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bengalsguy23

Thoughts on the Current State of Soak City

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I don't spend a ton of time at the water park but occasionally I do spend a couple of nice days there. I like what they have to offer, a decent selection of slides. But every time I go Soak City is just always so crowded. The addition of the second wave pool was much needed and really helped with crowds, however, the capacity of water slides at Soak City is not good. 

If Cedar Fair wants to grow Soak City at all I believe their absolute best bet right now would be a family round raft water coaster similar to Mammoth at Holiday World. Mammoth has really good capacity and even includes a single rider line for when the line gets long. I think this addition would bring in a bunch more people to Soak City and encourage people to want to come more as they wouldn't have to wait in such long lines. This could be an opportunity for the park to make more money because of it being such a large waterpark attraction they could include Fast Lane giving waterpark goers more incentive to purchase. Maybe offer a waterpark only Fast Lane at a discount?

Other than that I think the Park could really use a second lazy river. The line they have for the one can get crazy busy on hot days and no one wants to wait in a long line for a pool like that. A swim-up bar could also be a nice addition for extra revenue.
I am not trying to sound like I am bashing Soak City or anything. It's a respectable waterpark but I feel like for its attendance it needs to grow a little. Those two additions would both really help manage crowds better. What are your thoughts on Soak City? Do you think they need expanding or is it fine how it is?

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I think those powerlines are the biggest thing holding the water park back from expansion. Other than that I agree a water coaster would be nice. You just have to wonder if the chain is going to invest more in their in-park water parks or not. KI doesn't really have any competition when it comes to waterparks except for maybe Coney Island. 

So to sum it up I'm personally happy with it but there's always room for improvement. It would be cool to see a water coaster, another lazy river, and other additions but that's up to the company to decide on whether to invest more or not.

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Just now, SonofBaconator said:

I think those powerlines are the biggest thing holding the water park back from expansion. Other than that I agree a water coaster would be nice. You just have to wonder if the chain is going to invest more in their in-park water parks or not. KI doesn't really have any competition when it comes to waterparks except for maybe Coney Island. 

So to sum it up I'm personally happy with it but there's always room for improvement. It would be cool to see a water coaster, another lazy river, and other additions but that's up to the company to decide on whether to invest more or not.

I wonder what it cost for the park to bury or move those lines.  That is really a prime real estate for the water park going to waste. I find the water park too spread out and walking bare foot on hot concrete hurts.  I think it could be worth while to add more shade in the main pathways or find a way to mist the concrete to keep them cool.  

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19 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

I think those powerlines are the biggest thing holding the water park back from expansion. Other than that I agree a water coaster would be nice. You just have to wonder if the chain is going to invest more in their in-park water parks or not. KI doesn't really have any competition when it comes to waterparks except for maybe Coney Island. 

So to sum it up I'm personally happy with it but there's always room for improvement. It would be cool to see a water coaster, another lazy river, and other additions but that's up to the company to decide on whether to invest more or not.

I certainly am not versed on formal requirements of space left around large power lines, but its obvious KI has had, or chosen, to leave ample. 

But even without the power line issue, they'd probably have to get creative with a large expansion.  They definitely have room to expand, but in order to really add real estate and size, would likely need to once again re-route the employee entrance/drive. I would suspect they'd opt to replace some of the aging slides in the oldest section first though.  Some of those slides have been there for over 30 years.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the water park receive an upgrade or expansion in coming seasons.

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@bengalsguy23 I take it back. I do have one thing I wish would personally like improved. I wish the water park had a certain theme to it. There's water parks themed to the tropics, pirates, blizzards, etc.

I'd chose to theme our water park to the great outdoors, similar to Great Wolf Lodge.

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7 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

@bengalsguy23 I take it back. I do have one thing I wish would personally like improved. I wish the water park had a certain theme to it. There's water parks themed to the tropics, pirates, blizzards, etc.

I'd chose to theme our water park to the great outdoors, similar to Great Wolf Lodge.

Not the tropics, but we had an Australian theme for awhile...with a pirates boat in the kiddie portion lol 

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1 hour ago, Shaggy said:

I certainly am not versed on formal requirements of space left around large power lines, but its obvious KI has had, or chosen, to leave ample. 

But even without the power line issue, they'd probably have to get creative with a large expansion.  They definitely have room to expand, but in order to really add real estate and size, would likely need to once again re-route the employee entrance/drive. I would suspect they'd opt to replace some of the aging slides in the oldest section first though.  Some of those slides have been there for over 30 years.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the water park receive an upgrade or expansion in coming seasons.

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Theres a couple of spots that new attractions can fit without major expansion. The space between the two wave pools at the bottom left could be used for a water coaster or a lazy river if they moved the access road. The space next to Mondo Monsoon or whatever it's called could fit a medium sized slide. and If they are willing to do a little bit of clearing they could remove the set of enclosed slides at the top right and fit in a water coaster there.

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10 hours ago, disco2000 said:

Not the tropics, but we had an Australian theme for awhile...with a pirates boat in the kiddie portion lol 

It was stupid to convert it to the generic Siak City from the themed Boomerang Bay.   They did it for standard branding, but that was done before Cedar Fair hit the excellent management that now cares about theming. 

