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KIC Junky

KIC Junky (3/13)



  1. Interestingly, I am a gold pass holder, and I am thinking of springing for this once. Reason: I like Firehawk, I hate the agonizingly slow queue the ride builds that seems to be 60-90 minutes even on a slow day. $50 for some quality time on Firehawk, FoF, and Diamondback with a few other rides thrown in sounds like a deal. I think none of the rides except maybe WindSeeker and FoF are merging througj exit, which will help mitigate the power rider a bit Just don't hate me when I'm on my ninth Firehawk ride as you are just getting your one.
  2. But, parks wouldn't lose money on the free drinks. I vividly recall folks told Will Koch he was insane, there was too much margin to be ignored on soft drinks. This prompted Will to present the full business case as a webinar that I wish I had kept. Holiday World, like any good park or business, has a Point of Sale system capeable of keeping metrics on how many sales and dollars each and every item makes. This is why, when you eat at Plymouth Rock Cafe, and purchase the Meat + 3 dinner, the receipt itemizes out which three sides you chose. (And slows down the checkout process, but that's another matter entirely). So, for the park to get a dollar figure on how much soft drinks, ice tea and coffee brought in was a pretty trivial assignment. The numbers were crunched, and then they divided that dollar figure by that season's total attendance to arrive at the per person or percap number. In the case of beverage, Will said that worked out to around $2.71 a person. So what did they do in 2000, besides open Legend? They upped the admission price by $4, $1 of it was the regular and customary price increase, and was to go towards Legend, the other $3 replaced the $2.71 drink percap they were making in 1999. Did you just notice something? That's right, despite making drinks "free", the drink percap went up 10%. This is great because it scales right along with the explosive jumps in attendance the park has had. I'm also sure that the park has since re-indexed the 'drink supplement' part of the admission charge. They could raise that 5-10% every year if they wanted. I beleive at the time, WIll said the cost of a Pepsi Oasis drink to the park was about 10 cents, which means a person would have to go through thirty of them before , he also noted the most expensive part of that was the paper cup. You may have also noted the free drinks no longer come in Holiday World cups, they come in generic Pepsi cups. The product cost most likely has gone down further. Will went on to further make the case that the free drinks has shown other benefits to the park. For example he noted his food percaps were up, indicating that more people were eating a meal in the park, and that his first aid expenses were lower thanks to reduced cases of heat exhaustion. in intangiables, he noted they were receiving less and less of the 'small complaints' as people were more willing to overlook the small inconveneinces since they were getting something free. The point was, that it was no top secret, it wasn't rocket science, and he was willing to show any pther park that wanted to folow suit, exactly how to do so, right down to giving hints like, "Use the smallest size cups you can get to avoid product waste" Now, transferring this knowledge to Kings Island, it could be done, but with very expensive start up costs. Over the years Kings Island has torn down just about every stand alone fountain based cold drinks stand, in favor of vending machines. If they were to want to start down the road towards free drinks, they would have to rebuild a lot of the cold drinks stands, this is because you don't want your food service workers to be spending the majority of their time distriuting prepaid product. Holiday world also had this same start up cost as the continue to build more and more drink distribution stations, and are also slowly converting their food stands over to self serve drinks, usually by replacing one service window with a self serve fountain. But yeah, given the general mood and vibe around Cedar Fair - don't hold your breath. They are, as noted, pushing the $1.99 refills very heavily. What I disagree with is: I can see giving the little medicine cups of water (don't they bring back fond memories of the juice/punch cups from preschool and kindergarden) when you are walking the midways and just getting drinks, but if you are in the act of purchasing a meal from the park, the least they could do is give you a full size cup of ice water. I just paid you $10 for a burger and fries, and you are going to give me a 5 oz. cup of water, really?
  3. The vast emptiness after the great special effect is very noticeable. Like something should be there and isn't. Maybe they are just doing that so its in line with the theming exhibited on the parks other themed rides. But now you have my curiosity piqued, what was there that is so bad? I was thinking maybe the needed a totally dark zone for the benefit of the new great special effect. as far as scaring little kids, I think 15-20 seconds of pitch black darkness is probably going to do it to them more than almost any scene.
  4. Well, it would appear I have an over abundance of PTO hours at work, and due to being almost maxed out, I need to burn some. I noticed the park is open on Fridays from 10-10, but also noticed its Math/Science Days. I did check the FAQ and it says its a public day, and as such passes and tickets are honored. So, while part of me thinks "It's a friday in spring, how bad can it be" the other part of me says "It's school field trip days, and I know what those can be like" Trying to decide if I want to go to the park on a Friday in May, or if there will be so many kids at the park, that it wouldn't be worth it. I'm thinking of the old adage "A lousy day on the golf coruse is better than..." I'm also thinking that around 2 or 3, a lot of those field trip groups will start to head home, giving a couple hours before the after work crowd hits. I note from the rides listing that it looks like Planet Snoopy will be closed along with the water rides, train, Eiffel Tower, Scrambler, Monster, Troika, Action FX Theater, Son of Beast, and Backlot Stunt Coaster. Thoughts? I mean I have a platinum pass which includes parking, so it's not like I'd be out anything.
