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Lines At Parks Compared to Cedar Point


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Hey Everybody,

 

I'm from the Detroit/Windsor area, so Cedar Point is pretty much the only major amusement park I've visited (unless you count Boblo Island which closed about 20 years ago). I love the selection of roller coasters at Cedar Point but I really hate spending the day waiting in line. I haven't gone since Maverick or Gatekeeper were added, but the last time I went, 2 hour waits for Millennium Force, Raptor and Mantis were the norm. Top Thrill Dragster typically approached 3 hours. This was generally in mid May on a weekday. I plan to visit again this year but will for sure purchase a Fast Lane pass.

 

Most of you guys have obviously been to far more parks than I have, so I'm just curious how the lines compare at other major theme parks. I'm mainly interested in parks that have a large variety of roller coasters. Take the 6 Flags properties for example. How do their lineups compare to Cedar Point? What about Canada's Wonderland?

 

I guess my question is, are Ceder Points lines the norm at just about any theme park, or do most other parks have better lines?

 

I'm just wondering if I should plan on booking a trip elsewhere this year or if I should stick to Cedar Point.

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I've been to Cedar Point nine times, and is my favourite park. Every time they've done a fine job with efficiency, especially considering their large collection of attractions. The longest lines have rarely exceeded an hour for me. I'd say you have it pretty good where you are right now.

 

If you're looking to explore, Kennywood is 2ish hours past Cedar Point, and is a real treat if you're into small traditional parks. The longest I've had to wait for Phantom's Revenge or Sky Rocket was 45 mins if that. I recommend it.

 

Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We went to Cedar Point on a weekday in the summer this year and Millennum Force, Raptor, Dragster, Maverick and Gatekeeper were all over an hour (Raptor and Gatekeeper were 2 hours + in the morning), but we were okay with that since we were there for 3 days and Raptor and Gatekeeper had shorter lines later on.

 

I would say that Great Adventure is a little better, but not much. El Toro, Kingda Ka, Green Lantern and Superman are typically 45 minutes to an hour on summer days, Nitro, Sky Screamer and Batman are usually about 30 minutes. Safari Off Road Adventure can be anywhere from 1-3 hours.

 

Hershey gets pretty long lines as well, but they have a skip the line program so it's no big deal. If lines bother you that much I highly suggest taking advantage of the skip the line programs because even though they're a little pricey if you're going to Hershey and Great Adventure all the way from Detroit it's a minimal expense compared to the cost of the trip and it will make a world of difference.

 

By the way if you're looking for a great park with manageable waits I'll suggest the same thing I suggest to someone on this forum pretty much every day... Knoebels! Knoebels is the solution to all of life's problems.

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etr102 -

 

I've had good luck with SFGAd when visiting twice during the week over the past few years - my last time in August I only had time to visit on a Saturday and, as the saying goes, do not go on a Saturday! I'd say those lines were unbearable, very slow operations, and worse than 'long lines' I've experienced at CP...I do live nearby CP as well and am thankful for the short drive.

 

I haven't seen the long lines a few folks have mentioned at Hersheypark when visiting a few times - if anything, Fahrenheit you should hit first as that did have a long line all day when i was there last (come back in the evening for it again).

 

Knoebels and Kennywood would be my recommendations as well if you are heading out east - I recently did a Great Adventure, Hershey Park, BGW, and KD trip and had very little lines at all 4 parks - the longest wait was the super slow loading Superman flyer at SFGAd.

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Great Adventure wait times can vary a lot. If you go early in the season especially on a Sunday or a weekday before schools let out, it usually isn't crowded, same with Sundays in September (before Fright Fest starts) and Friday nights in September and October. Those Friday nights are one of my favorite times of the year to go to the park since crowds are already low and many of the people there are in line for the trails/mazes so the rides are usually 0 - 10 minute waits.

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I'm not very observant, I just realized you're the same person who asked about taking an east coast trip yesterday to which I responded with the same thing... go to Knoebels. How come yesterday you only wanted to go to Cedar Fair parks but today you're wondering about Great Adventure and Hershey? Is it a different trip or are you changing the plans? If it's the latter then I think it's a good choice. It would be a shame to pass up parks like Great Adventure and Hershey since you'll be close by.

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I'm not very observant, I just realized you're the same person who asked about taking an east coast trip yesterday to which I responded with the same thing... go to Knoebels. How come yesterday you only wanted to go to Cedar Fair parks but today you're wondering about Great Adventure and Hershey? Is it a different trip or are you changing the plans? If it's the latter then I think it's a good choice. It would be a shame to pass up parks like Great Adventure and Hershey since you'll be close by.

 

My apologies for that. Being the noob and starting multiple threads is probably frowned upon. I guess my best answer is that I'm in my very early stages of planning my summer trip and I'm weighing all the options. Not only am I new to this board but I'm new to the hobby as well. As mentioned, I've been to CP many times, but other than 1 trip to Canada's Wonderland about 12 years ago, I've never really traveled to the rest of the great theme parks we have in the Midwest/East Coast. I guess when it comes down to it, I really don't know a whole lot about the various parks within reasonable driving distance, so I'm trying to learn/research as much as I can. I'll most likely do the 'Cedar Fair Parks' trip that I mentioned in the other thread, but I'm just trying to decide if I want to spend a little more and stray outside of the CF chain.

