So last Tuesday, I decided to take Thursday off work and take my kids to King's Island. (Their dad bought them passes, they go all the time). I hopped on the website to see their hours and.... CLOSED?!?! Ugh.
So I called my mom in Sandusky and told her we might come up to Cedar Point instead. I checked the park hours on the website, and they were open from 10am-8pm. My mom told me she could get $25 tickets with parking included (Cleveland Clinic employee special). Sold! It was a complete surprise for my kids. I had them up at 630 and on the road at 7am. Got to my mom's a little after 1030. Got the tickets from her, and headed to the park.
Hardly any Ohio cars in the parking lot! That's because school has started in most of Ohio. In fact, Thursday was the first day for the Sandusky school systems. My kids don't start until next week though, hence the last minute day trip. We were in the front gate by 11:15. Told my older 2 kids that they can ride whatever, but they have to stay near the exit when done and my 6 year old and I would come get them.
The older 2 (12 and 10) hit Gatekeeper first. My littlest and I opted to do a few Kiddie land rides (carousel, helicopters). We reunited and did the Calypso (will always be the Calypso in my book, but it's the Tiki Twirl now), and the bumper cars together. Then we headed over to the Blue Streak. My youngest is like 48.5" tall, so just barely tall enough for some of the coasters. The Blue Streak was going to be our test to see how well she likes bigger coasters over "kiddie rides." She did awesome and loved it. Which now meant the rest of the day would be for "big" rides!
After the BS, my kids, who are bottomless pits, decided they were hungry. I usually get an all day meal pass, where you can eat every 90 minutes. But the kids begged for the Midway Buffet. I've never eaten there in all my years, so we went for it. Eh. It was ok. A decent deal if you're a big eater or famished. But my kids each ate one and a half plates and a dessert, and I'm trying to diet. So it wasn't ideal. But it worked. It was about 130 at this point, so I told them this was their big meal of the day, and we'd get a snack or something later. After eating, we hopped on the Buckets (Skyride), and then headed for Iron Dragon. Baby steps to make sure my baby was ok with bigger coasters. And she loved it.
At this point, we decided to go big or go home. Millennium Force or bust! Waited about 25 minutes. I was happy that my fat butt can still fit into their ridiculously small seatbelts. I rode with my hand on my daughter's chest the whole time. And halfway through, she decided to start singing "I Believe I Can Fly" It. Was. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After MF, we headed down Frontier Trail. The petting zoo area is so cool, so much more than it used to be. Goats, llamas, alpacas, camels, sheep, emus, pigs, donkeys, ponies, and cows. We had so much fun! All of the baby goats snuck out of the big pen at one point and it was near chaos. The greedy cow ate my daughter's cup of hay in one bite, and the attendant gave her another cup for free.
Next we hit up Snake River Falls. Kids wanted to do Thunder Canyon, which was a hard NO. (The smell of the water, ugh). But SRF was an ok compromise. The 3 of them rode that one alone. They rode that then we hit the Swings twice to help dry out. My big butt does NOT fit into the swings seats anymore. Oh, they made a plan to swamp me with hugs after SRF and transfer their wetness to me. Goody. I asked the older 2 if they wanted to wait for Maverick, they said no. So we decided to take a look at the new Steel Vengeance. The line wait time said 30 minutes, so my older 2 headed into the line. Littlest and I went back and did the Mine Ride, and the Cadillac cars. It had been about 20 minutes at this point, so we went to the exit of the SV and waited about 20 minutes. Still no kids. So we went back and did the Mine Ride again and the swings again. Went back to the SV exit. Still no kids. I'm annoyed by now. As we are leaving the area, I looked at the ride wait time again - OMG, we messed up. The 30 minute wait time was for the Fast Lane pass holders! The regular line was 1.5 hours!!! By some miracle, my son chose this exact moment to walk out of the ENTRANCE of the ride. He had to go to the bathroom and couldn't wait, let alone ride a big coaster. So I ran him to the nearest bathroom. He elected NOT to get back in line for the SV, which meant my oldest daughter was there by herself. EEK. My son said they were no where near the end of the line when he left, so I took the kids and did the Mine Ride again (hard to pass up when it's a walk on), and then went to Gemini.
Finished Gemini and went back to SV, and STILL NO OLDEST DAUGHTER. We hopped on the train to ride the loop, about 15 minutes round trip. As the train is pulling out of the station, my daughter appears coming through the SV exit next door. Of course. She was waiting for us when we got back on the train though, luckily. I'm glad we all feel safe enough at CP to do this kind of thing. Reunited, and we went back to Gemini. After that we got fro-yo, which was super expensive (build your own, cost determined by weight). Then we went to the Magnum and rode it 3 times. By then, it was 730. The park closed at 8, so we headed for the front of the park. Youngest was tall enough for Corkscrew, but it's a pretty rough ride and I'm not ready for her to do inversions yet. We loved watching the Dragster riders, and my youngest can't wait to do the "launch ride." It'll be a few more years before she's tall enough though.
We got to ride Cedar Downs, which is one of my favorites. We were passing the entrance to Raptor at 7:58, and my older 2 elected to go ride real quick. Youngest took that opportunity to go chase gulls and run through the water fountain splash pad thing. Older 2 were done riding after 20 minutes. We headed back to my mom's so youngest could change out of her stinky wet clothes. Then we headed back south to Chillicothe and got home just before midnight.
Some extra things:
Bathroom cleanliness was lacking! Get it together CP! I don't know if it was because it's late in the season and help is harder to find or what.
I also only saw 2 Sweepers the entire day. Back in the day, we saw one every 10 minutes.
I got an all day drink wristband, and it was well worth it. $15 for as much to drink as I wanted, and no souvenir cup to carry around. I regret not getting the all day food pass.
CP has jumped on the "no straws" bandwagon. As an environmentalist, I say "Yea!" As a mom, I say "Ugh, I'm going to spill this without a lid and a straw." They give them to you if you ask.
Tons of foreign workers, and I say AWESOME. We saw workers with nametags that had places like Lithuania, Brazil, Ecuador, Romania, Italy, India, Spain, and Argentina on them. Their English was perfect, and they were really enthusiastic about their work.
Due to the end of the season, not ALL the food stands, drink stands, and games were open.
It was an absolutely perfect day. We didn't ride EVERYTHING, but we rode a lot. (Still haven't done Valravn). The weather couldn't have been more perfect. And the ride wait times, aside from SV, were awesome.
In the last 2 years, we've gone on an early June Friday, and a late August Thursday, and both were perfect for ride wait times. Weather was warmer in August though.