When Scott and I first moved to Cleveland, one of the first things these roller coaster fanatics did was get a season pass to Cedar Point. For 3 years we had a Platinum Pass.
As long as you buy early enough (right after the previous season ends), you can usually get a season pass that will pay for itself in a few visits. Last summer, however, we decided to not get a pass. We didn’t think we’d go that often and that it’d be worth it.
A costly mistake.
Between Halloweekends (a mainstay of our Halloween season) and visits from friends and family who wanted to visit Cedar Point, we ended up going enough to warrant a season pass. I also found myself scrounging coupons off the back of Pepsi cans and special online sales at CedarPoint.com to save on tickets.
You know one thing that takes the fun out of planning trips to Cedar Point? Finding ways to justify why you didn’t buy a season pass in the first place.
After that lesson, Scott and I immediately went online at the end of last season and purchased a Platinum pass for this season.
With access to all Cedar Fair parks (including Soak City, Wildwater Kingdom and King’s Island in Ohio), free parking (regularly $12), brand-new bring-a-friend discounts and other food, entertainment and hotel discounts, it’s more than worth it.
Based on what we paid last Fall, the pass will pay for itself through park admission and parking alone after 3 visits. The introduction of payment plans this season sealed the deal.
Scott and I met up with Alicia, Jen, Kimberly and their husbands this past weekend for our second trip of the season. We lucked out on Saturday with perfect weather: clear skies and hot, but not nearly as oppressive as it has been.
The only downside? Everyone else also had the same idea that Saturday would be the perfect day for a visit.
Although the lines were longer than usual, we ran straight to Maverick to ride it as soon as the park opened and bided our time throughout the day for some of the more popular coasters like Raptor. 10 hours and 2 incredibly sore feet later, we’d enjoyed an asphalt picnic, dinner at Famous Dave’s, 9 rides and some arcade time.
While it was a long day, it was a great time exploring old favorites like the Cedar Point Railroad and Cedar Downs Derby, as well as what’s new for 2012 at the Park.
So what is new?
Dinosaurs Alive and Luminosity offer guests 2 new attractions for the season. With the removal of Wildcat and the addition of a wine and beer bar and massive stage, the Midway has been transformed for Cedar Point’s new night-time show Luminosity. Lasers, lights, pyrotechnics and pulsing beats create a dance party for guests who want to rock on “the Roller Coast.”
Adventure Island – the former home of the Paddleboats and Halloweekend’s haunted pirate island – has now been taken over by prehistoric creatures in Dinosaurs Alive. For $5, Cedar Point guests can escape the park and visit with 50 life-size animatronic dinosaurs in scenes that replicate how scientists believe dinosaurs lived and interacted with one another.
It’s a great attraction for families because every day, kids can participate in an interactive dino dig site and have a chance to win a “K’NEXosaurus Rex” by uncovering the hidden K’NEX piece at the dig site.
Cedar Point introduced Fast Lane passes this year for those guests who’d rather get their excitement from a roller coaster marathon and don’t have time to wait in hour-long lines. For $65, the pass grants access to short lines (even walk-on access in some cases) for 10 rides throughout Cedar Point.
Admittedly, I was at first skeptical of the Fast Lane pass – mostly because I don’t see the value in an additional $65 to wait in a shorter line. However, after seeing the lines on Saturday, I’d say if you want to hit the extremely popular rides on a weekend and visit Cedar Point infrequently, it may be worth it for you.
Passes are limited, though, so either purchase it online ahead of time or as soon as you get to the park.
The final addition to Cedar Point this season is their new mobile app. Downloadable on both iPhones and Androids, the free Cedar Point app puts information about show times, height requirements and ride locations right at your finger tips while at the park.
The app also has a car and friend locator. Although we didn’t have a need to try the car marker, we played around with the friend locator a bit. Unfortunately, some force closing issues cancelled out the locator on multiple occasions.
In looking at the app reviews, this sluggishness is disappointingly par for the course. On the upside, having the park map and ride information in the app is helpful for new guests so you don’t have to carry the paper map around with you.
Although Cedar Point fans have gained a number of new things this season, we’ve also had to say farewell to a few.
In addition to Wildcat, which was removed prior to the season, another longtime coaster is hosting its last riders this weekend.
As was leaked earlier this summer, Cedar Point may be planning a new coaster for next year. To make room for whatever attraction is going there, the indoor bobsled coaster Disaster Transport is being taken down along with the Space Spiral observation tower.
When we were at the park on Saturday, I was going to skip Disaster Transport until I saw the sign about the ride’s “Final Dispatch.” To celebrate the ride’s legacy and raise money for Give Kids the World, Cedar Point is giving guests the chance to ride Disaster Transport one last time and possibly even take it on its final lap through the building with the lights on.
$4,288 has been raised so far. If you’re interested in raising money for Give Kids the World and going on Disaster Transport’s Final Dispatch visit www.firstgiving.com/gktw/finaldispatch.
And because I won’t be there Sunday, I’m happy to say I was able to squeeze in one more ride-through.
On Monday, Choice Hotels announced the top theme parks for summer travel. And at the top of that list above Disney and Six Flags? Cedar Point. However, I didn’t need that press release to tell me. After learning my lesson last year, I’ll be a life-long Cedar Point passholder.