Beware: Early Ride Closings No Joke!

I havent been to Cedar Point in over 3 years now but keep up with the news. Wondering if the rides closing down early also have to do with the overnight cleaning and getting ready for the next day. Less people = more time to sanatize the rides. shops, restrooms etc. Making sure everyone is out by a certain times gives more time for the cleaning...just a thought :)

RCMAC, yeah my last season was '74, and now that you mention it there were a few Saturday nights during the height of the season that they pushed back closing til 11:00PM. Same policy tho, closed at 11:00 meant CLOSED. Other than the beginning of the season, and towards the end, I opened, never closed.

causewaycruiser said:

I havent been to Cedar Point in over 3 years now but keep up with the news. Wondering if the rides closing down early also have to do with the overnight cleaning and getting ready for the next day. Less people = more time to sanatize the rides. shops, restrooms etc. Making sure everyone is out by a certain times gives more time for the cleaning...just a thought :)

They are back to regular cleaning. The extra COVID cleaning is a thing of the past.

I still think it's a combination of very short staffing and trying to keep the labor costs as lean as possible until they are able to get more confidence that the long term future will be like it was in 2019 cash flow wise.

I am not one to complain, but yesterday was a complete and utter mess of a cluster. I completely understand that the park is short staffed. But having multiple food, merchandise, and games closed, along with the early ride closings and an hour to get out of the parking lot is absolutely ridiculous. I have been coming to the park since 1991 and have been a pass holder since 2008. And other than the railroad, Iron Dragon, Wildcat, and Dodgem; (back during laser show days) I never ever remember any ride lines closing early. I don’t understand why cedar point can’t solve the problem of not having international workers by employing people from the local temp agency. I know it would not be ideal, but it would sure help with the staffing issue.

I was at Kings Island last weekend and on Saturday Night May 8; from what I saw, everything (ride-wise) closed at 10:00 p.m. like it was SUPPOSED to.


Jake Padden
13-Tiques/Wave Swinger
12-Camp Snoopy; Tiques/Wave Swinger
11-CP & LE Railroad Platform; Cedar Creek Mine Ride; Tiques/Wave Swinger

TwistedCircuits's avatar

Just to try and add to the experience from this weekend. I did a half day for work and was at the park by 1600 (4pm). In 4 hours till closing I got a ride on Magnum (20-30 minute wait), explored a bit of frontier festival, spent some time admiring the new boats from the camp snoopy snack stand seating, did a full circuit on the train from frontier town station (30-45 minute wait), explored back down frontier trail to the front of the park, waited 30-45 minutes to order mini corn dogs fries and a drink (my most unexpected and largest complaint of the trip as others have expressed), got a ride on Raptor (~30 minute wait, that's thing is a people eater at capacity), went to the back of the park and got in line for Magnum at about 10 till close (waited 15-20 minutes and got a ride shortly after official close, there were still a good 3 trains they ran after that one), and exited the park through the resort gate to walk down the beach and boardwalk and get some sunset photos of the park, seeing the rack that was the parking lot trying to leave I then walked across the parking lot to get pictures over in the marina area of the sunset, I probably didn't roll out of the parking lot until 9:30 but didn't have any traffic issues at that point.

Cons: so many food and beverage stands are closed, I wonder if they're moving staff that would normally operate those to frontier festival? I have never seen that many be closed and then see lines at the ones were open like they had.

Pros: I must thoroughly compliment the raptor and Magnum crews that were operating when I rode for their efficiency. It certainly wasn't peak performance but for opening day they didn't outstanding job.

As others have said I think some of this will improve as the season goes on, it still was opening weekend. And I am baffled by the families that plan a weekend getaway on opening weekend and then whine about it on Twitter, that happens every year and yet no one seems to learn. It certainly was not the best experience possible but I also understand the difficulty they may be having predicting what these first couple weekends are going to look like. I am hopeful that given a few weeks as we get into June things will start shaping up, they may not be near "normal" but I could see things getting much closer to at least the efficient parts of last year's operations and then improving from there.

Last edited by TwistedCircuits,

Still haven't been able to uncross these circuits...
DJ Fischer

djDaemon's avatar

The "cost savings" argument is completely nonsensical, considering that CP increased wages in order to staff up. And surely they make a lot more money when they can sell food at a higher rate than what they were limited to with their available staff.

As for the overall experience this weekend, I don't understand why anyone expected a different outcome? Opening weekend is always a bit of a mess. Add in exceptionally great weather and it gets a whole lot worse. And then toss in staffing issues that we usually see in the fall after college starts back up, and you've got a perfect storm.

But maybe that's on CP for not correctly setting expectations for people who don't know any better. I bet if the park had given people two choices: 1) open short staffed, or 2) don't open at all this season, people would have chosen option 1, even knowing the suboptimal experience they were in for.


Brandon

Paisley's avatar

Quite honestly I'm still functioning in a mode that I expect most everything to be suboptimal anymore and am just happy when it isn't.

Paisley said:

Quite honestly I'm still functioning in a mode that I expect most everything to be suboptimal anymore and am just happy when it isn't

You basically just summed up adulthood right there

1000 years of force's avatar

RCMAC said:

<snip> because under no circumstances would overtime (time past 8p) be paid.
<snip>

I literally laughed so hard I am having to clean the Fruity Pebbles out of the keyboard...

