Cedar Point tips?

May 26, 2016, 6:00 AM

I have decided to make my pilgrimage this year. It will be my first time at the park. I will go in the last week of August/first week of September for 2-3 days. I also would like to stay on site at Cedar Point. I know there are some experts of the Point on this site!

Also unrelated, tomorrow will mark my third year of being an Insider! I joined the site on May 27th, 2013!

Replies (7)

May 26, 2016, 8:44 AM

So you're going on Labor Day weekend? If you've never been, and want to experience all of the coasters more than once over 2-3 days, I'd highly recommend getting Fast Lane. If not, over a holiday weekend, you'd be lucky to get on each coaster once over 2-3 days. If you can shift your days to during the week, you'll definitely be better off.

May 26, 2016, 11:00 AM

All of the days would be during the week. I would like to buy fastlane but I don't know if I should wait until I get to the park.

May 26, 2016, 11:13 AM

*The week before labor day

Edited: May 26, 2016, 12:23 PM

I think you still might see heavy crowds, but certainly going during weekdays is exponentially better than on a holiday weekend. I've never personally used Fast Lane, but some people swear by it. I think if you strategically plan your days, you can avoid the worst of the lines...As a standard rule of thumb, save the B&Ms until later in the day, because they're all people eaters, and while their lines might be longer in the afternoon, they won't be as bad as the Intamins.

Also, if you have a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass, like I do, make sure you take advantage of the early entry perk - Excellent time to ride Maverick and Millennium Force without much waiting (I wouldn't bother with Dragster during early entry because it's so unpredictable as to when it opens - However, if you see it testing, it might be worth running over to during the early entry).

Ride things as you come to them...Cedar Point is a HUGE park, and unless something is actually down, your feet will thank you more for waiting in a slightly longer line than doubling back.

If you're going for credits, you're obviously going to try to ride everything, but if not, my priorities would be as follows...

1. Maverick
2. Millennium Force
3. Gatekeeper
4. Dragster (even if you've ridden Kingda Ka, Dragster is completely different because of the lap bar (no OTSR) and the view from the top of Lake Erie)
5. Raptor
6. Magnum
7. Wicked Twister
8. Rougaroo
9. Gemini
10. Blue Streak
11. Cedar Creek Mine Train
12. Corkscrew
13. Pipe Scream
14. Draggin' Iron
15. Wildcat
16. Woodstock Express
17. Wilderness Run - formerly Jr. Gemini (if you have a kid, you can ride it)

I haven't ridden Valravn yet (hopefully next Tuesday), so it's not ranked above, but if it's similar to Griffon and SheiKra, which I assume, I would probably slide that in between Dragster and Gatekeeper.

Also, Cedar Point has a great collection of flat rides, so don't forget to ride those too. On a first time visit to Cedar Point, you should really lean towards spending 3 full days at the park to truly appreciate and enjoy it.

May 26, 2016, 1:10 PM

So far all the suggestions you've received are spot-on, except that #15 above, Wildcat, is no longer with us. Torn down for bleacher space for Luminosity, the nightly dance show in Celebration Plaza, right next to #14 (the real name of which is Iron Dragon). Russell's recommendations for the flat rides is good, also, especially Cedar Downs, one of the last remaining racing derbys. Windseeker is also pretty neat, with a great view at the top of the entire area- and it does get windy up there.

I reported on Valravn, and it's a really great coaster, smooth and an amazing view of the Midway.

Edited: May 26, 2016, 2:42 PM

The first time I visited Cedar Point was in late August and it was probably as empty as Cedar Point gets, with nothing over a 15 minute wait excluding the big three of Maverick, Millennium Force, and Top Thrill Dragster (and even those were only 30-45 minutes instead of the 90+ that is typical). Granted, that trip was 2008 and it has probably gotten more crowded since then, but I still wouldn't expect insane crowds that late in the season.

For a first time visitor, I would recommend planning for two days at Cedar Point with the option to go a third day if needed. If you do everything you want to do in the first two days, use the third for Soak City or go sightseeing somewhere else in the region. For Fast Lane, do not buy it in advance and wait until you arrive to see if you need it. On my last visit, it was a busy but manageable weekday in July and Fast Lane passes never sold out, so I wouldn't worry about them being unavailable. If crowds warrant the pass, buy it for one day as early as possible and use it to do as many laps on the Fast Lane attractions as desired (particularly the big three), then use your other day for non-Fast Lane attractions and anything with shorter waits. Personally, I would not buy Fast Lane for more than a single day per trip as it is very expensive.

If you're planning to stay on site, go for a room at Hotel Breakers as that is located out on the peninsula right next to the park. Breakers Express is a budget option located on the mainland, but you would probably be better off buying a platinum pass and staying somewhere cheaper in Sandusky. Castaway Bay has a waterpark, there are other waterpark resorts in the area that are likely better if you want one of those (I've heard Kalahari is particularly good, though it's a bit of a drive).