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I think a theme that’s relevant to the area is best. Like “King’s Mill Water Works” or something like that. When parks not in tropical areas try to pull off tropical it cones off as cheesey. Lean into the natural look of the area. Streams, rocks, pine trees and timber. Not pirate ships and sea animals. 
 

I’d also be ok with this being a second gate admission if the increased revenue allowed for more investment. I think you could do like Dollywood and have an “upgraded” season pass that includes it, but I feel including it as just an area of the park will always limit the investment they put in it. 

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13 minutes ago, brenthodge said:

When parks not in tropical areas try to pull off tropical it comes off as cheesey. Lean into the natural look of the area. Streams, rocks, pine trees and timber. Not pirate ships and sea animals. 

This. I couldn't agree more

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^From a philosophical viewpoint, I agree with your first paragraph.  But, from a practical and financial standpoint, two of the more popular waterparks in this region, Splashin' Safari and Hurricane Bay, would not agree.  Both of these water parks are highly regarded and well themed, even if cheesy.  I  am not a waterpark person, but I couldn't image HB themed to Bradford pears, Pin Oak trees and bush honeysuckle--or even regional things like horses, bourbon, UPS, gangs and dirty river water.  Same thing for SS, but I am not sure what the area naturally looks like--more hardwood forests, or (manmade) corn?

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Cedar Fair has been stepping away from the Soak City branding recently with the changing to Cedar Point shores and Carowinds Carolina Harbor.  We could see a more personalized water park soon. I doubt this would come with much of a theming upgrade though. 

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@bengalsguy23  And whatever CP has changed their waterpark to.  For that to work, it seems like they have done pretty significant upgrades and overall thematic touches.  

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3 minutes ago, BeeastFarmer said:

@bengalsguy23  And whatever CP has changed their waterpark to.  For that to work, it seems like they have done pretty significant upgrades and overall thematic touches.  

As I said in my post. It is called Cedar Point shores :P I haven’t been there though. I know it got repainted slides which ours already where when they changed it to Soak City in 2012. It’s good to hear there were some thematic changes. 

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1 minute ago, bengalsguy23 said:

As I said in my post. It is called Cedar Point shores :P I haven’t been there though. I know it got repainted slides which ours already where when they changed it to Soak City in 2012. It’s good to hear there were some thematic changes. 

Sorry, I'm only on my first cup of coffee this morning.  I swear I saw CGA's new theme, Bayside Shores (or whatever its been rebranded to) in your text.  I guess that shows how much I am NOT a waterpark person.  

Sometimes I park at Soak City and walk over to the dry park because its a good way to get more steps in.  I have noticed the times I have done this, how run down it looks.  It looks tired, mismatched concrete and bland.  I guess I see KISC as the Action Zone of water parks.

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I don't think Soak City leans into the tropical theme enough. I say make it "cheesy," commit to the theming. 

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I don’t see Cedar Fair investing a lot in terms of theming into a water park. They would probably do little things like signage and stuff to add to the experience but nothing big. Water parks don’t need a lot to theming to attract guests (not that I don’t want it). I think a lot of people go for a more local water park experience rather than any type destination experience. If you live in Columbus your probably going to just go to zoombezie bay over driving down to Soak City. Where as something like Kings Island people would travel further to. There is an exception with the Orlando water parks as people see those as tourist destinations and want more of an experience. I think most people arnt looking for an experience at a local water park. 

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One of my few issues with Soak City is that a lot of the slides are very faded. I really wish they'd paint them more often. But then again, you could say this about some rides in the main park, too. Diamondback comes to mind for sure.

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I always considered water parks an added bonus. When you go to Disney World you go for the dry main parks while the water parks are basically just something else to do while you're staying. The same can be said for Cedar Point- you can buy a ride and slide ticket package and hit the dry park one day and the water park the next.

Since since Kings Island doesn't charge separate admission for their water park, they don't really need to add a whole lot to get people to come in. Once you buy a ticket you can go where ever you want. I'd aruge if there was a seperate admission price I'm sure they'd invest more into the water park and I doubt that'll ever happen.

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I don't spend much time at Soak City anymore, mainly because of the crowds.  But I think it is ok for what it is.  A nice add on for families to be able to cool off.  Or for use to draw families in during the summer and keep them from going to other local parks.  However, not a lot of love has been given to this waterpark by KI.  The addition of the newest wave pool and the newer slide towers are certainly exceptions to that statement.  However,Most of the slides and equipment are outdated and not worth the wait it usually takes to ride anything.  There have been some excellent suggestions above for improvements.

In my opinion, the value for this mediocre at best waterpark has come at a great cost to the tri-state area in general.  Think of what The Beach could have been.  It was a great place to go in its day.  But that draw to Kings Island and the value of getting the dry park plus going to the waterpark every day for such a low cost during the summer is too good.