Dude, there is NO overtime for seasonal associates.

None. Zilch. Zero. They are hired under "seasonal, migrant worker rules" so they don't have to pay OT or benefits or anything other than straight time.

Seven Twenty-hour O.C.s in a row? Straight time.

Unless they are in a union position (and they are on multiple shifts, so OT is unlikely).

I am still giggling. Awesome.


"Your persiflage does not amuse. " - Ralph (from Around the world in 80 days)

I'll just echo what everyone else said. A day tripper could normally count on hitting one big ride first thing and then another right before closing. This makes that not possible. Add that to the fact that sometimes things don't open on time in the morning and you're alienating people to start their day AND to end their day and that is just bad business. It'd be one thing if they were short staffed and it was an 11PM close, but they're closing at 8PM. These are pretty short days by historical Cedar Point employee standards. I really hope this changes - preferably soon, but if it's permanent, I think it's a big mistake.


-Matt

1000 years of force- Hang on to your kid breakfast, there.
And by overtime I’m well aware here’s no time and a half. I worked there myself.
What I meant, and clearly what I should’ve said, was they won’t be paying them past closing time. And before you attempt to shame me again, I suppose there’s 15 minutes or so leeway, but maybe not. They can certainly say “your shift (and therefore your time card) cuts off at 8p, no exceptions. Anything past and you’re volunteering”.
But I’m sure you know that.

Dude.

djDaemon's avatar

MDOmnis said:

A day tripper could normally count on hitting one big ride first thing and then another right before closing.

We haven't been day trippers in years, but these limitations would be a deal breaker for us too. A typical visit for us would be 3 to 5 nights at Breakers, and we'd use morning Platinum Pass ERT for me and/or my Wife to get a few critical laps in. Then, spend the day and evening catering to the kids. And then once the kids are asleep, one of us would head back into the park for a few rides to close out the day.

Now they've cut morning ERT in half, and are closing the lines while we're eating dinner? Let's just say we don't regret not buying passes since they announced the Gold Pass. They clearly don't want our money for whatever reason, so we'll spend it elsewhere.


Brandon

1000 years of force's avatar

RCMAC, your clarification is sensible. I wasn't trying to shame anyone... it just read really funny.


"Your persiflage does not amuse. " - Ralph (from Around the world in 80 days)

Skyhawk06's avatar

I have a question about that conversation...So you said there's no overtime for seasonal employees. I did hear other marina workers going on about how you could also work a different position along with your current one for more hours. Is that true, or am I thinking about full time employees? My status is I'm a part time seasonal employee, and any clarification would be helpful.


Steel Vengeance rides: 185

I'd rather be sailing

Marina operations attendant-2021, 2022

I’m guessing you could work as many hours as they’re willing to hand you. There would be training considerations affecting that as well.
And, it would be paid at straight wages.

I’ve thought it might be possible for the park to offer extended shifts for those willing to work. Done for the day as a ride op? Move to Breakers for a few hours. Or laundry, or sweep, or cleaning, or watering flower beds, you name it.
I’m sure I’m not the one who thought of this first.
Hours are hours.

Edit to ask: How’s that Marina gig working out for you? Everything you hoped for?

Last edited by RCMAC,

djDaemon said:

Now they've cut morning ERT in half, and are closing the lines while we're eating dinner?

To be fair, Platinum Pass and resort guests still get the full hour. Gold Pass time starts at 9:30, and even then it's only the front half of the park. But when they don't have any EE rides ready until 9:15-9:30 on a regular basis and almost never have the fully advertised lineup, it does devalue it

MichaelB's avatar

Interesting that CP just announced they're hosting a job fair tomorrow for year round, full time food management positions. I'm far from an expert on the food industry, but to me it sounds like they're trying to pull in talent that has career experience running a restaurant.

djDaemon's avatar

Cartwright said:

...it does devalue it

Yeah, that's what I was getting at in my poorly-worded rant. For us, and I suspect many resort guests, we would often start at the back and work our way up, often ending at GK just prior to the end of that hour. The new setup makes that less likely, or at best we'd still get on GK but would be in line quite a bit longer, seeing how the Gold Pass is not particularly exclusive.


Brandon

Can someone elaborate on how employee scheduling worked before the pandemic?

As intense as it sounds, I thought most employees generally worked open to close five or six days a week, even rides employees assigned to popular coasters that would cycle super late (e.g. July 4th 2010, when the park closed at 1 or 2am) and open early the next morning (e.g. 9am for early entry or even earlier for a special event).

Or were there multiple shifts?


Thrills Around the Corner!

Unless it's changed since I worked there (and I will certainly will be corrected if I'm mistaken). With a full roster of employees you would have a opening shift, a swing shift and a closing shift. When I worked there some of the rides had a split shift, where you would open, work for four hours then you were off for the afternoon, coming back for four hours to close. Open to close was usually only during the first few weeks of the season, and the final days. This could change at any time, as I recall, on how many people bailed by mid season, which would screw up the scheduling.

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