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Cedar Point removing WildCat

Cedar Point thrillseekers will have one less roller coaster to scream on this summer as the WildCat will be removed from the park.

SANDUSKY, Ohio (WKYC) -- Cedar Point thrillseekers will have one less roller coaster to scream on this summer as the WildCat will be removed from the park.

The announcement came Wednesday on the amusement park's website, which states the WildCat "was coming to the end of its useful life."

The WildCat will be removed from the park prior to opening day of the 2012 season on Saturday, May 12. The roller coaster will be sent to a recycling facility.

Luminosity, a new night show, will light up the night sky in that area, which is now being dubbed Celebration Plaza.

"With the desired expansion to Celebration Plaza, coupled with the low ridership and increased maintenance costs, Cedar Point has decided to accelerate the removal of the ride," the park's announcement declared.

WildCat has already been removed from CedarPoint.com's list of attractions.

"This expansion (of Celebration Plaza) is one of several initiatives that will beautify the park midways and enhance guests' experiences," the announcement says. "Additional improvements include state-of-the-art lighting packages on Giant Wheel, Millennium Force and Power Tower, a new sound and lighting system along the park's Main Midway and the re-painting of the Millennium Force and Blue Streak roller coasters."

The WildCat, which sits directly across from the Iron Dragon roller coaster, first opened at Cedar Point in 1970. The 85-second ride featured four-passenger "cars" that raced along the purple and yellow-green structure at 40 mph.

Several riders were hurt on the WildCat in 2008 and 2011 when cars collided on the ride. None of the injuries sustained were serious, but the accidents did shut the ride down temporarily.

Cedar Point once held the record for having the most roller coasters at one amusement park with 17. The park now trails the current record-holder -- Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California -- by two. Magic Mountain screamed to the top of the record books when it debuted its 18th coaster in July of 2011.

But don't fret, fans. Cedar Point says they remain "committed to being the roller coaster capital of the world. New roller coasters, rides and attractions will always be a part of Cedar Point's future."

New this year at Cedar Point is Dinosaurs Alive, a $5 upcharge attraction near Millennium Force featuring 50 animatronic dinosaurs. Also making its debut for the 2012 season is a new mat racing water slide at Soak City, Dragster H2O.