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Not just for big kids: A day at Cedar Point with little ones

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Any time you think of Cedar Point, you think of the heart-racing, towering scream machines that delight teenagers and adults alike. Most people tend to forget that Cedar Point can be just as exciting for little kids as it is for the big ones. Most people don't know of all the advantages that Cedar Point offers for the ones who aren't quite tall enough for the big rides. Here are a few things to know about taking your little ones to the park and how to make sure that everyone has the best day ever.

As a mom of a 4 year old, our first stop when we arrive at the park is always Guest Services at the front gate. We get our little man measured for height and a wristband is placed on his wrist corresponding to his current height. This wristband is key in making sure that he meets the height requirements for any of the rides that he wants to go on. Since different rides have different requirements, this helps us out by taking a quick glance at the minimum requirement for the ride and know right away if he is tall enough. Ride operators can also remeasure them at each ride to make sure that they meet the proper height requirements. Measuring your child can also be done at the Lost Children/Message Center located in Kiddy Kingdom as well as Town Hall in Frontiertown.

Also while at Guest Services, you can pick up a KidTrack wristband. If your child is anything like mine, they tend to run off in all directions in a split second. With a KidTrack wristband, you write your name and number on the inside of the band, then place it on your child's wrist. If you should happen to become separated from your child, park employees can use this to help reunite you with them since there is no paging system within the park. KidTrack can also be picked up at the Resort Gate or Town Hall in Frontiertown

One last thing to pick up before you leave Guest Services is a Parent Swap pass. These are extremely useful to parents with small children who still want to ride the big rides. They ask you for your last name, and then hand you a piece of paper to take with you to all of the rides. One rider will take this pass with them and enter the line while the other waits with the child. The one with the child can then go off and do things while the others are in line. When the person in line gets off of the ride, they hand the pass to one of the employees on the exit side of the ride platform. They meet up with the person waiting with the child and exchange places. The person who was waiting with the child then goes up the exit stairs of the ride platform and gives their name to the employee on the platform. Usually within one or two trains, the employee will then allow you to board the ride from the exit side. This pass also allows the person who waited with the child to take one person with them up the exit side, as long as they meet the height requirements for the ride. After you are done riding, you take the pass back from the employee, and you're off to the next ride! Parent Swap passes can also be obtained at any of the entrance gates, at the entrance of all the major roller coasters, as well as the Town Hall in Frontiertown.

Forget your stroller or having problems with the one you brought? Maybe you thought that your young one would be able to walk around all day and not need it. Not to worry, Cedar Point has strollers available to rent. Available by the front gate entrance or Joe's Cool Corner Store back by the Resort entrance, you can rent one for the day. They have single and double strollers available for rent and are on a first come, first served basis.

Cedar Point is known to have 4 areas that are designed to thrill your little ones. Kiddy Kingdom is located right off of the Main Midway and is a great area for those kids under 36 inches. There are only a few rides here that either require a responsible rider (over 16) or a minimum of 39 inches for the younger ones to ride. One requirement they do have is that the child must be wearing shoes, and be able to walk. Parents can carry a small child to or from the ride, but hand-held infants are not permitted to ride. Hand-held infants (under the age of 1) are only permitted to ride Sky Ride, Giant Wheel, CP & LE Railroad, and both the Main Midway and Kiddy Kingdom Carousels. Also note, that when riding Sky Ride, strollers are not permitted on board and it is a one way trip (unless you exit and get back in line). Strollers are permitted aboard the CP & LE Railroad, as they are placed between the rails behind or in front of each train car. An employee on the platform can assist you with loading it on the train so it doesn't go rolling off.

Just across from Kiddy Kingdom, on the other side of the Arcade building, is Planet Snoopy. The rides located in this area are designed more for the toddler/preschool ages as well as young school age kids. Almost all of the rides in this area have a minimum of 42 inches to ride alone, but can be ridden at 36 inches as long as a responsible person rides with them. Character greetings with Peanuts characters can often be found here at random times during the day.

Further towards the back of the park, you'll find the last two areas for kids, Camp Snoopy and the Gemini Midway. Camp Snoopy has more rides for the toddler/preschool age group as well as young school age. Located back in Camp Snoopy are two roller coasters for the little ones. Wilderness Run (formerly known as Junior Gemini) is a great little coaster to start your little one off with. With a minimum of 36 inches to ride, your child will get the thrills of being able to ride a coaster that is their size, and they get to ride it twice! Woodstock Express is the other coaster located in Camp Snoopy, and requires a responsible person to ride at 36 inches, or 48 inches to ride alone. Both Woodstock Express and Wilderness Run offer on-ride photo opportunities so that you can purchase a memory of your child's roller coaster ride. If your child isn't quite up to riding coasters yet, there are a few rides located there that are similar to ones found in Kiddy Kingdom and Planet Snoopy, and have similar requirements. Shows with Peanuts characters happen often here, as well as meet and greets with them after and between shows. The stage is located right next to Wilderness Run.

The Gemini Midway is designed more with families in mind. Most of the rides located here all have requirements of at least 36 inches with a responsible adult to ride. Pipe Scream is the only one that has a minimum of 42 inches with a responsible adult in order to ride. These rides typically known as flat rides, can be found scattered throughout the park as well. Every ride in the park has a height requirement sign located at each entrance of the ride. You can always check these before getting in line to make sure that your young one will be tall enough so that you aren't disappointed or upset when the ride host tells you that they can't ride.

Last thing to take note of when taking in Cedar Point with small children is that often they will need quiet time to take a nap or a short break from all of the crowds. Located right by Planet Snoopy and back in Frontiertown are the Family Care Centers. These are also the locations for the First Aid stations. The Family Care Centers have private feeding areas for nursing, feeding infants, baby changing stations, and even a small play center for toddlers. These centers can provide a much needed break for your little one, and for you as these buildings are air conditioned. These centers also have a few items stocked on hand just incase you might need them. Need more diapers, diaper rash cream, or wipes? Lost a pacifier? Forgot baby food? Need a bottle warmed up? Stop on in and ask if they have any. If they have any on hand, they will help you out.

A trip to Cedar Point can be a great time for the entire family, including the little ones. To see the joy in my little guy's face when we tell him we are going to Cedar Point makes my heart melt. Knowing that there is plenty of stuff that he can do means that everyone will be having fun.


By - Jen Temple


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