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Changes to 2015 dining plans (Update: not happening)


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So just got off the phone with KI.

The lady I talked to by pressing 0 said that the only difference between the meal plan this year and next year is the change from 2 hours to 4 hours. She said they noticed online that it says lunch and dinner times, but that will be changed. I asked specifically if I get there at 3, will I get to eat and she said yes the meal plan would work,

and faith restored....

We all know that park and Cedar Fair officials read this site. One has to wonder if we had something to do with the change of heart.

Or if it was never the intention at all and was posted in error.

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So just got off the phone with KI.

The lady I talked to by pressing 0 said that the only difference between the meal plan this year and next year is the change from 2 hours to 4 hours. She said they noticed online that it says lunch and dinner times, but that will be changed. I asked specifically if I get there at 3, will I get to eat and she said yes the meal plan would work,

and faith restored....

We'll see what happens as the season draws nearer for Cedar Fair's seasonal parks. I suppose that I should have contacted someone at the park before noting the website change here, seeing that it would (if accurate) be likely to upset many existing dining plan customers.

The new rules were posted on all Cedar Fair park websites, and CPFoodBlog.com mentioned the dining plan changes on Twitter, so I assumed that the website was correct. We've seen plenty of website errors in the past, so that may have been a bad assumption.

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Has anyone last year tried to use their dining plan mistakenly twice within the 2 hour and got denied? I’m curious what happened especially at the restaurants that you get the food first. I assume they can’t force you to pay for it. So do you say sorry and walk away resulting in them throwing the food away?

With the new rules and guests not knowing, that could result in a lot of food waste and money loss. If I didn't read this forum I wouldn't of known about the 4 hour time period wait for this year.

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And we know how informed the employees answering the phones can be - we have story after story throughout this forum of being told stuff that wasn't accurate.

I fall in the camp of let's wait and see what happens - might get away with a 4 hour wait in April, but by May, most will have been trained on what it should be.

What is interesting is that on the desktop version, last night when you would click on the plan within the website, it didn't show the lunch and dinner time windows - you had to actually go the actual purchase site before that information popped up. I checked the desktop version today, and now when you select on the dining plan on their website, the lunch and dinner window is now present.

Doesn't sound like it is a 4 hour window to me...

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I appreciate the fact that the KI rep acknowledged the rules listed on the website. I want to see what actually happens when people try to use their meal plans at 3:30.

For me, it's not hard to imagine the site changing, then being told by a food cashier between 2:30 and 4:30 that the meal deal won't work. Reversing the policy is great if that many people were upset about it, but it would be nice to know that employees know the current rules, too. I'm waiting to see how it works once the season starts.

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So just got off the phone with KI.

The lady I talked to by pressing 0 said that the only difference between the meal plan this year and next year is the change from 2 hours to 4 hours. She said they noticed online that it says lunch and dinner times, but that will be changed. I asked specifically if I get there at 3, will I get to eat and she said yes the meal plan would work,

and faith restored....

Let's hope.
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Has anyone last year tried to use their dining plan mistakenly twice within the 2 hour and got denied? I’m curious what happened especially at the restaurants that you get the food first. I assume they can’t force you to pay for it. So do you say sorry and walk away resulting in them throwing the food away?

With the new rules and guests not knowing, that could result in a lot of food waste and money loss. If I didn't read this forum I wouldn't of known about the 4 hour time period wait for this year.

I did have them tell me this during the season last year, it was due to procedural error on the cashier's part though and a quick conversation with the supervisor got the food for me and my daughter in a timely manner.

I'm personally not upset about this because I generally eat within the "normal" lunch & dinner times, but I can understand those that do not as I at one time did eat outside of the "normal" hours. Hopefully Shark's conversation with KI was correct and it was an error on the site, but like many others, I'll hold my judgement until I see it in action this year, what one KI rep say's can contradict what another KI rep say's which has been the case many times.

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Agreed. I did find it odd that I mentioned "meal" and she referred to them as "lunch" and "dinner". Also sort of odd she knew exactly what I was talking about right away. Usually when you call anywhere to get a question answered they dont know what you are speaking of. Here's to hoping....

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Agreed. I did find it odd that I mentioned "meal" and she referred to them as "lunch" and "dinner". Also sort of odd she knew exactly what I was talking about right away. Usually when you call anywhere to get a question answered they dont know what you are speaking of. Here's to hoping....

Perhaps you were far from the only one to call this morning? :)

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Has anyone last year tried to use their dining plan mistakenly twice within the 2 hour and got denied? I’m curious what happened especially at the restaurants that you get the food first. I assume they can’t force you to pay for it. So do you say sorry and walk away resulting in them throwing the food away?

With the new rules and guests not knowing, that could result in a lot of food waste and money loss. If I didn't read this forum I wouldn't of known about the 4 hour time period wait for this year.

