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Changes to 2015 dining plans (Update: not happening)


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Now...I have asked the question directly regarding purchasing Drink Bottles versus purchasing Drink Wristbands to see if I can get a clear answer on that hot topic. I can get access to the park, free parking, two meals per day at all of Cedar Fair parks with the current options available on my season pass.

If I can get a wristband for $9.99 or thereabouts for beverages all day with a wristband and not have to carry around a drink bottle all day...2015 will be a very good season for my circumstances. As stated earlier...yes, having all of these key elements in place will entice me toward purchasing Fast Lane/Fast Lane Plus at least once during the season.

I have to say (preemptively at least) thank you to Cedar Fair/Kings Island for listening to our feedback.

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You guys have no idea how much this site helps with decisions and planning. Sometimes it's taken with a laugh, but the valid points you bring up help alot. Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

I just got a response from Jes McAdam-Sellers, Admissions & Guest Services Manager via email on the question above. Here is the response: It appears that since we have spoken, the folks at

If you think that any of the responsiveness would have happened in the Kinzel era, you are sadly mistaken. This is a great thing the park has done. They listened, rethought and reacted.

This makes me extremely happy that they have decided to not go through with the time restrictions. I had not yet purchased my dining plan for the season, after I saw the set times I, like others here, became less likely to purchase one (and that's not even mentioning those who already purchased one under a different set of rules, who I truly felt for). I'm a person who eats at odd times while in the park to avoid the long lines, so though dinner might have left a big enough window for me, lunch was far less likely - making the dining plan less beneficial.

But now that the time restriction has been lifted I am once again most likely getting the all season dining plan.

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With the 4 hour wait between meals, those coming later in the afternoon or evening will likely only get 1 meal prior to park closing (aside from the 12 or 1 AM closings), so it's a perceived loss of value. I would still advocate for either a 2 hour wait like last year, or simply give passholders 2 meals, and eliminate the time requirement. If they want to eat twice within a short period, great. If not, great. Give people the greatest flexibility in terms of when they can redeem things and you're likely to see happy park guests.

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You guys have no idea how much this site helps with decisions and planning. Sometimes it's taken with a laugh, but the valid points you bring up help alot.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

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I am emailing back and forth with their Customer Care team. I believe they are listening to the concerns of their patrons.

I was told they are considering bringing back the drink wristband option - I weighed in quite heavily in favor of bringing back this option. I know I would rather have a wristband than have to carry a cup and rent a locker to ride Banshee. I believe I would even accept a slightly higher price point on a wristband just to not have to bother with a cup all day.

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With the 4 hour wait between meals, those coming later in the afternoon or evening will likely only get 1 meal prior to park closing (aside from the 12 or 1 AM closings), so it's a perceived loss of value. I would still advocate for either a 2 hour wait like last year, or simply give passholders 2 meals, and eliminate the time requirement. If they want to eat twice within a short period, great. If not, great. Give people the greatest flexibility in terms of when they can redeem things and you're likely to see happy park guests.

It was clearly marked and posted when purchasing the 2015 plan in the fall of 2014 that the wait between meals had expanded from 2 hours to 4 hours. Of course someone will say they didn't see it, but I think everyone that has posted in this thread complaining recognized that it was the 4 hour wait we agreed to, not the specific time frame windows. I agreed to purchase with the 4 hour window because that still worked for my visits.

I do not see them shortening the window, nor saying you get two meals every visit - that simply allows for abuse. I believe their intent is to try to have it at a reasonable price-point that folks find it attractive, yet minimize the potential for abuse and significant losses as well.

I do agree with Magenta that it wouldn't surprise me to see specific time windows in the future. I hope not as I think it would have an overall negative impact in per cap spending - if everyone is line for their dining plan meal during the peak time, it will force those willing to pay on-site for food to leave and spend the money elsewhere.

But hey, a small victory, probably in part to this site!

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I've been thinking more about this. Other than setting up an enimical relationship with their customers by changing the rules after purchase, the major effect of the time windows as they were given would be to increase food traffic at a time when it already is heavy.

What could be the purpose of this from a business point of view? One possibility is the hope that people with the plan will see long lines and say "screw it, I'm not going to take advantage of my plan at all." However, I don't think it is likely this would really work to any great degree, though. People who feel they have already paid for their meals are actually /less/ likely to balk at a long line.

It has been suggested before that one of the reasons season passes are set at such a reasonable price (cheap, even) is to increase traffic in the park, allowing KI to sell more Fast Lane and Fast Lane Plus. Considering a ticket, parking, and FL+ can cost nearly the same for a single trip as I paid for my Gold Pass renewal (minus meal plan), this is a very lucrative trade-off for the park.

So, it seems entirely possible to me that restricting meal plan usage to peak hours may have been a precursor to a "skip the line" at dining to be either added as a feature for FL, or in addition to it.

And, if as I presume, they change the rules to the restricted hours for 2016 plans, I expect to see something like Fast Lane for food to come in 2016 as well.

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It's great that they listened to guests and corrected the situation. If they decide to use designated meal times for 2016 meal plans, hopefully they'll take the feedback from this experiment into consideration.

It should be noted that Cedar Point seems to have retained one additional time restriction; meal plan serving times run from 11:00am until 2 hours prior to park closing. (Updated dining guide PDF) Presumably this doesn't apply when CP closes at 8:00pm. Specific operating hours aren't guaranteed, so this seems fair at first glance.

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Unless you can find that stipulation listed elsewhere, I am inclined to believe that they hastily updated the PDF without catching that line down below. It still wouldn't hurt to send a message to the park to confirm. 8PM close would mean that dinner service ends at 6PM.. No, thanks.

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^

When Cedar Point pizza is fresh and hot, it's delicious.

