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Kings Island rider counts

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Kings Island has updated their ride records page to reflect ride tallies through the end of the 2014 season. Firehawk had a record year with 624,016 riders, and Banshee thrilled an astounding 2,000,305. Though it didn't break a record, Xtreme Skyflyer had its most flyers since 1999.
 
2014 was also a great year for ride milestones. The Beast gave its 50 millionth ride in its 35th anniversary season, Diamondback gave its 10 millionth ride, and The Racer gave its 100 millionth ride. Milestones that are likely for next season include Xtreme Skyflyer's 1 millionth flyer and Invertigo's 10 millionth ride.
 
With a bit of arithmetic and the help of the Internet Archive, you can determine the rider counts recorded from year to year. To save everyone the effort, I wrote a quick Python script and formatted the output.
 
Note that some rides don't have figures available, as data from 2013 is limited. This is just for fun of course; rider counts may be subject to error that affects season-to-season comparisons. (Missed tally counts, empty seat button errors, etc.)
 
ki-ride-records-2014.jpg

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I see Diamondback's rider count dropped by over a quarter of a million. I wonder if the new seat belts had any impact on that?

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Thanks for putting this together malem!

It's pretty cool to see it all on chart like that and formatted with the different years and such.

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^^Great Pumpkin Coaster also received new seat belts, the Planet Snoopy style that the operator must unlock themselves. I don't think it's unfair to at least partially tally the 50,000 less riders to this.

Thanks for putting this together malem!

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I see Diamondback's rider count dropped by over a quarter of a million. I wonder if the new seat belts had any impact on that?

Lookin' through the list, it looks like alot of the rides counts are down. I haven't seen, wonder if total attendence was down. Or maybe it was Banshee being new and giving out 2 million plus rides. Hmmmm

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^ Banshee was extremely popular in its debut season, and it delivered great capacity. The number of rides each guest will take per day is finite, so a slight downtick elsewhere in the park isn't necessarily unexpected. Note that The Bat and Delirium were up in ridership.

Also notice that the figures from year-to-year are very comparable. Ridership is usually limited by capacity, which is about the same each season. As for Diamondback, delays from guests and operators becoming familiar with the seat belts are presumably one factor in its drop. Another factor to consider is that many of the most experienced ride operators were stationed at Banshee.

Kings Island announced that it had "record" profitability this year. Attendance figures for individual Cedar Fair parks are not disclosed.

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I did notice that. I guess because they were by Banshee. Of course The Bat was new and shiny, too

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I think it was cool that Firehawk had a record year this year as I really love that ride. In fact, I've ridden it more this year than any year since I started doing ride counts in 2010. B)

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I'm surprised Adventure Express didn't have an uptick in ride count since you pretty much have to walk by it to get to Banshee. I wonder if Drop Tower would of had an increase if it wasn't closed for a quarter of the operating season.

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And for people like me:

Xtreme Skyflyer had "over 50,000" riders this year. Let's say the average price per flyer was $12 (making this up). 50,000 X $12.00 = $600,000.

Pretty good.

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^ They also sell pricey videos, which seem to be popular.

Subtracted from revenue, of course, are personnel costs (~1500 hours * $7.95/hour * 5 people stationed there = ~$60,000 in just salaries), licence costs due to Skycoaster Inc, maintenance costs, etc.

Although it's an upcharge, the ability to purchase a ticket is one of the benefits of general admission.

Even for non-riders, Xtreme Skyflyer is a visual attraction from the midway. I remember watching it as a kid in the 1990s, wondering how anyone could be crazy enough to actually ride the thing.

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I see Diamondback's rider count dropped by over a quarter of a million. I wonder if the new seat belts had any impact on that?

As for Diamondback, delays from guests and operators becoming familiar with the seat belts are presumably one factor in its drop. Another factor to consider is that many of the most experienced ride operators were stationed at Banshee.

I was assured earlier this year, Diamondbacks numbers were on par with last years. Though an 11.6% decrease seems a bit off to me.

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From my observations, the seat belts weren't to blame for Diamondback losing riding numbers. It was the spiels and plain lackadaisical attitude of the crew. There were times they sat for 10's of seconds without doing anything. The check probably wouldn't take any longer than how Banshee does it. Granted, Diamondback has more rows and longer trains to get to, but it shouldn't be down the numbers we're seeing.

