Cedar Fair
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Cedar Fair
Cedar Fair L.P.
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
IndustryAmusement Parks
HeadquartersSandusky, Ohio
Number of locations
Area served
United States
Key people
  • Matt Ouimet (executive​ chairman)
  • Richard Zimmerman​ (president and CEO)
RevenueUS$ 1.474 billion (2019)[1]
Increase US$ 309.4 million (2019)[1]
Increase US$172.3 million (2019)[1]
Increase US$ 2.581 billion (2019)[1]
Number of employees
2,200 full time, 45,100 seasonal (2018)[2]

Cedar Fair, L.P., doing business as the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, is a publicly traded master limited partnership headquartered at its Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. The company owns and operates twelve amusement parks, four outdoor water parks, one indoor water park, and five hotels in the US and Canada.[3] Cedar Fair also manages Gilroy Gardens under contract with the city of Gilroy, California.[4]


Cedar Point opened in 1870 as a recreational area. The park was developed over the years rarely changing management. The park belonged to the Cedar Point Pleasure Company. In 1974, Cedar Point Pleasure Company proposed building an amusement park in Cambridge Township, Michigan on the former Frontier City amusement park site. Those plans were abandoned in 1975.[5] Three years later, Cedar Point acquired Valleyfair. The name Cedar Fair then was derived from the names of both parks, "Cedar" coming from Cedar Point and "Fair" coming from Valleyfair. Cedar Fair was founded in 1983 then went public on April 29, 1987.[6]

Dick Kinzel era

The first acquisition of the new Cedar Fair company came in 1992 when Cedar Fair bought Dorney Park from Harris Weinstein. Cedar Fair also bought Worlds of Fun from Hunt-Midwest in 1995.[7] One of the biggest acquisitions came in 1997 when Cedar Fair bought Knott's Berry Farm from the Knott family.[8][9] This marked the first time Cedar Fair operated a year-round amusement park. The acquisition included operations of the Camp Snoopy indoor park at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. In 2005, Cedar Fair withdrew from the lease arrangement leaving Mall of America to manage the park on its own. Mall of America formed a partnership with the Nickelodeon franchise in 2007 and continues to operate under the name Nickelodeon Universe. Several new water park properties named Knott's Soak City opened around the southern California area since the acquisition which included Buena Park in 1999, Chula Vista in 2000 and Palm Springs in 2001.[10][11] Michigan's Adventure in Muskegon, Michigan was purchased for $27.6 million in 2001.[12]

Cedar Fair opened its first indoor water park in November 2004, Castaway Bay. It was added to the former Radisson Hotel which was then renamed. The indoor waterpark resort is open year-round.[13]

Larger acquisitions followed in 2004 with Six Flags World of Adventure. Cedar Fair purchased the park for $145 million, reverting its name to Geauga Lake, as it was before its Six Flags branding in 2000.[14][15] Subsequently, Cedar Fair stripped the park of all references to Looney Tunes and DC Comics characters, which were licensed properties owned by Six Flags. The amusement park remained in Cedar Fair's portfolio through 2007 (when it closed, then after that year, only the waterpark portion of the park was accessible to the public),[16] and the water park continued to operate as Wildwater Kingdom through 2016.[17][18]

On May 22, 2006, Cedar Fair announced it had outbid competitors and intended to purchase all five parks in the Paramount Parks chain, including Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton and the management agreement of Bonfante Gardens. On June 30, 2006, Cedar Fair announced that it had completed its acquisition of Paramount Parks from CBS Corporation in a cash transaction valued at US$1.24 billion.[19][20] Shortly following the transfer of ownership, Cedar Fair began the process of integrating the two companies. With the purchase of the Paramount Parks, Cedar Fair LP announced that it would do business under the name Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. Cedar Fair LP remains the legal company name.[21]

WindSeeker opened at Cedar Point in 2011, and the ride was also added to other Cedar Fair parks.

