JUMP to CEDAR POINT, OH
Travelling to Cedar Point...
The first trip we took with our travel trailer was to Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio. Our plan seemed flawless at first. We had planned to leave after Kiarra's appointment with her Montessori around 1PM and estimated we would arrive at Sandusky by 6 PM, the latest. Perhaps it was inexperience on our part or we forgot we had kids...we forgot nothing ever goes as planned with children.
Kiarra got sick the night before we had to leave. She vomited all night so we missed her Montessori appointment the following day and did not leave until 3 PM when I was certain she would be able to keep food down. We are still unsure what happened, why she got sick, and what caused it at this point. Nevertheless, we arrived at the Cedar Point campground at 11PM. Our four hour trip turned into an 8 hour drive with frequent bathroom breaks, eating stops and the like - the joys of travelling with children :P
Most campgrounds have a curfew for late check-ins meaning past a certain time, campers wouldn't be allowed into the campground to prevent waking up the neighbours. Cedar Point, thankfully, did not. It certainly worked for us this time around. With Kiarra refusing to go to bed and crying late at night (new place, new bed), however, I am not sure it worked for the other campers.
Cedar Point Camper Village...
Our site at the camp ground was roomy...tons of grass space!
The Camper Village of Cedar Point has three separate sections. The sites with the full hook-ups were located around the lighthouse area, and close to the registration office. The sites which did not contain full hook-ups were right beside Cedar Point's Waterpark Soak City. Our site in particular was located close to the registration office. We were very impressed with our site. It was not at all crowded, we were close to the washrooms, and there was a huge patch of grass between our site and the washrooms - with a dog, this was a bonus! Upon registration, I did ask for a site close to the washrooms and one that was away from the rollercoaster Mean Streak. I read several reviews beforehand advising one to book a site away from the rollercoaster if you can because it tends to get loud.
I honestly cannot say anything negative about the campsite. The washrooms were clean, showers were private, and our site was so close to the park that heading back to eat lunch and dinner allowed us to save on our travel costs. Staying in the park allowed us to feel like we were always right in the action. Distant screams in the background as the rides would start for the day would entice our excitement to get the day started. The rides also lit up nicely at night conveying a surreal atmosphere. The noise of the rides were never an issue at the campground even though we hit the sack early because the AC drowned all of the outside noise. The drive to the campground from the front entrance involved an amazing view of the water and the rides.
The Camper Village is not meant for folks who want to camp in the traditional sense. Tent camping is not allowed..and neither are fire pits, rollerblading or biking. So, if you are looking forward to any of these traditional activities to do at a campsite, it is best you stay somewhere else. If you are just looking to stay within close proximity of the park and save money on the admission, Camper Village is perfect.
Cedar Point Amusement Park...
The park itself we found catered more to Ronan's age (five) than toddlers. Of course, it goes without saying the park caters to adventure-seeking adults. Because we were with kids, however, our visit mostly consisted of doing preschool and toddler activities so this blog entry only covers children-oriented activities found at the park.
There are areas which do contain toddler-friendly rides. The noise from the nearby rollercoasters, however, we found were too loud and overwhelming for Kiarra. She would get so frightened that she would cover her eyes out of fright. It did not help dad took her to the Tilt-a-whirl for her first ride. When I was at the park, I was busily taking pictures and lost track of Randy and the kids for a brief moment. By the time I had caught up with them it was too late. Helplessly, I watched dad take Kiarra on the level 3 thrill ride with him. As soon as the ride started, she screamed and the rest was history. Even the rides with a thrill factor of one would frighten her after what proved to be a traumatic experience. Randy had no idea the thrill factor was 3 on that particular ride (he did not read the sign) and felt terrible. My only response to him was 'it's a tilt a whirl, haven't you ever been on a tilt a whirl??'.
My advice to parents with toddlers and preschoolers, visit the Cedar Point website beforehand to research which rides would be suitable for your children. Cedar Point does provide the thrill factor levels for every ride on their park.
Unlike Kiarra, Ronan absolutely loved the rides. There were mini roller coasters just for his age which he enjoyed. Since he was too short to ride the bigger roller coasters (and believe me, he tried), he was happy to know there were thrill rides specially made just for his height. He also loved the Dino Alive exhibit at the park where dinosaurs were controlled by animatronics. Kiarra did not enjoy the dinosaurs at all! The sounds the animated dinosaurs made frightened the beejebus out of her, and she held onto dad the entire time. It was a hot day and though Randy and I treasure getting hugs and cuddles from Kiarra, it was one of those days you wish she would let go just a little.
Afraid of the dinosaurs at the Dino Alive exhibit
If our children could rate the park, Ronan would likely say a 5/5, Kiarra would say a 1/5. A 1 for the time she gleefully saw the Snoopy statue found in the Snoopy area.
Ronan loved Soak City...there he goes into the wading area while the rest of us lounged on the man-made beach
I enjoyed Soak City greatly mainly because I was able to relax and lay in the shade with Kiarra who took a nap for an hour and a half, while Randy and Ronan went on the water slides. It was a fantastic way to unwind. Trees located near the wading pool afforded shade which was a relief on the sweltering hot day. I noticed some folks moved their beach loungers underneath the trees which was smart considering the sun towards the end of the afternoon ended up hitting the spot I was laying in. They were seasoned Soak City goers I imagine.
Ronan found some relief playing in the water on the hot day. Particularly, he seemed to favour Soak City's kiddie version of a lazy river. Kiarra, being Kiarra, insisted on going up the kiddie water slide the wrong way blocking other kids from coming down. When I told her that she could not go up the slide this way and that she would have to go the other way, she was not impressed. With Kiarra, it's her way or the highway and because she was still recovering from our late night arrival to the park, she was not particularly cooperative. Thankfully, she took a nap shortly thereafter so we avoided the inevitable tantrums.
Not impressed that she was not allowed to go up the waterslide the wrong way
There was also a man-made beach located by the wading pool area and I wished I had the forethought to bring sand toys with us. So, my advice would be to bring sand toys to Soak City if you have toddlers to help keep them preoccupied throughout the day.
Cedar Point has other child-friendly attractions we did not get to experience. We only stayed three nights...the park and Soak City filled our days. There is a beach located beside the park which consisted of white sand, water activities and the like. There is also a marina located beside the park worth visiting the next time we make a trip there.