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Winterfest 2023 Discussion


SonofBaconator
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9 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

I like how you still try to pretend that offering something on the web site, selling the product, quietly changing the description of the product on the web site, and then offering no refunds to customers isn’t a bait and switch. You’ve already demonstrated that you don’t understand how business works, but I’d recommend that you Google what a “bait and switch” is. 

If we are treating KI as solely a business, then why did you imply that we should cut them some slack with their cut down schedule because of staffing? How would that be my problem? That’s like buying 10 personal training sessions for $100 and then they try to sell you 8 for the same price. When you ask about the change they throw it back at you saying that they can’t staff personal trainers. 
 

I’m with @disco2000. I’d like to know what business you run so I can avoid it. Or if you work for someone else, I’d like to know who it is so I can make sure that they know that their employees think that such unethical behavior is not only acceptable, but it is to be celebrated. 

Regardless if it’s Kings Island or any other company, unethical behavior will always come back to bite them, whether their spokesperson chooses to be available for comment or not. 

Why do I envision going to the car lot and picking out a car with high-end alloy wheels and while you are filling out the paperwork, he swaps out the alloys for cheap wheels and plastic hubcaps and expects you to be ok with that material change LOL.  And probably siphon the gas out too :P

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Just now, disco2000 said:

Why do I envision going to the car lot and picking out a car with high-end alloy wheels and while you are filling out the paperwork, he swaps out the alloys for cheap wheels and plastic hubcaps and expects you to be ok with that material change LOL.  And probably siphon the gas out too :P

…and if you bring it up… well, you’re just another one of those season pass complainer people. 

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As long as the holiday funnel cakes on I-Street return and they get Santa Jim for Tinker's Toy Factory I'll be happy! Santa Jim deserves a film or TV appearance of some sort. My sister and I didn't grow up believing in Santa but if I ever was to believe he's the guy I'd believe in...

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15 hours ago, disco2000 said:

these same people are continuing to "inform the vendor" that a continual devaluing of the pass will result in them not renewing at some point?

If this is all it amounted to, I wouldn't have a criticism. What I'm primarily criticizing is the histrionics, where people are calling the company "unethical", or suggesting they're engaging in "bait and switch" tactics when that is clearly not the case, unless of course we change the meaning of what "bait and switch" actually means.

Also, complaining on a forum does nothing, and complaining to the vendor while continuing to give them your money does little more than nothing. They don't care, nor should they. Giving them your money tells them you still value the product sufficiently to buy it. So, they'll continue to either reduce what is offered, or raise the price, until that changes. No amount of complaining will change that.

12 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

You’ve already demonstrated that you don’t understand how business works, but I’d recommend that you Google what a “bait and switch” is. 

OK, here you go: "the action (generally illegal) of advertising goods which are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods."

They advertised a season pass which provided the following (taken from the 2024 CP SP page):

  1. Unlimited Summer visits
  2. Unlimited Fall & Halloweekends visits
  3. Preferred Parking

In addition to those, there are additional "perks" they list, after which they clearly and plainly state those additional perks are "subject to availability/change". That some people apparently plug their ears and sing "LALALALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALA" at that last part is not evidence of "unethical" behavior of the business. It simply demonstrates ignorance on the consumer's part.

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15 minutes ago, DispatchMaster said:

If this is all it amounted to, I wouldn't have a criticism. What I'm primarily criticizing is the histrionics, where people are calling the company "unethical", or suggesting they're engaging in "bait and switch" tactics when that is clearly not the case, unless of course we change the meaning of what "bait and switch" actually means.

Also, complaining on a forum does nothing, and complaining to the vendor while continuing to give them your money does little more than nothing. They don't care, nor should they. Giving them your money tells them you still value the product sufficiently to buy it. So, they'll continue to either reduce what is offered, or raise the price, until that changes. No amount of complaining will change that.

OK, here you go: "the action (generally illegal) of advertising goods which are an apparent bargain, with the intention of substituting inferior or more expensive goods."

They advertised a season pass which provided the following (taken from the 2024 CP SP page):

  1. Unlimited Summer visits
  2. Unlimited Fall & Halloweekends visits
  3. Preferred Parking

In addition to those, there are additional "perks" they list, after which they clearly and plainly state those additional perks are "subject to availability/change". That some people apparently plug their ears and sing "LALALALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALA" at that last part is not evidence of "unethical" behavior of the business. It simply demonstrates ignorance on the consumer's part.

Thanks for proving my point once again that the park will always have sycophants that will use illogical talking points to respond.

