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Every summer, millions of people make their way to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. Cedar Point season passes are a great way to save money on visits to the amusement park. Costs for season passes, however, can seem overwhelming, especially for a family of 6 like mine. Let’s explore the different season pass options offered by Cedar Point to see if they make sense for your family.
Cedar Point Updates for 2022
Cedar Point continues to monitor the pandemic situation. Park policies may change throughout the 2022 season to reflect what’s going on in the area. Always head to the official Cedar Point website for the most current park news and policies.
The park announced several updates coming to the park in 2022. Some of the updates include:
- Cashless System: Cedar Point announced that it would be switching to a completely cashless system for the 2022 season. Instead of using cash, park guests can use debit cards, credit cards, or digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. For those who don’t have a card or digital wallet, you can convert cash to a prepaid debit card at Cash-to-Card Kiosks located within the park. Prepaid debit cards from the kiosk require a $5 minimum deposit and you can add up to $500 on a card. One thing to keep in mind if you choose this option is that you could end up paying fees if you don’t use the card regularly. After 92 days of inactivity, you’ll get charged a $3.95 inactivity fee each month.
- No More Wicked Twister: During the offseason, Wicked Twister, one of the park’s coasters and a fan favorite, was removed from the park. There’s no official word on what could possibly take its spot in the park, but I’m sure they have plans in the works.
- Castaway Bay Update: Indoor Waterpark Castaway Bay was closed while Cedar Fair updated and renovated the property. The property opens back up in Spring 2022.
- No Top Thrill Dragster: Cedar Point announced that fan-favorite Top Thrill Dragster would be closed for the 2022 season. The popular ride was shut down during the 2021 season following an accident.
My Cedar Point History
Growing up, I couldn’t wait for school to end and summer to arrive. One of the main reasons for this was that our family would make the trek to visit Cedar Point and Kings Island almost every summer. These were some of my greatest memories as a kid, which formed my love for roller coasters, thrill rides, and all of the other sights and sounds that amusement parks offer.
My family moved to the Cleveland area the summer before I entered 8th grade. With a short one-hour drive, we found ourselves visiting more than once a summer. In high school, my brother and I bought season passes one summer and spent most free weekends in Sandusky riding The Magnum XL-200 and The Mean Streak. I even spent one summer during college working at Cedar Point in the games and arcades department. I still remember Jimmy King, a member of The University of Michigan’s “Fab 5”, playing skee ball while I scrambled to find something for him to autograph (I ended up finding a napkin). This was also the summer that the Cedar Point main arcade featured a virtual reality experience.
What is Cedar Point?
Cedar Point is an amusement park located in Sandusky, Ohio. The park is home to a collection of 72 rides, including 18 roller coasters, three kids’ areas, live entertainment, dining, and a gorgeous mile-long beach on Lake Erie. It’s easy to see why Cedar Point is the best destination for family fun.
The Ohio-based amusement park also features several hotels and resorts, and Lighthouse Point, a new campground with luxury
Cedar Point Season Passes
Cedar Point offers two season pass options for its guests along with one option for younger children. Perks vary for each pass.
The Gold Pass is Cedar Point’s entry-level season pass. It gives guests unlimited visits to the park every public operating throughout the season. Some of the perks that come with the Cedar Point Gold Pass include:
- Unlimited visits to Cedar Point Shores water park
- Bring-a-friend discounts
- Exclusive ride nights
- In-park food and merchandise discounts
- Free parking
- One hour early entry into Cedar Point and 30-minutes early entry into Cedar Point Shores.
The Cedar Point Gold Pass costs $135 per person (plus
If you are looking for more perks, Cedar Point’s Platinum Pass is the choice for you. On top of all the same perks you love with the Gold Pass, the Platinum Pass also gets you:
- Admission to all Cedar Fair Parks (There are 11 parks!)
- Fast Lane Plus discount
- Resort and hotel discounts
Currently, Platinum Passes cost $230 (plus
Cedar Point’s Summer Pass is the newest pass option. Currently available for $99, the Summer Pass provides unlimited park visits through Labor Day. It also includes free parking for the season. What’s not included, however, is admission to Cedar Point Shores waterpark.
Cedar Point Season Pass Add-Ons
On top of season pass options, Cedar Point also has some add-ons, for an extra charge, to enhance your visits all season.
Cedar Point Dining and Beverage Add-Ons
Cedar Point also offers several add-on packages to enhance your park experience. Some of the add-ons are for the entire season, while others are for individual visits to the park. All Season Dining plans give visitors lunch and dinner with every visit.
Below is the pricing for Cedar Point’s add-on packages for the 2021 season:
- All-Season Dining: From $135
- All-Season Drink Refills: $34.99
- All-Season Drink Bottle: $34.99
- All-Season FunPix: $64.99
- All-Season Fast Lane Plus: From $899
Pre-K Passes at Cedar Point
Cedar Point ]also offers a free Pre-K Passes to children ages three to five. This is great for families with multiple kids within different age groups. The older kids can still enjoy the attractions and you don’t have to pay or find a sitter for the little ones. Note that all children ages 2 and under are always free at Cedar Point and don’t require a pass.
