Cedar Point to open May 15

Cedar Point opens for the season May 15. This post first passes along information from Cedar Point about what's new this year, then my opinion on camping at one of the most popular amusement parks on the planet.

SANDUSKY, Ohio – Giant coasters, live shows and special activities will highlight Opening Weekend at Cedar Point when the Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park/resort opens for its 141st season on Saturday, May 15.

The reigning “Best Amusement Park in the World,” Cedar Point’s rides and roller coasters will be complemented by special live music throughout the weekend, an opportunity to win a John Deere lawn mower and an all-you-can-eat meal and ticket combo on Sunday afternoon.

With 74 rides, including 17 roller coasters, no one has more rides and more coasters than Cedar Point. Its Big Three coasters include the relentless Maverick, the 120-mph Top Thrill Dragster and the 310-foot-tall Millennium Force, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this summer. There are also plenty of other guest favorites including the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad, the Giant Wheel Ferris wheel, three traditional carousels and four kids’ areas including Camp Snoopy and Planet Snoopy.

The park’s newest addition, the Shoot the Rapids water ride, is expected to be in operation for the Memorial Day Weekend beginning Saturday, May 29. Located along the Frontier Trail, the $10.5 million water ride will feature two hills, a dark tunnel, canyon walls with spraying water and a grand finale that will send boats skimming across churning rapids.

In between rides, guests will be able to watch some of the park’s award-winning live entertainment. Tropical Heat, Island Beat, a new show in the Red Garter Saloon, will feature the hits of Jimmy Buffett and Gloria Estefan, while Charlie Brown’s Funtime Frolics will be performed in Camp Snoopy. Four other new shows will open later in the summer.

Other special activities at the park during its Opening Weekend include:

• On Saturday, the Ohio State University Spring Athletic Band will perform the National Anthem at 9 a.m. The band will also march along the midway and perform near the Iron Dragon and WildCat roller coasters at 1:30 p.m.

• Beginning Opening Day through Father’s Day, Sunday, June 20, guests can register to win a new X324 or z445 John Deere lawn mower. Entry forms can be obtained at Cedar Point’s Guest Services, the Town Hall Museum or by mail. For more information, please visit cedarpoint.com.

• On Sunday (May 16), The Undeserving will perform three shows at the Jack Aldrich Theatre (formerly the Centennial Theatre) at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The four-man band, which originates from Northwest Ohio has recently garnered some national attention when its song, Something to Hope for, was used in commercials for the American Idol television show.

• The park will also hold an all-you-can-eat Picnic in the Park meal featuring broiled Johnsonville Brats, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, cookies, ice cream and assorted Pepsi beverages. The picnic will be held in the Coral Courtyard from 4-6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online at cedarpoint.com or at the park’s admission gates.

• Through the end of May, Pick-a-Date tickets for a June visit can be purchased online at cedarpoint.com for only $29.99, a savings of $16 per ticket! Pick-a-Date tickets can be used with an upgrade to regular price for a visit to Cedar Point on any other 2010 operating date.

All of Cedar Point’s resort properties will open for the season on Friday, May 14. New Build-Your-Own Packages will be available throughout the season. Resort guests also qualify for Early Entry and can enter the park one hour before it opens to the public.
Cedar Point will open for the summer on Saturday, May 15 and will be open every day through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6. The park will reopen on Sunday, Sept. 12 and will be the headquarters for the Revolution3 triathlon. The park will also host HalloWeekends 14 on Friday nights, Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 17 through Oct. 31.

For additional information about the 2010 operating season, guests can log on to cedarpoint.com or call the park’s general information line at 419.627.2350.

RV Camping in Camper Village at Cedar Point.

First off, for us camping at Cedar Point — or any amusement park for that matter — is different than camping most anywhere else. We camp there for convenience, and nothing else. If you are expecting a state parks-like camping experience, you will be extremely disappointed.

Camper Village is divided into two sections: the Chippewa Circle (sites 1-112) and the Circle "B" (sites 113-224).

The Chippewa Circle is a million times better than the Circle "B". The sites are grassy and more spacious, you're closer to the swimming pool and this is where the full-hookup, pull-through sites are located. If you have a big rig, you'll want the Chippewa Circle.

The Circle "B" section is a parking lot, especially on weekends. The Circle "B" section of Camper Village (the concentric circles on the map, near Soak City water park) is tight and well-used. The bathrooms are probably as clean as they can be, given the amount of use they receive. In some cases, there's barely enough space to roll out your awning before you hit the camper next to you. However, the sites are level. We prefer the outer circle sites because you don't have someone behind you.

However, if you're like us and you only intend on sleeping there because you're going to spend all morning, day and night at either Cedar Point amusement park or Soak City water park, then the Circle "B" section fits the bill.

The main benefits to Camper's Village are it's only steps away from the water park and a side gate entrance into the amusement park, you get inside the parks an hour early and you get a $16.99 discount on daily admission (brings it down to $29). It's also nice to eat a healthy lunch at the camper (vs. over-priced fried foods inside the park). And when it rains, like it did for us last year, you can wait it out in the camper rather than fight for cover with thousands of other people.

Two dump stations and water are available. Ground fires are not permitted, although a grill (and picnic table) are at each site. Bikes are not allowed.

Bottom line: The Chippewa Circle section is better, but the Circle "B" section is fine, provided you have the right expectations.

• $83 full hookup, pull-through
• $78 full hookup, back-in
• $63 electric only, pull-through
• $58 electric only, back-in
(Note: A number of park admission discounts are available for campers. For details click here.)
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My family (wife and three kids, sometimes the dog) and I have been RV campers since 2007. We own a 2000 Trail-Lite B22 Bantam hybrid, our tow vehicle is a 2006 Trailblazer LT EXT (5.3 V8 with 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio), and our setup includes the Equalizer sway controller. Looking to upgrade the camper in the near future, but until then we get out 2-3 times a month in season.