Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide

by Amy Loch / Jun 01, 2014 /

Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide

I'm Amy, a NEOhio Native and 3rd year Cedar Point Season Passholder. My partner Chris and I go with our two boys, Logan (8) and Quinn (6) at least once a week all summer long. This guide to Cedar Point is one way to approach the park if you want to do all the major attractions in one day. It's certainly not the only way, but it's a tried and true plan of attack.

Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide

So, without further ado:

PARKING

Don't park in the front of the park. Did you know you can tell the parking attendants you want to park in the back, by Soak City, and they will happily direct you? And the lot is never, ever full. Walk toward the soak city entrance and pass through the entrance to CP.

It is important if you're going to do this that you buy your tickets online. Tickets are not sold at the back gate. But honestly, it's never a good idea to buy tickets at the gate. They're $10 cheaper if you buy them online (more about saving money on tickets later).

MAGNUM

After you enter the park at the back gate, you'll be right by the exit of Magnum. Walk to the entrance and make this your first ride of the day. It's a fantastic first ride. I remember riding Magnum when I was 8 years old. That was 20 years ago...

At the time, it was the tallest and coolest roller coaster in the world. And we all thought we were pretty bad ass for riding it. Today it's an absolute classic and a must-ride. Magnum is a metal roller coaster with a chain lift hill. The first two hills are pretty high and then there are just a series of smaller bunny hills. The restraint bar can actually be really uncomfortable over these bunny hills if you don't sit just right when strapping in.

Some silly tips about how to do it:

Sit back in your seat with your feet outstretched and your lower vertebrae all the way up against the back of the seat. Then do the seat belt and pull back on the restraint bar. If you're leaning forward in any way when you pull that restraint bar back, it will dig into your upper thighs over every single one of the lower hills. Not fun. Magnum is a really fun ride and traditionally they have one of the funner, more talkative crews working the rides.  Height requirement is 48".

Magnum. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Magnum. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons: a_d_y_a

WITCHES' WHEEL

So after you get off Magnum walk towards the back of the park, toward witches' wheel. Ride it if you want. I don't think I need to describe a witches' wheel, do I? If you don't know what it is, google is your friend ;) If you've been on one you've been on them all. You need to be 54" tall to ride.

Witches' Wheel. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Witches' Wheel. Photo flickr creative commons: Daniel X. O'Neil

GEMINI AREA

After Witch's Wheel, walk towards the Gemini area. Its been revamped for this year since the two new rides went into that area. The coolest one is (by far) Pipe Scream. My 6yo is so excited that they finally put in something fun that he can ride (the height restriction is 42"); this ride looks kinda tame but it's fun. It spins in pretty wide circles while going over hills that are about 20 ft high, and it's a little scary because it gives the illusion that you might go over the top edge of the ride. Of course, you won't.

Pipe Scream. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Check out family rides Lake Erie Eagles and Monster while you're over there. They're both kinda standard spinny rides, simple carnival rides really but they're fun for the younger members of your group who aren't quite 48" tall yet.

Lake Erie Eagles. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide

Lake Erie Eagles

Monster. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide

Monster

Next, ride Gemini. It's a pretty mild wooden coaster. Not too jerky or steep but still fun. The gimmick of this ride is that it's a "racing" roller coaster. Two cars run side by side "racing" each other through the track. Here's the thing though, you don't WANT both cars to be running at the same time. Why? Because that means the park is busy that day and makes for long lines. And no one wants that. Enjoy the ride and don't be mad that they don't have both sides going. They only do that on crowded park days anymore. Height restriction is 48".

