no lines at cedar point?

July 22, 2015, 8:33 AM

i've visited a few parks "local" to Indiana (Kentucky Kingdon, King's Island, etc.) and i always try to visit at a time that will have short lines, i.e. get off, get back on, rinse, repeat...i went Memorial Day and it was actually surprisingly busy, and a random Tuesday before Memorial Day and it was also surprisingly busy (30 minute waits for the newest coaster)

i'm planning on visiting Cedar Point this year with my wife (no kids) while it's still warm but when very few people go...frankly, i do not want to wait any longer than 5 minutes in line...i am extremely flexible and can go anytime the park is open and the waits are extrmely short...i'm content NOT going if the lines are longer than this...i reiterate, i PERSONALLY hate waiting in lines and will gladly save myself the trip and cost if i must wait...

Question: will going after labor day on a weekend (the park is only open weekends after labor day) with a fast pass PLUS accomplish my goals above?

also: is the fast pass plus worth it? what does it do exactly? how is it different from the regular fast pass? do they really limit them? to what extent (e.g. only 100 people can have them in the park)?

another: when is the absolute BEST time to go, i.e. warm for water park, but no lines?

thanks in advance...

Replies (3)

July 22, 2015, 11:53 AM

If you don't want to wait more than 5 minutes in line, you're going to the wrong theme park. If you want to visit Cedar Point when the lines are shortest, you've already missed your window during the time when the park is open daily and before the local kids are finished school (late May/early June). You're in the heart of their season right now, so you're going to see minimum 30 minute lines for all of the top rides (Gatekeeper, Maverick, Millennium Force, and Dragster), even on a Wednesday. The best advise I can give you is to avoid the weekends, and plan to spend 2 days to experience all the park has to offer. It's a very large park with a lot of different rides and attractions.

Fast Lane is an upcharge queue avoidance system. You pay (variable depending upon the day) to skip a majority of the line (typically merge with the regular line at or near the station), and can ride the selected attractions as many times as you want. Typical waits with Fast Lane are between 5-10 minutes depending upon the ride, where you want to ride (add up to 30+ minutes for front rows), and how it's operating. Fast Lane Plus costs even more, but includes Gatekeeper, Maverick, Dragster, and Rougarou, which are not included in the standard Fast Lane. The park limits the sale of both Fast Lane and Fast Lane Plus, so you need to check availability (i.e. don't show up at the gate on a Saturday and expect to buy one there), but it can be valuable if your only option is to visit the park on a weekend.

Also, the water park (Soak City) is a separate admission. Weather can be highly variable because of the lake with rapidly shifting winds, storms, and temperatures. It can be 50 degrees and overcast in the morning and 90 degrees and blistering in the afternoon. I find May, June, and September the best months in terms of weather, but I'm not a huge water park person.

July 22, 2015, 2:41 PM

Cedar Point is one of the most popular seasonal parks in North America and it has a shorter season than some, so if you want to go to Cedar Point you'll have to accept that there will be lines. While not everything will be packed, expect lines of up to an hour for the big three (Maverick, Millennium Force, and Top Thrill Dragster) even on relatively empty days. The park has outstanding operations and generally runs as many trains as practical on the coasters, but it still sees a lot of visitors and the rides don't have the capacity you'll find at Disney.

If you're looking for the lowest crowds and you want to visit before the end of 2015, go on either a weekday during the last two weeks of daily operation or on a Sunday in September. The park will not be dead, but other than the big three and perhaps Raptor, lines shouldn't be more than 15-20 minutes. An Ohio local can probably better advise you on weather, but I've found it to be unpredictable on my visits (one in July and one in August). Also, if visiting both Cedar Point and Soak City you absolutely must allow two full days or you will miss stuff. Keep in mind that Soak City is a separate admission fee and is not included like the waterparks at the other places you mentioned.

As for Fast Lane, it is a wristband that allows access to a separate queue on most (but not all) of the park's major rides. Unlike other systems, you may enter this queue at any time and you wait in this line until the merge point. Fast Lane does not guarantee immediate access, but you will usually be on within 15 minutes unless you're waiting for a high demand seat (typically the front or back row). Fast Lane sales are limited, but it is rare that the park will sell out. Because of the amount the park sells and the way the system works, it is possible to still have a significant wait with Fast Lane if visiting on a busy day, but it will always be shorter than the regular queue. As for Fast Lane Plus, it is exactly the same as Fast Lane but can be used on several additional attractions (GateKeeper, Maverick, Rougarou, and Top Thrill Dragster).

I hope you'll still consider going even if you have to deal with some lines. Cedar Point is one of the best parks I've been to and, unlike many parks, I've never found something at Cedar Point to not be worth the wait (especially the shortened waits with Fast Lane). It is a better park than Kings Island (which is also a very good park), and a much, much better park than Kentucky Kingdom.

July 22, 2015, 8:34 PM

Ryan, I agree with what everyone else has said so far. I live about 45 minutes from Cedar Point, and we joke that Ohio is one of the places where you can have all four seasons in one day. The least wait time will be accomplished with Fast Lane Plus, but I have never heard how many are sold on any given day, and I have seen "sold out" signs on the stands where they are sold in the park. To be sure to get one, reserve it ahead of time. As far as what day to go, it's pretty much a crap shoot. Soak City closes around Labor Day- the times and operating dates are on the CP website. The weekends after Labor Day that the park is open are HalloWeekends, and they can be extremely busy or quite empty, depending on the weather. It can get really, REALLY cold out there in the middle of Lake Erie, but other days it can still get really hot. No way to predict. One of the slowest days I ever had was on a Friday night early in HalloWeekends. The park was open from 6pm to midnight, but lots of the coasters were nearly walk-ons because everyone was in the haunts. I guess there is no really good answer for you... Cedar Point is ruled by the weather. Regardless, if you just accept that you will have to wait for some of the more popular coasters, and that Fast Lane Plus will save you some (and possibly a lot) of time, you should have no trouble having a really great time.

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