Cedar Fair 2019 Season Pass Options: Which Are Best For You?

We’re coming down to the end of the “regular” theme park season for 2018. While we still have another weekend of Halloween events and several dates of Winterfest to look forward to at multiple Cedar Fair parks, for many theme park enthusiasts, it’s already time to start looking ahead to next season. What do you want out of your 2019 theme park experience at Cedar Fair parks? Just a few one-day tickets or unlimited admission? All-Season Dining? All-Season Fast Lane? What if you’re taking a theme park road trip in 2019 and want to visit multiple parks?

Photo: @CedarPoint

We’ve got you covered! We’ll show you the costs and perks of owning a Cedar Fair Season Pass at each park (as well as the Platinum Pass), to see if it will change your decision making process! Prices are scheduled to go up on Monday, October 2019, so if you want to take advantage of these prices, act fast!

(Prices Current as of October 22, 2018, Dining Plan Information based on 2018 via CPFoodBlog)


California’s Great America

  • New Season Pass Cost: Regular: $59.99, Gold: $79.99
  • Parking Included: For Gold & Platinum Passholders
  • All-Season Dining$81
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $225
  • All-Season Fun Pix: $39.99
  • All-Season Lockers: $99
  • Pre-K Pass Available: Yes
  • Special Events Included: Halloween Haunt and Winterfest (Gold & Platinum Passholders)

One of the more inexpensive Cedar Fair pass options, California’s Great America has a season pass available for just $59.99, which is about the same price as one-day admission to the park. While the “regular” pass may seem enticing, the $20 upgrade to gold includes Parking, which based on 2017 parking prices ($20), pays for itself after the first visit. (Not to mention admission to both Halloween Haunt and Winterfest!)

That said, the $59 pass option would be considered a great add-on for families with children who might not drive, who could buy one gold pass and multiple regular passes, and reap many of the same benefits.

 Additional benefits for the Gold Pass include a larger discount (20% vs. 10%) on food and merchandise (over the Regular Pass), free admission to Gilroy Gardens (a Cedar Fair-managed park located 40 miles south of California’s Great America), and early access to the California’s Great America’s in-park water park, Boomerang Bay.

Canada’s Wonderland

  • New Season Pass Cost: Regular: $72.99 CAD, Gold: $102.99 CAD
  • Parking Included: With Platinum Pass. $50 CAD to add to a Gold Pass.
  • All-Season Dining$85.99 CAD
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99 CAD
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $499 CAD
  • All-Season Fun Pix: $44.99 CAD
  • All-Season Lockers: No
  • Pre-K Pass Available: No
  • Special Events Included: Halloween Haunt and Winterfest for Gold and Platinum Passholders only.

Compared to other parks in the chain, Canada’s Wonderland has season pass options that are some of most inexpensive of any Cedar Fair park, especially when taking the USD-CAD exchange rate into account. Not only will Canada’s Wonderland be debuting Yukon Striker, the world’s tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster next season, but the park has also announced Winterfest will be coming “north of the border” for 2019. Season Passholders at Canada’s Wonderland enjoy a wide array of benefits, including Water Park early entry, food and merchandise discounts, ERT, as well as Exclusive Passholder Appreciation events throughout the season, and new for 2019, Canada’s Wonderland Gold Passes will include admissions to their Halloween Haunt Event.

Carowinds

  • New Season Pass Cost: Gold: $105
  • Parking Included: Yes
  • All-Season Dining$93
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $299
  • All-Season Fun Pix: $44.99
  • Pre-K Pass Available: Yes
  • All-Season Lockers: No
  • Special Events Included: SCarowinds, Winterfest 

After announcing their newest coaster, Copperhead Strike, Carowinds will feature 14 roller coasters for the 2019 season. If roller coasters aren’t necessarily your “thing,” Carowinds also has the newly expanded Camp Snoopy, County Fair, and Carolina Harbor Water Park, all new additions over the past three seasons. Like several other parks on this list, Gold and Platinum Pass Holders receive admission to the park’s Halloween Haunt Event, SCarowinds, and their Winter event, Winterfest.

Additional Season pass benefits include Early Access to Carolina Harbor Waterpark, ERT (Exclusive Ride Time) and EST (Exclusive Splash Time), Free Admission to Dinosaurs Alive, and a 10% Discount at Carowinds’ on-site Camp Wilderness Resort.

Cedar Point

Steel Vengeance (Cedar Point)

  • New Season Pass Cost: $137
  • Parking Included: For Platinum Passholders Only
  • All-Season Dining$92
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: N/A
  • All-Season Fun Pix: $49.99
  • Pre-K Pass Available: Yes
  • All-Season Lockers: No
  • Special Events Included: Halloween Haunt

Cedar Point’s $137 season pass cost is the highest single park season pass currently offered by the Cedar Fair chain. The flagship park in the chain features more rides than any other amusement park (71), including 17 roller coasters, highlighted by the record-breaking, new-for-2018 coaster, Steel Vengeance (Which we love, by the way!) New for 2019, Cedar Point will be adding Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island.