Gemini. Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Gemini

MEAN STREAK

After Gemini keep walking towards the back. As in ALL the way to the back. There you will find Mean Streak. The biggest wooden coaster in the park. I don't care what anyone says about this ride being jerky. I love it. It's such a LONG ride. The trick here is to make sure you sit toward the front, not the back of the train. It IS really jerky back there. Wait for the front car on this one. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. It's an older coaster so it's never busy and it makes it so much more fun! A bit of warning about these seats: they're really tiny. I am not at all a heavy woman. I'm 5'6, 160lbs and I wear a size 10/12 and my hips barely fit in these seats just because of the way they're made. If you're a bigger person, prepare yourself for the possibility that your rear end may not fit in these seats. Mine almost doesn't. Height restriction is 48".

Mean Streak. Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Mean Streak. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons: Cmedinger

MAVERICK

Anyway, after Mean Streak, go do Maverick. This is a completely different coaster experience! This ride is only a few years old and very modern in design. No chain hills, it works with magnents (don't ask me to explain the technology), and launches out of the station very quickly and never loses momentum the whole ride. Be prepared for a long wait for this one. It just can't be helped. Even on a not-busy day you may wait 45 minutes for this ride. Suck it up. It's worth it. Though, if the line stretches out of the building, over the bridge, and into the metal queue - come back later!! That means you're going to wait over an hour. Try coming back during dinner time, like between 6 and 7, and hopefully the line will have gone down. You can't miss this coaster but... the line can get scary here. The height restriction here is 52".

Maverick. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Maverick (above and below). Photos courtesy Cedar Point

Maverick.  From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

MINE RIDE

After Maverick, ride the mine ride if you want to. Honestly, we skip it. It's really not fun. No upside down, no steep hills, it's supposed to be fun because of all the loops and turns but it's just really jerky. When they decide to take something out for a new ride, I hope it's this one. The height restriction is 48".

Mine Ride.  From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Mine Ride

SKYHAWK

After that, go do SkyHawk. This is the ONLY Cedar Point ride I've never been on. I'm planning to remedy that this coming Thursday when we go. It's a lot of upside down and spinny. Looks a lot like the Texas Twister from Geauga Lake (anyone remember that?) but taller. It looks fun. I'm excited to ride. The height restriction is 48".

Skyhawk.  From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Skyhawk

SNAKE RIVER FALLS

Okay, now you have a choice - do you want to get wet? If you don't, go ahead and walk back to your car (trust me). If you do want to get wet, now is the time. It should be the middle of the day and super hot.

First up is Snake River Falls. You WILL get drenched. There are no two ways about this. Don't wear the clothes you intend to walk around in all day. Take your shoes off (you're allowed to ride barefoot). Do NOT carry any electronics onto this ride with you. I repeat: you WILL get drenched. Now that you've been properly warned, this is fun. You go over a giant hill in a big boat with 20 other people into a pool and a giant wave comes up and splashes you. If you're a non-rider, feel free to stand on the bridge where the boat lands when it comes down and you'll get soaked, too. You have to be 48" for this one.

Snake River Falls.  From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Snake River Falls. Photo Courtesy Cedar Point

THUNDER CANYON

After Snake River, head over to Thunder Canyon. If you're not a roller coaster person because of the heights, this is the ride for you. You're in floating circular tubs that go around a track. Think, lazy river set up with river rapids and waterfalls and water cannons. You can ride this ride and only get a little wet OR you can be the unlucky guy that passes right under the waterfall. The circular boats rotate the whole way around the track, so chances are at some point you WILL get dumped on. But there are no hills, no spinny, no jerky - just rapids and waterfalls. Have fun! Oh and same rule about not wearing your regular clothes and not carrying anything you don't want to get wet and ruined. You need to be 46" for this one.

A quick tip: If your child is barely 46" DO NOT have them take their shoes off before getting in line for this ride. Have them keep them on all the way through the line. Shoes give short kids a good inch and a half of height sometimes so barefoot they can't get on things. So, keep a big freezer bag in your back pocket and put your kids shoes in this before you get on the ride if they're of borderline height.

