On the first day of Cedar Point’s 2018 operating season, I visited the park to ride the new roller coaster, Steel Vengeance. During the last weekend of the season, I visited for the 1969 classic coaster, the Cedar Creek Mine Ride.
Cedar Point’s blog had recently mentioned that the Mine Ride’s station was being repainted, so I wanted to check it out. I try to visit the park during closing weekend each year anyway, but this news made my visit even more meaningful.
As an amusement park enthusiast, I get excited for the debut of new rides, but I also look forward to the sprucing up of old favorites. It’s almost more exciting for me when a classic ride or attraction is revamped than when a new ride appears.
My interest in the Mine Ride is particularly personal; My mom was a ride operator on the coaster in 1972. I love hearing her stories about what it was like to work on what was then one of the park’s premier attractions. Having a parent who worked as part of a roller coaster crew seemed pretty cool to me as a kid…ok, it’s still just as impressive as an adult. I’ll always think of the Mine Ride as “my mom’s ride.”
The Mine Ride will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019. The coaster was built by the legendary Arrow amusement ride manufacturing company. I recently rewatched the documentary “The Legacy of Arrow Development” presented by the American Coaster Enthusiasts, and was reminded of how ubiquitous and well-loved the mine train model has been.
Many of the Mine Ride’s Frontier Town neighbors have come and gone (e.g., the Frontier Lift, the Frontier Carousel and Whitewater Landing), but the Mine Ride persists. There have always been rumors of this classic being removed, but in light of its paint job, it appears ready to celebrate its 50th birthday in style.
The Mine Ride was not in operation the day I visited (due to the abysmal weather), but it didn’t matter. I got to see what I wanted. I got to see a classic coaster become a little bit new again.