How to Save at Cedar Point

Photo (cc) by Roller Coaster Philosophy

Billing itself as the best amusement park in the world, Cedar Point has 16 roller coasters, three kiddie ride areas and grand plans to empty your wallet.

While I went to Cedar Point a couple of times as a teen, those were generally day trips that I wasn’t paying for. However, I recently decided to take my kids and, holy cow, was it expensive!

If you’re planning a trip of your own to Cedar Point this year, here are a few tips to help you save some money.

Where to buy the cheapest Cedar Point tickets

Whatever you do, don’t buy your tickets at the gate. You’ll spend $59.99 per person for anyone who’s taller than 4 feet and not a senior. Shorter and older individuals can buy tickets at the gate for $43.99.

At the very least, buy your tickets online and save about $10 per ticket. You will pay a $5.99 service fee for your online order, but you’ll still come out ahead.

Or you could save $10 and skip the service fee by purchasing tickets from one of these retailers:

  • Meijer
  • Wegmans
  • Discount Drug Mart
  • Kroger
  • Giant Eagle

Cedar Point also has special discount days for military members, Girl Scouts and Michigan residents, among others. If you’ll be traveling later in the year, watch the Cedar Point website on July 25 for its Christmas in July sale, in which a limited number of tickets are sold at a low, low price.

You can also save money on tickets by staying at a Cedar Point resort. Regular tickets are $39 each, while junior/senior tickets can be purchased for $30 each with your stay. Starlight or evening tickets are $25 each, which is a discount from the $36.99 charged during the peak season. If you’ll be at the park for more than a day, you can get adult two-day passes for $75.

How to save on Cedar Point hotels

Speaking of hotels, Cedar Point resorts come with certain perks but they definitely aren’t the cheapest option. You could stay a few miles away from the park and pay half or even a third of the price of a Cedar Point resort.

To decide which is right for your family, you might have to do a little math and weigh the pros and cons of staying on-site vs. driving in.

Pros of Cedar Point resorts:

  • Easy access to park, no parking fees.
  • Admittance to the park an hour before the general public (note that not all rides are running during the early access hour).
  • Opportunity to buy reduced-price tickets.

Cons of Cedar Point resorts:

  • Complimentary breakfast not provided.
  • More expensive rates.
  • Most convenient dining options are pricey.

In the end, the convenience factor won out for me. Since I was traveling with a 4-year-old and 16-month-old, I wanted a room within walking distance so my feet-on-the-ground teen could take the little ones back for a midday break and nap while I stayed in the park with my thrill-seeking boys.

We stayed at Sandcastle Suites in mid-May, and I found a promo code that brought our price down to $179 a night for my family of six. Not cheap but more than $100 off the peak season daily rate. Our suite was serviceable albeit small.

For those who don’t have a promo code, you can get mid-week saver rates through mid-June. Cedar Point also offers reduced rates to season pass holders, active and retired military personnel, and CAA and AAA members.

However, if you don’t need the convenience of staying on-site, you can probably get cheaper, and better, accommodations in Sandusky, Ohio, or surrounding cities.

Eating on the cheap at Cedar Point

Is there any such thing?

Cedar Point prohibits outside food and drink after the entry gate, which means you should be prepared to pay through the nose for food in the park.

For example, a chicken fingers meal with fries and a drink – the one my local mom-and-pop restaurant sells for $5 – was nearly $14.50 at the concession stand. So too were the combo meals at a Chick-fil-A location in the park. Sit-down joint Johnny Rockets was actually cheaper, but your $8 will only get you a sandwich with no side or drink.

So how can you save? Here are a couple options:

  • Pick an off-site hotel that offers a complimentary breakfast and load up before hitting the park.
  • Pack a lunch and exit the park to eat it in the adjacent picnic area.
  • Buy a dining plan — $13.99 gets you a single meal including an entrée, side and drink. You can get an all-day plan for $29.99 that will give you an entrée and side (no drink) as often as every 90 minutes, but if you plan to ride a lot of coasters, consider whether that much food is a smart idea.
  • If you buy bottled water, go to a concession stand offering four bottles for $10 rather than spending $3.50 each.
  • If you want fountain drinks, buy a souvenir drink bottle. It costs $9.99 online or $14.99 in the park (if you buy three or more, they are $9.99 each on-site). Refills are free for the first day you buy the bottle and 99 cents after that.

Again, keep in mind what will work best for your family. The Cedar Point parking lot is huge, so bringing a picnic lunch up to the front involves a lot of walking. That could be an inconvenience if you have young children or mobility issues. That said, you can pay $25 for premium parking (regular rate is $15) to cut down on your walk time.

Cedar Point certainly isn’t the cheapest family getaway, but it can be a fun vacation that offers something for individuals of every age. A little advance planning can help limit your costs for tickets, hotels and food. Then you’ll have extra cash to pay for those overpriced souvenirs and carnival games!

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
16 Products That Coffee Drinkers Will Love
16 Products That Coffee Drinkers Will Love

We’ve brewed up a list of amazing Amazon products that are sure to perk you up.

Half of All Retirees Say They Fear This
Half of All Retirees Say They Fear This

Chances are good that you share this fear. Here’s a way to overcome it.

10 Things That Can Ding Your Social Security Payments
10 Things That Can Ding Your Social Security Payments

Here are 10 things that could mean less money in your pocket during retirement.

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 8 Steps
How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 8 Steps

Is your paycheck gone the moment you get it? Here’s how to break that vicious cycle.

Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products
Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products

Here’s how to organize every corner of your home using only items from a dollar store.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.