Cedar Point now requiring special limited passes to ride Top Thrills

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 7:22 PM
DRE420's avatar

Thanks for the suggestions Kevin! We are going Sunday with 10am reservations, and I'll definitely try out that method. Opening day was chaos, but now that some kinks have been worked out, I'm willing to give it a second go.

Thursday, July 16, 2020 7:13 AM

We were in the park Tuesday and Wednesday, and didn't ride any of the access pass rides since this was my son's first trip being over 48", and Millie was a little much for him to think about trying for his first go around... we rode the Iron Dragon a lot.

Something they need to do a much better job explaining is that you don't need an access pass to ride between 11 and 12. We got into the park around 10:05, and I figured I would go get in line for an access pass for Millennium Force thinking that's a 45 minute wait and it's probably the only "big" coaster I would ride. All of the signs, blog posts, etc say "To Ride these 3 rides, you must have an Access Pass" so I assumed that was what I was supposed to do. There were around a dozen people in front of me, so I thought I'd get right on. Long story short... When got my access pass it was for 12:00, and was told that they don't use them for the first hour of operations and I should have just got int he regular line. There were so many people in line already I didn't want to make my son wait anymore so we just headed to Iron Dragon... again.

Not a huge deal, but I feel they needed to make this part of the policy more clear. I did talk to Guest Relations, and they said they were still fine tuning the process and would look into updating their messaging.

On the upside - my son LOVED CCMR and Iron Dragon. We tried Magnum, and I think that was a little much for him, but all in all he had an awesome time.

Last edited by AndyG, Thursday, July 16, 2020 7:56 AM
Friday, July 17, 2020 1:13 PM
Kevinj's avatar

Really happy to hear your son loved Mine Ride and Iron Dragon so much; there is nothing quite like those experiences with your own kids.

The messaging does need help. I know it's on the blog, but I'm not sure your average guest even knows that exists. It's such a departure from the culture of riding; I think we also have to remind ourselves that this bizarre season is still only eight days old. I'm not sure what they could do apart from maybe printing a little brochure and handing them out to each guest as they enter.

On Wednesday morning, we got to the park around 10:30, and saw a line for access cards at Millennium that extended back towards Iron Dragon. The line for the ride was only about 20 people deep, so we just got in that line.

When 11:00 hit, they opened our line and started handing out cards, and the guy in the front of the card line starting yelling at the ride host (because that's helpful) about how she should have warned him that he would have to wait until noon to ride. He thought having the card would get him right on the ride.

Meanwhile, we rode Millennium three times before noon. Everyone just kept standing in the card line while the actual ride line remained about a 10 minute wait, never beyond the ramp.

The dumbest part? After this angry single rider man was explained how it works, he just stormed off with his access card, when he could have just hopped in line with the rest of us and rode. Three times.

Something tells me he was more interested in being "first".

If only I knew you were standing there, Andy. :)

Last edited by Kevinj, Friday, July 17, 2020 1:20 PM

Promoter of fog.

Friday, July 17, 2020 1:44 PM

Mine Ride and Iron Dragon were my first two "big" coasters so it is neat to hear they continue to be that for new riders.

"Thank the Phoenicians!"

Friday, July 17, 2020 3:13 PM

My daughter is in college and still loves Mine Ride and Iron Dragon. She branched out to Corkscrew a couple years ago and likes that as well. Hated Blue Streak and Gemini. No interest in trying anything else. Not a matter of heights (loves Windseeker) but more big drops. Even Corkscrew in the back seat provides too much in the way of drop so we stay middle to front. We have been going for a number of years for an annual trip and have a great time.

Acutally going tomorrow for the annual trip. Have reservations for morning. Seems like much of the discussion here has focussed on the bigger thrill attractions. What experiences do people have with everything else? We typically hit pretty much all of the flat rides (I see the list of those that are not open), railroad, skyride, glass blowing exhibit, giant wheel, etc. Am confident we will have a good time tomorrow. Just curious what to expect.

Friday, July 17, 2020 3:19 PM

We've had positive experiences so far. Our visits have always been about seeing the park, having a couple meals and catching live entertainment whenever possible so we have been able to do that all this season. Of course it has been an adjustment with certain gates, restrooms and eateries unavailable but we're mostly just happy to have the park around to celebrate summer again.

"Thank the Phoenicians!"

Friday, July 17, 2020 6:17 PM
Kevinj's avatar

On our recent visit, we did the Giant Wheel, Glass-Blowing Theater, Eagles, Matterhorn, Scrambler, SkyHawk, Troika, Tiki Twirl, Skyride (skipped Maxair due to line lengths).

