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Everything posted by Winterfestguy

  1. Cedar Fair seems to be taking after Disney to have pay events after hours. The first trial of an after hours event in the park chain seems to be at Cedar Point. I wonder if we will see an after hours event at KI next year (or maybe soon to be announced for KI)? https://www.cedarpoint.com/events/wild-frontier-nights
  2. This is exciting news to finally see Timberwolf out to some good use rather than sitting idle. Unless you have a season pass (or purchase a ticket) it appears you will not be able to enter the park when attending a concert. It also appears they are trying to end the concerts before the music and fireworks on iSteeet at 10pm. I see a massive traffic jam heading out of Timberwolf and the park at closing with these concert days. Admission to Kings Island Amusement Park is NOT required to attend any of these concerts and is NOT included with the purchase of a concert ticket.Admission to the park can be purchased here.
  3. Had the best meal at the Brewhouse for lunch today (London Bridge fried cod sandwich). Very tasty and fresh with hot tater tots. It’s nice to see the new exterior paint job and newly installed windows (noticed all the lights around the windows have been removed which called my attention to the new paint job and brewhouse flags). However, my dinner meal at Coney BBQ not so good, primarily because the registers were not taking the cash cards, crashing, and holding up the line. After standing in line with my food for 15 minutes waiting, my food was ice cold. Not a fan at all of the thick cut fries (please bring back the sidewinder fries) and there was huge amounts of fat on almost every piece of my burnt ends (maybe I got a bad batch?), not impressed as one of my worst meals in years, maybe because the food was not even warm by the time I cleared the cashier after register reboots.
  4. The admission system crashed several times at opening and they finally just let people walk through without scanning anything, just holding up your season pass as you entered. Thank goodness the drink and meal plans still scanned successfully even though you weren’t officially scanned into the park. There really was no excuse for the admission system crashing in my opinion as no real surprise that the park would be packed on season pass preview as in other year. There were also issues with the cash cards not clearing and causing the micros registers to crash at many of the food places (causing lengthy register reboots). Seems the same exact thing happened with micros registers crashing last year with season pass preview day too.
  5. If maps are not being printed this season and only available digital, they could change in any given week. Still think Timberwolf should be utilized for Bands in Residence like CP does which adds additional daily entertainment to the park rather the venue just sitting empty, closed off, and rotting away.
  6. Parks like to copy each others industry trends. First there was dynamic pricing at parks where you had to pick the day to attend and weekends always higher pricing. Next came going cashless which all CF parks are this year, and Hershey Park will also follow that trend this season as well. With inflation, labor, and food costs running very high, I can see a meal limit to the all season meal plans possibly coming to CF parks in the future. I do think the 10 meal plan at Six Flags is too small of a quantity, especially for locals that visit often.
  7. HW has had zero transparency on how attendees were selected as part of their big “experiment in the selection process” this year. It could not have been a random selection process that HW seems to claim since everyone also had to produce a bio about themselves. It does appear select individuals were hand picked by HW staff based upon select, unidentified criteria. They should do like every other park does, first come, first served, even if the event sells out in 5 minutes. It will be interesting to see if HW ever admits their “big experiment” this year was a big flop in the public’s view (sure, it limited attendance, but at the same time has made me and my friends decide not to go to HW at all this season).
  8. International Showplace has so much potential for the 50th, and sad to see it not being used until June 25. If Off the Rails is similar to the CP show a few years back, didn’t find it too exciting. With less and less utilization of the venue (or improvements in shade, paint, lighting), wonder if it’s in the KI 5 year plan to demolish soon in preparation for a major Planet Snoopy renovation.
  9. During KK Winter Walk through last Saturday, it was mentioned that Herschend is now sole owner of KK as of January 1st 2022 (guess Ed Hart finally gave in and sold his last 20% stake in the park). The Keys to the Kingdom coaster event will be later than normal this year on Saturday July 16.
  10. You really don’t need physical prize or redemption areas anymore. The use of the game card can track how many tickets are won electronically (on same the card swiped to activate the game). Then the card can be scanned at an automated prize vending machine for ticket redemption. These prize hubs are popping up at many hotel resort arcades now.
  11. CF operates its parks on a 5 year plan (plans were likely adjusted during the pandemic slightly so this has been in the works for Great America and Valley Fair for a few years now. When you look at KI, they have continually reduced their number and investment of their haunts from 10 (plus a bonus fright lane escape room in lobby of KI theater) down to 5 in 2021, perhaps part of KI’s 5 year plan to transition in 2023 or 2024 to this newer, expanded model of ticks or treats. When you look at the 6 new tick or treats lands (Icky Ville, Spooky Spires, Point Peculiar, Everfall, Sweet Tooth Ave, and Conjure Creek), you can almost see where they might fit into KI. The good thing, depending upon how one looks at it, the description of these lands seems to bring more and new entertainment (which would be good for several KI locations). All of this is another CF chain wide swing from the adult oriented Haunt when they took over from Paramount (those that remember the look on CF management faces at the first KI showing of Dead Awakenings that first year of ownership) to more family oriented events (like this years KI tricks or treats event). If KI Haunt was replaced with Tricks or Treats, would people still come and make it a big money maker? Most likely yes - people want to use their season pass, meal plans, and drink plans as much as possible, plus enjoy the many fall cool night rides before winter Coker sets in.
