Do You Know What You're Missing?
I’ve heard this statement from some close friends for quite some time. "You don't know what you're missing! You need to join a coaster club!" Yeah, yeah, I'd think to myself. What's the big deal? I love going to Cedar Point like anybody else. I used my season pass to get into Cedar Point and Soak City and had a great time. I took many pictures of my family in the park and at the pool, and we all had smiles on our faces. Why should I join a coaster club? How can I afford a coaster club membership for my whole family? There can't be anything that fantastic about a little membership card in my wallet.
I finally did some research on coaster clubs and took a chance on that little card in my wallet. My family and I joined the Great Ohio Coaster Club in 2013 and we have had a blast since then! Our membership cards have been an entrance pass to a world that we never knew existed. Events, newsletters, new friends, new opportunities, many exciting memories and experiences have come into our lives since then. Others often ask me how I get to do all of these amazing things at Cedar Point and other parks, and I simply respond that we are members of the Great Ohio Coaster Club!
This last season has been a whirlwind of events and activities for my family. It started with the Cedar Point Media Day Preview to check out Pipe Scream and Lake Erie Eagles. We were amazed at the transformation of the Gemini Midway and all the work Cedar Point put into it! We then had a blast at CoasterMania in June, Coaster Campout in July, Fall Freakout and the Hexed Preview in September. I was also able to attend an event sponsored by the American Coaster Enthusiasts, or ACE, in August. Not only did we have time to ride some amazing coasters all to ourselves, we also participated in a Tweet-Up contest that had us running all over the park looking for the regional president, Scott Short, in order to get points. The top point earners won prizes! These events are full of exclusive ride times, some behind the scenes tours, delicious dinners, and many laughs with friends who enjoy coasters as much as we do.
CoasterMania Gift Box
Another amazing perk was to be a part of Tony Clark's Millennium Walkbacks on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We met Tony at the Marina gate 10 minutes before normal early entry. He would then walk us back to Millennium Force and we were treated to a few rides before the rest of the early entry participants were able to enter the park. He even took our picture in front of the Millennium Force sign and posted it to his Twitter account! Walkbacks in 2015 will only be on Saturdays, but anytime we can get a few extra rides in on Millennium Force is fine with us! This was only for coaster club members such as the Great Ohio Coaster Club and ACE. During the year we also receive The Streak, which is a publication of the Great Ohio Coaster Club. We are able to read articles, get updates on fellow enthusiasts and the milestones that they have made, and hear about future plans for the club.
While some events have costs attached to them like Fall Freak Out, the ACE event, Winter Chill Out, and the 2015 Coaster Campout, a majority of the Cedar Point events are free such as CoasterMania, Millennium Walkback, Media Preview Day, and the Hexed Preview event. Not only are these events a blast to attend, but the Cedar Point events usually give away free items! Last year we heard that they gave away a TON of stuff at Winter Chill Out, such as calendars, hats, gloves, and free skip the line passes for any ride and Slingshot. At Media Preview Day all the adults in our family got Cedar Point light zip up sweaters, while the kids got a stuffed Snoopy! The CoasterMania event was FULL of freebies. We received an entire BOX full of stuff! We got an awesome CoasterMania pullover, a CoasterMania glass, Coaster Crazy sunglasses, a Cedar Point T-Shirt, and a glasses strap for riding coasters! When we signed in for Coaster Campout, we all received an awesome blanket! At the Hexed Preview we all got awesome HalloWeekends hoodies! There's never a guarantee that we will get anything, but these prizes and FREE food are an added bonus to an already special day! (Thank you so much Tony, along with your staff!)
I think back to 2012 often. Yes, we had a great time as platinum passholders. I can only imagine the fun we missed out on. Thinking ahead to 2015 makes us extremely excited. We have short waits between closing day and opening day. We have mini-milestones to get us through our coaster withdrawal. What are we looking forward to? We loved celebrating the holidays at the Great Ohio Coaster Club and ACE holiday parties. We are counting down to Winter Chill out in February where we can get a behind the scenes tour of Cedar Point. We will happily donate money to a fabulous cause to get a sneak peak at what goes on while the park seems to be sleeping! We also look forward to the 2015 Media Preview Day to be some of the first people to check out Rougarou! We also plan on attending the CoasterStock event at Cedar Point's sister park, Kings Island, in May!
Take a moment and reflect on your experiences at Cedar Point. Did you have an amazing time at the greatest amusement park in the world? Can you take that amazing feeling and multiply it many times over? Think about joining a coaster club like we did. You won't regret it and you will wish you had that little card in your wallet sooner!
Please know there are other amazing coaster clubs out there! Make sure to check them out as well. If you read any of Tony's blog posts, he will list the clubs that are allowed to register for his events. These are the two clubs that I have had experience with and LOVED! :)
Great Ohio Coaster Club: greatohiocoasterclub.org/join
American Coaster Enthusiasts: aceonline.org/JoinACE
Don't forget to follow Tony Clark on Twitter for his park information, tweetups during the season, and blog posts with tons of information: twitter.com/TonyClarkCP.
By - Britt Hageman