Columbus Day Comparisons

So the past few years we've braved Cedar Point for Columbus Day weekend. Yeah, I know, it's crazy. But we knew what we were getting into and had a game plan that worked... Roll into Sandusky and set up camp Thursday; rides, coasters, and haunts Friday night; shows, Great Pumpkin Festival activities, and a big dinner out on Saturday; and then finish with final rides & coasters for our season on Sunday before heading home on Monday. Last year this plan just didn't work AT ALL and left a pretty bad impression so we decided to try something different this year. Originally we were looking at Dorney Park and found out as a bonus that Coaster Madness was that weekend last year. Now I'm thinking maybe we will go to Kings Island for Columbus Day weekend and go to Dorney Park for Labor Day. And now that Midnight Syndiacate is coming back to Cedar Point, we may squeeze in mid-September HalloWeekends trip.

So here's my question... How do Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Dorney Park compare for crowds and weather for Labor Day and Columbus Day? How do the Halloween attractions compare between the 3 parks?

Last edited by ShaneDenmark,

But then again, what do I know?

Tekwardo's avatar

In my experience going to loads of parks on labor day weekend the last 7-8 years, labor day weekend tends to be dead to moderate on Friday, medium on saturday, busy Sunday, dead moderate on monday.

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I went to Dorney on Labor Day Monday last year. The ride side wasn't crowded except for the rapids and the water park had most of the crowds, I guess similar to a regular summer weekday at Dorney. Saturday and Sunday of Columbus Day weekend can be crowded at Dorney but not nearly as bad as other parks (45 minute waits for some of the coasters). It's also the only Sunday in the fall where they have Haunt so that brings extra crowds as well.

Kings Island on Columbus Day weekend does have elevated crowds, particularly on Saturday and Sunday. The park is not open that Monday which I believe is also the case at Cedar Point.

Friday night that particular weekend doesn't typically see a major increase in crowds. Crowds are similar to a Summer weekday.

Saturday early is doable. Many guests don't start arriving until around 4 or 5, so if you go early you can get a lot of rides in the first 3 hours. After that all bets are off. This is typically the busiest day Kings Island has all season.

Sunday is moderately busy but nowhere near the crowd levels that Cedar Point gets that same day. A large part of this is that there's no Haunt stuff that day as the park closes at 7. Cedar Point is typically open until at least 10 that same Sunday and the crowds respond in kind. Crowd levels range pretty wildly this day. The Bengals that day are playing at home at 1 PM this year so that will lighten crowds a little. The weather ultimately is the biggest factor; nice weather can bring out a lot of people - particularly after 1 PM. The first two hours are generally really light no matter the circumstance.

Thanks, Gary! That's the type of reply I was looking for. Sounds like Saturday night at Kings Island might be kinda crazy like Cedar Point.

Another question... Can anyone recommend a good campground near Kings Island or Dorney Park? I believe there is a KOA near both, but I've learned the KOA banner doesn't mean much anymore.

But then again, what do I know?

Thabto's avatar

I was at Kings Island Columbus Day weekend last year. Early in the day on Saturday, the crowds were actually light. But when the haunts opened, that all changed and it got very crowded.


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