News: Happy Friar’s Fresh-Cut Fries Fest returns to Cedar Point

Walt's avatar

The celebration of Cedar Point's famous midway munchie returns Sept. 9 and 10.

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
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Plague on Wheels's avatar

Hell yeah. Hopefully they only serve fries cooked in the the Happy Friar kitchen, the one near the Gemini. Not those trash fries from the other location near the Raptor. Happy Friar til I Die.

Sit tight fellas ;)

Your concern is answered in the press release.
I was at the park during last year’s event and got a photo with the Happy Friar himself which turned out really cute. But his appearance was slightly awkward in that a lot of guests didn’t realize (or care) who he was supposed to be, so he stood around a lot. My only real complaint with the event was how ridiculously expensive the special recipe fries were. There was one that I thought I might really enjoy but not at that price. And I’m usually ok with entertainment venue food prices.

Last year, I was too late in the day to meet the friar, and I was also unimpressed with the price. Since CP doesn't like including specialty stuff on the meal plan, it really needs to be above and beyond to get me to buy anything after I've eaten my already paid for meal. This season they haven't been able to meet that bar.

Glad they're still trying, and these options look interesting, but not enough. Looking forward to seeing what they do with Halloweekends food this year, but not getting my hopes up.

I haven't paid for food outside the meal plan since Night of the Living Fed

Dvo's avatar

Honestly as good as the dining plan food has gotten, it's hard to justify branching out for the other stuff. There's a lot of very good options available now on the meal plan, so the dollar goes a long way by leveraging it.

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Plague on Wheels's avatar

Heaven shineth upon the Happy Friar. Cloggeth ye arteries hither lads!

Last edited by Plague on Wheels,

Sit tight fellas ;)

Well call me stupid - I envisioned thought the happy friar mascot as a giant potato. I think I will pass on getting my picture taken with the mascot, whether it be a potato or a monk.

I did the dining plan yesterday for the first time. I admit that it was economically advantageous but I simply do not understand the love for Cedar Point food. I had the brisket at Back Beat. The taste was good but it was warm at best on the temperature side, and they had just brought a fresh pan out of the warming oven before they served me. I had the funnel cake shrimp and rice at Grand Pavilion. The shrimp was soggy and barely warm and the rice was not hot either. And if you all like the cheese burgers at Coasters, well then I do not know what to say.

Maybe I just have the worst luck possible when it comes to eating at the part but I was especially disappointed with Grand Pavilion given all of the love that people had been piling on it. I wanted to enjoy it but I did not find anything worth praising about the food other than I give the park credit for trying to have a better food line up.

Have you tried the hand breaded chicken tenders?

Those are to die for!

I don't remember the last time I had those at the park, maybe at the Steel Vengence preview party thing? And they were nothing special to me.

Plague on Wheels's avatar

Pro Tip: Order the French fries at an amusement park. Don't order the shrimp. Know where you're at, save the shrimp order for Red Lobster 🦞😉

Sit tight fellas ;)

Mr. Potato's avatar

I’d much rather have a fry celebration where just a regular order were actually reasonably priced for a change. Despite my username, I stopped buying fries in the park years ago. I just stop at Berardi’s in town when I’m craving them.

Gemini 100 (6/11/01)

People complained about the food for years, and I’m impressed with how the park has stepped up their food game. It may not be the best tasting food, but I think they have some reasonably tasty options for those who aren’t fans of traditional park fare. But, like Plague, I’ve always been content with that traditional fare, and I’m a bit disappointed that they’ve done away with some of my favorites. I had my first chili dog with cheese when I worked at the park many years ago, and I used to enjoy a foot long chili dog with cheese in honor of that memory whenever I visited. But it seems they quit selling them. I also always enjoyed the fries with “regular” cheese sauce. But this year, they only offered the nacho cheese sauce at both stands. Lastly, I always enjoyed a vanilla malt shake at the end of the day, but now they no longer sell malts. I assume they are consolidating and simplifying the choices at the food stands while providing more specialized options at the larger venues. But I always looked forward to my traditional favorites, as I don’t normally eat that kind of food at home. That said, my other three family members definitely prefer the newer food, and I like it as well, so I guess the park is moving in the right direction. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed. Fortunately, I can still enjoy one traditional favorite, which is their hot dog on a stick (corn dog). But I didn’t see too many people eating one on my last couple of visits, so its days may be numbered as well.