SHOOT THE RAPIDS

Proceed to Shoot the Rapids. The height requirement of this ride is also 46", so follow the same procedure for smaller kids. This is a fun ride. It's like an old timey log ride, modernized. There are several short hills and you get sprayed each time. You don't get AS soaked on this ride, but I still hate walking around in wet clothes, and you should still never take electronics on it. For inquiring minds, yes - this is the ride there was a minor incident on last year. A boat flipped over as it was coming back into the station because the water level was too high. You can bet your heiny that they're watching safety extra-super-carefully on this ride this year. We're not concerned and will ride it.

Shoot the Rapids.  From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Shoot the Rapids. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons: Rollercoasterphilosophy

BREAK TIME!

Ok - you've now done the whole back half of the park. Congrats! Head on back to your car (remember it's parked by Magnum). Remember to get your hand stamped on the way out. Change your clothes (Yes, in the car. What?! We do it) and eat the food you packed in your cooler and left in your trunk.

Wait, you didn't pack food in a cooler?! Are you a millionaire who likes terrible junky food? No, seriously, pack a lunch. The park food is ridiculously pricey (I'm talking $14 for a burger combo) and it's not even good. If you're not inclined to pack, then head over to the Friday's right outside the park; it's maybe $3 or $4 more per person than park food, but there are free refills, table service, and food that didn't come from a deep fryer. But this cuts into your park time. I strongly advise you to pack lunch!

Speaking of food, you will eventually want a treat in the park. May I suggest a funnel cake sundae? There are two places in the park to get them. Allllll the way in the front by the gate OR back in frontier town. They're about $8 and 4 people can happily share one. It's huge and tasty. Also on the subject of food, take a plain old water bottle. They will absolutely let each person in your party bring one bottle of water in with them. You can refill it at any water fountain throughout the park. We're bad in my family about drinking "unflavored" drinks. We carry a Crystal Light flavor drops bottle in a pocket. Keeps us hydrated and from spending $4 for a bottled drink.

Okay, so you've done the back half of the park, changed out of wet clothes, and eaten. Drive your car back out toward the main parking lot. Before you get there, on your right you will see the Marina. You want to pull into that lot. There's another side entrance to the park!

Cedar Point Marina, as seen from the CP Train.  From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Cedar Point Marina, as seen from the CP Train.

For this lot there IS a parking lot attendant. He may or may not stop you (we've had spotty experiences). IF he does, just tell him you want to park by Famous Dave's (it's a restaurant owned by CP at the Marina). When you park, you will be facing the back of Raptor. Walk to your left, around the administrative building. You will see employee housing on your left (big red building). Cross the road and you'll see the side gate. You can get back in with your hand stamp.

DODGEM, SCRAMBLER, SUPER HIMALAYA, SKY RIDE

You'll be right by Dodgem (the bumper cars) - go have some family fun crashing into each other! You have to be 48" to drive the car, but little kids can hop in with a parent. After you do the Dodgems, do the Scrambler and Himalaya if you're a fan of the carnival spinny rides. Then, take the sky ride to the front. Make sure to take some selfies on the sky ride. Its one of the few rides at CP that they really don't care if you use your camera on.

Dodgem and Sky Ride. https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-JQQYDTZogDU/U4pKkn3AVII/AAAAAAAAVYA/Fsw4i07m93U/s720/yellow%2520team-112.JPG

Dodgem and Sky Ride

Super Himalaya.  From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Super Himalaya

OCEAN MOTION

Once you're up at the front, ride the swinging ship if you like that sort of thing (you need to be 40" to ride). We always do it because its my 6yos favorite. Then, walk alllll the way to the front corner to do Gatekeeper.

Ocean Motion. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Ocean Motion

GATEKEEPER

Gatekeeper is CP's newest roller coaster. It's a winged coaster with GIANT loops and a really smooth ride. I would describe the thrill of this ride more in the twists and turns than any big giant hills. That doesn't make it any less fun, though. If you do this ride later in the day (at 5 or 6), there seems to be less of a line since it's all the way at the front of the park. Height requirement here is 52".

