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Jun 1, 2014
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Hi all
I am going to try not to write a long post but I need some guidance on this trip.
Myself and my son (16) are coming to Ohio (10/08 - 15/08) and VA (15/08 - 20/08) from London UK just to go to CP and KD. Now after all of that travel I would hate to not get to see the best of both parks and having had a look around need some help. I have already booked hotels so know where we are staying and have hired a car (although I am nervous about driving on the 'wrong' side of the road, with all of the different driving rules!!). But could people help me out with the following please?

* What is the cheapest way to do this trip, we want to spend two days at each park? Should I buy two season passes or buy one SP and use the friends discount for the other person? Or wait until we arrive and look for discount vouchers?

* Would you recommend fast passes? (I am the worlds most impatient person ever and can only queue for around half an hour before going crazy....) I would rather pay then waste effectively one day queuing.

* What day of the week is best to go? We will be in Ohio from Mon - Fri and VA Sat - Tues

This is really rather confusing but looking at prices I could spend around $1000 if I did it wrong (including FP but excluding food). We are ok on not eating whilst in the park we normally have a big breakfast courtesy of the hotel and then one snack and dinner on the way back.

Any guidance / advice would be great :)
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Feb 12, 2011
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Hey there!

I'm not all that familiar with Cedar Point, but I am happy to help you out with Kings Dominion. A silver season pass to KD is $75 dollars, which is more than 50% cheaper than buying a second single-day ticket. Purchasing a silver pass is probably your best bet. On the other hand, Cedar Point only offers one type of season pass which costs $126, so that is not going to be your best bet. They do, however, have a two-day ticket for $88. This is probably what you'll want to do.

I can't speak at all for Cedar Point here, but KD's fast passes aren't a terrible idea. Some of their rides have a very low capacity and quickly get long lines. The trouble is, the park offers "Fast Lane" tickets and "Fast Lane Plus." The regular "Fast Lane" only gets you on select rides, most of which don't usually get very crowded; it costs $40. On the other hand, "Fast Lane Plus" does get you on the two most crowded rides, but each ticket costs $15 dollars more for just those two rides. It costs $55. As a regular visitor, I don't purchase Fast Lane, but when I visit parks I won't be visiting again I will usually get a fast pass. They are usually worth it; even when the entire park is not swallowed. It just makes the experience seem much less rushed. If you plan on visiting for two days, maybe purchase it for your first day, do everything you want, and the next day just some back to do what you missed without passes.

One question: do you plan on getting to KD as early as you can (10:00 AM, at the entrance gates, passes in hand)? If you get season passes, you will be able to enter the park 30 minutes before the general public. If you do this, you can go to the back of the park and ride what come to be the two most crowded rides (Volcano and Intimidator 305) with 30 minutes of freetime before the masses come. If you do this, you may not need to buy a Fast Lane pass. Just be aware that you might not be able to ride Volcano later in the day without insane waits; Intimidator is usually bearable later in the day, but there are still lines. If you want to ride Volcano: The Blast Coaster at all without insane wait times, do it as soon as the park opens. This is imperative, even on relatively un-crowded days.

The farthest you can get away from the weekends, the better crowds will be. In Ohio, Tuesday or Wednesday will probably be your best bet, but always check ahead to make sure no events or sudden changes are planned for either of those days. In Virginia, Monday or Tuesday are definitely your best chances at a low-crowd experience. Same rule of checking for events ahead of time applies here.

That's about it. Hope this helps!

~ Joe
 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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I would actually suggest the Platinum Pass, since it will get you into both parks, and get you free parking at both. I'm not sure if it will get you discounts at both, however. There is no question that if you are visiting Cedar Fair parks four times, the Platinum Pass is a great deal.

What I'm not sure of is whether you need one pass or two, because I'm not sure what the friend's discount would be.

Since you coming August, weekdays will probably be better, but still not great. I hate long lines, so I always purchase the FastLane passes at both parks, myself. Some of the roller coasters at CP have especially long, slow lines.
 
May 3, 2011
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Hi, thanks for joining our forums!

I can't speak as much for Cedar Point either, but they certainly are a big park and have tons of rides.

1). Cheapest I would say is to purchase (2) platinum season passes at Cedar Point. Platinum gets you into all the Cedar Fair parks and you get the season pass perks at each park *Note that each park's perks may vary* A tip for when you come down to Virginia and would like to use the perks is to make sure the register attendant gives you the discount manually. Since the pass is from a different park, they must insert it manually do to the difference in computers. But I believe a Platinum season pass is the way to go. Free parking as well *Purchase online before you come to get this on your first visit or you can go to guest services after purchasing in the park to get your parking fee refunded*

2)If you visit Kings Dominion on a weekday, then you're generally fine. Like Joe said, if you buy a platinum season pass, KD offers a pass benefit to ride 2 select rides from 10am-10:30am. However, these 2 rides vary by the day. Joe said Volcano and I305, but those were the May rides, June, July, and August have a different system on what you can ride on a particular day. See this post about Kings Dominion season pass benefits.

