Cedar Point - 6/3-6/5 - Just an ordinary park?

Cedar Point has always been a special place for me. I didn't have the opportunity to visit until 2000 but for a stretch of roughly 7 years I was a frequent visitor, despite living 5 hours away. I think I even had a season pass for 4 or 5 of those years. As out of town visitors we've stayed at almost all of the Cedar Point properties (Breakers, Breakers Express, Sandcastle Suites, Lighthouse Point, and Castaway Bay). We've never had a negative experience, other than some bad weather here and there. I proposed to my wife there and had my bachelor party there. Heck, we even made a trip since we were going to be in the neighborhood for my friend's wedding...in South Bend.

For some reason we hadn't been back since 2017. My wife decided that with our pup more settled in to the house that we could take a mini three day vacation and revisit such a special place. We decided to stay at Castaway Bay given the unpredictable nature of weather on Lake Erie.


We arrived at Castaway Bay around 2 pm. After checking in we headed to the point for a few hours of casual theme parking. The entrances and parking gates are new since the last time we were there. Both are solid upgrades. Entering the park felt like home. We got a few rides in on some smaller rides (Iron Dragon, CCMR) before heading over to Quaker Steak attached to Castaway Bay. The food was really solid, even though the service was a bit slow.

After a quick change we made our way to the waterpark online to find that the majority of the park was closed. The water coaster was the only slide open. We thought that maybe it was because we arrived within an hour of closing. Better luck tomorrow? Turns out this was a harbinger of things to come. Upon returning to the room the kids were getting ready to take their showers when we realized the tub faucet was missing the diverter. After a quick call to the front desk we were told that they would be switching our room. Except a few minutes later we were called back and told that they weren't able to switch us but would be sending a plumber over. After a two hour wait the plumber arrived after 10 to fix the shower, a literal five minute fix. Maybe tomorrow will be better.


After the shower fiasco we woke up a bit earlier than we hoped for to make early admission. With relatively light crowds we headed to Gatekeeper. My wife and son hopped in line while my daughter and I took care of our drink wristbands and renting a locker for the day. The location of the screens on the Gatekeeper lockers make it nearly impossible to read them on a sunny day. After ponying up $12 for the all-day locker I was told that we have to move our stuff every three hours. Weird, but I guess it beats lugging around sunscreen all day. The kids got a few laps in on Wild Mouse and Iron Dragon while my wife and I headed over to Millennium Force. The ride is as good as ever but my God the operations have slowed to a crawl.

By now the park was open so we met up with the kids outside Iron Dragon. My son wanted to try Rougarou. I agreed to take one for the team and ride it since I haven't been on it since the conversion. This is when we realized that MANY rides in the park don't open until 11. What kind of Six Flags move is that? Well at least Maverick only has a 15-minute wait...according to the app. After winding our way through the Frontier Trail littered with closed concessions and rides we made our way to Maverick to find that the wait was well over an hour. One bright spot is that Cedar Point has definitely upped their food game, and the all-day dining plan is a good deal if you are going to eat two meals in the park.

After a walk-on at CCMR we parted ways again. The kids headed over to ride PipeScream and some of the flats over there. My wife and I headed for Steel Vengeance. An advertised 60-minute wait turned in to 90 with two maintenance issues and a steady trickle of Fast Lane pass holders. It's an enjoyable ride but suffers from being a typical RMC, i.e. throw a bunch of elements your way without much regard for flow or pacing.

We met back up with the kids and made our way over to Magnum. Hot take: Magnum is the most fun ride in the park. Other than the rough transition into the pretzel it's a flawless coaster, even though it's sinking! My son said it was too rough. The plan for the day was to have dinner around 5 so we could try our luck at the waterpark again. We made our way to the front of the park with stops at Cedar Downs, Blue Streak, Raptor, and Wild Mouse before eating at the Pavilion.

Unfortunately our experience at Castaway Bay that evening was almost a repeat of the night before. Except this time the water coaster was also closed. The wave pool, splash pad, and the other kid area were the only things open. We didn't stay very long at the waterpark. We decided to get some ice cream only to be charged more than the menu prices. When my wife asked why it was more the cashier said that the menu prices, on the digital screen mind you, haven't been updated.


