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Everything posted by Ffej

  1. How was the turnout this year, considering the weather was much better than last year? I wish the park had communicated that the rides would be open until 11:30PM rather than the 10PM close posted on their website, but for the people that did go, I'm sure it was a nice bonus. I wanted to go, but it seemed like the event was marketed more to families this year, and I didn't know if there'd be enough for my friends and I in the last few hours. Does anyone know if the dining plans worked through 1AM and what time the park stopped serving alcohol?
  2. It definitely ran in the snow for awhile. I had an awesome ride while in heavy snow with giant flakes. It seemed the harder it snowed, the louder the cheers were in the station. However, I imagine there was a point where the snow was accumulating too quickly to keep the ride running safely. The park was just gorgeous last night in the snow, and it'll be a wonderful memory I'll never forget.
  3. Out of curiosity, has anyone spotted any wooden Kings Island ornaments? Kings Dominion had many for the park and their various rides, so I figured KI might have them somewhere. All I found at Kings Island were either plastic or the thin glass bulbs that tend to break over the years.
  4. I went to Winterfest last weekend, and I had a great time! Overall, I think the event keeps on improving. The lighting was the best the park has seen yet. Mystic Timbers still delivers every time and is as smooth as ever. Flight of Cheer was sorely missed, but hopefully it'll be back on the roster for next Winterfest. There were a few other things I missed this Winterfest over the past couple years: there was no eggnog & hot apple cider at Jack Frost's Liquid Libations, and the corn pudding at Smokehouse Christmas was absent on my visit. I ran into the beverage manager and let him know about the eggnog & hot apple cider, so maybe they'll return in the remaining weekends.
  5. Excluding the buffet, is there any new food to try on the dining plan vs the last 2 Winterfests? Or any new treats / drinks worth noting? I'm looking forward to visiting tomorrow!
  6. Yeah, I believe you that the igloos sold out at times, Ryan. Personally, the three times I went to Winterfest last year, I saw either none or 1 occupied throughout the night, so maybe it was hit or miss some nights. In the end, we both agree that the park is adjusting the pricing to hopefully make more money, as they should be doing.
  7. If the igloos were regularly selling out last year, the park would not decrease the price by more than 50% this year, regardless of guest feedback. Source: supply and demand.
  8. In regards to the Igloo Rentals: Note that the prices are $129-149 versus $299 last year. I'm not surprised to see the price cut after seeing low utilization last year. I think this will make them more appealing to some. That being said, if I'm understanding this correctly, the description of what's included with the rental seems deceptive, and I'd recommend the park change the wording. It states that: "Each reservation accommodates groups of 4 (up to 4 additional guests can be purchased) and includes VIP Seating at Select Shows, Refillable Souvenir Hot Chocolate Mugs, and Priority Access to Ice Skating, Carriage Ride and Cookie Decorating experiences.*" Upon first read, I thought, "Wow, that's actually a good deal now when you add the cost of hot chocolate mugs and priority access ice skating, carriage ride, and cookie decorating experiences for 4." Then, I noticed the asterisk: "Priority Access provided upon purchase of additional experiences." I could see this misleading some guests, especially when these additional experiences were included in last year's igloo rental. If they're really only including priority access upon purchase of the additional experiences, drop the asterisk, and word it like this: "Each reservation accommodates groups of 4 (up to 4 additional guests can be purchased) and includes VIP Seating at Select Shows, Refillable Souvenir Hot Chocolate Mugs, and Priority Access upon the additional purchase of any Ice Skating, Carriage Ride, or Cookie Decorating experience."
  9. CoastersRZ, When I said that old incarnations of Winterfest ultimately failed, I did not mean that they were poor or unpopular events. I just meant that the event was canceled from 1993-2004 (12 years) and from 2006-2016 (11 years). If Winterfest in 1992 or 2005 was an extremely profitable and significant part of the overall business, more effort would have been made to bring it back sooner, regardless of the change in ownership. From everything I’ve seen and read, I’m in total agreement that the current version of Winterfest is the best the park has ever seen, and I’m fortunate to get to experience this era. I think Cedar Fair has implemented a lot of changes that will make this a viable event for many years to come.
