Fast Pass for Cedar Point Park?

Edited: August 26, 2014, 7:20 AM

Hello all,

I need a little advice on whether to buy a Fast Pass for Cedar Point Park or not.

Here's the situation:

My husband and I have wanted to visit the park for several years and now we finally get the chance to do it. On our way from Connecticut to Wisconsin we will stop by for a night to visit the park. It will be Friday night, September 12th. The park is said to be open from 6pm to midnight. I've read it's the first night of Cedar Points' "HalloWeekends" and not every attraction will be open, even though I'm not sure which ones or how many will be closed. I'm not sure if it's worth investing money into two fast passes. Since we only have one night to enjoy the park and don't know when we will be able to come back I would like to make the most of our visit. Any advice would be so helpful... Thank you!!

Replies (11)

Edited: August 26, 2014, 9:50 AM

We just got back from Cedar Point and despite visiting during the week, long lines were the rule, not the exception. If you want to ride Dragster, Force, and Maverick all in the same six hour span of time on a Friday night (provided the rides are open) you will need to purchase FastLane Plus (I think they start at $80 each). Just my opinion, but two hour lines at each of those rides await you.

I do not advise a trip just to bop into Cedar Point for a few hours, it is not that kind of park. You really need a day or two, maybe more, to experience all the park has to offer.

August 26, 2014, 10:46 AM

I would agree with James. If you've never been to Cedar Point before, you really can't give it a fair shake on a quick 6-hour visit. Perhaps if you already have a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass it might be worth a quick trip, but if you're paying full admission price (plus the cost of Fast Lane), it's just not going to be worth the trip.

I'd also add that in addition to all of those lines, Cedar Point is a pretty big park, and just to walk around to all of the top rides is going to take some serious time. A "quick" loop around the park without riding anything would probably take at least an hour or longer. You'd probably be lucky to ride more than 5 of the big coasters in 6 hours (assuming you went all the way to the back for Maverick).

August 26, 2014, 10:57 AM

Thank you, James! We do not have more time to enjoy the park and I prefer to have at least one night than instead of none. Only two of the three rides you mentioned will be open, even though I'm leaning towards the fast pass I'm still not quite convinced...

Edited: August 26, 2014, 12:24 PM

I'm not a Cedar Point local and I've never been to HalloWeeekends, but based on my experience at the park I agree with James and Russell; if you won't have at least one full day at the park, you're better off postponing the trip until you can give the park a proper visit. Cedar Point is probably the biggest park out there, and just walking around the place takes some time (it may not look it on the map, but to go from the entrance all the way to Maverick is at least a mile). Additionally, while I have only made two trips to the park, on both trips the lines were usually around 90 minutes for the headliners and 30-45 for other major coasters on weekdays. On my visit this summer, we purchased Fast Lane Plus for one of the two days and it still took about a day and 2/3 to do everything we cared about. Finally, according to an old trip report I found, during HalloWeekend Fridays only major rides are open and ALL of Frontier Town is closed (this includes Maverick, the park's best ride).

If you insist on visiting, I would recommend getting there at least 30 minutes before opening (45 would be ideal), buying a regular Fast Lane, and going straight to Top Thrill Dragster (use the Magnum Gate if possible). From there, try to ride Magnum, Gemini, Millennium Force, Raptor, GateKeeper, and Wicked Twister (do Maverick too if it's open). Honestly, that's probably going to take 5 hours right there (yes, even with the Fast Lane), and it's more of a major credit run than actually experiencing the park. Now, I have heard that Fridays during HalloWeekends aren't particularly busy and most people are doing the mazes, but as I've never been there on one I would still buy the Fast Lane simply as an insurance policy.