  5. I'm thinking one reason they don't do it that way is staffing, not rides staff per se, but security/crowd control staff. Offering Beat and Diamondback as the Gold Pass ERT is a natural. as you merely setup the walkway from the gate into Rivertown and then block off all other exits from Rivertown until 10. If you started throwing other rides into the mix, thats more of the park they need to open up, so they have to provide staff to check ID's and monitor the path back to the ride to make sure you don't venture anywhere you aren't supposed to be. Next years changes will most likely be all in Planet Snoopy, and I'm guessing mostly cosmetic at that. Still if they wanted to open a couple Peanuts rides for the kiddies, it also fits in with the access way to Diamondback ERT. I'd open up Reptar and Litte Bills if you wanted to add Plant Snoopy ride ERT for the kids. Maybe even Phantom Flyers, Planktons Plunge and or Timmys Air Tours without having to open up much more of the park than they already have to to get people in for Diamondback. Note: I seriously thought you were joking with the Lucy's Crappie Cabbie name!
  6. Yes, and that TWO visits to other parks in the chain is the important thing. For example - last year I had a Gold Pass, to upgrade to the Platinum Pass would be $75 more. I decided to go to Cedar Point for one day. I considered upgrading the pass, then priced it out and realized I could get a one day ticket and pay the parking toll at CP for $47 (yes, I had a coupon). Next year I have Kings Dominion and Carowinds on the schedule so I upgraded to a Platinum. They keep saying a platinum pass gets all the gold pass perks of whatever park you are in, so I'm hoping thats true. Gold pass perks at KI have been pretty similar for the last few years, so they didn't need to make too many changes to the template. The Beast/Diamondback ERT every day was a nice addition this year. The walk on weekends program seems to be a thing of the past, not a big surprise since that probably created more headaches than it was worth and Cedar Fair, with the exception of using Freeway to combat Geauga Lake's FastLane has tended to shy away from that sort of thing. Hmm, maybe we could convert Back Lot's walk-on lane to a SRL. It worked well at Diamondback and with Backlots small trains and "Singles will be paired" rule, that could help out. I note they mostly removed the one at Beast during the plaza redo. Single Rider lines just don't seem to make much sense on Drop Tower or Delirium. The Log flume (whatever it gets called) could get a SRL, but probably would not help due to the seating design of the ride. (More and more folks don't like in-line seating, particularly with strangers)
  7. I upgraded a 2009 Gold Pass into a 2010 Platinum pass a few weeks ago. They issued me a new platinum pass, and it is on the older "Delirium" card stock. Then again since the photos and expiration dates are only held in the computer, not on the pass itself thats not a huge problem. I got something lke $5 off the price for the renewal.
  8. That had to be 2005, the reason I can say this is I remember going to the park that day, we rode Italian Job, so it had to be at least 2005, but we made frequent trips to HB for the little one to ride the hand crank cars, which went out during the HB-> Nick redo, so it couldnt have been 2006. That day didn't start off bad, but by about 2 or so every ride had an obnoxious line, I seem to recall we mostly just walked around the park taking it all in, since it would have taken so long to actually ride anything, It was essentially "Free Day" at Kings Island, and well, if you went you got what you paid for.
  9. See other threads on this topic. 200 lbs, thats a lightweight! On Beast - those seat belts are pretty long, in fact so long that if you can get the two clicks on the lapbar, the seatbelt won't be a problem at all. The problem is the belt retractors like to jam a lot on the wooden coasters, which causes the problem where you start the pull out the belt and it won't come out of the retractor, or it comes out part way and then stops. When the ride operator comes over, they are pushing a button on the retractor that resets it, after they press the button you can pull the belt all the way out. Believe me there is an plenty of belt in there, as long as the retractor doesn't lock up on you. Drop Zone is the hardest ride in the park for me to ride, so I can relate to that. Nighthawk (Borg) at carowinds is similar to Firehawk. That, oddly is one I haven't had any trouble with. In short the answer though is yes, I have been turned away from coasters for size. Seems to happen most often when I go to that park in Sandusky, which is why I try to avoid that park in Sandusky, problem solved. But once it happens to you, unless you are familiar with the ride in question, it is one of those thoughts that lingers in the back of your mind whenever you go on either a new coaster/ride, or one that has been a close call or caused you grief in the past. Sometimes that doesn't even work, for example i'd ridden Thunder Run at Kentucky Kingdom dozens of times, but not this summer.
