Claudia enjoys traveling and sharing her travel tips with readers.
For years, my daughter has asked me to take her and a friend to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, but until this past summer, we weren't able to find the time. Now that we have visited, all I can say is wow, what a great park! I wish we had gone much earlier.
We had a wonderful time, despite the fact that the weather forecast wasn't terrific. But the skies cooperated and we didn't have any problems. We arrived about a half hour after the park opened, and left about an hour before closing. We rode the rides, played games, ate lots of food, and even did a little shopping. It was a good thing my daughter brought a friend, because I couldn't do all of the intense roller coasters anymore.
On the long drive home, I thought of the trip and all of the things that went well. But I also thought about some of the things that didn't go as planned.
While the trip was a blast, there are five things that I wish we had done to make it go that much smoother. Read on to discover how to get the most out of your trip to Cedar Point, including some unexpected highlights that we discovered.
Mistake 1: Not Staying Overnight If You Don't Live Close By
We live about 2.5 hours away from the park, so we decided to hit the road early and get there when it opened. But trying to get two teens out of bed early isn't that easy, so we arrived a little later than planned.
Had I done some more research, I would have realized that there are hotels all around the area. A number of them have deals with the park that provide for extra visiting hours and are within walking distance.
That would have been much more convenient than driving a total of about five hours roundtrip in one day. Next time we go, I think we'll spend the extra money and stay the night.
Mistake 2: Not Getting the Drink Wristband
We didn't actually make this mistake, but throughout the day we overheard people saying that they wished they had gotten the all-you-can-drink wristband. This band is for non-alcoholic drinks.
It wasn't cheap, but on a hot summer day, it was worth it. You could get a free drink anywhere in the park. There was a time limit, in that you had to wait about 10 minutes before you could get another soda, but that was hardly noticeable.
It was nice not having to worry about pulling out our wallets every time we got thirsty, and there were places to get refills everywhere we turned.
What I liked best about it was that at the end of the day, we all got a soda for the trip home, and I got some much-needed caffeine for the long drive ahead.
If they still offer it when you visit, it's worth the money.
Mistake 3: Not Bringing a Pair of Cheap Flip-Flops
Cedar Point has some awesome water rides, but you will get soaked. That's really nice on a hot summer day, but not so nice when you are walking around with wet shoes for the rest of the day.
This tip came from my daughter's friend. We were all carrying those sporty cinch sacks, and she had thrown in a pair of flip-flops. What a genius idea. The park provides lockers and cubby holes for shoes at the entrance to their major water ride, but since my daughter and I didn't bring any other shoes, we wore what we had.
Our feet squished around the rest of the day. A quick trip to a dollar store would have easily solved that problem, and we learned our lesson.
Mistake 4: Missing the Virtual Reality Version of the Rides
One of the roller coasters has a designated time during the day when it turns into a virtual reality ride: riders are given special viewers, and the roller coaster turns into a ride through a medieval fantasy world.
How cool is that?! And we didn't even know about it. We just happened to be walking by the coaster, saw that there was no line, and decided to hop on.
Note: I will caution that virtual reality is not for everyone. I got a little queasy, but if you can handle it, it's really fun.
Mistake 5: Missing the Beach
Many people don't know that - as of the date this article was written - you can visit the beach with your amusement park ticket.
I wish I had known that, because I would have enjoyed spending a little time sitting on the sandy shores of Lake Erie, while my daughter and her friend braved the coasters.
|Highlight||What Made It Special|
Pick a good day to visit.
We went on July 3 and were expecting massive crowds because it was before a major holiday. We couldn't believe how empty it was. For the entire day, there wasn't a line for anything. If you can find some historical data about the day you are planning to go, it's worth it to do a little research.
Get over your fears.
With all of the incredible coasters at this park, it's time to get brave and go on them if you are able. I will admit that the teens I went with were a lot braver than I was, and I now regret not going on some of the big ones.
Check out the small things.
There are all sorts of interesting corners in the park that are easy to miss. I enjoyed exploring all of the shops along the main midway. I also took advantage of the shaded oversized rocking chairs in Frontiertown after hitting the shops in that area. In another section, under shade trees, was a musical act that was quite enjoyable.
The flowers are incredible.
Cedar Point has an awesome grounds crew. The flowers were beautiful, and, practically everywhere you turn, there were hanging baskets and meticulously groomed flower beds. At the risk of showing my age, the flowers were my favorite part of the park.
What a Terrific Amusement Park!
I may not be the queen of coasters, but I managed to get up the nerve to go on some of them at Cedar Point. While the teens had a grand time running around and riding everything in sight, I took advantage of all of the other things to do and see.
Unfortunately, had we planned just a little bit better, our visit would have been that much more fun.
If you are planning a visit to the park, avoid these five mistakes and have a great time!
How About You?
© 2018 Claudia Porter