did they so painstakingly design Shoot the Rapids to work around the lagoon for the boats to go under? Even the maintenance bridge is high enough for the boats.

According to an article in the Toledo Blade, the park didn't decide to add the dinosaurs until earlier this summer, after seeing how well the one at KI did.I guess if the attraction is making money it's hard to argue with, but it still seems like a dumb decision to rip out Paddlewheel.

Also, the general consensus around my part of Ohio is that it's already hard enough to afford a family trip to CP, with the economy still being in the crapper and all. I'm not surprised that a large amount of the backlash is about this being an upcharge attraction. I also have serious doubts about the attractiveness of this thing after its first year.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

Where is all the info on the water slides for SC?

The have not selected a vendor yet. Don't be surprised if they move slides from Geauga Lake.

CoasterDemon's avatar

Wasn't there(?) some discussion about how attendance goes up when CP adds a new big coaster, but starts to drop a couple years after?

Only so many coasters are gonna fit on CP. Maybe they are trying to get more (different) types to the park. It seems logical to me. My only complaint would be (as usual) the impending removed of more trees.

Valleyfair Enthusiast's avatar

How hard would it be for them to build a bridge to Millie Island tall enough for the boats to fit under? I wonder if they might consider that after seeing this reaction...

Chance W Mitchell
2009: 43 parks; 73 days; 251 coasters; 2462 coaster laps; 1 epic summer


CoasterDemon said:
My only complaint would be (as usual) the impending removed of more trees.

There is no lack of trees from the end of the Midway back, removal of a couple will have little effect.

My wife cannot ride thril rides due to POTS, a disorder where your body has a hard time regulating your blood pressure. We loved Paddlewheel, and we are both in the 18-34 demographic. I have no problem with the edition of the Dino's or the fact that they aren't adding a thrill ride. I am just so darn miffed that they are removing a cheesey, feel good, anyone can ride and be happy attraction. What are they thinking?

I remember going to the park as a youngster in the early 80's with my grandparents who were in there 60's at the time. While they didn't rie the coasters we still had a lot of attractions that everyone coudl enjoy no matter the age. Now look at waht we have, the CP&LE , Sky Ride, and Space Spiral.

So help me god if they ever get rid of the CP&LE or turn the classic early 20th century steam locomotives into internal combustion monstrosities I will never go to the park again.

Last edited by MagnumsRevenge,

-Brent Kneebush

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