 

I must say though the members of this board are easily the friendliest of any online community I've encountered. I'm a member of many baseball/hockey message boards and when somebody presents an opposing opinion they are jumped all over. This board, everybody seems to be very happy to listen to and discuss everyone else's opinions and ideas. I notice that coaster enthusiasts have a language all of their own with many acronyms. I'm able to pick up on much of it based on the context, but if I could make one suggestion, it would be a sticky thread that serves as a glossary of all the terms and acronyms used regularly on here.

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I'm not very observant, I just realized you're the same person who asked about taking an east coast trip yesterday to which I responded with the same thing... go to Knoebels. How come yesterday you only wanted to go to Cedar Fair parks but today you're wondering about Great Adventure and Hershey? Is it a different trip or are you changing the plans? If it's the latter then I think it's a good choice. It would be a shame to pass up parks like Great Adventure and Hershey since you'll be close by.

 

My apologies for that. Being the noob and starting multiple threads is probably frowned upon.

 

Oh no I didn't mean that at all... I was just hoping to get an idea of what you had in mind for the trip which is why I asked if it were still a Cedar Fair only trip. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we love to see new posters and new coaster enthusiasts on this board. Welcome aboard.

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Intimidator305 at Kings Dominion rarely has more than a 20 minute wait. it's just about a walk-on most weekdays! i think it's because of a few factors -- one, it is actually too intense for a significant number of visitors, at least for repeated rides. two, it is back in a somewhat secluded corner of the park -- a bit of a dead end. three, it's got great capacity.

 

Volcano on the other hand ... 2 hours or more is routine. that's due to extremely poor throughput, though, and maybe also the fact that it is in a more central area of the park.

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While you may experience shorter lines and wait times at other parks, I can pretty much guarantee you will not encounter another non-Disney park that moves lines like Cedar Point does. While I may be a bit biased as a ride op at Millennium Force, we basically have two things on our mind here--safety and capacity. Granted, merging in Fast Lane users does add an unfortunate amount of time to the waits on the major coasters, but we do our absolute best to get as many people on our rides as possible--every train, every hour, every day.

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Thank you for all the hard work. I have always said to my friends that the ride OPs at the Point are some of the most efficient anywhere and most other parks in the US need to take lessons from the Point. Yes, the lines may be long, but the crews really do generally work their hinds off. It really is amazing at times.

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I appreciate the info and suggestion.

 

Just curious, how do the lines at a park such as Six Flags: Great Adventure compare to Cedar Point? Roughly the same, or is one typically worse than the other?

Depending on the day Great Adventure can be fine, or it can be absolutely brutal. It all depends what day you catch the ops on.

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I can pretty much guarantee you will not encounter another non-Disney park that moves lines like Cedar Point does

 

I almost didn't respond because over the last few days I can't shut up about this park and you're all going to think I must work for them or something but... again, Knoebels. This is nothing against the Cedar Point crews, they're amazing and they have a lot more checks they need to do because it's regulated by the park and they need to check seatbelts as well as lap bars on the coasters but Knoebels dispatches trains on Phoenix at an amazing pace... and they're really just as fast on their flats too.

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Oh absolutely. And Phoenix doesn't even have individual lap bars. There's honestly almost nothing for them to check and because of that they can unload, load and dispatch a train in less than a minute. When they've been running 2 trains I don't think I've ever seen them stack them. The train is always long gone from the station and usually about 1/2 way up the lift by the time the other one gets back.

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It really depends on when you go to a park. I have been to Hersheypark, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags America, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Cedar Point, Knoebels, Kennywood, Kings Island, and both Universal Studios when all had 2-3 hour waits. Then there were times I went and did not wait for anything. It really depends on the park, attraction, weather conditions, if school is in session, etc. Any park can be crowded just as much as any park can be dead. Every park has a off season/time of the year. I went to all of the major west coast parks this past April and Six Flags MM, CGA, Gilroy Gardens, and Knotts had almost no waits. On the other hand Disneyland, Six Flags DK, Santa Cruz Boadrdwalk and Universal Studios were packed.

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Its no question that Saturday is the worst day to visit any theme park. The last time I visited SFOG was a few years ago and it during Emory Universitys nighttime private event (My boyfriend at the time worked at Emory Hospital and im always down for a free trip to Six Flags!) The lines were unbelievably long that night too.

 

The first coaster we rode was Dare Devil Dive and we waited like an hour. Great ride BTW and the line moved at an acceptable rate during our que. Goliath was closed that entire night and I think that had something to do with the lines being long at the other rides. Even the Ninja had a line backed into the que house! I didnt even ride SMUF because the line was so long. Needless to say Dare Devil Dive was the icon of that trip.

 

I've always gone to SFOG on Sundays and ive never been disappointed. Any former SFOG employee knows that Sunday and Wednesday are the 2 best days to go. Any day during the week (during weekly operation) is better than a Saturday but Wednesday beats the rest.