Gatekeeper. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Gatekeeper (above and below). Photos courtesy Cedar Point

Gatekeeper. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

MAXAIR

After Gatekeeper, you neeeeeeed to do MaXair. Strangely enough, I've heard a lot of coaster people are scared of this ride. I loooooooove this ride. You sit in a giant circle that rotates while you're swung back and forth up really high in the air. If you're someone who gets motion sickness, you might not like this one. I don't, so I love it! To me, its relaxing - it feels like being in a giant baby swing. But everyone seems to think I'm really strange for saying that. I encourage you to try it though. It's fun!

MaXair. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

MaXair. Photo courtesy Cedar Point

WICKED TWISTER

After Gatekeeper, go do Wicked Twister. It's the yellow one that's practically on the beach. Make sure you sit in the first few rows or the last few rows. If you sit in the middle, you won't have as much fun on this one. You're launched out of the station and up a spiral really, really fast, then you go back through the station and up a giant spiral backwards - this repeats 3 or 4 times. It's a fun, but quick ride. A piece of advice - hold onto the hand holds and sit with your head against the back of the seat. Yes, really. Otherwise your head will get jerked all around and that's no fun!

Wicked Twister. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Wicked Twister

WINDSEEKER

The exit for Wicked Twister is close to Windseeker. Windseeker is the scariest ride in the park to me. Not because of any hills, sudden drops, or twists and turns, but because you are SO HIGH and it feels so OPEN. It's an amazing ride, but it still gives me that little flop in my stomach every time I get on it. You need to be 52" tall for the restraints to fit you correctly. And you'll want them. Trust me.

I'm saying go do Windseeker now, since you're RIGHT there and it's kind out of the way, BUT if you're someone who makes it to CP even a few times a year, you MUST do it after dark sometime. The lake and all the CP lights - it's gorgeous. A cautionary tale though: Don't try to take a picture while you're up there. They WILL stop the ride and bring everyone down and give you a stern (and embarassing) talking to. No, this did not happen to me. But I watched it happen to someone else. And to be fair, it is a safety issue. If you drop your phone from 300 ft up and it hits someone, they will be seriously injured. So, enjoy the view and ignore the temptation.

Windseeker. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Windseeker

CORKSCREW

After Windseeker, head over to Corkscrew. Full disclosure, I have a love/hate relationship with this ride. It's a classic. It's the only ride my kid can go on that goes upside down and he loves it. So, I tolerate the jerkiness and the getting banged around mostly because I love my kid. If your kid isn't in love with this ride, I really don't recommend it. It's not a comfortable ride, lots of looping and twisting that aren't at all smooth and you bang your head around despite your best efforts to keep it back against the seat. This is a 48" ride.

Corkscrew. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Corkscrew

POWER TOWER

After Corkscrew, head on over to power tower. Don't even bother with the "be shot up" one. It's stupid. You want the line to be dropped. You'll sit in a harness, and go slowly up a giant tower. Count to three when you feel it lock stop at the top...annnnd prepare to be dropped. This is a super fun one if it is over quick. I wouldn't wait more than 10 minues for it, simply because it's over so fast, but if the line is short, it's fun! You need to be 52" for this.

Power Tower. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Power Tower

TOP THRILL DRAGSTER

Now you're ready to go to Dragster. I'm gonna say it. I hate Dragster. I think it's stupid. Not because I'm the least bit scared of it. I'm not, despite the fact that it needs a blinky light at the top so airplanes don't hit it (yeah, really!), but it's over SO fast. Like, 20 seconds fast! And the line is always insane for it. It's just not worth it to me. My boyfriend feels differently. It's so fast and SO high, and if you've never ridden it, it's something to do just to say you've done it. I believe it is still the tallest roller coaster in N. America and the 2nd tallest in the world. You sit in a car, with only a lap belt and some sort of magnetic/hydraulic system launches you up over an incredibly giant hill at about 75mph. It's high. Really, Really, Really High. But it's over before you really even have time to scream. The height requirement is 52".

