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What’s new at Cedar Fair theme parks for 2021

by Attractions Magazine Staff

Cedar Fair has announced its plans to welcome guests back for a fun-filled 2021 across its 13 theme parks, complete with new thrill rides, themed foodie events, and cultural celebrations.

cedar fair

“Our primary goal for the 2021 season is to fully reopen all of our properties and provide our guests with fun, dynamic and memorable experiences they can share with their family and friends,” said Tim Fisher, chief operating officer of Cedar Fair. “We are optimistic that attendance levels at our parks and resort properties will significantly improve in 2021, particularly as COVID-19 vaccines become more broadly available. We have a loyal season pass base of 1.8 million passes outstanding, and customer surveys show a strong intent to visit amusement parks this year. In anticipation of this improving demand, we are poised to resume normal operations.”

California’s Great America

The Northern California theme park is set to debut the all-new South Bay Shores water park as part of its return in May. The water park will introduce seven new aquatic attractions, two new restaurants, new merchandise locations, premium cabanas, and more. Highlights are Pacific Surge, a water slide complex that features four free-fall drop slides and two tube slides, and the Tide Pool children’s lagoon play area with eight miniature water slides.

Canada’s Wonderland

This amusement park will be celebrating 40 years of fun when it opens for the 2021 season, complete with Mountain Bay Cliffs, a new cliff-jumping attraction situated high above the 20-acre Splash Works water park, and Beagle Brigade Airfield, a plane ride for kids.

Carowinds

Set to open to the general public on May 22, Carowinds will kick off its 2021 season with the debut of Boogie Board Racer, the longest mat-racing water slide in the Southeast, in Carolina Harbor water park. Also debuting this year is Grand Carnivale, a cultural celebration featuring décor and cuisine from global cultures.

Cedar Point

The nation’s second-oldest amusement park will celebrate its postponed 150th anniversary this year, opening to the public on May 14. This year will see the debut of the new Snake River Expedition family boat ride, the Celebrate 150 Spectacular parade, commemorative throwback merchandise, new dining locations, and more.

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom

This Pennsylvania attraction will kick off its 138th operating season with new and returning attractions. Dorney Park will open on May 22 with over 100 rides, shows and attractions, plus the return of Grand Carnivale. Wildwater Kingdom will open during Memorial Day weekend and debut a multi-level, beach-themed play structure, Seaside Splashworks. The new offering will be the largest structure in the water park and feature more than 75 play elements.

Kings Dominion

This Virginia theme park will open to the public on May 22. New for this year, guests can enjoy the redesigned area of Soak City water park, Coconut Shores. The new area will feature two attractions: Sand Dune Lagoon, a mini-wave pool with one-foot waves; and Lighthouse Landing, a 45-foot-tall, multi-level aqua play structure with more than 200 interactive elements and eight slides. Families can also grab a bite at Beach Street, a new food-truck-court dining experience in Soak City. Also being added in the amusement park are new food and beverage options, highlighted by Grain & Grill – a signature dining location featuring fresh, locally-sourced dishes with hundreds of combinations.

Kings Island

With a Gold and Platinum season passholder preview happening on May 8-9, Kings Island will officially open to the general public on May 15. New for this year is Kings Island Camp Cedar, a luxury outdoor resort and RV park located less than a mile from the park’s front gate. For many guests, this will be their first opportunity to experience the Orion giga coaster, which debuted in July 2020.

Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City

Knott’s Berry Farm is making plans to reopen in May, in accordance with the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The park will commemorate its 100-year anniversary with a summer celebration paying tribute to the Knott family’s history that features festive décor, themed food items, entertainment, exclusive merchandise, and other special surprises. Upon reopening, Knott’s will also debut Knott’s Bear-y Tales: Return to the Fair, a new 4D interactive dark ride that celebrates a classic attraction with a reimagined gaming twist.

Michigan’s Adventure

The largest amusement park will debut the new Peanuts-themed kids’ area, Camp Snoopy, when it opens to the public on May 29. Camp Snoopy will offer five family rides, including Woodstock Express, Camp Bus, Beagle Scout Lookout, Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies, and Peanuts Trailblazers. In addition, there will also be a playground named Beagle Scout Acres.

Schlitterbahn

Guests at the New Braunfels, Texas location will see a variety of improvements when the park opens on May 8, including restroom refurbishments, cabana makeovers, and retail store renovations. The Lagoon pool in the original section of the park is also getting a new look and noticeable enhancements. In addition, the gift shop located at the park’s main entrance has received a facelift and a line of new merchandise.

The Galveston, Texas Schlitterbahn will open to the public on May 15, debuting the new makeover of the park’s large pink family slides, Wolfpack and Thunder Tub. Alongside these updates, guests will also find the Pointe Pizza restaurant newly-remodeled with new décor, fresh paint and a new drink menu. The Riverbend Cabanas have also gotten an upgrade with new furniture.

Valleyfair

Opening on May 22, the Twin Cities’ amusement park will offer the new Grand Carnivale celebration on select days this summer.

Worlds of Fun

Opening on May 22 in Kansas City, Missouri, guests will see the return of popular events like Grand Carnivale and Halloween Haunt. Oceans of Fun water park will open on the following weekend, May 29, and debut a brand-new attraction, Riptide Raceway. Clocking in at 486 feet long, it will be the longest mat-racing slide in the world. Guests will speed down five stories on soft foam mats through four side-by-side tunnels and around a 360-degree loop, concluding in a final splashdown at the finish line.


“As always, the safety and welfare of our guests and associates remain our highest priority. All of our properties that reopened in 2020 exemplified high-quality immersive entertainment in a safe, sanitized and stress-free environment, and we intend to build on that strong foundation in 2021,” continued Fisher. “We want all of our guests to have fun and feel safe when visiting, so we’ve developed extensive reopening plans that incorporate guidelines and recommendations from medical experts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and health officials. We’re all in this together and by working together, we can safely and confidently enjoy the thrills and fun that only Cedar Fair parks can deliver.”

To learn more about Cedar Fair and its parks, visit CedarFair.com.

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