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Dollar Days

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Just a warning to you all.  Although the web site states no limitations as to such items as the dollar pizza, I was greeted by a surprise today that Soak City only had the dollar special for drinks.  When you go into the vehicle entrance you are given an ad slip showing the dollar day specials with the limitations that the pizza special is only in the main area of the park.  I suggested to two park ambasseders ( sp.) that they should extend the special to Soak City immediately in the interest of customer service.  They were very nice but stated that due to supply issues it would not possible.  They advised me that they would advise the web site designer to clarify the limitations in the ad.  Just checked and the web site still has not made the necessary changes.

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Just a warning to you all.  Although the web site states no limitations as to such items as the dollar pizza, I was greeted by a surprise today that Soak City only had the dollar special for drinks.  When you go into the vehicle entrance you are given an ad slip showing the dollar day specials with the limitations that the pizza special is only in the main area of the park.  I suggested to two park ambasseders ( sp.) that they should extend the special to Soak City immediately in the interest of customer service.  They were very nice but stated that due to supply issues it would not possible.  They advised me that they would advise the web site designer to clarify the limitations in the ad.  Just checked and the web site still has not made the necessary changes.

Yes, I hear that some people are still expecting the water park to carry the Dollar Day special.

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All Dollar Days food lines were mixed in with regular food lines creating massive lines, no vendors were open to buy simple snacks, and lackluster performance at the Reds Grill = #worstdayever.

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Free-market competition is alive and well!

 

It was an awesome day at Kings Island, and I love seeing it chock full of happy people! I have no complaints; just fun observations.

 

Not wanting to wait too long to eat, I started off site to enjoy some Frisch's, (you know, because I'm an armchair-rocket scientist who thinks I'm the only human being in the quadrant to come up with the idea), and discovered the ripples-in-the-pond effect that causes long lines and strained service levels at nearby, off-site eateries, that seem to dissipate the further out you get from the park. I had my beloved breakfast bar, but it was a line to the door to get seated, an 8-minute wait for the server, and about a five minute wait for the food bar to be re-stocked (about 7 people were standing around it, waiting for something more than a few onions, what looked like egg...matter(?), a strip of bacon fat, biscuit crumbs and a lone, stoic little potato cube standing proudly against the greasy aluminum emptiness that once housed hundreds of his kin).

 

(We joked about the hurricane episode of the Simpsons, where, after the local market was frenzied upon by massive crowds, the only things left on the shelves were products like "Creamed Eels, Corn Nog and Wadded Beef,"); but the timing of everything was reasonable, and the food brought out was hot and fresh, so no complaints.

 

So, hooray for business! Hooray for Kings Island, because despite the unusual crowds, I had a great time there yesterday, and everyone I spoke to was having fun just being there!

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Yesterday knowing about the crazy lines in the past at dollar days, was one of first in line when Rivertown Pizza opened at 11a.  Was nice and hot and fresh.  Plum tasty.

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The biggest flaw for Dollar Days is the unlimited order. For example, at Larosa's, a customer can buy an unlimited amount of slices on one trip. We saw lines last night way back beyond Graater's and people walking out with two or three pizzas (24 slices) this amounts to $24 dollars for the park. GREAT....but what happens when the 30 people in the back who would be buying 2 slices decides to skip the line ($60 dollar loss). Ten people are waiting in line at Chicken Shack and the line starts at the Congo Falls entrance. They are waiting for food and discover that the one hundred people in front are only wanting a soft drink, so they leave the long line. (A potential loss of $140 + @ $14.99 per meal). Still others go to more places and enounter crowds, so mom day and three hungry kids decide to leave the park - potential $80 loss or more, IF the family decides not to come back even more money is potentially lost.

Recommedation - still have Dollar Days, allow for full price lines, or full price locations, limit purchases to two per customer, try not to be understaffed, and plan for next year, maybe use food / beverage trucks rather than actual food stands or use stand alone booths, leave full price locations free.

The idea is to keep people in the park spending money. After circling the park for to get a soft, and being ignored in Reds Grill, I left the park to eat, taking potential sales with me.

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Many people have families bigger than two that they are getting food for. Is it annoying? Maybe, but they waited in that long line to get their multiple slices just like you will wait in that long line to get your two slices..

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Thanks to Magenta Lizard for buying my first ever Banshee twist cone on Monday! It was yummy! 

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Our plan was to go to Soak City yesterday and get food there, but thankfully I saw markr's post on Facebook about the waterpark only having the drink deals there.  So, we entered the main gate at about 11:30 and went straight to Street Pizza.  The line was not bad at all, we had our food within 10 minutes. We had gotten in line at just the right time, because when we exited, the line was back to Graeter's.  We had our lunch at a table just outside Graeter's, and as we were finishing the doors to Sweet Spot opened up.  We went there, waited in a short line and quickly got milk chocolate covered pretzel rods for the Gatorettes and a white chocolate covered Oreo for me.