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DB numbers being down we're due to a poor crew. We went on a Sunday in October the line barely made it past the stairs yet the crew continually let the trains stack. We only rode twice because everything else was a walk on. It was so bad the guy in the drive box said over the intercom that they were slow and letting the trains stack for everyone to hear. The crew didn't even try to speed up after him requesting them to perform better. It was pretty bad. I'm hoping they will be better next year.

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When I was assured the numbers were on par, it was after a short rant about Diamondbacks crew. And while I realize that it is in the parks best interest to deflect any criticisms, it was nothing really new. That crew had been criticized before. There was a point in time the ride was referred to as Diamond"STACK". I know everything can't be sunshine and roses, but at least acknowledge the problem.

I also realize we're talking largely about young men and women, at a pay level, they surely feel isn't worth the effort. To those select individuals, I offer the following. It doesn't get any easier ( for most ). My first "real" job was at KFC, minimum wage, and I will assure you if I fell behind, I had a manager more than happy to remind me there were others willing to do my job.

The point being, if you take on a job, do it as best as you can. The big bad world out there will take little pity on those who fail to deliver.

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Double post for admin. evaluation.

When I posted that it was not one huge paragraph. I would edit it, but might be a software problem?

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I recall during several of my visits this past season that the Diamondback crew would ask guests to board within 45 seconds. The tone they used over the loudspeaker was as if they were angry at guests. When they did attempt to up the capacity numbers, they did so at the expense of guests' comfort. There's a way to do it right, it just didn't happen this season, at least from what I saw.

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Not to mention the Gatekeeper keeping only a certain amount of people in the ride station.....

I dont get the assigned seats thing. Just let people into the station and allow them to fill in the gaps...

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There is a fine line there as well. IMO. DO let enough in to fill a train, DON'T let the station become so packed it's bedlam.

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Of course, rider count figures should be taken with a grain of salt.

This year's rider count may have been up at some point due to the "extra" 3-day Opening Weekend (thanks to Banshee and Easter) and especially well-attended early season (thanks to Banshee).

According to visitkingsisland.com, Diamondback gave a total of 9,039,993 rides at the end of its record-breaking 2013 season. It gave its ten-millionth ride on Monday, July 21, 2014. That's almost a million riders, just over halfway into the season - comparing well with 2013's record ridership.

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The thing that I find interesting is that all of the Action Zone rides - with the exception of Drop Tower, for obvious reason - was up substantially. This was undoubtedly influenced by the draw that Banshee created.

Almost every other ride was down. Many substantially. You would think that with the apparent rise in attendance, almost all thrill rides would go up.

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^ Congo Falls and Invertigo were down, and those 2 are in Action Zone. Not every ride in AZ went up.

EDIT: And I'll give my rough guesses why...

Congo Falls- People who came for Banshee didn't want to get wet?
Invertigo- I'm guessing that now that there's a large full-circuit invert in the park that 90%+ or more of guests would take over this, this ride may get walked by more often since it is no longer the only adult looping inverted coaster.

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Allow me to rephrase myself. I meant that almost all of the rides that were up were in Action Zone, not that every ride in AZ was up.

Long periods of downtime toward the end of the season probably accounts for Invertigo's ridership being down. It's probably the fact that it was a cool summer for the lower ridership on Congo.

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Long periods of downtime?

The new Cedar Fair has made quite clear that lack of reliability/virtually continual uptime will be factors to be considered seriously in ride removal decisions.

See also Two Face: The Flip Side.

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Ahh, forgot how cool the summer was. That kinda explains Congo's drop- though WWC didn't drop nearly as much as Congo did (It did still go down) though the log flume (RFYLCB) also saw a decent drop in ridership.

I stick by my Invertigo theory though. :P

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^i agree with your theory. With the exception of a couple of people I went with that hasn't been to KI before (which only wanted to ride it to say they rode it) everyone I went with didn't even care about it. With 3 coasters in AZ that all hang below the track, coupled by long lines on busy days, something has to get passed by.

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It's also important to factor Invertigo's location into why ridership was down. Bat's entrance is right next to Banshee while Invertigo is on the other side of Action Zone, therefore it makes sense that Bat's ridership would increase while Invertigo's ridership decreased.

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How long was FoF closed for? Down 300,000 rides seems like a lot, even with the problems they had.

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