While not mandatory if you have multiple days, try to ensure you have some form of early entry access. You will get this by either staying at one of Cedar Point's hotels or by having a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass (can be from any Cedar Fair property, so go pick one up at your local Cedar Fair park). On your first day, enter through the Resort Entrance (park in the Soak City lot if driving in) and use early entry to get 1-2 rides each on Maverick and Millennium Force, then head to Top Thrill Dragster and wait for opening. After riding Dragster, I recommend doing the other coasters in the area (Corkscrew, Gemini, and Magnum XL-200), then do another loop of the back half of the park, stopping at anything you wish to ride as you reach it. Save the coasters at the front of the park (Blue Streak, GateKeeper, Iron Dragon, Raptor, Valravn, and Wicked Twister) for after 2 P.M. as the lines will shrink once the crowd has moved past. On your second day, enter through the Main Entrance (or Beach Entrance if staying at Hotel Breakers) and use early entry to get as many rides on Valravn and GateKeeper as desired, then just make your way around the park doing anything you missed on day one and anything you want to re-ride.

Obviously, you're likely going to want to ride every coaster, but I would list the following as the must ride coasters:

-GateKeeper
-Gemini
-Magnum XL-200
-Maverick
-Millennium Force
-Raptor
-Top Thrill Dragster
-Valravn
-Wicked Twister

In addition, try to experience the following non-coaster rides as well:

-Cedar Downs Racing Derby
-Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad (ride both legs)
-MaxAir
-Power Tower (ride both the Space Shot and Turbo Drop towers)
-Skyhawk
-Thunder Canyon (only if you're okay with getting dripping wet)
-Windseeker (this one is highly susceptible to wind closures)
-Witches' Wheel
-Anything else that isn't present at your local park(s)

Remember, Cedar Point is huge. The Railroad can be a very useful source of transportation, and the Sky Ride is also helpful if wind doesn't shut it down. Which brings me to my last tip...watch the weather. Cedar Point can go from sunny to rainy to sunny to rainy to sunny in the same day and the park tends to close most big rides in the rain. If there is a decent chance of rain, do not invest in a Fast Lane pass on that day or you may lose the value of your investment. Also note that wind can cause problems with some rides, so if it is a windy day and you notice one of the taller rides running get to it as soon as possible.

Lastly, enjoy your visit regardless of what happens. Cedar Point is probably my favorite amusement park (though not my favorite overall park) and is really a lot of fun. Yes, it does get overhyped a bit, but it is still one of the best parks I've visited and is somewhere every enthusiast should make a trip to at some point.

Edited: May 26, 2016, 7:52 PM

I'm so glad that you are traveling to Cedar Point this summer! I went last summer during labor day weekend and I was able to get through everything I wanted, but I planned in advance. My recommendation is to buy the fast lane plus online. It is more expensive (about $20 dollars more) than the regular fast lane, but here's the thing....

The 4 rides that the regular Fast Lane does not cover are:

- Gatekeeper
-Valravn
-Maverick
-Top Thrill Dragster

Now these 4 rides are definately going to have the longest waits regardless of what time of the season you visit Cedar Point. Even though the regular Fast Lane lets you skip the line on pretty much every other ride except for the 4 listed above, those rides tend to either have high capacity or smaller waits. Maverick, which I argue is the best ride at Cedar Point, has one of the worst capacity/Line problems at the park and trust me when I say that the Fast Lane Plus lets you skip the enternal line. I would check out the Cedar Point website too because it goes into more detail about the Fast Lane options and is cheaper than buying them at the park. Take my word for it, "Buy the Fast Lane Plus!" Your experience at Cedar Point will be so much more pleasant because you wont have to race from ride to ride worry about how long the lines will be. Also you can use the Fast Lane repeatedly on each ride.

This is what I would say though. Since you are spending 2-3 days at Cedar Point, I would spend 2 days in the park and 1 day exploring the beach, waterpark and other amenities on the property. The first day you go to the park, purchase the Fast Lane Plus to guarantee that you ride everything you want at least once. The second day you are at the park, don't purchase the Fast Lane and revisit the rides you want to reride or the other rides you might have skipped over. Some of the best things at Cedar Point are not necessarily the rides, but are the small things like the train ride or the glass blower in the Western section of the park. There are museums in the park and other places to explore too! The park really has something for everyone.

Then on the third day, explore the water park and the beach activities. The water park was great and the beach was wonderful especially on a hot day.

Top Priority Roller Coasters:
1. Maverick
2. Millenium Force
3. Top Thrill Dragster
4. Valravn
5. Magnum
6. Raptor
7. Gatekeeper

For Flat Rides make sure to take the train ride and experience Skyhawk, Windseeker and MaxAir. Also check out the witches wheel and Cedar Derby Downs.

Hopefully This Helps!

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