The Cedar Point Touring Plan for Wimps

Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, Cedar Point amusement park was spoken of in mythical proportions.  Well, maybe not quite Homer-esque, more like…  “Dude! The coasters are AMAAAAZING at Cedar Point!”  It wasn’t until I graduated high school I finally made the pilgrimage to this roller coaster mecca.  But visiting once, I was hooked, and we became regular Cedar Point park-goers throughout the 90’s.  Alas, eventually we moved, and had not returned since 1999.

We now have kids, two girls (ages 11 & 14) who are theme park experts, and I couldn’t wait to take them to “America’s Roller Coast” – named Best Amusement Park in the World for 14 consecutive years by Amusement Today.  As we drove down the Cedar Point peninsula and glimpsed the steel coaster track arching into the sky, I heard squeals from the backseat.  But wait, I listened closely and heard, “I’m not riding that in a million years!”  Whaaa?  Oh no, what’s a Dad to do?  Keep reading for more of our day at the Roller Coaster Capital of the World.

Image courtesy of Cedar Point © 2012 Cedar Fair Parks

“That looks scary,” Maggie (age 14) said.  Alright, let’s find out which coaster is freaking her out, and we can just avoid that particular ride.  Could it be Top Thrill Dragster standing 420 feet tall and hitting 120 miles per hour twice during the ride, or the 310 foot tall giant Millennium Force that was the culprit?  “What looks scary Maggie?” I asked gently.  “All of it,” she replied, “I’m not riding any of those.”  OK, this could be problematic.  Quick, Dad to the rescue, “that’s OK, you don’t have to ride anything you don’t want to,” and with that the Cedar Point touring plan for wimps was born.

Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not calling my daughter a wimp.  I’d read the Parent’s Guide to Prepare Kids for Roller Coasters, and I wasn’t name-calling to get her to attempt the big coasters.  In fact, we joked at our touring plan throughout the day.  However, even if we never sat in the seat of a “Giga-Coaster,” there was still plenty for our family to do.  We grabbed a park map, hopped on the Sky Ride, and sketched out our day.  First up was Iron Dragon, a 25 year old suspended coaster that glides through the trees and over a misty pool.  This was always one of my favorite attractions, there was no wait, and the girls enjoyed the smooth, swinging, and swaying ride.

Next, we jumped onto the Cedar Point and Lake Erie Railroad, and made our way to Mean Streak – a wooden roller coaster with an inferiority complex next to Cedar Point’s steel titans because it attempted to buck, and jar, and rattle the teeth out of our heads.  That said, when I asked the girls what ride they liked the most, Mean Streak was right near the top of the list.

Throughout the afternoon we caught the Summer Daze show (I had to explain to the girls what a mufflehead was), rode Gemini and the Cedar Creek Mine Ride before we needed to head out for the afternoon.  We were staying at the Great Wolf Lodge, the girls needed to keep their manicure appointment at Scooops Spa, and we all needed a break from an unrelenting summer sun.  We’d be back.

After dinner we came back for more rides including Disaster Transport and Corkscrew, and the Luminosity celebration and dance party.  An over-stimulating wonder, that should not be missed, Luminosity was a 40 minute show filled with singers, musicians, dancers, aerial acrobats, lights, lasers, pyrotechnics, and ending with a DJ dance party.  Whew!  It was an over-the-top spectacular, that ranks with the best shows I’ve ever seen in a theme park.  It was fantastic, and the whole family loved it – a perfect end to the day.  Let’s hope they bring it back for future seasons.

As we were walking out, I said to the girls, “look, there’s no wait for Magnum XL-200.  Want to give it a try?”  Even after all our coasters throughout the day, they were still not interested.  That’s OK, we ended up riding 6 different coasters, and never had more than a 10 minute wait for any of them.  Some of these rides, like Mean Streak, would be headline attractions at our local amusement park, and we still walked right to the front of the queue.  All-in-all, I’d say our Cedar Point Touring Plan for wimps was a huge success, everyone left the day with a smile on their face, and who knows, maybe next year we’ll come back for Cedar Point’s newest record breaking coaster, Gatekeeper.  Hey, you never know.

For more photos of our visit to Cedar Point, click here or on any of the images in the gallery below.

Disclosure – Adventures by Daddy was hosted by Cedar Point and received complimentary admission in exchange for this post.  However all opinions expressed are those of the author’s.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.