  10. I'm very glad that Mystic Timbers is open. Here's the thing though: I don't have young kids, I can't do spinning flat rides, and my local zoo (Toledo) offers beautiful Christmas lights, a Christmas train, carousel, bumper cars, and ice slides + bonus animals. I could drive 10 minutes there or about 3 hours to Kings Island. This is one of the reasons why I feel the old incarnation of Winterfest failed. With few rides running back then, people had local zoos and events nearby that provided much of the same experience for a lower price and lower amount of commitment / effort getting there. Mystic Timbers & Flight of Cheer were the big draws for me personally. They provided high-thrill rides that couldn't be had anywhere else nearby during November & December. Once drawn in, I fell in love with seeing the park in a different season and discovering how much more there was to do other than the coasters. That being said, getting a coaster ride in November / December is still a huge draw for me, and I loved having Flight of Cheer as an addition or backup in case Mystic Timbers was down. I understand why it's closed, but getting to ride Racer or another coaster in its place would have definitely provided some extra excitement for Winterfest 2019.
  11. If Flight of Cheer is really closed for Orion construction, I'm surprised that Racer isn't replacing it as a secondary coaster for the season. Racer looks like the perfect Christmas coaster and would work so well in that retro Christmas portion of Winterfest: it's painted white like snow and has an adaptable lighting package for red and green. It is capable of running in lower operating temperatures than many of the coasters. It's also highly adaptable for crowds. There will inevitably be that really nice weather day during Winterfest where the park is slammed and extra capacity is needed: move to 4 trains. On the other end, the weather may leave the park pretty dead some days: move to 2 trains or even 1. With extra attention on it running, it'd provide plenty of beautiful Christmas photos shared to social media, which is free advertising for the park. Did I mention Racer 75 is one of the coasters that runs at Kings Dominion? I realize Winterfest is primarily about the atmosphere and entertainment aspects, and I appreciate that. But, the rides and coasters are a huge asset KI has that many other local Christmas events don't have.
  12. Yes, Canada's Wonderland still has an Express line for dining plans at select locations; I was there Sunday & Monday and used them. Oddly, the park was absolutely slammed on Sunday, and hardly anyone was in the Express lines for dining plans. We're talking probably 30+ minutes for the regular line, and less than 5 minutes for the dining plan line. Either people were confused by the Express Dining Plan line and not using them, fewer guests have dining plans there, I just hit the right time, or the system was working...or a combo of those variables. Regardless, it was awesome and felt like having Fast Lane for food.
  13. I notice on the Kings Island website that Panda Express has changed back to 2 entrees. Can anyone confirm this was the case in the park? Panda Express Two Entrées Bowl & Side
  14. I know it's still early, but I hope the park straightens and anchors those umbrella tables so that they have symmetrical spacing on both sides. Otherwise, there are some great improvements, and by the time I'm able to visit in a couple weeks, I'm sure I'll get to see an even better version (especially once flowers / shrubs are planted).
  15. As excited as I am to have Flight of Fear on the lineup this year, wouldn't Flight of Cheer have been a little more appropriate? Considering Flight of Fear is in a dark box, it wouldn't be very difficult to add some colorful LED's & a holiday soundtrack that could be turned on or off with the season. Bonus points if you were boarding Santa's sleigh for a trip to the North Pole. Similar thoughts on Mystic Timbers & Boo Blasters. I know the budget and time is limited, but I can't imagine it'd be too much effort to swap Santa out for a Bat creature on some digital media. I think small changes like these would really excite a lot of people, especially children. This would also give guests more reasons to visit the park multiple times in a year to experience their favorite rides in new ways.
