Cedar Point and Kings Island Late July

Longtime reader, and infrequent poster here. I did a search of forum topics before I posted and didn't see anything from this season, but forgive me (or direct me there) if this has been discussed recently. I'll go quietly- nobody wants to be the new Tyler ;-)

I'll be taking my first trip out to Ohio the last week in July to finally get out to Cedar Point and Kings Island- maybe finally I can call myself a real enthusiast? I'm planning on giving 2 week days to CP and 1 (or 2?) week days to KI. Given I'm travelling from the west coast I'd like to really make this trip count and ride everything I can. I've read the past forums on CP's 2013 fastlane and it seems like you're still in for pretty good wait times even if you fork over the extra dough. Likely still worth it since its low cost compared to the plane ticket/whole trip? Any changes or advice for 2014? A big concern: can you choose your seat on the main attractions with fastlane or do they force you to the middle of a train? Think I need to purchase a fastlane pass both days at both parks to make sure I get on all the big boys?

I'll be in Ohio from the weekend of the 26/27th until the following Thursday. Any advice about which park to do first/on what days/ fastlane vs fastlane plus etc. is greatly appreciated.

On a side note, anyone who hasn't been out west to ride Goldstriker is missing a pretty darn good ride. I hope CF gives CGA a major attraction soon to further lure all you out here- man they could use some good tall steel.

Bakeman31092's avatar

I've been at Cedar Point all week and honestly the crowds have been manageable. I've got my kids with me so I haven't been in the coaster lines that much, but for the times I have I've pretty much walked on or had a small station wait. For instance, on Sunday evening I was able to hit Magnum, Mean Streak, Wicked Twister, Gatekeeper and Raptor in the span of one hour. Yesterday, I rode the Giant Wheel with my daughter in the middle of the day and saw that Gatekeeper had a station wait.

If you're staying in one of the properties, or if you have a season pass, then you can get in an hour early and get Millennium and Maverick knocked out. Those two and Dragster are really the only ones that seem to consistently have long lines. If you're willing to stomach a little wait for them, or if you employ a little strategy, then you should be fine. I'd say if you're giving it two days then you won't need Fast Lane.

Last edited by Bakeman31092,
sws's avatar

I'd recommend the Fast Lane passes... But only if you don't mind people on this site referring to you as being a morally corrupt, line cutting, rich snob who thumbs his nose down on the poor common folk.

Just saying.

As long as you don't mind cockroaches and bedbugs.

Vater's avatar

xFlyingxAcesx said:

Does any one know of any good motels anywhere on planet Earth for around $40 a night?

Fixed that for you. And while I haven't priced out hotels in most other continents, I suspect the answer is 'no.'

I have had pretty decent luck with priceline in the King's Island area in the past. I used to be able to get rooms in that range. I'm not sure these days. We took a hotwire deal for La Quinta at 60$ a night or so for Beastbuzz this year.

LostKause's avatar

There are some decent Hotels near Kings Island and Cedar Point for a good price, but I'd stay away from the $40 places if possible.

Cedar Point: I stayed at two Motel 6 hotels in the Cedar Point area before. They are both very good for the price. I recommend the one in Huron. It is one of the less expensive hotels in the area, only a few miles from the park, has remolded rooms, and has an indoor pool and hot tub. The only thing I found wrong with it is that it is located near train tracks, so if you are not used to trains, that may be a problem. I live near tracks, so it doesn't bother me at all.

The other Motel 6 is about fifteen minutes south of the park, in Milan. It's just off of the PA Turnpike. I haven't stayed there in a long time though, so I don't feel comfortable telling you about that. When I did stay there, it was very nice for the price.

I did stay at a few of the cheaper hotels in Sandusky a few times, and they were okay. One was the Econo Lodge South near some Mexican restaurant on 250 between the mall and the park. Another was Roadway Inn in the same area, beside what is now Jolly Doughnut. They were cheap, quiet and comfortable, but didn't have much else going for them.

Kings Island: The hotels one exit south of the park are close enough to be handy, but I especially like to stay at the Kings Island Resort and Conference Center. The price is always right, about $60ish a night, and the rooms are larger than your standard cheap hotel. It's old, but I would rather call the hotel "charming." They also have an indoor pool and hot tub. This park is very close to Kings island. If you don't have a season pass and wanted to save on parking, the park is close enough to the hotel that you could walk there if you wanted to, although I have never tried it. Lately, this is the only hotel I will stay at when I go to Kings Island.

There are some cheaper hotels near Kings Island closer to The Beach Water Park. I was inside one of them this year and it seems okay for the price. The location of these is very convenient.

As for a line cutter pass, wait until you get to the park to decide if you need one or not. Have the money available to spend on it if you need it, but don't tell yourself that you are going to get it until yous see how busy the park is going to be. Sometimes, Kings Island and Cedar Point are not too bad, but they can get very busy sometimes.

Now for more personal matters. It's not how many coasters you have been on, or how far you have traveled to visit a park, it's that you like the rides and enjoy the hobby. The fact that you lurk on CoasterBuzz makes you a "real enthusiast," as far as I am concerned.

And the fact that you are aware of Tyler probably makes you aware of Tyler's mistakes. Your post was not anything like a Tyler post, so I think you'd be safe to post more regularly. It's really sad to see people not want to participate here because of what happened to past incidents. Heck, I still post here almost everyday, and I annoy the poop out of some people. :D Let us know what you think when you get the urge. We always ave the same ol' people posting the same ol' stuff year after year. I'd like to see more of you around here. :)

Last edited by LostKause,

You say those Huron Motel 6 rooms are remolded? Well, ewwwwwww.

kpjb's avatar

That's to be expected in a Motel 6.


