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 the ride will be disassembled after the park closes on Nov. 1 and moved to its southern California sister park, Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, Calif., near Anaheim.
It will be reassembled and is expected to be operating by early 2010 at Knott's, which is a 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 has never had a Demon Drop type ride, "so it's a new type of ride experience for them from what's already there."
Demon Drop, located on the Midway near the entrance to Cedar Point, is a 131-foot-tall thrill ride that opened 1983 and was built by Intamin Co. Inc. of Switzerland for $2.5 million.
Riders are lifted to the top of the ride then are plunged 60 feet in less than two seconds, reaching a speed of 55 mph. The attraction was a huge success initially, but over the years has been surpassed by larger, faster rides like 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."
While acknowledging that "there's some potential there," Mr. Innes said there are no existing plans to fill the space Demon Drop occupies.
The Demon Drop is not the only ride Cedar Point was attempting to sell. It has been attempting to sell its spinning ride known as 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 and in a nearly vertical position. It crashed, injuring nearly 30 people.
That ride was dismantled and never replaced after an inspection found that the bolts holding the ride had been inexplicably sheered off while it was operating.
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