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Everything posted by cdubbs727

  1. Honestly, hearing that your wife (sorry if I mis-characterized) is a health care worker and felt safe there bolsters my confidence, as does the reports I'm hearing of very light crowds on weekdays.
  2. Curious if the no reservations is effective immediately or if it will be effective in August. We have reservations for next Monday and Tuesday, and it would suck to get there for our reservations and then find they've hit capacity, although I guess they have a way of figuring out how many tickets were already pre-sold. On the other hand, we're going next week, which is the final week of closing at 7 p.m., so maybe people will sit it out until they can stay a bit later the next week.
  3. We bit the bullet and bought tickets for a July 27-28 trip to Kings Island (coming down from Michigan for an annual trip). I'm going to be honest that I was on the fence about it, but was outvoted by my wife and kids. I was heartened by the videos for social distancing, mask requirements and the other procedures they put in place. That said, I've seen too many photos of people at other parks ignoring the rules and read too much about surges in case loads to feel completely comfortable. So, for those of you who have been to KI since its reopening, what is your opinion about how their safety measures are working? Are people wearing masks? Are they social distancing in lines and at restaurants? How is the case load in southern Ohio? And how have the crowds been (part of our hope has been that travel might be lower this summer, and that we might have low crowds on that Monday and Tuesday). I'd prefer answers from people who are taking this seriously and share my concerns. I don't really have patience to hear from anyone saying this is overblown and all the procedures are pointless.
  4. I think this article highlights why the changes were necessary. No, Splash Mountain (which I haven't ridden in about 30 years) isn't offensive. But, as Matt (the article's author points out), it papers over the offensive roots of the movie. Zip-a-dee-do-dah takes its roots from a racist song. Song of the South presents a rosy picture of slave life (the podcast "You Must Remember This" did a fantastic series on it). The Uncle Remus stories, which gave birth to the characters of Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Brer Fox, are controversial because many believe the (white) author was appropriating slave culture. It seems fitting to retheme it to the film featuring Disney's first black princess...and also, probably financially a good move since more kids have likely seen The Princess and the Frog than Song of the South. https://screencrush.com/why-splash-mountain-should-be-changed/
  5. This one makes a return iffy for me. I'm perfectly happy to wear a mask and comply with social distancing; I wouldn't have even considered a trip to Kings Island if they weren't requiring those. But we're driving planning to drive down from Detroit area, a four-hour drive. I still don't know whether you can reserve two days in a row (non-passholder) and, on top of that, the hours are cut from 11-7. My guess is maybe that gives them extra time to clean, which is all well and good. But man, reserving a hotel room and shelling out the money for four people to do two days in the park just seems like it might not be worth it when you're losing a third of what you normally have.
  6. That first picture (that I see, at least) of the Bavarian Beetle just boggles my mind, because you can see the park's boundaries so clearly and it's so different from what exists today. Just green, right outside the park. No larger parking lot. No developments (no weird movie theater/church), no campground or Great Wolf Lodge. No Action Zone. Just rides along the perimeter and it stops. I said it in the other thread that these were referenced in, but these have such a weird mix of discovery and nostalgia for me. Some of them were taken 10 years before I ever came to Kings Island, and it looks like a completely different park. And then there are other things that I remember from when I was a kid that I haven't thought about in years. There are some great pictures on this site, and I've been coming to KIC for well over a decade. I think this gallery is the best collection of photos I've seen from Kings Island.
  7. I almost wonder if the best bet would be to start at CP, as in my experience the lines there are longer. But you can benefit by going through the back entrance by Magnum and hitting a lot of the coasters back there before the park even opens (give yourself an edge by staying at a CP hotel the night before and getting in an hour before the GP). I know when I was younger, it was possible to knock out most of the rides at CP before lunch, but they'd added quite a bit since then. In my experience, KI tends to have longer lines in the morning than in the evening (although using FLP, that doesn't really matter, I guess). On a weeknight, particularly late July or early August, KI often has next to no wait times on most their coasters, even without FLP. I think it's doable. But like @King Ding Dong said, traffic is going to be your biggest headache. Going through Dayton area is never fun, and I'm always surprised how much construction there is. But I've seen videos of people who do all the Disney World parks in one day; no reason knocking out all the coasters at KI and CP shouldn't be possible.
  8. This had the rare impact of both showing me a park I'd never seen (I didn't start going to Kings Island until about '82) and then hitting me right in the feels with nostalgia (that Beastie sign! The Fightertown USA theming on Top Gun!). These are fantastic. Also, I have no idea who this guy is who posted them. But seeing the Detroit T-shirts and then AWANA T-shirts for a certain church made me realize that I think we grew up in similar areas (metro Detroit).