  10. I have been the recipient of some of those 'beyond the call of duty' assists in getting on a ride. Ride operators will always warn you before they do something like that, my favorite was on Crazy Surf at the Ohio State Fair, "This is probably going to hurt like heck, do you still want me to try" Then when the ride was over he came around to me first for unoad "Let's get you out, you look to be in pain" So far Diamondback, I can do myself sometimes, or if not its getting from click 2 to click 3 that is the problem, and generally a firm but not forecful shove will do it. I still say the ride operator has more leverage from where they are standing than from where I am sitting. A week or so ago on Diamondback, when I first got to the park I was needing an assist almost every time on Diamondback. Then I tried the shove yourself all the way back in the chair as far as you can go then, and I know this sounds counterporductive, lift your legs while shoving down on the bar. Try it sitting in your desk chair, notice your thights go down about half an inch. Guess it's sort of like crossing your ankles on Cedar Creek Mine Ride or Pepsi Python. Anyway, the last time I recieved a "Beyond the call of duty" assist onto a ride was Batman at Six Flags St. Louis, any as mentioned above, the ride op in question told me exactly what he was going to do, and asked if that was okay. Yes it was the place both hands on the shoulder bar, then jump up in the air putting all your weight on the shoulder bar trick. A similar tactic got me on the KMG Experience (a traveling carnival ride that was at the Minesota State Fair)
  11. I'm just hoping there will be a dark ride next year. I was just trying to think of all the great dark rides in the legacy Cedar Fair parks. I know a few of the parks *USED* to have them, but I can't think of one of them that survived. Okay, I'll give you the Calico Mine Train at Knotts, and that one is pretty memorable. I hadn't ridden Scooby at KI since August, and it was a let down after riding the St. Louis version a couple days prior, it's a shame that apparently (per reports above) that their maintenance plan for the ride lately has been "Is it essential? No, then forget about it". That's what makes me think not only the theme, but the whole ride system may be going. I wonder if they chose 20 final riders becuase that is the number of Fright Lights that are still operational? Last time I rode that ride we left the station with 0 points each, and returned with 0 points. All three of the guns were inoperable.
  12. Update: Just 7 days later, my tickets arrived just as advertised. The tickets are labeled WSMV-TV as the group name and slugged "MEDIA" Having seen the design of past years Holiday World tickets they look legit at first glance, I'll let y'all know how it goes in August for me. The strange part - the mailer included a 2"x2"x1" piece of styrofoam that I can't figure out what its purpose in life is.
  13. Add me to the list of those whom it would take too much time to list. Here is the link to my track record.
  14. I'd like a camera mounted showing the stairway with a monitor at the ride entrance. IF the SRL is halfway down the stairs or less, go SRL, somewhere in the lower flight, its a gamble, all the way down the stairs, forget about it.
  15. Hold it - Racer used to board from the outsides, like its cousins at Kings Dominion and Carowinds??? I don't remember that, in fact I think even as early as the Brady Bunch television show they show the Bradys using the old exit, which was when they had a STEEP ramp that came down between the queue house and a beer booth that is no longer there, but lets just say its on the Sweet Tooth, uhm, make that the Subway side. The much longer exit ramp that goes around the back of the station and cmes out between the queue house and the basketball game was added in the 90's when the park was eliminating a lot of the steep ramps from the park. (See also, the original KCKC exit, the insanely steep hill from Rivertown down to the Swan Lake bridge, changing Beast from one steep ramp to the tri-fold ramp it has today, the Fairly Odd Coaster exit, and so on. ) I saw some of the last minute crossing between the SRL and the main line this weekend. Part of the problem is the parks iron fist grap on line jumping (note sarcasm in use). A big ugly barrier might solve the problem, but I don't think the SRL tickets would have. Tickets only restricted who could enter the ride platform from the SRL, they would not have prevented a crossover from the SRL to the mainline. Unfortunately this relies on the park to enfore the line jumping rules, which might be made harder due to guests being too intimidated to cause conflict, most likely due to having witnessing the non-response in the past. Tickets could prevent a crossover from the mainline to the SRL, but what is the point there. If you want to leave the mainline at that late point, after waiting through 95% of it, to join the end of the SRL, no skin off my back. Tckets restrict program usage to authorized guests, well they dropped the screening process, so thats irrelevant. Limiting the length of the SRL, well by monitoring the line and closing the gate when it reaches a certain point, they have solved that one. In fact, I'd say MOST of the people I saw using the SRL yesterday were in fact groups, and for the most part they understood the whole'will get split up' nature of the program. I also know it cut my wait time by 10-20 minutes a ride over the main line, there is a reason I managed 17 D-Back rides in 5 hours on Sunday. Thats only slightly worse than my ride count productivity during the night ERT a wek ago, where I did 10 rides in 2.5 hours.
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