WORTH THE DRIVE: Summer fun gets underway at Cedar Point

Sandusky amusement park opens for the 2022 season on May 7.

From a family-friendly riverboat ride to a scream-inducing coaster that drops riders 300 feet at 93 miles per hour – Cedar Point runs the gamut from mild to wild.

A Lake Erie summertime destination for more than 150 years, Cedar Point opens the 2022 season on Saturday, May 7. While record-breaking roller coasters have long been a hallmark of the Sandusky, Ohio park, recent additions have focused on the overall guest experience and this year is no exception.

“While Cedar Point is known world-wide for its roller coasters, it’s the experience of the park that brings guests back year after year,” said Tony Clark, Cedar Point director of communications. “To improve that overall experience, we have to make investments in all areas of the park, so you won’t always see a new ride or roller coaster every year.”

With 70 rides – Steel Vengeance, Maverick and Millennium Force to name a few – Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, live entertainment, a mile-long beach and unique accommodations, Cedar Point has evolved into a vacation destination.

“When the resort started, it was just a day trip to the beach,” Clark said. “With everything that’s been added since 1870, you truly can’t experience it all in one day. It’s not all about rides. It’s about relaxing on our Lake Erie beach. It’s about ‘first ride’ experiences for kids and seeing their faces light up. It’s about a visually stunning parade that celebrates our rich history. It’s about new and different food and events. And, most importantly, it’s about family tradition and sharing fun moments and experiences with each other.”

With the experience in mind, Cedar Point has added new accommodation and dining options and is bringing back crowd-pleasing events.

Stay and play

Cedar Point is unveiling a pair of newly-remodeled resorts – Castaway Bay and Sawmill Creek.

Caribbean-inspired Castaway Bay indoor waterpark hotel is reopening with a cast of fun animal characters and uniquely themed spaces. The family fun includes new dining options, activities like mini bowling and the always popular indoor waterpark. Located just off the Cedar Point peninsula, Castaway Bay opens Friday. For information, visit www.castawaybay.com.

Nestled among 200 acres of woodlands, and just a 10-minute drive from Cedar Point, the renovated Sawmill Creek is welcoming guests back on June 13. With an 18-hole Tom Fazio-designed golf course, Lake Erie Marina, resort pool and new dining options, Sawmill Creek is more than a hotel. For information, visit www.sawmillcreekresort.com.

Castaway Bay and Sawmill Creek guests enjoy the benefits of staying at a Cedar Point Resort property, including early entry to the park and special ticket packages.

Relax and refuel

New in-park dining options run the gamut from char-roasted steak to customized hot dog creations.

The Farmhouse Kitchen & Grill, located in the heart of Frontier Town, will serve up a variety of tasty options including house-made chili, char-roasted flank steak, roasted seasonal vegetables, and a cast iron brownie a-la-mode. Outdoor seating and live entertainment will round out the dining experience.

From mini hotdogs to footlongs, Derby Dogs – located next to the historic Cedar Downs Racing Derby – has you covered. And the hotdogs can be covered any way you like – bacon, onions, chili, sauerkraut, coleslaw, jalapenos, tomatoes, shredded cheese and even avocado.

Celebrate the season

The popular Celebrate Cedar Point Parade & Spectacular returns to the midway this summer with festive music, floats and costumed characters starting on June 24. The party continues in Celebration Plaza with a high-energy stage show and pyrotechnics.

Other popular events like the Frontier Festival (May 26-June 19) and Cedar Point Nights (July 29-Aug. 21) also return to add to the vacation vibe with live music, family-friendly games, and unique dining options.

New this year is Wild Frontier Nights – an exclusive, adults-only after-hours party on June 3, 4, 10 and 11 from 9 p.m. to midnight. Wild Frontier Nights event tickets include unlimited rides on Steel Vengeance, Maverick, Skyhawk, Wave Swinger and Mine Ride. Enjoy the Country & Rock Wild West Street Party, exclusive food and beverage offerings – like Juicy Lucy mac & cheese sliders, cookie dough egg rolls and cowgirl margaritas – as well as a premium bourbon experience. Add in axe throwing, bull riding and non-stop entertainment for a full night of fun.

“There really is no place like Cedar Point,” Clark said.

Cedar Point – Know Before You Go

Opening day: May 7 (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Memorial Day); Cedar Point Shores opens May 27

Tickets: Daily admission tickets are $45 (plus taxes and fees) when purchased online at www.cedarpoint.com. Platinum passes offer unlimited visits to all Cedar Fair parks including Kings Island and Cedar Point.

Cashless: Cedar Point will be cashless for all transactions within the park and its surrounding properties this season. Guests who bring cash to the park can convert it into a prepaid debit card that can be used anywhere – not just inside the park – with no fees.

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