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Cedar Point Not Making Best Parks List


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CP has shot themselves in the foot with the people who vote in the awards, enthusiasts. Look at Coaster Mania. It has been going down hill for years. I have refused to go for a long time. There are just way better events to  spend my time and money on.

Kings Island has improved CoasterStock each year, getting feedback from attendees and actually implementing the suggestions in the event if possible. That is seen and noticed. When you have some communication directors who are only seen and available when it is convenient, that is noticed as well. 

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^Not only that, but it is also being noticed by the non-enthusiasts.  This is the first time in probably forever that you seem to see more posts on social media where people say KI is a better park than CP.   

Sure they have the hotels and the beach and scenic views, but KI associates absolutely kick butt in getting rides dispatched, our maintenance works their butts off to keep ride downtime to a minimum, we run rides in rain, we have better food overall (yeah I know some of the newer CP places beat ours), and we don't have 45min + FastLane lines.  When was the last time (excluding TTD) that CP had the remaining coasters operating all day?

I know die-hard CP fans that after the past few years experiences of ridiculous long wait times, slow dispatches, rides and food closed, that they skipped CP this year.

 

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34 minutes ago, disco2000 said:

I know die-hard CP fans that after the past few years experiences of ridiculous long wait times, slow dispatches, rides and food closed, that they skipped CP this year.

Which is really a shame. It’s hard to run a resort properly when you run into staffing issues. 

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After CP 150th celebration, I imagine their 2022 budget was significantly lower, which resulted in lack luster park entertainment, no new attraction draw, and lowing the starting wage for new staff from $20 to $15 per hour. Coastermania was the worst it has ever been (2022 definitely hit rock bottom) in many years and it showed (and that’s even after an extensive attendee survey in 2021 for which none of that feedback appeared to be taken seriously).  Opening two additional properties (Sawcreek Mill and the remodeled Castaway Bay) didn’t help their staff resort shortage either, and it showed (rooms were rarely ready by 4pm check in during the season as it appeared only a portion of resort rooms were being utilized).  Add to the mix that several coasters always seemed down (especially for early openings) didn’t help either.  Other parks are stepping up the competition for best amusement park while CP took a pause in 2022 for whatever reason.  It’s always difficult to make up ground once you fall in the rankings.

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Of particular note, CP hosted a portion of ACE Coaster Con this summer - just prior to the ballets being cast.  I believe a large number of ACE members are voters.  That speaks volumes.

The Marketing/PR Team sets a tone - and often drives the perception of a park.  Warranted or not, there's a distinct tone of negativity toward enthusiasts coming out of CP. 

I will say that I know a lot of people are VERY "put off" by a particular CP spokesperson.  There's been a great deal of buzz among the enthusiast community about it.

That having been said, I'm sure the next time CP has a major install they'll call out the enthusiast troops to help drum it up.  And they'll no doubt climb the charts again - the Golden Ticket Awards are very fickle that way.

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8 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

Of particular note, CP hosted a portion of ACE Coaster Con this summer - just prior to the ballets being cast.  I believe a large number of ACE members are voters.  That speaks volumes.

The Marketing/PR Team sets a tone - and often drives the perception of a park.  Unfortunately, there's a perceived tone of negativity toward enthusiasts coming out of CP. 

I will say that I know a lot of people are VERY "put off" by a particular CP spokesperson.  There's been a great deal of buzz among the enthusiast about it.

 

Which at that point I would seriously argue the validity of the whole voting scheme. Is this based off of ride quality? ride quantity? overall guest experience? food options? or is this based off of coaster events, the catering (or lack thereof) to enthusiasts wills and whims? While yes, there are always going to be individuals you may disagree with or may not like due to their statements, to use that as a point of conjecture of whether or not if a park is great honestly doesn't sit well with me. Just because I had one guy at X park be a jerk about his position (I've seen more power tripping this year than I have in 5 years for reference), doesn't mean I am going to discount the whole park. As, typically, on the same day I can have a great interaction with another associate who cares about the guests. Does that justify someone being a jerk? No, in fact I know nothing about the supposed CP spokes incident and I have no frame of reference to say the individual was in the wrong or right.

What I can say is that I know plenty of individuals who work at various parks, including Cedar Point, who bust their butts to give the guests the best day experience; so to say that a park isn't good based off of one person who happens to be in a position that is more prominent rather than the collective makes me somewhat disappointed. 

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2 hours ago, Shaggy said:

I will say that I know a lot of people are VERY "put off" by a particular CP spokesperson.  There's been a great deal of buzz among the enthusiast community about it.

Some of that tone has spread, and CP is not the only park seeing this.

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A lot of enthusiasts, especially the younger ones, view Cedar Point as their sacred cow, often to the point of being obnoxious.

I wonder if the voters are put off by that too. It seems to be human nature to let zealous fandoms affect our views of things like amusement parks, sports teams, products, etc.

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Cedar Fair in general is a very quiet with how they handle situations and discuss their future plans. I feel the park PR people may be concerned about corporate getting angry at something said publicly and/or revealed accidentally, which is why news comes slowly or all at once. I could be completely wrong; but it seems that way in my eyes at least.

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It's just become more and more difficult to have a great ride-centric day at CP. Due to crowds and extreme downtime issues, we spent less time than ever inside the park during our 5 day trip in July. Staying at Breakers, we spent a significant amount of time at the Beach, pools and CP Shores. With no Dragster or Valravn (down for 2 weeks including when we were there) plus regular daily downtime on Maverick, SV, Magnum and Raptor, it wasn't the best. That's been my experience a lot in the last 3-4 years. 2020 with the access passes was nightmarish and the extreme FLP lines on busy days even scuttles the value of paying another $150 per person to get that add on. Restrooms remain an ugly problem as well, and food quality/service is spotty and certainly below what you generally get at KI. 