No one is arguing that whether the park got away with their bait and switch legally. It’s about the integrity of the business, and this is a business that now relies heavily on pre-purchased products. The guest needs to trust that what they purchase is what is delivered. 
 

The web site clearly stated the benefits. They were changed after they had your money. Yes, I know that “terms are subject to change, no refunds” is in the language, and yes I understand that they legally got away with it on that technicality. 
 

You keep saying that KI is run like a business. They’ve demonstrated that they are willing to greatly reduce the value of a product after taking peoples’ money. If a consumer sees that, how are they supposed to trust that the meal plan is going to be good for two meals instead of one next year, or that it’s only good at LaRosa’s and Skyline instead of at most locations? The same language is in that agreement. Heck, some parks even changed the game for All Season Fastlane during Haunt. 
 

I think the worst part was the radio silence from the park. Mr Selfie couldn’t bothered to address this major change while he was busy not getting media stories. A simple apology would have sufficed, and the option to downgrade to Platinum early on would have been a perfect resolution. They didn’t do that. They blatantly chose the underhanded route. No, that’s not how a business is run. Any business can crunch numbers and determine that being deceitful to their clients will pay off in the short term. Those companies don’t last. 
 

I’m sure you’ll stick to your talking point that it’s not a bait and switch when they can squeak it through on a technicality, but normal people will see right through that. This will hurt them in the end. 

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38 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

The guest needs to trust that what they purchase is what is delivered. 

And guests are getting what they purchased:

  1. Unlimited Summer visits
  2. Unlimited Fall & Halloweekends visits
  3. Preferred Parking

Along with the ancillary, amorphous perks that accompany what they purchased. That some of those changed is not evidence otherwise.

If their replacing bottled water with tap water (or whatever) "greatly reduces the value" to you, then we are simply not operating on similar planes of mathematical logic, and frankly, you seem like a customer that would never be happy, ever. And therefore obviously not a customer that they should worry about catering to.

44 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

This will hurt them in the end. 

Oh, come on. A tiny fraction of customers whining incessantly on the Internet will not measurably harm their bottom line.

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43 minutes ago, DispatchMaster said:

And guests are getting what they purchased:

  1. Unlimited Summer visits
  2. Unlimited Fall & Halloweekends visits
  3. Preferred Parking

Along with the ancillary, amorphous perks that accompany what they purchased. That some of those changed is not evidence otherwise.

If their replacing bottled water with tap water (or whatever) "greatly reduces the value" to you, then we are simply not operating on similar planes of mathematical logic, and frankly, you seem like a customer that would never be happy, ever. And therefore obviously not a customer that they should worry about catering to.

Oh, come on. A tiny fraction of customers whining incessantly on the Internet will not measurably harm their bottom line.

Word of mouth has been, is now, and will always be part of the fabric of a brands reputation. 

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1 hour ago, DispatchMaster said:

And guests are getting what they purchased:

  1. Unlimited Summer visits
  2. Unlimited Fall & Halloweekends visits
  3. Preferred Parking

Along with the ancillary, amorphous perks that accompany what they purchased. That some of those changed is not evidence otherwise.

If their replacing bottled water with tap water (or whatever) "greatly reduces the value" to you, then we are simply not operating on similar planes of mathematical logic, and frankly, you seem like a customer that would never be happy, ever. And therefore obviously not a customer that they should worry about catering to.

Oh, come on. A tiny fraction of customers whining incessantly on the Internet will not measurably harm their bottom line.

All I’ve asked for was what was pitched to me when I made the purchasing decision. Again, I’d love to know what business you (poorly) run or who you work for so I can avoid it since you clearly think that getting 40% of what was advertised is ethical. 
 

 

24 minutes ago, DonHelbig said:

Word of mouth has been, is now, and will always be part of the fabric of a brands reputation. 

Hey now, it’s a business! So if a bait-and-switch is part of their culture, then I think people should know that. 

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Just now, BoddaH1994 said:

ll I’ve asked for was what was pitched to me when I made the purchasing decision. Again, I’d love to know what business you (poorly) run or who you work for so I can avoid it since you clearly think that getting 40% of what was advertised is ethical. 
 

 

Hey now, it’s a business! So if a bait-and-switch is part of their culture, then I think people should know that. 

And by "pitched to me" you mean what the park said that the Prestige pass provided to you in writing, pictures, FAQ, etc. that were access to items above and beyond simple "access" to the park.

They sold the Prestige pass as access to bottled drinks, among other things. 

Contrast that to a meal plan that says you are simply entitled to access two meals per visit 4 hours apart.  Or the drink plan that says simply access to a refill every 15 minutes.  They did not state when someone purchases the meal or drink plan what restaurants or soft drink vendor would be provided. 