Top Thrill Dragster. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Top Thrill Dragster

Top Thrill Dragster. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Top Thrill Dragster. Photo courtesy Cedar Point

IRON DRAGON

After Dragster, head over to Iron Dragon. Iron Dragon is a pretty mild roller coaster with hanging cars. Your feet don't dangle. The whole car hangs from a suspended track. Despite the fact that it's a more mild ride, I still think it's fun. It's the first roller coaster I ever rode, and it's still fun. Very smooth with swooping turns through a wooded area and out over a little lake. They just changed the height requirement for this ride. For over 20 yrs, it was 46" - this year they upped it to 48". My younger son is not amused.

Iron Dragon. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Iron Dragon (above and below). Photos courtesy Cedar Point

Iron Dragon. From From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

MANTIS

Mantis is the next logical choice here. Mantis is a unique concept. It's a stand up roller coaster. You actually straddle a "seat" similar to a bike seat that adjusts and then locks into place according to the height of each guest; then a shoulder harness comes over, as well. I want to like this ride. It's a neat concept. I just don't. I find it really uncomfortable to stand up while feeling the G-Forces associated with a giant loop that turns you upside down. It's one of those rides that some people really like, and some people (like me) really don't. It's worth trying. The line is almost always walk-on, so decide for yourself. You need to be 54" for Mantis.

Mantis. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Mantis

MILLENIUM FORCE

Now, onto my favorite ride in the park: Millenium - super high drops, no upside down, no jerking, super smooth ride, and gorgeous views of the lake to the left. Yes, yes, it's really high. Get over it ;). It's the best ride in the park. Go big or go home and get on it. It should be getting dark by this point. It's a way better ride in the dark. Wait for the front car if you're brave - it makes it so much cooler. And stick your hands ALL the way up. Sometimes you have to live and surrender to the experience (I have a weird emotional connection with this roller coaster). Oh, you only have to be 48" to ride this one.

Millenium Force. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Millenium Force (above and below)

Millenium Force. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

BLUE STREAK

Now, after you've ridden Millenium, walk on up and do Blue Streak, if you're so inclined. It's the oldest coaster in the park, so it's wooden and more fun than I remembered, lots of fun little bunny hills but kinda jerky. Hold on and sit toward the front. There's never a line for this one. Just go walk right on. It's roller coaster history. You have to ride it at least once :)
Blue Streak. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Blue Streak. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons: Stratosphere

RAPTOR

Last ride of the night, head over to Raptor. It should be good and dark by now and nearing closing time.

Raptor. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Raptor (above and below)

Raptor. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Insider tip

They don't close the PARK at closing time, they close the ride queue. And they usually don't do it until about 8 minutes after they're supposed to. So, if the park is scheduled to close at 10:00 and you make it to a line at 10:02, you're good to go. Hop in line. We always exploit this and pick a ride to be last ride. As you get to the end of the line, the trains won't be full. The ride hosts will say "Look to your left, if there's no one waiting in your row you may stay on the ride" - we've ridden Raptor, Mean Streak, and Maverick all many, many times in a row at the end of the night doing this strategy annnnnd Raptor is one of the most fun night rides. Lots of close turns and loops. Your feet dangle on this one, so be sure to take your shoes off!

Evening closes in at Cedar Point. From Cedar Point Roller Coaster Guide: Advice from a Local

Evening closes in at Cedar Point

 

I hope you enjoyed your day at CP! Remember, you parked on the side by Dodgem - which is super close to the exit for Raptor! I bet you'll sleep well tonight!

 

 

Other Cedar Point articles here on Wandering Educators:
The Complete Guide to Visiting Cedar Point
Disability Access at Cedar Point

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Jessie Voigts, except where noted.