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Everything posted by cdubbs727

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. It's a face mask. Everyone's gonna get a 150th anniversary-branded CP face mask upon entry to the park!
  12. We've been debating whether to try and book a hotel in August to plan to come down, but the further it goes the less I feel inclined to spend the money. Even if the park reopens, it sounds like it will be a shell of what we'd normally enjoy. It doesn't sound that enticing to drive down four hours from Detroit to wait in longer lines, stand in the summer heat wearing a mask and possibly only have a fraction of the rides/attractions opening. Not that I don't understand 100% why that's the right thing to do; I'm just thinking you'll see a lot of out-of-towners wait a year before making the trip. We're only 2 hours from Cedar Point and I can already say that's out of the question (we prefer KI because it offers more for the family anyway).
  13. Right on. I'm 40 and have two young kids. We're not overly concerned for us. The majority of people my age who get the virus get minor symptoms (which, contrary to popular belief, is not like the common cold and more like pneumonia). Kids are not largely impacted. Yet my wife and I still have concerts and plays we had tickets for that could be canceled because of this, My grad school commencement in late April could be canceled. And I'd be bummed, but I'd totally understand. Because, while it might only affect my family and I mildly, I don't want it to spread to my grandparents or to anyone in the community whose immune system might not handle it. And I can't just quarantine if I show symptoms, because you can be contagious without showing symptoms -- it might be up to two weeks before you start showing symptoms. In that time, you interact with countless people on a day-to-day basis. And while most people won't get seriously ill, a number of people just getting the virus could overwhelm doctor's offices and hospitals, meaning the people who are seriously at risk for dying for this might not be able to get the help they need. We also don't have an accurate estimate of how widespread this virus is, because our government has completely bungled preparation and testing for this. Sure, it's "like" the flu. But we have vaccines for the flu; there likely won't be a COVID-19 vaccine for at least a year. We have treatment for the flu. We know how to prevent it, treat it, and when to tell people to get medical assistance, which helps keep health care centers from being overwhelmed when flu outbreaks occur. This is a new virus (novel coronavirus). So, honestly, drastic measures now to keep from this spreading like wildfire are fine with me, even if they are inconvenient and they mean I have to miss out on things I'm looking forward to. Theme parks might open; they might close. They might delay opening for a few weeks/months. Your life will be fine. Orion will still be there. Even if KI never opened this season (which is highly unlikely), you'd still have next season. In the grand scheme of things, your life will not be affected by a theme park closing -- but lives could be saved by doing it.
  14. Yeah, I don't think Kings Island is keeping a list of rides that they can just dismantle. I'm sure in some cases they know which year will be the final one for a ride, but I'm also assuming the case with Vortex -- where it seems to be a decision made earlier than they'd plan -- isn't actually rare. It's just that at this point, it hit one of the most iconic coasters in the park. The nature of The Beast (no pun intended) is that rides don't last forever; to evolve with the times and to make sure riders are safe, rides will occasionally be retired. It's just business. We have a nostalgic love for things (I was heartbroken when Smurfs Enchanted Voyage was removed because it was the first ride in the park that I loved), and it's easy to forget they are machines that will break down and, eventually, won't be able to be maintained. That said, I often feel that aesthetic removals sometimes hurt more than ride removals. Sure, I'll miss the thrills on Vortex. But the one that really gets me? The tunnel that used to connect Rivertown and Hanna Barbara Land, which was overgrown with vines and lights. I have many great memories of sitting with my grandparents in there as a child, waiting for my mom to get off a roller coaster. Or the Snoopy light show they used to do at the Eiffel Tower for a year or two; a small memory, and maybe one that isn't missed. But I came back to Kings Island after several years away, that time with my new fiance (now wife), and it was so meaningful to sit by the tower and watch the show with her, understanding that my entire experience with Kings Island had a new dimension to it.