Cedar Point Season Passes Perks
The perks mentioned above are just a snapshot of some of the perks associated with season passes at Cedar Point. What perks are most valuable, especially to a family of six like ours? While we love all the extra bonuses, it’s all about the rides and the food! The fact that you can get early access to the park and access to Cedar Point Shores anytime makes the Platinum Pass a great deal. The fact that we can get in free to all of the other Cedar Fair parks, like Kings Island, Michigan’s Adventure, and Dorney Park is incredible!
The dining plans sound like a great deal, although we generally pack our own lunch to save money at Cedar Point. We just take a break and head out to the picnic area outside the main gate and then re-enter the park. Then, we dine at one of Cedar Point’s restaurants for dinner. But if you don’t care to pack your own food or don’t want to leave the park, check out the dining plan for your family.
Update: Cedar Point removed most of the picnic area that has been a staple outside the front of the park forever. There are only a handful of picnic tables left and usually, people leave coolers to reserve them, so good luck if you are packing a picnic lunch during your visit.
What We Love About Cedar Point Season Passes
With season passes at Cedar Point, we love all the perks that get you more time in the park. That includes early entry to the park, access to Cedar Point Shores, pass holder ride nights, and admission to other Cedar Fair amusement parks. Free parking is also extremely valuable, especially with multiple visits. Even with non-riders in the family, we get more than enough value from our season passes each year to justify including it in our budget.
What We Don’t Love About Cedar Point Season Passes
While we love Cedar Point’s season passes, many of the discounts offered we will never use. For instance, they offer a 10% discount on merchandise bought at the park, but we rarely buy any souvenirs. We tend to pack a picnic lunch and only occasionally eat in the park, so the 10% discount doesn’t provide much value. We don’t get airbrush t-shirts and we aren’t taking an antique photo. Those types of experiences are probably more popular among people only making one trip to Cedar Point per season.
The Bottom Line on Cedar Point Season Passes
When it comes to Cedar Point season passes, they are worth the cost if:
Plan to visit 3 or more times during the season
If you can get to Cedar Point more than three times during the season, you will more than get your money’s worth of rides, shows, and family fun. If you live close enough to go more than three times, even better. If you don’t plan on visiting more than a couple of times, you would be better off finding discounted individual tickets for your family.
Most of your family rides thrill rides
Cedar Point has entertainment options for people of all ages, but it’s hard to justify the cost if you have several non-riders in your family. The rollercoasters are the main attraction at Cedar Point. If most of your family isn’t going to ride rollercoasters, there are other entertainment options much cheaper than Cedar Point.
If you are going to purchase season passes to Cedar Point, Platinum Passes are the only way to go. The jump in perks between the two pass types is massive. Early entry, free parking, and access to other Cedar Fair parks are all only available with the Platinum Passes. If you are going to make the investment for season passes, you might as well spend a little more and get the full benefits.
Always check with Cedar Point for the latest info before visiting the park. The information presented above is subject to change at any time.
Cedar Point FAQs
What are Cedar Point Fast Lane passes?
Cedar Point Fast Lane passes are a premium pass you can add to your ticket to skip the lines on over 20 of Cedar Point’s most popular attractions.
Where is a Cedar Point Platinum pass valid?
Cedar Point’s Platinum Pass is valid at all Cedar Fair parks including Cedar Point, Kings Island, Michigan’s Adventure, Dorney Park, ValleyFair, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Canada’s Wonderland, California’s Great America, Knott’s Berry Farm, Worlds of Fun, and Schlitterbahn Waterparks.
Does Cedar Point have special pricing for non-riders?
No, unfortunately, there are no discounts for non-riders who are unable to (or don’t plan on) partake in amusement rides. The park features other options for non-riders, like live shows, dining, shopping, and more.
Does Cedar Point offer rainchecks?
No, Cedar Point does not offer rain checks. Depending on the specific conditions, some or all park rides may close during inclimate weather.
Can I pack my own lunch and bring it into Cedar Point?
No, guests are not permitted to bring food or drinks into the park with the exception of individual unopened water bottles and for those with special dietary needs. Cedar Point does have a large picnic shelter located outside of the main entrance. There is no public picnic area located near Cedar Point Shores Waterpark.
Does Cedar Point offer discounts for military members?
Yes, Cedar Point does offer a discount for active, retired, and honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces. You can purchase military member tickets here.
Looking For More Cedar Point Content?
Check out our other Cedar Point articles for more information and tips!
What is your favorite ride at Cedar Point and why? Let us know in the comments below!
Kevin Payne is the co-founder and budgeting and family travel enthusiast behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com.
Kevin is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance and travel. He is a regular contributor to Forbes Advisor, MoneyGeek, CreditCards.com, Credit Karma, Money Under 30, and Student Loan Planner.