Whether you are visiting Cedar Point for the first time, or an avid addict who knows the park inside and out, a little bit of planning goes a long way to making the best of your time at the park.
The following is a list of suggestions to making your day at Cedar Point a success. Do not see something listed that helps your day more efficient? Add them below in the comments.
1) Ask Questions:
While you may be able to get some answers directly from Cedar Point, the fansites are an amazing resource of information. Our goal is to provide you with answers about dining at Cedar Point, but sites like CPFansite, CPRundown, and others on our Resource page can be an amazing resource to keep bookmarked.
2) Make Special Requests in Advance:
If you have special dietary requirements, Cedar Point’s food department can help guide you to where you will be able to find foods that satisfy your needs. In addition, you are allowed to pack your own lunch if there is an extreme need to avoid food in the park.
3) Tipping Your Wait Staff:
4) Avoid the Heat of the Day and Re-energize:
Cedar Point offers a variety of indoor entertainment shows like at the Red Garter Saloon and the Palace Theatre. Time your viewing of these shows later in the day when the heat is high and your energy may be dissipating.
5) Route Your Visit Ahead of Your Visit:
If you have visited Cedar Point many times and have a season pass, you likely do not need a map or need a set schedule since there is always another day. However, for the occasional or first time visitor to Cedar Point, it is important to make a plan.
Cedar Point’s online map is kind of worthless because it gives the guest no legend labeling where things are located. Instead, we recommend viewing a copy of the brochure handed out at the park with a Cedar Point map (large file size, so be patient for loading).
One can also download the Cedar Point app, with an interactive map that you can turn features on and off.
Study the map and plan out your visit. Pick an area of the park to start, and route your way around the peninsula to avoid jumping around throughout the park. Typically, it is always better to start at the back of the park and work your way towards the front.
6) Decide in Advance Where You Want to Eat:
After making your plan for how you will visit, study the Cedar Point menus and locations on the map. That way when you get hungry, you will know which food stands or restaurants are in the area and what types of food you can expect.
7) Consider Dining During Off-Peak Hours:
It can be easy to fall into a routine and eat lunch at noon and dinner at 5:00. However, lots of other people fall into that same category. Considering eating lunch around 11:00 AM or between 2:00-3:00 PM, taking advantage of shorter roller coaster lines when everyone else is eating.
8) Get to the Park at Opening:
Get to the park right when it opens to avoid the least crowds of the day and get in a ride or two on your favorite roller coaster(s) before the couple hour lines build up. Better yet, become a Platinum season passholder, and get into Cedar Point one hour before the general public to ride select rides.
Tip: Guests staying at a Cedar Point property are also granted one hour early access.
9) Consider Purchasing the Dining Plans:
If you are visiting Cedar Point, one of the easiest decisions you can make about your day is to purchase one of the dining plan. The Cedar Point dining plans come in 3 forms, the Single Meal Deal, All-Day Dining, and All-Season Dining plans.
For the occasional visitor, the All-Day Dining Plan is a tremendous value! Purchasing the plan grants you a meal every 90 minutes. When a single meal costs around $15, purchasing the All-Day Dining Plan for $32 is a simple no-brainer decision.
For season passholder, the All-Season Dining Plan makes sense because if you visit the park the requisite 4 times to recoup the cost of your pass, and eat the two meals per day, you have easily covered the cost of the program.
10) Plan for the Weather:
With Cedar Point being located along the shores of Lake Erie, there is always the potential for a storm to blow in, potentially messing with your plans at Cedar Point. Plan accordingly, and bring an umbrella or rain poncho if the weather forecast looks questionable.
While the majority of attractions will be shut down during a weather delay, depending on the length of the storm and severity of the rain, this can also be a great time to take advantage of shorter ride times as the crowds thin out and head indoors.
11) Share a Meal (or Two):
Being a captive audience, prices for food at Cedar Point are higher than outside the park. If the cost of a burger and fry meal at $15 gives you the hiccups and a Dining Plan is not in your budget, consider sharing a meal. Splitting a meal not only will help save you money, but also not keep you full where it might not be the best idea to jump right on the Cork Screw.
12) Eat Off the Routine:
It might be easy to stick to the typical burger and fries menu items. However, seek out some of the true gems at Cedar Point to try some things you might not normally try, like the Perch sandwich at Lakeside Express, or the Walking Taco at the Corral. Plus make sure to save room for some treats throughout the day like a funnel cake sundae or Dippin’ Dots. Or try one of the handmade treats at the new Sweet Spot.
