Concept art of Cedar Point new themed area: The Boardwalk

Months before Wicked Twister gave its final ride in September of 2021, fans were already speculating on what coaster would take its place. Given Cedar Point's history of record-shattering, odds-defying coasters, parkgoers assumed Wicked Twister's predecessor would fit this criteria...then came the announcement that a Zamperla Wild Mouse would stand in the once-record-breaker's place. 

Concept art of Wild Mouse Roller Coaster
Image: Cedar Point

The coaster is set to open at the start of the 2023 season. A Wild Mouse isn't a rare choice per se—this model is one of the most popular and recognizable at theme parks worldwide, and that's why it's a bit of a head scratcher. This attraction, appropriately if not blandly titled "Wild Mouse Roller Coaster," doesn't break any records, nor does it fill the void Wicked Twister left. A family coaster in concept, the Wild Mouse model relies on hairpin turns and sudden drops to create a mild thrill at low heights and speed. This coaster is not the investment piece that I expected from Cedar Point's 18th coaster, but while some would see this as a disappointment, Wild Mouse Roller Coaster only the beginning of Cedar Point's plans for the 2023 season.

Introducing The Boardwalk

Concept art of The Boardwalk
Image: Cedar Point

While the Wild Mouse dominates conversation in coaster communities, this option is purposeful when viewed in the context of The Boardwalk, a brand new themed area coming to Cedar Point in the 2023 season. Carrie Boldman, Cedar Point's VP and General Manager, reported of the area, "The Boardwalk is our vision of what the classic Cedar Point Boardwalk would have felt like long ago: the sights, the sounds, the electricity of the experience." Words like electricity and experience are hints of what Cedar Point's looking to accomplish: that lightning-in-a-bottle sensation that brings guests from far and wide.

The park markets this area as a return to what made Cedar Point a resort (remember that distinction) destination in the 1800s, honoring the park's history while revitalizing an area of the park that is already in need of a facelift. While the lakeside views stun from the top of the Millennium Force lift hill, the beach near the main park entrance has not been taken proper advantage of as it will now. 

Wild Mouse Roller Coaster just scratches the surface of what's to come in this new themed area. Also opening in 2023 is Cedar Point's Grand Pavilion, a re-imagination of the park's old entertainment venue. This pavilion will include two levels of dining, including a lakeside bar to take in the breeze and wide views of the park. This pavilion isn't just on the water—it shows Lake Erie off. 

Concept art of The Boardwalk's Grand Pavilion
Image: Cedar Point

The Boardwalk will be dolled-up like an old Hollywood icon, with Matterhorn and the Scrambler relocating to the front of the park and many other new additions to come. These smaller attractions will help pull together GateKeeper, Giant Wheel, and WindSeeker, attractions that have always felt just a little too spread out to be cohesive. 

Why Cedar Point Needs The Boardwalk

So the new boardwalk is great, but why does it matter? Why is this a smarter move on Cedar Point's end than another record breaker? 

The answer is found in a word that's being spotted more and more in the park's press releases and announcements: resort. While Cedar Point is undoubtedly one of the greatest amusement parks in the world, it is focusing more and more on attracting consistent guests who stay on park grounds and come not for a day, but for an experience. While season passholders and locals are the heart of Cedar Point, tourists staying at onsite resorts like Hotel Breakers are major sources of revenue, considering these guests ride, sleep, eat, and drink on park property. 

Is the Wild Mouse the most exciting choice for the roller coaster capital of the world's latest addition? Not exactly. But the addition of a family coaster front and center will do wonders when it comes to drawing families out to the park, especially considering the park leaves some to be desired on the family coaster front.

Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Image: Cedar Point

It is true that, considering the latest major coaster to come to Cedar Point was 2018's Steel Vengeance, the park is long overdue for a thrill addition. This need is even more prevalent since the park announced that Top Thrill Dragster, the world's second-tallest coaster and a crowd favorite at the park, will be retired following an accident involving a piece of metal striking a guest. 

Cedar Point's announcement of Top Thrill Dragster's closing
Image: Cedar Point

Words to pay attention to in the park's announcement are "as you know it." The post is vague, but it seems we will see a reimagining of the strata coaster, perhaps featuring a new launch system or completely overhauled layout. Regardless of when this new version of Dragster will open and what brand new coaster may come after that, The Boardwalk will usher in a new generation of Cedar Point admirers to thrill. 

The Boardwalk shines a light on what makes Cedar Point such a gem. It's not just the stellar rides and it's not just the natural beauties surrounding the midways—it's that Cedar Point's got both, and continues to marry the best aspects of its location, chain, and capabilities to create a resort location that will draw in the masses for years to come.


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