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My Cedar Point Coaster Campout Experience


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So, way back in January Cedar Point announced their first ever "Coaster Campout". We entered the lottery for a chance to participate and did not get an immediate response and thought we were out of luck. Apparently, just the grassy area was filled up and other areas on the concrete were opened up and we were given one of those. Initially not thrilled about camping on concrete - we were still ecstatic to be in the park for the event.

 

Fast forward almost 6 months and it was finally here! My family and I are city slickers so camping is definitely roughing it for us - love the outdoors but prefer to do my sleeping indoors. But this was different - this was about living out that hypothetical question - wouldn't it be awesome to sleep overnight INSIDE the park?!?! Being as there are accommodations so close to the park - it may not seem so special - but was it ever!

 

We knew it would be a long day / night - so we ended up getting to the park around 2:30 PM. We got our lanyards, Coaster Campout blanket (with free french fry voucher attached!) and of course our general camp location. We were surprised that we got bumped to the grassy area - due to some folks cancelling and/or them tweaking the camp site after the initial setup. However it happened we were grateful!

 

We rode a few rides and walked through Frontier Town to see all the signs for early closure of many of the rides for our big event! We of course also stuffed our faces with the complimentary dinner at Point Pavilion. Before we knew it it was time to get our gear and line up for camp assignment - we ended up lining up about 8:15 PM (we were too excited) and were first for the grassy area. We got a great spot - and pulling our gear through the crowded Gemini Midway brought a lot of odd looks (well more than usual) and is something we will never forget.

 

Now the real the fun (or work) began of getting our home base all setup - for us non-seasoned campers this was a bit of a chore - but eventually I pitched a tent at Cedar Point! The reality that we were actually going to be spending the night INSIDE the park really sank in once we saw that tent there. We helped a fellow coaster enthusiast fill his air mattress and milled about until the 10:30 PM kick-off. I think a good bit of folks went back to the main park as the park was open until midnight - my kids actually wanted to also but we insisted that we stay back in the camp out area - after all this is what we had been waiting for - and a lot of people put in a lot of work for us to be there this night.

 

I'm the only Skyhawk fan in the group (I know, right?) so I grabbed 2 quick rides - we did one quick ride on Mine Ride - and spent the rest of the time marathoning Maverick - I think we got 7 or so rides in. It was now midnight so ERT had ended. We snacked on some pre-made s'mores the park provided and headed back to our tent. We got situated and tried to get some rest.

 

Overall the crowd was very well-behaved - a few loud moments here and there plus a crying baby for a bit (yes - a crying baby) but quiet time was not until 2 AM so no big deal. Counselor Clark made an announcement around 12:30ish (his words) that all campers should head back to their tents at this time - and not to feed the animals - or something to that effect. I think I finally started to doze off around 1:30 AM - then around 1:50AM came the obnoxiously loud "spooky" music - this went on what seemed like 5 minutes or so - at the end a creepy female voice told some scary tale that I don't quite recall - and then it went quiet - for about 10 seconds. Next we heard a witch cackling and werewolves howling and the occasional scream... Peeking out of our tent revealed what appeared to be a very aged Little Red Riding Hood and her Big Bad Wolf. They were going tent to tent making noises and brushing against the tents - I found it all quite humorous. Then we saw a few cowboy like skeleton creatures that were also about causing havoc. People were popping out of their tents with that WTF look on their faces - it was a sight to behold. Though I did overhear some not so happy folks who thought the stunt had gone too far - actually saw one group take down their tent and leave!!! But a majority of the folks ate it up! I mean, we are camping - so there should be a scary story in there somewhere (maybe not at 2 AM) Plus we are in an amusement park - which is all about F-U-N.

 

My son and I made it out to the midway where the 6 or so monsters were gladly taking pictures with folks - we got ours and soon they were gone - back into the night. It took a little while for camp to settle down again - but around 2:30 or so all was quiet - except the faint sound of a few rain drops - which ended up being a steady rain the rest of the night...

 

I don't think I every fully fell asleep - just dozed off for a while here and there - partly from the rain / partly from the excitement / partly from being over-tired.

 

Tony tweeted around 6:30 AM that ERT was still on for MF and GateKeeper at 7 AM (even though it was still a light rain at that time). He also played Reveille over the loud speaker shortly there after - which was no surprise - and told us to wipe the drool off our faces and grab our fanny packs for ERT - and that we needed to have all gear cleared out by 8:30 AM. My son and I headed up to MF - we got there right at 7 AM. (He was thrilled to get to ride MF in his pajamas!) There was only 1 person in front of us. Seems that most folks had enough and proceeded to take down their tents ASAP and most likely headed up to eat breakfast. We got a quick 5 rides in and then headed back to pack up. We then made the long, wet trip back to the Soak City parking lot to drop our gear - then another long, wet trip up to Coaster's for breakfast. We saw Tony on our way and thanked him for the "unforgettable night" - which he replied he had no idea what we were talking about - coolly playing off our surprise visitors last night.