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It takes years for categories like this to move and change.  People may not be voting based on experiences this year because how often are they actually getting to these parks?  The awards are voted on by enthusiasts, its a select group because you have to apply, and have a certain level of travel to be even considered.  Its people who go out and travel and visit parks who vote, although that does essentially mean the people who vote are typically older individuals with the time and money to travel. 

From what I have heard but have no way to confirm there is a lot of overlap between ACE members and the voters.  All of this means enthusiast events might be how they experienced the park.  Plus its very common for parks which host a big ACE event like coaster con, which was at Cedar Point this summer, to suddenly see a lot of movement in the rankings.  Its possible this really is a reflection of how people felt about an event this summer.

I was at Coaster Mania this year, personally I felt it was pretty bad and was definitely the worst Coaster Mania I have ever attended, but I don't want to turn this post into a complaint about one event.  I really wished I had gotten an invite to Holiwood Nights instead because I am confident I would have preferred that.

How many people have stories about terrible staffing during the start and end of the season?  The terrible lines for food and rides during the fall, especially during Haunt?  I have a friend who visited during Haunt in 2020, and had the worst experience they have ever had at Cedar Point and I believe one of the worst experiences they have ever had at an amusement park.

Even if the park improves next year I do not expect to see it back in the top 5 anytime soon, once you lose the spot on any of these lists, earning your way back up is difficult.  You cannot be better for one or two years, you have to really improve and be better then the competition for a long time.

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10 hours ago, Winterfestguy said:

After CP 150th celebration, I imagine their 2022 budget was significantly lower, which resulted in lack luster park entertainment, no new attraction draw, and lowing the starting wage for new staff from $20 to $15 per hour. Coastermania was the worst it has ever been (2022 definitely hit rock bottom) in many years and it showed (and that’s even after an extensive attendee survey in 2021 for which none of that feedback appeared to be taken seriously).  Opening two additional properties (Sawcreek Mill and the remodeled Castaway Bay) didn’t help their staff resort shortage either, and it showed (rooms were rarely ready by 4pm check in during the season as it appeared only a portion of resort rooms were being utilized).  Add to the mix that several coasters always seemed down (especially for early openings) didn’t help either.  Other parks are stepping up the competition for best amusement park while CP took a pause in 2022 for whatever reason.  It’s always difficult to make up ground once you fall in the rankings.

I would argue otherwise. Cedar Point’s budget for 2022 was probably really high with the renovations at their resorts costing tens or millions of dollars. Add in the new Farmhouse restaurant, and their budget was definitely pretty high. Cedar Point’s budget looks to be very high again for 2023 with The Boardwalk area which contains a $12,000,000 restaurant, a new family coaster, an entire area refresh, and ride relocations. If Top Thrill Dragster re-opens next year, it’s refresh will likely cost millions.

Cedar Fair is investing a lot of money into Cedar Point, and the park is getting better in many ways. I wish Kings Island would take some notes and invest into newly reimagined areas and new restaurants. The issue is that the park just cannot staff well. Poor staffing leads to poor operations, closed food locations, and rides breaking down more. Ultimately, these issues hurt the guest experience significantly.

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Other than enthusiasts, I do not think the GP cares who the spokesperson is... 

Most GP probably cannot even name the spokesperson of a particular park.

Except for a brand new park, I think most are visiting existing parks based on their personal experiences, word of mouth of friends and neighbors, rankings in USA today and what not, and not whether the marketing/spokesperson is keeping people up to date with future plans.

Heck, when was the last billboard or print ad you have seen for KI (that dropped off tremendously with covid and hasn't ramped back up) and yet we all continue to go and they continue to attract new visitors that are first timers to KI from all over the country.  I think across CF their traditional marketing efforts have been less than years past, yet they are setting records for revenue and what not.  Stay-cation fever is real for the regional parks.

I assure you the families I met and interacted with at the park that this was their first visit from St. Louis, Nashville, West Virginia, and a whole host of other locations were not here based on PR tweets from Chad....

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32 minutes ago, disco2000 said:

Other than enthusiasts, I do not think the GP cares who the spokesperson is... 

Most GP probably cannot even name the spokesperson of a particular park.

Except for a brand new park, I think most are visiting existing parks based on their personal experiences, word of mouth of friends and neighbors, rankings in USA today and what not, and not whether the marketing/spokesperson is keeping people up to date with future plans.

Heck, when was the last billboard or print ad you have seen for KI (that dropped off tremendously with covid and hasn't ramped back up) and yet we all continue to go and they continue to attract new visitors that are first timers to KI from all over the country.  I think across CF their traditional marketing efforts have been less than years past, yet they are setting records for revenue and what not.  Stay-cation fever is real for the regional parks.

I assure you the families I met and interacted with at the park that this was their first visit from St. Louis, Nashville, West Virginia, and a whole host of other locations were not here based on PR tweets from Chad....

I have seen a few billboards here and there, but I haven’t seen print ads or TV commercials recently. The last TV commercial I saw for Kings Island was in 2019. Cedar Fair has mentioned in earnings calls that they want to decrease advertising expenses and focus on cheaper forms of advertisements.

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3 minutes ago, FUN&ONLY! said:

I have seen a few billboards here and there, but I haven’t seen print ads or TV commercials recently. The last TV commercial I saw for Kings Island was in 2019. Cedar Fair has mentioned in earnings calls that they want to decrease advertising expenses and focus on cheaper forms of advertisements.

I used to see a lot of Kings Island ads; especially for Mystic Timbers. 

I never saw any TV ads for Orion.

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