Category Archives: Cedar Fair

Everything You Need to Know About the Cedar Fair All Season Souvenir Bottle

170421 2017 Carowinds Souvenir Cups

The souvenir drink bottles tend to have a love/hate relationship among park goers. Those of us who still travel with a stroller have no problem bringing along our souvenir bottles when going on rides. However, those that are strollerless or do not have people to hold their belongings are encouraged to rent a locker for storing your bottle. While the souvenir bottles can be an excellent value, they can also have hidden costs when you need to pay to store them.

While there are other storage options liking hiding your souvenir bottle behind a bush or on top of the lockers, you do so at your own risk of them getting stolen or thrown away.

Carowinds rolled out a test all season long souvenir cup in 2015; however, since it was rolled out in late July, they may not have been too well received since half of the season was already over.

Well the good news is the all-season souvenir bottles were rolled out at all of the Cedar Fair parks in 2016 and continue in 2017 due to their overwhelming success!

How Much Do the All Season Souvenir Cups Cost?

For $29.99, guests can enjoy unlimited refills throughout the 2017 season. The price is the same online as it is in the parks.

In addition to the cost of the cups online, you pay tax and processing fee. You can wait and purchase the cups at the park to save on the processing fee.

170415 Kings Island 2017 Mystic Timbers Souvenir Bottle

Why Are the Souvenir Bottles So Expensive?

If you know anything about the restaurant business, margins are very low on food. While a regular guest paying $15 for a meal makes the company money, a guest on the meal plan carries risk of eating more throughout the year than the cost of the plan. An all-season meal plan at $90-113 (2017 All-Season dining plans at Fall 2016 prices) with an average $11 for a meal ($15 – $4 for a drink not included on the meal plan), means you need to eat at least 9 meals throughout the season to break even. At two meals a day, that means on your fifth visit you break even.

The park than carries a risk of you eating more meals and eating into their profits.

That is where the souvenir cups make up the difference and where the park makes real money.

When you purchase a souvenir cup, regardless of whether it is regular bottle or all season version, you pay upfront a fee to use the cup. In addition, the cost of the bottle far exceeds the cost of the dispensed beverages, which costs cents. No matter how many times you refill the cup, the park makes money.

So the short answer is, the parks make their money on the souvenir bottles more than the food, and thus why you pay a premium for the bottles.

Where Can You Use the All Season Souvenir Cup?

Just like in 2016, we have independently confirmed from park officials that the 2017 all season cups will be able to be used at ALL Cedar Fair parks!

There still tends to be some confusion about where you purchased your souvenir cup online versus which park you take them to redeem. For example, can you purchase your cup through the Cedar Point website but redeem for them at Carowinds since they open earlier in the season?

In 2016, we successfully did redeem our Cedar Point souvenir cup receipt at Kings Dominion. While we are sure this will still be the case in 2017, you should try and purchase your cup at which ever park you will visit first to avoid confusion. Thereafter, you can use the cups at ANY Cedar Fair park.

Word to the wise! The all season cups will become highly valuable this year, and just leaving them around makes them all the more prone to theft. Factor in the cost to secure your cup during each visit, or you will find yourself thirsty at the well.

160404 Carowinds Souvenir Cups and Popcorn Bucket

Should You Purchase the All-Day or All-Season Souvenir Cups?

The all-season cups offer free refills all season. However, there are still all-day cups that are free refills on the day of purchase and $1 refills all season.

During the 2014 and 2015 seasons, one could reactivate your cup on a subsequent visit to get unlimited refills on that day versus paying the $1.00 per refill fee. So the question was, could you reactivate the all-day cups?

Cup reactivation was deactivated in 2016 with the introduction of the all-season cup.

Therefore, if you plan on visiting more than a couple times, it makes sense to get the all-season cup. If you are only visiting for one, or even a couple visits but do not plan on drinking a lot, it may make more sense to buy the all-day cup and get $1 refills on subsequent visits.

160430 Cedar Point Valravn Souvenir Cups

What if I do not want to pay and store the souvenir cup to ride?

The great news is that for 2017, Cedar Fair introduced a season pass drink program. For $29.99, you can use your season pass at any drink location to receive a disposable cup. The drink program has a 15 minute time constraint between refills.

For additional details and discussion, use these references.

Cedar Point Season Pass Drink Program Coming in 2017

To Souvenir Cup, or Not to Souvenir Cup

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Which Cedar Fair Park Has the Oldest Carousel?

Guests love a classic carousel ride. Everything from the carved, wooden figures to the organ music to the glow of the light bulbs spark a sense of romanticism. If you did not ride a Cedar Fair carousel, did you really visit the amusement park?

noun: carousel; plural noun: carousels; noun: carrousel; plural noun: carrousels

1. (North American) a merry-go-round: a rotating machine or device, in particular a conveyor system at an airport from which arriving passengers collect their luggage.

2. (historical) a tournament in which groups of knights took part in chariot races and other demonstrations of equestrian skills.

