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KIghostguy

Golden Ticket Awards Conversation

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I know there are some posts on this sprinkled in in other threads, but I thought it would be very convenient to have all the conversations on it in one thread. 

Here is where Kings Island placed on the awards:

  • Golden Ticket for the Renaissance Award: Kings Mills Antique Autos and other 2019 improvements and renovations
  • Second place for Best Kids Area
  • Third place for best new family attraction
  • Fifth place for best Christmas event
  • On the 50 best wooden coasters list, The Beast placed fifth and Mystic Timbers was ranked 10th
  • On the 50 best steel coasters list, Diamondback was ranked 14th and Banshee 33rd. 

They also put a very nice article on Kings Island's special award for this year in the actual issue: http://www.amusementtoday.com/issues/2019/2019gta/

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I wish they still gave the voting percentages to see how far ahead Wildwood Grove was.

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4 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

I wish they still gave the voting percentages to see how far ahead Wildwood Grove was.

I would be interested as well. I have not been to Dollywood yet, but I have heard fantastic things about Wildwood Grove and the park in general. Interesting to note too that Dollywood pulled ahead of Cedar Point in the "Best Amusement Park" category.

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15 minutes ago, KIghostguy said:

I would be interested as well. I have not been to Dollywood yet, but I have heard fantastic things about Wildwood Grove and the park in general. Interesting to note too that Dollywood pulled ahead of Cedar Point in the "Best Amusement Park" category.

Rightfully so in my honest opinion. Cedar Point is really only great at one thing and that’s the rides, other things like food, live entertainment & general park atmosphere fall really short imo for being a flagship park. 

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Cedar Point is blah in my opinion. Yeah it’s nice to go here or there but I’m glad KI is my home park over Cedar Point 

 

corrected since tired brain made me look like a fool. Lol.

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1 hour ago, flightoffear1996 said:

Cedar Point is blah in my opinion. Yeah it’s nice to go here or there but I’m glad KI is my home park over Kings Island 

:blink:

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On 9/9/2019 at 7:47 PM, Ben43065 said:

Rightfully so in my honest opinion. Cedar Point is really only great at one thing and that’s the rides, other things like food, live entertainment & general park atmosphere fall really short imo for being a flagship park. 

I think newer things like Forbidden Frontier, the Gemini Midway re-do (with the lights), the new restaurants and other theming touch-ups (Magnum’s effects, Corkscrew train repaint) are making CP a more well-rounded park (IMO), but yeah, the coasters are still a really big draw.

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If you have a 7 year old and 5 year old daughter you probably won't visit Cedar Point. 

 

Now excluding how far away these two parks are. Dollywood would be the place to take kids. Cedar Point has the beach and the water but to enjoy more it will cost more. Dollywood one price you in the park and the kids are making memories. 

 

@flightoffear1996 I agree with you completely. Going to Cedar Point is like going to New York City. Hectic go, go, go atmosphere taking it all in, trying to hit as many of those superstar coasters as possible. At Kings Island I can stroll through and its so wide open that some places in the park are wide open and guests arent visible. I can find quiet places in the park. At Cedar Point always people. Always lines. 
 

I LOVE Cedar Point with my whole heart.

But I am sooooo grateful that Kings Island is my homepark, no jealousy about it, I just like the "Homey" feel at Kings Island

This has been my Ted Talk.

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1 hour ago, JonahWilliamson said:

If you have a 7 year old and 5 year old daughter you probably won't visit Cedar Point. 

 

Now excluding how far away these two parks are. Dollywood would be the place to take kids. Cedar Point has the beach and the water but to enjoy more it will cost more. Dollywood one price you in the park and the kids are making memories. 

 

@flightoffear1996 I agree with you completely. Going to Cedar Point is like going to New York City. Hectic go, go, go atmosphere taking it all in, trying to hit as many of those superstar coasters as possible. At Kings Island I can stroll through and its so wide open that some places in the park are wide open and guests arent visible. I can find quiet places in the park. At Cedar Point always people. Always lines. 
 