 

We then headed over to GateKeeper - which was now down - but soon came up right before 9AM - we waited 2 trains for the front row, left wing - and that's how we ended our crazy coaster campout experience - a day / night / morning we will NEVER forget!

 

tl/dr - Surpassed all expectations - had a wonderful time - hoping this happens again! Thanks so much to Cedar Point for having this event!

 

 

Edit: Added PDF of flyer sent to overnight campers.

 

Here's some pics of our great experience...

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The wait was finally over! It was time for Coaster Campout!

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They added this fun retro barrel outside the Trail Tavern - check the pics around the Breakers hotel for the barrel's history

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Caught this fun little show on the Frontier Trail

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No one was hurt in the performing of this skit

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It will close because I will be sleeping there tonight!

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Even Mine Ride will get some ERT love tonight

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Noticed this sign on the Antique Cars covered bridge - What is a neat creature?

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I will be back Maveshark!

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Took a spin on the Giant Wheel - makes for some great views

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Maybe not the best B&M but certainly one of the most photogenic

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Going wide on the Giant Wheel's support structure (are they spokes?)

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Look what showed up behind Dragster

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Night has fallen and tent city has formed around the Antique Cars infield

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This nomadic group will be gone in less than 12 hours

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This is command central for us tonight

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It was fun to walk along the track and try to balance on the steel rail - it was not easy!

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More of the new neighborhood

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We hung our Coaster Campout banner proudly on our tent - made with real felt!

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I wanted to walk through this tunnel soooo bad

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Camp Rou - Our first clue that we were in for a surprise tonight!

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The pre-ERT gathering for Maverick - as you can see we pretty much had the back of the park to ourselves

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Looking back to our new home

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This road is closed tonight

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It really was a surreal and beautiful sight to see all these tents

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The gazebo was even in fine form for the event

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Yes we did pretend to drive the cars on the track

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I actually got to spend the night inside the Best Amusement Park in the World! (well at least according to some)

2014_Coaster_Campout_Guidelines.pdf

2014 Coaster Campout Guidelines

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The blanket and lanyards we received for the event

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The registration tent outside Magnum's gate

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These cards were handed back with your receipt at the parking booth to let everyone know of the early ride closures

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A spy shot of tonight's camp grounds

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Here's some pics I snapped with my phone of the monsters as they were making there way out

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More monster selfies

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My son at I about 2:30 AM w. pajamas, red-eye and monsters! What a night!

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This tag was attached to each blanket for some free fries

Edited by Jantzen73
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That a GREAT report from what looks like a fantastic event! I hope they continue to do this event annually!

 

Though I did overhear some not so happy folks who thought the stunt had gone too far - actually saw one group take down their tent and leave!!! But a majority of the folks ate it up! I mean, we are camping - so there should be a scary story in there somewhere (maybe not at 2 AM) Plus we are in an amusement park - which is all about F-U-N.

Ugh, why does there have to be one or two in every group? Honestly, my feeling on this is - What an AWESOME AWESOME thing to do! It's hilarious, it's FUN, and it's exactly what I would have done as well! When you're at a park from dusk till dawn, you'd think there would be a surprise or two thrown in! Kudos to the management for having fun with it!

 

And for those that don't like it? Let them leave! No one wants party poopers around anyway. (Any idea what group they were with?) I hope this hasn't discouraged them from doing something like that a future events.

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

--Robb

Edited by robbalvey
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And for those that don't like it? Let them leave! No one wants party poopers around anyway. (Any idea what group they were with?) I hope this hasn't discouraged them from doing something like that a future events.

 

--Robb

 

Thanks for the positive feedback Robb!

 

I do not know which group they were with - they were at the opposite end of the Antique Car infield. My wife saw them packing up on her way out to the restrooms and as she walked by heard the Cedar Point police office radio to someone that there were guests exiting the park.

 

Again - I'd say there were a few isolated incidents - and most were ok once they realized it was all part of the experience. I mean there were folks complaining of the soda selection at the FREE dinner - some people are never happy.

 

Don't worry - we had a blast and did our best to represent Club TPR!

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I mean there were folks complaining of the soda selection at the FREE dinner - some people are never happy.

Welcome to our Scandi Trip!

 

--Robb "No matter how much you do for people, someone will always bitch about something..." Alvey

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I mean there were folks complaining of the soda selection at the FREE dinner - some people are never happy.

Welcome to our Scandi Trip!

 

--Robb "No matter how much you do for people, someone will always bitch about something..." Alvey

 

I went (and I gotta figure how to post something and I had a different experience) and there were at least 5 people that were complaining about the freshness of the food. It's nice that Cedar Point actually made some real, good food that was for FREE.

