For those of you who have a long layover in Cleveland or even Pittsburgh, I insist that you visit one of the best amusement parks on the planet called Cedar Point. Cedar Point is an amusement park built in the late part of the 19th century with many new fairground rides. It's been upgraded yearly over the last century and has evolved into the great park it is today. When I first went there, I was 8 years old in 1978 and I fell in love with the place then. Thirty two years later, I can't put into words how AWESOME it is.
I lived in Tampa for a number of years and made friends with someone who also loves amusement parks. I used to fly back to Tampa for many miniature vacations each year. Part of that included visits to Busch Gardens. The place includes many amazing roller coasters. It was great to learn I had a friend who loves roller coasters as much as I do. I convinced him that if he loved the coasters in Tampa so much, he had to visit Cedar Point. He decided to join me last May.
Well, in spite of the fact that the park is 45 minutes from Cleveland, I learned that trying to Non-rev to Cleveland is quite difficult. With that in mind, I suggested we meet in Pittsburgh, spend the night there and drive to Cedar Point the next day. We met in Pittsburgh and I showed him the best that 'the burgh' has to offer (I'll elaborate on that in a later article). The next day we made the 2 hour drive to Sandusky where Cedar Point is located.
Money Saving Tip: If you go and spend the night, stay at one of the hotels owned by Cedar Point (either The Hotel Breakers or Sandcastle Suites). They do charge a bit more for their rooms than the chains that are located near, but they'll give you 2 complimentary passes to the park (worth about $90) which means the hotel only costs around $30. You also get to enter the park an hour earlier than the rest of the guests.
Cedar Point is a family-oriented amusement park that has something for all members of the family (live musical shows, children's funfair rides, tame rides), but the park is world-famous for its roller coasters. As a matter of fact, it's ranked as one of the best park on the planet due to its AWESOME coasters. As a matter of fact, several of their coasters are on the coaster enthusiast's list of the top ten coasters in the world.
My favorite roller coaster is still the Magnum XL-200. It was the first coaster to break the 200 foot barrier. It was so well received that a new category was created for it "Super Coaster." It has no loops to it and was designed as a steel version of all of the wooden coasters we grew up loving. It's fast, high and fun. It was built in 1989 and changed the entire coaster game.
Next coaster we have the Millenium Force. That coaster was built in 2000 and was the tallest and fastest coaster ever created when it opened. I love it because it has a pulley system that takes you up to the top of its 320 foot hill in under 10 seconds. When you're at the top of that coaster, you have a beautiful view of Lake Erie and the surrounding area. The best part is that it is fast and smooth. You go fast, go around many twists and turns, but the coaster is not rough and you can just enjoy the intense speed.
Cedar Point has many more coasters, but I'll limit this article to three. My third is Top Thrill Dragster. "The Dragster" has a hill that's around 400 foot tall. You're in a train and it's propelled by a system that's used to propel jets off of aircraft carriers. You literally go from 0 to 200 in under 3 seconds. The sheer power slams you into your seat, you instantly feel the g-force and are shot up to the top of that 400 ft hill in a matter of seconds. Before you have time to catch your breath, you find yourself at the top of the hill. On the plunge down, you spiral down a spiral loop and plunge straight down 300 feet. The coaster has a magnetic system that slows it and eventually stops it. It's fast and intense. The only downside is that the ride lasts less than 30 seconds, but it's the wildest 30 seconds of your life.
Sadly, the park is built on Lake Erie and is subjected to intense Great Lakes winters. When I was a kid, the park closed on Labor Day. However, about 20 years ago, they decided to do bonus weekends called Halloween Weekends. The park is open Friday, Saturday, and Sundays from the middle of September until the end of October/Halloween. They decorate the park in a Halloween theme complete with people wearing costumes and terrific haunted houses. They do an amazing job of bringing the true spirit of Halloween to its patrons. Between the cool, crisp air; the changing leaves and the decorations, even the most elderly amusement park enthusiast will feel like they're a kid again. The water park is closed at that time, but the lines are pretty short. Rides you'd have to wait 2 hrs to go on during the summer only take 15 to 30 minutes. I've been going to the park since 1978, but the Halloween season is now my favorite time to visit the park. As I type this, the regular season is winding down, but I hope everyone will take advantage of those bonus weekends, I promise you'll have a blast.
So there you have it: My favorite amusement park in a nut-shell (I've been to many over the years and can assure you it's THE BEST). And there are different kinds of rides which is similar with http://funfairgroundrides.com/ If you have a few days off or are on a long layover, I strongly suggest you visit that amazing amusement park. You DEFINITELY won't be disappointed.
Joel after a 15 year career in the technology business pursued his childhood dream of working as a member of a flight crew in the airline industry. Joel is the co founder of Airline Devils [http://airlinedevils.com/] a social network for airline employees that offers industry information, entertainment, and information airline career opportunities. He is a regular contributor there to the feature articles and career resources section. for more information or to join the conversation visit Airlinedevils.com [http://airlinedevils.com/] http://funfairgroundrides.com/funfair-rides-for-sale/
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