Cedar Point’s Soak City, Challenge Park, and Mean Streak Closing
Hello all. I took a journey from Central Florida to the shores of Lake Erie this past weekend to say goodbye to an old friend. That old friend was Mean Streak roller coaster, a roller coaster that was built in 1991 as the tallest and fastest wooden roller coaster in the world. The coaster delighted over 26 million guests during its run and used to be a fantastic coaster! I started my working days as a teenager at this wonderful park and used to take many rides on this roller coaster day in and day out. I started out in Soak City and Challenge Park as admissions and eventually worked my way around all of Challenge Park. I quickly discovered that 2 things that I spent a lot of time at in the park in the 90’s were disappearing. Not only was Mean Streak leaving but Challenge Park had already left, or was at least in the process of being bulldozed. This is all taking place to expand oak City into Cedar Point Shores. So let’s start by taking a look at the destruction of the entire Challenge Park area.
Here the old ticket booths that would sell Go-Kart, Challenge Golf, and Soak City tickets is down to its frame.
Challenge Golf is also being torn up to make room for more parking. This was a 36 hole golf course that had some fun holes and challenges.
Gone are the caves and waterfalls of this once spectacular putt-putt course
Also a casualty of the expansion is RipCord Skycoaster. Slated to move somewhere inside the park for the 2017 season I found it laying down on the job for the remainder of the season.
As you can see it looks a little different without the large metal arch sitting next to Magnum
The old RipCord ticketing and prep area looks to be next to see the bulldozer.
The mighty towers of RipCord now sit on their side awaiting word on their new home.
The bolts that once held up RipCord are seen here.
Last we see the top pieces of the steel arch sitting next to Magnum’s 1st hill.
This large grassy area was once home to Go-Karts zooming around Magnum. This area will soon be home to a new slide complex as part of the new Cedar Point Shores.
Even current Soak City structures are coming down to make way for its rebuild and re-branding. The large pile of rubble was once the Soak City gift shop.
I spent 3 seasons working all of these rides and attractions before moving elsewhere in the park. It is sad for me to see it all go, but I understand that this is a industry of change and I truly look forward to visiting Cedar Point Shores next summer.
Next up on this stop was taking one last ride on the wooden giant Mean Streak. This Coaster actually holds a lot of great memories for me as I would honestly ride this every night multiple times before the park closed. If I was at Cedar Point that day, whether I was working or playing, it was a guarantee that you could have found me riding Mean Streak. In the fall of 1997 I took my 1,000th ride on the coaster. The crew threw me a party and we had a great time. Yes I was one of those that kept count of my rides.
Before taking my rides I took a spin around perimeter road. This structure is absolutely beautiful and if you never drove around to the back of the park you were missing out on a sight.
Looking at the lift hill makes you realize this ride is nothing short of impressive. The entire structure is made up of 1.7 million board feet of southern yellow pine.
Looking at the First turn, this was such a thrilling part of the ride when it opened in 1991.
While waiting in line you had the opportunity to stand inside the very dense structure.
As people took their final rides they gathered in the midway awaiting the funeral for the coaster.
Just a little after 7:30 as Mean Streak was giving its final rides the funeral for the coaster had begun. Check out video taken of the funeral here:
A funeral is not without flowers. Many of Cedar Point’s departments (and one special coaster) sent flowers.
As they very final trains ran the carpenters arrived to make it official and take the entrance sign to the coaster down.
Here you can see them taking the sign down
The sign found its way to the front of the park in the Dead Rides Cemetery.
The tombstone reads:
“The Mean Streak’s demise is no laughing matter,
Just ask the tearful chiropractor,
No more, will it shake and rattle your bones,
And FrontierTown will be absent of groans.”
So with much celebration and fanfare the coaster permanently closed its entrance gates. People are awaiting with baited breath the announcement of what is going to replace Mean Streak. I for one am thankful for the many great rides this coaster gave in the early 90’s and look forward to what happens with this space and coaster structure. Yes, I said structure….
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