 

Sorry about the Scandi Trip complaniers. -

 

Maybe something Rougarou related is coming next year (dark ride similar to WMG?)

 

I throwing guesses, but this park is simply the BEST!

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So did I read that correctly that some people attended the event, but didn't camp? I'm not sure I understand the point of why someone would register for a coaster "campout" and not camp.

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Robb,

 

They limited the amount of campers and also did a lottery for the spots available. We signed up and just did the ERT at night and left afterward. There was quite a few people who didn't sleep over but attended.

 

BTW, the haunt thing sounded awesome. It would have been hilarious!

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^ I'm still confused. So there were spots available WITHOUT being able to camp? Or was everyone that got in allowed to camp, but some just chose not to?

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That a GREAT report from what looks like a fantastic event! I hope they continue to do this event annually!

 

Though I did overhear some not so happy folks who thought the stunt had gone too far - actually saw one group take down their tent and leave!!! But a majority of the folks ate it up! I mean, we are camping - so there should be a scary story in there somewhere (maybe not at 2 AM) Plus we are in an amusement park - which is all about F-U-N.

Ugh, why does there have to be one or two in every group? Honestly, my feeling on this is - What an AWESOME AWESOME thing to do! It's hilarious, it's FUN, and it's exactly what I would have done as well! When you're at a park from dusk till dawn, you'd think there would be a surprise or two thrown in! Kudos to the management for having fun with it!

 

And for those that don't like it? Let them leave! No one wants party poopers around anyway. (Any idea what group they were with?) I hope this hasn't discouraged them from doing something like that a future events.

 

Thanks for sharing!

 

--Robb

 

they are probably the same person when you go to a NFL game, and your team is on D, and on a 3rd and long, and every is standing and makes noise, this bum is behind you yelling to sit down, or down in front.

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My girlfriend and I camped out and had a blast. The 2am wake up call was hilarious. They shook our tent and yelled, "we're coming in to get you!"

 

Cedar Point did an amazing job and really did there best to make this a fun event. Even received a free blanket! I hope that despite the complaining by a few that the majority of us really enjoyed this FREE event.

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they are probably the same person when you go to a NFL game, and your team is on D, and on a 3rd and long, and every is standing and makes noise, this bum is behind you yelling to sit down, or down in front.

 

What does an NFL game have to do with a camp out at Cedar Point? I have season tickets to an NFL team and HATE IT when inconsiderate people just stand in front, obnoxiously blocking everyone. And yes, everyone around me who's a season ticket regular shares the same view. It's usually the drunk morons that don't remember anything and end up getting kicked out. No, not everyone wants to stand, and you can still be plenty loud from your seat.

 

Either way, that has nothing to do with the "party poopers" being talked about here. People these days are getting so sensitive, and can't take a joke anymore. What did they expect when signing up, a 5-star accommodation and pampering experience? I'd like to see how they handle camping out in actual woods.

 

 

Glad to hear it was an overall great time, though! Seems like a really fun event!

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That event looks AWESOME! I have seen it all over the internet.. but what is that Macaroni sculpture behind TTD? An advertisement for Kraft Mac + Cheese or is it for something else?

 

It is just an advertisement piece for Kraft Macaroni and Cheese - it was at Kings Island previously - Giant Noodle Article

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^ I'm still confused. So there were spots available WITHOUT being able to camp? Or was everyone that got in allowed to camp, but some just chose not to?

 

There were limited spots available to camp out overnight - they did not release numbers but I saw a sheet at sign in that said there were 159 camp spots. Each spot could hold up to 4 campers - some had 1 - most had 3 or 4. When registration opened in late January folks had to submit their information via CP's website to enter a "lottery" for chance to be selected for a camp site. In early February they contacted folks that had "won" the camp site lottery.

 

You could also register for this event as a non-camper for yourself and one other guest. You could have access to all activities (ERT, food, etc.) but would not have access to the camp areas (well except to walk back to Maverick for ERT). They also posted special hotel rates for those that either did not, or were not, selected to camp. I believe this registration was open until sometime in April.

 

Being a first time event I think CP wanted to keep manageable crowd numbers and see how it went. They could have squeezed some more tents back there - but it would have taken away from the experience I think.

 

The only thing participants had to pay for was parking. As long as the registrant was a coaster club member, themselves and their guest(s) were given free entry to Cedar Point Friday and Saturday - on top of all the activities for the Coaster Campout event. I have free parking with my Cedar Fair Platinum pass - so all this cost me was the price of gas and some tolls. The event itself was priceless to me and my family.

 

Also wanted to add that it looked like everyone did a great job cleaning up their camp sites - I saw no trash in the grassy areas (and we were one of the last tents out) So kudos to folks for being respectful. Again 95% of the attendee's were excited and grateful for the hospitality of the park. Already looking forward to the event next year!

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