  15. I get it, and I'm not suggesting Kings Island do away with Haunt at all. But in the summer, certain buildings -- "Black hole" or whatever is by The Bat, and the one by The Beast particularly -- stand out just because they're obviously only there for Haunt. Not being in use and just standing out in the middle of the summer with Halloween themeing just is a bad look. I'm not sure that there's a ton that can be done with permanent signage, but any way to hide the fact that "yes, this building only exists for two months out of the year" would be nice. Imagine if there was a Santa's workshop or some other Christmas-themed building just standing out in the middle of summer. Action Theater is out of the way enough that, in the end, it's not like it bothers me hugely. But when you ride The Racer, it's impossible not to notice the large, defunct building there (maybe turn it into another showplace during the summer that can be quickly retrofitted into a Haunt in the fall).
  16. Thanks for that. Just looked it up -- yeah, quality is rough. Easy to see why that thing was tearing itself apart, though; those turns are rough. Also fun to catch a glimpse of Zodiac in the background, which was likely there when I started going as a kid, but gone early enough that I have no memory of it.
  17. I've never much cared for Action Theater, to be honest. When it first opened with Days of Thunder, I'd already been on the simulators at Universal and Disney and I remember leaving feeling really disappointed. The illusion just never worked for me when I could see everyone else in their chairs moving around and laughing (and now, you can basically get the whole concept anywhere with D-Box and 4D movie theaters). It felt like a cheap attempt to try to take Universal and Disney on, although I suppose I could see the appeal for kids (opening a similar attraction in Planet Snoopy might be an interesting attempt). As for POV movies of former coasters to replace it, I don't necessarily see that as possible. Aside from maybe Vortex and Firehawk, I don't know that the video footage that exists would be high quality enough to sustain an attraction; especially when talking about old attractions like King Cobra or the original Bat (I doubt a POV for that even exists). But I do wish KI and other parks did more to honor the past; Cedar Point has a really nice little museum, and I wish KI would create something like that. And maybe a possible feature could be a video of old rides or a VR setup or something. As for Action Theater, I'd rather they just tear it down (I know, it's been used for a Haunt building, but I think keeping old buildings around to use once a year just turns them into eyesores in the peak season).
  18. And, just like that...she's gone. RIP Vortex.
  19. According to Weatherbug, as of 11: 15 a.m., no. Last piece (or pieces, depending if they're cutting that last bit into sections) are still standing.
  20. I don't think Disney would ever be interested in a seasonal theme park. They make good money by making WDW and Disneyland destinations where people have to come and spend a week. And I think buying a chain of regional parks that they would then have to retrofit to bring up to Disney theming, cleanliness and friendliness standards would just be a waste of money -- and the fact that prices would likely shoot up and keep away visitors (who often go to parks like Kings Island and Cedar Point because they're cheaper family options than a week in Orlando) would likely also prove that it would be an unwise standard. Disney isn't threatened by CF, and I don't think CF views itself at competition with Disney. They are different business models that exist for different reasons.
  21. I hate to see this alter the landscape. The Vortex was so iconic. But I do think this is the first time since I was around 8 years old that you'll be able to see The Beast on the skyline (although part of me has always liked that The Beast was so hidden from view).
  22. Oh man, that's a sad image. At least when it had the lift hill and drops, you could still see what made it great. Now it just looks sad...hope they can tear down the rest and put it out of its misery.
  23. Nice catch. A little unrelated, but when you do the time lapse overnight, you can see around 5 a.m. last night a large flash on IS. Wonder what that is (maybe this should be a ghosts thread).
  24. The last few years, I've actually stayed off Vortex during our trips because I felt like I was "aging out" (40 and not in the greatest shape will do that to you). This summer, my nephew asked if I'd ride with him, and so I did, not realizing it would be my last ride on it. Thankful to have had one last go-round on a coaster that used to terrify me (the weightlessness on the barrel rolls always convinced me as a kid that I was about to fly out). That skyline is going to look pretty barren right behind the Eiffel Tower, and that walk from Rivertown to Coney Mall is going to be lacking one of the most photogenic places in Kings Island. I can't even fathom what that area will be like without Vortex looming over everything.
  25. Yup. Logged on and thought the ride was gone, but it was just the glare.
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