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White Water Canyon water cannons now use tokens

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When I go to the park with the kids I scrounge the house for quarters and put them in a ziplock sandwich bag and spend them all at the cannons. Those days are over. Tokens only now. One token per shot. The token machine does not accept quarters. It accepts bills and credit cards. 2 tokens for a dollar or 12 tokens for a $5.00 swipe of the credit card. I had two singles with me, so we ended up not spending as much time or money there. 

On the positive side, the tokens are the same as the ones the park used a while back in the video arcades (with the Kings Island logo on them) so if you have some, you can use them here. 

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That's a total bummer. Not only is the park ripping off people for a randomly fun thing that benefits everyone, but they've made it 2-3 times as hard to rip said people off. Not cool. I can only hope they lose money compared to the basic 25c per shot.

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I didn’t mind this change until it said $1 gets 2 tokens... that means you pay $.50 per shot when you used to pay $.25 per shot. Now, if $1 gave 4 tokens, I’d be fine with that... wonder why they didn’t keep the original exchange rate (but obviously with tokens)?

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Yeah that's pretty dumb. I don't think too many people are going to pay 50 cents for that. I see why they went with tokens though anyway just because people were probably not bringing change around the way they used to.

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At 25 cents my family wouldn’t mind spending a couple of bucks squirting random strangers after we got off the ride...at 50 cents a shot that probably won’t be happening much anymore. :(

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There is an easy fix to this. Have a few with the quarters, and a few with the tokens. (Is there enough of them to do that?) The ones using the tokens are probably not going to realize the quarter machines are cheaper, for they are not carrying change with them.

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It isn’t helpful if people “just aren’t carrying change anymore,” because there was already a change machine there. It just has gone from providing quarters to providing tokens this year. 

Makes me wonder if servicing the machines and cannons, and dealing with change was costing the park more than the quarters were bringing in. Because this feels more like a way to discourage use of the cannons than a way to make more money, to me. 

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3 hours ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

There is an easy fix to this. Have a few with the quarters, and a few with the tokens. (Is there enough of them to do that?) The ones using the tokens are probably not going to realize the quarter machines are cheaper, for they are not carrying change with them.

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2 hours ago, Magenta Lizard said:

It isn’t helpful if people “just aren’t carrying change anymore,” because there was already a change machine there. It just has gone from providing quarters to providing tokens this year. 

Makes me wonder if servicing the machines and cannons, and dealing with change was costing the park more than the quarters were bringing in. Because this feels more like a way to discourage use of the cannons than a way to make more money, to me. 

I'd be willing to bet that house that the extra cost associated with tokens is offset and more by the fact that you are committed to shooting canons when you exchange money. 

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Maybe one of the new season pass Fun Perks will be 2 tokens to the White Water Canton water blasters - a $1 value!

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5 minutes ago, Winterfestguy said:

Maybe one of the new season pass Fun Perks will be 2 tokens to the White Water Canton water blasters - a $1 value!

Half off two tokens. 

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The cold hard fundamental economic question is whether they can bring in at least 50% +1 of the previous usage with the new prices. If so, it is a net gain (not accounting for initial cost of tokens of course).

If it is even 50% -1, it is a net loss.

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Not to make TOO BIG a deal about it, but I feel like this would've been one of those times to take the "L", and let folks have fun for 25-cents per shot. Ohh, well.

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10 hours ago, bjcolglazier said:

Not to make TOO BIG a deal about it, but I feel like this would've been one of those times to take the "L", and let folks have fun for 25-cents per shot. Ohh, well.

Seriously, this. I already feel nickle and dimed. Now I feel drawn and quartered.

Similarly, I couldn't believe that a Smurf cone is $6.50 with sprinkles. They charge $1.35 for SPRINKLES.

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10 hours ago, bjcolglazier said:

Not to make TOO BIG a deal about it, but I feel like this would've been one of those times to take the "L", and let folks have fun for 25-cents per shot. Ohh, well.

I agree. This is the kind of experience that is only good for a mild kick and people will happily do it for a quarter. But if you charge too much, the average person will probably just walk on by. 

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Yeah, before, there was a decent chance you had a couple quarters in your pocket. Now you have no choice but to go to the change machine. 

 

Pass

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A big motivation for this change was likely to reduce the need to move currency around, making security easier. Also, $0.25 is worth less than it used to be.

I would have preferred that they put game card readers on the geysers, but tokens are an easier retrofit.

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49 minutes ago, malem said:

Also, $0.25 is worth less than it used to be.

True...but doubling it?! (My paycheck hasn’t  doubled in the last 15 years!)

They could have at least made it 3 tokens for a dollar, that percentage of an increase would have been more realistic.

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In my opinion, that aspect of the ride always separated WWC from any other ride in the park, there was true "guest interaction" with each other.  I don't know if the change in cost/format has lead to more or less people blasting the canyons, but if its less (and I can only imagine that it is) that lessens the ride to an extent, makes it less fun, makes people possibly want to ride it less because they don't feel the need to get back at another guest.

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6 hours ago, malem said:

A big motivation for this change was likely to reduce the need to move currency around, making security easier. Also, $0.25 is worth less than it used to be.

I would have preferred that they put game card readers on the geysers, but tokens are an easier retrofit.

That kind of business explanation usually doesn't hold up tp scrutiny. For that to be accurate, the machines would have to have been filling up daily and could not wait till after hours to be emptied out. I have serious doubts that they were that popular. If they are that popular, switching over to tokens means that the bill changer where you get tokens is much more likely to need emptied out during the day as people have to get tokens rather than using change they already had. If anything, the change would lead to more currency being moved around. 

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^ I doubt the machines were filling up during the day. Since tokens aren't currency, the associated security implications can be avoided.

6 hours ago, standbyme said:

True...but doubling it?! (My paycheck hasn’t  doubled in the last 15 years!)

They could have at least made it 3 tokens for a dollar, that percentage of an increase would have been more realistic.

Yeah, it's annoying, but it's not inconsistent with other price increases in the industry. Fifteen years ago, KI gate admission was $42.99. Today, it's 67% higher at $72 - curiously the same percentage increase as the WWC geysers when purchased 12 at a time ($0.25 to $0.417).

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29 minutes ago, malem said:

^ I doubt the machines were filling up during the day. Since tokens aren't currency, the associated security implications can be avoided.

 

I'm not sure you understood my point. If they weren't filling up during the day, they could be emptied after the park closed or before it opened for the day removing the security implications. They still have to move the cash from the coin changers regardless. Going to tokens means more cash is likely to be in the machines. 

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The only problem I could really see with free is that decorum and fair play often goes out the window once something is free. It would probably end up being a few obnoxious jockeys hogging the stations and not letting others have turns. 

It definitely would remove the cost of servicing the change machine and coin boxes. It may increase the cost of servicing the actual cannons since they’d probably get a lot more use, tho. 

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My guess is those cannons would become operator controlled rather than being free to guests.*

 

*If that's possible. 

 

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^or photo eye rigged by the boat itself.  

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