I know some of you frequent Cedar Point and was wondering if it is beneficial/necessary to stay on site?
I know some of you frequent Cedar Point and was wondering if it is beneficial/necessary to stay on site?
We stayed on site for the first time in my entire life this past May. It was nice.
Necessary? Nope. Not at all. But there are advantages, such as having Early Entry, and the ability to just walk to the park from your room (Hotel Breakers), and the beach outside your door, etc.
But I’ve been to CP probably 50+ times in my life, and it is perfectly fine to just show up at the gate.
What I DO recommend is going midweek rather than weekends if possible. Crowds are lighter.
Ditto to the above! We actually stayed on site for the first time last summer as well. I will say with Steel Vengeance opening last year, it was helpful to have the early entry since we are huge roller coaster fans and like to try to get at least one ride (if not multiple) on every coaster in a single day.
If you are going multiple days, you do not need any benefit of staying on site - but it is pretty if you can stay at the cabins or the breakers, and it was really nice to just walk from the cabin to the gate.
Best CP advice I can give is go mid-week. We have always had the best luck with Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, if you are a coaster fan and like ride photos, the FunPix is a good deal.
We just got back from Cedar Point this past weekend and it was definitely beneficial to stay on site. It was a 10-minute walk to the park and that extra hour in the morning helped us walk onto rides that we would have waited much longer for had we not gotten that hour. It was by no means necessary, but we decided we would do it the same way whenever we go back.
One more thing…when we booked through Cedar Point, one of the packages they offered included a “Ride and Refresh” band. This is basically unlimited free drinks (Coke products) in the park. While you can buy their refill bottle, we liked not having to lug around a bottle and just walk up to any Freestyle or food stand and get a drink.
if you aren’t thinking of going until next year, usually on black friday they will sell their “what passes for instant fast pass for all rides” tickets at the regular ticket rate. At least they have the past few black Fridays.
oooooo good to know! I’ve never looked into this before!
Thanks for all the great information
Such a great park! Let us know if you need touring tips when you get closer
I’ve been to Cedar Point a whole lot and I even worked there for 5 summers from 2000-2004. The main thing about staying at Cedar Point is that NONE of the hotels in the entire area will be anything above a 3* as far as room quality goes. The onsite CP hotels really aren’t anything special at all unless you want to spend some time at the beach or don’t have a car. Since virtually everyone will have to rent a car to get there, being close by is nice but not if it’s going to cost $250 a night for a barely 3* hotel. That said, the CP hotels do come up on Hotwire, and it’s usually pretty easy to tell when which ones they are in the secret hot rates… we ended up getting a $98 rate for last Sunday and Monday nights. It’s the one that’s listed as a 3.5* (but it’s really not a 3.5* IMO) that’s 0.5 miles from the search location. Cedar Point Express is the 2* (it’s a true 2*, and it’s not actually onsite, but still comes with early admission and free parking as well as being the closest offsite hotel) is the one that’s listed as 2.2 miles away. I’ve never seen Sandcastle anywhere on Hotwire for any price, for some reason. Also, parking in the main park lots is only included if you buy a full package with tickets. It’s not necessary if you’re staying at Breakers or Lighthouse Point, but if you’re staying at Express or Castaway Bay and want to drive yourself on-point then you’ll want to make sure your ticket includes parking or buy it in advance because you’re not allowed to walk to the park even if you want to.
Early admission can be hit or miss. Last Monday, for instance, the early admission began at 9am but only one of the advertised rides opened before 9:30 and several didn’t open until 10am or later. It was useful that we were standing around in the back of the park waiting for Maverick to open at 9:30 when they opened Steel Vengeance unannounced, but that’s not anything you can count on. I consider that to be an bonus, not an actual benefit I’d add into the value simply because Monday’s experience was not an isolated thing, in my experience. In fact, it’s been rare that every advertised ride was open at any time during early admission.
You can stay at Kalahari for less and have a big waterpark included in your rate… the only thing about that is it’s a good 25 minutes away. If you’re not averse to staying at a less nice place (which is the heading under which 95% of the places in and around Sandusky will fall) then I would recommend going to Hotwire and putting Cedar Point in for your search (as opposed to Sandusky) and then sorting by distance. That way you’ll see the secret hot rate hotels listed directly above or below the named hotel.
Midweek (not the weeks before or after the 4th of July, though), or September Halloweekends are the best time to go. Midweek from park opening through mid-June will have very, very small crowds. Weekends get increasingly busy from park opening through the 4th of July and don’t really taper off at all until the last weekend or two in August. October Halloweekends Saturdays get VERY busy, and may even be busier than 4th of July some years.