I'd avoid staying anywhere farther then the main strip at Cedar Point. Kings Island I know has more places in that area to stay. Hotel Breakers is the best place to stay, a little pricey but well worth it after 2 days at CP.

Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

Crowds will be higher in both parks in late July (obviously). However, if you are going for 2 days to each park, I don't think Fast Lane is "required" in order to ride all the rides. You may have a couple 1.5-2 hour waits depending on crowds (Maverick and Firehawk are probably the most likely).

It all depends on what you want to do with your time. I believe you can ride everything, even some big stuff multiple times, but you will be spending a lot of time waiting in line if you don't go the Fast Lane route.

Last edited by Pagoda Gift Shop,
ApolloAndy's avatar

Definitely wait until you get to the park before you buy fastlane. Both parks can easily be done in 2 weekdays with time for rerides on the favorites. I haven't been to either in a couple years, but I suspect that the extended wait times for Fastlane customers are only on the busiest of days. A regular average weekday will probably be a few minutes at most for Fastlane.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Thanks for all the info guys!

I'm going to buy a pass at Cedar Point (to get early admission perks etc) and then I can use that pass at KI and when I'm home at CGA. Also may get an extra day in at CP Sunday since I'll have unlimited access. I assume passes will still be on sale at the park in late July, and hope the picture taking/pass processing is fast at CP? Sounds like I'll play fastlane by ear, but still curious if they allow you to choose your seat with fastlane.

Although a little pricey I'm leaning towards staying at Breakers when at CP because it seems super convenient (I can spoil myself a little on vacation right?). As mentioned above, looks like there are plenty of places to stay around KI. I'll definitely have a rental car by then (driving down from CP) so it'll be easy to travel to the park.

I don't mind a wait for a ride like Maverick, but rode stealth back when we had it out in CGA so Firehawk is likely first to skip if I feel pressed for time. Honestly I think I miss Invertigo more- it was always fun to ride face-to-face with people.

VTFanatic330's avatar

At CP at least, the line merge points are before the actual station, so Fast Lane users can still choose their preferred seat.

"We need more 'Bort' license plates in the gift shop. I repeat, we are sold out of 'Bort' license plates."

You can definitely pick your seat at CP. You may get a few dirty looks from people and make sure you wash your hands before eating.

Ok bad joke... But seriously you can sit wherever you want with CP FastLane.

And I find the location of Hotel Breakers to be a huge asset, especially with little kids. Highly reccomend it. Just be warned that the old sections of the hotel are where all the awful reviews come from.

But then again, what do I know?

My brother and I usually stay at the Breakers...it's incredibly convenient (sock change, lunch break, sunscreen application, using the hot tub after the day is done) and I think it's worth the money. Plus, the walk back to the hotel along the boardwalk at night is quite nice.The old section rooms are cheaper but serviceable (think Motel 6). Plus, you can enter the park via the Gemini/AdventurePark gate...fewer crowds and much closer to Maverick.

I agree....get Maverick and TTD out early as the lines become super long as the day goes on. If I had to choose, I prefer to wait in line at TTD, only because you can watch the launch and hope for rollbacks :)....and I hate the music on Maverick (and you don't get much breeze under the building while waiting in line). But look for times when TTD isn't running...due to wind or weather or mechanical (given its height, you can see it pretty much anywhere in the park). If you hear or see it testing after a down time, hustle there pronto. My brother and I have been lucky to have front seats and subsequent virtual walk ons because we were able to catch it before the crowds re-emerged.

If the crowds are busy, the regular fast pass is approx $75 and doesn't include Maverick or TTD...but if you are a coaster junkie, I think it's awesome for the price. 15 minute wait on Millennium is usually the longest of the day..approx 5-10 minutes on Gatekeeper, Magnum and Raptor. Mean Streak, Gemini, Blue Streak and MaxAir are virtual walk ons. The only bad loading spot is for Wicked Twister, you don't gain a lot of time there.

Ditto for KI. Get early entry (only a 1/2 hour, boo!) and grab 2 rides on Banshee then head back to either the Beast or Diamondback (depending upon your preference). At least in my experience, these 2 wait times were about the same, regardless of day or time (and were actually longer than Banshee when I was there last month!). Fast Pass is similar at KI...good loading on all the major coasters and no more than 15 minutes on the core rides.

If you do buy a pass, try to get it the night before. At least at KI, the processing was incredibly fast..but you don't want the hassle (particularly if you are staying at the Breakers) of driving (or shuttling) to the front gate in the morning....you'll lose the early entry benefits or be part of the 100million folks entering from the front CP gate.

If you don't want to spend the $$$ on Breakers, the Knights Inn on Rt 6 was surprisingly okay (at least on Opening Day) for the price. I travel for work 200+ days a year and can smell cigarette smoke a mile away...and I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, the remote control sucked and the train rumbles by (earplugs!) and it could be a lot worse now that 3million folks have stayed there, but at least in my experience, it was tolerable and a very good value.

Last edited by TechieTechie,

I stayed at the Knights Inn as well. It didn't have a lot of amenities, but it was clean, it was cheap, and it was just a few minutes from CP. All I need. I couldn't care less about a bunch of fancy amenities when I'm only in my room to sleep and shower. The walls are a little thin there, so if you are a light sleeper, might not be your best bet.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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