How many days per park?


We are going on our first rollercoaster road trip in August, we are planning to visit 4 Cedar Fair parks. The issue is that we don't know for how long we should visit each park. We already paid for Cedar Fair's Platinum Passes and Platinum Dinning Plan, so everything from food to park entrance and parking is already paid for in advanced.

So far we are planning to stay 3 nights per hotel, so we can do 2 days at each park. On the day we arrive at each hotel, after a long drive, we are planning just to chill out in the room, and go to sleep, then the next morning we will go to the parks, same for the day after, and on the fourth day in the morning, we will leave the area for the next park.

These are the parks we are planning to visit in this order:

1. Kings Dominion

2. Carowinds

3. Kings Island

4. Cedar Point

So the question really is, is it worth it to spend 2 days on each of these parks? or some of these parks, really required only a one day visit?

I forgot to mentioned that as before, we only care about riding the biggest, fastest and smoothest rollercoasters at each park, so 2 or 3 per park is fine with us.


Last edited by qbacreative,

If I was visiting the above parks for the first time I would do one day in each with a Fast Lane Plus – especially if you're not bothered about riding everything.

If you're not doing Fast Lane Plus then having two days is a decent alternative.

You answered your own question. If you’re only looking to do 2-3 coasters per park, 1 day is more than enough. However if you want to relax, take your time, check out the entire park and waterpark, I’d say 2 days. That’s more my style. I’m usually not one to try to blitz through parks. I think that’s the difference between a Park Enthusiast vs a Coaster Enthusiast.

But then again, what do I know?

Thanks Richard Bannister for the reply, good point.

I think on the back of my head, the two days give us a buffer to deal with the weather in case it rains. But to your point, I could use the money we are saving from the extra day at the hotel, to pay for the fast lane.

Last edited by qbacreative,
bjames's avatar

^Exactly, when I went to Carowinds for two days last summer it rained a little on both days and everything was shut down for several hours in the evening. They aren't very fast at reopening stuff there either. It's definitely wise to plan for two days. You can take it a little easier too, I know that for me, I can't walk around a park for eight or ten hours straight. You can come in a little late after opening and leave early before closing.

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

Thanks bjames for making my life more difficult :)

I just finished convincing the wife that one park per day, other than Cedar Point was all we needed, now with you position reinforcing my cautious point about the weather, I feel like is better to keep everything as is, and keep the two days to make the trip more of a relaxing experience.

I'd say 1 for the first two parks and 2 days for the second two parks. If you can hit Busch Gardens for a day while in the Kings Dominion area, I don't think you'll regret it.


Thanks MDOmnis,

So this is what you are suggesting?

Kings Dominion (One Day)

Busch Gardens Williamsburg (One Day)

Carowinds (One Day)

Kings Island (Two Days)

Cedar Point (Two Days)

That’s a solid plan right there. The relatively little bit of extra expense and driving is well worth it for Busch Gardens.

"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
Tommytheduck's avatar

If time is of no issue, keep the buffer days. Find other things to do in the places where you're travelling, or along the roads between. Leave the parks at 3pm, clean up and enjoy a nice restaurant, etc.

I'm a big fan of taking my time, but that's just a personal preference.

Thanks for the input Tommytheduck, for most of the places we are going there is literally nothing to do on some of those areas other than the parks.

Kings Dominion is the only park that I would say is a stand alone attraction. BGW has Williamsburg which is a pretty impressive living museum of colonial history. Carowinds has Charlotte. Kings Island has Cincinnati. Cedar Point has the lake area. Seems like spending a day at each of those non-park areas would be pretty easy to do.

Vater's avatar

Kings Dominion has...Richmond.

Yeah, never mind.

That was my thought as well.

ShaneDenmark said:

You answered your own question. If you’re only looking to do 2-3 coasters per park, 1 day is more than enough. However if you want to relax, take your time, check out the entire park and waterpark, I’d say 2 days. That’s more my style. I’m usually not one to try to blitz through parks. I think that’s the difference between a Park Enthusiast vs a Coaster Enthusiast.

I disagree with your classification of a coaster enthusiast. I think that most coaster enthusiasts will at least ride everything at least once. I'm not really sure if I've met many enthusiasts, if any, who would refuse to ride coasters like that. My recommendation to the OP is to slow down, and try to enjoy yourself at the park. Enjoy all the coasters, get re-rides on your favorites. Get on most of the flat rides. See some shows. See what the park has to offer. Etc. Riding a coaster takes you like 2 minutes. You could get the through park stupidly fast if you needed to, and then you wasted a trip.

Vater's avatar

I think the answer to the original question depends on which days of the week will be spent at which parks. Cedar Point on a weekend? No thanks. My only two visits to CP (1997 and 2000) were for two days each during the week, and it was crowded enough. I once visited Kings Dominion (the park I've been to the most) on a Saturday and I managed to get on 5 rides in about 8 hours.

If you're planning on weekdays, I'd shoot for two days at Cedar Point and one each at all the others.

eightdotthree's avatar

I do a weekend at Cedar Point in June and its the best. It's not super busy and there's a beer festival every day.

I do agree with Vater though. One day at each and two at Cedar Point. But if you go to Kings Island on a summer weekend maybe consider a second half day.

What time of the year are you planning on and what days of the week at which parks? IMO, KD only needs 1 day. You can spend 2 at Carowinds, but if it's not busy, then 1 should be enough. 2 for KI and CP is good especially if it's a weekend. If you plan on water parks also, then 1.5 - 2 days at all.

Just as an example, 2018, the year TT opened at KD, we went on a Thursday in mid June and had walk-ons to minimal waits (including TT). We were done with the park by 5. Went to BGW the next day and had the same experience with lines but left a little later because it's such a beautiful park and we like it better than KD.

ApolloAndy's avatar

I've never spent more than 1 day at the same park other than Disney and Universal. With reasonable planning and getting there early (or staying late or FastLane) you should be able to do everything once and most things twice. That said, it's a long day and any hiccups from weather, exhaustion, or breakdowns could make a huge difference. Do you have to pull the trigger now? Could you plan on a "flex" day between the Atlantic parks and a flex day between the Ohio parks and see which park you feel deserves the extra day after you've tried them?

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Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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