I LOVE Cedar Point with my whole heart.

But I am sooooo grateful that Kings Island is my homepark, no jealousy about it, I just like the "Homey" feel at Kings Island

This has been my Ted Talk.

Hmmm - but CP has 17 family rides and 14 kiddie rides (total of 31 rides) that children under 48" (that means not the 48" rides for those keeping score) can ride; while KI has 7 family rides and 20 kiddie rides (total of 27 rides) for that same height requirement...and CP Snoopy areas have more shade!  

Plus there is never a line for the Snoopy areas at Cedar Point - 3 hour waits for Steel Vengeance Saturday but no wait for any kid rides in Snoopy area.  Like the employees stand around waiting for a kid to come to their ride.  When do you see that at Kings Island - when the park is closed lol!

You can spend a whole day in KI Planet Snoopy because those lines are generally longer than Planet Snoopy lines in other CF parks :P

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2 hours ago, disco2000 said:

Hmmm - but CP has 17 family rides and 14 kiddie rides (total of 31 rides) that children under 48" (that means not the 48" rides for those keeping score) can ride; while KI has 7 family rides and 20 kiddie rides (total of 27 rides) for that same height requirement...and CP Snoopy areas have more shade!  

Plus there is never a line for the Snoopy areas at Cedar Point - 3 hour waits for Steel Vengeance Saturday but no wait for any kid rides in Snoopy area.  Like the employees stand around waiting for a kid to come to their ride.  When do you see that at Kings Island - when the park is closed lol!

You can spend a whole day in KI Planet Snoopy because those lines are generally longer than Planet Snoopy lines in other CF parks :P

So the flaw in your thinking is assuming that the criteria for winning "best kids area" is to, in fact, have the best kids area.  It has nothing to do with that and everything to do with garnering a relationship with Amusement Today and their subscription base.  The voting has about as much integrity as a North Korean election.  

Also, notice how Amusement Today errors on the side of caution with it.  Kings Island lost its long standing Golden Ticket Award so they made up an award for them.  I believe the same thing happened when Cedar Point lost to Europa Park for best amusement park.  

Next year will be an interesting year for best new coaster.  KI could really use that award to perpetuate marketing through the core of 2021.  But there are a lot of excellent new coasters coming.  Orion has a shot at the Golden Ticket Award but they have to be careful about who they embrace vs who they turn their noses up to.  It's not like Starbucks is closed or anything. 

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OK,

I've spend a lot of time in Planet Snoopy over the years, and spend a day at Dollywood, including an hour or so in Wildwood grove.

In terms of cleanliness, newness, whatever, Wildwood Grove wins hands down, honestly it would be impossible for KI to compete with the freshness that is Wildwood Grove in that respect.

In terms of dining, Wildwood Grove wins by a landslide.  The Mexican restaurant that they have near the entrance to wildwood grove was excellent, KI's food offerings are mostly 2nd rate in that area.

In terms of rides, I think KI wins in a landslide.  Dragonflier is similar (though admittedly better) to Flying Ace Arial Chase.  The flying tubs are similar, if not identical.  Blackbear trail was kind of cool, and my kids loved it, KI doesn't have anything like that, Wildwood Grove doesn't have anything like The Beastie.  There are a couple of other rides unique to Wildwood Grove (compared to Planet Snoopy) but many more unique experiences at Planet Snoopy (compared to Wildwood Grove).

I feel like, aside from the dining and freshness of Wildwood Grove (which was excellent, so I don't mean to take anything away from the job they did there) it would be tough for a family to spend more than a couple of hours in that part of the park, while at Kings Island, I think a familar could spend half their day in Planet Snoopy and keep the kids entertained (as well as some of the in between kids).

