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April 3, 2000

Ohio Theme Parks Break 23 World Records In 2000

Columbus, OH -- Nationally recognized for their innovative and cutting-edge thrill rides, Ohio's four major theme parks are pulling out all the stops in 2000 with an unprecedented $100 million investment in new rides and attractions. With more than 30 new attractions, including six new roller coasters, Ohio's theme parks will bring their combined total of world records to an astonishing 23.

Each of Ohio's four major theme parks - Paramount's Kings Island, Six Flags Ohio, Cedar Point and SeaWorld Cleveland Adventure Park - has made major capital investments in preparation for the 2000 season. For many of the parks these investments represent the largest capital improvements in their history.

"Ohio's theme parks offer guests a wide variety of attractions for the entire family, from world-renowned roller coasters, to unique virtual reality rides, to the opportunity to see and interact with some of the rarest animals in the world, " said State Tourism Director Jim Epperson. "To have each of Ohio's top-notch parks making record-breaking capital improvements all in the same season is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for park visitors."

Prior to the 2000 season, Ohio's theme parks held five world records, including: the longest wooden roller coaster (Paramount's Kings Island's The Beast); the most wooden roller coaster track of any theme park (Paramount's Kings Island); the most roller coasters at one theme park (Cedar Point); the most rides at one park (Cedar Point); and the most carousels at one theme park (Cedar Point). The new attractions bring the total world records at Ohio's theme parks to 23 (see attached fact sheet for a complete listing).

"For years, Ohio's theme parks have been recognized and honored by roller coaster and theme park experts and enthusiasts around the world. But with all the record-breaking attractions that will be added to the mix in 2000, Ohio's parks will now be unparalleled," Epperson said. "Ohio will be a truly wild place to be this summer."

Highlights of What's New at Ohio's Theme Parks

Paramount's Kings Island -- Cincinnati, Ohio

Paramount's Kings Island's 1999-2000 $40 million capital improvement program is the largest expansion in the park's history. In fact, it is more than it took to build the entire park when it opened in 1972. The $40 million expansion includes the introduction of the FACE/OFF roller coaster and DROP ZONEŇ Stunt Tower attractions in 1999 and the Son of Beast - the world's tallest, fastest and only wooden looping roller coaster - for 2000.

Son Of Beast will break the following world records:

- World's tallest wooden roller coaster (218 feet);
- World's tallest wooden roller coaster drop (214 feet);
- World's fastest wooden roller coaster (78 mph); and
- World's only wooden roller coaster with a loop.

In addition to the new world's records Paramount's Kings Island will break in 2000, the following existing records are still in place:

- The Beast is the world's longest wooden roller coaster (7,400 feet);
- DROP ZONE Stunt Tower will be the world's tallest gyro drop attraction (315 feet); and
- Paramount's Kings Island has the most wooden roller coaster track of any theme park in the world (22,619 feet, almost 4.3 miles).

Six Flags Ohio -- Aurora, Ohio

Six Flags Ohio has invested $40 million in the expansion of the park. The majority of that investment has gone into the building of four roller coasters. Those include: Batman Knight Flight, the world's longest "floorless" roller coaster; Superman Ultimate Escape, a suspended impulse coaster; The Villain, a giant wooden roller coaster; and the RoadRunner Express, a coaster designed for every member of the family.

In addition to the new roller coasters, Six Flags Ohio has added seven new family rides, a state-of-the-art interactive play area called Looney Tunes BoomTown, a new water park called Hurricane Harbor and a family boat adventure.

Six Flags Ohio will set three world records in the 2000 season:

- The most roller coasters put into any existing American theme park during one season (4);
- The Batman Knight Flight will be the world's longest "floorless" coaster (4,210 feet);
- The Superman Ultimate Escape will be the world's first vertical spiraling impulse coaster; and
- The Batman Knight Flight also will be the first floorless roller coaster in the Midwest.

Cedar Point -- Sandusky, Ohio

Cedar Point has invested $48 million in capital improvements at the park for the 2000 season. $25 million of that investment is for Millennium Force - the world's tallest and fastest roller coaster. This is the largest single ride investment in Cedar Point's 129-year history.

Millennium Force will break the following world records:

- Tallest roller coaster in the world (310 feet);
- Fastest roller coaster in the world (92 mph);
- Longest drop on a roller coaster (300 feet);
- First roller coaster to top 300 feet;
- First roller coaster to utilize elevator lift system; and
- Steepest non-inversion bank on a roller coaster (122 degrees).

In addition to the new world's records Cedar Point will break in 2000, the following existing records are still in place:

- Most roller coasters at one theme park (14);
- Most roller coaster track at one park (44,013);
- Most steel roller coasters at one park; (12); and
- Most carousels at one theme park (3).

SeaWorld Cleveland Adventure Park -- Cleveland, Ohio

This year, SeaWorld Cleveland Adventure Park debuts Mission: Bermuda Triangle - a multi-million dollar virtual adventure ride that simulates a spine-tingling journey to the very depths of the ocean. Mission: Bermuda Triangle marks the largest capital investment in the park's history. Also on tap this year from June 10 through August 27 is New Orleans Nights, a nightly Mardi Gras event featuring street performers, live bands, a colorful theme and Cajun cuisine.

In addition to Mission: Bermuda Triangle and New Orleans Nights, SeaWorld Cleveland has these exciting attractions:

- Wild Wings, a bird show featuring an exotic array of birds;
- Fools with Tools, a comedy show featuring sea lions, Asian small-clawed otters and a Pacific walrus;
- Shamu Adventure, a thrilling show featuring the world-famous killer whales, Shamu and Namu;
- Pirates 4-D, a fourth-dimension special effects show that allows guests to feel, see and hear the hi-tech experience;
- Dolphin Cove, where guests make contact with one of the ocean's most delightful animals, the bottlenose dolphin;
- Seal and Sea Lion Community Pool, where guests can feed these sleek and beautiful animals;
- Intensity Games Water Ski Show, a race to the winner's circle as two water ski/gymnastics teams compete in a series of events;
- All-Star Mutts, a cast of canines and felines adopted from area animal shelters and are also joined by a pot-bellied pig. From a dog's point of view, the audience sees what really happens when owners are away and their furry, four-legged friends get the run of "Central Bark;"
- Patagonia Passage, featuring a pair of Commerson's dolphins and Magellanic penguins, this attraction gives guests the opportunity to view these two species interacting just as they do in the Patagonia region of South America;
- Penguin Encounter, the ultimate penguin experience where guests can peer into the world of the Antartic and view more than 100 polar penguins of three species;
- Shark Encounter, home to more than a dozen Atlantic sharks of four species;
- SeaWorld's Stingray Touch Pool where guests can actually touch live stingrays;
- Shamu's Halloween Spooktacular, Halloween-themed attractions, food and contests. For the first time ever, SeaWorld Cleveland will be extending its season to include weekends in October.

Ohio travelers can find out everything they need to know about Ohio's theme parks with one toll-free phone call to 1-800-BUCKEYE. Travel counselors are available weekdays 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Ohio attractions and events can also be found on the Internet at