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Winterfestguy

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Everything posted by Winterfestguy

  1. Definitely have to make the best use of sampling if you buy 6 tastes as a pass holder - $7.50 for one cupcake (as both cupcake pictures show) is way over priced and definitely a money grab. However, some of the other tastes may be worth $7.50 such as the mounds of meat or tot hash may is more reasonable be worth the price.
  2. Interesting Universal is installing g clear plastic dividers in their houses. Wonder if Cedar Fair is thinking something similar for their indoor mazes.
  3. Maybe it’s staffing or maybe Haunt is starting to take a new direction with less and less mazes and more focus on family daytime events - it was just a few years ago you got 11 mazes with one special escape room (the viewing) along with a souvenir skeleton key with Haunt FastLane for $50 ($4.16 each)
  4. Fright lane is pricey for a Saturday - $70 for 5 mazes is being advertised. That’s more than last season for 7 mazes (Blackout and Urgent Scare appear retired in 2021).
  5. Update on the girl hit with sensor plate and inspection findings https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/08/24/cedar-point-accident-top-thrill-dragster-woman-injured-update/5570033001/ Just my opinion but with three separate injury incidents (2004, 2016, and now 2021) unlikely to reopen for 2022 season as well and may even be destined for removal (all depending upon any lawsuits and/or trials)
  6. That’s not true that Genie+ will get you on all the non e ticket rides as many times as you can throughout the course of the day. “Guests will be able to make a second reservation 120 minutes after their first reservation even if they have not yet redeemed the first Genie+ selection. In practice, this means that you might make a reservation at 7:05 am for Splash Mountain that has a return time of 10:00 am. At 9:05 am–before riding Splash Mountain, you’d be able to make another ride reservation.” So depending upon park hours, the most Genie+ reservations you could make in one day for non e ticket attractions would be 6 for example if the park hours were 9am-9pm, keeping in mind that some popular attractions that you may want may not have availability.
  7. For Walt Disney World, $15 per person for something that used to be free with FastPass+ is nothing more than a money grab. The Genie+ for $15 per person only gives 40 less popular attractions across all four parks via the new lighting entrances. For the more popular rides like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom, it will cost extra for the lighting lane (on top of the $15 per person already paid - example crowded spring break weeks could cost another $25 per person based on the dynamic pricing model for the mine train lighting entrance). Across all four parks, example such as busy spring breaks weeks, to ride via the lighting lane seven dwarfs mine train, avatar, ratatouille, and slinky dog could be an extra $100 for something that used to be free. The same 4 rides on off peak times could be just $5 per person extra again all based on dynamic pricing model). A family of 4 traveling during peak times like school vacations therefore could expect to pay an additional $460 to ride the best attractions that all used to be free with FastPass+ (not to mention the cost of their park hopper tickets). It all about how much will you be willing to pay now to ride certain attractions.
  8. 2019 Presidents Day had a sale on FLP just before the March pandemic shut everything down. Of course that was off season, and may not happen again. And tonight ends the flash sale when you purchase or renew a season pass, you get a free FLP to be used by Oct 31 (free FLP not valid on Saturdays or Sept 5)
  9. Pretty sure management took notice in 2019 after Planet Snoopy lost the Golden Ticket award to Dollywood for Best Kids Area. Previously, Planet Snoopy held this award for 18 consecutive years, so the loss of the Golden Ticket award would definitely be noticed by management (there were no park Golden Ticket awards in 2020 due to the Pandemic). The survey seems focused on how Dollywood successfully built their Wildwood Grove with innovative attractions, so will see what may or may not happen in Planet Snoopy (or at least hope for a renovation of Boo Blasters).
  10. Some of the lights were likely left overs from 2019 Winterfest (assume when the pandemic hit in March 2020, work stopped on taking what was left down as some were just left in place). Look closely at the huge evergreens by Adventure Express entrance and in the beer garden that are still strung with their white lights. Also, if you look closely, several trees in the grassy area behind stunt coaster they also still have their white lights strung in their trees. Last Saturday around noon, there was a cord strung across the bricks in Tower Gardens turning on the red/white on several of the wrapped trees (thought that was to enhance the area of Spain with red in their flag), but by late afternoon, the cord disappeared and the red/white lights were off. I don’t remember the Tower Garden tree trunks being wrapped when the park opened this year, but the other white lights in trees were definitely there earlier this year.
