This past Thursday, each Cedar Fair park announced what they will be adding for 2020. Compared to the last couple of years, 2020 is going to be a mostly quiet year with a big water park focus. In this post, I will be breaking down each addition and at the end, giving a statement on what all this means for the future.
We will start with the chains flagship park, Cedar Point. We knew that Cedar Point would be celebrating their 150th Anniversary in 2020, and that’s exactly what they announced. They are mainly focusing and marketing a new gold pass option, which many Cedar Fair parks already have. I actually really like that the park is getting this, because it’s a fantastic deal for people in the area who just want to go to Cedar Point, and is very affordable at a great deal at $99 for the year! Along with the gold pass, the park also announced a new nighttime celebration on the main midway, new and throwback food items, nostalgic merch and souvenirs, a re-imagined Town Hall Museum, and a new river expedition. The river expedition sounds like it could be a second coming of Paddlewheel Excursions, but we shall see. Expect more details to be released during this coming off-season!
Next I would normally talk about Kings Island, but I want to cover that in a separate post since it is the biggest announcement in the coaster industry this year.
Next up is Canada’s Wonderland, where they are adding two small additions after a big year this year. First, they will be adding Beagle Brigade Airfield to the Planet Snoopy kids section of the park. This will be a small suspended kids ride themed with planes that will bank sharply. They will also be adding Mountain Bay Cliffs to Splash Works, a cliff jumping attraction. The Planet Snoopy addition to me is ok, as it’s just a single ride for the kids. Though I really like the cliff jumping addition, as I haven’t seen anything like it at any other Cedar Fair park!
Carowinds is focusing in on Carolina Harbor this year as they will be adding Boogie Board Racer, a mat racer slide, to the water park. The dry park will receive the Grand Carnivale event that came to a couple Cedar Fair parks this year. This looks to be a very solid addition to Carowinds after receiving Copperhead Strike just this year!
Kings Dominion will also be expanding in their water park, Soak City. They will be receiving Coconut Shores, a small area in the park. In this area they will be adding Lighthouse Landing, a 45-foot tall kiddie water play structure, and Sand Dune Lagoon, a 3,000 square foot wave pool. This seems like a nice addition to Soak City, as it is going into an area of the park that needs to receive a little more attention!
Knott’s Berry Farm will be simply celebrating their 100th Anniversary next year, celebrating the legacy of the park and the Knott’s family. Their will not be a new ride or any sort of expansion.
California’s Great America will be completely overhauling their waterpark. With the main change being the name going from Boomerang Bay to South Bay Shores. They will also expand the water park with a new slide complex named Pacific Surge. The slides already existing in the park will undergo name changes. The park will also receive major aesthetic changes that should change the entire feel of the park. This is very similar to what Cedar Fair did at Cedar Point in 2017 where they changed Soak City to Cedar Point Shores. This went very well for them, and CP Shores is very nice now, so I’m hoping that Cedar Fair will have another winner here!
Worlds of Fun will also be focusing on their water park, Oceans of Fun. Just like Carowinds, they will be adding a mat racer slide. The slide will be named Riptide Raceway and will be going where the Diamond Head slide complex stood. This is a good addition as it gives the park, especially the water park, something noteworthy!
Dorney Park will also receive a water park expansion in Wildwater Kingdom in the form of a new kiddie play area, Seaside Splashworks. The play area will contain six slides, water jets and cannons, a net bridge trail, a tipping bucket, and a splash pad. This addition is not that necessary in my opinion, as Cedar Fair really needs to invest a little more into the dry park as they are long overdue for an expansion.
Valleyfair! will only be receiving the Grand Carnivale event, which should be a nice event during that part of the year, but again this is another park that I feel Cedar Fair should invest more in.
Michigan’s Adventure hasn’t received a noteworthy addition since 2013. That’s all about to change this year with the addition of Camp Snoopy. This will be a new kids area featuring five new attractions as well as other play areas themed after the world’s most famous beagle. This is actually a fantastic addition to the park as MA is a family-oriented park, and it is nice to see that a Planet/Camp Snoopy kids area is finally coming to this park. It is a much needed addition and should be very popular with the young crowd!
So what did we learn this year? Cedar Fair defiantly took a major focus in expanding the water parks, which doesn’t seem to sit well with most as they are asking, “why the water parks?” The simple reason for that is that the water parks are making a significant amount of revenue for the company at the moment, so the company will obviously expand where they will make money. The water park additions for the most part are solid. As for the dry park additions, I really do like Michigan’s Adventure’s as they are expanding for the better with the demographic that park fits. Otherwise the rest are ok. Again I will be getting to King’s Islands Giga in a seperate post.
As for the future, we will still be seeing more coasters and rides, but expect Cedar Fair to have a niche for water park expansions.
With the D23 Expo and Six Flags announcements on the horizon, expect more posts as we break down what’s coming in 2020 and beyond!