 

I've never been to Cedar Point but if I do plan a trip to Ohio, I already know to plan my CP trip for a Sunday or a Wednesday. Lol. The same goes for Six Flags Great Adventure.

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Of the major parks I have been to, Cedar Point usually has longer lines on average in terms of physical length, but Cedar Point does excel at moving them well. Efficiency is on the mind of every major ride's crew at all times. I will tell you from experience working a coaster with a short interval at Cedar Point that they will push efficiency at the expense of consistently enforcing rules and guest service. I learned quickly that enforcing rules like requiring guests to remove loose articles like hats and glasses after they have secured restrains comes only when its convenient. Then when you have time to enforce the rules on the next train, you get chewed out by a guest because, "I saw others wearing glasses without straps riding." In terms of interacting with guests, you have to be short with people by default. Being short with people often times comes off as rude, but you can't go into a detailed, explanation of rules or park procedures for more than a couple seconds or you will be holding the rest of the crew. You do not want to be labeled at the crew member who is always last to position even if you are following the rules right to the book.

 

A particular example of the ways CP moves guests efficiently is on Magnum. I had it verified several times that they will give you an "operational" if the ride sets up meaning all three trains stack due to you not being fast enough. Getting one operational is one fourth of the way to being fired. Anyone who has worked any ride in their lifetime can tell you that most slowdowns that cause all of the ride's trains to stack is usually caused by a guest. Typically a slow down like this is something along the lines of a guest refusing to put away a phone or camera, an exceptionally sized guest not wanting to leave, or an instance where more than one guest does something like not buckling a seatbelt which slows down the restraint checking progress considerably. In other words, your job security can be affected by your luck with guests.

 

I'm not sure if there is a better way to move guests other than being short in interactions and not enforcing some rules when they become inconvenient to enforce. I am not saying that Cedar Point is absolutely dangerous or generally rude to guests, but from what I experienced you have to cut some corners on the fine details to stay as fast as CP expects.

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Anyone who has worked any ride in their lifetime can tell you that most slowdowns that cause all of the ride's trains to stack is usually caused by a guest. Typically a slow down like this is something along the lines of a guest refusing to put away a phone or camera, an exceptionally sized guest not wanting to leave, or an instance where more than one guest does something like not buckling a seatbelt which slows down the restraint checking progress considerably. In other words, your job security can be affected by your luck with guests.

 

This right here!!!

 

GASM is well known for that main brake at the end of the ride. If there is a train still in the station, the train behind it slams into the main brake and its not fun at all. My supervisors used to get on me about loading the trains faster but it wasn't my crew that was slowing down the loading process. Theres nothing worse than a heavyset person shifting their weight in the seat so that the lap bar locks down. I had to deal with this atleast 5 times a day and all I can say is ugh! Hats were also a big problem because guests used to always lose their hats during the back half of the ride, and the land back there is very muddy which meant that I wasnt going back there for a track walk at the end of the night. (Say bye bye to your hat because you aint gon see it again). Some guests thoufht they were slick, sitting on their hats until the train left the station and then putting it back on their heads once the train hit the lift... they obviously didn't think about that Lift Stop button which I pressed faithfully.

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While you may experience shorter lines and wait times at other parks, I can pretty much guarantee you will not encounter another non-Disney park that moves lines like Cedar Point does. While I may be a bit biased as a ride op at Millennium Force, we basically have two things on our mind here--safety and capacity. Granted, merging in Fast Lane users does add an unfortunate amount of time to the waits on the major coasters, but we do our absolute best to get as many people on our rides as possible--every train, every hour, every day.

 

I completely agree and have said this before that CP has some of the best (if not, THE best) ride op's this short of Disney.

 

Most are extremely efficient, pleasant, polite, helpful, humorous and a lot of fun to be around. I've been going to this park for almost 30 years and that is the one area where they seem to consistently blow away most other theme parks that I have visited during that time frame.

 

Yes, I have had experiences with cranky ride op's or vending attendants at CP, but there always seems to be a majority lean towards a fun vibe with the ride op's at the park and they certainly deserve kudos for that.

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IMO, Cedar Point has some of the longest, but quickest moving lines of any park I have been to. While other parks like Hershey may be less busy, operations are usually worse. I have noticed this at most other parks (aside from say Universal, Disney, etc...) and we always talk about how spoiled we are with CP. As long as you avoid the BUSY peak days at CP, you are generally looking at 45min max waits for most everything. With good timing and planning, usually far less.

 

BGT has some of the worst operations out of any park I can remember... Each time I go its usually painfully slow everywhere, even on dead days. Our "should have been" 5-minute wait on Gwazi was a half hour due to the triple-check-super-slow-op system they have. How do you stack 2-train operation on a ride like that? Its LONG.

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I have to agree about Gwazi. I have never seen such painfully slow loading and unloading operations anywhere. I guess they want to make the entire experience from the loading to the actual ride to have a toally imersive painful experience. However, I really don't know what happened from the first days it was open. It originally ran with three trains per side, but that

didn't last very long. A car from one of the now extra trains sit at the entrance to the ride, for photo ops or test seats? I guess?

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