So the consumer purchases said meal and drink plan based on their prior experience with said plan or word of mouth of friends, social media sites, etc. and expects to be able to get two meals and drink refills every 15 minutes while at the park.

The same with a season pass.  They are not explicitly stating that you get unlimited access to any of the rides or even a specific ride because a ride could be down for a variety of reasons.  Same with a particular food place or drink refill stand.  They are still providing you access to the park and access to food and a drink refill.

With the Prestige Pass, they explicitly stated what that pass holder would have access to and changed it.  He has been out of the game since 2019, so he probably truly has no idea what the Prestige pass was actually marketed as.

That is the fundamental difference that he fails to accept or acknowledge.

Because this is a pre-purchased item, his argument that "Reducing what is offered is fundamentally the same thing as an increase in price" is an integrity issue with the park.  He is caught up on the legal definition of "bait and switch", when to the average consumer, the perception is a bait and switch and is what is spread by word of mouth.

A pre-purchased item is much different than going to the store and seeing that the Tide bottle is 8 ounces smaller than previously for the same price.  At the store, you then have a decision to make - do I buy Tide recognizing I am getting less for the same price or do I try a cheaper alternative.  In this situation we don't as they already have your money.

The business model of pre-selling passes is different and if they want to continue to have a healthy presale of season passes the year prior, then they need to fundamentally provide what they are advertising they are selling.

If not, everyone (or a healthy majority) will wait until the following year and see what the product is truly going to be - days and hours of park operation, what food stands will be there, entertainment, etc. before purchasing.  That will hurt their bottom line without those presales.

Since he is hung up on the word unethical, would he accept that the integrity of the park is compromised doing stuff like this?  Or reputation of the park is compromised?  He seems to be stuck on the literally definition of a word instead of the intent or perception.  Certainly there has to be a word that he will accept and acknowledge LOL.  Or maybe not :P

Back to regularly scheduled programming - while the park is not offering as many events or shows for Winterfest as prior years, I still feel like 13 is a large number and someone is probably not able to take all 13 events in on one night, so while I wish some of the shows being removed were not, they are still providing enough options that most will not take exception to.

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1 hour ago, BoddaH1994 said:

you clearly think that getting 40% of what was advertised is ethical.

Wait, they're only letting you into the park 3 days a week? Well, why didn't you say so? In that case, you have a legitimate complaint!

1 hour ago, DonHelbig said:

Word of mouth has been, is now, and will always be part of the fabric of a brands reputation. 

I didn't suggest otherwise. Brand reputation is not directly linked to revenue. Walmart and McDonald's don't have a great "brand reputation" of providing high end products, but they generate a ton of revenue, because people continue to buy the junk they sell. My point was that their customers complaining online won't implore Walmart to stock high end items, nor will it force McDonald's to sell artisan Wagyu beef. That will only happen when people stop buying their crap. Which has been my point all along here.

46 minutes ago, disco2000 said:

They sold the Prestige pass as access to bottled drinks, among other things. 

The Prestige Pass provided access to the park during the Summer and HW/Haunt, in addition to Premium Parking, single-use FL, bring-a-friend tix, and access to a VIP area. That's why it cost more than Gold and Platinum.

That you see Prestige Pass as providing bottled water is just absolutely wild, especially given the price difference between Gold and Prestige. Even at in-park prices, you'd have to drink a ton of water just to break even. I mean, to each their own, and if you really think bottled water is worth $200/season, well, more power to you I guess. But if that's the case, you are one hell of an outlier.

46 minutes ago, disco2000 said:

They are not explicitly stating that you get unlimited access to any of the rides or even a specific ride because a ride could be down for a variety of reasons.  Same with a particular food place or drink refill stand.  They are still providing you access to the park and access to food and a drink refill.

I cannot for the life of me understand how you can write that, and then write this:

46 minutes ago, disco2000 said:

With the Prestige Pass, they explicitly stated what that pass holder would have access to and changed it.

Let me put it in your own words:

Quote

They are not explicitly stating that you guaranteed each and every pass "perk", because some of those might become unavailable for a variety of reasons. They are still providing you access to the park, premium parking, extra tickets, and one time FL.

How is that qualitatively different?

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41 minutes ago, DispatchMaster said:

Wait, they're only letting you into the park 3 days a week? Well, why didn't you say so? In that case, you have a legitimate complaint!