  9. My son (8) rode this last year. He's fascinated by roller coasters but still not ready for the bigger ones (his cousin convinced him to try Mystic Timbers and...he was not ready, lol). Adventure Express is such a perfect first coaster. He loves it. The thing that terrifies most kids -- the big drop -- is not there, but it's still fun enough and gives him enough twists and turns that he has a great time with it. He doesn't care about missing lava or lights because, well, he never experienced them (he'd love them if they were added back in, though). When people talk about wanting to get rid of AE or Backlot Stunt Coaster, I realize they likely don't have young kids; those are fantastic introductory coasters. Now, as we consider taking a trip in late July, he's already talking about moving up to The Bat and The Racer.
  10. Yep. The two sides to this are going to be compliance and enforcement. People wanted the park open? Awesome. When it's open, wear a face covering and social distance to prove that you can help keep people safe. And if parks are really concerned about keeping people safe, and not just coming up with policies so they can get the greenlight to open, they need to enforce this. Like I said elsewhere in the thread, I think there's some flexibility about spirit of the law and letter of the law. If people are walking through the midway at a good social distance and not wearing the mask, maybe don't feel you have to enforce that. But if you're going to be flexible there, jump in and enforce it when there's a legit issue (I see crowding in the queues or around benches/dining areas without masks to be a big danger area). When it's serious, treat it like (you are supposed to treat) line jumping: get them out of the park.
  11. I have no love lost for Boo Blasters (although both of my kids love it; the kid factor is why it's still around). A Peanuts attraction just seems a no-brainer. But man, I really don't want anything screen-based. It just doesn't work for me unless you can put the research and engineering to make it really immersive (and even Disney and Universal struggle with this). Animatronics are a charmer, but I get why they aren't used much. I was of the right age for Smurfs Enchanted Voyage; it was the first ride I ever went on at KI and I loved it. The narrative of it was so simple -- you floated through and watched the Smurfs do whatever they did throughout the year. You could easily come up with something similar for Peanuts, even if a boat ride would likely be out of the question for reasons mentioned above. And there's enough nostalgic appeal for Peanuts that I think it would be a popular ride. But I also loved Phantom Theater, maybe not as much as Smurfs (my theory: whatever was in that place when you were 8 is your favorite thing that's been in that place). But it was a really solid, fun dark ride, especially for a regional amusement park. The Pepper's Ghost illusion was fantastic in the big theater sequence, the animatronics were good and some of the effects were a lot of fun (the boiler at the end). I'd love to see something innovative and fun put in the Tomb Raider/Crypt building. Like I said, I'm not a fan of screens. But if they did decide to go that route, why not put something unique in that building? (I also have no qualms about them tearing it down completely).
  12. Agreed. I think it's more of a "spirit of the law" rather than a "letter of the law" type thing. I doubt many people will be thrown out for not keeping a mask secure on the midway; but it sets the expectation that they should be there. And a little perceived leeway in that area likely makes people more agreeable to comply in areas where social distancing is more difficult.
  13. I think one of the ways CF is going to control capacity is through these guidelines. They don't want high capacity crowds this year; knowing that some people will refuse to come helps to control that. It's the same logic behind Disney pushing some of their new ride openings to 2021, even though they're nearly ready -- do crowd control where you can. I also think it's worth remembering that everywhere is facing rules like this. Just going back to the office for me (which likely won't happen until fall) will require wearing a mask, conducting meetings remotely (even if we're all on site), limiting elevators to two people. And that's for work, an essential thing to keep the lights on. Access to an amusement park isn't essential. It's a luxury. And so I think it's perfectly acceptable to make it a little harder to do it, especially considering the vast number of people crammed in. And I don't quite understand the requirement for masks on the midway if I don't have to wear them when I'm walking down the sidewalk at home. But I imagine it's much easier to make a flat policy that says "masks must be worn at all times" than to try and accommodate every situation in which they might not be necessary. Much easier to enforce.
  14. I think it just comes down to Disney having a lot more money.
  15. The only thing that gives me pause is the reserving a date and time...are there only going to be certain times we're allowed in the park on the days we reserve? The mask are fine; it's not a big hassle. The lines will be a challenge. But I also have a hunch a lot of people are going to share your views on the video and might decide not to come, which will help capacity. I don't blame them; if I had my personal druthers, I'd just wait until next year. But my kids really want a trip.
