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Changes to 2015 dining plans (Update: not happening)


malem
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My guess is that these upcharges are appearing as the parks are figuring out they are losing their shirts on the meal plans.

 

 

While the parks that I visit offer All Day Dining plans, they do not have a "Pass Holder" version. Can't imagine why.

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My guess is that these upcharges are appearing as the parks are figuring out they are losing their shirts on the meal plans.

 

 

While the parks that I visit offer All Day Dining plans, they do not have a "Pass Holder" version. Can't imagine why.

 

Maybe some are going out of their way to use the dining plan 3x per week.  Park won't make much off of them.  Might even lose money on them.  But I watch the webcams, and the park has been pretty well vacant relatively speaking all this week.  People are showing up on the weekends, but it's really early in the season so hard to say whether they are losing too much yet I would guess.  But what they may or may not be able to measure is how much extra they make keeping people in the park.  First year with a dining plan for us, and there's no way they'll lose money on us.  I'm hoping for a win-win honestly.  But what they have is all of our money up-front.  Much of which would have likely been spent at McDonalds and Burger King just down the road had we not bought the plan.  It also keeps us in the park when we otherwise might decide to eat lunch elsewhere, to head back to the hotel and swim, or go to a movie, or whatever else.  So we stay in the park, buy more soda's, maybe some ice-cream, the occasional souvenir.

I think they should be really careful screwing with people on this one.  I want the park to make some money, but I want a deal at the same time.  And they will most certainly make less money if the masses leave the park (gasp!---has to be a mortal sin in the business to encourage folks to leave the park) and do not stay and find other ways to spend the money they are "saving" by using a dining plan.

 

Just my thoughts... 

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As of 5-14-15, the meal plan pdf on Cedar Point's website does not mention the Midway Market or Subway as a participant, and the pdf looks to be dated May 11.

<https://www.cedarpoint.com/images/uploads/file/2015%20CP%20MEAL%20PLANS%20rev%205_11.pdf>

 

So, is Cedar Point only upcharging the participating food choices that were added after the meal plan was supposedly finalized?  It seems that the all season meal plan is a constantly moving target in favor of the park.  Cedar Point's web page for meal plans mention absolutely nothing about any surcharges to specific restaurants or not.  Would that not be false advertising to buy the plan only finding out later the meals you prepaid for are no longer paid in full?

 

<https://www.cedarpoint.com/things-to-do/dining-plans>

 

With multiple trips to KI, CP, and 1 trip to Carowinds this year, I thought the all season dining plan would be a good value.  It still is under KI's plan at this time.  As the season moves along, the rules that were stated at the time of purchase have been changed (or attempted to) assuming we would simply accept them.  If this continues, our first all season plan will probably be our last.  The meal plan is a luxury and is not required.

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The only changes (that came to fruition) for Kings Island's meal plan have been positive ones (addition of Panda Express, Subway, healthy options, etc). There was no major changes to Kings Island's meal plan halfway through the season last year and don't see Cedar Point's decision to make changes to their meal plan as an indication of what is to come for Kings Island. It is a different clientele up there and was only a change to something that was a last minute addition (from how it sounds). 

 

Some seem determined to want this meal plan to fail just because it doesn't market towards them. The only negative I have seen from the meal plan is that it seems to confuse the cashiers, but that was the same deal last year at the beginning of the year and by the end of the year there was hardly any issues with cashiers regarding the meal plan.

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So far its just Midway Market and Subway for upcharges as mentioned. Which for Market I can understand as many a time I've ate almost to the point of being rolled out of there. Plus with unlimited fountain drinks it makes sense.

Pinks isn't an uocharge however meal plan selections changed comparing them to last year (we lost the bacon chilli cheeseburger). But you still get a main item and a side for one swipe. Panda Express is where it'd at and destroys Kings Island in that regard. Aside from somehow better quality, you get two entrees, a side, and an optional add on (spring rolls) for one swipe. That's a huge deal!

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I made an impromptu run to the park for about three and a half hours this evening and used my dining plan while I was there on a burrito at Hank's. Everything went as smooth as possible, and the cashier correctly handled both the burrito and my soft drink purchase, even asking if I wanted the chips and salsa that comes with the burrito dining plan meal (I said no thanks). Had I not had the dining plan to save that money, I probably would not have stopped at Sweet Spot on my way out and bought a five-pack of buckeyes. :)

In general, I find that I'm still spending about the same amount of money in the park as I would if I didn't have the dining plan; it's just being spent on different things.

(On another note, that was the single largest burrito I have ever seen. The trainee that prepared it packed it so full that neither she nor the supervisor training her was able to wrap the shell completely around the ingredients. I carried it around to the back porch and watched PTI and SportsCenter while I made the whole thing disappear. Burp.)

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We are similar. My wife has spent more on merchant these last two seasons with the meal plans than we did both prior seasons combined. She had to load the kids up with Carowinds and KD gear our first visits of the year since we weren't spending money on anything else. Had we had to pay for food for 7 people, the merch probably wouldn't have happened.

Same as with the drink cup. We bought one for each park so far for $14.99 and have yet to refil it with soda. Water is all that goes in it. If it wasn't offered, we would take our own and and they wouldn't see a dime.

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So, the park in your case gets the same revenue while cost of goods sold increases and profit decreases.

In addition, park capacity for additional visitors declines.

Such a deal!

Plus the cost of his meal plan.

