The end of Paddlewheel at Cedar Point

Monday, August 15, 2011 9:22 PM
rollergator's avatar

Have the Paddlewheel get re-themed to Dinosaurs a la Jurassic park, then have the entire boat have a steep drop at the end? Valley of the Dinosaurs...or maybe Land of the Lost? (old folks references)...

OK, maybe not... ;)

You may now return to your more reasonable discussion.... :)

Monday, August 15, 2011 9:31 PM
Jerry's avatar

rollergator said:
Have the Paddlewheel get re-themed to Dinosaurs a la Jurassic park, then have the entire boat have a steep drop at the end? Valley of the Dinosaurs...or maybe Land of the Lost? (old folks references)...

OK, maybe not... ;)

You may now return to your more reasonable discussion.... :)

I actually thought about this one - then remembered a travel channel special on Universal Studios, considering all the maintenance that goes into the Jurassic Park Ride; and given Cedar Fair's history with maintaining both theme and effects... Nopers!

Last edited by Jerry, Monday, August 15, 2011 9:33 PM
Monday, August 15, 2011 10:57 PM
Jeff's avatar

RideMan said:
It's not that it's appropriate for Cedar Point to have the kind of ride mix that Disneyland does, but it is important to recognize that there is more to "accommodating families" than simply throwing a bunch of undersized Hampton and Zamperla rides into a kiddie ghetto and calling it good. I think it's even more than doing what you see at Hersheypark and MarineLand, where they have kiddie rides that can accommodate adults. What really works much better is to have rides that can actually appeal (perhaps for different reasons) to a broad range of people. The amusement ride equivalent of "The Muppet Show", if you will.

This is probably the best overall phrasing of what I've been trying to tell the kids on PointBuzz for years. I've always believed it was the right thing despite my love for roller coasters, but now that I'm a parent and plotting every possible future vacation, it's more important than ever. There's a desire for some people to just say, "Oh, no one will stop going because they removed some one thing," but when there's a pattern, eventually it impacts the park negatively.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Monday, August 15, 2011 11:17 PM

I'd even be okay with it if CP redid Paddlewheel as a Peanuts-themed attraction. Now that I think of it, that might be pretty cool.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:20 AM
LostKause's avatar

kRaXLeRidAh said:
If you're really distressed about something like that, you probably don't have any real adult problems to deal with. Pray tell me, what is that like? Would love to know.

First of all, I am truly sorry that your adult problems are so terrible that you have to get so grouchy on the internet about it. I can't really think of any real adult problems that I have trouble dealing with. I guess I am just a happy camper. :p Telling you how great that feels would probably tic you off even more, so I will not say.

Second, friend, spend three seasons (eighteen months total) driving the Paddlewheel Excursion boats around the lagoon and telling stupid (haha) jokes to the public, training other ride operators to do the same, and then say that you wouldn't feel some kind of loss if (when) the ride was removed.

That ride is a part of me. When people ride it even today, they will hear at least three or four jokes that I came up with during my run there as "Captain Travis". I wanted to revamp the scrip at one point, and add every joke that could be told on the ride to the handbook, but management told me no.

When you ride PWE, you are not just listening to jokes that are in the PWE handbook, you are also listening to jokes that have been passed down from year to year from boat captain to boat captain.

The greatest thing about PWE is that each captain is different. They each add their own personality to the ride, and will tell a completely different script from another boat captain. Each scene has (or had in some cases) many different jokes to tell about them, so it was easy for the boat captains to mix it up from ride to ride.

It is also arguably the most difficult ride to operate at Cedar Point. You have to have performance talent, as well as be coordinated enough to get the boat through the lagoon without crashing it too often. When I worked there, being nicknamed Captain Crash was a pretty big insult. lol

What a fantastic ride Paddlewheel Excursions is. People of any age can ride it, and enjoy it for different reasons. Older people can ride it for nostalgic reasons. Teenagers can sarcastically laugh a little too loud to impress their friends. Lovers can take an exclusive, quiet, peaceful night-ride in the Spring or Fall. Interacting with the boat captain is what the ride is all about, and what makes it so unique.

There is not another ride like it anywhere on the planet.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7:39 AM

I always thought it was neat how someone would answer the question to Why is that dog named........ With a answer another captain gave and they'd have their own version.

We even had a captain say if you think this ride is boring.......... and started juggling and put a clown nose on. Every ride is unique in some aspect.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:48 AM

LostKause...I appreciate your perspective. You echo how I felt about Geauga Lake closing down. I got a little push back from folks about how hard I was taking it but Geauga Lake was my life for about 5 years. My closest friends were met there. Love interests were met there. The foundation for my career was laid there. My siblings and I spent our closest summer there when we got season passes after I got my driver's license. That sticks with you.

If Disney closed the Jungle Cruise I would feel similarly and I only worked there for six months.

I would love to be a fly on the wall and see how these decisions are made. Sometimes I really wonder if they think it through clearly. Maybe it isn't a done deal...but I fear that it is.