13) Plan Extra Time in the Park:
Sometimes, a family might save up all year to be able to visit the park once every couple years. However, for those with some flexibility, consider spending multiple days in the area and make a full vacation out of your trip. If you must ride all of the roller coasters and rides during the peak summer months, consider going to the park at least two days. This strategy will allow you to visit half the park one day, and the other half the second day. Or visit Cedar Point one day and Cedar Point Shores the second day. The possibilities are endless (See tip 15 below).
14) Purchase FastLane:
If visiting Cedar Point more than one day is out of the budget/schedule, consider purchasing FastLane. Cedar Point’s FastLane pass comes at a premium (typically more than the cost of an admission ticket); however, the advantage is that you will get to go in a special entrance and avoid the long wait times that everyone else has to wait in.
15) Visit the Surrounding Community:
Visiting Sandusky, Ohio means more than just Cedar Point. You also have Cedar Point Shores and Castaway Bay, outdoor and indoor waterparks, respectively. Or jump on board Miller Ferries or Jet Express and head over to the Islands.
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center in Sandusky offers all-day indoor fun from a year-round haunted house, roller skating rink, bounce houses, and more.
For more information on area attractions, visit Shores and Islands, the visitors bureau of the area.
16) Resort Restaurants:
Most guests to Cedar Point will stay in the park and never realize what resides outside the gates. Head inside to the newly renovated Hotel Breakers to eat at Tomo Hibachi, Perkins, Starbucks, or the Surfside Lounge.
17) Stay at Resort Properties:
While locals can just drive to Cedar Point and return home the same day, guests driving in from out of town need a place to stay. Consider staying at Cedar Point Resorts to make the most of your visit. Cedar Point offers a variety of price points from Cedar Point Express to the brand new, 110 year old Hotel Breakers that is fully restored from the ground up. Or stay at Castaway Bay and enjoy the indoor waterpark.
Guests at Cedar Point Resorts get early access to the park before regular guests. Take advantage of this great benefit. Then during the peak heat of the day, head back to your resort to enjoy the pool.
18) Cedar Point for Families:
Sure Cedar Point caters to the thrill seeker with the best roller coaster lineup on the planet. However, Cedar Point also caters to families, offering a variety of rides and attractions to suit guests of all ages.
Let the kids enjoy 3 themed areas (Kiddie Kingdom, Planet Snoopy, and Camp Snoopy), get your picture taken with Snoopy and the Peanuts characters, and enjoy a relaxing ride on the Lake Erie & Cedar Point Railroad, to name a few.
19) Parent Swap:
Parents visiting Cedar Point with kids need not worry because of the Parent Swap program. Visit Guest Services (at the main gate); Town Hall Museum; or the Resort Entrance Gate (near Magnum) and request a Parent Swap pass.
One parent will then ride each of the roller coasters on the list, handing the ride operator your pass. Once complete, the other parents will then swap with the kids, allowing the second parent to ride the attraction.
20) Family Care Centers:
Worried about bringing little ones to Cedar Point? Do not worry, because Cedar Point has parents covered, meeting the demands of newborns, to big kids at heart. Cedar Point offers two (2) Family Care Centers in the park, one in Planet Snoopy and the other near the entrance to Maverick in Frontiertown.
Guests can use private rooms to breastfeed their child(ren), use changing rooms, or just provide that quiet, relaxing environment the kids may need from a day of walking around in the sun.
Stopping in to the Family Care Centers is an excellent opportunity to use private restrooms, get complimentary ice-cold cups of water, or get the medical attention your family may need.
21) Bring Plenty of Sunscreen:
There is nothing worse that walking around in the sun all day, only to realize the next day you not only suffer from exhaustion, but a bad sunburn. Use some precaution by liberally applying sunscreen throughout the day, especially if there are little kids in your party.
22) Wear Comfortable Clothes/Shoes:
Sure you might be visiting Cedar Point with a bunch of your friends or even on a date with a new love. However, save the high heels or restrictive clothing for another day. Dress appropriately for the weather, wear comfortable shoes that are already broken in, and do not wear clothes with offensive language or gestures. Cedar Point reserves the right to enforce the dress code and refuse admission for guests breaking this rule.