Edited: August 26, 2014, 12:42 PM

Thank you all for your comments. I will discuss it with my husband. We wanted to go for a full day on Thursday, but the park won't be open. :(

Regarding the rides that will be open that Friday night, I found this current note:

"Please note: Limited Ride Availability on Friday Nights. Rides open on Fridays include Blue Streak, Cadillac Cars, Cedar Downs, Dodgem, GateKeeper, Iron Dragon, Magnum XL-200, Matterhorn, Maverick, maXair, Midway Carousel, Millennium Force, Ocean Motion, PLANET Spooky, Power Tower, Raptor, Scrambler, Top Thrill Dragster, Wave Swinger, Wicked Twister and WindSeeker. All other rides, Town Hall Museum and the rides in CAMP Snoopy will be closed on Friday nights."

Tickets for that night would be $38.99 each if I buy online. Fast Lane Pass is $65 and Fast Lane Plus is $85.

August 26, 2014, 2:09 PM

Well your going after labor day so it shouldn't be as busy as those who just went experienced.

August 26, 2014, 3:15 PM

Okay, I've done a little bit of looking around, and from what I'm seeing September 12th is going to be packed. Not only is it the start of HalloWeekends, but there is an enthusiast event that day and Saturday as well. Most Cedar Point sites I've found recommend avoiding that weekend, as lines are expected to be worse than summer (what I posted previously is considered typical summer crowds).

If you think there is a realistic possibility that you'll get another chance to visit within the next couple years, I would strongly recommend you hold off on visiting for now. If you must go, definitely buy Fast Lane Plus, go around the park in a sequential order, and be prepared to get some exercise if you want to ride all the major coasters. From the list you posted, it looks like every good coaster except Gemini will be open, and all of them except Iron Dragon have Fast Lane. If you want to ride Iron Dragon, do it first, then from there I would recommend going in this order: Millennium Force, Maverick, Magnum XL-200, Top Thrill Dragster, Raptor, Blue Streak (skip if short on time), GateKeeper, Wicked Twister. Note that Fast Lane will not get you immediate access, so you will still probably wait 15-20 minutes per ride (possibly longer for the big three if it is really busy...I've heard Millennium and Dragster can get 45+ minute Fast Lane queues). Do not ride any non-coaster rides unless you can board the next cycle, you have never done that type of ride before, and you have plenty of time, as doing so could jeopardize completing all the coasters.

Edited: August 26, 2014, 3:27 PM

Ugh... $170 for two people to get FastLane Plus. That total along with your admission makes your half day at Cedar Point more expensive than a full day at Disney (Fastpass+ included) or Universal (without Universal Express). Ouch. You must sleep on bags of gold... Or really love coasters.

One other note... If there are high winds, Dragster and Twister will close as well.

If you have time, do visit Cedar Downs as it really is a hidden gem, IMHO.

August 26, 2014, 8:24 PM

I wish I could give you some useable advice about this, but it really is a crap shoot. I've been to opening night of HalloWeekends and it has been a ghost town- several times we rode coasters alone. Other times it is jammed. The indoor haunts always have a line, since they limit how many enter at a time, but the outdoor haunts swallow people up and there is almost never a wait (except for CornStalkers). So much affects the crowds, such as the weather and if there are a lot of home football games in the area. The event mentioned is a media event for their new haunted house "Hexed" and for coaster club members, and most of that takes place before the park opens to the public. Check the weather for the temperature- Cedar Point is in the middle of Lake Erie, and it can get really cool really quickly regardless of how warm it was during the day. Have some cool-weather clothes accessible in the car in case you need it. I'll be there that night- look for the TPI t-shirt! Hope to see you there!

Edited: August 27, 2014, 10:47 AM

Thank you all so much for your helpful opinions! Especially thanks to AJ Hummel for doing some research... We have not decided yet, but we might just buy a "normal" ticket and explore the park for six hours, have some fun and enjoy one or two roller coasters if we're lucky and maybe come back for a Saturday in October...

James, if I slept on bags of gold I'd probably build my own roller coaster park.

August 27, 2014, 4:14 PM

If the waits are prohibitive on the big three (Force, Dragster, Maverick), then catch at ride on Magnum XL-200. The ride is great, the views amazing, and the throughput is about 2000 riders an hour so even a long line moves quickly. It was my go to coaster on my recent visit during the more crowded times of the day.

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