All right, my family and I are planning to go to Cedar Point for the first time this season on Monday. They would really like to ride Steel Vengeance first thing before the lines get super long (I'm the only one of us willing to buy FL+, so that doesn't bother me too much).
What would be the best course of action to do this? My first instinct would be to enter the park via the resort gate (we probably won't get there until after 9:30, so the CP Shores lot will be open by then) and get to SV as quickly as possible, but while we have been to the park several times before, we've never actually entered through any gate other than the front.
What do you guys suggest we do to get to SV early?
Is it out of the question to get there before 9am? Because that would be your best bet. Or the staying after close bit.
If that isn't possible, then your best hope is to do a rain dance. Seriously. If it rains for a bit that day and rides shut down, go hang out in the SV gift shop or Lusty Lils or something really close. Once the rain slows go get in line outside the SV entrance. A lot of the line besides the tunnel into the structure is uncovered so a lot of people will leave the line. You'll still have to wait until they cycle the ride for a bit until the track is dry but it will be less than 2 hours.
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If you can't get there and get in for early entry, I'd probably lean toward getting in line shortly before closing time. The line with two trains and Fastlane+ doesn't move very well at all so if you get in line just before closing time, the Fastlane+ queue will empty out and then the line will start to move faster.
Of course you always have the chance the ride goes down or the weather gets crappy and then you miss out. But if you're looking to "waste" as little of your day as possible in line for it and you can't do early entry, last thing at night is a good option.
The other advantage of doing it this way is that the other coasters will seem more fun when you ride them. Don't get me wrong - CP has amazing coasters, but after Steel Vengeance, your idea of what an awesome ride is might be altered.
The problem with that is that we generally don't stay until closing time—we live three hours away from the park. We generally wake up at around 6:00 AM, get there by around 9:00-10:00 AM, and leave by the time it starts to get dark.
I can't say for sure exactly when we'll leave, but since the park closes at 10:00 PM the day we go, it will almost certainly be well before then.
If you’re gonna get there after 9:30 the line will probably already be long by the time you get there. I’ve read that the line seems to level out a bit mid to late afternoon.
My only personal experience was for CoasterMania, with 2 trains and no FL+ to slow the regular line down. Never waited more than an hour for any of our 8 rides.