All were OK, but we only hit them when the lines were minimal, which was about 70% of the time.

On our visit, two workers were operating Tiki Twirl and Troika, switching rides every hour.

Just keep in mind that every 20-30 minutes, every ride is temporarily shut down for a deep-clean, which means wiping down everything. And I mean everything. On most rides this was no more than a 5 minute pause, except for SkyHawk, where the crew really, really took their time. All joking aside, the crews are all working their tails off.

To be honest, with the limited capacity, wait times were generally better than your average July.

Oh, and we rode the train. Highlight of the trip.

Last edited by Kevinj, Friday, July 17, 2020 6:20 PM

Promoter of fog.

Friday, July 17, 2020 10:31 PM

In addition to the coasters, we spent a fair amount of time in Kiddy Kingdom and Camp Snoopy. Kiddy Kingdom seemed to have staff rotating through the different rides, while Camp Snoopy pretty much had everything opened. Planet Snoopy was closed, but we did run into Charlie Brown at the character meet and greet spot near Melt.

As far as other rides, we hit Troika, Tiki Twirl, Bumper cars (several times) and took a few trips to Boneville. I agree with Kevin that the wait times weren't bad at all , and that the waits in the kids areas were actually far shorter than usual. I don't think we waited more cycle for Woodstock Express, and that never happens. The staff seemed to really be working hard and taking the cleaning and sanitizing very seriously.

They also did a nice job of having outdoor entertainment scattered throughout the park. We watched a bit of the Country show on the stage by the Red Garter, the 50s show by Coasters, and the Beach-themed show on the Wicked Twister midway. Even though the indoor venues were all closed, they seemed to be trying to find creative ways to still allow people to enjoy the shows.

Friday, July 17, 2020 10:35 PM

Kevinj said:

Really happy to hear your son loved Mine Ride and Iron Dragon so much; there is nothing quite like those experiences with your own kids.

Absolutely. We've been passholders for years, and he has had his eye on Iron Dragon pretty much as long as we've been going. We have a growth chart on his wall, and the first thing he said when he reached 4 ft was "Now I'm tall enough for the Iron Dragon!" Watching his eyes light up that first ride was worth the prices of all of those season tickets and then some.

Friday, July 17, 2020 10:47 PM
Kevinj's avatar

There isn't a "love" option on pointbuzz (yet), but yep...that's what it's all about.

Promoter of fog.

Saturday, July 18, 2020 2:52 AM

Apparently those who forget the TTR fiasco of 2000 are doomed to repeat it.

—Dave Althoff, Jr.

/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _____

Saturday, July 18, 2020 5:27 AM

I don’t think this system is very equatable to Ticket To Ride (and by extension its close cousin FreeWay) for a few reasons. (Full disclosure, I haven’t used the access pass for Steel Vengeance or Maverick so far, just Millennium Force, and I thought it worked pretty well there.) First and foremost, the thesis statement behind this system is quite a bit different than TTR. While TTR was primarily designed to reduce wait times, this system appears to be designed for metering the daily rider pool for limited-capacity attractions. After all, Maverick and SV weren’t high throughput attractions to begin with, so halving capacity for social distancing guidelines makes things even worse. Therefore, while TTR was (at least in theory) working for the benefit of the visitor, this system is working for the benefit of the park, both to keep social distancing guidelines in check and to keep these rides from getting swamped with riders too quickly. I’m not entirely sure why MF is using this system (owing to its much greater capacity), but it might be due to rider popularity, or it just allows people to get at least 1 access pass (much like how certain rides at WDW have FastPass+ for no reason at all). Second, none of these rides are new attractions for 2020. Granted, they are among the most desired coasters in the park, but the demand is still going to be less than the opening year. TTR failed in part because it was attempted in MF’s first year, when the ride was the hottest ticket in the park (and maybe even the world). The same can be said for FreeWay when Top Thrill Dragster opened; waiting in line now for an access pass gives me flashbacks to waiting in the insane line for that coveted TTD handstamp! The same can even be said for Orion at Kings Island, which is using this same system right now in its opening year. I will say that implementation of this new system has been just as much of a nightmare as TTR and FreeWay’s implementations were. With that said, however, the improvements they’ve done over the past week have done wonders for fixing the issues seen before from these previous systems, especially with regard to having 2 pass release times (11/3:30). Ultimately, this system is not something the park really wants to do; it’s something they have to do to keep things running smoothly, and they’re trying their best with the hand they’ve been dealt.

