First of all I must apologise to all those who hate it when someone posts a topic which deals with a trip they are planning - I'm afraid this is yet another one of them but I think as I am based in England and I want to visit the great Cedar Point in America, a place I have never been to before, I may deserve a little help.
Basically, for my Birthday my parents are willing to fund a week (possibly longer/shorter) trip to Ohio in the summer holidays next year so that I can visit my Mecca. However, for them to be happy for me to travel on my own (I will be 18) I need to find out all the necessary details for my trip, such as where I can stay (in and out of park), where the airport is, travel, costs, other parks worth visiting nearby, what to do, what not to do, etc.
Obviously I have to do my own research but any help you guys can give me will be much appreciated.
Here's a few hints for you... First, if you're going to CP for a week (or more than 2 days for that matter) get a season pass online now. They are $90, which is roughly the same as 2 days admission to the park. Second, where to stay? CP has some great resorts right on the property, but they are expensive... I like the Best Western on Cleveland Rd, right across from the entrance to the causeway. They have shuttles to and from CP so you won't have to pay to park, the rooms are decent (I don't spend a lot of time indoors anyway), and there is a Perkins restaurant in the same building. As for where else to visit in the general area... Are you renting a car? If so, you could hit up Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, but I would do that BEFORE going to CP as it would seem kind of small-time if you were to go afterward. It's right outside of Cleveland if that's where you're flying into. A fun park, but I highly reccomend going during the week, not on Saturday or Sunday as it gets very crowded there and the capacity of the park isn't so great. Likewise, CP gets crowded as well but seems to move people through a lot faster! Hope this helps some to get you started, if you need any other help or have questions feel free to email me at CalvinHobbes21@hotmail.com or respond here....
When I go to CP for a week I stay at Lakeland Lodges on route 6 its 15 mins from the park. And its on the same road almost. ITs $350 for the week and you get a little cottage with bathroom,kitchen and bedroom. I like the kitchen cause its fully equipped and you don't need to eat out every night. www.lodgesonthelake.com is there site.
About park admission Shane is right get a Season Pass. If possible try and get one from Dorney. They are cheaper. Thast what I did last 2 years. Got my Dorney pass and went to CP for a week.
Also if you have time head over to Six Flags Worlds of Adventure. Its a nice park and I like it. Some fun coasters and the wild life side is pretty neat!
If you have even more time take a trip to PKI. Its like 2 1/2 hours for CP and its got some great coasters Good luck and enjoy your trip to the US.
The closest International Airport is Cleveland Hopkins (CLE), a little less than an hour to the east of CP. There is only one direct flight from London per day, aboard a Continental Boeing 757, which in my opinion is not comfortable enough for a trip of that length. Every other flight will be through a connecting city, but that's not too bad as you will get a better aircraft for the trip over the ocean.
As for hotels there are lots of options. If you can afford it I would recommend one of the properties on the peninsula, preferably the Breakers. If you're looking for a cheap sleep, the Mecca Motel is nice and quaint for a reasonable amount of money.
Plan on at least two days at CP. While in the area I would also recommend a trip to Six Flags Worlds of Adventure in Aurora, about 1 hour and 45 minutes from CP. One day there should be enough.
From there I would recommend heading to Pittsburgh to visit Kennywood. There are plenty of hotels in the Pittsburgh area.
You should also plan on Paramount's Kings Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. About 3 hours 45 minutes from the airport. I'm not sure how long from Kennywood.
Depending on how much time you have, other parks you might want to consider are as Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom or Six Flags Great America. Some of these are probably too long of a drive for a Brit though. I know you guys aren't used to long drives.
Another important consideration is your age. If you are under 25 you might have trouble renting a car, or you will have to pay an additional premium. You will definately need a car to get around, you can't count on public transportation to get to the parks.
Try to come the third or fourth week in June. Any earlier and you could run into school groups. Later the crowds get worse as the summer wears on. If you could get here in May that would be even better. Cp starts daily operation May 8, Six Flags is open May 1, but I am not sure when it goes daily. If you visit CP from the 19th to the 23rd of June that would be during the ACE convention, you would have a chance to meet a lot of fellow enthusiasts.
My only problem with the Dorney Park season pass plan is that then he'd have to go to Dorney to get it processed before going to CP. Thats a bit out of the way. But as for PKI, yeah, go if you have time or if you really really love wooden coasters. My wife and I were going to go last time we were at CP but decided that 5 hours drive time wasn't worth one day at PKI so we used the time at CP instead and had a ball. We're going to go to PKI this year though.
I went to Cedar Point from England in summer, and hit a whole lot of other parks as well, but I think i can give you a bit of advice:
Stay ON Cedar Point. I stayed at Hotel Breakers, and it was by far worth the extra dosh. The reason being that your location is superb, you get early entry, you get the beach and a ton of restaurants; and of course, you can go into the park as and when you please and don't have to worry about driving... it's literally an amusement park on your doorstep; what could be better?
Get a season pass. Good value, especially if you're gonna do a week there. Nearest airport is Cleveland. If you're in Cleveland, definitely hit SFWoA. I found that, while it is incomparable to CP, the WildLife section was excellent, and they do have some nice coasters; I found Batman (B&M Floorless) to be excellent and also X-Flight. Superman (Impulse) wasn't working, but Vertical Velocity, the same design is amazing. Definitely hit SFWoA if you can.
If you really want to expand your trip, you can do what I did: Fly to Chicago, SFGreat America > Indiana Beach > Holiday World > SFKentuckyKingdom > PKI > CP (for 4 days) > SFWoA > Kennywood > SFDarien Lake > Marineland/Niagara Falls
It was an awesome trip, lasting two weeks and I'd highly recommend doing it. It costs a bit of money though, and although there are parks you could eliminate from the 'hit-list', you should hit all of them to cut driving times. The longest drive was from PKI > CP, about 4 hours. But driving wasn't bad at all; its much better in the States than in England!
