Thrills come in many forms, though. And the amusement park’s revamped and rebranded water park offers a variety of thrills.
Members of the media on Thursday were treated to a preview of Cedar Point Shores, formerly known as Soak City. The water park opens Saturday. You can get the full view of the park with our gallery, before you go.
“They’re different thrills, but the same quality of thrills,” said Jason McClure, Cedar Point vice president and general manager. “We definitely put in the thrill ride with (Point) Plummet but thrills in the water park are a nice place to sit down, get some shade with better food. I think that’s the most exciting thing out here — that we’ve completely upgraded the food experience with a lot more of a diverse menu, more options, more capacity. It’s a thrilling experience with the same quality of Cedar Point, but it’s a different feel, a different type.”
He wasn’t wrong about Point Plummet. Or the food. Both are superb and thrilling in their own way — if you enjoy food as much as I do anyway.
Point Plummet had the masses excited right away when the amusement park announced its plans last year. What’s not to love about the idea of a six-story aqua-drop body slide? Oh and did we mention the floor just drops out from under you and your three friends before you race to the bottom?
Same Cedar Point quality of thrills we all love — different avenue.
Looking at the mass jumble of twisting, turning slides it looks like a lot of fun, but maybe not quite something I expected to scare me like last year’s newbie, ValRavn. The six stories of stairs look more daunting.
The thrill comes after you choose what color tube to enter — green, blue, purple or yellow. (My favorite color is green, so the choice was obvious.) Unlike most water slides, you’re not sitting or laying down. No, you walk into an open capsule and stand on a clear plastic bottom, staring at the tight tube of rushing water beneath you that you know eventually turns into the complete darkness of unknown curves. As I stood there, looking down, the slide seemed dangerously steep and endless. In just seconds that glassy bottom is going to be gone.
It’s a little terrifying, honestly! Eight or so seconds is long enough to contemplate your decision and sanity as the clear front of the capsule slowly comes toward you and closes you in, latches and the count down begins. Cross your ankles and arms and try not to panic. “Three, two, one…”
You hear the bottom crash beneath you and that’s it, you’re already falling into the black.
That’s a real thrill.
From there, the ride is lot of fun — twisting, curving, making you feel like you might ride up one of the walls and flip over before you finally emerge into the light of the running strip and slow down. It’s long enough to actually enjoy the ride too, which is nice.
Writing about it, I seriously cannot wait to go back, maybe when it’s a little warmer, though. You know it’s a good water slide when you can enjoy it in a 58-degree breezy drizzle. At least the water is warm.
The Portside Plunge is almost equally as fun. Five stories of a dark tube slide that emerges into roller-coaster style hills before plunging you into a three-and-half-foot-deep pool. I rode that one twice. My advice is be weary of the right side. That has one heck of a steep hill that shoots you down, lifting you above the slide for a moment.
Fun! But that bump back down hurts a little.
For the little squirts, there are 12 new kiddie slides in Laskeslide Landing, which start out from the tiny-friendly and graduate into a more medium-sized, slightly more aggressive, but still kid-friendly slide that all have zero-depth pool entries.
Wade on over to the other side of the kids’ area and you come face-to-face with Lemmy the Lake Erie monster serpent. I think he might be Nessy’s cousin from across the pond, who squirts water from the his top fins and, of course, his nostrils.
Lemmy is surrounded by 17 different water features in this splash pad, including fake sand castles and crabs and the like.
With twice as many chairs and shaded areas, it’s also a perfect spot for parents to rest, relax and maybe even grab a bite from the Crystal Rock Cafe next door. It advertises hand-crafted pizzas, fresh chicken wraps and salads, but can we just take a moment to appreciate some of the best mac and cheese ever?
While I’ve never made it over to The Melt, I imagine it meets its standards with its toppings of bacon, extra cheese, chives and several other options. Cheesy heaven. Excellent shrimp and Asian salads too. There’s also now Schooner’s Bayside Bar across the way, serving Shandy Shores exclusive brew for mom and dad to try while relaxing in the adults-only area.
Overall, I’d say the new Cedar Point Shores Waterpark earns a solid A. Factor in the long lines I’m sure will come on the hottest of days, and it might drop to a B+, but definitely still worth it.
“Cedar Point started on the beach and that’s why people first came here in 1870 and it’s just exciting to kind of reconnect to that experience,” McClure said. “We wanted to bring people back to the shores — that’s why we renamed the park Cedar Point Shores. It has inspired the entire look and design and feel of the park. And it was time to give some love to the people that love water parks. It’s a big part of the experience when you come to Cedar Point and we wanted to match the Cedar Point experience with Cedar Point Shores.”
It matches that Cedar Point experience and its thrill — in many aspects. Well done, CP.