A Day to Remember at Cedar Point
Why go to an amusement park? Obviously, us roller coaster enthusiasts enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with our favorite extreme thrill rides. But that’s not all. Amusement parks are a great way for families and friends to spend quality time together. It provides an opportunity for bonding, creating shared memories, and strengthening relationships through shared experiences and adventures. Which is exactly how I felt after an incredible day at Cedar Point with all my siblings, nieces, and nephews.
What made the day so incredible? Keep reading to find out!
Number one: the weather. We lucked out and visited on one of those rare and magical days where the weather report looked terrible all week – 80% chance of rain showers all day – yet on the day of it really only sprinkled once. The result? Low crowds and short wait times! Music to my ears.
Number two: visiting the park not only with family, but family who had either never been to Cedar Point, had never been to an amusement park, or who hadn’t visited in years. Recently, most of my theme park trips have either been with my immediate family (wife and kids) or with members of the Coaster101 crew. It was a completely new experience being at a park with non-coaster enthusiasts and seeing their reactions to everything, especially the kids.
We were near the front of the line when the park opened at 10am. Our party was 13: eight adults, a nine-year-old (Henry), six-year-old (Nora), five-year-old, and two three-year-olds. Surely everything is going to go smoothly and there won’t be any melt downs, right? RIGHT?!
First, we walked right onto the Cadillac Cars as our first ride since we could all do it together. Next, it was onto Camp Snoopy. Sometimes we as coaster enthusiasts take little things for granted. Like walking under Corkscrew’s inversions over the pathway, a surprise that lit up the eyes of the young ones as the coaster screamed right overhead.
A long walk to Camp Snoopy later, the kids immediately darted towards the Balloon Race as their first choice of ride. My three-year-old nephew needed someone to ride with so I volunteered to go on the lame spinning ride. Little did I know it would be one of the most memorable experiences of the day. You see, my nephew had never been to a large amusement park before. As soon as the balloons started lifting magically into the air, he started laughing his head off and didn’t stop. As we spun around and oscillated up and down, he did not stop giggling. Nothing else mattered – we were riding the greatest ride in the world then!
Next, it was time to conquer the Camp Bus with the Cousin Crew. After the ride cycle completed, the operator asked “Everyone look at the line and tell me what you see?” “It’s empty!” We replied. “That means you can ride again if you want,” he said. Next, it was a small thing, but something I think everyone will remember: I got all the kids to start chanting “One more time! One more time!” and the operator let us ride again without getting off. Shout-out to the University of Toledo student operating the Camp Bus on Friday, June 23rd.
After a few more rides including the Wilderness Run and Woodstock Express coasters, it was time to eat lunch. We tried the relatively new Farmhouse Kitchen and Grill. I ordered the steak and thought it was good but everyone else in my party seemed to have ordered the chicken tenders and hated it, especially the high prices.
Some of us snuck a ride on Cedar Creek Mine Ride while the others were still finishing up lunch. Then we all rode the steam train (still burns coal!) and Snake River Expedition as a group. Since nap time was approaching, my younger brother and sister took the three youngest kids home to rest, leaving a party of six adults plus Henry and Nora.
Finally, it was time to do the coaster enthusiast thing and get my Wild Mouse credit. We split our party up with four adults getting two rides on Gatekeeper and one on Windseeker while Henry, Nora, and my brother-in-law waited in a roughly 25 minute long line for Cedar Point’s newest coaster. I was a bit apprehensive about the spinning aspect as I get dizzy easily. However, with a balanced car (adults on the sides, kids in the middle) we didn’t spin too much. We spent most of the ride going sideways or backwards. Overall, I thought it was a fun ride! Sadly, we did not sit in the cheese car.
Wild Mouse was the third and final coaster Nora could ride, being just over 42 inches tall. The coaster is a welcome addition indeed. But I would argue Cedar Point could still use more rides for the 36 – 48in audience, especially ones that don’t spin.
