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‘Blue Streak is Sandusky’

Melissa Topey • Apr 29, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Two of the classic coasters at Cedar Point have some big birthdays to celebrate this season.

Sandusky’s namesake coaster, Blue Streak, turns 50 this year, and Magnum XL-200 turns 25. The park opens May 10, and the anniversary celebrations are planned for June 21.

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“The Blue Streak is Sandusky. It is our ride,” said Bryan Edwards, spokesman for Cedar Point. “I would venture no other coaster in any other park is purposely named after a high school”

The June celebrations will include special events and the park will also give commemorative items to guests.

Blue Streak isn’t the park’s fastest ride, or even the tallest, but it has consistently delivered half a century of quintessential amusement-park fun.

The unique sound of the wooden coaster ripping around the track — metal wheels on metal track — is ingrained in the minds of thrill seekers. It’s just as unforgettable as the pronounced lift riders get as they come soaring down its hills.

“It’s iconic,” Edwards said. “It was the face of Cedar Point for many years, maybe until Millennium Force came along”    When Blue Streak debuted in May 1964, opening day was marked by a parade featuring 50 high school bands, according to Sandusky Register archives. The events also featured a U.S. Air Force X-15 missile-plane, with recruits on hand to answer questions about the X-15.

Magnum, meanwhile, has stood the test of time. Twenty-five years after its May 1989 unveiling, the ride is still wildly popular with guests.

“It was the first coaster over 200 feet” Edwards said. “For decades coasters remained, at their tallest, in the 100- to 150-feet range. Out of nowhere here comes Magnum, this coaster out of Sandusky that shattered it”

Even as Cedar Point is inclined to celebrate and preserve its rich history, it’s still rolling out exciting new offerings.

In this 145th season, park leaders are introducing the scream-inducing SlingShot ride, as well as two family attractions: Pipe Scream and Lake Erie Eagles.

•SlingShot riders step into a capsule tethered to two towering posts, and they’re launched hundreds of feet into the air at speeds of up to 100 mph. Park guests must pay an additional fee beyond the price of park admission to ride SlingShot.

•Pipe Scream is a combination roller coaster and flat ride in which riders rock back and forth while spinning on 302 feet of track about 43 feet above the ground.

•Lake Erie Eagles is a classic swing ride that lifts riders 28 feet into the air. A paddle acting as a rudder allows riders to create their own flight simulation.

•The latter two attractions put the number of family-friendly or children’s rides at 35, accounting for about half of the 72 rides at Cedar Point.

•The park also has a newly refurbished and landscaped Gemini midway, as well as all sorts of new food offerings this year.

Two big franchise names that have moved into the park: Starbucks and Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab Shack and Sports Bar. This is the first Chickie’s and Pete’s in Ohio. The eatery, which started in Philadelphia, serves signature seafood dishes, Philly cheesesteaks and burgers. It’s located in the former Game Day Grille.

Cinnabon, another chain, is taking over the Subway location near Breakers Hotel, perfect for hotel guests heading into the park first thing in the morning. A Yogurt Plus and another Coca-Cola freestyle station are being added to the Gemini midway, near Lake Erie Eagles and Pipe Scream.

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