I didn't suggest otherwise. Brand reputation is not directly linked to revenue. Walmart and McDonald's don't have a great "brand reputation" of providing high end products, but they generate a ton of revenue, because people continue to buy the junk they sell. My point was that their customers complaining online won't implore Walmart to stock high end items, nor will it force McDonald's to sell artisan Wagyu beef. That will only happen when people stop buying their crap. Which has been my point all along here.

The Prestige Pass provided access to the park during the Summer and HW/Haunt, in addition to Premium Parking, single-use FL, bring-a-friend tix, and access to a VIP area. That's why it cost more than Gold and Platinum.

That you see Prestige Pass as providing bottled water is just absolutely wild, especially given the price difference between Gold and Prestige. Even at in-park prices, you'd have to drink a ton of water just to break even.

I cannot for the life of me understand how you can write that, and then write this:

Let me put it in your own words:

How is that qualitatively different?

 

I was simply pointing out the differences between what a gold pass provides you access to and what a Prestige pass provides you access to - there were different levels of access provided to a particular pass.  Same with what the meal and drink plan provided the passholder access to - access to 2 meals 4 hours apart and a refill every 15 minutes without specifically stating which food places or soft drinks.  The Prestige Pass specifically stated you get bottled drinks (among other things), and whether someone could drink enough bottles or not for the price increase is a strawman argument - that you fail to agree with or acknowledge.

There are screenshots all over social media where the park clearly stated bottled beverages were included with the Prestige Pass, but it isn't worth my time looking it up and finding it because clearly you wouldn't accept it anyway.

It is clear you are a smart person, but you take everything literal and everything to you is a black/white, right/wrong, left/right, ethical/unethical to the extreme and you fail to realize that is a lot of grey area to everything in life. 

At this point I don't know if that is the only explanation or if you are trolling or part of the legal team for CF, but it isn't worth debating this topic with you anymore.  Most, if not all here, simply don't agree with your line of thinking.

Oh wait, since you are so caught up on legal definitions, here is a rhetorical question for you - Is it ok to cheat on your significant other?  By your definition it probably is ok as it is not illegal.  Further, to some people it isn't immoral or unethical either.  But it is certainly a reputation issue to most.

As you said, there is reason places have the reputation they have....and if CF continues down this path, their reputation will be harmed, even more so now with the merger as many will word of mouth state that they stooped to SIX reputation instead of elevating SIX reputation. 

Just because "legally" they can claim the "subject to change" clause doesn't mean that continuing down that path won't harm their reputation.  It is clear you believe otherwise and believe it is good business practice to change what is offered at every whim and who cares what the customer thinks.

It's people like you that cause businesses to go under.  Look at the bottom line short term with no vision for the future and what the actions of today can cause in the future. 

A local oil change place went under near me in part because they shorted every customer a half quart on an oil change...they were saving 100 quarts of oil per day.  I assume in your mind that is an excellent business practice ;)  Once their reputation took a hit by word of mouth, nobody went there.  All over a half quart of oil....meanwhile a reputable oil change place that was charging more has lines consistently longer than a Chic-Fil-A LOL.  You get what you pay for.

 

Now back to regularly scheduled programming - do folks hope they re-energized the Train 12 Days of Christmas or go in a different direction?

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53 minutes ago, disco2000 said:

Now back to regularly scheduled programming - do folks hope they re-energized the Train 12 Days of Christmas or go in a different direction?

I think it would be better if they ditched the whole 12 days of Christmas theme altogether.

The route is currently poorly decorated. Another issue I have noticed is a lot of times the 12 days of Christmas music does not sync up with the theming. Sometimes the train outruns it or is not moving along fast enough to keep up.

Nothing against the crews working the locomotives. Steam Engines are just live, breathing, temperamental, beasts. :D

I would like to see them add much more decorative lighting to the route, and stick with more traditional Christmas music. 

Another nice touch would be adding cushions to the seats to insulate from the cold. This can easily be achieve by straps tied into the cushion to secure it the train.

Here is an example of what the route could be:

 

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Honestly, the KI&MVRR is the most underutilized aspect of the whole event, when it could easily be one of the “E-Ticket” Winterfest attractions. I hope it gets sone attention. I mean, what’s better than Christmas and Trains? 
 

(Answer: legitimate Prestige Pass perks) 

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49 minutes ago, beastfan11 said:

Honestly, the KI&MVRR is the most underutilized aspect of the whole event, when it could easily be one of the “E-Ticket” Winterfest attractions. I hope it gets sone attention. I mean, what’s better than Christmas and Trains? 
 

(Answer: legitimate Prestige Pass perks) 

What do you propose they change to make it better?

