With 17 major roller coasters in their backyard, area residents sometimes take Cedar Point for granted.
With gas prices skyrocketing and the park officially opening for its 139th season this weekend, there's no better time to rediscover what it has to offer,said spokesman Bryan Edwards.
Edwards said the best time to visit the park is during the early summer and weekends in early September when it tends to be less crowded than in July and August.
"Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are usually the least crowded days to visit, while Saturday tends to be the busiest day," he said.
To enhance the experience for families, park officials are unveiling a new children's area called Planet Snoopy.
The area features seven rides, including a miniature teacup-style ride, train, bouncing tower, spinning balloons, rocket ships and a crazy sub ride.
In addition to Planet Snoopy, a new extreme sporting venue is sure to excite visitors who seek more thrills.
"All Wheels Extreme" is a new, high-energy BMX-style show debuting this year with skilled stunt bikers, skateboarders and rollerbladers doing flips, tricks and stunts.
To beat the heat during the mid-day sun, guests should visit The Good Time Theatre, a 900-seat, climate-controlled venue presenting the new PEANUTS ice show, "Snoopy's Big Bow Wow!"
In the Centennial Theatre, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" will feature live singers and dancers in a spectacular stage show celebrating music of the 50s and 60s, while the Red Garter Saloon will showcase an all-new musical revue.
Those who want to escape the excitement of the park for a more peaceful experience can stroll down the Cedar Point Boardwalk, which stretches around the northern perimeter of the peninsula and winds past the Hotel Breakers, Cedar Point Beach, Lake Erie, Soak City water park, Sandcastle Suites Hotel and Lighthouse Point.
To make the most of their visit, families should consider the following insider tips:
* Get organized. Log on to cedarpoint.com, and plan the visit.
* Discounted packages and special perks for guests staying at any of Cedar Point's accommodations are available and discounted tickets to Cedar Point are available through a variety of sources. Call the park at 419-627-2350 for specifics.
* When choosing park attire, think comfort. Wear shoes and clothing that will be comfortable for walking.
* Don't forget sunscreen.
* Consider beginning the day at the back of the park and working toward the front to reduce time waiting in line.
* Lines for the most popular rides may be shorter during the mealtime hours of noon to 2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m.
* Remember where the car is parked.
* Don't miss seeing the park at night. The atmosphere seems to take on a new energy. Roller coasters seem faster and taller at night and the lines are generally shorter.
What it is: America's greatest amusement park
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Monday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday until Memorial Day. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day after Memorial Day, with a few exceptions. (See www.cedarpoint.com for details.)
Time commitment: To really take in the park, families should plan on at least a full day unless they're purchasing a season pass, which allows them to explore one section at a time.
Highlight of the trip: Millennium Force or Maverick -- hands down, these rollercoasters have the best reputations for thrill-seekers throughout the world.
Miles from Sandusky: 4
Prices: Daily admission prices for a family of four: Two adult one-day admission tickets at $42.95 each and two junior one-day admission tickets at $15.95 each = 117.80.
Meal costs: One large pizza and drinks for lunch, Dippin' Dots for dessert and a sit-down dinner with two kid's meals = $72
Parking: $10 or free with Platinum Pass purchase
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