Attendance down in 2023

It looks like attendance is down in 2023 for CF. Could be a combo of weather and bad operations (at least on the CP end).

They actually said the six midwest parks, including two of their largest - Cedar Point and Kings Island - are up 7%. The decline is mostly blamed on bad weather and wildfires. California parks and Canada have been the poorest performers.

I do agree they need to put some attention on the operations at CP. I'm not optimistic that it will happen though.


And that’s a shame because Cedar Point used to be known for their operations.

GL2CP's avatar

Not sure how operations has an impact on overall attendance. Can someone elaborate?
Are there many people saying “I don’t want to go to cedar point because dispatch times are too long” or “food lines are long”

First ride; Magnum 1994

Yes, when you drop the kind of money that it takes to get into the park, or buy a season pass, and all you can do is ride a couple of coasters. That leaves a bad impression about the value. Add to that the inexcusable concessions wait times and the likelyhood of repeat business is definitely affected, and not in a good way. It didn't used to be this way. IMHO it is primarily the result of the bean counter mentality that began infecting the operation of the park when a certain banker ascended to the position of CEO back in the late 1970's.

Last edited by Dutchman,

Less than a small fraction of casual passholders notice slow operations unless it's outrageously bad. Cedar Point is far from where they once were, but nowhere near the bottom of the barrel.

But it's the people that go there only once a year that are now making the difference, not the casual passholder. Believe it or not a substantial amount of their parks income is from the ones that make that once a year trip to the park. With that once a year trip being maybe once every other year now, or even when they save enough money to go. Depending upon the situations it may even become several years between visits.

I haven’t been to the park in 2 years because the last time we went, we rode about 4 rides over the course of the day. We also had a room at Breakers that night. Worth the money? No. Having to wait in huge lines all day for everything just isn’t fun. (The opposite of what an amusement park should be)

I've only been to the park once this year. Part of it is because my family has been pretty busy, but part of it is also because it seems to be a lot more of a crapshoot than it used to be as to if it will be a good time or a total s^%* show. Season passes and meal plans are paid for, but hotel costs have been pretty high this year so it's still a decent chunk of change to fork out for a trip. Early season, it's excuses about staffing. If there's a bit of rain, things close down way too frequently and for too long. Late season, it's back to the staffing excuses, but toss in huge crowds. Kinzel, for all his micromanaging and mom and pop/ego driven problems did always make it a point to emphazise that the park should be delivering whether it's opening day, the fourth of July, or closing day.

Rides commonly open late whether it's for early entry or reguar 10AM start. There are some decent crews around, but most of the big rides have just been getting to 500,000 riders for the season in recent weeks when they should probably be over a million by now. When the bean counters look at the spreadsheets though, they might say "oh people must not like riding as much as they used to" rather than realizing what the actual problem is. I'd really love to know the stats on how many rides the average guest takes now vs. say 10 or 20 years ago. Total rides given park wide divided by attendance. If that number hasn't moved, maybe I'm off base here, but I'd be willing to bet it has dropped. I remember marathoning rides like Magnum, Raptor, Gemini during mid summer evenings back in the 2000's. That's not possible in most cases now even though those rides are much older and there are newer attractions to take people from those lines.

Food has been the one bright spot in recent years to be honest. We used to often leave the park to go to Chet and Matt's, but haven't done that nearly as much since the meal plans and much improved food like Hugo's, Backbeat, Farmhouse, and Grand Pavilion have come along.


I get this. It wasn't that long ago that short of a monsoon style summer storm, actual freezing temps in October, or some sort of rare maintenance issue (like the year Millennium Force snapped the lift cable or Maverick's delayed opening because #intamin) you could pretty much always guarantee any day at Cedar Point would have near 100% attraction uptime (minus Dragster) and all rides would be running at maximum capacity and have solid dispatch times.

Between the asinine current weather policies, seemingly more maintenance issues and any number of staffing issues these days - it is absolutely a crap shoot if you're going to have a good day or a frustrating day at Cedar Point. And that's such a shame.

Halloweekends hasn't happened yet.

Vince982's avatar

I've only been to the park twice between 2019 and now. A Halloweekends 2019 trip and Coastermania last year. And I had a Gold pass last year. Life has changed and the family is growing and we're busy, but getting to the park has been so low on my radar because I just know I won't be able to ride like I used to 10+ years ago when I was a regular passholder. My wife isn't a rider but she would come along if I wanted to go. Or I would round of some friends who like to ride.

We have good friends who brought their family of six to the park in May and asked us to join and I said no. Prices have increased and bringing the family to the park will cost a big chunk and I would be willing to pay it, but knowing it's probably going to be a crapshoot of operations I have no desire to go. After our friends got back (they aren't enthusiasts at all) their first comment was how most food stands were closed or had crazy lines and how lines moved terribly slow and it would take 25 minutes for their kids to ride one kiddy ride. So it's not just enthusiasts who notice slow operations.

We'll miss you MrScott and Pete

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