  16. The one that stands out to me (and I'm just speculating; I could be wrong) is FoF. So much of that queue is indoors and there's a stretch where I don't know how you social distance (inside the spaceship before reaching the station) aside from letting two people in at a time. And if the virus sticks around better indoors than outdoors, I don't know how you regularly clean the spaghetti bowl. Same issue with Boo Blasters, except that one's a little easier to ensure distance on -- close the queue in the "lobby" portion and only get people on every other car or so. Other things, I think you'll see clever work arounds. The train, for instance, won't be making stops at the water park for the first few weeks most likely, which will automatically lower ridership. And it's easy enough to close off rows on that. Planet Snoopy might be a bit of a headache -- that area gets so congested that I don't know how you handle social distancing, but maybe there's a way just to route people through in one direction. I've assumed (again, could be wrong) that shows wouldn't occur at all simply because I don't know that there's been time for hiring or rehearsals. But even if there are shows, I'd imagine shows at the Kings Island Theater and Festhaus are likely out of the question.
  17. This is good news. We're not season pass holders, but we'd been tentatively penciling in the end of July for a visit, so I'm glad to see that looks like it will be able to happen. I'm fine with masks. It's literally a $5 item and requires very little of me. Sure, it's uncomfortable. But it's Kings Island in the summer; standing in the 90-degree weather sweating always carries a bit of discomfort. I think we're more hesitant about masks because it's new and traditionally associated with sickness and emergency. But as we've gone to the grocery stores with masks, I've found I usually just forget about them after a few minutes, at least once my glasses stop fogging. Still a lot of questions. If they're controlling capacity, will we still be able to purchase two-day tickets? (Coming all the way from Detroit, two-day tickets are kind of what make it worthwhile). How much of the park is not going to be like normal (will there be shows? How is eating going to be handled)? And it sounds like a lot of this might evolve as they figure out what systems are working and assure that they are keeping the chance of a virus spread low. So, I'm curious and optimistic this will be a good thing.
  18. I'm sure Don can clarify better than I can, but my assumption is the health screening is not an in-person doctor's visit, but a list of questions you can answer online or via an app. I work for a university and we're just starting to phase workers back in, and that's how we're doing it. You go in 24 hours before coming to work and answer questions about symptoms, recent travel and exposure. Takes five minutes. They give you a barcode to be scanned at the door and you're done.
  19. I've been thinking about that. Tower Gardens, obviously, would be a good place for an area like this. Maybe the walkway between the amusement park and the water park. Also, as I assume they won't be doing shows this year (I could be wrong), you could use International Showplace as a similar area. Also wonder about the feasibility of doing one-way walking paths in certain areas of the park, similar to what we see at grocery stores. Not possible everywhere, but in some areas where you have a divided midway (thinking International Street and much of Coney Mall), you could have one-way walking, which might help with social distancing and lower the need for masks in that area. I'm fine with wearing a mask; I have to wear one pretty much anywhere else, and I think it's going to be the new normal for a long time. But I know that, at least in Michigan, we're not required to wear masks if we're just out and about outside. It's inside when the masks are required, or in spaces where social distancing is difficult. So I wonder if there's flexibility to require masks in ride lines and indoors but to loosen the requirement when walking on the midways.
  20. Curious when the reopen date will be and how soon Cedar Fair gets their safety measures out there. Figuring 4th of July weekend is a bad one to reopen, but is there enough time to staff the park and train crews by June 26? That would give the park a week to acclimate to crowds. Also, eager when they'll give word that we can buy tickets (assuming we'll have to buy for specific days).