23) Pockets Are Your Friend:
One of the best clothing decisions you can make at Cedar Point is pants or shirts with button/zipper closures. Many of the attractions will carry you upside down, meaning any loose change in your pockets is likely to fall free. Almost all guests also carry a cellphone; however, there is absolutely no camera use allowed on any of the rides at Cedar Point, except the Lake Erie & Cedar Point Railroad. Therefore, cameras/phones need to be secured, making closed pockets the ideal location.
The Loose Article Policy also extends to things like glasses, cell phones, pagers, hats, cameras, stuffed animals, umbrellas, beverage containers, personal entertainment devices, purses, backpacks, etc. Certain rides require that loose article not be brought onto the ride. Lockers, and in some cases storage boxes, are provided for guests to temporarily store your valuables.
24) No Running
Safety is at the center of everything at Cedar Point. That means ride operators have extensive training to make sure you are adequately strapped into the rides. It also means there is a strict no running policy. Pavements can often be slick from getting washed down or after a rain, and even on dry days, running increases your chances of falling and getting hurt. #NoRunning
25) Know Your Ride Camera Locations:
Want to take home that memory of the first time you took your mother on the Millennium Force? Lots of the roller coasters and attractions include cameras to capture that perfect moment. Knowing right where those cameras are located can help you plan your memory. Just please no profanity, etc., as families with little kids could be in the vicinity, and should they get shown on the display monitors, would not make parents (or your mother) happy.
26) Sign up for KidTrack:
After a fun day at Cedar Point, the last thing you want to worry about is a missing child. Cedar Point offers a KidTrack program, for in the case of an emergency, will hopefully track down your missing individual(s). Sign up for KidTrack at Guest Services (at the Main Gate), the Resort Gate or Town Hall.
Note: Cedar Point does not offer a public address system, so plan accordingly for communicating with your party.
27) Make Reservations:
Certain restaurants, especially during busier times, require a reservation due to limited seating capacity. Plan ahead and call places like Tomo Hibachi or Bay Harbor to ensure your table is waiting your arrival.
28) Bring Snacks:
While Cedar Point discourages you from bringing in outside food to the park, it is allowed for those with little kids or special dietary requirements. Stick a granola or breakfast bar in your pocket for a late morning snack to hold you off for a late lunch (see tip #7). Or, if you do not mind the bother of walking all the way back to your vehicle, consider packing a cooler full of drinks and an easy meal.
Just keep in mind time is money. A half hour walk each way to your vehicle to eat means less time to take in your favorite rides.
29) Follow Tony Clark, Cedar Point’s Director of Communications, on Twitter:
Just as CP Rundown summarized, follow Tony Clark on Twitter to take advantage of all kinds of hidden gems the majority of guests have no idea exist.
30) Stay Hydrated:
Nothing will ruin a day of fun at Cedar Point faster than dehydration and a trip to the emergency room. Bring into the park a closed bottle of water, ask for complimentary cups of water at food stands, or better yet, purchase a Souvenir Cup, getting you free refills all day, and $1-1.25 refills the remainder of the season. Or if you plan on multiple visits, purchase an All-Season cup getting you free refills all year.
Tip: Purchase your souvenir cup online in advance, and save $4 versus the cost of buying them in the park!
Just realize that guests purchasing a souvenir bottle will not be allowed to carry them into line on several rides. Therefore, you will have to store the bottles with a non-rider, purchase a locker to store them, or stock them behind a bush (at your own risk).
31) Consider Healthy Side Alternatives:
A day at Cedar Point could be considered a splurge or a cheat day for those on a diet. So go ahead and enjoy that elephant ear or fresh cut fries. However, healthier options can be found throughout the park. For example, most the locations on the Cedar Point Dining plans will offer fruit cups or salads as an alternate to fries. This year there are grilled chicken sandwiches on the menu. Or, purchase fresh cut fruit at several locations in Cedar Point. Or select frozen yogurt from the two (2) Yogurt Plus locations.
32) Get In Contact:
We are always here to answer your questions. We spend countless hours researching your questions, and if we do not know the answer, we will get an answer. Plus we do not post rumors. Everything you read on the CPFoodBlog is verifiable information that has been confirmed in one way or the other with park officials.
