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Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (simply known as Cedar Fair) is publicly-traded company headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio that operates twelve amusement parks, five water parks (four outdoor, one indoor), and five hotels.

The company started in 1870 as a recreational park named Cedar Point, which initially belonged to Cedar Point Pleasure Company. In 1978, Cedar Point acquired Valleyfair, after which the company was renamed to Cedar Fair (a portmanteau of "Cedar" from Cedar Point, and "Fair" from Valleyfair).

     Cedar Fair Parks 
  • Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio) - opened 1870
  • Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom (Allentown, Pennsylvania) - opened 1884; acquired in 1992
  • Knott's Berry Farm (Buena Park, California) - opened 1940; acquired in 1997
  • Michigan's Adventure (Muskegon, Michigan) - opened 1956; acquired in 2001
  • Kings Island (Mason, Ohio) - opened 1972; acquired in 2006
  • Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina; portion in Fort Mill, South Carolina) - opened 1973; acquired in 2006
  • Worlds of Fun (Kansas City, Missouri) - opened 1973; acquired in 1995
  • Kings Dominion (Doswell, Virgina) - opened 1975; acquired in 2006
  • Valley Fair (Shakopee, Minnesota) - opened 1976; acquired in 1978
  • California's Great America (Santa Clara, California) - opened 1976; acquired in 2006note 
    • Boomerang Bay (waterpark)
  • Canada's Wonderland (Vaughan, Ontario, Canada) - opened 1981; acquired in 2006
    • Splash Works (waterpark)
  • Gilroy Gardens (Gilroy, California) - opened 2001; acquired in 2006

     Water Parks 
Require separate admission for entry:

Outdoor

  • Cedar Point Shores (formerly Soak City) - opened 2017 (in 1988 as Soak City)
  • Knott's Soak City: Orange County - opened 1999
  • Schlitterbahn Galveston (Galveston, Texas) - opened 2006, acquired 2019
  • Schlitterbahn New Braunfels (New Braunfels, Texas) - opened 1979, acquired 2019

Indoor

  • Castaway Bay (Sandusky, Ohio) - opened 2004
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     Hotels & Campgrounds 
  • Hotel Breakers (Cedar Point)
  • Cedar Point's Express Hotel
  • Camper Village (Cedar Point)
  • Lighthouse Point (Cedar Point)
  • Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark Resort (Cedar Point)
  • Camp Wilderness (Kings Dominion)
  • Knott's Berry Farm Resort Hotel
  • Worlds of Fun Village
  • Carowinds Camp Wilderness Resort
  • Spring Hill Suites by Marriott at Carowinds (opened 2019)
  • Hyatt Place / Hyatt House at Canada's Wonderland (opening late 2020)

     Former Parks 
  • Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom (Aurora, OH) - opened 1887; acquired 2004; Geauga Lake closed 2007; Wildwater Kingom closed 2016
  • Knott's Camp Snoopy (Located inside Mall of America, Bloomington, MN) - opened 1992; acquired with Knott's Berry Farm; sold 2006
  • Knott's Soak City: Palm Springs (Palm Springs, CA) - opened 1986; acquired 2001; sold 2013
  • Knott's Soak City: San Diego (Chula Vista, CA) - opened 1997; acquired 2000; sold 2012
  • Star Trek: The Experience (Las Vegas, NV) - opened 1998; acquired 2006; closed 2008