There are many unique benefits to being a Cedar Point passholder, including a $1 Discount on $4 Midway Games, a Discount and Free Beer during Cedar Point’s Brews & BBQ, 10% off of select room types at Cedar Point hotels, and many other discounts, however, for our money, if you’re considering becoming a Cedar Point Passholder, we would recommend spending the extra $58 and upgrading to the Platinum Pass (detailed below). You get all the perks of a gold pass, with the added benefit of included parking, included admission to Cedar Point’s water park, Cedar Point Shores, early entry into the park and water park, as well as access to several other Platinum Passholder-only perks and events held at Cedar Point. (and at Cedar Point, you’re also just a short 3.5 hour drive from Kings Island, which would be included in the Platinum Pass, just saying!)

Dorney Park

  • New Season Pass Cost: $115
  • Parking Included: Yes
  • All-Season Dining$102
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $125
  • All-Season Fun Pix: N/A
  • Pre-K Pass Available: Yes
  • All-Season Lockers: $99
  • Special Events Included: Halloween Haunt

Nestled between Philadelphia and New York City, Dorney Park’s season price pass is more in line with prices in those two cities. With the removal of Stinger and Dinosaurs Alive, we’re very curious to see what’s headed to Dorney Park next!

Parking is included with a Dorney Park season pass, along with admission to Halloween Haunt, early ride times and early access to Wildwater Kingdom, Dorney Park’s in-park water park. The $125 All-Season Fast Lane is one of the more inexpensive all-season Fast Lanes chain-wide, and includes roller coasters like Steel Force, Talon and Hydra: The Revenge.

Kings Dominion

  • New Season Pass Cost: $99
  • Parking Included: Yes
  • All-Season Dining$89.99
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $225
  • All-Season Fun Pix: $44.99
  • Pre-K Pass Available: Yes
  • All Season Lockers: $99
  • Special Events Included: Halloween Haunt, Winterfest 

A 2019 season pass at Kings Dominion offers four seasons of thrills, with a spring opening, Soak City Water Park during the summer, admission to Halloween Haunt in the fall, and admission the all-new Winterfest to close out the year. In our experience, Twisted Timbers is good in any season! Kings Dominion also has a Pre-K pass, for guests aged 3-5 who want to experience Kings Dominion’s recently-upgraded Planet Snoopy.

Season passholders at Kings Dominion can enjoy free parking, as well as food and merchandise discounts. At $225, the all-season Fast Lane is competitively priced, especially with a “Big Four” at Kings Dominion that now consists of Dominator, Intimidator 305, Volcano: The Blast Coaster, and Twisted Timbers. With several of these coasters requiring lockers, the $99 all-season locker (new for this coming season) seems like a great deal if you’ll be visiting the park a lot.

Kings Island

  • New Season Pass Cost: $99
  • Parking Included: Yes
  • All-Season Dining$95
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $499
  • All-Season Fun Pix: $44.99
  • Pre-K Pass Available: No
  • All-Season Lockers: $115
  • Special Events Included: Halloween Haunt, Winterfest 

Kings Island Season Passholders have the perk of Early Ride Time on a variety of attractions.  They also have included free parking, special passholder-exclusive events and promotions, unlimited visits to Halloween Haunt and Winterfest, and early access to Soak City, Kings Island’s water park. With the announced closure of Firehawk at the end of the 2018 season, and the addition of Kings Mills Antique Autos, season pass holders might be able to catch a glimpse of what’s coming soon at Kings Island!

Like with Cedar Point, given the proximity of the two parks (the two closest major parks to each other in the Cedar Fair chain), we would recommend looking into a Platinum Pass over a Gold Pass for Kings Island, especially if you plan on visiting both parks in one season.

Knott’s Berry Farm

  • New Season Pass Cost: Regular: $95, Gold: $115
  • Parking Included: Only included with Platinum Pass, Can be added for $75 to a regular or gold pass
  • All-Season Dining$105
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $499
  • All-Season Fun Pix: $44.99
  • Pre-K Pass Available: No
  • All-Season Lockers: $115
  • Special Events Included: Knott’s Merry Farm (Season pass holders get a discount on Knott’s Scary Farm, or full-season access for $90)

In 2018, Knott’s added Hangtime, a Gerstlauer infinity coaster, and the first dive coaster on the West Coast. If I lived on the West Coast, I would spend plenty of nights at Knott’s just to watch the KCL Engineering light show on this coaster.

