The debut of Shoot the Rapids, the new water ride at Cedar Point, has been postponed again.
Park spokesman Robin Innes said late Friday afternoon that Shoot the Rapids would not open for Memorial Day weekend as planned. It was scheduled to debut this morning.
“We’re going to try to get it open as soon as possible, but I cannot give you a specific date,” Innes said.
This is the second time the ride’s debut has been postponed. The ride was scheduled to launch May 15, Cedar Point’s opening day.
Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair’s chairman, president and CEO, said at the time the boats on the ride had been made too big and they had to be retrofitted.
Innes said Friday those issues are still being worked out.
“That and we’re still doing our final testing ... and those procedures are just taking longer than we expected,” he said.
Friday afternoon the park’s website still said, “Shoot the Rapids will not open until Saturday, May 29. Please check back for updates.”
The 30 riders who won a Red Cross charity auction to be the first to experience Shoot the Rapids have been told to stand by, said Judy Kinzel, executive secretary of the Firelands chapter of the American Red Cross and Dick Kinzel’s wife.
The winning bidders have raised a considerable amount of money for the Red Cross, with bids as high as $800, Judy Kinzel said.
“We’ve put them on hold. They were on hold once before. We thought it would happen tomorrow, but apparently it’s not going to happen unless something changes in the next few hours,” she said Friday afternoon before Innes confirmed the ride wouldn’t open as scheduled. “Most of our first riders have hung in there with us.”
Auctioning off the chance to be the official first rider on a Cedar Point ride has worked well for years as a fundraiser for the Red Cross, she observed.
“This is sort of an unusual situation. This has never happened to us before,” she said. “Sometimes it takes a little longer to get the bugs worked out.”
Four shows and The Starlight Experience open today, including the new show “Grand Ole Country Place” in the Palace Theatre. So does the Soak City waterpark.
Active, honorably discharged and retired members of the military will receive free admission to the park on Sunday and Monday with valid identification, and family members can receive a military discount on admission.