The carousel, with traditional horses and later every other animal and mythical creature imaginable, has existed for hundreds of years. Today Cedar Fair parks collectively own 15 versions in one form or another. Some are traditional merry-go-rounds, while others are unique double-decker carousels.

With so many carousels in Cedar Fair’s lineup of attractions, we were curious which park had the oldest operating merry-go-round.

Our list starts at 1991 and takes us back to 1902.

15) Michigan’s Adventure- Carousel (1991)
Manufacturer: Chance Rides

a horse of a different color

14) Kings Island- Character Carousel (1982)
Manufacturer: Chance Rides

Kings Island Character Carousel

©Kings Island

For reference, here is a great photo of the Kings Island Carousel outfitted with the Hanna-Barbera characters.

Hanna Barbea Carousel gang

13) Canada’s Wonderland- Character Carrousel (1981)
Manufacturer: Chance Rides

Canada's Wonderland Character-Carrousel

©Canada’s Wonderland

12) California’s Great America- Carousel Columbia (1976)
Manufacturer: Chance Rides

11) Canada’s Wonderland- Antique Carousel (1928)
Manufacturer: Philadelphia Toboggan Company

A photo posted by CPFoodBlog (@cpfoodblog) on

10) Kings Island- Grand Carousel (1926)
Manufacturer: Philadelphia Toboggan Company

130728 Kings Island Grand Carousel

9) Valleyfair- Carousel (1976) (Originally from Excelsior Park, circa 1925)
Manufacturer: Philadelphia Toboggan Company

8) Worlds of Fun- Grand Carrousel (1926)
Manufacturer: MC Illions

Worlds of Fun Grand Carousel

©Worlds of Fun

7) Cedar Point- Kiddy Kingdom Carousel (1925)
Manufacturer: Dentzel

130802 Cedar Point Kiddie Kingdom Carousel

6) Carowinds- Character Carousel (1923)
Manufacturer: Philadelphia Toboggan Company

Carowinds - RCCGB USA 2014 - La Monster Bash

5) Dorney Park- Antique Carousel (1921)
Manufacturer: William and Edward Dentzel

110622 Dorney Park Carousel ©Shawn Meyer

©Shawn Meyer

4) Cedar Point- Cedar Downs Racing Derby (1920)
Manufacturer: Prior and Church Company

3) Kings Dominion- Carousel (1917)
Manufacturer: Philadelphia Toboggan Company

Kings Dominion Carousel

2) Cedar Point- Midway Carousel (1912)
Manufacturer: Daniel Mueller

140508 Cedar Point Midway Carousel and GateKeeper

1) Knott’s Berry Farm- Merry-Go-Round (1902)
Manufacturer: Dentzel

141125 Knott's Berry Farm Carousel

Regardless of whether you prefer a lead or jumper horse, which of the Cedar Fair carousels is your favorite?

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2017 Cedar Point Bay Harbor Groupon

January 2017 Cedar Point Bay Harbor Groupon

The last iteration of the Cedar Point Bay Harbor Groupon expired December 23, 2016. This was a surprise given it previously had been run through April. In a surprising move, the park restaurant has brought back the Groupon, although this time with a little better terms. The Cedar Point Bay Harbor Groupon gives you the chance to enjoy a premium dining experience on property during the off-season, and save money while you are doing it!

Now keep in mind, from now through park opening in the spring of 2017, you can visit and take advantage of the Bay Harbor specials like Pasta Night or 2 Dine for $50.

Like the past couple years, Bay Harbor runs a great promotion exclusively through Groupon in the off-season. While Cedar Point may be closed, dining at Bay Harbor provides a great opportunity to eat some really good food while enjoying a Lake Erie sunset and getting a glimpse of the roller coasters while they sleep.

So what is good to eat at Bay Harbor? For starters, we think the Lobster Bisque is one of the best we have ever eaten. We are also big fans of the pasta night, though that promotion is not valid with the Groupon.

The current offer now includes a bonus night, valid on Wednesdays through Saturday. In addition, the Groupon must be used by April 28, 2017. Lastly, while the promotion is still a great deal, it is not quite the bargain it was previously (in 2015 and 2016 it was only $25 for $50).

This years Bay Harbor Groupon is $35 for $50 worth of regularly priced menu items. So what can $50 get you at Bay Harbor?

How about 4 appetizers to share, including Shrimp Cocktail, Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, Escargot, and Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes.

Or share a spinach salad, cup of French onion soup, and Blackened Grouper Oscar.

Maybe pasta dishes are your thing and you could get Grilled Portobello Mushroom with Pésto and Cajun Shrimp Alfredo.

This is your chance to really enjoy the park with a premium dining experience.

Link: Bay Harbor $35 for $50 (affiliate link)

We are super excited to have the Bay Harbor discount return again for 2017! Maybe we will see you on one of our visits. If you take advantage of this offer, be sure to reach out to us and let us know what you liked (or what could be improved), and of course we would love to see pictures of what you eat!

We make a small commission should you elect to make a purchase using our link above. You do not have to use our link, and it costs nothing additional, but we appreciate if you do!

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