New shows. New rides. New children's area. For the 2008 season, Cedar Point plans to spend $5.2 million in capital improvements in and around the amusement park.
A two-year refurbishment at Sandcastle Suites Hotel will cost $3 million. The project, which includes renovating the lobby and registration area and upgrading the hotel's 187 suites, restrooms and hallways, is slated to be complete by the summer.
The hotel, located on the tip of the Cedar Point peninsula, also has an outdoor pool, whirlpool spa, tennis courts, a gazebo, scenic boardwalk and shuttle service to the gates of the park. Last summer, the hotel's exterior was upgraded.
The biggest change to the park will be the addition of Planet Snoopy, a new children's area that will replace Peanuts Playground.
"Every year we try to add something for everyone," said Cedar Point spokesman Bryan Edwards. "We're focusing on family fun this year."
Planet Snoopy's 1.25 acres will feature seven rides including a mini teacup-style ride, a miniature train, 4x4 trucks, a bouncing tower, spinning balloons, rocket ships and a crazy sub ride.
The additional rides bring the total number of children's rides to 32 and the park's overall total to 75. Planet Snoopy will be the park's fourth children's area at Cedar Point.
Officials decided to bring the seven rides to Cedar Point from Geauga Lake after the company announced it was shutting down the Geauga Lake's amusement park side.
The rides will have new themes. However, names for the rides have not been decided, Edwards said.
Planet Snoopy will also feature games, decor illustrating Snoopy's worldly travels and special live appearances by the Peanuts characters. New to the park will be a family center with changing stations and private areas to feed children.
"It's a great area for small children to spend the day," Edwards said.
Other new attractions at Planet Snoopy will be a new children's themed restaurant, which will feature a children-only menu with a few adult selections for the grown-ups. The restaurant's interior will showcase graphics from the comic strip.
Four new live shows will be introduced for the park's 139th summer season:
"Snoopy's Big Bow Wow on Ice," will be presented at the Good Time Theatre and will feature 14 world-class skaters in a brand-new ice skating show.
"All Wheels Extreme" will be featured in the former aquatic stadium next to Planet Snoopy. Skilled stunt bikers, skateboarders and skaters will perform tricks in this BMX-style show.
"Signed, sealed and delivered" will be performed in the Centennial Theatre with live singers and dancers celebrating music of the 1950s and 1960s.
The Red Garter Saloon will also showcase a new musical revue.
"We're known around the world for our roller coasters, but we're also a destination for families looking for a wide range of thrills," said Cedar Point vice president and general manager John Hildebrandt in a new release. "Planet Snoopy will be a great start for the young thrill seeker this summer."
Cedar Point will reopen for the season May 10. For a complete operating calendar or for more information visit cedarpoint.com or call 419-627-2350.