Now as a whole park experience, I'd say Dollywood is a better place for the 46" and under crowd, firechaser express just blows away anything KI has, throw in their other kids area (which felt run down compared to Planet Snoopy) and there is more there for a small kid, but if were just talking about 1 specific part of the park, I'd rather take my 3 year old to Planet Snoopy for 4 hours vs Wildwood Grove, all else being equal.

 

But as Bodha said, I get how it works, that's just my $0.02 on the 2 specific areas.

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3 hours ago, disco2000 said:

Hmmm - but CP has 17 family rides and 14 kiddie rides (total of 31 rides) that children under 48" (that means not the 48" rides for those keeping score) can ride; while KI has 7 family rides and 20 kiddie rides (total of 27 rides) for that same height requirement...and CP Snoopy areas have more shade!  

Plus there is never a line for the Snoopy areas at Cedar Point - 3 hour waits for Steel Vengeance Saturday but no wait for any kid rides in Snoopy area.  Like the employees stand around waiting for a kid to come to their ride.  When do you see that at Kings Island - when the park is closed lol!

You can spend a whole day in KI Planet Snoopy because those lines are generally longer than Planet Snoopy lines in other CF parks :P

I've never seen lines in Planet Snoopy other than Flying ace and boo blasters. So I'm not totally sure what park you are talking about. And it's all about the feel with kids. Everyone knows Cedar Points about the coasters. And the kids areas are so separated and very little. I will say the new Adventure Island thing is an improvement big time. But Kings Island has a significant area for it that's not swamped by giant coasters and it's tame and you don't have tons of tons of people walking past you trying to get to the next big coaster. 

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20 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

The voting has about as much integrity as a North Korean election.

20 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

It's not like Starbucks is closed or anything. 

This might very well be the best post I've read on here in a very long time.

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23 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

The voting has about as much integrity as a North Korean election.

On topic with obscure voting, isn't this the same thing?

capture question..PNG

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I would imagine that "attraction" does not exclude non-coaster installations. Smuggler's Run could not win Best New Roller Coaster, but it could be in the running for Best New Attraction Installation.

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So I feel like some of the shroud of mystery behind Kings Island losing the Best Kids' Area has been unveiled.  This is the observations of an outsider looking in, so feel free to add any corrections or conflicting commentary.  Please be reminded that I have no involvement with the park any longer.

A few years ago, Kings Island posted a job with a description that included something like, "managing relationships with enthusiasts, communities, groups, and publications."  Not the exact words, obviously.  I do not remember what the position was and do not know who filled it, if it was filled.  Clearly this was something that was important or else it wouldn't be a main bullet point in the job description.

It has been stated on these forums and many other places enthusiasts make up only a small percentage of the park's attendance.  That's very true.  So why have that in a job description.  Why have Coasterstock?  Why do anything for enthusiasts if they aren't irrelevant to the business?

It's because they're not irrelevant.

Kings Island won Best Kids Area in the Golden Ticket Awards since the awards' inception.  Was it because they had the best kids' area?  Unlikely.  However the park was able to foster a relationship with the voting parties - many of which are enthusiasts.  They also had the gift of legacy votes.  People haven't been to Kings Island in a decade and simply assume that since they had the best kids area last year that it wouldn't have changed.  This wouldn't have been as much of a shocker if Dollywood had been neck and neck with Kings Island and finally overtook them.  It was their first year.  Most of the voters hadn't visited Wildwood Grove.  Yet they still voted for it over Kings Island.  

Exhibit B is the USA Today Readers' Poll about the Best Halloween Event of 2018:

1. Halloween Haunt at Kings Island - Mason, Ohio

2. Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion - Doswell, Va.

3. Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America - Gurnee, Ill.

4. Fright Fest at Six Flags Magic Mountain - Valencia, Calif.

Kings Island had the best Halloween event in the nation? Better than Horror Nights?  Better than Knott's Scary Farm?  Unlikely.  However the troops were rallied to vote early and vote often last year.  Now Kings Island has "Voted best theme park Halloween event" on their advertisements for Haunt and that carries a lot of weight when it comes to decision making.