 

After Soak City, GatorGirl left with a friend and her parents, and Mrs. Gator and I headed back to the main park to see the 5:00 Off the Charts.  We had some time before the show so we went to Tower Drinks around 4:30 and got some dollar hot dogs and dollar drinks, about 5 minutes total in that line.

 

The lines for food were long at Soak City, even without the dollar deals on food there.  I remember a few years ago waiting for dollar pizza there in an extremely long line. 

 

We timed our food purchases well yesterday; just at the beginning of the lunch rush and at the beginning of the dinner rush so we had a positive food experience.

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I agree with the limiting.  Even limiting to 2 slices per person, per trip could cut down on some of the wait time.  People could still by slices for multiple family members, but would be limited to fewer slices.  Instead of people walking out with 24 slices, they might walk out with 8.  If they want or need more, they can go back through again.  I think there needs to be some changes put into place for next year.

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As I stated in the Overall Food Concession topic (or the thread of a like name), I-Street Skyline was horrible at lunch (~11:30).  30 minute wait in line for food, 2 workers on the front line and the could care less how long the line was  (I used a timer on my phone and the average time to open a coney dog bun by one worker was 19 seconds).  No food trays, etc.

 

I got some Blue Ice Cream when we first arrived in less than two minutes as there were no lines.  I asked for the ice cream to be placed in a bowl instead of a cone; it was not.  When I asked for the correct item, she slammed the cone into a bowl.  oooookay....

 

I had the meal plan, so I was not concerned about lines.  My companion shared some of my excess Skyline at lunch.  At dinner, Festhaus was very efficient, she got some pizza and I got Panda Express.  We watched the show and a very good side show by one of the "sweeps" who danced his way around the Festhaus.  I did stop by Guest Services to leave a compliment for this employee.  Having FUN on the job!

 

At the end of the evening, my companion was "done" with coasters, so I marathoned The Beast while she went to Starbucks.  On the walk back to I Street, even though the park was closed, lines were long at the open food establishments and I-Street was packed.  We peaked into Skyline after seeing the line, and they still only had two line employees.  Nobody was in a hurry to leave even though the park was closed.

 

Overall a good day at the park in spite of the heat and seeing happiness die at Skyline.

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I caught just the end of the litter-getter's dance act, too. I was impressed. I'd seen him around the park before, just dancing and twirling to his own internal music, and always found him quite entertaining. I hadn't thought to stop by guest services to mention him, but it is something I hope to rectify once the park opens back up at Haunt.

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Magenta Lizard, I will private message you his name.  I do not want to mention it in public because I think that is frowned upon on the forums here.  But I am glad you are willing to do that, I think it is great for the employees who are outstanding, and I am sure the Guest Service folks appreciate compliments as I am sure they hear plenty of complaints.

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I caught just the end of the litter-getter's dance act, too. I was impressed. I'd seen him around the park before, just dancing and twirling to his own internal music, and always found him quite entertaining. I hadn't thought to stop by guest services to mention him, but it is something I hope to rectify once the park opens back up at Haunt.

I bet Beastie1980 knows who he is. She was working with him earlier in the day, then we saw him later in the evening after she got off.

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Was at the park yesterday.  WOW was Soak City PACKED- anymore people in the wave pool and there would not have been waves...  The lines for Dollar Days were incredulously long, and it seemed that a shortage of able-bodied employees were cherry-picked from F&B.... people in Starbucks gear were serving in the Skyline.  

 

The food lines were really slow and you could tell that the employees were stressed beyond stressed.  A certain game attendant operating a $1 game in Coney was having, shall we say, a really bad day and was almost confrontative to me and my daughters.  I have come to expect that at some "other" places... not KI.  It was one time, one day- and you could tell it had been a LONG weekend for some.  Dollar Days pulls many out of the woodwork, especially in a water park on its last operating day seeing 90 degrees.  

 

On another topic, Soak City really needs another concession stop.  If not mistaken it just has two main; don't know what the one is named, but then Subway.  And Subway, by nature of the product is a slow line.

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I agree whole heartedly... I'm baffled by the fact that Soak City has operated so long with the concession options it currently features. The water park is too small for its own good. A ridiculously small Subway, Ice cream joint, and main stand is simply not enough!