When my plan last year was brand new, it had taken a while to get on my pass....they had looked at my receipts and overrode the system at the Chicken Shack....not sure if this would be the same to what you are asking. They could ask you to pay for it and take your receipt to guest services for a refund or they ask you to hand the food back and come back at your allotted time after the break.

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Why can't Ouimet use a variation of his former employees' dining plan? Offer up a plan that includes quick service and snacks and offer up a plan that includes the above plus a sit down meal at Reds HOFG. forget telling people when they can dine. That way, people can pay one price up front and know what they're entitled to eat at the time of their choosing.

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Come to think of it... I renewed my pass at Cedar Point's Season Pass Center on closing day 2014. The kind cashier definitely informed me that Platinum Dining will include almost all parks and I'm 99.999% sure that she mentioned the change to the 4hr wait time. That's all I was told at time of purchase, thus those are the terms I agreed to. It was stated previously that the menu was to be determined and refunds would be issued if one did not like the choices. Once again, nowhere was I informed of a disclaimer that they could up and change the entire redemption process.

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I've been sort of stewing all day about this, and it finally clicked what bothers me so much about it.

Years ago (ok, honestly, a couple decades, I'm getting old), when I first had a Season Pass, I felt it gave me sort of a VIP status. Like they appreciated that I sank a large chunk of my entertainment budget into their park that they could count on before the season even started. With things like the passholder's special entrance (to bypass the regular line), they reinforced this feeling.

Last year was the first time I've used a pass again in around 15 years. Many of the rules, shortened ERT, and the difficulties I had in obtaining even the small discounts given with the pass left me feeling less like a valued customer and more like someone who was begrudgingly allowed to "get away" with things. Like they feel passholders are people who are already getting more than they deserve for their money, so they have to watch closely to make sure we don't take advantage of them. When all we are doing is using the benefits we thought we signed up for.

This rules change on the dining plan reeks of that, viewing passholders as attempted moochers rather than VIPs. Oh, they thought they could just get meals whenever someone paying full price could? We can't have that, better make them wait in long lines to really /earn/ that meal they've already paid for! Think they could choose to have two meals later in the day separated by four hours rather than being at the park when WE say? Got to put a stop to that!

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Well the good news is someone is working on changing what it says on the site.

The bad news is that, while it doesn't list specific hours anymore, it does say "one lunch and one dinner" on the season pass "more info" pop-up (or simply "lunch and dinner" on the meal plan page pop-up). And the big pop-up at the top of the meal plan page still lists the limited times. As does the FAQ.

However, earlier today they /all/ listed the limited hours, so fingers crossed they will all eventually change back. Although changing to "lunch and dinner" isn't exactly going back to the 4 hours we were told when we bought or shark was told over the phone. They may just be mitigating complaints until the beginning of the season, when they enforce the limited hours.

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Although changing to "lunch and dinner" isn't exactly going back to the 4 hours we were told when we bought or shark was told over the phone. They may just be mitigating complaints until the beginning of the season, when they enforce the limited hours.

The idea is that you get the two meals, lunch and dinner, and it was just supposed to be four hours apart. It doesn't matter what you want to call the meals, so long as the 4 hour wait time is back in place.

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True. But, so far, no mention of four hours has creeped back into any of the descriptions. So even the ones they've removed the actual hours from are much more similar to the new "lunch from blah to blah" and "dinner whenever we say depending on when the park is open" than the old "two meals seperated by four hours".

Which is why I think it may be just a way to minimize complaints until later and/or sell more plans until season start by keeping people unaware of exactly how they are planning to implement the plans this season.

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I've been sort of stewing all day about this, and it finally clicked what bothers me so much about it.

Years ago (ok, honestly, a couple decades, I'm getting old), when I first had a Season Pass, I felt it gave me sort of a VIP status. Like they appreciated that I sank a large chunk of my entertainment budget into their park that they could count on before the season even started. With things like the passholder's special entrance (to bypass the regular line), they reinforced this feeling.

Last year was the first time I've used a pass again in around 15 years. Many of the rules, shortened ERT, and the difficulties I had in obtaining even the small discounts given with the pass left me feeling less like a valued customer and more like someone who was begrudgingly allowed to "get away" with things. Like they feel passholders are people who are already getting more than they deserve for their money, so they have to watch closely to make sure we don't take advantage of them. When all we are doing is using the benefits we thought we signed up for.

This rules change on the dining plan reeks of that, viewing passholders as attempted moochers rather than VIPs. Oh, they thought they could just get meals whenever someone paying full price could? We can't have that, better make them wait in long lines to really /earn/ that meal they've already paid for! Think they could choose to have two meals later in the day separated by four hours rather than being at the park when WE say? Got to put a stop to that!

What you're thinking is exactly true.

Kings Island didn't offer season passes until 1979 (I think). They were few and far between. It was before my time, but I imagine it was kind of like having a zoo pass. A few have them, but it's not like "Oh, you're going to the zoo? You might as well buy a season pass."

