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Cedar Point’s plan to squash the Mantis fuels further speculation

By Craig Webb Published: September 3, 2014

Those looking for clarity on Cedar Point’s plans for 2015 and beyond were sorely disappointed Tuesday.

The park did announce that the Mantis is going, but that’s about all one could decipher from the short one-minute video and one-page press release.

The park used phrases like it is the coaster’s last stand and the ride will be squashed, but it never said it is being completely removed.

One astute observer noted the park’s video showed the grim reaper walking to the stand-up coaster car — not the coaster track.

This all has led some to speculate that most of the stand-up coaster’s track will remain in place and retrofitted to accommodate sit-down or floorless coaster cars. They think new ride elements will be mixed in along with moving the ride platform to a new location.

There is debate over what the ride’s new theme would be.

Some believe the park will take advantage of the ride’s swampy terrain for Cedar Fair’s already trademarked name of Rougarou that is linked to French lore of a werewolf that haunted swamps in southern Louisiana.

When guests arrived at the Cedar Point’s Coaster Campout event in early July they were greeted with a sign welcoming them to "Camp Rou."

Those who believe the coaster will be named Rougarou conjecture that the park will enclose part of the coaster and theme it.

There is also a contingent who think the revamped coaster will be renamed King James to honor the park’s promise to name a coaster after Akron’s LeBron James now that he has rejoined the Cavs.

There are those dark ride enthusiasts who believe the whole coaster will be scrapped to make room for a new ride-through themed attraction.

Cedar Point is very proud of its roller coaster count so it would be unusual to remove the Mantis completely and not replace it with a ride that is not classified as a coaster.

That said with the 2013 opening of the Gatekeeper, a new major coaster in 2015 would put the park out of its usual five to seven-year coaster construction cycle.

It would also be odd for the park to completely walk away from the Mantis, which when it opened in 1996 was the tallest, fastest and steepest stand-up coaster in the world.

Fans of the Mantis have until 8 p.m. Oct. 19 to ride it one last time.

The park is now only open weekends until Nov. 2.

 

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