The individual parks continued to operate under their Paramount names during the 2006 season, however Cedar Fair began removing the Paramount name and logo from the parks in January 2007. The names of the parks were changed back to their original pre-Paramount names (the Paramount's prefix was removed) with the Cedar Fair corporate logo added. Bonfante Gardens was changed to Gilroy Gardens. Cedar Fair began removing references to Paramount Pictures. Although the acquisition granted Cedar Fair a ten-year licensing deal for Paramount names and icons, such as Star Trek, Cedar Fair opted to terminate the agreement and not pay an annual licensing fee. All references to Paramount/CBS-licensed properties were removed before the beginning of the 2008 season.[22]

In December 2009 it was announced that Apollo Global Management would offer Cedar Fair $11.50[23][24] per share, a 28 percent premium over the market price, as part of a takeover plan which would also make Cedar Fair a private company.[25] The deal included a cash payment of $635 million in addition to assuming Cedar Fair's debt of over US$1.7 billion putting the total value of the transaction close to US$2.4 billion. Cedar Fair planned to hold a shareholder meeting on March 16, 2010 to vote on the transaction but postponed the meeting to April 8, 2010, implying that two-thirds of the shareholder vote needed for approval wasn't yet secured.[26] On April 6, 2010, the deal was terminated, and Cedar Fair paid $6.5 million to reimburse Apollo for expenses incurred from the proposed transaction.[24][27] Cedar Fair also adopted a unitholder rights plan as a preventative measure to help protect unitholders in the event of any future hostile takeover.[28]

On September 16, 2011, JMA Ventures, LLC entered into an agreement to purchase California's Great America from Cedar Fair and take ownership of the Gilroy Gardens management contract.[29][30] The agreement required approval of Santa Clara's city council which was scheduled to vote on the matter on December 6, 2011. However, JMA cancelled its plans to purchase Great America and bowed out of the agreement.[31][32]

Matt Ouimet & Richard Zimmerman era

On June 20, 2011, Cedar Fair announced that long term CEO Dick Kinzel would retire on January 3, 2012, and that Matt Ouimet would take his spot as the CEO of Cedar Fair.[33][34] Ouimet had been employed by The Walt Disney Company for 17 years, including serving as president of Disney Cruise Line and president of the Disneyland Resort. He officially became CEO on January 3.[34] Cedar Fair launched new websites for their parks in 2012 as well as a new marketing campaign, Thrills Connect.

On November 20, 2012, Cedar Fair announced it had sold its Knott's Soak City: San Diego location to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.[35] About nine months later, Cedar Fair announced it had sold its Knott's Soak City: Palm Springs location to CNL Lifestyle Properties.[36]

On September 5, 2016, Cedar Fair closed Wildwater Kingdom, the last operating part of the former Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom. All land that once contained both properties has since been redeveloped.

On October 4, 2017, Cedar Fair announced that Ouimet would step down as CEO and be succeeded by COO Richard Zimmerman on January 1, 2018. Ouimet would remain with the company, taking the newly created position of executive chairman of the board of directors.[37]

On March 27, 2019, Cedar Fair announced they were purchasing the land occupied by California's Great America from the City of Santa Clara.[38] The 112 acres beneath the park cost $150 million. Cedar Fair had been previously leasing the land from the County of Santa Clara for 6 to 7 million per year.[39]

In April, 2019, Cedar Fair announced a partnership with Feld Entertainment to bring a Monster Jam Thunder Alley Area to select Cedar Fair parks.[40]

On June 13, 2019, it was announced that Cedar Fair had signed a $261 million deal with Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts to buy their Galveston and New Braunfels locations, with the option to buy Schlitterbahn Kansas City for an additional $6 million,[41] and the rights to the Schlitterbahn name.[42]

On July 2, 2019, it was announced that Cedar Fair had acquired the Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio.[43] The property cost $13.5 million.[44]

In 2021, Cedar Fair announced plans to build an esports arena near Cedar Point.[45]


Amusement parks

Name Location Year Opened Year Acquired Notes
California's Great America Santa Clara, California 1976 2006 Acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
Canada's Wonderland Vaughan, Ontario, Canada 1981 2006 Cedar Fair's most visited seasonal park, acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
Carowinds Charlotte, North Carolina 1973 2006 Acquired in Paramount Parks deal. A portion of the park is in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio 1870 Founding Franchise Cedar Fair's flagship park and the oldest park in the chain. Cedar Fair's corporate headquarters are at this park.
Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom Allentown, Pennsylvania 1884 1992 First park acquired under the Cedar Fair name, acquired from Harris Weinstein. Purchase price $48M[46]
Gilroy Gardens Gilroy, California 2001 2006 Currently in a management contract with Cedar Fair, acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
Kings Dominion Doswell, Virginia 1975 2006 Acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
Kings Island Mason, Ohio 1972 2006 Acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
Knott's Berry Farm Buena Park, California 1920 1997 Cedar Fair's only park open year-round. Most visited Cedar Fair park, acquired from Knott Family. Purchase price $300M[47]
Michigan's Adventure Muskegon, Michigan 1956 2001 Acquired from the Jourden family. Purchase price $28M[48]
Valleyfair Shakopee, Minnesota 1976 1978 Acquired by Cedar Point. Cedar Point and Valleyfair then formed Cedar Fair in 1987.
Worlds of Fun Kansas City, Missouri 1973 1995 Acquired from Hunt-Midwest. Purchase price $40M[49]

