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Cedar Point opens for 2021 season Friday: What's new this year and all the COVID changes you need to know

Cedar Point is back for a full season with a new ride and updated COVID-19 safety protocols.

SANDUSKY, Ohio — Cedar Point's record-breaking roller coasters are waking up from their off-season slumber as the Sandusky amusement park opens for 2021. Are you ready for Millennium Force, Top Thrill Dragster, Steel Vengeance and Valravn?

Explore our guide below to see everything you should know before visiting Cedar Point this year. Ride on!

WHEN IS CEDAR POINT OPEN?

Cedar Point begins its 2021 season on Friday, May 14. The 2021 schedule is currently available through Sept. 6. No details have been announced regarding the park's plans for its fall operations.

RELATED: Cedar Point resurrecting iconic piece of park history for 2021 season

WHAT ARE THE PARK'S HOURS?

After last year's shortened season and reduced hours due to COVID-19 concerns, Cedar Point has a more traditional calendar this year with the park open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on many nights. See the park's full calendar HERE.

RELATED: Fast Lane returns to Cedar Point in 2021

HOW CAN I MAKE A RESERVATION?

Reservations are required for all guests -- including season passholders -- before arriving at the park. You can make your reservation HERE. Guests staying at a Cedar Point hotel do NOT need to make a reservation as they're guaranteed park access during their visit.

ARE MASKS REQUIRED?

There have been some big changes regarding masks inside the park.

  • Masks are no longer required on rides.
  • Masks are required for guests 10 years and older while indoors unless actively eating and drinking.
  • Masks are not required outdoors unless it's not possible to maintain six feet of social distancing.
  • Face coverings must completely cover the nose and mouth.
  • Masks with exhalation valves or vents are not acceptable.

RELATED: Is Cedar Point removing its Wicked Twister roller coaster? Here’s what park officials are saying about the rumors

WHEN DOES CEDAR POINT SHORES WATERPARK OPEN?

You can start splashing at Cedar Point Shores when the waterpark returns Saturday, May 29 after its year-long closure in 2020.

WHAT'S NEW THIS YEAR?

Here are some of the new additions you can expect this summer at America's Roller Coast:

Snake River Expedition (opening May 29 through Labor Day): Riders will be immersed in a journey that will have them performing secret tasks, encountering surprises along the way and avoiding “danger” around every bend. Tours on Snake River Expedition are led by a cast of live characters with animated scenes and special effects to enhance the experience. Guests will also see nods to Cedar Point’s past attractions like the Western Cruise and Paddlewheel Excursions boat rides.

RELATED: Cedar Point reveals new plan that could result in ride lines closing early during 2021 season

150th celebration: The heart of the summer will heat up with the continuation of Cedar Point’s 150th anniversary celebration. The centerpiece will be the Celebrate 150 Spectacular parade and nighttime party, with larger-than-life floats (some more than two stories tall) that depict moments in the park’s rich history, talented dancers, acrobats and performers, a high-energy soundtrack and a grand finale like no other.

Special commemorative merchandise will also be available during the celebration, including limited-edition buttons, collectable pins, 150th anniversary logo items, books and more.

RELATED: Is HalloWeekends coming back to Cedar Point in 2021? Park officials give update

New food options are set to debut, including C.P. Juice Co., featuring unique fruit-shaped drink cups that are a nod to the very same products served in the park years ago. The Taste of the Point food tour will also be offered, allowing guests to sample some of the park’s most famous fare, including new Cedar Point favorites.

The 150th Anniversary celebration will take place daily June 26 through Aug. 15.

OTHER EVENTS

Frontier Festival: This returning event kicks off the season on opening day, Friday, May 14. Frontier Town will transform into a Wild West hootenanny, brimming with live music, interactive games for adults and kids, festive décor, street entertainers and a mouth-watering food and drink menu.

Frontier Festival will continue its partnership with Prayers From Maria, a local organization whose mission is to celebrate hope, raise awareness and money to fund research to end childhood cancer. Its symbol of hope, the sunflower, blooming annually at Maria’s Field of Hope in Avon, Ohio, and more recently at a second location, Maria’s Field of Hope at Cedar Point, located next to Express Hotel in Sandusky, will be at the heart of this year’s festival.

RELATED: Cedar Point announces return of early entry for 2021: See which rides will be available based on the season pass you have

A wide selection of unique items from local artisans and crafters will be available, as well as themed photo spots to capture family moments. Prayers From Maria merchandise and custom sunflower merchandise featuring the PEANUTS™ characters will be available for purchase throughout the event with proceeds benefiting the organization.

This year, Frontier Festival’s menu centers around a stockpile of cherries amassed during the harvest, and the town folk have made it their mission to use this bounty to create sweet and savory dishes and drinks for this year’s celebration. More than 20 cherry-inspired food tastings will be available, and adults can quench their thirst by sampling from more than 100 craft brews, seltzers, ciders and custom cocktails around Frontier Town.

Frontier Festival runs weekends, May 14-16 & 21-23, then daily May 28 through June 13.

Cedar Point Nights: The summer season culminates with Cedar Point Nights, the park’s nighttime celebration at the place where it all started – the Cedar Point Beach. The annual festival will feature a new “dining in the dark” experience, interactive beach games, fire pits, glow games and decor, live entertainment and the electric nighttime atmosphere of the best rides and roller coasters on the planet. Cedar Point Nights takes place while the park is in operation Aug. 6 through Labor Day, Sept. 6.

RELATED: Cedar Point eliminates required access passes for park's most popular roller coasters