This is what, the 2nd time the Beach has closed?  I wish KI would have always had the waterpark as a separate gate, and also an extra cost for season pass that includes it.  Not only would it have possibly kept off the immense crowds that make spending time there now unenjoyable, it could have led to parks such as The Beach, Surf Cincinnati, and even Coney Island to have more visitors and in turn, bigger revenue streams and allowed these places to create some world class type of waterpark experiences. (Ok, probably not Surf Cincy....) But instead, they all fall down to this "meh" waterpark at KI.

And with The Beach closed again (not sure if the park has been sold, or if it is going to be torn down or what?), the extra revenue KI could have been bringing in for the waterpark could at least have gotten us a more impressive park like what Splashin Safari is. 

So i think the waterpark is good for KI and Cedarfair, and for many in the GP, but overall bad for the populous as far as having a unique and enjoyable waterpark experience available locally.

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King's Islands waterpark in whatever name it has taken over the years has always been better than my home water park in my opinion.  I went to Wyandot Lake several times as a kid and based on that I have never bothered to go to the renamed version of it. 

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I haven't been to the waterpark in YEARS. But looking at it, it IS a decent waterpark that does have the ability to expand. The issue with waterparks here is they are only open 3-4 moths of the year. So from a money perspective, a new water attraction at the park probably happens 2-4 times per decade. That's just my thinking.

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The water park’s main purpose is to drive season pass sales and repeat visitation from passholders. The hope is people choose a Gold Pass over a membership to their local pool. The park can then generate revenue through food & beverage sales, locker rentals, cabana rentals, etc. To most everyone, a wave pool is a wave pool and a water slide is a water slide, so major capital investments simply aren’t needed as regularly. Guests are going to care more about things like changing room cleanliness, food stand lines, pool chair capacity, etc. than an objectively outdated slide complex.

The biggest quality of life improvement I think the water park could make would be to plant more trees! It’s like a barren parking lot over there right now.

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@139Signal27 when are you going to get it through that thick skull of yours that Cedar Fair is anti-tree?  They hate them, I don’t know why but they do.  If trees came in primary colors maybe that would change, but they don’t.  We have about as much a chance of seeing new trees in the park as an RMC SOB :P

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1 hour ago, 139Signal27 said:

The water park’s main purpose is to drive season pass sales and repeat visitation from passholders. The hope is people choose a Gold Pass over a membership to their local pool. The park can then generate revenue through food & beverage sales, locker rentals, cabana rentals, etc. To most everyone, a wave pool is a wave pool and a water slide is a water slide, so major capital investments simply aren’t needed as regularly. Guests are going to care more about things like changing room cleanliness, food stand lines, pool chair capacity, etc. than an objectively outdated slide complex.

The biggest quality of life improvement I think the water park could make would be to plant more trees! It’s like a barren parking lot over there right now.

While I agree with what you are saying people don’t want to go to a pool that is too crowded. The second wave pool helped but people still sometimes have to wait in long lines for the lazy river. There has been multiple days where there hasn’t been enough seating for a lot of people. But yeah they could could very well get away with adding some more seating, as well as another lazy river and most people would be more than happy. 
 

I just think they have a growth opportunity with adding a couple of new, nice slides to Soak City that would allow them to sell more Fast Lane. 

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Adding more trees and shade would do the water park some good.

I think trying to attract water park fans would also be a technique they could try. Try and see if you can target people who prefer water parks over amusement parks and sell to them.

"Enjoy world class pools, slides, and other wet attractions. While you're here take the train over to the main park and cool down on water rides like Race for your life Charlie Brown, White Water Canyon, and Congo Falls" I still think moving Congo Falls over to Rivertown could really sell this idea- get soaked at the waterpark then ride the train to Rivertown/Planet Snoopy where you could get soaked on the water attractions.

I think the main reason why Congo Falls isn't that popular anymore is its placement. No one wants to get wet when there's no other water rides nearby. I'd be more likely to ride it if it got moved to Rivertown where I could also hit up WWC and RFYLCB afterwards then maybe hit up the waterpark after.

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3 hours ago, SonofBaconator said:

Adding more trees and shade would do the water park some good.

I think trying to attract water park fans would also be a technique they could try. Try and see if you can target people who prefer water parks over amusement parks and sell to them.

"Enjoy world class pools, slides, and other wet attractions. While you're here take the train over to the main park and cool down on water rides like Race for your life Charlie Brown, White Water Canyon, and Congo Falls" I still think moving Congo Falls over to Rivertown could really sell this idea- get soaked at the waterpark then ride the train to Rivertown/Planet Snoopy where you could get soaked on the water attractions.

I think the main reason why Congo Falls isn't that popular anymore is its placement. No one wants to get wet when there's no other water rides nearby. I'd be more likely to ride it if it got moved to Rivertown where I could also hit up WWC and RFYLCB afterwards then maybe hit up the waterpark after.

I completely agree with you thoughts on Congo Falls.

But I disagree with you on trees on Soak City. I would imagine with the said trees leaves shedding in the fall, it would be quite a mess for maintenance to clean up. It makes more sense to add trees to the main park rather than Soak City.

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