There are three main components that make up KI's attendance: season pass, individual tickets, and group sales; with the season pass base spending, by far, the least per capita as part of the mix. The higher the season pass base for the day, the lower the in park per capita spending is.

So they spend most of the Fall trying to sell season passes. It's guaranteed Q4 revenue for them. Beyond that, ALL benefits are designed to attempt to increase per capita spending. The benefits work to your advantage, but they're certainly not a gift.

Here are how the benefits that I can think of off the top of my head increase per capita:

ERT/Early Entry into Soak City - This is designed to entice you come to the park earlier, thus expanding the hours per visit and increasing the the chances of food purchases.

10% discount on food/merch - This is to combat out-of-park spending. A 10% discount adds a perceived value to purchases.

Bring a friend days - Your friend will spend and spend and spend and spend money if it's their only visit to KI that year. Plus, if you're with them, you'll likely be spending money that you wouldn't normally spend.

Admission to Haunt - Remember when they tried to say your pass wasn't good for Haunt back in like 2007? Then they backpedaled. Then they said, "Okay, it'll be good for 2007, but not 2008." Then they backpedaled. This wasn't a gift. First, season pass holders were used to getting into Haunt (then Fear Fest) so they would feel like there is less of a value to the pass. Secondly, if you don't win October, you loose the entire season. Cash is raked in on an industrial level. What if many of those patrons chose not to go? That would be disastrous, not only for KI, but for the entire company. Kings Island's Haunt carries a lot of weight.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the Kings Island Gold Pass is, hands down, the best deal in the CIncinnati area. Just remember that there's a reason for every perk, "free" things are built into other costs, and you - as a pass carrier - play a specific function within the revenue of the park.

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Plus, Fast Lane and Fast Lane Plus is not included with any of the season passes. So, having paid for our entry prior to the season, we might be tempted to spend money towards them. And, as has been previously pointed out, with the price of the meal out of the way, you might be enticed to spend that money elsewhere, on beverages, snacks, stuffed animals, lockers, shirts, etc.

But while I haven't completely experienced what Magenta Lizard is describing, I understand the feeling and I can see where additional restrictions can illicit such feelings. I understand and fully respect the concept of having house rules. However, you paid for certain benefits, you should feel that you get those benefits with a smile, not reluctance. After all, they were offered by the establishment and you did pay for them.

Though not completely a game changer for some, these new restrictions will be for others and, frankly, there might not be such a fuss if the newly designated times avoided peak dining hours -- or at least, gave the impression of having more freedom -- and if the new restrictions weren't quietly incorporated into the site, without openly addressing them.

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I am still surprised we haven't had any explanation from a certain member on here about why they changed the meal plan like this. Usually any small thing that has misinformation is explained or responded to when posted on the board. I have read through 3 pages of complaints from people who feel they have been duped and yet we still have no response. People worked hard for their money and spent it on a product expecting one thing and what they received is something different. I wonder if we will ever get an explanation or if people who purchased their plans in the fall will be able to recoup their money if they are unhappy with the new plan details. It just seems there is a lot of misinformation and confusion abound right now.

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I am going to submit the following question in writing via the online form on the site

I have the Dining Plan and was of the understanding that there was a stipulation you must wait a certain number of hours between the meals. Now, there are specific times listed on the website. Has the policy changed since my purchase?

I will let you know the exact verbiage I get as a response. :-)

I am a huge fan of having things in writing.

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I just got a response from Jes McAdam-Sellers, Admissions & Guest Services Manager via email on the question above. Here is the response:

Hi David,

Thank you for contacting us regarding the Season Pass Dining Plan. Earlier this week, our website indicated that there were specific times to redeem the lunch and dinner. Based in part on some of the feedback from the change, we have decided not to continue in that direction. The dining plan will function as you originally understood it; one lunch and one dinner at a minimum of four hours between meals. There will not be any specific times where you have to redeem the meal.
I apologize for the confusion and I hope you enjoy your season pass! Please feel free to contact me or stop in at Guest Services to tell us about your experience with the Dining Plan this summer. We will continue to listen to feedback from our guests when considering any changes to these programs.
It appears that since we have spoken, the folks at Cedar Fair have decided to listen. Hopefully, this remains true.
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The verbiage on the website in regard to the All Season Dining Plan:

When you purchase an All Season Dining Plan, it will automatically be uploaded to your season pass. Simply present your pass at any participating locations throughout the park and enjoy lunch and dinner (with only a 4 hour wait time between meals) every time you visit. Drinks are not included.

The verbiage on the website in regard to the All Day Dining Plan:

Guests with All Day Dining will receive a wristband at any of the participating locations and enjoy an entree and side as often as every 90 minutes! Drinks are not included.
The All Day Dining plan is just $29.99.
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