Water parks


Included with admission
Name Location Year Opened Year Acquired Notes
South Bay Shores California's Great America 2004 2006 Located within California's Great America, acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
Carolina Harbor Carowinds 1989 2006 Located within Carowinds, acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
Oceans of Fun Worlds of Fun 1982 1995 Located adjacent to Worlds of Fun. In 2013, the water park became included with admission to Worlds of Fun.[50]
Soak City Kings Dominion 1992 2006 Located within Kings Dominion, acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
Soak City Kings Island 1989 2006 Located within Kings Island, acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
Soak City Valleyfair 1983 Built by Cedar Fair Located within Valleyfair.
Splash Works Canada's Wonderland 1992 2006 Located within Canada's Wonderland, acquired in Paramount Parks deal.
WildWater Adventure Michigan's Adventure 1991 2001 Located within Michigan's Adventure.
Wildwater Kingdom Dorney Park 1985 1992 Located within Dorney Park.
Separate admission/property
Name Location Year Opened Year Acquired Notes
Knott's Soak City Buena Park, California 1999 Built by Cedar Fair Located adjacent to Knott's Berry Farm. Opened under the name, Soak City U.S.A.
Cedar Point Shores Sandusky, Ohio 1988 as Soak City Built by Cedar Fair Located adjacent to Cedar Point.
Schlitterbahn Galveston Galveston, Texas 2006 2019 [51]
Schlitterbahn New Braunfels New Braunfels, Texas 1979 2019


Name Location Year Opened Notes
Castaway Bay Sandusky, Ohio 2004 Cedar Fair's only indoor water park, located about a mile from Cedar Point.


Name Location Year Opened/Acquired Year Closed/Sold Notes
Geauga Lake Aurora, Ohio 2004 2007 Purchased from Six Flags in 2004 for $145 million. Closed ride side in 2007, the water park, Wildwater Kingdom, closed on September 5, 2016.
Knott's Camp Snoopy Mall of America 1992 2005 In 2005, closed for renovation. MOA and Cedar Fair dissolved their agreement in 2006. Now operates as Nickelodeon Universe.
Knott's Soak City: Palm Springs Palm Springs, California 2001 2013 Opened under the name, Oasis Water Park. Sold to CNL Lifestyle Properties.[36]
Knott's Soak City: San Diego Chula Vista, California 2000 2012 Opened under the name, White Water Canyon. Sold to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, who would later turn it into a Sesame Place.[35]
Star Trek: The Experience Las Vegas, Nevada 2006 2008 Acquired in Paramount Parks deal. Closed in 2008, Cedar Fair lost rights to reopen the attraction from CBS Studios in 2010.
Wildwater Kingdom Aurora, Ohio 2005 2016 Located on former SeaWorld Ohio site.

Lodging and campgrounds

Fast Lane

Fast Lane is Cedar Fair's version of a virtual queue system. It was first announced for Kings Island on July 18, 2011.[54] The park served as the testing park for it. For $50, visitors get a wrist band which gives them the ability to get to the front of the line on the park's most popular attractions. Originally, it could only be used from noon to 7:00 PM, but it was soon expanded to be available all day. On January 19, 2012, it was announced that Fast Lane would be rolled out at all the Cedar Fair parks for the 2012 season.[55] There is also Fright Lane, which is Fast Lane for the haunted attractions during the Halloween events.[56] For the 2016 season, Cedar Fair began testing all season Fast Lane at Valleyfair and Dorney Park. By the 2019 season, all parks offered all season Fast Lane. For the 2020 season, Cedar Fair began offering all season all park Fast Lane for $849.


