Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Get to the Point - Part 2

OK, so in the previous post the day-long rainstorm had FINALLY ended (yeah, thanks local weathermen for the original 30% chance of rain predication...guess you missed the mark on that one, eh?) -- and now we were headed back to the park.

Cedar Point isn't the type of park where you need a "gameplan" in order to make your day enjoyable - you either go there to stand in line (a lot) to ride the world famous coasters or you go to wander around and let the little ones ride the kiddie rides. That's about it.

But, I still have a few thoughts about how to make your trip more enjoyable for everyone in your party.

TLC's Top 10 Tips

1. If you have small kids, pack snacks. And sippy cups. There is NO reason to spend a ton of money on amusement park 'snacks' when it's just as easy to pack a tote bag or backpack and fill it with individual bags of Cheez Its, Goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, etc. [OK sure, the brochure says 'no outside food' but honestly, NO ONE checks your bag as you enter the park. And I've never seen the 'food police' walking around confiscating Cheez Its].

2. If you are staying at the Hotel Breakers (or any other resort), pack food for breakfast. At the Breakers your breakfast choices are VERY limited - you can either pay an arm and a leg for some Krispy Kreme donuts and Starbucks coffee ... or ... you can pay and arm and a leg for a breakfast buffet. We've done both unfortunately and I would seriously recommend bringing your own donuts or cereal and milk (especially if you get a room with a 'fridge)! I would also recommend bring some pop and/or bottled water to keep in the 'fridge too. Even if you're only staying one night.

3. Eat the 'world famous' french fries! Seriously. You must do this. Head to the back of the park, near the Gemini roller coaster and buy some fries. With cheese. And vinegar. You can thank me later.

4. If you are a coaster enthusiast...be prepared to stand in line. There is no FASTPASS option at Cedar Point. You will wait. Sometimes for hours.

5. If you go this summer, be sure to stay until 'twilight' so that you can see the new "Starlight Experience" on the Frontier Trail. The CP Web site describes it this way: "Immerse yourself in a canopy of light! Walk the Frontier Trail for a multi-sensory experience, featuring lighted displays, music, splashes of light and over one million LED lights." We made it a point to stay until dark and it was worth it. A nice addition to my favorite part of CP (the Frontier Trail).

6. Visit Camp Snoopy and Planet Snoopy -- if you have kids. Several years ago, Snoopy and friends showed up at CP. These two areas are great for the little ones -- they are full of rides for kids of all ages (and most of the rides are "parent friendly" too). And, if you're lucky, you just might run into Snoopy, Charlie Brown or Linus while in Camp Snoopy. [Camp Snoopy is located near the Gemini, while Planet Snoopy is located off the Midway].

7. Ride the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad. Round trip. It's a nice 15-20 minute train ride. A good way to rest your tired feet.

8. If you're staying at the Hotel Breakers, take some time to play in the sand. Or at least let the kids play. It might not be the Florida coast...but the Lake Erie shoreline is pretty (and the water is clean)..so pack those beach toys and chill out in the sand for a while.

9. If your budget can handle it, I would recommend buying a two-day Ride and Slide ticket. We bought ours at the hotel for $63.99 per adult (junior tickets were cheaper). With these tickets you can visit Cedar Point and Soak City (the water park) over the course of two days. For example: we spent Saturday at Cedar Point and upon leaving we had our hands stamped with a waterproof (but NOT sunscreen proof) stamp. We were able to return to the park after the rain stopped and only had to show our hand stamp. The next day we went to Soak City in the morning and then headed back to CP in the afternoon.

10. Look for bargains when it comes to eating. One of the best deals we found was Saturday night when we were wandering around trying to figure out "what's for dinner?!?" Near the Midway we found a Johnsonville Brats stand and for $5 you could get a bratwurst, chips and pop. That is a good deal! Oh, and there are NO lids available when you buy a pop at any food stand. I find this odd and a bit irritating...but maybe that's just me. If you're looking for somewhere to sit and grab a bite to eat with the kids, try the Joe Cool Cafe - located across from Planet Snoopy. You can order Pizza Hut pizza (yum!) and THEY HAVE BEER (parents, I know you will appreciate this!). It's not really a "bargain" but it's better than grabbing more 'amusement park' food! [I should also mention - there is a certain sub sandwich place right outside Soak City and you will pay $7 for a 6-inch sub and $14 for a footlong sub. There is no $5 footlong at Cedar Point.]

OK...that's all. So, keep your hands and arms inside the ride at all times and enjoy your day at Cedar Point!

(Cedar Point is open until until November 1 this year. Halloweekends start September 18.)

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