Rideman...I appreciate your perspective too. And Jeff, I'm glad to see that parenthood is bringing you around. To be fair though, I only started thinking about the lack of "family friendly" attractions at the park about 8 years ago...when my oldest was on the verge of being a park goer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:44 AM
LostKause's avatar

Yep, Wahoo. Once a Paddlewheel Captain, always a Paddlewheel Captain. I'm sure that can be said for Disney's Jungle Cruise as well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 11:54 AM

I haven't worked there in 19 years and I still have the spiel memorized.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:38 PM
OhioStater's avatar

I would be shocked if PWE goes. Ouimet (I think that is how it is spelled) has already been quoted about stressing the family demographic, has he not? I cannot see his first move being the removal of PWE. And yes, it is possible that Kinzel set the stage for this (if it is indeed true) years ago, but that can be changed.

Jeff and RideMan summed up exactly what some of us say over at Pointbuzz, although I think it falls mostly on deaf ears. I must admit, I too did not become fully "aware" of the severe lack of quality family rides at Cedar Point until we had children.

What CP apparantly does not realize is that families like mine are choosing to go to other parks now. Do we still go to CP? Of course...but we also travel to BGW, Dollwood, part to get out and visit other parks, but in large part because I want to take my children somewhere where there are quality, family-focused things we can all do together.

Camp Snoopy, Planet Snoopy, etc...great for kids, horrible for families. In fact, am I wrong by stating that under Kinzel's watch, not one family attraction was built? I cannot think of one, but I can think of several that were removed.

Lost: Pirate Ride, White Water Landing, Mill Race...mind drawing a blank....


Last edited by OhioStater, Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:37 PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:29 PM
LuvRaptor's avatar

No more Elken John? :(

My hubby and I dished out the 10 bucks to see the Dinosaurs at KI. It was ok. If you could get past the one that sounded like a sheep and the other one that sounded like a cow. Of course KI also has ALOT more land to pull the exhibit off in.

Myself I kind of thought the whole dinosaur thing was over. Of course except for Jarassic Park at US :)

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011 5:09 PM

This post made me think about what my family will usually ride together and it's more limited than I'd like as we like trill rides to very different degrees which means we tend to only hit a few of the bigger ones and then it's only about half of us riding. We usually catch a show or two. We ride Iron Dragon, the Cedar Creek Mine Ride, the train, the boat, and a few of the smaller flats (antique cars and swings always), and add in something like Disaster Transport or Wildcat (everyone won't ride Corkscrew or Blue Streak). We used to ride White Water Landing, but haven't riden Shoot the Rapids yet (haven't been back yet, if it's too wet, we won't, otherwise probably will). We usually go during Halloweekends which means we enjoy the fright zones and decorations. We also cook out which started due to the food prices and has since become a part of the experience.

When I go through that list, what is most telling is that the newest ride that all of us will do together is Disaster Transport. Most of the rides we all enjoy are not where they have been putting money at as far as attractions in a long time. Shoot the Rapids might be an exception, but it's at most a replacement and if it's too wet, we probably won't be riding it at anyway.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7:16 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

The same people (myself included) have been voicing the same concerns over the last several years. Considering the park's track record for removing things that the whole family can enjoy the removal of PWE wouldn't surprise me either.

I just don't get why an amusement park needs to be a collection of attractions that requires a long wait through a maze of metal queues and consider that "fun." (And no this isn't an attack on virtual queueing) Whatever happened to the attractions that could entertain a much larger base and pack many in at the same time with a minimal wait. Some of you might forget, but Cedar Point once had a Jungle Larry's animal show and an aquarium. It was something to do with the little kids while the adults went off with the big kids to go do one of the big rides. That's been my complaint about the park since becoming a parent (about 6 years ago). There really isn't a whole lot to do together aside from the shows, train, PWE, the Arrow car rides, and Space Spiral. That's about it. Compare that 20 years ago (when I was the wee little one) and there was much more I was able to do.

For these reasons is why myself and my family have ventured out to the smaller parks where the number of family attractions outnumber the thrill rides. Sure, we'll go back to the higher thrill parks when the kids get older and maybe my kids will be going to those parks. But I find myself spending a heck of a lot more money at the smaller parks than I do at the big thrilling parks and eventually that's what's going to speak louder.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:23 AM

Nicely said Rob. And, for what it is worth, consider that the "family" attraction light show is a "late" event for a lot of families with young children.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 12:43 PM
Jerry's avatar

I miss Breeze, Misty, Coco and Stryker :-/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 6:59 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

I don't hold the removal of the dolphin show against the park. At least it was replaced with another show for the family to enjoy.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:09 PM
LostKause's avatar

Were you a dolphin trainer at the park, HeyIsntThatRob? :p

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 7:16 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

If you are anywhere near as emotional about Paddlewheel as I am about being a former Blue Streak employee (92/93):

I understand, Travis. It's ok, time heals - but slowly - oh so slowly ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:44 PM
Jerry's avatar

What ever happened to the brake handle? They should have left it there. There was always a hot guy pulling it back.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:16 PM

LostKause said:
I bet you I have been around that lagoon more than anyone here.

I never heard it put quite that way before. That made me LOL.
Travis, you really need to make that your signature line sometime.


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