SANDUSKY -- They call themselves America's Roller Coast, but did you know Cedar Point is the second-oldest amusement park in America?
Since 1870, millions have flocked to the summertime scream park to get an annual adrenaline rush.
Today, the Sandusky skyline is pierced with Cedar Point's 17 roller coasters and dozens of other rides. You've ridden GateKeeper, Millennium Force, Maverick, Top Thrill Dragster and Raptor. You've climbed aboard Shoot the Rapids, Gemini, WindSeeker, Mantis and Magnum.
But unless you're a die-hard coaster fanatic, you likely haven't heard of Cedar Point's first-ever roller coaster: The Switchback Railway.
The Switchback Railway began the park's roller coaster revolution when it debuted in 1892. It was a monster attraction for its time. The wooden coaster stood 25 feet tall and soared to speeds of 10 mph. Thrilling, right?
After 15 years of excitement, the Switchback Railway ultimately closed in 1907 -- way back when President Theodore Roosevelt was in office.
As times changed, so did the rides. They got bigger, badder, taller and faster. When new attractions were built, many met their demise.
Here are some of the recent ride demolitions:
- White Water Landing log flume (1982-2005). Removed to make room for the Maverick roller coaster.
- Demon Drop (1983-2009).
- WildCat roller coaster (1970-2011). Removed to make room for the night-time "Luminosity" show.
A POV ride on Cedar Point's WildCat, which is being removed from the park prior to 2012's opening day. Video courtesy of Cedar Point.
- Disaster Transport indoor roller coaster (1985-2012). Removed to make room for GateKeeper.
On Sunday, July 29, fans took their final ride on Cedar Point's indoor roller coaster Disaster Transport. It will be demolished to make room for a new attraction set to debut in 2013.
Take a front-seat ride on Disaster Transport, the indoor roller coaster at Cedar Point. It closes forever on Sunday, July 28, 2012.
- Space Spiral rotating observation tower (1965-2012). Removed to make room for GateKeeper.
Cedar Point's Space Spiral will soon be closed forever to make room for a new attraction. From the ride you can also see the indoor roller coaster Disaster Transport, which is also closing and being demolished. Video posted July 27, 2012.
At 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 12, Cedar Point crews destroyed the iconic Space Spiral ride to make room for the new GateKeeper roller coaster. After a quick explosion at its base, the ride toppled to the ground. The ride opened back in 1965.
And the process continues…
From the Pirate Ride to Earthquake, there is so much to Cedar Point's past that you may have never known existed. Every Halloween season, many of the park's "dead" attractions are honored in the HalloWeekends graveyard along the main Midway, unearthing memories of scream machines from yesteryear.
As the park hosts its 145th season in 2014 (opening May 10) with a series of all-new rides, we thought it would be fun to take a deep look back at some of Cedar Point's past rides. Take a look through the gallery above.
Do you have any special memories of Cedar Point? What is your favorite ride there? Tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment in the section below.