Saturday, August 20, 2016

Cedar Fair Pulls the Plug on Ohio's Wildwater Kingdom

© Wildwater Kingdom
Cedar Fair has announced that Wildwater Kingdom, located on the remains of SeaWorld Ohio, will close for good at the end of the 2016 season - which is September 5th.  The park's closing will be the final chapter in the Geauga Lake/Six Flags/SeaWorld Ohio story.

The company posted a statement about the decision:

"Cedar Fair has been working cooperatively with both Bainbridge Township and the City of Aurora to redevelop the entire property into what will best benefit the surrounding communities. After examining its long-range plans, Cedar Fair has determined that the time is right to begin this transition and will continue to work together with community leadership in the positive future development of the property."

© Wildwater Kingdom
The history is a bit long to detail here, and has been done by other sites many times over, but Wildwater Kingdom is the result of a long and twisted story that involved several theme park operators.  Geauga Lake operated from 1887 until 2007 under several ownerships, including both Six Flags and Cedar Fair.  SeaWorld Ohio opened in 1970 across the lake from Geauga Lake, and was sold to Six Flags for the 2001 season.  After Six Flags combined the two parks into one and ran into financial trouble, they were sold to Cedar Fair in 2004.  Cedar Fair worked to turn the former SeaWorld Ohio side into a brand new water park (Wildwater Kingdom), which continued operating after they closed Geauga Lake for good in 2007.  Wildwater Kingdom made it another 9 operating seasons on its own.

The water park has a huge slide tower (seen above), large wave pool, Tornado slide, plus a water play structure.  Surprisingly, none of these items were included in any announcements for other 2017 Cedar Fair parks, so it remains to be seen if they will be relocated in the future, or sold.