While All-Season Parking and Knott’s Scary Farm are not included in the base season price pass at either the Regular or Gold level, Knott’s is still definitely one of the best deals in Southern California theme parks when it comes to season passes. Knott’s is located less than 20 minutes from Disneyland and 90 minutes from Universal Studios Hollywood. Even adding in the $75 all-season parking cost and $90 Knott’s Scary Farm season admission price, Knott’s is still cheaper than both Universal and Disney season passes, has no blackout dates for attendance, includes Hotel Discounts, and at the Gold Pass level, includes entry into Knott’s Soak City.

Michigan’s Adventure

  • New Season Pass Cost: $90
  • Parking Included: Not included, can be added for $44. (Thanks, @CoasterCircuits!)
  • All-Season Dining$90
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $99
  • All-Season Fun Pix: N/A
  • Pre-K Pass Available: No
  • All-Season Lockers: No
  • Special Events Included: N/A

Cedar Fair’s smallest park, Michigan’s Adventure, doesn’t offer many of the bells and whistles of other parks in the chain, however their $99 all-season Fast Lane is the least expensive of any Cedar Fair Park. Their perks are similar to other parks in the chain with food and merchandise discounts, but do not include 2019 parking. They are the only park in the chain to stay constant between 2018 and 2019 prices.

Valleyfair

  • New Season Pass Cost: $77
  • Parking Included: Yes
  • All-Season Dining$77
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $135
  • All-Season Fun Pix: N/A
  • Pre-K Pass Available: Yes
  • All-Season Lockers: No
  • Special Events Included: ValleySCARE! 

Valleyfair has both the cheapest Gold season pass cost and cheapest all-season dining plan of any domestic Cedar Fair park. In theory, if you developed a taste for theme park food, you go to Valleyfair every day during the season, park for free, ride some great coasters like the Great Coasters International Woodie, Renegade and Morgan Hypercoaster, Wild Thing, eat lunch and dinner at the park, and only pay $150+ tax to do it. Definitely one of the most cost effective season-pass dining methods.

Worlds of Fun

  • New Season Pass Cost: $102
  • Parking Included: Yes
  • All-Season Dining$96
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: $199
  • All-Season Fun Pix: $29.99
  • Pre-K Pass Available: Yes
  • All-Season Lockers: $99
  • Special Events Included: Halloween Haunt, Winterfest

In 2019, Worlds of Fun will be adding the new Boathouse Grill restaurant. We’re excited to see what Chef Boston has cooking up for the new restaurant!

Passholders at Worlds of Fun have early park and water park access, and several unique other perks.

Cedar Fair Platinum Pass

  • New Season Pass Cost: $195
  • Parking Included: Yes, at all Cedar Fair Parks
  • All-Season Dining: Price paid valid at all Cedar Fair Parks
  • All-Season Beverages: $29.99
  • All-Season Fast Lane: Does Not Exist
  • All-Season Fun Pix: Price paid valid at all Cedar Fair parks
  • Pre-K Pass Available: No
  • Special Events Included: All Halloween Events except Knott’s Scary Farm (Discounts available). All Winter events included.

Admittedly, I have been a Cedar Fair Platinum Passholder for the past three seasons, and as long as I’m writing for Coaster101, I don’t think I would have it any other way. If you’re like me, and travel to different theme parks multiple times a year, a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass is a card that you can’t leave home without. In the past season, I’ve made multiple trips to Carowinds, Kings Dominion, and Cedar Point, where if you added up just the single-day parking costs at each park, my pass was already paid for. I’ve already renewed my pass for next year, as well.

You can click the above links for your home Cedar Fair park to purchase your Platinum Pass.


Cheat Sheet

Did you come down to the bottom of this long article for a “TL;DR” graphic? Well you’re in luck!

As we noted earlier, these prices are current as of October 22, and subject to increase on October 28. If you plan on purchasing a Cedar Fair season pass, the sooner, the better!

Which Cedar Fair parks will you be visiting in 2019 and which passes will you be purchasing? Let us know in the comments below!

Cover Photo: @SOTThemePark on Twitter

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2 Responses

  1. My home Park is Cedar Point & I live here at home in Downtown Sandusky, Ohio in in the 12th floor of my apartment building overlooking Cedar Point, Lake Erie, the Sandusky Bay, Battery Park & it’s surroundings!!! I’ve been a Cedar Point regular season pass holder in 2015 & a Cedar Fair platinum pass holder for 3 seasons also in 2016, 2017 & 2018 & I just renewed my platinum pass with all 3 add ons if all season dining, all season Fun Pix & the all season drink plan on October 1st for the 2019 Cedar Point- Cedar Fair season!!! I can’t wait for Cedar Point’s Opening Day in May 2019!!! I read your entire article & saved it to my notes on my phone!!! Thank You for all your detailed & much needed information on all the Cedar Fair Parks!!! I really hope that Cedar Point & Dorney receive a yearly Winter Fest!!! That would be great!!!

  2. kjsd mvkahu says:

    I am 100% confident that Cedar Point will get Winterfest in 2020. I asked Dorney and they have no plans for a Winterfest.

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