  11. It would really help the lines if they sold the tasting cards at a separate location(s) like the information booth or a new separate dedicated booth and just focus on serving food at each of the locations instead to trying to do both (sell the tasting cards and order food). On Saturday, we were third in line when France opened, and each transaction of purchasing a tasting card and then ordering food of those in front was taking about 5-6 minutes each - so took us 15 minutes to pick up our season pass tasting cards (we purchased in advance) and order food. Over to Spain and the wait took us about 16 minutes and we were forth in line. Germany was the worst where we waited 25 minutes to even order food. Several people behind us left the line saying they only have four items so how can it take that long? However, by 7:30 when most people already had purchased their cards, lines seem to move a bit faster. The cards were a very heavy plastic, very difficult to punch, and found a location that wouldn’t even punch or mark off for each item ordered. Another station just used an ink pen and made X instead of a punch. Since the computer system keeps track of tastes used, the punches are really for our benefit, so maybe the ink pen or stickers would be much easier than the punch of the thick plastic. Also agree they need rope queues to help (like those at the blue ice cream this year) direct the booth line out of major traffic areas. There were definitely bottlenecks of the masses in China, Italy, and Germany on Saturday.
  12. This is a really neat event, but does cause a bottleneck with a large group of people and jams things up for others trying to get back to Orion or Flight of Fear entrances at the end of the night. Just seems strange that this small area location seems to go against KIs own Code of Conduct “Gathering in Groups that Block Midways” - definitely should consider a larger location away from ride entrances if continued next season.
  13. Looks great, just surprised they are using red bulbs in some of the gold garlands since carnival colors are traditionally purple, green, and gold (unless it’s a supply chain issue where they could not obtain the purple and green bulbs to use this year). Red bulbs just seems more of a Winterfest color. One of the very few official things about Carnival is the colors — purple, green and gold. Rex introduced them in 1872 in advance of his first parade.
  14. KK in their 4D theater with the moving seats has Yogi Bears Picnic movie - the movie has been very popular with guests this season. Could something be in the works to bring more characters other than King Louie to KK?
  15. Hoping registration packets are sent out in the next few days, especially since some may be traveling for the July 4th holiday.
  16. We’ll probably not good news for CW non-Canadian visitors this summer, especially after they just announced their early July opening
  17. The park should make an early morning tour for the 50th (before park opening), charging something like $39.95, and one of the tour items would be to view from the 50 foot deck (only for those taking the tour, thereby making the park pure profit). Other tour items could be backstage of Kings Island Theater (some really cool things from the past used to exists in storage), phantom theater, train storage, maybe memorabilia from the past 50 years etc. If the rumor is true about a certain coaster being torn down at CP after this season to make room for their new coaster, they could salvage the external ADA elevator lift from that coaster and relocate to KI for the 50’ platform for ADA tour guests only. One daily small tour group of about 15 people paying $40 over the course of approximately 90 operating days could generate the park approximately $50K of pure profit in honor of the 50th anniversary.
  18. Unfortunately, when seasonal labor cost is doubled, there has to be an increase of income coming in to maintain pre-pandemic profitability and keeping the shareholders happy (dividends still suspended so really not a good stock to hold onto right now). It will remain to be seen this fall of how much of an increase in Season Passes, Dining Plans, and Drink Plans there will be to cover the increased labor charges, not to mention daily ticket price increases. There likely is a price point where people will not renew or visit the park so it is a very delicate balance.
  19. For the 50th, KI should add a drone show in addition to the Royal Fountain fireworks (similar to what Dollywood is doing this year). It also would be nice to see the strobe lights back on the Eiffel Tower (like they were for the Peanuts starlight spectacular years ago). Parton and the Dollywood team are constantly coming up with new experiences for guests, including the new Intel Drone Light Shows during Dollywood's Sweet Summer Nights and the new upcoming resort. The show will include nearly 400 drones and fireworks for a spectacular event during the park's Summer Celebration.