Cedar Fair has some of the most visited seasonal parks in North America with a combined 27.9 million people visiting their parks in 2019.[57] Cedar Fair's most visited park is Knott's Berry Farm while the most visited seasonal park is Canada's Wonderland.[58]

Parks by annual attendance

6 million +

3-3.99 million

2-2.99 million

1-1.99 million

1 million or fewer

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Cedar Fair Reports Full-Year And Fourth-Quarter 2019 Results".
  2. ^ Lock, S. (July 4, 2019). "Cedar Fair: employee numbers 2019". Statista. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Mar 8, 2013" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ "Properties". Cedar Fair official site. Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  5. ^ "Ceder Point sells Cambridge Township property". Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 2010.
  6. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Mar 23, 1994". secdatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Aug 9, 1995". SECDatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jan 13, 1998". SECDatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ Merritt, Christopher, and Lynxwiler, J. Eric. Knott's Preserved: From Boysenberry to Theme Park, the History of Knott's Berry Farm, pp. 156-60, Angel City Press, Santa Monica, CA, 2010. ISBN 978-1-883318-97-0.
  10. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 10-K, Annual Report, Filing Date Mar 30, 2001". SECDatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
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  12. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 10-Q, Quarterly Report, Filing Date Nov 14, 2001". SECDatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
  13. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 424B2, Filing Date Jul 15, 2004" (PDF). SECDatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Apr 23, 2004". SECDatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
  15. ^ Potter, Derek (2004-03-10). "Cedar Fair Buys Six Flags World of Adventure". Theme Park Insider. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Bhatia, Kabir (September 18, 2017). "Ten Years After Closing, Geauga Lake Amusement Park Ready For New Purpose". WOSU Radio. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ "Wildwater Kingdom Update" (Press release). Cedar Fair. August 19, 2016. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  18. ^ "Wildwater Kingdom announces it will close after 2016 season". WKBN.com. 2016-08-20. Retrieved .
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  26. ^ "UPDATE: Knott's grandson weighs in on sale delay". The Orange Register. 16 March 2010. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 2011.
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  30. ^ "Gilroy Gardens Management to Transfer to JMA Pending Approval of JMA's Acquisition of California's Great America". Gilroy Gardens. 22 September 2011. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012. Retrieved 2011.
  31. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Dec 7, 2011" (PDF). SECDatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
  32. ^ "JMA cancels $70M California Great America purchase". Business Journal. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  33. ^ "Cedar Fair, Form 8-K, Current Report, Filing Date Jun 24, 2011" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved 2013.
  34. ^ a b "Press Releases :: Cedar Fair Entertainment Company". Cedarfair.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved .
  35. ^ a b Weisberg, Lori (November 20, 2012). "Soak City to become a SeaWorld water park". Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved 2012.
  36. ^ a b "CNL Lifestyle Properties Acquires Southern California Water Park". PRWeb. August 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  40. ^ Brezina-Smith, Veronica (April 11, 2019). "Feld Entertainment will build Monster Jam attraction at Ohio's Cedar Point (Rendering)". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved .
  41. ^ Brezina-Suttell, Scott (June 13, 2019). "Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. plans to enter Texas market with $261 million acquisition". Crains Cleveland Business. Retrieved 2019.
  42. ^ Carnett, Lindsey (June 15, 2019). "New Braunfels' Schlitterbahn sold to Ohio companyCompany also buying park in Galveston and has option to buy Kansas City site". New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Retrieved 2019.
  43. ^ https://finance.yahoo.com/news/cedar-fair-acquires-sawmill-creek-100000441.html
  44. ^ "Sandusky Register". www.sanduskyregister.com. Retrieved .
  45. ^ "Esports arena in the works near Ohio amusement park". Associated Press. July 28, 2021. Retrieved 2021.
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  48. ^ Alexander, Dave (2009-12-18). "Michigan Adventure's parent company sold to private equity firm". mlive. Retrieved .
  49. ^ "CEDAR FAIR L P - 10-K Annual Report - 12/31/1995". www.getfilings.com. Retrieved .
  50. ^ Shastry, Sangeeta (2012-08-31). "Oceans of Fun prepares for a huge expansion". KansasCity.com. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. Retrieved .
  51. ^ "Cedar Fair finalizes water parks purchase". Toledo Blade. July 1, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  52. ^ Kelly, Tim (27 August 2018). "Canada's Wonderland getting Hyatt hotel, set to open in 2020". Vaughan Citizen. Archived from the original on 16 September 2019. Retrieved 2021.
  53. ^ Brandler, Hannah (14 October 2020). "IHG to open first Avid hotel in Canada in 2022". Business Traveller. Archived from the original on 28 October 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  54. ^ "kings island announces fast lane". newsplusnote on Blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012.
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  57. ^ "Cedar Fair Reports Full-Year and Fourth-Quarter 2019 Results". ir.cedarfair.com. Retrieved .
  58. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2015 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2016. Retrieved 2016.
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  60. ^ "Carowinds breaks 2 million mark". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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