First Cedar Point Trip... Looking for advice
Anyone have advice for a first timer to Cedar Point?
From Ben James
Posted February 3, 2007 at 12:20 PM
I am going on a trip to Cedar Point in May and was wondering what i could do for hotels, food, and planning my time in the park? Any "Experts" have an ideas?
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From steve lee
Posted February 3, 2007 at 4:31 PM
If your budget allows it, I'd recommend staying at one of Cedar Point's resorts. The location is sweet, and guests of the resorts are allowed in an hour before everyone else (though only a few rides will be open in that hour, it still gives you a good head start). If you haven't already, go to the Cedar Point website and sign up for a Point Guide - they have lots of coupons including discounts on hotel rates (if memory serves, we had a coupon for $20 off the hotel room at Breakers). You may also want to consider doing a "starlight" the day before you hit the park in force. Starlight tickets are good after 4 or 5 pm, depending on what time the park closes. These tickets are only $25 (and there's BOGO coupons in the Point Guide) and this is a good way to get in there and get the lay of the land (and grab a couple of rides while you're at it).
Staying on site is a really good way to go. I didn't when I went with my family but we still had a great time. Also, everyone is allowed into the park an hour before opening, those that stay on site get a bracelet I believe that lets you ride (and I think they don't open any rides till 30 min. before opening).
To save money, leave the park to eat and come back later. Gives you a good break from the crowds and the environment. If you don't stay on site (if you choose to save money that way too) you can leave the park and come back once with the parking pass so you won't have to pay for parking again.
Also, unless you stay at the hotel right in the park, you're best bet for parking is at Soak City. You'll get to drive all the way around the park and see different sides of it that other people done as well as park right between Soak City and Cedar Point. Less people park over there and it'll be easier for you to get in and out of the park.
Lastly, if you're a member of AAA, you can get a discount on a 2 days ride and soak pass. You get 4 tickets that are good for 2 days. One pass to Cedar Point and Soak City per day. You don't have to use the Soak City tickets to use the Cedar Point ones but you can't go to Cedar Point for 2 days (ex. March 3rd and 4th) and Soak City the next 2 days (ex. March 5th and 6th). Also, riding at night is a whole different experience that is worth (Millenium Force at night is spectacular). Plan your days out with plenty of breaks so you don't burn out and RIDE ON!!!
From steve lee
Posted February 3, 2007 at 5:36 PM
Dustin, it seems like they may be a bit inconsistent with some of their early entry stuff.
When I was there last season, they let hotel guests in an hour early. At that time, there were 3 attractions open (Mantis, Raptor and Maxxair - signs are posted in the lobby letting you know which ones they were). We were given a card at the front desk that we showed at the gates to get in. No bracelet was involved. They let us in at 9, and I immediately hit Maxxair and Raptor. Maxxair was a walk on, but it seemed like there was a 5 to 10 minute wait for Raptor.
Once we were off Raptor, we started wandering in the direction of TTD (to line up) when they must have opened the main gates, because all of a sudden we were aware of lots of people running in our direction. I'd guess that was about 9:25 or 9:30.
They very easily could vary these procedures depending on how busy they expect the park to be. Or they may change up the procedures to try to keep people from cheating the system.
Well, I'd say call the park and find out. Sorry if I caused any confusion. That's what we were told last season at the park from the people at AAA.
Definately stay at the park. The Hotel Breakers has some great turn of the century charm and the Cabins on the lake are also a great place to stay. It is more expensive than staying off site, but once you consider the hassle and extra time of traveling and parking when you stay off site, the extra money is worth it. There are plenty of places to eat in the park and the Hotel Breakers has a nice Friday's inside. The Breakers is my first choice, great to go out on the beach and play volleyball or sit in the pool which fronts the lake. The cabins would be my second choice, they have a seperate bedroom and a loft area which kids love. They are close to the lake but do not have a beach, just a small, rocky coast, the Breakers is the one with the best beach access. As for the early entry, that is a hit or miss. As another wrote, I too experienced the rush of crowds to ride TTD and MF when I thought the lines would be short due to early admission. That little perk isn't all it is cracked up to be. Get to any of the gates early and you will still find a ton of people. But, overall, staying in one of the park resorts is the way to go if you can afford it. You will love the park, I think it is one of the best in the world if you love thrill rides and the atmosphere of a true ride park, not "theme park" like Disney. The grounds are clean and well maintained, I especially like the Frontier area.
From steve lee
Posted February 4, 2007 at 9:56 AM
Oh, go on a weekday if you can (I know, that pretty much applies to any park in the world), preferably before all the schools are out.
And Dustin, I wasn't trying to dispute what you were saying about the bracelets and stuff - like I said, it's highly possible that they may change their strategies depending on where in the season it is. We were there maybe the third week of May, so the crowds weren't too thick (though some rides still managed to get long, long lines)
From Ben James
Posted February 4, 2007 at 11:55 AM
I am going May 17th throught the 21st. I will drive there and the plan is to stay on property. You said that you got rushed by people after the park opens for the public. could you get in a line for TTD or MF before they open for the public?
Ben, if you stay on property they do let you in an hour before the rest of the public, but the problem is there are so many resort quests that there is still a ton of people getting in early. My advice is decide what you want to go on first with the early admission perk, then go to the closest entrance to that ride and wait there. CP has more than one entrance and it does matter which one you use. You can check out thier website to get a park map. Also, get in line early for the early admission. When the gates open, it looks like the running of the bulls in Spain, so know right where you are heading and get ready to run. Again, it helps to study the map ahead of time.
The crowds wont be too bad in May. The early entry perk is still a perk, although not as much on the weekends. Always stay at Cedar Point resorts. Only a few rides are open during early entry, but they are usually the most popular...unless one is down. Maverick, the new coaster will almost always be one of those rides open early...so you could wait maybe a half hour during early entry, or a couple of hours during the rest of the day. Among the other rides they open will be Millennium Force, Dragster, Raptor, MaxAir, and Skyhawk. The Breakers is always my recommended hotel, but the other CP resorts are still good. The packages offer some other benefits besides early entry, such as discounted tickets, free parking, food coupons, rounds of putt putt, among other things. Always start at the northern tip of the park, ride Dragster as soon as you can, and eat at Famous Dave's.
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