Sept-Oct visit

Hi folks,

Wasn't sure whether to post this in the Halloweekends section or this, but figured it was more about trip planning than Halloweekends specifics, so went here! Feel free to move if necessary.

I've visited Cedar Point seasonally every year in May-July for 10+ years, but have never been to Halloweekends. I love Halloween atmosphere + haunted houses + Cedar Point at night, so it's finally clicked for me this year: I need to visit Cedar Point for Halloweekends!

I totally understand that Halloweekends operates at the whim of lake weather in the fall, which is to say: there is a huge caveat attached to any advice related to attendance.

But I'm generally curious from those who regularly attend or have had positive experiences attending: what is the best calendar stretch to visit for 2 days/nights in the park that realistically allows me to hit the rides AND the haunts?

Basically: I'm curious if going earlier in the Halloweekends season, when weather is probably a little better than, say, late October, minimizes the haunt aspect (maybe houses not fully staffed or theming not complete)? Or if going later in the season toward Halloween when the atmosphere and staffing may be a little more solidified is too much of a weather coin-flip? Or if there is a sweet spot between the two?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Going during Halloweekends can be a hit or miss.

Based off last season, I'd go towards the beginning of the season. Staffing is extremely difficult during Halloweekends. Towards the end, rides are down more often. Some can't run in certain temperatures, some rides have to be shut down a few times a day to send the associates on break, and finding a food/drink stand that is open is more difficult. On Fridays, there are many rides that will not operate at all, just to keep those bigger rides open. Example: Rougarou is down and the Halloweekends crew will get sent to other rides such as Dragster or Millennium Force.
In my opinion, go during the normal operating season or the beginning of Halloweekends.

RIP Mean Streak
Past Cedar Point Ride Attendant

In my experience, splitting time between rides and haunts is incredibly difficult. This is not only because of the plethora of night rides available to you because the sun sets so early and the park is open so late, but because the crowds get essentially unbearable on Saturdays. Here's what I always like to do:

I will book a hotel room at Express on the last weekend of September. Weather is still good and staffing is starting to solidify. I will get to the park first thing Friday afternoon, renew my season pass, and get my renewal perk; in years past, this has been a Fast Lane Plus that can be used on a Friday or Sunday for the rest of the season. I opt for the pass on Friday, then enter the park with Early Entry (I get it with my Platinum Pass anyway, but being a hotel guest gets you it too). On Friday, I do absolutely nothing but ride, and only eat or drink if absolutely necessary. Usually, the park will be dead, and with a FLP, you're guaranteed to get a walk-on on anything you want (except for SV, but the wait should be really short). As I walk between rides, I'll encounter wandering Screamsters and have that as my haunting entertainment for the night (Frontier Trail is my favorite). I'm also getting 3-4 hours worth of night rides. Once the park closes at midnight, I go to my hotel room.

On Saturday, I go to the park for EE again, but after that, I don't choose to ride much. Lines get really bad, even in late September. I'll just take it easy, absorb the Halloween atmosphere and ride some lesser rides. However, once 6pm hits, I start hitting up the haunts. You could get a Fright Lane if you wanted more night rides later, but I usually don't. I just deal with the lines, which can be anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. After that, I usually just pack up and head home.

However, if you wanted to stay for the whole weekend, you could get some more night rides or haunts done on Saturday, spend an extra night at your hotel, and hit up the park on Sunday for a little while before heading home.

GBB88 -

Thank you! Your Fri-Sat strategy is almost exactly along the lines of what I was thinking. Sounds like the consensus here is that you get more out of late Sept-very early Oct than closer to Halloween. I thought maybe there would be more theming closer to Halloween, or more haunt staff, but it sounds like it's actually dicier closer to Halloween than it is at the start of Halloweekends.

I'm driving with friends from ~5 hours away, so thinking we'll get to the park at park open Friday afternoon, prioritize rides as you mentioned, stay at Breakers, then prioritize haunts on Saturday, drive home Sunday.

Sorry if this is becoming too sprawling, but spinoff question: I could see where we may have downtime either Friday before park opens / on trip up, or Saturday waiting for park open or waiting for haunts to start up. Is there anything in the immediate Sandusky area recommended while waiting on things to get going around Cedar Point on either day? Or anything generally in north-central or northwest Ohio worth checking out?

Cargo Shorts -

Downtime on Saturday morning when ERT is at 9 and closed at midnight Friday? Good grief, PM me with what meds you are taking I need to get some of those. Lol. Get some sleep you are going to need the energy.

Maybe take a polar bear plunge in the lake in the morning.

Shane Denmark -

Keep in mind that weather is the big money wrench for HalloWeekends plans. If it’s a gorgeous fall day with temps in the 70s-80s and bright sunny skies, everyone in the tri-state area will be at Cedar Point and it will be MISERABLE. Perfect HalloWeekends weather is upper 60s-low 70s with a chance for rain. Keeps the crowds away somewhat but you won’t have snotsicles when riding the coasters.

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