  16. Yes, Malem's question is an important one that I'd love to see Don answer. I have a group of friends planning on going. We all renewed our Platinum Passes by the Nov. 5th deadline, so it sounds like we should be good to go. But we have various home parks, and they were renewed in various ways. Some renewed online using the payment plan, some renewed at Cedar Point with KI as the home park, and one renewed at KI though their pass was changed to Carowinds as the home park because of the pass not working. Lastly, I need to reiterate that the Platinum pass home park conflicts are ridiculous. I can't believe I've been hearing of and experiencing issues with home parks year after year. I've never experienced an issue with a Six Flags multi-park pass not working. Yet when visiting about 10 Cedar Fair parks last year, some of us had to get Platinum Passes reissued and home parks changed 4 times to get them to work properly, especially with the Platinum dining plan. It's so disappointing that Cedar Fair isn't taking strong action to correct this. It makes us anxious every scan of a Platinum or dining plan, wondering if it'll work at a different Cedar Fair park.
  17. I renewed by the deadline, so I should be able to attend. But, what prevents new pass holders or late renewals from entering? I doubt KI built in park-specific code to reject non-qualifying pass scans for this 5-hour event. So, this exclusive event is basically on an honor system, correct? Does anyone here know of anyone that was unable to enter the preview night with their pass last year because they weren't renewals or because they missed the renewal deadline? Judging by the crowds that built at the preview night last year, I had trouble believing that everyone was a deadline renewal pass holder. I mean, I was just happy to be there and had a great time, but I was curious how or if they were really checking renewal criteria.
  18. Can anyone share their Fright Feast experiences from this year or past years? I'm curious if this is a fun Halloween experience with themed food tables and decorations, scare actors lurking around, etc. Or is it basically just a generic buffet in the picnic area? Also, my friend is vegetarian. Does the park ever offer some extra restricted-diet options upon request (like a veggie dog, burger, etc.) at their buffets, or would he just have to feast on the sides?
  19. I can confirm that I added the 2015 Platinum Dining Plan at Kings Island to my Cedar Point - purchased Platinum Pass without a hitch (And for $99 versus the $120 now). Now if it all works flawlessly opening day is another question... I'll be taking my receipt to be sure.
  20. I agree that the entrance host was doing his job exactly as instructed, and he was a very nice guy. He clearly wanted to let us in, but he stated that he didn't want to lose his job for not following what he was instructed to do. Another thing that everyone should know: The entrance host also claimed some were losing their skeleton keys and only had the punch card, but they couldn't let those guests enter either. You must have both your skeleton key and your punch card to enter Fright Lane. That's interesting to me, because I will admit that the skeleton key was a little heavy on the neck, and I was thinking of taking it off and putting it in my pocket. I could totally see others doing this, and then losing the key out of their pocket. For the record, I created this thread for a few reasons: 1. I wanted to genuinely warn others purchasing Fright Lane that you must keep track of both the punch card and skeleton key to enter, and it's easy to lose one or the other, based on my observations and what the entrance host told me. I used Cedar Point's Fright Lane, and they used a closed loop connection on the card versus KI's metal clamp. With KI's, you can bump the spring-loaded clamp when closing a restraint or such, and then you lose your card. Then the clamp is attached to a slot very near the top of the card with no reinforcement. It will easily fatigue and break. I just picked mine up (by the card) in the car to look at it when making this thread, and the weight of the skeleton key broke my card off. So that's a 75% failure rate in our group of 4 after a night of fatigue on the card. That's a problem on the park, and they can easily correct it. 2. I was curious of others' opinions on how the park handled this. 3. I wanted to present my own opinion on how Kings Island handled this. Which is: While I don't feel the park technically cheated us, I think they made a very poor business decision. This was a tiny blip of a problem, and the way Kings Island handled it could seriously harm their future business. I want this park to succeed and would like to be proud and confident of the way they treat their guests and deal with problems. The way the problem was handled was not necessarily the fault of anyone we dealt with, but somewhere upper management is training their employees embarrassingly wrong with policies that are purely technical. This reminds me of the kid that grew past his junior pass threshold and the park wouldn't let him enter. Some issues will require the use of common sense, and it's a shame that KI doesn't seem to be getting it. Also, it was too near the end of the night to visit Guest Services and come back; Urgent Scare would have been closed. However, I will be contacting Guest Services with this issue so that they are at least aware of what happened.