  20. I have not seen any public privacy policy on how CF as a corporation (or KI) will handle the text message hidden metadata (or from the picture) texted from your personal phone or how it is intended to be used in the future. If you SMS to their number, its likely EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) metadata is also automatically sent in the background, primarily location data (and of course they have your phone number from which many details about you can be obtained from searching other databases). I am surprised that there is not an “opt in” message before using their texting service to report a security issue giving the park permission to use your data. One should just be aware of any background information being sent from your personal phone if you utilize this approach (and in any court case, if things go that far, you might get a subpoena as part of the discoverable evidence).
  21. The parks are gambling on the J1 visa program being back next year where they can pay international students much less, back to the $10/hr level - it’s a big gamble because they can see via social media that the parks can afford to pay much more if they want to, and may decide not to come to the US in 2022 for less than $18-20/hr.
  22. Two sets of my friends had their vacation plans impacted by the Tuesday/Wednesday closures (only because I let them know). After 4 days of the reservation phone lines being busy every time they tried to call, they finally got through today. They both can now only stay one night at Breakers because they were told by the reservation agent Breakers is sold out for every Friday and Saturday all through the entire month of June. They both felt they were not treated as a valued customer as all this was just shoved down their throats. I did warn them that with CP hotel/cabin sell outs for Friday (and all those automatically have a park reservation), the park will likely be very crowded if they decide to enter the park on Friday morning after checking out. They both said they will never return if this is the way the park wants to run their business always changing days/hours of park operations after being published and not caring about the customer - too difficult to plan a vacation. I don’t blame them.
  23. It does seem obvious that management is a bit scrambled on the closure messages and updating the appropriate sites (likely because IT only works 8-5pm, and the announcement was sent after they went home, which is no excuse - management should be able to coordinate better). And to make matters worse announcing Soak City will open Saturday with an obvious forecast high of 59 (when it likely won’t open at all due to the temperature), just adds to their PR issues. With no fireworks on a Holiday weekend and the postponement of the dance party on June 10 due to the new 8pm closure, people will be very disappointed. People plan their vacations around the published calendar hours and published events. Between KI and CP shrinking their calendars/hours/events, it has definitely been a PR nightmare. Will be interesting to see when Grand Carnival rolls around, what, if any, calendar changes happen. Hopefully, people will vote with their wallets on how acceptable all these changes have been to them.
  24. If you look at the first quarter CF results and comments, management fully expected a record demand and attendance at all parks (So KI just like the CP management knew as they admitted in March that record crowds would flood the gates once parks opened in May). KI knew they were not fully staffed for May weekend openings based on their labor numbers, but went ahead anyway and opened the park to full capacity of everything acting like it was open (which is another issue in itself as it makes lines, especially for the limited food and limited drink refills extremely long). The park was also overcrowded so not sure how adding extra security can help prevent such an incident because they can’t be in every single queue and every place at the exact same time (not to mention rules at KI are never enforced). I am surprised that no official action plan has been made public by now, only casting doubts for some that KI can adequately address their issues in the coming weeks (overcrowding, lack of food/drink, re-entry policy, security, etc.). It’s probably too late now, but KI should go back to reservations on the dry side that matches what the park labor numbers can actually provide for the best day ever experience (which is why Disney World each week slowly increases its reservation amounts based on their labor numbers to staff things). Hopefully, the required reservations are being limited on the wet side to help the overcrowding and incidents such as this, but have my doubts (and will see this weekend how crowded Soak City actually will be).
  25. From a labor seasonal budget perspective, the only way to increase wages is to decrease the hours/days the park is open (which keeps the same amount in the seasonal labor budget), so not too surprised CP appears to be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays for three weeks in June. I do feel sorry for those that had CP expensive hotel reservations like Breakers already booked for the newly closed days (hopefully CP will allow a full refund without penalty or free rebook). For KI fans hopeful for Haunt in addition to the advertised Fall Fest, this should be a “nail in the coffin” that there will not be a Haunt at KI with late night hours as in prior years before the pandemic.
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