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After seeing the official line up of rides announced to run during WF, I am both happy and shocked that Sol Spin will be operating. I love that ride, but I was honestly wondering if it would be able to run in the winter with the exposed hydraulic lines. I will be happy to get some more rides on it before the year is over!

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3 hours ago, beastfan11 said:

Honestly, the KI&MVRR is the most underutilized aspect of the whole event, when it could easily be one of the “E-Ticket” Winterfest attractions. I hope it gets sone attention. I mean, what’s better than Christmas and Trains? 
 

 

I can’t agree enough!!!  
In fact, I’ll bet when Carillon Historical Park in Dayton has their Christmas event, their new railroad will be such an attraction.
 

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4 hours ago, disco2000 said:

What do you propose they change to make it better?

As an old person who experienced Winterfest ‘05, I’d love to see something like the “Home For The Holidays” show. Doesn’t need to be a carbon copy, but something more show driven. 
 

Honestly, though. I’d be content with just new, fully functioning lights and displays accompanied by some popular Christmas songs. I really love the “12 Days” concept, but I just don’t think it’s easily executable in the right way. 

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I know they would probably never do this, but I kinda wish that they would do what the Fountain Square ice rink in Cincinnati would do where they have one half of the rink for skaters and the other half has bumper boats made to skirt along the ice. I think that would be really fun and would give more options to folks who may not want to be on ice skates but still want to participate with a fun activity on the ice. Offer a single deal ticket for one or the other or a double deal ticket to do both. 

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14 hours ago, beastfan11 said:

As an old person who experienced Winterfest ‘05, I’d love to see something like the “Home For The Holidays” show. Doesn’t need to be a carbon copy, but something more show driven. 

We loved Home for the Holidays. I really liked how it recast the familiar train experience as part of a simple heartwarming holiday story.

I don't recall if it slowed up load times but it is the kind of experience that would be great to see return.

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42 minutes ago, Timchat2 said:

We loved Home for the Holidays. I really liked how it recast the familiar train experience as part of a simple heartwarming holiday story.

I don't recall if it slowed up load times but it is the kind of experience that would be great to see return.

I don’t feel like it did. They ran two shorter trains I believe and then the soldier that got dropped off for train 1 had time to walk back to the load area as train 2 departed with soldier 2, then soldier 1 boarded train 1 again. 

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I think regarding the removal of shows from WinterFest, if you want your voice to be heard, I would no longer vote for Kings Island as one of the best Christmas events in the nation, since there will be a drop in quality. Along with if you get a random "how was your visit?" Survey, fill it out and be honest as possible. 

 

Those two things I think from our standpoint would be the best options for showing how we truly feel about these changes.

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This event has had almost the same exact (BAD) entertainment since its inception in 2017.  I don’t mean the performers. I mean the production. Almost every show is low production value of high school quality. 

They did add the parade at one point and added the (bad) Swinging show last year to replace the (bad) Peanuts Spectacular  

They are dropping several of their low-quality in investing in this about to make it grow    Most likely because it’s just regurgitating the same season pass holders from summer  

This is my favorite time of year to go to the park. Definitely not because of the shows but because of the lights   Hopefully they don’t continue to cut and kill attendance until this event doesn’t exist anymore  

Cedar Fair’s financials were not good this quarter. They are losing attendance. They brag about their profits because they’re cost-cutting. But that’s just a downward spiral. That will continue to decrease attendance.

It’s a shame this company has got to this state because they were doing things so well in recent years 

I actually used to make a point to spend money at Winterfest every time I went because I enjoyed the event so much.  But Cedar Fair has prove themselves unethical, so I will not spend a dime over my season, pass there.   I’m sure they put a bad taste in other peoples mouth with some of their antics.   Their per capita spending is down as well 

But one should not expect a lot from an unethical company, that does not treat customers AND employees with respect 

 

 

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I remember the original Winterfest vaguely and it was a really fun night in the cold winter of Ohio. Then it was gone. And now it's back and I get to ride some of my favorite rides and enjoy the lights and atmosphere of the park at this time of year again. I just enjoy the experience for the opportunity and knowledge that this event can go away just like that again. I won't get into the back and forth of what shows are there this year or not. I will find plenty to do at the park when I visit as always. Through it all, we are more than lucky to have such an amazing park to call our own.

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9 hours ago, Timchat2 said:

Any sign of where Sounds of the Nativity will be set up this year? The official site just says Charlie Brown's Christmas Town. Would they put it on the corner by Boo Blasters in the former Four Drummers Drumming spot?

Yeah my understanding is that it is replacing Four Drummers. 

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