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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 2023
The park has announced several updates coming to the park in 2023. Some of the updates include:
- The Boardwalk: Cedar Point’s big update for the 2023 season is the addition of The Boardwalk. The new area is located along Cedar Point Beach and will be home to a new family roller coaster, a new dining venue, and other entertainment options.
- Wild Mouse: There’s a new family coaster coming to Cedar Point. Part of the new Boardwalk, Wild Mouse featured themed cars that spin 360 degrees as you twist around the track. Every ride will look and feel different depending on how your car spins.
- Cedar Point’s Grand Pavilion: Also part of the new Boardwalk, the Grand Pavilion is a new dining venue debuting during the 2023 season. According to Cedar Point updates, “The bi-level complex will be home to a new restaurant featuring culinary items not found anywhere else in the park (plus traditional favorites), a waterfront bar for relaxation and conversation, indoor and outdoor seating, plus viewing decks with unparalleled views of Cedar Point and the Lake Erie shoreline.”
- Ride relocations: Two existing rides are moving over to complete the Boardwalk area — Matterhorn and Scrambler (now named Atomic Scrambler).
- Ride renaming: Tiki Twirl is being refreshed and renamed Calypso, honoring the former park classic.
- Top Thrill Dragster 2024 Update: No, Cedar Point is not bringing fan-favorite Top Thrill Dragster back for the 2023 season. However, the park recently announced that a reimagined version of Top Thrill Dragster will return in 2024. We’ll keep you updated as new details are released.
- Two restaurants are going away: At the Winter Chill Out Event, Cedar Point announced that Chic-Fil-A and The Mac Shack are not returning for the 2023 season.
- Forbidden Frontier is closing: Another Winter Chill Out announcement is that Forbidden Frontier, the interactive family area recently added to the park, will not reopen.
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 several season pass options for park guests. Perks and prices vary for each pass type.
Cedar Point’s Summer Pass is the newest pass option. 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.
The Gold Pass is Cedar Point’s entry-level season pass. It gives guests unlimited visits to the park 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.
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
Prestige and Prestige+ Passes
The Prestige Pass is the top tier of Cedar Point-only passes. Extra perks include unlimited Halloweekends visits, preferred parking, Millennium Club Lounge Access, and more. The Prestige+ Pass offers similar perks as the Prestige Pass but with unlimited visits to all Cedar Fair Parks.
Below is the pricing for each season pass option (before
2023 Summer Pass: $105
2023 Gold Pass: $140.00
2023 Platinum Pass: $280
Prestige Pass: $350
Prestige+ Pass: $450
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 2023 season:
- All-Season Dining: From $105
- Premium All Day Dining: $44.99
- All-Season Drink Bottle: $34.99
- Season Pass Drink Plan Paper Cup: $34.99
- All Season FunPix: $66.99
- Season Pass Fast Lane Plus: $950
Pre-K Passes at Cedar Point
FREE – Select parents of children ages three to five can register them for a free Pre-K pass for the 2023 season. Children under three don’t require a pass. To take advantage of this offer, the pass needs to be registered by August 1, 2023. This program has been revamped to require parents to have a Gold, Platinum, Prestige or Prestige+ season pass before registering up to two children for Pre-K Passes.
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, passholder 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 antique photos. Those types of experiences are probably more popular among people who only make 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 online.
Looking For More Cedar Point Content?
Check out our other Cedar Point articles for more information and tips.
How To Save Money At Cedar Point
Summer Fun at Cedar Point Shores Waterpark
Weekend Getaway to Castaway Bay
What is your favorite ride at Cedar Point and why? Let us know in the comments below.
Kevin Payne is the budgeting and family travel enthusiast behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com. He’s also the host of the Family Money Adventure Show podcast, where he helps families learn to manage their money better so they can afford to do the things they love.
Kevin is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance and travel. He is a regular contributor to USA Today, Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Fox Business, Credible, and CreditCards.com.