Geauga Lake Family Amusement Park
is currently located near Aurora
, Ohio and serves the Pittsburgh
and Youngstown metro area
s. The amusement park complex features over seventy rides
and attractions including the Hurricane Hannah waterpark
. The park itself has has found itself underneath the operation
of a few major national amusement park
chains over the last fifteen years (Premier Parks
, Six Flags
and Cedar Fair
Originally called Picnic Lake or Giles Pond back in 1888, Geauga Lake also featured a luxury hotel for visitors who came for camping or bathing much like how Cedar Point began around the same time. However, Geauga Lake remained more as an all-around entertainment complex that focused more on celebrities and dance halls unlike Cedar Point's expansion with Coney Island style flat rides.
In 1969, Geauga Lake was purchased by Funtime, Inc. and later introduced two steel looping roller coasters, the first amusement park to do so. Geauga Lake will follow later with many firsts for amusement parks, such as first wavepool to create a six-foot surf, first top spin, first impulse roller coaster with a twisting spike, and first park to recreate a classic rollercoaster.
In 1995, Geauga Lake was purchased by Premier Parks who later bought Six Flags in 1998. In 1999, Geauga Lake was renamed Six Flags Ohio and later Six Flags Worlds of Adventure after Premier Parks bought Sea World Cleveland and created one large waterpark/amusement park/marine life adventure. Underneath the operation of Six Flags, Geauga Lake was quickly expanded with the addition of seven rollercoasters in a three year span, new family and children amusement rides and new animal shows and exhibits. It is widely hypothesized that the grand expansions were to compete as a hyperacive thrill park with the stalwart Lake Erie rival Cedar Point in the Cleveland metro area, although this rumor cannot be proven. The former Six Flags Worlds of Adventure was seen as one of the chain's flagship parks joining Six Flags Great America, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Six Flags Great Adventure because of the excessive attention and money that was bestowed by the chain through Six Flags's revenue-sharing.
In early 2004, news broke loose of a deal that amusement park fans never expected: Cedar Fair would buy a Six Flags park. Furthermore, the park in question was Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, a park in which Six Flags invested millions of dollars in the past few years. Many believed that even though Six Flags had a very sluggish outlook for the future, they would not sell any of their parks, even moreso a so-called flagship park to relieve some debt. Even more shocking was the buyer of Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, because many believed that Cedar Fair was a direct rival due to proximity and other geographic battle grounds across the nation (Magic Mountain vs. Disneyland vs. Knotts Berry Farm; Six Flags Saint Louis vs. Worlds of Fun etc.). Both Amusement Park chains clearly benefited from the 145 million dollar deal, but it is still yet to be seen whether the acquistion will benefit the park itself. Cedar Fair now owns most of the major amusement parks in the Great Lakes stretch and most specifically from Duluth, MN to Pittsburgh, PA with the strong exception of the Chicagoland/Milwaukee area (Six Flags Great America) and the Wisconsin Dells area.
Geauga Lakes major rides include: