Beware: Early Ride Closings No Joke!

Cargo Shorts's avatar

Platinum needs to be at least $300 and would still be a bargain. Could still have a no precious metal pass for $99 without parking, CPS or early entry.

TwistedCircuits's avatar

They can call it the plastic pass!

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

Just for comparison, the basic level annual pass for Knott's Berry Farm is $105. It's good for every day that the park is open (which is every day except Christmas) but not Haunt. They use a payment plan where pay over nine months. Of course you can add parking (which brings the price up to $180/yr). Still a massive bargain when you compare it to what Disney is getting down the road. Now I live an hour and half drive away by freeway, and usually we go at least once a month.

Last edited by Dutchman,

Have a Basic/Blue/Plastic (I like that) pass that includes admission to CP and Shores with no complimentary parking and select block out dates like summer Saturdays and Haunt (maybe you allow September Fridays & Sundays for Haunt?)

Have a Silver pass with the same block out dates as above but include parking and some sort of merchandise/food & beverage discount. Maybe they also get the opportunity for single day Friday or Sunday Haunt tickets at a nice discount that would make one visit to Haunt with a Silver Pass cost slightly less than a Gold or Platinum pass.

Gold passes are exactly what they are now, but double the price. For funsies and to cause anger on social media, block out Columbus Day Saturday.

Platinum passes are exactly what they are now, again, double the price. Full access to all CF parks on all operating dates.

Casual "a few times a summer" families can get silver for one of the parents and the basic pass for the rest of the family and enjoy a summer of fun both for the dry and waterpark.

Those that want to participate in the premium experience that has become fall season will have to pay for that level.

TwistedCircuits's avatar

If only we got to make business decisions for the company. I haven't been looking around but does the platinum price vary across the chain or is that set? If it varies across the chain could I in theory go buy a platinum pass from another park's website and get a better deal?

Reason I ask is if we're talking about a price increase for the platinum pass would that adversely affect other parks in the chain. From what I've seen I don't think so but I did want to play devil's advocate.

Edit: fixed VTT duplication.

Last edited by TwistedCircuits,

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

It appears that the Platinum pass is the same price , $225 and can be used at all Cedar Fair parks

Cargo Shorts's avatar

Yes they are the same “price” but not the same currency. Late 2019 I renewed with Wonderland instead of CP or KI. (KI is actually the better of the two due to lower taxes and lower add-on prices like FunPix). At the time the currency conversion rate was 1.2 so came out to about a 20% discount. Adds up for a family of 4 with the add-ons.

Plus there is that little anomaly where all passes and add-ons purchased through the CW portal have been extended through Labour Day 2022.

Does anyone else feel like closing times are “stricter” than usual again?

I’m very grateful that ride lines aren’t closing before the park anymore, as I experienced opening day. And the park is entitled to stop letting guests into things promptly at park close. But I’m genuinely curious why the pre-pandemic grace periods have been eliminated, and what the rush is to get everyone out of the park on a Sunday night at 8pm when most workers won’t return until the following Friday evening.

For context, my experience on Memorial Day—with MF’s line staying open ~5 minutes past park close and a few extra trains being sent just to cycle through the front row line (what?!)—made me think the park had returned to its old, signature soft close ways.

Fast forward to last Sunday, I was surprised when I arrived at Gatekeeper (which had been down most of the day) literally 15 seconds after park close to find the line already tightly closed as well.

This Sunday, having learned my lesson, I got in line for Valravn 10 minutes prior to close. But I heard constant “at park closing, we fill every seat; no seat requests whatsoever” spiels—both automated and live—which seemed aggressive! And the spieler repeatedly talked about needing to “get everyone out as fast as possible.”

On my way out of the park, I was surprised to see a ring of security personnel blocking everyone from the Point Plaza gift shop—only 20 minutes after park close. As bad as SFMM can be with closing things early, even they’ve never done that as far as I can recall.

Is staffing an issue again? Is the park watching its $20 labor hours carefully (even though I’d think the gift shop would pay for itself)?

Last edited by Top Thrill 182,

Thrills Around the Corner!

XS NightClub's avatar

I do not understand the current managements philosophy of making it harder to separate guests from their money. I refer to Zimmerman's era as the 'Six Flagging of the chain', but even Six Flags allows guests to spend whatever money they have left after park close.

Missed a full season at CP for the first time since 2007, maybe Sandusky will be back on my travel list next year.... Depends what CP has up their sleeve for 2023.

djDaemon's avatar

That they're closing a revenue-generating asset suggests it's not a voluntary move, so probably driven by staffing rather than incompetence, negligence, or malice.


Even in the pre-pandemic times, there have been many instances where I've caught one last Magnum ride at park close, only to find Pagoda, Point Plaza, and Sweet Spot shuttered 15 minutes after closing time.

Meanwhile in Orlando the Main Street shops will stay open at Magic Kingdom until every last possible cent has been transferred from guest to Disney.

Cargo Shorts's avatar

I suspect it is a staffing issue especially now with weekend only operations. Many employees will have a main gig they need to be ready for Monday morning be it class or day job.

XS NightClub's avatar

Even with staffing issues, it is a management failure to not have the lone gift shop open on the way out of the park most guests leave through.

It is really rather easy to shift a few employee schedules one time slot later to cover closing at Pagoda, move that payroll hour from another location to Pagoda.

Also, where are the black shirt higher ups to cover shifts.... or is operating a cash register beneath the current team? Mr. Hildebrandt used to basically do sweeps jobs if needed....

Missed a full season at CP for the first time since 2007, maybe Sandusky will be back on my travel list next year.... Depends what CP has up their sleeve for 2023.

Cargo Shorts's avatar

I believe you hit on the primary reason they all want to move to Charlotte, so they don't have to run a cash register. Beats the lame "weather" excuse. :)

Though wouldn't they be called cashless registers now?

I'm very disappointed to read reports of many/most queue lines (for mazes and rides) closing early last night. I'm not sure if anyone experienced that firsthand.

I get that the park was extremely busy yesterday, but that's not the fault of individual guests--who probably experienced much less than normal yesterday as it was. If the park can't handle the big crowds they're pulling, they need to find a way to reduce attendance (i.e. implement reservations or raise admission prices).

I also get that many employees probably don't want to work until 3 or 4am, but that's always been the way of it at the CA parks, which are frequently open until 2am during the Halloween season. And frankly, expecting a marquee ride like SV to be done cycling ~15 minutes after close on a very crowded day seems overly miserly to me, and sort of a slap in the face to guests who were then forced to sit in their cars for hours waiting to exit the parking lot.

Last edited by Top Thrill 182,

Thrills Around the Corner!

Top Thrill 182 said:


Sounds like FUN to me!Appears that I'm fortunate enough to have gotten the entire experience out of my system when the getting was good.

Top Thrill 182 said:

I also get that many employees probably don't want to work until 3 or 4am, but that's always been the way of it at the CA parks

The biggest difference is the California (and Florida) parks are staffed with plenty of full and part time year round staff. The folks that are operating rides until 3 or 4am are scheduled to do just that, and it's not going to be the same crew that has to be back at 8am or 9am to open the ride back up the next day.

Meanwhile, that Steel Vengeance op that cycles the final guest at 2:30am then has up to an hour of closing procedures to get done before clocking out to essentially get less than a half night of sleep before having to start opening procedures at 8 or 9am.

That is so true. I remember working millennium and getting the line closed at 12:08am and running the line down until almost 2am. Then we would have to clean the trains, do track walks, clean the queues, etc. We wouldn’t clock out until 2:45/3:00am. There are a lot of things ride ops have to do before and after the park opens that a lot of people don’t know about. During Halloweekends, you really are working with a skeleton crew. That means picking up the slack that other departments lack regarding staffing such as emptying trash cans in your queues (at least that’s how it was the last time I worked there).

My understanding from all our discussions on staffing this year has been that CP generally does schedule two shifts on long days. But I defer to those more knowledgeable on the subject!

Regardless, I fully support employees having adequate turnaround time between shifts. (I myself will work very hard every day I’ve had eight hours of sleep the night before. Lol)

BUT, I think the park needs to advertise hours that better account for that.

If the park knows employees must clock out by 1am, and that it takes employees an hour to complete closing procedures, why does the park advertise midnight closes for historically busy Saturdays?

I think guests would prefer the park under promise and over deliver: Advertise 10:30pm closes, and keep attractions open longer when crowds permit. But that way, guests know the “worst case scenario” ahead of time, and can make informed decisions on whether or not to visit on a particular day.

Yes, fans of the park knowingly visit Halloweekends Saturdays at their own risk, but I think the park needs to do a better job of preserving an acceptable experience on those days for the many casual guests who expect to have fun whenever they visit the park.

Last edited by Top Thrill 182,

Thrills Around the Corner!

I don't disagree with that at all.

And I do believe CP is doing much better than they did "back in the day" scheduling two shifts during the height of summer season with 7 day a week operations. But these October weekends pretty much have all ride crews working a 9am-1am style schedule for Friday and Saturday and just a little bit shorter on Sunday.

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