Thursday, February 11, 2010

Top Five (non-Disney) Parks - #1 - Cedar Point

After my brother graduated from college in 2000, I wanted to take both of my brothers on a road trip to celebrate.

We wanted to do something epic. We wanted to do something special. We wanted to do something we'd remember for the rest of our lives.

We made a road trip to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.

When you stop to think about it, it's strange that three brothers would travel 450 miles to visit a regional park. But we knew we couldn't truly call ourselves theme park fans if we hadn't been to the epicenter of amusement parks.

We needed to see The Roller Coast for ourselves.

The listeners of have voted Cedar Point as the #1 (non-Disney) park in the country.

It's hard to argue with that because any visit to The Point isn't just a day in the park, it's more of an event.

Let's start with the fact that they have managed to fit 17 world-class roller coasters onto a picturesque peninsula on Lake Erie. The memory of Cedar Point that has been burned into my mind is that no matter where I stood and no matter what direction I looked, I saw a roller coaster.

Much like the other parks on our Top Five list, Cedar Point's roller coasters are iconic. Many of them are outright legends. What theme park enthusiast hasn't heard of Magnum XL-200, Millennium Force or Top Thrill Dragster?

When you add the dozens of other thrilling and mild attractions, you have one of the most well rounded ride collections anywhere.

Cedar Point was one of the few parks I have visited where there was a certain "electricity" in the air. People were genuinely excited to be there. It was as if everyone realized how special the park was.

I often wonder if the people who consider Cedar Point their home park realize how lucky they are. The rest of us have to plan trips across the country for the privilege of visiting the park. But I'd guess if you'd ask someone who's made the trip, they'd tell you it's totally worth it.

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