  12. Kentucky Kingdom released their disappointing summer schedule today with park opening on April 30 and water park May 28 - Shorter hours for both parks and totally closed on Tuesday and Wednesday the first two weeks of June. https://www.kentuckykingdom.com/plan-your-visit/calendar/#/2022/5
  13. Doesn’t surprise me to see it closed all of 2022 (and maybe beyond). With all the lawyers and likely several potential lawsuits, it could take years to resolve them. It certainly does remind one of the Son of Beast situation and tear down years later after final lawsuit settlements were finally reached.
  14. Interesting strategy but will likely fail in the age of social media. Person A comes back making $20/hr as ride operator checking restraints. Person B a new international student is hired as a ride operator for the same attraction checking restraints too and will make $15/hr for the exact same job that person A is making $20. Once international students find out they will be making less than their colleagues for the exact same job, they won’t come to work at CP (some McDonalds are paying $15 these days). International students also have to pay for housing that will quickly take a bite out of the smaller wage. I would expect like last year several sudden Monday and Tuesday park closures due to staffing issues as well as no housekeeping services during stays at any of their hotels. With the two new CP resorts opening this season, not sure how they will be adequately staffed at the lower wage for newer employees, especially with lifeguards.
  15. Both of my friends had the same issue - they selected their t-shirt size at 10:12 and it wouldn’t let them proceed, assuming IT glitch or perhaps sold out - it seems CF has lots of IT glitches as the exact same thing happened with CP Winter Chill out (but Tony did make it right for those few). Very disappointing on the behalf of KI to see glitches like these. They need to have a waiting room software to keep there server from being overwhelmed and sales accurate to the time.
  16. https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2022/02/09/entertainment/dolly-parton-college-pay/index.html
  17. With Herschend announcing that the paid college tuition benefit will also apply to Kentucky Kingdom full time, part time, and seasonal employees, this will be a big benefit that could be valued in the thousands. (Was announced earlier today for Dollywood with the paid college tuition benefit by Dolly herself). This makes the KK overall benefit package likely more attractive than what Cedar Fair parks can offer.
  18. We might hear more when SEAS releases their Q4 and Fiscal 2021 results on February 24. Their initial offer is probably too low considering in 2017 CF stock was trading in the low $70s
  19. Wonder if Coasterstock will be open to any coaster fan this year (like CP CoasterMania is doing this season) or still exclusive to only members of park selected coaster clubs.
  20. The ACE club CoasterCon event this year begins at CP June 19-22, so many coaster folks will be skipping CoasterMania and attending their CoasterCon later in June instead. This is probably an attempt to make sure the park sells out all of their limited tickets. Last year was the first year CoasterMania did not completely sell out in under 10 minutes as it did in all previous years (it took almost 2 weeks to completely sell out the approximately 1500 available tickets in 2021). Many coated fans have felt Coastermania has gotten stale with the same itinerary and same lunch selections year after year, and CP has been reluctant to listen to restore CoasterMania to the two day grand event it once was.
  21. After a summer of fantastic quality and portion sizes at Coney BBQ, I had the worst meal ever at Coney BBQ on opening day of Winterfest (Nov 26) - the turkey breast portion was super small (reminded me of the wing portion size fiasco this summer until they fixed that), the Mac and cheese was ice cold and tasteless (no way did a chef taste it before serving), and then biscuit was so dry it fell apart in pieces. I have not been back to Coney BBQ but have found the Mac and Cheese bar to be fantastic and my place to eat during Winterfest. Consistency is the key to winning food awards and sadly Coney BBQ is not on my list anymore during Winterfest this season.
  22. These may be just “boiler plate” hours subject to change closer to the actual scheduled week. Interesting they are scheduled to be open on Easter Sunday April 17 (12-7pm) as many businesses like Target and Costco are closed on Easter (so park could be packed depending upon the weather or could be very empty). Also, some may recall the CP disaster when they decided to close on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the last minute in June after many had already made their travel plans based upon their released schedule early in the season.
  23. Since the Eiffel Tower paint color is the same as International Showplace, it would have been the perfect time to give the International Showplace some paint and restore it to it’s original glamor for the 50th celebration. Instead of the overhead tarps, install a more permanent metal roof and upgraded stage and decorative lighting to make it more of a year round entertainment venue, especially when it rains or snows.
  24. Wonder if all season pass holders actually received an email about new season pass terms after their purchase. Been a platinum pass holder for many years and have visited every Cedar Fair park many times, but never have received any emails from KI as my home park (not even in my spam folder as I check for potential misrouted email daily), and always verify my email address is correct each year at time of renewal (as well as making sure my email address is correct on my KI account). Never got this recent email about new season pass terms (my friend also a platinum pass holder didn’t get the new season pass terms email either). Never have gotten any pass perks over the years since all tied to a KI account email address. Just gave up trying with KI over the phone over the years to fix whatever is potentially wrong in their system (spoke with many nice but clueless KI customer service reps on the phone over the years about the issue, but just gave up attempting to fix it)
  25. Let’s hope the Christmas Collections and Trim-a-Tree shops have new merchandise this season rather than the old stale left overs from 2017 (which were put out again in 2018 and even put out again in 2019). With the pandemic supply chain shortages of Christmas decorations this season, will just have to wait and see.
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