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Many fans were surprised to hear the news Wednesdaythat Cedar Point is dismantling and removing the WildCat roller coaster.

Read more about the ride's permanent removal from the park

The ride, which debuted in 1970, will be gonebefore the park opens for the 2012 season on Saturday, May 12. Its materials will be sent to a recycling center, which leaves the Sandusky scream park with 16 active roller coasters.

Photos: Cedar Point during the offseason

In light of the news, we reached out to the American Coaster Enthusiasts andothers involved in the coaster community to get their reactions. Here's what they had to say:

It is difficult to lose any roller coaster, but one from a legendary builder such as Anton Schwarzkoph is especially sad for coaster enthusiasts worldwide.

The Cedar Point WildCat had a classic design the entire family could enjoy -- a true multi-generational ride, which is very special today.My children and I had some excellent times riding the Cedar Point WildCat while they were growing up, and I was really looking forward to riding this great coaster later this month.

While it looks doubtful at this point, we hope another park makes an effort to acquire this special coaster.Hopefully a refurbishment and relocation would give this deserving ride a new lease on life and the opportunity to entertain and thrill amusement park lovers of all ages for generations to come.

-David Lipnicky, Public Relations Director, American Coaster Enthusiasts.

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While it is sad to see a family attraction such as WildCat to close, this ride has been plagued by maintenance and capacity issues over the past several years and I am extremely excited to see the new Luminosity night-time experience. I believe fans will be surprised at the scope of this new attraction, as it is not simply another show, but will completely change the dynamic of the park at night.

- Mike Etowski, editor of ThePointOL.com.

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Dozens of people also commented about the ride's closure on our Facebook page. Here's what a few of them had to say:

We used to ride that over and over again because the lines were always short. Still, the Wildcat and Blue Streak always freaked me out a little! They never seemed all that safe (though I know CP is great about upkeep). A part of me is sad to see it go (like the log ride) but part of me is happy that they are making way for new and exciting attractions.

- Kate

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No! First coaster I ever rode.

- Tim

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I love the wildcat hate to see it go.

- Stan

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I'm happy. I'm a season pass holder and that ride broke down more with ppl on it injuring them! My kids wouldn't even ride it!

- Tabatha

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Fantastic memories of the wildcat over the years and throughout the whole park....very nostalgic and sentimental memories!

- Bud

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I loved that ride just because of it's quirky fun. My husband hated it so our compromise was to ride it once a year. Sad I won't be able to drag him on it ever again!

- Sara

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My family loved this ride. It looked non-scary, but it really packed a big punch! We will miss it.

- Laurel

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This is weak. They remove a coaster from the "roller coaster capital of the world" and add dinosaur exhibits. Seems like a step in the wrong direction for CP.

- Cliff

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Now we want to know your thoughts on WildCat's permanent closure. Do you have any special memories of the ride? Let us know by leaving a comment.

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