Sandusky Travel Guide
According to Mother Nature itís not technically summer for at least another month, but we go by the calendar and the season starts with Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully theme parks also seem to follow the calendar, so the last few weeks of May are always a good time to enjoy that new roller coaster smell. Thatís especially the case over in Sandusky, Ohio, as once again Cedar Point is welcoming the amusement park season with a brand new ride.
This year itís GateKeeper thatís taking up a permanent residence inside the park, as the new roller coaster breaks all kinds of records. With a 164-foot drop and over 4,000-feet of track itís the best in its class, and thatís even before your get buckled in for a ride.
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Fun fact: fun facts are awesome. Whether you're trying to chat up a flight attendant or simply love learning something cool, we've got some tidbits to share. So all this week, we'll be squeezing our mindgrapes to bring you some awesome, random travel factoids.
Fact: Cedar Point Amusement Park used to have a Boeing 747-themed roller coaster named "Jumbo Jet."
It's the late 1970s at a theme park in Ohio, but this isn't just any theme park; it's Cedar Point. This park, on a peninsula sticking out into Lake Erie, celebrates over 100 years of fun, with five roller coasters at the time: Blue Streak, Wildcat, Cedar Creek Mine Ride, Corkscrew and Jumbo Jet. Three of those five still exist and the losers areyou guessed itWildcat and the very similar Jumbo Jet.
The summer season is quickly coming to a close and that means only a few more chances to ride your favorite roller coaster this season. Even though timeís running out for some theme parks in 2012, we like to stay optimistic and look forward to 2013. Already we hear that Cedar Point is cooking up something spectacular for next season, and now the details have been revealed.
Itís name will be Gatekeeper, and itíll be all about breaking records as it scares riders silly. As a "winger coaster," it will kind of hang riders off the sides as the main part of the car maintains a connection with the track. Thereís still plenty of pieces to put togetherówe imagine itís much like assembling a piece of IKEA furniture; however, when the final screws are set into place the thing will be over 4,000-feet long with a drop of around 164 feet.
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Everybody knows the Wine Trails of Napa/Sonoma, Argentina, the Loire Valley and, more recently, NY's Hudson Valley, but this week it's all about Ohio. Yes, Ohio has winerieslots of 'em actuallyand we'll be sharing our favorites with you.
Today: Firelands Winery and Vineyard in Sandusky, Ohio
Drive to Cedar Point Amusement Park BUT, just before you take the exit to the Roller Coast Capital of the World, make a turn onto tiny Bardshar Road and into the driveway of Firelands Winery. Originally named Mantey vineyards, the winery has been around since 1880 and growing all their grapes either right there...in the vineyard next to the parking lot or, for the majority, on the tiny North Bass Island just a ferry ride away.
To see the historic winery, you're free to wander around on a self-guided FREE tour. There's the tanks, the bottling room and the temperature-controlled warehouse. If you'd like to stay for a little longer, you can hit up the wine dispensers for a pour and pop a squat in their very nice bar area, complete with chandeliers made of wine bottles.
The 2012 roller coaster and theme park season is just getting underway, but that doesnít mean it isnít too early to start thinking about whatís arriving in 2013. Over at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, park officials are trying to ensure that the park maintains its reputation as the top coaster park in the world, so thatís why theyíve already allocated around $25 million towards a brand new roller coaster.
An official announcement hasnít been made yet, but it sounds like the project has been code named ďCP Alt.Winged.Ē The new roller coaster will be touch all the superlatives necessary to make it big news: fastest, longest, with one of the highest drops. This is all being reported thanks to a leaked corporate memo from the parkís CEO. All the funds arenít just going towards the new ride, as it appears that the park will be reworking their entrance as well as moving and removing some existing stuff to make room for the arrival of a fresh ride.
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Halloween has hit theme parks across the country, but there are only a few weeks left before all the thrills and chills go into hibernation for the winter. With zombies and werewolves lurking behind every corner, some coasters have become even scarier. We took a look around, and hereís what we found:
CedarPointís Mantis is a pretty intense roller coaster on a warm sunny day, but things get even more extreme as the weather turns cooler. The coaster is the parkís only stand up coaster, so even when you climb aboard you wonít have a chance to sit and relax before heading about 150-feet into the air. Donít worry, itíll only be a few seconds before you dive into a 119-foot loop. Be sure to hold off on the candy corns before riding this one, as we have before, and aside from your stomach dropping, your head gets banged around a tad bit too.
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If you're so over the usual haunted houses and Scream masks jumping out at you, you'd still better brace yourself for Cedar Point's haunted toy factory, "Cornstalker" scare maze which only opens after dark, and much more. Cedar Point's HalloWeekends veers away from the family-friendly fun in favor of the macabre and truly frightening.
The haunting has already begun at this amusement park, located on a peninsula in Lake Erie nearest to Sandusky, Ohio. During the summer season, the steep drops from some of the world's highest and fastest roller coasters, surrounded by sparkling water of the lake, is perhaps the scariest thing. But on September 18 through November 1, the park transforms every nook and cranny into a pants-wetting scream zone with 4 haunted houses, 5 scare zones, and 9 live shows.