As our time was starting to grow short, my sister-in-law asked me, “What’s the best ride at Cedar Point?” My response: “If you only ride one adult roller coaster, it has to be Steel Vengeance.” We made it a priority to get on it. The sign tantalizingly promised a mere 15-minute wait, but the reality proved quite different. Time stretched, teasing our anticipation as the minutes ticked by, expanding the wait to a seemingly endless 50 minutes.. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law had never experienced the insanity of an RMC coaster, and here they were, assigned to the last row on one of the most absurd rides on the planet. Their reactions were priceless. They were absolutely blown away.
We’re not spending any money on souvenirs.
That was my mindset heading into the day. We had already spent money on tickets, parking, and a small fortune on food. We didn’t need to spend any more money on magnets or Christmas ornaments. But that was before Henry rode Millennium Force.
Throughout the day, Henry had warmed up with rides on Wilderness, Woodstock, Cedar Creek, Wild Mouse, and the 78 foot tall Blue Streak. The tallest roller coaster Henry had ridden to this point was the 122 foot Shivering Timbers at Michigan’s Adventure last summer. We could have continued to warm up on Gemini and Magnum but the other adults wanted to go for the big one, the currently sixth tallest roller coaster in the world, which surprisingly only has a 48 inch height requirement.
I think this was a case where Henry didn’t fully comprehend what he was about to do. He’s not as familiar with Cedar Point as he is with Kings Island, his last visit being five years ago. Since someone had to wait with Nora, he had a choice to ride with mom or dad and he’s a momma’s boy so I got stuck holding all the bags. I thought for sure I’d be seeing them walking back out the entrance.
But he did it! They said he looked absolutely terrified and barely spoke or moved a muscle, but Henry rode the world’s first giga coaster. I can’t fathom riding Millennium Force at nine years old. They didn’t even have giga coasters when I was that age. I was 15 when I rode the Force, the year that it opened. The feeling of fear soon turned into pride, knowing he’d be able to tell all his friends that he rode the mighty Millennium Force!
If you know anything about Henry it’s that he loves LEGO. They’re not LEGO, but Cedar Point has a number of LEGO-esque models of roller coaster cars. As soon as Henry laid eyes on the Millennium Force lead car set I knew I wasn’t going to say no.
Now this is the type of souvenir I love. The one that has a special memory associated with it. Not only did we have the shared experience of building it together, but every time Henry looks at that LEGO-like model, it will transport him back to this day, reliving the exhilaration, the awe-inspiring heights, and the sheer triumph over fear.
We capped off the night with back-to-back front row walk-on rides on Valravn (friendly reminder to keep your mouth closed unless you want to shallow some mayflies) followed by the Summerbration show as the “goodnight kiss.”
Overall, I had an incredible day at Cedar Point. It really was the perfect combination of sharing new experiences with the youngest while also still being able to ride the best big coasters with family who had never been before. And that’s what amusement parks are for.
Cedar Point Videos
Below are some short clips of the Summerbration! show at Cedar Point as well as a few highlights from our day. I didn’t film too much because I was just enjoying myself, caught up in the moment.
My Final Ride Count
Rides that I went on (in order) where * = new to me:
- Cadillac Cars
- Balloon Ride*
- Camp Bus
- Camp Bus
- Woodstock Express
- Cedar Creek Mine Ride
- Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad
- Snake River Expedition*
- Wild Mouse *
- Blue Streak
- Sky Ride
- Millennium Force (parent swap)
- Steel Vengeance
- Steel Vengeance (parent swap)
- Wilderness Run
- Magnum XL-200
Others in our part also rode Gatekeeper x2, Windseeker, Raptor, Charlie Brown’s Wind Up, Kite Eating Tree, Lake Erie Eagles, Monster, and Peanuts 500. I kept track using a notes on my phone then later entered them into my Coaster Counter spreadsheet.
What’s your favorite family memory at Cedar Point? Let me know in the comments below!