However, on weekdays, Kings Dominion really isn't bad, but should be judged on the day you visit. With the water park open, most ride lines will level out starting at 12 as people head to the water park. I don't believe there is any benefit to purchasing online vs. in the park as far as discounts go.

Cedar Point is insane with lines as it seems. I will suggest it, just because I don't really know it. But I suggest going on any weekday for both parks if you have the opportunity. If you have to go on the weekends, do not go on Saturdays. I repeat that. Do not go on Saturdays. Fast Lane Plus is required otherwise it's: queue line the ride.

3) For Cedar Point Tuesday/ Wednesday would be best. For Kings Dominion Sunday/ Monday or Monday Tuesday will be good choices.

I'm not sure if Cedar Point offers this, but I'm sure they do. But there is a meal program called the "All Day Dining Plan"... it costs $29.99 and you can buy an entree and 2 sides every 90 minutes throughout the entire day. Basically what I have done which is sorta cheating the system is we split the cost of it and one person has the wrist band, and every 90 minutes we all take turns eating. Very cost effective way of doing things, but you won't be able to eat at the same time. However, you could buy 2 of these and just eat 2 meals at the park and it's basically paid for already. Just note, that you will need to purchase a drink as this program doesn't come with it.

If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to answer!
 
Jun 1, 2014
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OMG - thanks so much for all of the response. However I am still confused and not knowing what to do for the best.

* I guess FP are the way to go for defo at CP, KD I will check when we get there on the day. Is it possible to buy it from any stand around the park or only the entrance?

As for the entrance I am still none the wiser...please some clarity?? Season passes, bring a friend day, platinum passes or silver....its all so confusing
 
May 3, 2011
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Richmond, Va
At Kings Dominion, there are various places to buy Fast Lane passes (Intimidator 305 gift shop, Xtreme Skyflyer, park entrance, ect.) and I'm sure the same goes for Cedar Point.

Platinum passes will get you into any Cedar Fair owned park for free (Cedar Point, Kings Island, Kings Dominion, ect.). You will also receive the benefits that season pass offers at each respective park. If both you and your son both get passes, you 1) won't have to pay for parking 2)Be able to go to Kings Dominion and Cedar Point with that one pass that you both would hold. 3) get all the season pass perks during your visit.
 
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Nicole

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I ran some quick numbers. I think it is actually cheaper to get one Platinum Pass and use the discount for the other ticket. You will still get all of the benefits, since you have one pass.

The discounted single day ticket at KD is $39 (with a Plat Pass). I don't know what it is at CP, but the online price is $50. So at most, you would pay $180, which is still less than the Plat Pass.

I hope that helps.

And you can get Fast Lane in both parks, if you are at all unsure. As someone who hates queues, however, I have always been happier having them, especially at CP.
 
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Jun 1, 2014
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Thank you all so much. Thanks for doing the maths for me Nicole. For some reason i got really confused trying to work it out.
I think i will do it the way you suggest as at the very least i save around $12 plus the perks of the card.
Can not wait for this holiday now. Its going to be amazing!!
 
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Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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No prob! I still want to figure out the discounted price at CP for you though. Otherwise, you will need to buy those tickets in advance online.
 
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Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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Found the discounted price at CP, as well as all of the Platinum Perks.

Here

Bring-A-Friend Discounts All passholders (Regular and Platinum) may purchase up to four discount tickets per day during our Bring-A-Friend weekends. Dates are Friday-Sunday, May 16-18, 2014 and Friday-Monday, August 29-Sept. 1, 2014. The discount price is $19.99 per person. On Fridays throughout the season, passholders may purchase up to four tickets for friends at the discount rate of $29.99 each. All other days throughout the season, passholders may purchase one ticket per day for $39.99.
 
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Apr 29, 2011
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Kings Dominion can be done in one day. I would spend the extra day at BGW, especially if I were traveling all the way from London. The parks are about an hour apart (less if traffic is good).
 

Mushroom

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Unagi said:
Kings Dominion can be done in one day. I would spend the extra day at BGW, especially if I were traveling all the way from London.  The parks are about an hour apart (less if traffic is good).

Yes, if you have time definitely check out Busch Gardens. It's an amazing park that you won't be able to experience anywhere else. However, cutting Kings Dominion short to a day may not be a good idea if you're purchasing the Platinum Pass; it would lessen the deal big-time. I would not recommend cramming KD into one day (I almost always try to visit a park more than one day) but if you can visit Busch Gardens, all the better. Seriously, it's one of those places that you just can't replicate elsewhere.
 
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MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
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With Platinum Cedar fair passes, you could easily scoot down to Carrowinds also, and use the same pass for entry and parking. With 5 days in VA and this park only 4 hours(give or take) from KD, It may be possible to squeeze in. Yes Busch Gardens is better, but if you already have the Cedar Fair passes, the $ savings will be substantial.
 