  21. A few friends and I visited Kings Island for Haunt this past Friday. The lines were not that bad for most of the haunts, but we decided to purchase Fright Lane to ensure we could get through all the haunts with some time to spare for night rides. We all had a great night together, but 1 minor issue (and the way the park handled it) definitely ruined the strongly positive vibe we had all night. When you purchase Fright Lane, you get a very nice collectible skeleton key on a lanyard with a punch card for all 11 haunted houses and 1 extra trip through a house of your choice. The problem is that the Fright Lane punch card can break off fairly easily from the lanyard after hours of fatigue on rides, etc. We fortunately made it through 10 out of 11 of the houses together, but my friend's punch card broke off on Adventure Express. The last Fright Lane house we had to do together was Urgent Scare, so we went there and told the Fright Lane entrance host what had happened. The 3 of us that still had our cards showed that we all had the exact same ones punched together, and this was our last one. My friend that lost his card on Adventure Express showed the entrance host his metal skeleton key, his dated receipt from the Fright Lane purchase, and his matching credit card used to purchase it. The entrance host said he couldn't allow him to enter, but he'd call his supervisor to discuss. They talked for a couple minutes over the phone, and then the supervisor said he was on his way. They had a 5-minute meeting to discuss what to do, and then they called a second supervisor over. After waiting a total of about 15 minutes, the 3 came over to us and said, "Sorry, but you must have your punch card to enter; there's nothing we can do here." The original entrance host apologized and said that they have had other reports of the same exact issue. Of course our extremely positive night suddenly turned to discussion of how poorly that situation was handled. If there is a known issue that's occurring and an honest group of adults that are clearly together with proof of purchase, it's silly to make such a big deal over a $3-4 value, especially when it's costing the park next to nothing. Again, the damage this did to our night and to future business at KI will far exceed the cost of making this situation right. I really feel that Kings Island needs to train / empower their employees to better handle these situations. At this point, it was near the end of the night, and we decided to leave. On the way out, it was discovered that another friend's punch card was nearly broken through and hanging on by a thread. So, please be aware if you're buying Fright Lane, those punch cards can break off unexpectedly even if you're being careful. I'd recommend the park reinforce the lanyard attachment hole and change to a closed loop attachment instead of that clamp, which can open if bumped.
  22. Yes, my receipt will definitely be kept, and I took a picture of it on my phone in case of loss. I bought the dining plans at both KI and CP this year, and at the start of the season, both parks repeatedly told me that I didn't purchase the dining plans. My receipt saved me a few times at each park. Fortunately, the bugs were worked out after a month or so, and the dining plans now work well.
  23. If KI really kept their word (their website states that only passholders that renew by Nov. 2nd get the season pass preview), that'd be such an excellent and exclusive perk. I predict it'll just be a marketing ploy and all passholders will have access, but I guess we'll see.
  24. Again, I was told more inaccurate information by park employees then. So, malem, is this $14.99 discount loaded onto your season pass (as I was given nothing but a receipt with my $279 season pass renewal - she stated they had nothing to hand out)?
  25. For the record, I was at the park on Sunday, so I decided to experiment and renew my CP Platinum Pass for 2015 at Kings Island with the dining pass, even though the official word from the park representative I talked with (over the phone) was that it could NOT be done. It worked without a hitch. I handed her my Platinum Pass (which is 5 years out of date, so it's clearly branded "Cedar Point"), it renewed at the discounted $279 price, and I was told my Fast Lane Plus was loaded onto the card. All I have to do is present my Platinum Pass at the Fast Lane booth on any Sunday, and it'll redeem one free FL+. Then, I asked about the other perks I was supposed to get (Four $14.99 bring-a-friend discounts and an exclusive season pass preview event in 2015). As I was expecting, she confirmed that the season pass preview in 2015 will be for all passholders. Additionally, she stated all passholders could bring friends to the park for $14.99 on Sunday the rest of the season. There were no coupons required for that offer. Again, this was just the word from an employee at the season pass booth, so who knows if her word was accurate. All I know for certain is that I was able to renew my CP Platinum Pass at KI at the $279 renewal pricing. I'm saving the Fast Lane Plus for a future Sunday. So, as I stated earlier in the thread, calling businesses directly often leads to inaccurate answers as well. I was after actual experience from someone that had already done this promotion when creating this thread, and now we have it.
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