I remember Cedar Point as a kid. It was almost always a family trip with my Aunts, Uncles and cousins. We would caravan down from Michigan to Ohio, slowly because Ohio cops hate Michigan drivers, Go Blue! As a kid the trip seemed like it took ten hours, but it's only about two from where I grew up. Once inside the park, my cousins and I would get together as a group, say "so-long" to the parents and hit the rides. After reluctantly meeting up for lunch, we would all race back to the rides for a fun and carefree day. Strike that, almost carefree...the only worry was who would chicken out on going on a ride first. Ahhhh, fond memories.....
So a few weeks ago I took the kids to Cedar Point to start a new era of family fun. This was a last-minute thing, so no cousins, just my kids. As I drove up to the park it all started coming back. The bridge over the water, seeing the rides getting bigger as we got closer and the kids going crazy with anticipation of getting out of the MiniVan. It was great, we walked around, hit a few coasters and although some of the rides changed, it all seemed the same. It was a good day. But somethings started to bother me. Oh no, I became an adult.
So the title of this is "Cedar Point, what happened?" Well after reading this you will probably say, nothing, it's you. You grew up and you look at things differently. Ok, I will accept that. So with that on record, here is my review and suggestions to Cedar Point. The Park overall is great and worth the $47.99 to get in. Multiply that by the number of people you have in your family and you might start to feel the pinch a little more. What did I like? The fact that I have two kids under 10 years old and there was plenty to do and I didn't feel ripped off. Camp Snoopy was a good lead in for the kids but quickly became boring as their eyes turned to bigger, faster rides. The park was clean and since we went on a Tuesday, it was not very busy. I would suggest going on an off day if you can, the lines all seemed to be 15 minutes or less. Cedar Point has really kept up with the times. They have newer coasters that are bigger and faster but they kept the classics, like "The Gemini", "Blue Streak", and "Corkscrew" which I love. Something for everyone? Yes. (http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/park/rides/index.cfm)
So why the 3.8 out of 5? Well here is what I didn't like. The food at the park was average at best and the price of the food is WAY over priced. My first question is, why are you charging 2 to 3 times as much inside the park as outside? A Subway in the park charged me $25 for 2 subs, 2 bags of chips and 2 waters, that's the $6 combo at any Subway or $12. A small bottle of water I would pay $1 at a party store cost me $3. I get it, it's a theme park but 3 times the price? You have hundreds, if not thousands of people a day going through that park, how can a party store that sees a fraction of that sell it for less? Also, the food at the restaurants is soooo average. I did have a sit down meal and the price was definitely not worth the quality or taste of the food. Again, I get it, you charge more because you can but you don't have to. I know it's not because you have to, since smaller restaurants, that see far less in a day, charge much less for the same average food. Plus you have a captive market daily! So what's my point, Cedar Point, don't rip me off simply because you can.
Second, I understand student exchange and I understand diversity but seriously, can you pick a worse situation to try to teach someone the english language? It's a park with fast and potential dangerous rides. Hire people who understand the language. I am not looking for a wordsmith or an english major to operate the rides but someone who can answer a question, not just smile and repeat what they just said. So here it is. I wanted to sit behind my kids on a ride. We were first in line and there was three of us so we all couldn't fit into one car, seems pretty simple. I said "I would like to sit behind my kids because of their age." the response "Car 9 and 18" So I said, "That across from them, I want to sit behind them". The response with a smile "Car 9 and 18" So another girl came over and said "Ok, sorry about that, take 9 and 10" and we got on the ride. I was on another ride and the girl couldn't finish the safety instructions because she could read one of the words and kept laughing. She finally shrugged her shoulders, laughed and started the ride anyway. Why? Why Cedar Point? I'm not trying to be controversial and my family is from Italy so I appreciate the value of coming to this country, but seriously, see if they understand the language before you hire them. There are literally lists of people who would love to work here and understand the language. So what's my point? Go ahead and hire exchange students, how about just not having them run a ride that spins in a circle at 35 miles an hour unless your sure they have a grasp of the english language?
So where does that leave my overall review of Cedar Point? I stick with 3.8 out of 5, which is better than good but not excellent. The Park was clean, the rides excellent, the food bad and the staff average. Do I feel old writing this? Yes. As a kid I don't remember caring about any of this. I'm sure some of the food sucked back then and some of the operators were not A team material either, I just remember the fun. So my final thoughts? I would definitely suggest you take your family there, relax and enjoy the smile on your kids faces.... then wait two weeks and complain about the money, food and customer service issues :) (http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/admission/prices/)