Five things to know about Cedar Point’s Snake River Expedition


Of course you take a boat ride.

But Cedar Point’s new Snake River expedition is no ordinary boat ride.

It’s actually more of an interactive experience suitable for customers of all ages.

The attraction was slated to debut in 2020 but was put on hold for a year due to the pandemic.

Imagined in the spirit of Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island where guests interact with live actors, the boat ride is a fun combination of storytelling mixed with animatronics and even special effects.

The journey / story begins once you step into the line which (spoiler alert) is a bit longer than you might think as the park engineers did an admirable job hiding all the zigs and zags.

But do not worry. The line is actually moving quite quickly because entire boats are loaded at once.

Make sure to admire all the cool artifacts and antiques as you make your way forward, and keep your ears tuned to the antique radio for clues as to what to expect.

Here are five fun facts about Cedar Point’s new attraction.

1. Cedar Point is all about the backstory with its newest attractions and the Snake River Expedition boat ride is no exception..

We don’t want to spoil the fun, but this is not a passive descent on a lazy river. There are live actors, animatronics, special effects, and a storyline to boot. The trip is sort of an extension of the interactive storytelling of Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island which is just steps across the river. The name of the ride is a nod to the nearby Snake River Falls water ride.

The captain aboard the Snake River Expedition interacts with the actors of the attraction.

2. So who really drives the boats?

The fate of the boat and its passengers is solely in the hands of each captain. There are no hidden tracks in the river to guide the boat on its journey. It is therefore best to keep your hands, feet and head inside the boat at all times.

The Snake River Expedition has a short pre-show before guests board the boats.

3. This isn’t the first river attraction the park has had over the years.

This is the fourth such riverboat attraction in the Swamp River area in the heart of Cedar Point. The first was the Riverboat Cruises which ran from 1961 to 1963, followed by the Western Cruise from 1964 to 1986 and the Paddlewheel Excursions from 1987 to 2011.

Animatronic creatures old and new can be found on Cedar Point's new Snake River expedition.

4. The amusement ride station is full of fun antiques, and some rooms and parts of previous attractions can be found along the banks of the river.

Most of the boat ride animatronics are new to Cedar Point. But there are pets that interact with guests from previous incarnations of boat rides. Of particular note is “Elk-on John” and his animatronic cougar co-star right next to him whom the park affectionately calls “John Cougar” who collectively have been welcoming people for generations.

A sign greets visitors at the entrance to the new Snake River Expedition attraction at Cedar Point.

5. So what do the names of the four boats in the attraction mean?

The boats all bear the name of shores. There is the Catawba – named after a South Carolina river whose name is a tribute to the Native American tribe. Catawba Island is also the name of a lakeside community not far from Sandus Amusement Park. the Kanawha is named for the West Virginia River which flows into the Ohio River. the Little Miami should not be confused with a rapper of a similar nickname but rather a river flowing in southwestern Ohio. And finally the Lehigh, which is named for the river in eastern Pennsylvania.

Craig Webb, who is always up for a boat ride fueled by cheesy jokes, can be reached at [email protected]


What: Snake River Expedition to Cedar Point

Or: Entrance is in front of Camp Snoopy’s Magnum XL-200

Advice: The ride has limited hours, so be sure to check the schedule when you get to the park. To avoid long waits, try riding early in the day or late afternoon. Download the park app to see wait times for the ride and other attractions.

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