I'd recommend this trip if you want to do a biggie-coaster trip; but I think the angle you're coming in at seems to be using CP as your 'base'. If that's correct, I'd stay about a week on CP, hitting SFWoA and POSSIBLY PKI as well. But, you'll have fun if you just did CP, it really is an amazing place... puts some of our UK parks to shame in terms of coasters. TTD and MF rule!!
Hope that helps. If you want any help PM me or something, or post here. *** Edited 12/8/2003 5:32:20 PM UTC by eyeamthu1***
There is one problem here that no one else has pointed out. You're only going to be 18. For some reason (stupid reason in my opinion) Cedar Point doesn't think we are responsible enough to stay in one of their rooms without someone who is under 21. They will let an 18 year old work there and operate Dragster, but they won't let one stay in their own room at Breakers...ironic, huh?
This may actually be an Ohio law. This is definitely something that my friends and I dislike about hotel policies in that area. *** Edited 12/8/2003 7:14:11 PM UTC by CPgenius***
Most hotels will NOT allow an 18 year old to stay in their rooms without someone OVER (not under like CPgenius said) 21 in the room also. Plus, most car rentals wont allow people under 25 to rent a car. You can find some who will let a 21 year old rent, but I have never seen one rent to an 18 year old here in Ohio. (Your millage may very :))
Edit: I started to write out a bunch of requirements for a few of the top car rental places, but they are much too complicated to try and simplify them for this site. I will just give you some links to the top rental agencies that are in Ohio.
Sarah Jackson said: Most hotels will NOT allow an 18 year old to stay in their rooms without someone OVER (not under like CPgenius said) 21 in the room also.
Huh??? I have never had a problem with this, and I did a lot of traveling before I was 21. Rental cars are a different story, sure, but I've never heard of that for the overwhelming majority of hotels. As long as you're 18, you'll be fine (at least, that was my experience!).
You definately can't stay in Cedar Point's resorts unless you are 21 or with a parent or guardian who is 21. I know that there are a few hotels around the area that allow 18 y/o's to stay there without someone over 21, the Mecca Motel is one of those. I forget which other ones. Good luck on your trip to CP! :)
stardoors said: You definately can't stay in Cedar Point's resorts unless you are 21 or with a parent or guardian who is 21.
Ya, we even ran into this problem at a Howard Johnsons (a typically cheeper motel), but I think we got around it somehow by having an adult book the trip and had them talk the manager into letting us stay there telling them that we were mature and wouldn't cause any problems and all. It took a lot of bargenning, but we eventually did it. I mean, it's possible to find a hotel near Cedar Point where you don't have to be 21, but you're REALLY going to have to look hard and you're REALLY going to have to pull a lot of strings to do it. *** Edited 12/8/2003 8:24:56 PM UTC by Coaster Lover***
With hotels I've noticed that if its booked over the phone or net, you just have to produce your credit card, no ID, when I was under 18, I use to book hotels with my parents cc's and all they asked for was the credit card when I checked in. But since your traveling from England, I would double check. I know last year I had to check in at a hotel for one of my gf's friends, since they were staying a few days, and since we go every week we were there just for the day. but I do know there are a few dive hotels out there that will rent to 18 year olds, how else do all the highschool kids stay out there after prom.
As for the parks to hit, I'd hit CP for 2 or 3 days (only since you've never been) then go east and hit KW and if you have time SFWOA, and maybe CLP. Or you can go south and hit PKI, HW, and maybe SFKK. There are a ton of parks you could hit, Just check them out online and make you decision based on what you want to ride.
Let your fingers do the walking, so to speak. You can find all kinds of airline prices by either going to the carriers site directly, or going to one of the discount travel sites. While the Point is awesome, I would try to make it to King's Island also, although it would be a long drive back and forth. By hitting all three of the major parks in Ohio, you will have practically have hit every type of coaster, except for a wild mouse, and I hear there are plenty of those in England. I too would check into the age requirement on the motels/hotels. I remember back when I was 18, that my friend and I had to get his father to beg the hotel operator to let us stay near Jackson, NJ because of a car failure.
I'm 19 and I stayed in a handful of hotel including Sandusky, OH and the way to get around it is to book it online or have a parent book it over the phone. Most hotels will allow it if they get a parents praise and if your alone.
I don't worry about that much anymore becuase by halfway thru this season I started staying at campgrounds becuase it so cheap plus it's fun to camp. Just drive slowly around camp grounds, I got yelled at for going 15 mph when I should have only been going 5 or 10 mph...
I work at a hotel about five minutes from Cleveland Hopkins and I can tell you most hotels in the area require you to be 21, but it is kind of a don't tell and they won't ask situation if you have a cc. If you have any problems you could e-mail me, I would be more than happy to have you stay where i work. The only problem is that it is 50 minutes to CP and about 30 to SFWOA. If you have any questions let me know. *** Edited 12/8/2003 10:08:02 PM UTC by madfancp***
At the CP resorts, we are told if they look and sound young, too check their id's. It doesn't matter if their mom or dad or someone 21 reserved the room, if the person checking in isn't 21, they can't stay. We had to turn away two boys that were 18, and let me tell you, their mom yelled at me. It says on the CP reservations website you must be 21 to make reservations and when you call they ask how many in the party over 21. If you look 21 or older, than you'll be fine, but if not, I would look elsewhere. I know this goes for more places than just the CP resorts.