Cedar Point

Over the past century, this peninsular seaside resort on the Lake Erie coastline of Sandusky, Ohio, has grown into the world's best park for roller coaster enthusiasts. While the 2003 addition of Top Thrill Dragster won the sprawling amusement park some record-breaking accolades as the tallest (420 feet) and fastest (120 miles per hour) coaster on the planet, Cedar Point already had an amazing collection of rides. Millennium Force, the first coaster to top the 300-foot drop mark and the top-rated steel coaster in the 2004 Golden Ticket Awards, is an amazing rush of adrenalin on the other side of the park.

Pros: With 16 coasters of all varieties to go along with dozens of other rides and attractions there's something for everyone at The Point, regardless of the thrill-seeking appetite. Surrounded by the ocean, the views from the top of the coaster lift hills or the more casual ferris wheel and rotating observation tower are stunning. The park's ride crew is enthusiastic and you won't find a better commitment to dispatching coaster trains in a safe and timely manner and running as many trains as possible to get riders on as quickly as possible.

Cons: Not many, though the park's popularity will create huge lines for the biggest rides on just about any Saturday and during the peak summer months. You also have the bugs to contend with. Traffic on the causeway can also be a burden if you're not staying onsite, especially during the exodus just after the park closes. Also, early in the season the weather can be brutally hot in the afternoon but uncomfortably cool at night -- so dress in layers.

3 Tips:

-- If you can stay at either one of the resorts on the peninsula or at Breakers Express or the Radisson just off the causeway you will be ahead of the game. They are all Cedar Point properties and that allows hotel guests to arrive an hour early to enjoy two of the biggest rides before the park opens.

-- There are four gates to the park. While it's human nature to use the popular entrance at the front, there is also one by the marina (closest gate to Millennium Force) while on the other side is an entrance by Magnum (closest to Top Thrill Dragster) and a Beach gate by Wicked Twister. They will all be less crowded than the main entrance though the marina entrance is a bit of a walk from the main parking lot. To get to the other two you will have to go around and park in the Soak City waterpark lot. Magnum will be right there or you can walk down the Hotel Breakers boardwalk to find the Beach entrance by Wicked Twister -- the least used turnstiles of them all.

-- Stay as long as you can by resting up during the day. The park keeps long hours and it will let you enter the queue of your last ride of the night just before closing time (no matter how long the line is). So take advantage of the shady respite of saloon shows, train rides and grabbing a meal at the air-conditioned Market Buffet restaurant.

- Reviewed by Rick Munarriz

Official Park Link - CedarPoint.com

Unofficial Park Link - PointBuzz.com

Nearest Hotels with online booking discounts:
 -- Radisson Harbour Inn - 1 mile away, Radisson hotel guests get into the park a half-hour early.
 -- Cedar Point Resorts - On the peninsula

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