Gristmill Refreshments' pizza is pretty good when hot and fresh. Corral's pizza is horrible when moderately warm / on the way to cold. Also, we had to wait for pepperoni to be served to another guest before they would serve my brother his cheese. They gave me mine first from the previous pie. Both were far from hot by the time we ate. Sigh.

Both were still better than La Rosa's @ Festhaus, though..

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Unless you can find that stipulation listed elsewhere, I am inclined to believe that they hastily updated the PDF without catching that line down below. It still wouldn't hurt to send a message to the park to confirm. 8PM close would mean that dinner service ends at 6PM.. No, thanks.

That line was added when the PDF was updated. Common sense would imply that different hours apply when the park closes at 8pm.

Old version:

...

SEASON‐LONG DINING PLAN: Simply present your season pass at any of the participating locations throughout the park and enjoy lunch (11:30am 2:30pm) and dinner (4:30pm 8pm) every time you visit the park in 2015! Dinner times may vary as operating hours vary. Soft Drinks not included with Season‐Long Dining Plan. Valid any public operating day of the 2015 season. Cedar Point or Platinum Season Pass required (Dining Plan added to Photo ID card). Cedar Point Season Pass Dining Plan add‐on is $90.00 (plus tax). Platinum Pass Dining Plan add‐on is $108.00 (plus tax). Platinum Pass Dining Plan is valid at any Cedar Fair park. (Please check with individual parks for meal choices and locations.) May also be purchased as a Combo with a new Season or Platinum Pass. Season Pass must be used for admission to redeem for meal using the season‐long dining program. Also subject to validation. Passholder must be present to redeem for meal, only able to redeem one meal per person.

Look for the Dining Plan symbol at participating food locations throughout the park. Please refer to the Park Guide for specific park locations.

Dining Plan participating locations & menus subject to change without notice. Operating hours vary by location.

New version:

...

SEASON‐LONG DINING PLAN: One meal at any participating location twice per day. There is a four hour interval between meals. Soft Drinks not included with Season‐Long Dining Plan. Valid any public operating day of the 2015 season. Cedar Point or Platinum Season Pass required (Dining Plan added to Photo ID card). Cedar Point Season Pass Dining Plan add‐on is $90.00 (plus tax). Platinum Pass Dining Plan add‐on is $108.00 (plus tax). Platinum Pass Dining Plan is valid at any Cedar Fair park. (Please check with individual parks for meal choices and locations.) May also be purchased as a Combo with a new Season or Platinum Pass. Season Pass must be used for admission to redeem for meal using the season‐long dining program. Also subject to validation. Passholder must be present to redeem for meal, only able to redeem one meal per person.

Look for the Dining Plan symbol at participating food locations throughout the park. Please refer to the Park Guide for specific park locations.

Dining Plan participating locations & menus subject to change without notice. Operating hours vary by location. Serving periods are from 11:00 a.m. until 2 hours before park closing.

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Cedar Point has food? Who knew?

Terp...running for the door (Dormey Park it is not).

09-wd0809-Deep-Fried-Cheese-2.jpg

I rest my case.

Now,to be fair, your own personal definition of "food" would make this subject to debate. It's the junkiest of junk foods, but it's SO GOOD.

(Link to the pic: http://www.womansday.com/cm/womansday/images/9n/09-wd0809-Deep-Fried-Cheese-2.jpg ). Found via Google Images.

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OK, so they eliminate one restriction, but then added a restriction that wasn't imposed when said plan was purchased. So anyone arriving after 4pm when the park closes at 10 only gets one meal. Better than the specific windows, but still not what was on the fine print at purchase.

And it raises the question about what if you are in line prior to 2 hours before closing but do not get to cash register until within 2 hours of closing.

Bad move KI, bad move.

Really makes me question whether I will renew my pass in the fall - what if they start imposing restrictions on season passes in February 2016 after passes were purchased.

I will wait and see what restrictions are before purchasing from this chain in the future.

It is simple business 101, if you don't have the details worked out, don't go to market it and sell it! There are lemon laws for things like this with autos. Wonder if it applies to dining plans!

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But then again on the mobile site for both Cp and KI it makes no mention of 11am till 2 hours before close.

I'm glad that this all got worked out for this year at least. The dining plan was an awesome extra last year and I look forward to it again this year. It really does help out with a little guy. Again if I eat in the park 20 times this year (which is either 1 meal on 20 visits or 2 meals on 10) it is only $4.50 a meal. Plus it saves on the headache of taking a two year old out to the car and getting McDonalds etc.

Now next year when he's 3 and I need a jr pass I hope there is a jr dining plan as well. Maybe I'll make that suggestion.

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^^ Kings Island has yet to announce hours of operation for its dining locations or dining plans. They may or may not follow Cedar Point's lead. Cedar Point's dining plan hours may or may not be final. It is worth noting that many participating Cedar Point food locations close prior to park closing.

Nine hours per day seems like a reasonable amount of time for guests to redeem lunch and dinner. If you based your dining plan purchase on the ability to enter at 4:00pm and eat twice, and the final operating hours don't permit you to do that, speak to Guest Services before using your plan.

This thread has proven that KI does listen and respond to guest feedback. If dining at 9:00pm with your meal plan is important to you, fill out the contact form on visitkingsisland.com and explain why.

In other news, according to Gary Gochenour via Twitter, Kings Island will offer gluten free options with their 2015 meal plans - including pizza, chicken tenders, and corn dogs. https://twitter.com/garygochenour/status/563153169589739520

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I don't think those fries were prepared without a deep frier. And, then, they add cheese.

Health food at its finest?

Touche! I guess what I meant to say is I'm not a fan of deep-fried food items that are either not normally deep fried (such as Oreos, Twinkies, etc.) or excessively deep fried.

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