Sat 9/7/19 : Is CP parking now always this bad on Saturdays?

Long time CP visitor, first time Gold Pass holder.

My wife and I took advantage of the Gold Pass option and ventured out to CP on Saturday. We had been Season Pass holders previously (1999-2009) but stopped once our daughter had too many weekend activities in school. Now that she is in college, we planned to start going again.

I imagine the answer is a confluence of things but we could not believe the mess that parking was on Saturday and wondered if this is now the norm or if it was out of the ordinary?

My thoughts are that (a) there was a private party until 1 PM, (b) the Gold Pass is wildly successful beyond CPs imagination, (c) the weather was amazing and (d) Ohio State did not have a super interesting game on Sat.

That said, I was stunned at how ill prepared CP seemed to be for the crowds and from the time we hit the backup on the causeway at 1.30 PM until the time we had our car parked it took 65 minutes. We did not actually get out of our car until 2.35 PM and then after the walk and line at the gate we weren't in the park until 3.10 PM.

There was no real organization of employees helping to park the cars and it was kind of a free for all with traffic moving at a snail's pace.

The pleasant surprise was the park itself, once in, was fantastic. The way parking was made it feel like the park would be super crowded but it was actually very manageable and we were able to go on many rides. And, lest anyone think I am just a super complainer (which I can be!) the park was way more clean and pleasant than I remember it from the late 2000s.

Any ways, just curious if parking is now just something everyone shrugs and puts up with because it is bad or if this weekend was abnormal. Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Nosferatu,

Sometimes there’s a perfect storm and these last few weekends have been ripe for all that.
Warning to all- this weekend is Point Fest with a big concert. They set up in the Shores parking lot so that may be limited or off limits on Saturday and the crowd may make things even worse.
My suggestion would be Sunday. It’s better. Still busy, though.

Dvo's avatar

There's now a vampire among us. Welcome to Pointbuzz. Yeah, I think Saturday was indeed a perfect storm. The late "open" time meant that the vast majority of the crowd going to the park (not including the private event) showed up at roughly the same time, so the causeway was a disaster. I was there as well, but I agree with your point that once you were in, it really wasn't too awful. Very busy, but we still got on some rides.

I wouldn't assume that Saturday was a good indication as to what the parking situation will be like moving forward, though.

380 MF laps
Smoking Area Drone Pilot

In recent years Fall Saturdays have been the parks busiest of the season. It'll be just as bad, if not worse on Haunt Saturdays, especially if the weather was like this past weekend.

That's why I am going up on a Sunday morning. Staying overnight and driving home on Monday. Hopefully the weather will be OK.

Mr. Potato's avatar

Perhaps it's just the fact that I'm actively paying attention to it, however I have seemed to notice more and more frequently that they have not had traffic associates in the parking lot directing cars to specific spots during the morning/early parking rush. I've just been assuming it's been a staffing issue and not that the park no longer desires to manage that situation, but I can't say for certain. Just my own observation I guess.

Gemini 100 (6/11/01)

This weekend is going to be nuts. In addition to perfect weather and the Pointfest concert (probably 5k extra people) the entire CP Shores parking lot will be closed to regular traffic.

We were thinking about going (we usually do for Poinfest) but the resorts are getting really full (only a few cabins left, no cottages)... I think I'm going to wait a few weeks and see how the crowds shake out rather than brave the first HW of the year.

Besides, HW when it's 75-85 degrees just is not the same as the cooler weather IMO, but that's personal preference.

It’s also the Scout overnight camping event this Friday night. I say this could be a weekend to avoid

Seasonal employees are likely scarce this time of year. Great weather. Crowds + short staffed or staffed with ill experienced associates... it sucks but luckily beer is available. Proof that CP wants us to be happy :)

Augustmueller said:

Seasonal employees are likely scarce this time of year. Great weather. Crowds + short staffed or staffed with ill experienced associates... it sucks but luckily beer is available. Proof that CP wants us to be happy :)

August, I mentioned above that we have not been to CP for many years. I was suitably impressed with the beer selection at CP now vs years past. Columbus IPA on tap? Yes, please. :-)

I was at CP about three weeks ago on a Saturday morning, and I too was surprised that once you get into the parking lot, you're on your own to find a space. It's extremely inefficient compared to staff guiding you to park one at a time into the slots. Hey, Cedar Point! When we're wasting time trying to find a parking space, we're not in the park spending money!! Just something to keep in mind...

Kevinj's avatar

Maybe the scouts that are spending the night could earn a special badge for volunteering to be parking attendants.

Promoter of fog.

When I was there on Sunday, there were “Fun Raisers” trying to direct traffic into each parking spot with cones blocking off the far back parking spaces. It seemed efficient to me until the one with a poor attitude stood in front of my car waving his traffic wand to tell me to park there and wouldn’t let me go straight to park up by the boardwalk until I told him what I was doing. And even then he seemed clueless.

Paisley's avatar

I realize the GP can't always be counted on to do anything in an efficient manner but I personally like deciding where to park on my own. When we go as an extended family in multiple vehicles we have a particular way we like to circle the wagons to make lunch time go smoothly and it's not the way they normally direct people to park.

djDaemon's avatar

Paisley said:

I realize the GP can't always be counted on to do anything in an efficient manner but I personally like deciding where to park on my own.

I read that as I realize the GP can't always be counted on to do anything in an efficient manner but I personally like parking in an inefficient manner because I, as an enthusiast, am more important.

Parking each arriving vehicle in the next available spot is the most efficient way to park everyone. If everyone did as you did - ignore the traffic controllers and just park wherever they felt like it - the parking lot would be an enormous mess, because that's incredibly inefficient. You are part of the problem, not the "GP".


Nobody parks a theme park parking lot better than Disney. I understand that it's a year-round operation, but the way their spots are arranged how how they control the flow in and out is so efficient and simple I shake my head every year when I hear about Cedar Point having massive traffic/parking issues related to the flow of cars.

Cargo Shorts's avatar

I see both points here, but suspect Paisley is not doing some crazy ass parking job but probably something like 4 minivans in a 4x4 grid backed up to each other to make a confined eating/serving area for the kids and keeping them out of traffic. Something slightly less fast and efficient than pulling straight in but not parking all over the place.

Seems like something that should be accommodated though my preference would be to use the picnic shelters provided. The parking lot is in good shape and wheeled coolers are cheap and common.

Zoombezi Bay in Cbus has great system for this by having open storage shelves for coolers *within the confines of the park*. I am sure there have been rare occasions of theft over the years but have never heard of any issues.

djDaemon's avatar

I completely get what Paisley's doing, and, whatever, it's fine. It's inefficient and if everyone did it the lot would be a huge mess, but the act of self-parking is not at all a big deal.

But for Paisely to criticize "the GP" as being uniquely part of the "inefficiency" that Paisely is contributing to represents pretty much everything I dislike about the "enthusiast" community.


e x i t english's avatar

Also, enthusiasts ARE "GP", any way you slice it.

Dvo's avatar

^That's fine, as long as I still get my button that says I'm special and feel made whole. :D

380 MF laps
Smoking Area Drone Pilot

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