33) Enjoy the Atmosphere:
For the first time or occasional visitor to Cedar Point, there might be a demand to rush and try to fit in as much as you can when visiting the park. However, if time allows, slow down and enjoy the ambiance of the atmosphere. There are so many different dynamics around the park, that it is easy to overlook the fantastic landscaping, the classic video games in the arcade from your childhood, or even the magnificence of the Frontier Trail. Stop in and see the Blacksmith work his magic, hand dip your own candles, or watch the glassblowing amphitheater make beautiful works of art.
34) Pace Yourselves with Kids:
Any parent will learn an exhausted kid makes for a rough day. Running your kids little legs continuously for hours on end will quickly results in tantrums (and maybe even from the parents). Take your time by fitting in a show to break up the day. Cedar Point is a large place with LOTS to see and do. Or find a quiet area of the park, and sit and relax while the kids nap in their stroller.
35) Visit During Special Events:
One thing that is not promoted too well are special events at Cedar Point. We are not talking about the events like marathons through the park or the events listed on the Events page.
We are thinking more along the lines of some of the great, very limited time promotions where things like the Johnsonville grill truck or Coca-Cola Create-Your-Own-Can vehicles come to the park.
Lots of times these events may not be scheduled or known too far in advance, so it is good to pay attention to social media for breaking news coverage on special events. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to stay connected.
36) Bring Your Wallet:
Again remember that food prices and everything will be more expensive when visiting Cedar Point than the outside world. After all, the company needs to turn a profit in just six operating months, which in turns allow you the chance to ride the biggest and best roller coasters on the planet.
So do not complain to the employees about how expensive your beer costs. They are only the workers, who have no influence on the price of the product.
37) Remember That Cedar Point Is a Family Destination:
As a rambunctious teenager visiting with your friends, and trying to flirt with that cute girl in the group, you might think it is funny to be loud, lude, or rude. However, remember that all the guests around you paid a premium to visit Cedar Point just like you, and expects a fun result from the experience. In addition, Cedar Point is packed full of families trying to enjoy the day out. Do not let that be ruined by your questionable actions.
38) No Line Jumping:
Everyone is anxious to get a ride on their favorite coaster, and often that means waiting in a 2-3 hour wait to claim that right. Sure you could always purchase FastLane, but for the majority of guests, that is not a feasibility. Therefore, there is no line holding for guests. Do not send someone in line to hold your spot, only to find that half a dozen of your buddies jump the line and join the party halfway through the wait.
39) Plan a Meeting Place:
Chances are there will be people in your party that want to head towards the Iron Dragon, while others want to skip over to Pipe Scream. With thousands of guests in the park on any given day, meeting back up can become a task, and relying on cellphones may not always be feasible.
On really busy days, it is often frequent to have zero phone coverage on the Cedar Point peninsula because everyone is using the network. We have personally been in the park on several occasions where we had no access to phone coverage due to overloading of the system.
Therefore, it is important to plan a meeting spot and time to join up with the rest of your party.
40) Classic Treats:
Sure the world is built today on the latest, greatest, and newest of everything. However, you have gone to the effort (and cost) to enjoy a day at Cedar Point. Therefore, take the opportunity to enjoy a funnel cake, salt water taffy, or some other treat that will trigger a memory of getting to enjoy it at the best amusement park in the world, Cedar Point.
41) Teach Kids to Recognize Cedar Point Employees:
All Cedar Point employees have an identification badge on their chest, and usually are in special outfits. Teach the kids what an employee looks like, so that if they get separated from the party, and do not have KidTrack activated, the employee can work to get the child joined up with their party.
42) Take a Picture or Write Down Your Parking Spot:
We have seen time and time again guests walking up and down the parking lot trying to locate their vehicle. As soon as you park your vehicle, take a picture of the nearest light pole in the area with a row number. Make sure an identifiable landmark is in the background, like the front entrance, so you can recognize the angle for where you parked.
As you approach your vehicle, purposely set off the car alarm or locked door honk so that you can easily identify where your vehicle is located.
Or use the Cedar Point mobile app to pinpoint your vehicle when you first park, and then use it later to find your car.
43) Sugar Overload Syndrome:
Just like it is ok to indulge on your favorite sweet treat, it is possible to overdue the sugar. A day filled with unlimited soda refills, some fudge, an ICEE, a frozen custard cone, funnel cake sundae, and salt water taffy for the ride home, can cause a sugary crash, or worse, an upset stomach.
Make sure to skip a glass (or two) of soda with a tall glass of water. Or opt for some of the sugar free options at the Coke Freestyle machines.
What did we miss? Add your tips below in the comments section.
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