Today’s Wednesday Activity Review is a visit to Cedar Point. Unlike some of our other Wednesday Activity Reviews, this is truly an all day affair as Cedar Point is about 2 hours from Ann Arbor. On this 2017 trip, we left the house at 7:45a and returned home at 10:45p.
Thank you to Cedar Fair and Blog Meets Brand for sponsoring our 2017 visit and this article. All opinions are our own. Affiliate links included below. This article has been updated with information from our September 2018 trip.
Cedar Point: The Roller Coaster Capital of the World
Cedar Point refers to itself as The Roller Coaster Capital of the World. The coasters are definitely a big draw for my family who loves thrill rides. Cedar Point is located on an island in Lake Erie. As you drive across the causeway to the park, you get a great view of the towering roller coasters.
Then, as you approach the entry gate, you can catch a glimpse of GateKeeper threading the key holes on either side of the entrance.
We arrived right shortly before opening, so we had to wait for 10a to be allowed past the entrance midway. Season ticket holders and guests at Cedar Point resorts can enter an hour early.
We decided to head for Valravn, 2016’s new addition. This drop coaster is one of our favorites and we wanted to visit early in the day. We waited about an hour, but by the time we left, the wait was nearly 2 hours. The views from the top are amazing. You can see across the whole park.
Next we visited Millennium Force which only had a 30 minute wait. Personally, I love the view of Lake Erie as you climb the initial hill. It looks like you are right next to the water.
Of course we made time to ride GateKeeper after lunch. I love how smooth the ride is.
We made time for a few other thrill rides like MaxAir 360, Sky Hawk, and Magnum XL.
Steel Vengeance is the new ride for 2018. They renovated the old Mean Streak wooden coaster into a hybrid coaster – steel track on a wooden frame. It is taller, faster, and has 4 inversions. Lines are very long for Steel Vengeance. The ride is fast and aggressive, but much smoother than Mean Streak. Due to the aggressiveness of the ride, loose items are strictly limited on the ride – cell phones and fanny packs are not allowed, small items must be in velcro or zipped pockets. Lockers are available across from the entrance for $2/2 hours. When I asked staff said that they had a few people with broken noses from escaped loose objects before they put the strict rules in place.
Check out these accommodations near Cedar Point:
Taking a Break at Cedar Point
If you visit on a hot, crowded day, you may want to take a break from the heat and lines. While Cedar Point has shows, you are still restricted to a schedule. We have a few options that are available at any time.
My daughter loves watching the Glass Blowing demonstrations. While the show is outside, the area is shaded and usually not crowded. The show runs continuously throughout the day with some short breaks between pieces.
Of course Cedar Point has several gift shops. The merchandise does vary by store, so my daughter likes to visit multiple shops. We have plans to return for a weekend in September, so she bought a long sleeve shirt anticipating cool temperatures.
My daughter is fascinated by the Cedar Point Museum. There are some old carousel horses, pictures of the park’s early days, and models of rides.
New for 2018 is a model of Steel Vengeance that was in the final stages of assembly during our September visit.
She loves sitting and watching the movie about the development of some of the biggest coasters.
We were disappointed that the museum case with their Golden Ticket awards was gone.
We ended up in the arcade for the first time on this visit. There are mens and women restrooms on either side of the arcade so we met inside.
The Barnyard offers a petting farm with animals. Feed is available for them as well. Parts of the barnyard are in the shade, but some areas are sunny.
A number of rides are under a cover and have minimal wait times. My daughter recommends the Bumper Cars. There are also several water rides that would offer some relief on a hot day.
You can exit Cedar Point towards the Breakers Hotel and explore the Beach. Just make sure to get your hand stamped as you leave for re-entry into the park. New for 2018 there is also a walkway from the parking lot to the beach that bypasses the park. You can also play in the sand and swim in the lake. They have beach volleyball nets setup as well.
On the beach there are also paid activities like wave runners, parasailing, and more.
Dining at Cedar Point
On our visit, we took the time to have indoor, sit-down meals in the park for lunch and dinner.
The Melt Bar & Grilled
For lunch, we visited The Melt Bar & Grilled. This Ohio chain is a new addition to Cedar Point for 2017. I love how the interior decor pays tribute to Cedar Point history.
When we looked at the menu, we noticed that the sandwiches were all available as whole or half sandwiches. My daughter and I decide to share a whole Monte Cristo sandwich while my husband had a half Hot Italian.
Chickie & Pete’s
We were introduced to Chickie & Pete’s by friends in the Philadelphia suburbs. Their crab fries (fries with crab seasoning) and cheesesteaks are our favorites. We decided to share an order of crab fries and two cheesesteaks between the three of us. I was debating between two different cheesesteaks. Fortunately, my husband and daughter each picked one of these two. I had 1/3 of each of their sandwiches, leaving us each 2/3 of a cheesesteak. It was a perfect portion size for each of us.
If you’ve never had crab fries they are awesome! Crab fries are crinkle cut fries dusted with crab seasoning and served with a queso dip.
On other trips, we have eaten at Panda Express near Millennium Force. More recently, we tried the new BBQ place by the Cedar Point Shores entrance. Chick-Fil-A is located in Frontiertown (closed on Sundays). Johnny Rockets We also recommend the Marketplace buffet. It is located on the main midway and offers a buffet and air conditioning. Considering it is all you can eat, includes a beverage, and dessert, it is a great deal. The food was fair, but better than the surrounding counter service restaurants which had long lines, no air-conditioning, and by the time you bought a combo meal with entree, side, and a drink more expensive. You can also exit the park for a meal at Famous Dave’s BBQ at the marina or at Hotel Breakers wtih TGI Fridays, Perkins, or Tomo (Japanese).
Cedar Point Shores
Cedar Point Shores is a new water park that opened this year. It has a separate entry from Cedar Point. You can purchase either a Cedar Point Shores admission ticket or a 2-day 2-park ticket. The water park looks like it would be fun – although my daughter expressed some reservation about their drop slides.
Since we were not able to visit Cedar Point Shores, I was provided with a few photos and information on the park to share.
New for 2017, it’s Cedar Point Shores Water Park! Enjoy 18 acres of splish-splashin’ fun, featuring four new water attractions. Explore new water slide attractions like Point Plummet and Portside Plunge or head over to Lemmy’s Lagoon or Lakeslide Landing where the whole family can have fun! Indulge in new food options at Crystal Rock Cafe and then kick back and relax at Schooner’s Bayside Bar or Muffleheads Beach Bar! Join the conversation using #CedarPointShores.
Cedar Point Shores looks like fun and we will have to plan a visit sometime.
Plan Your Cedar Point Visit
The best way to plan your visit to Cedar Point is to visit their website. Hours vary by day. The website is also a great place to purchase your tickets. Online ticket prices are less expensive than gate prices.