(For anyone wondering, Ticket To Ride was a system used on Millennium Force in its opening year. It worked almost exactly the same as this new access pass system, where passes were required to ride from 12-4 (initially 12-8 for a very brief moment) each day. FreeWay was a return time system from 2002-05. Much like Disney’s Fastpass, but using handstamps, users got a 1-hour window time stamp and came back to the ride at their assigned hour to merge into the regular line near the station. Riders could use the system 2 times per day (1 stamp for each hand). MF, TTD, Raptor, Mantis/Rougarou, Magnum, and Wicked Twister all used this system, and today’s Fast Lane lines for these coasters are actually the old FreeWay lines.)

Saturday, July 18, 2020 11:00 AM
Joe E's avatar

Holiday World appears to have a true virtual queue, no tickets involved


Its an accesso product, so I don’t see why it would be too difficult to implement at CF parks.

Im guessing we might not see this at CP/CF parks because either the cost, or they don’t want to let that cat out of the bag for future visit expectations. ( basically how would you implement this with the ride demand of a full park, along with making fast lane still attractive )

Gemini 100- 6/11/01

Sunday, July 19, 2020 4:00 PM

I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you, bootymix. I think this system is very much similar to the ticket to ride system. It's my understanding that the main reason for Tick To Ride in 2000 was to get the people who would be in line for Millennium Force to disperse throughout the park, rather than having what felt like most of the people in the park queued for one ride. Today, they are trying to get people to disperse through the park because of a global pandemic. It might be a little bit better this time, since there are fewer people vying for the tickets due to the limited park capacity, and tickets dispersed twice a day rather than once.

Sunday, July 19, 2020 4:56 PM

I hadn’t thought of it that way, but you’re completely right, 0g, TTR and this system both have the same purpose of keeping people out of a massive line; one is for enjoyment’s sake, and the other is for health and safety’s sake. I also agree that this system carves out its own place above TTR because of its 2 release times, allowing more people the opportunity to get an access pass. Even FreeWay only had 1 release time for each individual ride, though by the end the ride group was split into 2 release times to allow the chance to get 2 handstamps (11AM for MF, Raptor, and Mantis, and 2PM for Dragster, Magnum, and Wicked Twister). Overall, while the actual mechanism is nearly identical to TTR, the guest experience appears to be quite a bit better than TTR, now that the kinks have been worked out. It’s obviously not ideal to have to plan around a specific ride hours in advance, but the fact of the matter is rides have a finite capacity for each day, so limited capacity rides like Maverick and SV need this system to keep everything in check.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 9:27 PM
Chuck Wagon's avatar

Kings Island has stopped using access passes for Orion as of yesterday. It would seem that the initial wave of interest in it has gone down.

-- Chuck Wagon --
aka Pagoda Gift Shop

Monday, July 27, 2020 1:00 PM
operative_me's avatar

Access passes are not required for the rest of the day as attendance is so low.

Lifetime Laps on Woodstock Express: 0

Monday, July 27, 2020 7:16 PM

Seems like the 'reservation system' is working against CP on low attendance days. Great for those that attend for all the 'walk-on' rides but bad for CP.

number of times to Cedar Point:50s/60s/70s/80s-3,1995-1,1996-27,1997-18,1998-13,1999-20,2000-16,2001-8,2002-7,2003-18,2004-14,2005-18,2006-28,2007-16,2008-17,2009-28,2010-26,2011-27,2012-21,2013-18,2014-24,2015-29,2016-46,2017-13,2018-14,2019-10 Running Total-480 72,000 miles traveled for the point.

Monday, July 27, 2020 10:36 PM
Dvo's avatar

What 'reservation system' do you speak of? ;)

370 MF laps
Smoking Area Drone Pilot

Monday, July 27, 2020 10:44 PM
operative_me's avatar

Yeah. I got a good amount of rides in before the storms came in, and even during and after the storms I had a nice time in the arcade and walking around the park.

But I have to admit, if this was May in a normal year I would have gotten in a ton of rides and not give it a second thought. But seeing as it's late July and the park was empty, it was distressing. No way the park was making money today.

As much as I love taking advantage of the slow days at the park, I want the park to make money and succeed for people to enjoy for years to come. It's an interesting way to feel.

Lifetime Laps on Woodstock Express: 0


You must be logged in to post

POP Forums app ©2021, POP World Media, LLC - Terms of Service