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Published: Thursday, 10/22/2009

Cedar Point to ship Demon Drop to park in California

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
Cedar Point says it has no plans for the site occupied by the Demon Drop, built in 1983 by Intamin Co. Inc. of Switzerland. Cedar Point says it has no plans for the site occupied by the Demon Drop, built in 1983 by Intamin Co. Inc. of Switzerland.
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SANDUSKY - Demon Drop, Cedar Point's 10-story tower-drop ride that has thrilled riders for 27 years, is leaving Lake Erie's cold winter shores for sunny California.

The Sandusky amusement park, which has been trying to sell the ride, said it will be disassembled after the park closes Nov. 1 and moved to its southern California sister park, Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, near Anaheim.

It will be reassembled and is expected to be operating by early 2010 at the year-round park.

Robin Innes, a Cedar Point spokesman, said Demon Drop "had been for sale for several years and we couldn't find an appropriate buyer. So another consideration was to move it to another [Cedar Fair LP] park."

Mr. Innes said Knott's never had a Demon Drop-type of ride, "so it's a new type of ride experience for them from what's already there."

Demon Drop, on the midway near the Cedar Point entrance, is a 131-foot-tall ride that opened in 1983. It was built by Switzerland's Intamin Co. Inc. for $2.5 million.

Riders are lifted to the top and plunged 60 feet in less than 2 seconds, reaching a speed of 55 mph. The attraction was a huge success initially, but it has been surpassed by larger, faster rides such as Top Thrill Dragster, a 420-foot roller coaster that reaches 120 mph, and Millennium Force, a 310-foot coaster that reaches 92 mph.

"It was still a popular attraction, a popular ride here. It's going to give close to half a million rides this year," Mr. Innes said. "Over its life here, it will have given 19 million rides - but with other rides like Power Tower and the bigger coasters, it wasn't one of our headline rides anymore."

Mr. Innes said there are no plans to fill the space Demon Drop occupies.

Cedar Point also has been trying to sell a spinning ride, Chaos - a wheel-shaped ride that starts in a horizontal position and rises vertically until it resembles a Ferris wheel. In 2001, an identical Chaos ride at another Cedar Fair park, Michigan's Adventure, detached from its center spindle while the ride was in the air. It crashed, injuring nearly 30 people. That ride was dismantled.



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