Cedar Creek Mine Ride
From 1960 to 2011, a boat ride was here on the Cedar Point lagoon. It was first known as Riverboat Cruises, but its name was changed to Western Cruise in 1964. It was rechristened Paddlewheel Excursions in 1986. Most amusement park boat rides are attached to a track, but these boats were totally free to go wherever the skippers steered them. Boats would pass a variety of animatronic figures while the boat captains would unleash a litany of corny jokes. For example, boats would pass a statue of a bear trying to climb a tree, and the captain would broadcast to the guests that the bear is named Old Spot. "Any idea why they call him Old Spot? Because he has been standing on the same old spot for 25 years!" Some of the scenes changed over the decades, but for a long time, there was a shoot-out between native Americans on one side of the lagoon and early American settlers on the other side of the lagoon. Propane was used in the guns to create a very loud popping noise and a blast of flame, but the captains would typically have a response like, "Don't worry, they are just like the Cleveland Indians... They can't hit a thing!"
Orginally, the boat ride was very long, but as the amusement park grew, the lagoon gave way to rides. Nearly half of the boat ride was taken away when Iron Dragon was built over large portions of the lagoon. Top Thrill Dragster further shortened the path that boats took. The boat ride was finally removed at the end of the 2011 season in order to make room for the Dinosaurs Alive! themed area. The large island in the middle of the lagoon was not open to the public until the animatronic dinosaurs arrived in 2012.
©2017 by Joel A. Rogers.