Cedar Fair Parks provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Playground: Geauga Lake in Aurora, Ohio. Cedar Fair purchased the park from Six Flags in 2004 and closed it following the 2007 season after 120 years of operation. Most buildings were taken down and all the rides that could be moved were sent to other parks in the chain. Notably, the historic Big Dipper rollercoaster remained standing until 2016. Geauga Lake's waterpark, Wildwater Kingdom, remained in operation through the 2016 season, allowing its visitors to look out on the ruins of the former park.
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  • And Now For Something Completely Different: Amongst the former Paramount parks, California's Great America is the only one of these on the west coast, as the others serve the East Coast or Midwest marketsnote 
  • Artifact Title:
    • The Safari Village at Kings Dominion is a real mishmash of themes, which is seen in its roller coaster collection: Anaconda, Backlot Stunt Coaster, Flight of Fear, and Intimidator 305.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The virtual reality glasses that were added to Thunder Run in Canada's Wonderland provided paying guests with a ride through a VR city matching with the movements of the train. However, this new addition drew plenty of criticism from guests, which ranged from longer loading times to the overall quality of the VR goggles.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Or to more rides, at least. Cedar Fair parks offer 'Fast Lane' ('Fright Lane' for Halloween Haunt), where (for an additional fee) guests can bypass the lines for many rides. Some parks offer multiple tiers, which higher-demand rides restricted to more-expensive tiers.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Leviathan at Canada's Wonderland was the first B&M giga, and as a prototype, this means that its track length is significantly shorter than the B&M gigas that followed (Fury 325 at Carowinds, and Orion at Kings Island).
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Some of the parks' locations are in their names: Michigan's Adventure, California's Great America, Gilroy Gardens, Canada's Wonderland. Carowinds, with an address in North Carolina and portions of the park's land being in South Carolina, is less upfront but still applies. A stealth version is Kings Dominion; its state's nickname is "The Old Dominion".
    • Intimidator 305 and Fury 325, the respective giga coasters of Kings Dominion and Carowinds. No points for guessing the heights of these.
  • I Have Many Names:
    • The family wooden coasters at the ex-Paramount Parks have gone through an assortment of name changes. They all started as Scooby-Doo's Ghoster Coaster (or some variation thereof). Only Canada's Wonderland's version still goes by Ghoster Coaster, as the other three have all now been renamed Woodstock Express due to their kids areas becoming Planet Snoopy. Kings Island's version went through two intermediate names between Scooby-Doo and Woodstock Express, though: it was renamed The Beastie in 1980 after The Beast opened (with a tunnel installed on the first drop), then renamed the Fairly Odd Coaster in 2006, and finally Woodstock Express in 2010.
    • The Flying Cobras at Carowinds started at Geauga Lake as Mind Eraser, back when Geauga Lake was a Premier (and later Six Flags) park. In Cedar Fair's takeover, it became Head Spin. After Geauga Lake was shuttered, it was moved to Carowinds and renamed Carolina Cobra, then after a retheming of its section of County Fair, it became The Flying Cobras.
  • Last of Its Kind: Sledgehammer at Canada's Wonderland is the first and only Giant Jumper in the world. Unfortunately, its constant state of disrepair does it no favours.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others:
    • Canada's Wonderland, which is the only park in the chain to be located in, you guessed it, Canada.
    • And within Canada's Wonderland, the first two B&M coasters are named after two Biblical creatures, the monster of the sea (Leviathan) and the monster of the Land (Behemoth). When the park announced its B&M dive coaster for 2019, many believed that it would be named Ziz, for the monster of the sky. Naturally, they were surprised to find out that it would be named Yukon Striker, due to being the anchor ride in Frontier Canada, a new land themed to the Klondike Gold Rush.
    • Unlike all the other parks, which are large and filled with coasters, Gilroy Gardens is a bit smaller and only features two coasters, both meant for families. Justified, as it's more of a botanical garden with rides, but it was acquired in the Paramount deal.
    • Within Kings Island's Rivertown, its roller coasters are The Beast, Diamondback, Mystic Timbers, and Backlot Stunt Coaster. The first three mesh with Rivertown's theming, but Backlot Stunt Coaster doesn't fit with the theme. (Although people avert this with listing the coaster in Coney Mall)