Perhaps most of that has to do with what’s available to consumers outside the park on a daily basis. Gone are the days when a foot long chili dog is novel and a treat, as food carts and trucks make hot dogs commonplace. You can get a vanilla malt (who else drinks those anyway?) a lot of places- if you have a Whit’s, a Culver’s, or locally, a Toft’s. Even a Dairy Queen can make you one and everybody has access to one of those. In other words, these days park-goers just might prefer something they can’t get at the county fair or the food court.
Btw, I think the park has answered the hot dog situation with a somewhat dressed up version at Derby Dogs next to Cedar Downs. There a variety of toppings and the dogs themselves are good.
Side note- my first season working at Cedar Point was spent in that very stand, The Surrey, serving hot dogs with “the works”. My second season was at Beach refreshments where we had, wait for it, hot dogs. Back then the menus at so many walk-ups were identical and the hot dog was king. Perhaps for you it’s nostalgic but for most others it’s passé. I’m just certain park goers are happier now.

Last edited by RCMAC,

Happy to be eating warm soggy shrimp? I’ll pass on future visits.

Maybe it’s because I don’t go to fairs, so I do agree with Plague’s advice - eat crappy fair food while at the park. Eating made fresh funnel cakes and elephant ears is the way to go.

And if not eating what you can get anywhere outside of the park is the advice, why would anyone eat chicken tenders in the park?

People want to eat what is familiar. Chicken tenders are a staple at pretty much every fast casual place and are often the most popular item I see ordered at any of the newer restaurants in the park. That they are actually decent now at some of the places (why Corral still advertises the hand breaded tenders when they haven't served them in years still puzzles me) just makes it better.

The only thing I would appreciate is another option for a healthier grilled meat. Something like a grilled chicken breast or piece of fish would be a welcome option.


In other words, these days park-goers just might prefer something they can’t get at the county fair or the food court.

People want to eat what is familiar.

So which is it?

It can be both. This is not complicated and shouldn’t even be an argument.
And there’s a difference between hand dipped tenders and flat, frozen tenders that don’t get better with cooking.
I think the actual answer is that parks should strive for a balance. Cedar Point is clearly trying to offer less-processed and well-balanced amusement park food, and maybe on account of that certain things had to go. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of sweet, greasy, non-nutritious stuff for the Shades of the world. There’s a whole store with the word “sweet” in its name. Funnel cake windows at theme parks still get long lines, and they are not going away. (They shouldn’t- the profit margin there is ridiculous)

I work in a food location at our state fair that features made-from-scratch cooking with the main emphasis on Ohio’s farmers and food commodities. It’s good for those who want to sit down with roasted pork loin, a ribeye, a grilled chicken sandwich, or a turkey dinner and we have no shortage of business. But there will always be those that come to the fair strictly for corn dogs, deep fried twinkies, and donut burgers. And that’s fine too.
Choices and options. I can name several parks where the food was so terrible and junky that I left hungry and had to look for something outside the gates. I’m one who absolutely shouldn’t (and won’t) spend an entire day consuming elephant ears.

I agree it can be both, and it should be both. But your entire claim was that people want novel good options. I got no sense from your post that you thought it could be both.

My issue with the new park food is that, while novel, it does not offer me a pleasing food experience. Why should I be excited about soggy shrimp or not hot brisket? If your fair stand serves pork loin that is incredibly dry and tough should I be excited about it because it is a novel choice at the fair?

Last edited by Shades,
Sparty42's avatar

What's odd is that you quoted two separate individuals with different experiences and opinions and asked "Which is it?"

Your mileage WILL vary at an amusment park. If you're expecting gourmet level shrimp at Cedar Point, then I just don't know what to tell you other than, don't expect that in the future.

My family and I were very happy with the sheer portion size of the chicken tenders at The Corral *especially with kids who did not care* and the food we got at Melt was even better.

I'm just appreciative that the park took feedback and stepped it up. I worked there during Kinzel. Ugh. Never again, please.

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