I also think what guidelines were set in motion need to be followed too. We saw several people leave with trays of pizza in Soak City after holding up the line and arguing. This isn't even counting the fact they were in not even said line for pizza, which is at the end of the stand. Waiting over a half an hour for two powerades and a Coke is ridiculous!! Lady in front of my wife ordered regular food but asked for 16 drinks?!? (Had two people to carry them). All we wanted was to refill our cups.

I've never had a worst experience with food at Kings Island. I think dollar days is a good idea if executed right however, yesterday was pure utter chaos. It's a shame to me because I feel like I got shafted. I'm a season pass holder without a meal plan that regularly buys and enjoys the food, but out of frustration left and got McDonalds.

To top it all off it was my first visit since July after having shoulder surgery. So I specifically came for the food and to wade around in water since rides were off limits for me!

Wow after not posting for some time I let off a whopper of a post lol!!

Tldr; yesterday really sucked and KI was the most disorganized I've seen it since the Paramount bring a friend free days!!

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Only thing I saw a problem with was the ice cream lines other then that it was an ok experience. Line rides were 60 mins tops. Pizza lines in Feshaus were Long but moved pretty quickly and was still able to get a place to sit for my family of five. I found the employees to be very nice and helpful. Only thing I could see was I think management should have brought more employees in for the weekend. I would like to say hats off to security for stepping in to help in the ice cream lines by The Banshee.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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The park was understaffed. I have never seen the park this understaffed ever. I hope over the next few weeks they do some mass hiring esp in food. One thing I saw on Saturday that disturbed me was seeing a cart full of pans of Hotdogs rolling thru International Street not even covered up. Anyone could have done whatever to them. Or anything could have flew in the pans. Gross.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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Yesterday was not KI's finest hour, for sure.  Painfully understaffed.   Woefully poor planning.

 

I understand, with the heat, and being the last operating day for Soak City on a holiday that the water park would be a free for all, perhaps someone in staffing for the park might have been able to figure that one out as well?

 

Add to that Dollar Day, which bring every mooch and freeloader out of the woodwork, and you have a recipe for a huge crowd.

 

If I can figure it out, certainly someone making 5 cents more an hour than myself could. 

 

Perhaps not.

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Ok, so quoting won't work on my phone... oh well!

What I was going to say was if the Sweep who dances is who I think he is, he is truely and amazing dancer. He even beat me in a danceoff on Closing Day! :D

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Staffing isn't something they have absolute control over.  

ALL staff back in school, some out of state.  Friday night football cancellations = High School staff "out of the pocket" for Saturday.  Oh, and its a Holiday weekend.  Soak City's last day of the season being 90+ degrees did't help (or did it?).

 

Staffing levels aren't something the park has control over many times; especially late in the season.

Not necessarily their fault, but their issue.  I'm sure last weekend was an "as many hands on deck" weekend as possible.  Sometimes, there's only so many fish in the pond though.  Some of the usual customer service suffered- but those that were there were stressed.  I am one that when I experience good customer service I'll leave a comment at the Guest Services.  Always.  As much as I really wanted to pass on the opposite last night to the confrontative young lady in the coney area... I didn't.  She had a long day and it was near closing time.  

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Kings Island suffers from a similar problem that can plague many places that hire a large number of low-wage employees that are new to the workforce. A lot of the workers just are not going to be personally invested in the job, and will call in if something better comes up, or simply don't feel like going that day. The people who are good at their jobs (and show up) are going to end up working like dogs, because they are the ones that will always be called in to cover for shortages. It can be nice to be needed, but I don't think there is enough in the budget to properly compensate the good employees, and eventually they get burnt out. So at this point of the season, they're dropping away too. Especially since many of them have other commitments (school) that are much more important to their future than getting good reviews at a summer job.

I think part of the reason the security personnel were able to serve ice cream with a smile is that they haven't had to do it all season, and they were getting a better wage while doing it.

I'm glad I'm not one of the ones who has to manage this workforce and make the decisions. I'm also glad I'm not one of the employees. Staffing the park is a barely-balanced cluster that makes it difficult to maintain good workers, or at this point of the season ANY workers.

I've been impressed with how well the vast majority of the people I have interacted with at the park this summer do their jobs. I feel sorry for any of them that tried to stick it out through this last weekend, because the combination of planned events, the understaffing, and the absolutely ridiculous heat combined as a set-up for failure.

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As I walked out of the park on Monday night, Planet Snoopy had a LOT of Blue Ice Cream stains all over the midways by the Blue Ice Cream stand.

 

Ah, yes.  The "benefits" of $1.00 ice cream....

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When we were there on Sunday I saw ice cream cones in all different shapes and sizes being handed out.  There was absolutely no consistency.  Some people got their dollar's worth, some people got more than what they paid for, and others, well if I were them, I would've asked for a little more.

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