During my fall trip to Detroit, I made sure to plan some time to get to “the roller coaster capital of the world,” Cedar Point. I had seen several showcases of some of their amazing thrill rides on several TV shows over the years, and being so close, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit the park.
I did some research on the Cedar Point Website to get my visit planned and started the two hour drive to the park. Before arriving in Sandusky I had already purchased my ticket to the park online. I chose not to add any extras onto my ticket like food or photo packages. The park didn’t open until 6pm and closed at midnight, so I would have a limited amount of time to get as many rides in as I could before closing time. The one thing that I considered buying online, but opted not to do in advance was the fast lane pass, which would give me special access to some of the rides so I wouldn’t have to wait in the regular queues. The fast lane pass costs more than twice the price of the ticket to enter the park, and I was hoping that it wouldn’t be too busy, and the lines for rides would not be long.
I should have pre paid for parking and saved $5, I had to cough up $20 at the gate to park my car, but there was really no other choice. I got to the front gate of Cedar Point at 5:45pm, 15 minutes before the park opened and I was able to get in easily with my mobile ticket that I had downloaded to my phone. While I was able to get inside of the park, none of the rides would open until 6, but at least I was there.
The first ride that I went to was Valravn, Cedar Point’s newest roller coaster. When I got to the entrance of the line, the queue was already getting pretty long. At the sight of the line, I made the decision to spend the money on a fast lane plus pass. I figured that I wouldn’t get the opportunity to come back to Cedar Point any time soon, so I wanted to get as much out of the experience as possible while there. Most of the gift shops inside of the park have the fast lane logo, and you can pick up your fast lane pass at any one with the logo. There are two types of fast lane passes, fast lane, and fast lane plus. Fast lane plus is more expensive, and it gives access to the fast lane lines and a few of the most popular rides that don’t have regular fast lane lines.
I received my fast lane wristband and went right back to Valravn. The fast lane line took me right past the general queue and I walked right to ride boarding station and got right on without waiting at all. My decision to get the fast lane plus pass for the night was already looking like a great idea. I was able to ride the dive coaster a couple of times before moving on to my next coaster.
As I moved through the park I had free reign to go on pretty much anything I wanted, as long as it was open. There were a few rides like Gemini, the roller coaster with two tracks where two sets of cars are launched at the same time and race each other to the finish, and Rougaru, a coaster with open cars that have rider’s feet dangling out over the track, and Corkscrew, a classic steel coaster with a lot of inversions, that were not open. Oh well, I might have to make another trip to get a ride on those one day.
I did feel a little lucky when I found out that Mean Streak, Cedar Point’s signature, and gigantic wooden roller coaster would be closing for good after that day. I was able to get one of the final rides on the behemoth before they shut it down to be converted to another ride. I was able to use my fast pass plus to cut the enormous line and get right to the front. After riding a few of the newer and faster steel coasters in Cedar Point, Mean Streak didn’t offer too much excitement, but it was nice to say that I have been on it.
Through six hours I was able to ride all of the open roller coasters, some of them several times without waiting in lines. It was a great success of a trip, especially for the limited amount of time that I had available. Cedar Point is an amazing place if you like roller coasters, and I would definitely recommend a trip to anyone that needs to get a coaster fix from time to time. As far as the fast lane pass goes, you don’t need it if you are able to spend a few days in the park, but it was well worth the extra money for me. I was able to ride everything that I wanted several times. No time spent waiting in lines meant lots of fast coaster action.
Here are my 4 favorite rides from the visit!
Valravn is the newest coaster at Cedar Point and has some serious drops and inversions. The initial drop is nearly 90 degrees (straight down!) and the coaster car is left dangling over the edge of the drop for a few seconds before letting the riders into a free fall and continuing into a giant loop. I had to hold back some curse words the first time I rode it. It was pretty scary hanging over that edge. The ride is very smooth throughout and there are several loops, spins, and turns. Definitely an amazing ride! I rode Valravn 4 times.
- Millennium Force
Millennium force is a monster steel coaster. After the riders are strapped in, the innovative catapult system drags the cars up the 310-foot incline to the peak before sending it over the massive parabola. This isn’t your traditional slow ride to the top. It happens quickly, once you hit the top of the coaster you have about one second to admire the view of Lake Erie before getting launched at speeds of up to 93mph. There are no inversions on this ride, but they are not necessary. It will get your adrenaline pumping! I rode Millennium Force 5 times.
- Top Thrill Dragster
Millennium Force is fast; Top Thrill Dragster is like riding lightning. This coaster takes riders from zero to 120mph in just a few seconds up a hill that is over 400 feet tall before sending the train plummeting straight down through a corkscrew and back to the ground level. The whole ride only takes 17 seconds, but your stomach will be in your throat the whole time. Each time I rode Top Thrill I tried to prepare for the launch, but I was caught off guard each time. The acceleration is amazing, and it is a must ride for coaster enthusiasts! I rode Top Thrill Dragster 6 times.
The previous three rides were great coasters. There are only a few others that I have ever ridden that would even make this list. Maverick won me over as the best overall coaster at Cedar Point because it literally had a feature of each of the previous rides incorporated. This steel coaster starts with a quick ride to the top of a relatively short 105-foot hill, then sends the train down a drop that is over a 90 degrees. That’s right, it is past vertical! The ride continues with several turns and inversions before making a brief stop in a tunnel. There, riders catch their breath for a couple of seconds before getting launched out of the tunnel back into the open where the ride continues at high speeds and making some incredible banking turns that I have never seen on other roller coasters. Maverick was just so good all around, I couldn’t stop going back, and I was able to run right back to the start station over and over again with my fast pass plus! I rode Maverick a whopping 8 times. It was that awesome!
As you can see, I got to ride a ton of roller coasters in a short amount of time. There are several other types of rides at Cedar Point, but I stuck to the ones that the park is known for. If I had another day i might ride a few other things and enjoy some of the amusement park food. (I love funnel cakes and corn dogs!) Hopefully I’ll get a chance to get back to Sandusky to enjoy another round of thrill rides in the near future.
I hope that this information will help anyone who is planning to check out Cedar point in the near future. I’d love to hear about your experiences at this amazing park, or at other great amusement parks around the country or the world!