On Sunday, June 4, my young adult son went from Florida to visit friends in Ohio for vacation. All of his prior trips to OH occurred when Cedar Point was closed, so this was a much anticipated amusement park trip for him. He is a "roller coaster" junkie and went specifically for the newest, fastest, biggest rides...Top Thrill Dragster and the Millennium Force.
Upon arrival, my son and his three friends entered the park and went directly to one of the aforementioned rides. After waiting in line, my 6'9", 270# son was advised he was too large for that ride. He was astounded since he routinely rides the roller coasters at Florida's theme parks (Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World, as well as Busch Gardens Tampa), whose ride vehicles are designed with certain seats to accommodate big-and-tall passengers on every ride car.
Disappointed at being told he could not ride, they got out of line at that attraction and went to the other of the two "biggest names" and again waited in line only to find out he was too large to ride that, too.
Now disgusted, the group decided to leave Cedar Point and find someplace they could all go for some excitement WHERE ALL COULD PARTICIPATE TOGETHER. His friends wouldn't ride the rides and leave him sitting on a bench (the friends go to Cedar Point regularly but weren't aware of this restriction before this visit), so when my son left Cedar Point, they all left. [They also drove to Sandusky together from another part of the state.]
Here's where the situation gets ridculous: Within an hour after arriving, these four young people went to the guest relations/guest service type area and asked for their money back in light of the fact that the two best rides, the total focus of their trip, were unavailable to them. They were in the park less than one hour, but Cedar Point employees told them to forget a refund, CP doesn't give refunds. One snotty employee had the audacity to tell my son, "This isn't Disney World!" (you betcha!) and another comment to him was, "You can't have your money back, so you may as well go enjoy the kiddie rides for the rest of the day and get your money's worth." What a TERRIBLE way to do business.
Guests, beware: If you spend roughly $50 per person (adult) to get into Cedar Point and something goes wrong, whether it's rain, the rides can't accommodate you, or somebody dies, you can forget getting your money back OR EVEN REPLACEMENT TICKETS.
I specifically requested that if they would not refund the money, which I half-way understood, that Cedar Point at least reissue the tickets so my son's friends could go back to Sandusky with a "normal-sized" friend and enjoy the day on their "biggest, best" (???) roller coasters. NO way. I do not understand this ridiculous policy at all.
Peggy Bertsch, Director of Training and Development, Park Operations, wrote in her letter to me dated 6/26/04, "We have 67 rides, forty of which are adult/thrill rides that were available to your son and his friends. The average guest on Sunday, June 20 enjoyed 13 rides or attractions.
Your son chose not to enjoy rides such as Magnum XL 200, Gemini, Snake River Falls, which are rated as some of the greatest thrill rides in the country. There were many rides and attractions that he could have enjoyed on the day of his visit, but he chose not to. We did our best to try to convince him to stay in the park and enjoy what we had to offer as our admission pricing is based on a full day of enjoyment, not just our two most popular rides."
Note that the 3 "less thrilling" thrill rides she mentioned are all excruciatingly similar to rides my son has ridden a hundred times before, hence his disinterest in them. No matter, per Ms. Bertsch, they couldn't care less if he was the last paying customer on earth. And, frankly, I hope he was (their last paying customer on earth.)
Get the picture? Cedar Point spends millions of dollars running TV and radio commercials begging people to come to their park, but they neglect to tell you that no matter what, once you part with your money, it's theirs---NOTHING, BUT NOTHING warrants their consideration in your request to either give back your money or at least replace virtually unused tickets. I hope a Rip-Off Report will entice them to change their minds.
I hope every guest here will AVOID CEDAR POINT IN SANDUSKY, OHIO, until they either do something to make their rides more accommodating or, in the absence of that, do not try to force any guest who goes to their parks for one specific purpose to have to settle for less-interesting attractions for the simple unjust enrichment of the amusement park itself. What a disgraceful company, and they, CEDAR FAIR, (apparently the parent company) should be ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES.
Yes, I get that their rides, unlike the ones in Central Florida, cannot be modified to SAFELY accommodate big-and-tall guests; that's not the nature of my complaint. I appreciate their excluding my son from their stupid rides if his safety would've been in jeopardy, that's common sense. (Never mind that this size requirement is a NEW REQUIREMENT this year, according to their Administration office, and that last year big-and-tall guests COULD RIDE THESE SAME ATTRACTIONS. Apparently their past guests are supposed to be mind-readers, too, or else they also get to enjoy LESSER attractions at the same high admission cost.)
I am incensed that this corporation STEALS from people who don't know their ludicrous business practices. The woman I spoke to in Administration at Cedar Point told me, "He should've done his homework!" In discussing further, she meant it was HIS RESPONSIBILITY to find out if their attractions were appropriate to him. How narrow minded!!!! Everybody in the world does not have web access, and their web page left a lot to be desired from my own personal search after the fact.
I consider their negative response a new low in customer service. In fact, Cedar Point is now famous for its CUSTOMER DIS-SERVICE DEPARTMENT!
Learn from my son's mistake; DON'T spend your money at Cedar Point unless you know what attractions they have there and that it's right for you. Apparently no matter how short a period of time it takes for you to realize that what you paid for is not what you wanted, from the second you purchase your ticket for Cedar Point, LET THE BUYER BEWARE!