Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary one-night stay and park tickets by Cedar Point. All of the fun was an easy joint endeavor.
Can you feel it? Summer is finally here. I can practically hear the Phineas and Ferb song “Summer (Where Do We Begin)” right now. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go take a listen.) I’m looking forward to the slower pace, no homework, and more travel just as much as the kids are.
Of course, here in Ohio, one of the first signs of summer is our amusement parks opening for the season. My family loves to go to Cedar Point to enjoy the warm days with the cool Lake Erie breezes. Cedar Point opened on May 9, and while I wasn’t able to get there for opening weekend, we did have the chance to go recently.
One of the big changes this year is the renovation of their main resort hotel, Hotel Breakers.
While I’ve always enjoyed previous stays at Hotel Breakers, I must confess that the hotel was starting to show its age (it opened in 1905 as the “largest and greatest hotel on the Great Lakes.”), so a facelift was in order. However, Cedar Point went far beyond a facelift and gave the hotel a complete deluxe makeover! Everything was renovated to make the space brighter, more open, and more modern, while still retaining the rich history of this landmark.
The lobby has a fresh new look, but I love the classic carousel horses on display, too.
There’s a new area off of the lobby that has a Starbucks and a bar on the ground level, and a spectacular view up into the other floors.
The rooms still have a lakeside aura to them, but the color scheme and decor has been updated to incorporate the amusement park feel, too. I especially love the bright colored comforters and the photo headboards on the beds!
It wasn’t just the inside that was new. There was a new exterior, too. The front entrance has been completed remodeled to remove the steps, and on the other side, new pools and lounging areas were installed, overlooking the beach and Lake Erie. We spent some time in the evening around the firepits, enjoying the cool breeze after the rain passed through.
Other amenities include two pools and Jacuzzis, access to the Cedar Point Beach and Boardwalk, a gift shop, arcade, exercise room, three restaurants, Early Entry (access to some of the biggest rides and coasters before the park opens to the general public), discounted Cedar Point admission tickets, complimentary Wi-Fi and the comfort and convenience of staying right next to the rides and roller coasters of Cedar Point.
It was easy to fall asleep that night in the luxuriously comfortable beds, dreaming of the fun we had planned for the next day.
One of the best perks of staying at a Cedar Point hotel for us is the one-hour early access for resort guests. That extra hour gives you the chance to ride some of the best rides with very short lines. I don’t think we waited longer than 5 minutes for any ride during that first hour.
We were there right at the start of early entry, and chose GateKeeper as our first ride of the day. Mira was FINALLY tall enough to ride it, and Cordy decided she was now brave enough to take on this winged coaster.
The result? They both loved it! GateKeeper is two years old now, but still one of the best roller coasters out there. It’s a smooth ride that provides a thrilling experience – and it’s a slightly different experience depending on which side you sit on. You’ll have to decide for yourself which side is the best ride, but for me, I prefer the left wing.
Mira is still our Ride Warrior, willing to try just about any ride out there. But while she isn’t lacking in bravery, she is lacking in height. She was just a tiny bit too short to go on the new ride for this year, Rougarou. The standing coaster Mantis was taken down last year, and Rougarou rose from its ashes. It uses the same track, but has a new floorless design, with your feet dangling a short distance from the track below you. (There’s a video at the link I provided.) The height requirement for that one is 54″ though, and she’s about 53.75″. She took the news well, however, and can’t wait to ride it later this year when she’s grown just a bit more.
She wasn’t about to give up on new-to-her coasters, though, and so we did seek out the other 52″ coaster, Maverick. This is probably the twistiest coaster we’ve ever experienced. The name fits well – it feels like being on an out-of-control horse trying to twist and kick and throw you off. But it’s a lot of fun, too, including a speed launch up into a hill mid-ride. Even Cordy liked this one, and I was sure she would be too scared to ride it.
While we love the thrill rides, there’s a lot more at Cedar Point than just roller coasters. There are plenty of family rides that are still exciting without being too scary, like Pipe Scream or the Monster in the Midway area.
And there are plenty of classic rides, too, like the Tilt-a-Whirl, Antique Cars, and the historic (1920) racing carousel, Cedar Downs.
For the little kids, there are plenty of little rides made just for them in Planet Snoopy, Camp Snoopy, and Kiddie Kingdom. Our two have now outgrown most of the kid rides in these areas (sniff, sniff), but thankfully they haven’t outgrown their love of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang.
They also haven’t outgrown the petting zoo in Frontiertown. But really, who wouldn’t want to pet fluffy animals?
It was so much fun to spend the weekend at Cedar Point again! There’s simply too much to do in a single day, so each visit gives us the chance to try something new or revisit old favorites.
We’re already planning a return in the fall for HalloWeekends and BloggyCon (and stay at Hotel Breakers again, of course), and Aaron and I will be there again in two weeks for the Cedar Point Run & Ride 10k and Half Marathon. I’m hoping that we can find time in our busy summer schedules to sneak another family visit in before school starts again.
It’s easy to day-trip a visit to Cedar Point from Columbus, or spend a few days there for a relaxing, close-to-home staycation. Check out their website for hotel reservations and deals on tickets to the roller coaster capital of the world!