  21. Just thinking with fingers here: I wonder if the hold-up on amusement parks has to do with a few factors. As others have stated, sure, CF might not be willing to make the changes the state feels are required. Maybe they were behind the ball in the first place moving to a virtual queue system (Universal is the first to open, but Universal had already been making strides in this area). And I honestly don't know how you do social distancing at an amusement park. Traditional queues seem to be a nightmare scenario. Then you add in that shows likely will have to be canceled (both because of distancing and because I can't imagine the shows were staffed and rehearsed by now) and sit-down restaurants will have to run at about half capacity -- you typically depend on shows and restaurants to keep people busy and reduce lines throughout the park, so now you have less places for people to go at a time you're already trying to reduce capacity. You're easily going to have to close attractions like the Eiffel Tower, because you can't have people crowding in an elevator or milling around together. And in the hot summer months, you're also going to have to close off fans in queue systems because that's another way to spread the virus. So people will be hot and miserable and either standing in long lines or sitting on benches, bored. How do you make it mandatory for people, especially children, to wear a mask all day in the summer heat? If the virus can be spread through singing in a choir, can it be spread through screaming on roller coasters? I'm not even going to imagine waterparks because those seem like wallowing in a petri dish even without a pandemic. So, CF tries to find a way to meet all these needs. And they're sinking cost after cost into these measures. I don't know if that's cheap or extremely expensive. But they're still spending money at a time when they're losing money because the parks are closed. And let's say they're looking at a target date of July 1. In Kings Island's case, that gives them about a month and a half of operation before most of their employees and local guests are back in school. In Cedar Point's case, you have until about Labor Day. And, sure, you have Haunt and (at Kings Island) Winterfest on the schedule...but there's the very real possibility of a virus resurgence, which could either prompt more lockdowns or simply keep people from coming out just out of precautions. It's also extra money to decorate, staff and run those things in a year where you've spent the first two quarters making nothing. Does opening even make financial sense at that point? Now, let's say they come up with a solution that the state is fine with and they can open. Now, you're attracting people from around the country to your park (we drive in from Detroit every year). You're bringing in people from out of state. But hotels and restaurants in the area are operating at reduced capacity as well. Where do you put the visitors? Where do you feed them? Do communities like Mason or Sandusky have to deal with the fact that locals can't eat at their restaurants because they're already at capacity with visitors? If it rains, these visitors are going to shopping malls and movie theaters that also have capacity issues. And they're very possibly bringing in cases of the virus that might be invisible since it takes up to two weeks to become symptomatic. And all it takes is a handful of people to bring it and suddenly, boom, we have another outbreak. Don't get me wrong: I want Kings Island to open and my son asks me questions every day about it. And if they open, we already have hotels booked (with cancellation guarantees) for late July. But the thing I tell him is that safety comes first, amusement parks aren't essential (although they very well may be for some local economies), and that there's a lot of expense in pulling this together. I know people want them to open and that Cedar Fair wants to make money. But the more I think about it, the more I simply see added headaches over and over.
  22. I mean, that's not what it's all about. With the massive unemployment right now, you have many instances where there are dual-income families where both couples are losing jobs through no fault of their own; just the devastation of the pandemic. Losing long-entrenched careers, in many cases. And traditional unemployment simply isn't enough for them to make their bills and take care of families -- especially considering that the hiring field is also stagnant right now because many offices have put a stop on new work and hiring to contain budgets. This gets particularly difficult in professional fields, such as advertising, marketing and higher education (I work in a marketing office for a university, for instance). My wife and I have two kids. We both have full-time jobs. We live in Michigan, where the typical unemployment maximum is about $350/week. If we both lost our jobs, we could not pay our mortgage, keep up with our bills and feed our children under that (which also leads to more stagnation in the economy). Likewise, we couldn't even go get a part-time job delivering pizza to cover what is required after unemployment, because as soon as you start making income, unemployment switches off. So the extra from the government is essential -- even in the long-term, because many companies will still be laying off companies late into the year -- because it's literally just enough to keep us going in terms of mortgage, bills, food and other necessities were we to lose our jobs.
  23. The reports of the virus losing potency come from a statement made in Italy, but the World Health Organization has said that it's not likely it is losing potency -- viruses don't simply become less pathogenic. It's possible there are less dangerous strains that are being spread, but that doesn't negate the possibility of a deadlier strain emerging. But I think what we're seeing it still good news. It's likely that the social distancing efforts throughout states have slowed and, in some cases, minimized the spread. I live in Michigan, where we've had some of the most stringent restrictions, and just this week our stay-at-home order was lifted. And it's very possible this is a virus that fluctuates seasonally like the flu. Which means fall could see a resurgence (I wouldn't get too attached to plans for a Haunt or a Winterfest this year). But also, come fall and winter, we are hopefully closer to a vaccine. We're not out of the woods yet, but I think we are much better with noticing and mitigating the risk of spread than we were three months ago. It's going to me a weird summer and probably a nervous fall. But hopefully the most extreme parts of this are over.
  24. The two lines coming out on the side definitely suggest elastic ties. The rounded portion absolutely suggests a cloth covering of some sort. Your mouth and nose and are in close proximity (near) and provide oxygen (dear) to your heart. Boom. 150th anniversary-branded face masks.
  25. It's a face mask. Everyone's gonna get a 150th anniversary-branded CP face mask upon entry to the park!
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