Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Cedar Point Souvenir Map Collection

Before I write about the trip Monique and I took to Cedar Point a few days ago, I want to take a moment to blog about the history I have with the place, going back to the early 1970s. My hometown of Galion lies about an hour south of Cedar Point, so annual trips to the park were no big deal. Now that I live in Columbus, it's a bit harder, but Monique and I have made it twice since we met in 2005.

All that I have of those old trips are my memories and several souvenir maps that I acquired from various trips:

The first one, in the upper left corner of the picture, is from 1981. The ride that debuted that year was Ocean Motion, a giant swinging boat ride. Back then the biggest attractions were Gemini and Corkscrew. I am sure that at one point I had even older maps, but they were lost with time. The print shop where my Dad worked had the contract to print the maps back then, so I got one every year. Too bad I didn't save them all.

The next one (upper middle in the picture) is from 1982, where the new addition was White Water Landing, a large water ride that was removed at the end of the 2005 season.

The map in the upper right is from 1983 and the new ride then was the Demon Drop. After that, I missed a few years because I had moved to Columbus.

On the bottom left is the next time I visited the park in 1987, when the Iron Dragon opened. Sometime in those years I missed the Wildcat was moved from the front of the park by the Space Spiral to a more central location next to the Imax movie theater, where it remains to this very day. Also in these years the Frontier Lift was removed, which is regrettable since they made it very easy to get to the back of the park quickly.

After that, it looks like my next trip (and map) was in 1993, where the Mean Streak, the Magnum XL 200, and Snake River Falls had transformed the park from one of the most impressive roller coaster parks in the world to its undisputed champion. These new rides (Mean Streak and Magnum) set a new standard around the world for height and speed, and Cedar Point has worked hard ever since to maintain those records.

It was a twelve year gap for me before I returned to Cedar Point in 2005 with Monique for our first visit together. I failed to get a souvenir map that year for some reason, but brought home the little free map you get at the entrance. The park had added even more impressive rides during my long absence including the Top Thrill Dragster, Millenium Force, Mantis, Raptor, Wicked Twister, and MaxAir. The park had become an amazing arrangement of coasters and rides, with some of them completely intertwined.

And finally, just three days ago, Monique and I returned to the most amazing place on Earth for another day of fun. This time, I remembered to get the souvenir map, which features the new rides Skyhawk and Maverick. I have resolved to return to the park at least once a year, and to always, always get a map. I've grown older with Cedar Point, and while I may be slowing down, that place shows no signs of ever doing anything of the sort.

For a detailed history of the park , check it out here.


Keith said...

Thank you for this posting! This is exactly the thing for which I was looking, and I also grew up in Galion; go Tigers-they have seen better days. Like you, Cedar Point was an important part of my childhood. I visited Thursday - August 13th - after having been away for 18 years, and my mind struggled to recall the location of all the old haunts. Those caricature maps were always awesome, again, like you, I wish that I had saved every one from every year past. If I write a story about the place, can I reference your blog? Thanks again for saving the maps you have posted. Those and the recent visit have brought back a lot of good, old memories.

Keith said...

Is there anyway you can send me a high resolution image of the map from 1983? Thanks again.
Did my original post get submitted twice? Sorry.

Ruffie said...

Tahnks for posting. You can certainly reference my blog anytime you wish. I'll try to take a better picture of the 1983 map and send it to you this weekend. And I'm glad you had a good time at Cedar Point!