So what about the 2019 poll?  Did Kings Island keep its top spot? Nope.  It fell to 3rd.

Is the event that much worse?  Nope.  It's actually much better than last year.  So are the posters going to say "voted 3rd best" next year?  How does that sound?

So why did this happen?  Because enthusiasts and enthusiast groups have felt increasingly alienated from the park.  They have no motivation to plug the poll in their newsletters or on their forums.  When certain individuals weaponize things like media day invites to try to get their way it simply puts a divide between the park and the people, which is damaging to the park and not worth the ego boost of whomever is involved.  

So what about the future?  

They are adding a $30ish million ride.  One of only seven giga coasters in the world.  Wouldn't a "Best new ride of 2020" moniker be fantastic for perpetuating the marketing campaign for the new ride into 2021 and even 2022?  It would.  It's a marketing dream come true!

Unfortunately, it's not going to happen.  They'll send press releases and photos to some people and not others.  They'll invite some people to media day but not others.  They'll have certain groups out for construction tours but not others.  They will alienate enough people to make sure that the elusive golden placard is tacked onto a shiny new RMC creation and not their own.  Oh yeah, and the parks building those RMCs are probably spending 2/3 of what Kings Island is.  

If I were the VP of marketing I would have some serious questions now, let alone in September of 2020.  Perhaps more time should be spent on the issues that are actually in the job description that have a long term value to the park and a little less time should be spent on things like Spotify playlists. 

 

 

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Hmmm. I don't think I'd lose hope on the Best New Ride/Attraction award just yet. After all, its probably unlikely that it goes to Jersey Devil Coaster - nothing against the coaster itself. Its just that its unlikely that they give the nod to that over something from a SEAS park or top-Cedar Fair park as KI is. (over on the Great Adventure forum they've basically already accepted "defeat" in that regard).

Really, I just feel like the GTA were kind of put in bind this year. The voters are still very favorable to Kings Island, but moreso seemingly to Dollywood, and they certainly were not going to let a major investment that Wildwood Grove was go unnoticed (with KI getting the "Rennaisance Award" as sort of a consolation prize)

Some have cited Leviathan not winning Best New Ride in its debut year as reason for Orion not winning, but lest we forget that 2012 also involved Dollywood putting in Wild Eagle (No way they weren't going to have a new coaster at Dollywood not win).

Best New Ride/Attraction will be a crowded field, no doubt. However, with there being two separate slots (and I feel this was the intention), it lets them choose a ride at two different parks, so there is less agonizing over which park/chain to favor.

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42 minutes ago, BeastForever said:

Hmmm. I don't think I'd lose hope on the Best New Ride/Attraction award just yet. After all, its probably unlikely that it goes to Jersey Devil Coaster - nothing against the coaster itself. Its just that its unlikely that they give the nod to that over something from a SEAS park or top-Cedar Fair park as KI is. (over on the Great Adventure forum they've basically already accepted "defeat" in that regard).

Really, I just feel like the GTA were kind of put in bind this year. The voters are still very favorable to Kings Island, but moreso seemingly to Dollywood, and they certainly were not going to let a major investment that Wildwood Grove was go unnoticed (with KI getting the "Rennaisance Award" as sort of a consolation prize)

Some have cited Leviathan not winning Best New Ride in its debut year as reason for Orion not winning, but lest we forget that 2012 also involved Dollywood putting in Wild Eagle (No way they weren't going to have a new coaster at Dollywood not win).

Best New Ride/Attraction will be a crowded field, no doubt. However, with there being two separate slots (and I feel this was the intention), it lets them choose a ride at two different parks, so there is less agonizing over which park/chain to favor.

Don’t forget that Flying Turns beat Banshee for best new ride.  Is Flying Turns a better ride than Banshee? I’d say no. But people voted out of their affection for Knoebels, not for what was the better ride. It’s yet another example. 

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