Indeed, since the dining plan itself is not part of my regular park budget (which hasn't changed), but is shoehorned into my overall budget separately.

 

If I use the money I was previously going to use towards food to get a dessert then they are still makin money.

And I do that on occasion also.

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The fact remains--at the end of the season, the meal plans overall either netted the park additional profit overall or they caused the park to lose revenue and or profit or they actually lost money. And, in a micro sense, I don't think the park has tools in place to measure, for example, how many highly profitable single day admission buyers left the park to eat or left for the day rather than deal with food lines clogged by pre-paid season-long

meal plan feasters. The fact that the feasters may have bought an occasional dessert or hat doesn't make up for the lost profits onset meals at full price, including drinks, for families of four.

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The park is making money. I worked in fast food and the paper cup cost more than the Soda it contained. ( cup was .25 cents ) Considering they are charging you about 5 dollars a soda ( not suvineer cup ) they are making a large amount of profit from drinks that are not included in the meal plan. Even if you got a suvineer cup they charge you $15 dollars just to get one and for every drink you buy afterwards they are still profiting at least a dollar, and if you plan on riding Banshee they are going to make profit from the locker you rent. Also the park is paying for the for the cost of making the food itself. The majority of options in the dining plan have cheap food cost, ( IE pizza, spaghetti, chicken, rice, hotdogs, bread, ext. ). And from the looks of it from above post. People are now spending money and buying things that they wouldn't have without the plan so the park is profiting. It's keeping seasonal guest in the park. Which accompanies a lot of Kings Island attendance. There is also lucrative dining plans for tourists. Other than the cashier and line issues, I'd say this meal plan is a big win for the park.

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I'd hate more dragging the stupid thing around with me...

...hence why I prefer to pay full price for each drink. (Well, minus the 10% Gold Pass discount, anyway.)

Not to mention pay for a locker just to ride one coaster.
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They are in the station, not the entrance plaza, at Holiday World. But they also have unsecured bins in the stations. I can't speak for Thunderbird as I won't be making it out to Holiday World until Holiwood Nights later this month.

 

As for the CP dining plan options (which were a serious joke), we had a long discussion with one of the foods managers at CP after a very disappointing experience at The Corral. Neither of us wanted to eat something greasy and the only options we saw were cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders and pizza. We finally gave in and went to The Corral where kittenpooh had chicken tenders and I had a hot dog. I got a fruit cup with mine, expecting you know.. a cup of fruit. Not one of those little lunchbox cups of diced fruit you put in a kid's school lunch, full of unnecessary extra syrup. We are both trying to lose weight to fit more comfortably on coasters. Most of my meals at KI are either a salad from Red's or a sandwich from Subway. There were no healthy options at CP, and to ask for the healthier side and then get .. that? Absolutely unacceptable. Steph's chicken tenders were pulled from under the warmer and tossed back in the deep fryer to .. warm them up? Aka make them hard as rocks. She only ate half her meal because it was inedible. The fries had also been re-fried and were disgusting. I ate all of my meal (they charge $15.99 for this same combo I had) and was still hungry. A regular sized hot dog and a tiny little diced fruit cup is not enough to fill someone up. We went to guest relations because we'd just used our meal swipe and wouldn't be able to eat again for 4 hours but were both still hungry and I'd also had a serious issue with the supervisor at the location who just walked away from the cash register I'd been waiting for, causing me to have to wait again at another register.

 

We ended up talking to Kyle, one of the foods managers, for a good 45 minutes about how their options compared to those at the parks we'd used it at already (Carowinds and KI) and how incredibly disappointed we were that there were no non-greasy options. He started off making excuses about "well we added healthy side items this year" but we quickly shot that down when pointing out the "fruit cup" was a sugary bite-sized mess and the location we went to didn't even have salads even though they were supposed to. Chuck Wagon, which has the same offerings as Outer Hanks, looked amazing - but didn't take the meal plan. Chickie and Pete's, similar to Red's, also did not take the meal plan. Subway is an upcharge, which I am not paying considering it isn't at KI and I've already dropped a pretty penny on this dining plan. I'm certainly not paying $8 to eat at Midway Market (yes, it went up from the $5 they charged opening weekend) - if you're having that much trouble with people abusing it, which I'm sure they are, then take it off all together, IMO.

 

We talked at length about ways they could improve it, options we'd like to see added (he said they are working very hard to get Chuck Wagon added, and he'll especially push for it considering our conversation and what we pointed out) and he also said they are hoping next year to have better options throughout the park in general. They hired an executive chef at Carowinds this year and he has completely transformed their food offerings, and it has been so successful so far that they'd love to bring a similar person and experience in to other parks. Basically, what we got out of our conversation is that while KI is pretty well set with their dining plan so far because of the great variety they have, CP is very much a work in progress and expect to see major changes happening this year as they try to add more locations and options to the dining plan. 

 

Edited to add: He also resolved our issue with still being hungry in a fantastic way by taking us to Chickie and Pete's so we could have those salads we'd so wanted to start with. Which, by the way, were amazing, filling, and refreshing. He said they would investigate how the dining plan works at Red's at KI and see if something similar could be implemented. 

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I've been at the park all but two hours and I've now overheard three conversations about the all-season dining plan. People have been talking.

Last year, it was a $72 secret for us frequent park goers. This year, a lot more people know about it, and food lines seem to be longer at abnormal dining times.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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