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Mazakman said:
With Platinum Cedar fair passes, you could easily scoot down to Carrowinds also, and use the same pass for entry and parking. With 5 days in VA and this park only 4 hours(give or take) from KD, It may be possible to squeeze in. Yes Busch Gardens is better, but if you already have the Cedar Fair passes, the $ savings will be substantial.

I would not recommend going to Carowinds on this trip as it's not an easy scoot down. While she may have Cedar Fair Platinum Passes, she's gonna need to spend a lot more money on gas and most likely another hotel (which she has already booked and budgeted) as the parks are almost 330 miles apart. If she is staying near KD then a visit to BGW for a day is more economical than driving 5 hours one way to the Charlotte area. Besides, after spending several days at CP and KD she really isn't going to get much of a "new" park experience at Carowinds.
 
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MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
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You are probably right about the 'redundant park experience' Unagi. What seems like a good idea to me, was probably not the best idea for her. Dropping $144.00 on 2 BGW tickets is hardly economical though.
 
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b.mac

Indiana Beach Vibe
May 14, 2011
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Ethical expectations of visiting Carowinds: Ride Afterburn, leave.

On another note: Since you're driving from Ohio to Virginia there's quite a few ways you can go about getting this done. A Platinum Pass is an incredible savings with Cedar Fair parks, and essentially pays itself off the second you visit two different parks (in your case KD and CP). In terms of money savings if it's just KD and Cedar Point you are doing then you might be better off with one Platinum Pass and then using discounted entry into both parks, just so you don't get your arse handed to you in parking fees.

In terms of Fast Passes, yes I would recommend them for both parks especially if you're visiting them on weekends. Cedar Point can get incredibly packed on weekends and Kings Dominion is not a place to be on a Saturday (neither is BGW really especially when the weather is nice). If you're worried about lines for Cedar Point the best thing I can recommend without a fast pass is moving to the back of the park first (Magnum, Millennium Force, Maverick) just so you can avoid the wave of people coming later in the day. Top Thrill Dragster, Millennium Force, and Raptor will have the longest lines, I can guarantee that. I'm just not sure how long the lines will be since there's a very large difference between an August weekday and a weekend visit (I went Thursday and Friday back in 2010 and the difference was basically night and day in terms of lines).

Kings Dominion on a weekday will be virtually empty, where the longest lines will be for Volcano and i305. Both have nuances that can bring them down at basically any time so it's recommended you ride them first. Avalanche has a delayed opening so that everyone waits for Volcano first (because it having a long line looks good for its popularity), so once you finish with i305, FoF and Volcano ride Avalanche.

The biggest fear you should have with visiting those two parks, however, are the prices for food. An order of chicken strips, fries, and a soda can run you over $14 just for one person. Their burgers aren't much better at $12. For comparison's sake I could buy a Pretzel and a Soda along with those for the same price from a Six Flags park (although the $20+ parking fee is even steeper than both KD and CP).
 
Apr 29, 2011
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Mazakman said:
You are probably right about the 'redundant park experience' Unagi. What seems like a good idea to me, was probably not the best idea for her. Dropping $144.00 on 2 BGW tickets is hardly economical though.

I was looking at this mostly from a distance issue. Carowinds and KD are not close at all. KD is even a lot closer to Hersheypark, Dorney Park, Great Adventure, and even NYC, than it is to Carowinds. Given the length of her visit she would be wasting a lot of time and money driving that far to a park that really is no different from the ones she came to visit in the first place. Also, Interstate traffic throughout North Carolina can be unpredictable. There are many road projects scattered on I-40 and I-85. What should be a 5-hour drive from KD to Carowinds could turn into something a lot longer.


As far as BGW not being economical, she doesn't have to pay the full price of $72 for a daily ticket as discounted coupons are readily available. If her hotel is near KD then she can easily drive down to Williamsburg for the day and drive back. What she would pay in gas and hotel going to Charlotte would cost way more in time and money than going to BGW.
 
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Aug 28, 2012
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Not sure where you're staying for cedar point but resort guests get in to the park one hour early as well as passmembers. If you were staying off property and bought only one pass and then a discounted ticket than you couldn't both get into the park early. It is a huge advantage at that time of the year because there is generally 4 or 5 rides open at 9am. Maverick is usually one of them.. but I wouldn't suggest going straight for that ride during your early hour because 9 times out of 10 it is broken until 10 or 11 am. The longest line at CP is generally for Millenium Force. Fast Pass Plus at CP is generally around $100 per person. July and August are very busy times for CP and it gets very hot and humid there but they have a lot of air conditioned places to eat if you do decide to eat there, the also have a few restaurants outside of the park as well. I didn't see any one mention it but you can get a platinum pass with a season long dining plan.
 
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