Michigan Adventure and Cedar Point Kick Off Summer Amusement Park Season

Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., which owns multiple amusement parks including Michigan Adventure in Muskegon and Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, has announced its 2021 upgrades of new rides, celebrations, and themed culinary events.
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Michigan Adventure's Funnel of Fear ride
Cedar Fair Entertainment has announced upgrades to rides at its parks, which include Michigan Adventure and Cedar Point. Pictured is the Funnel of Fear at Michigan Adventure. // Photo courtesy of Michigan Adventure

Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., which owns multiple amusement parks including Michigan Adventure in Muskegon and Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, has announced its 2021 upgrades of new rides, celebrations, and themed culinary events.

Overall, Cedar Fair owns and operates 13 properties. The company states it has a season pass base of 1.8 million passes outstanding, and customer surveys show a strong intent to visit amusement parks this year.

“Our primary goal for the 2021 season is to fully reopen all of our properties and provide our guests with fun, dynamic, and memorable experiences they can share with their family and friends,” says Tim Fisher, COO of Cedar. “We are optimistic that attendance levels at our parks and resort properties will significantly improve in 2021, particularly as COVID-19 vaccines become more broadly available.”

The upgrades include:

Michigan’s Adventure: The largest amusement park and water park in the state, offers more than 60 rides and attractions. The amusement park, which will open to the public May 29, will debut the new Peanuts themed kids’ area, Camp Snoopy. Camp Snoopy features five family rides, including Woodstock Express, Camp Bus, Beagle Scout Lookout, Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies, and Peanuts Trailblazers. Additionally, beautiful natural landscaping with plenty of shaded seating and pathways will lead guests to Beagle Scout Acres, an adventurous playground.

Cedar Point: The nation’s second-oldest amusement park, celebrates its postponed 150th anniversary in 2021. The park, which will open to the public May 14, will introduce the new Snake River Expedition family boat ride, the Celebrate 150 Spectacular parade, commemorative throwback merchandise, new dining locations, and more. The heart of the 150th anniversary celebration will take place June 26 through August 15. The family destination is home to the world’s largest collection of amusement rides, including roller coasters like Steel Vengeance, Top Thrill Dragster, and Millennium Force. There’s also the adjacent Cedar Point Shores Waterpark that features 18 acres and is set to open Memorial Day weekend.

California’s Great America: The northern California destination is set to debut the all-new South Bay Shores waterpark as part of its safe return to fun in May. South Bay Shores will introduce seven new aquatic attractions, two new restaurants, new merchandise locations, premium cabanas, and more. Headlining the waterpark’s new experiences are Pacific Surge, a water slide complex featuring four free-fall drop slides and two tube slides, and the Tide Pool children’s lagoon play area with eight miniature water slides.

Canada’s Wonderland: The park is preparing to open this season with all-new experiences including Mountain Bay Cliffs, a cliff-jumping attraction situated high above the 20-acre Splash Works waterpark and Beagle Brigade Airfield, an exciting plane ride for kids. The four-season amusement park features entertainment, live shows, and special events including Camp Spooky, Halloween Haunt, and the immersive holiday event WinterFest.

Carowinds: Located in the Carolinas, the park will open to the general public May 22 with the debut of Boogie Board Racer, the longest mat-racing water slide in the Southeast, in Carolina Harbor waterpark. The high-speed, six-lane slide will give racers the slide of their lives. Also debuting this year is Grand Carnivale, a cultural celebration featuring décor and cuisine from global cultures.

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom: Set in Allentown, Penns., the park kicks off its 138th operating season. Dorney Park, the northeast region’s premier amusement park, will open May 22 highlighting over 100 rides, shows, and attractions, the largest collection of kids’ rides in Planet Snoopy, and the return of the Grand Carnivale. Wildwater Kingdom, one of the nation’s top-ranked waterparks, is set to open Memorial Day weekend and will debut a multi-level, beach-themed play structure, Seaside Splashworks. This new family attraction will be the largest structure in the waterpark featuring more than 75 play elements.

Kings Dominion: Located in Virginia, the park will open to the public May 22. New for 2021, guests can take a trip to the tropics at the redesigned area of the Soak City waterpark: Coconut Shores. The new area will feature two family-friendly attractions: Sand Dune Lagoon, a mini-wave pool with playful one-foot waves, and Lighthouse Landing, a 45-foot-tall, multi-level aqua play structure with more than 200 interactive elements and eight slides for families to explore. Families can grab a bite to eat at Beach Street, an all-new food-truck-court dining experience in Soak City. Also being added throughout the amusement park, guests can delight in new food and beverage options, highlighted by Grain and Grill, a signature dining location featuring fresh locally sourced dishes with hundreds of combinations.

Kings Island: Set in Ohio, the park officially opens its gates to the general public on May 15. A Gold and Platinum season passholder preview will happen the weekend prior on May 8 and 9. New this season is Kings Island Camp Cedar, a luxury outdoor resort and RV park, less than a mile from the amusement park’s front gate. For many park guests this will be their first opportunity to experience the Orion giga coaster, winner of USA Today’s “Best New Amusement Park Attraction” in 2020. Featuring a 300-foot-tall first drop, Orion became the seventh giga coaster on the planet when it debuted in July 2020.

Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City: Set in southern California, the park plans to reopen in May in accordance with the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The iconic park will commemorate its 100-year anniversary with a summer celebration paying tribute to the Knott family’s rich history and legacy of family fun for all. Guests will be immersed in a once-in-a-lifetime anniversary celebration featuring festive park décor, themed food items, unique entertainment, exclusive merchandise, and special surprises along the way, all paying homage to the nostalgia that surrounds the historic theme park. Upon reopening, Knott’s Berry Farm also will debut Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair, an all-new 4-D interactive dark ride that celebrates a beloved classic attraction with a re-imagined gaming twist.

Schlitterbahn: Located in New Braunfels, Texas, the park will offer a variety of improvements when it opens to the public May 8, including restroom refurbishments, cabana makeovers, and retail store renovations. The iconic Lagoon pool in the original section of the park is also receiving a fresh new look and noticeable enhancements park guests will enjoy as they return this season. Additionally, the gift shop located at the park’s primary entrance has received a facelift along with the introduction of an array of new merchandise.

When Schlitterbahn: Set in Galveston, Texas, the park opens to the public May 15, and guests will see that the large pink family slides, Wolfpack and Thunder Tub, have received a makeover. The iconic slides in the Surfenburg section of the park were repainted this off-season, as well. Additionally, guests will notice a refreshing remodel of their favorite pizza joint. Pointe Pizza is being updated, paying homage to the laid-back nature of the Galveston coast with new décor, fresh paint, and a new drink menu. On top of that, the Riverbend Cabanas have been outfitted with new furniture.

Valleyfair: Located in the Twin Cities, the amusement park will open May 22. The Valleyfair offers more than 75 thrill and family rides, live shows, unique attractions, and special events throughout the season. On select days during the summer of 2021, Valleyfair guests can see, hear and experience how the world kicks up its heels at the brand new Grand Carnivale, a cultural celebration with something for everyone.

Worlds of Fun: Set in Kansas City, Missouri, the park opens its season May 22 and will feature the return of popular events like Grand Carnivale and Halloween Haunt. The Oceans of Fun waterpark will open the following weekend on May 29 with the debut of an all-new attraction, Riptide Raceway. At 486-feet long, it will be the longest mat-racing slide in the world. Guests will race down five stories on soft foam mats through four side-by-side tunnels and around a thrilling 360-degree loop. The slide concludes with a final splashdown at the finish line.

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