Download our Printable Guide
The flagship park of the Cedar Fair chain, Cedar Point is second only to Lake Compounce as the oldest operating amusement park in the US. While its rides can't compete with Disney or Universal in the theming stakes, it has a staggeringly large number of them - more than 70 in total. These are spread across several lightly-themed "midway" areas, along with three separate children's areas (two of which are themed around the Peanuts characters). The park's roller coaster line-up is world-renowned, and includes fan favorites Top Thrill Dragster, Millenium Force and Maverick.
Cedar Point first opened in 1870, on a peninsula that had become popular with picnicking families. After two decades of steady expansion, the park's first roller coaster, Switchback Railway, debuted in 1892. Further new rides were added after the park was acquired by the Lake Erie & Western railroad five years later. The appointment of Dick Kinzel as CEO of Cedar Fair in 1986 marked a change in direction for the park, which received hundreds of millions of dollars in investment over the proceeding decades. This resulted in the infamous "coaster wars" with Six Flags Magic Mountain, with both parks battling it out to install the largest number of roller coasters. Kinzel's retirement in 2011, and the takeover by ex-Disney stalwart Matt Ouimet, suggests a switch in focus towards the family market and heavier theming.