  • Long-Lost Relative: California's Great America is the sister park of Six Flags Great America. The two parks were originally built, owned, and operated by Marriott Hotels. Six Flags bought the Illinois park, while Kings Entertainment Company got the California park, which later was a Paramount Park from 1993 to 2006 before the Paramount parks were bought out by Cedar Fair.
  • Meaningful Release Date: Fury 325 officially opened on March 25, 2015 (3/25/15).
  • Mine Cart Madness: Thunder Run at Canada's Wonderland, which makes two runs through Wonder Mountain, whilst making several near-misses with the adjacent train track and other obstacles.
    • Wonder Mountain Guardian at the same park also counts. Even while moving at a crawling pace, riders on board are tasked with shooting at various monsters inside the mountain, before you're all eventually caught and fight against a fire-breathing dragon.
  • Parental Favoritism: Certain parks in the chain get larger and more frequent investments due to their attendance or growth potential. The parks that get the most attention include California's Great America, Canada's Wonderland, Carowinds, Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Knott's Berry Farm.
    • The Un Favourite: On certain parks in the chain get smaller and less frequent investments than other parks. These parks include Dorney Park, Michigan's Adventure, Kings Dominion, Worlds of Fun, and Valleyfair. None of these parks have received a new original coaster in over ten years. Contrast with Parental Favoritism.
  • Portmanteau: The company's name is derived from the first two parks it was comprised of, Cedar Point and Valleyfair.
  • Product Displacement: The former Paramount Parks had plenty of rides that had been themed after their movies. While Cedar Fair had a ten-year licensing deal for Paramount names and icons, they opted to terminate the agreement and not pay an annual licensing fee. So any Paramount movie themed rides had to be de-themed.
    • Canada's Wonderland, Kings Island, and Kings Dominion all received The Italian Job-themed launch coasters in 2005/2006. After detheming, the rides were all renamed the Backlot Stunt Coaster, and the Mini Cooper-themed ride vehicles had to be made generic.
    • Several inverted coasters at the Paramount Parks were themed after Top Gun: B&M inverted coasters at California's Great America and Carowinds, an Arrow suspended coaster at Kings Island, and a Vekoma SLC at Canada's Wonderland. After the Cedar Fair takeover, all of them were renamed Flight Decknote , whilst Carowinds renamed theirs as Afterburn.
    • BORG Assimilator at Carowinds (Vekoma Flying Dutchman; formerly Stealth at California's Great America) was renamed Nighthawk.
    • One of the worst affected was the HUSS Top Spin known as Tomb Raider: The Ride at Kings Island. Built for $20 million, with impressive water effects, lasers, Hollywood lighting, a pre-show, synchronized musical score, film props, artificial fog, and flame effects; almost all of these were removed by Cedar Fair when the ride was rebranded as The Crypt, and it would stay this way until closing quietly in 2011 (it didn't help that Diamondback's construction led to its show building becoming an eyesore in Rivertown). By comparison, its sister at Kings Dominion ran until the end of 2019, and by virtue of being outdoors, retained all of its original theming, music, film props, lighting, fog, and flames.
  • Product Placement: The Intimidator and Intimidator 305 coasters are built and themed to NASCAR stock cars. To that end, there are ad stickers on the lead cars of the coaster trains, like on actual stock cars.
  • The Rival: To Six Flags.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Intimidator at Carowinds pays tribute to Charlotte's role as a hub for NASCAR activity. Almost all of the NASCAR Cup teams have their shops in the Charlotte metropolitan area, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is in downtown Charlotte, Charlotte Motor Speedway is in Concord to the northeast of the city, and the ride itself uses the nickname of Dale Earnhardt, who hailed from Kannapolis (in the northeast Charlotte suburbs).
    • The queue line for Orion at Kings Island is filled with tributes to many of the park's past and present attractions.
  • Toon Town: Various Cedar Fair parks have these. For example, California's Great America and Canada's Wonderland (during their Hanna-Barbara era) previously had Nickelodeon Central as their kids area, after which they were both replaced with Planet Snoopy.
  • Wicked Wasps: The theming of Carowinds' Fury 325, in reference to the city of Charlotte's "hornet's nest" nickname.

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