The refill & refresh/drink writstband deal is great if you don’t want to have to carry a souvenir bottle around. They give you a paper cup each time, but you can refill every 15 minutes and you can reuse your paper cup if it’s not crushed in case you want to reduce waste. Drinks are STUPID expensive, though they will give you tap water for free at any non-cart food location… the taste is better than WDW tap water but not awesome. A lot of the bigger thrill rides will not allow ANY loose articles (including souvenir bottles and purses or bags of any kind) past the entrance so you’ll have to get a locker or leave them with a non-rider. If you’re going to be getting lockers for a purse of bag then the bottle is fine, but if not it can get annoying.
They’ve really added to the dining options in the park recently and it’s 100% not worth it to leave for meals unless it’s lunch in the car (if you have a great cooler that will keep things cold in the car all day) or in an onsite hotel room, so the meal plan might be a good choice if you like to eat. It’s not valid at the hotel restaurants, though, and the options for snacks after the park closes are limited so stop at Meijer on your way in to get snacks if you’re staying onsite. The rooms at Breakers have a microwave and a fridge with an actual freezer so instant noodles, cereal and milk, or frozen waffles are definitely doable. There’s a Starbucks on the first floor as well.
Um. No. Just no.
While I think everything else you said is good, but Halloweekends at Cedar Point are the BUSIEST days of their entire year. It is true that it is LESS crowded in September than October if you are comparing JUST Halloweekends days. But we’ve learned it is best to avoid Halloweekends entirely.
We got the all-day dining plan. If you buy it early (before the season opens), it is financially worth it. But if you wait to buy it AFTER the season opens, we calculated it wouldn’t have been worth it at all. It is important to note that there are many places you can’t use the plan, as well as food options that aren’t allowed. Snacks, unfortunately, are NOT included in the food plan, so you have to pay for those out of pocket.
One place we LOVED on the food plan was the Backbeats BBQ (I think that is what it is called). Really great food that was included in the plan.
That’s why I specified Halloweekends, and though OP probably has to plan well in advance, I will say that daily weather plays a bigger role in CP fall crowds than it does at paces like WDW and Universal, since a lot more of the visitors are at least semi-local and will skip it if it’s going to be rainy and cold. The second to last Friday this past year was that way… it was only about 45° and drizzling off and on and we didn’t wait for anything except Steel Vengeance, and even that was only 30 minutes. Rainy summer days don’t see as much change, but locals and people who aren’t staying overnight tend to stay home if it’s going to be consistently rainy (like Father’s day, which is why we drove down earilier Sunday afternoon instead of later that evening… as expected, there was virtually nobody left in the park after 5pm and we got to do almost everything before 10). I also just really like Halloween and cold weather, so Halloweekends are kind of my thing.
We were pleased with the BBQ place (you were close on the name… it’s BackBeatQue, which just seems awkward to me and that’s probably the only time I’ll ever actually call it that) as well. The new Hugo’s Italian place in the front is next on the list.
It seems like all day dining is only a deal if you’re going to have 2 full meals (they run $14-18), plus a cheese on a stick or mini corn dogs & fresh cut fries as a snack, or if you’re a sharer-grazers and get 1 dining plan and share grab & go stuff between 2-3 people all day (this is my friends and I… we’ll get a mini corn dogs & fries at 11, then bosco sticks a couple of hours later, then someone wants chicken tenders or nachos so we share those because the one who wanted them won’t eat the whole thing, and we all love cheese on a stick), since you can get more food every 90 minutes. The single meal deal would be a good value if you’re planning to get a drink plan, since an entree, side, and drink will run at least $18+.
Oh. Yes! That was surprisingly good as well.
We bought the two-day All day dining plan pre-season, so paid $45/person, which comes out to about $23/day. Since we ate a total of three times (two meals, and another “snack” meal), it was worth it. But once season opened, the same two-day plan costs $54. That makes it harder to make it worthwhile.
Didn’t they also put a Melt in there - the grilled cheese place out of Cleveland? Feel like I saw that announced somewhere.
To the OP, @Nikkipoooo makes good points (pun) about early entry. Lake weather and big temperamental coasters can definitely be a disaster for morning openings.
Yes! It’s across from Planet Snoopy where there used to be a pizza place.
We were sad to see that go because it was nostalgic for us to all eat pizza there for dinner every time we went as a family. Not saying Melt isn’t fine. We’ve never been. But when our “old standby” was gone, we were like, “Um. Now what?”
It is worth noting that “Melt” does not accept the CP dining plan.
I get it, but if it wasn’t for change there would be no butterflies.