You can feel the excitement racing through your veins...
You can feel the excitement racing through your veins as you head toward the gates of Cedar Point: America’s Rockin’ Roller Coast. Armed with snacks, sunscreen, water bottles and energy, you have been waiting for this day to come for what feels like an eternity. So, how can you ensure you don’t spend the majority of your time at the park waiting in a long, hot line? Or waiting anxiously for a show to begin, only to find out that it’s only performed on Wednesdays? Consider this your guide (from a Cedar Point expert) to making the most of your Cedar Point trip--the smart way.
First thing’s first: find out which rides are early entry rides on the day you’re visiting the park. If you have access to early entry through a season pass or other special offer, this is especially important, as you don’t want to race for Top Thrill Dragster first thing in the morning only to find the dreaded chain closing off entry to the line that tells you you’ve wasted your time! Even if you don’t have early entry access, however, it’s important to know which rides are early entry on any given day so that you know to avoid them when the park opens at ten. These rides’ lines will already be flooded with early entry riders--so if you want a shot at a nearly non-existent wait, head toward a ride that opens at the regular time!
With that being said, certain rides are notorious for having long lines at the beginning of the day because they are so close to the main entrance of the park. Some of these rides include Raptor, Gatekeeper, Valravn, Millennium Force, Wicked Twister, and maXair. By early afternoon, however, most of these rides will have much shorter wait times--with the exception of Millennium Force, which is known for pretty much always having a wait upwards of an hour--unless you're very lucky! At the beginning of the day, aim for rides like Maverick and Magnum XL 200 (which can be most easily accessed through the resort entrance of the park), or even Top Thrill Dragster, which can be accessed best through the beach entrance or the resort entrance.
By the time lunchtime rolls around, you may find that a show can provide for an excellent escape from the heat, as well as a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat. Lusty Lil’s Wild West Revue is shown every hour on the hour from one p.m. to five p.m. (six p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), and it’s put on at the Last Chance Saloon (Palace Theater) which offers snacks like buttery popcorn, alcoholic beverages, warm hot dogs, giant nachos, tasty salads, pulled pork sandwiches, and a variety of soft drinks.
After lunch, it’s finally time to hop on those rides that were busy all morning: Raptor, Gatekeeper, Valravn, Wicked Twister, etc…. Depending on the temperature, it may also be a great time to try out a water ride like Thunder Canyon and Snake River Falls.
For dinner, there are a variety of restaurants to choose from: ranging from tiny stands lining the walkways of the park, to old-timey sit-down joints, to fine dining experiences on the water. Some of my favorite places to eat are the Corral (a casual concession stand), which offers amazing walking tacos and warm, gooey pizza; the Midway Market (a buffet-style dining experience with a little of everything--including dessert); and the Bay Harbor restaurant, which provides a fine dining experience along the lakeshore.
After dinner, some people enjoy catching another show to pass the time while their dinner settles. If this sounds like you, check out shows like All Wheels Extreme (which is put on every day except Wednesday at three, five, and seven p.m., plus one p.m. on Saturdays) or, for the younger thrill-seekers, PEANUTS Celebration at the Point! (located at Celebration Plaza and put on every day except Tuesday at five p.m.) Keep in mind, though, that all outdoor shows are weather permitting!
To end the day’s riding, I love waiting for Millennium Force, no matter the wait time. The view at night is simply breathtaking. Other rides with an excellent view are the Ferris Wheel, Top Thrill Dragster, and even Gatekeeper. However, you don’t want to miss Luminosity: Ignite the Night, which is a pyrotechnics show full of light, energy, and music. It’s put on every night except Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. (weather permitting, of course) at Celebration Plaza.
Follow this guide, and it’s likely that you’ll have an amazing experience at Cedar Point. With the knowledge of a seasoned rider and the excitement of a newbie, it’s impossible not to have an excellent time.
By - Olivia Hersman