Our morning started the same except for dealing with the lockers as it was very overcast and we planned on leaving before noon. Wild Mouse opened late but the kids were resourceful and got a few laps in on Iron Dragon before trying again. We met up with them there and headed to the exact opposite end of the park to ride Maverick, only to find out that it was closed for maintenance. We got in a lap on Steel Vengeance while the kids did some of the flats. Maverick was still closed. At 11am we all made the decision that it was probably best for us to leave but we did make a quick stop at Rougarou before making our way to the exits.

After our great theme park experiences on last summer's road trip this was a bit of a let down. I went it with lowered expectations given recent reviews but it still didn't meet those. Given the amount of money we spent my wife and I both agreed that we weren't in a hurry to get back. My daughter surprised both of us when she asked if we could come back next summer. Maybe I've become too cynical because she seemed to have a different vacation than I did. "Maybe kiddo, but we'll stay at Breakers next time"

sirloindude's avatar

It’s disappointing to hear this. Given the crowds the park is capable of drawing, it desperately needs strong operations. Devaluing the park experience doesn’t seem like it’s ever worked out well, so why the focus on some of the park’s selling points is slipping is beyond me. That they may tie up with Six Flags is even more disconcerting. I want to believe the Six Flags park experiences will be elevated, but it sounds like the reverse is already true in some cases.

I’m in a near-complete hiatus with regards to visiting theme parks outside of my local area as I’ve got two very young kids and the experience would be lost on them, but reviews like what I’m seeing here are making it so that I’m not even in a hurry to go back to some of these places.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones


PEAK regional theme park era seems dead unfortunately. I pray it doesn’t get worse….

It’s hard to visit Cedar Point today knowing what its operational history was. Don’t even get me started about IROC or the ridiculous fence in the wave pool.

Personally, there’s great joy in visiting parks like Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, Knoebel’s, etc. which seem to offer both great operations and food/beverage/retail.

TheMillenniumRider's avatar

I will echo your thoughts, I haven't been to a cedar fair or six flags parks in 5 years, except for CGA because that park will be history in the near future. I have been concentrating my visits to parks that provide a better all around experience. I was a plat pass holder in 19, and the operations were already far worse in 19 than they were in the early 10's, so they can't say oh but covid. Based on what I have been hearing I have not made any efforts to rush back, and that sucks. I want to go back, but not with the poor experiences.

Don't get me wrong, a mediocre day at Cedar Point is still better than most places. I think Gunkey hit the nail on the head. If I hadn't known what Cedar Point used to be capable of I probably would have thought nothing of it. I'm hopeful that things can change. The Point still has an amazing collection of coasters and a view that's hard to beat. Clearly operations can change for the worst, but they can also change for the better.

I live an hour from CP and have not been this or last year, and only once I believe since COVID, which is crazy to think. We used to visit nearly every week and had a pass of course, but the overall experience has dropped a ton. From the horrid early entry (from what it used to be), ride closures and especially ride operations to name a few.

It's also hard to ignore the past few years of experiencing much better parks operated at a much higher caliber... Then remember what the CP experience used to be like... Kind of a bummer. It absolutely used to be much better.

I wanted to go this year once or twice, mainly for Dragster (and Raptor <3 ), but... I guess TBD for now.

Last edited by SteveWoA,
Rick_UK's avatar

I didn't get to Cedar Point is the halcyon days of amazing operations. The ops were fine when we visited (bar a large power outage) - but it was disappointing to know what they have really gone downhill over the years.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

kpjb's avatar

Once, I drove PAST Cedar Point to get to Six Flags Ohio!


Gunkey Monkey:

Personally, there’s great joy in visiting parks like Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, Knoebel’s, etc. which seem to offer both great operations and food/beverage/retail

Was just at SDC last summer. Park is still outstanding. Was last at Cedar Point summer of 2018. The park was great then.

Kinda funny how KI and CP have essentially flip-flopped with regard to the quality of the customer experience since the Paramount days. I mean…I like KI a good bit, but CP is my home base. Now it feels less so with each passing year. Complainy boohiss.

Rich G

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