FLP up again to $249 on Saturdays

Thursday, August 12, 2021 2:17 PM

I don't get it. It's only 10 dollars more than Dorney Park, but 5 dollars LESS than Kings Island. As much as I love Kings Island, in no realm should it be more expensive than Cedar Point.

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 2:42 PM
Thor's avatar

Fast Lane has become borderline broken, in my opinion. Too many people have it, which tanks the experience for the FL users as well as non-Fast Lane users depending on what's going on. I was at the park a few weeks ago, and the normal wait for Maverick was one hour. The fast lane was a literal walk-on (or at the very least, waiting a minute or two until they're let into the station). If there were no fast lane, the normal line wait time would have been 30-45 minutes instead of 60. Similarly, when Top Thrill was running, wait time was 45 minutes but, guess what, Fast Lane was a walk-on.

Then, the next day, Maverick was 1 hr 15min wait, and "Fast Lane" was at 45 minutes, which is obviously not fast at all. Just a wildly varying experience for FL parties.

Personally, I think this could all be fixed with a more Disney-esque system, where Fast Lane qualifies for certain rides at certain times. This would guarantee shorter waits for FL users, would probably result in shorter waits for regular users, and would give more people the option of choosing which rides they want to experience with no wait. But that has its drawbacks, too, I guess. Still. Was not impressed with Fast Lane this year.


Undomesticated equines could not remove me.

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 3:53 PM

You can do it Disney style at no cost or the way they do it and charge. Granted I think they should charge way more for unlimited laps on all the rides.

But you can't charge what they charge now and limit rides.

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 3:58 PM

I just caught up on this thread a couple of days ago. Then today I get a notification of the $99 Gold pass on my watch. Needless to say, I got a nice laugh out of it.

However not really a laughing matter for the park we know and love. Is this incompetence? Just a total difference in Philosophy? I dunno but it seems those of us who have spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars at CP are coming to a totally different conclusion than upper management. You would expect some differences but we are in different ballparks.

I went one day in June so far this year. Why? It's all been said before. Less value from Breakers, FL and packing the park. There's a thousand right there lost. And it's a coin flip for Halloweekends. If that lands the wrong way it's another 1.5k lost for CP and at that point, I'm not going enough to justify the Platinum Pass. The bottom line is if I were to stay for multiple days I'm spending more than ever for half the experience.

So let's say you are just visiting CP for the first time with the family and you don't have any past experiences to go off of. More and more will have a sub-par experience and just won't find the value in going back. Not saying they didn't have a good time but the 3k plopped down is less likely to come back into CP's pocket next year.

I couldn't agree more with Jeff that 100 bucks for CP is just wrong and it devalues the product. I pay more than that for a concert that lasts 3 hours.


-Matt

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 4:28 PM
Kevinj's avatar

Similar reaction on my part as well. I simply do not understand the philosophy, especially in the context of this strange season where all the $99 passes got auto-renewed for nothing.

(side tangent, if you wanted to have a gold pass for the 150th anniversary, why didn't you at least price it at $150. Get it?)

If you have a business that provides a certain product, how do you decide how much to charge? It's quite simple. You charge what you're worth. More specifically, what you ask of the consumer is a reflection of how much you think you are worth.

Cedar Point has some pretty low self-esteem if it thinks $99 is even remotely in the ball-park. Unlimited visits. Free parking. Early Entry. All for less than the price of the running shoes I just bought my daughter for cross country, which will last about 3 months/500 miles.

Last edited by Kevinj, Thursday, August 12, 2021 4:58 PM

Promoter of fog.

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 5:04 PM
Dvo's avatar

How can I spin a positive out of this... At least in my experience in the last few years, the beach has certainly been revitalized! A lot of that due to the lines in the park being so long, I'd seek reprieve in the form of relaxing with a fruity drink.

But I agree; the gate is being given away, and it makes the 11-hour round trip to the park much less appealing. Last year I went to the park for a weekend (Friday evening thru Sunday morning/afternoon), and I believe I rode a grand total of two rides. Two! Could I have ridden more? Sure, but I also have little interest in waiting in full queues. It's hard to justify a weekend knowing that the place is likely going to be a zoo.


374 MF laps
Smoking Area Drone Pilot

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 8:17 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't get it at all. Demand for almost everything is up to the point of driving inflation. As a result, most everything is more expensive. Why would you not increase the price of this pass? Am I out of touch to believe that a hundred bucks is a rounding error in disposable income? I'm suspect of any hotel that doesn't charge at least $150 for one night. And at risk of sounding classist, no, I know this is classist, but the cheaper the admission, the more likely you end up with this or this.


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 8:31 PM

Looks like they have chosen sides -

Disney hates poor people

Cedar Fair loves poor people

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 8:43 PM

It is shocking to me that the prices didn't go up, at least a little. As others have said, pretty much everything else is more expensive now than it was on March 1 of 2020. Paying $875 to renew all season fast lane when its over $200 a day at CP is the steal of steals. Get em before they are gone.


CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (37 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (190 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Raptor 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. GateKeeper 7. Valravn 8. Rougarou 9. Magnum XL 200 10. Gemini

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 9:23 PM

Jeff said:

And at risk of sounding classist, no, I know this is classist, but the cheaper the admission, the more likely you end up with this or this.

Is that the direct result of cheaper admission, or the result of too many people in any given space (which in this case is the result of cheaper admission)? I don’t know if I’m asking that correctly…


ROUNDABOUND.

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 9:45 PM
Jeff's avatar

Aren't they interrelated?

Matt brought up on CB the biggest question you should ask as an investor: How do you justify this pricing when the cost of your labor doubled?


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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Thursday, August 12, 2021 9:53 PM

Why in the world are they selling the gold pass for so little? The last time Cedar Point sold a regular pass was 2018, when the pre-sale price as $137. Adjusted for inflation, that is $149 today. At that price, it included one same year admission, no parking, no waterpark, and no early entry. The gold pass is being sold for essentially $50 less (in 2021 dollars) with ALL of those perks included.

There is a valid business case to be made to give something a cheap introductory price, then increase it later. I would, however, disagree that $99 was a good place to set a "cheap introductory price" for a Cedar Point gold pass. Another reason to set the price that low would be to try and set an attendance record for the 150th anniversary. Those are about the only two reasons I can think of to set the price that low, and neither of those reasons hold for the 2022 season. So what gives?

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Friday, August 13, 2021 12:00 AM

I absolutely hated the fact that they went with the $99 gold pass gimmick today. I thought we were past that insanity but here we are. My issue is that at this point; the park isn’t worth the $99 for the simple fact that the park itself is not nor was not designed to provide a consistent, enjoyable experience for such an influx of guests. The park has traded atmosphere and experience for packing the park all for the sake of salvaging their “record attendance” that the investors seem to care so much about and that literally anyone else cares nothing about.

The park doesn’t have the capacity, ability or infrastructure to take those crowds and do something with them other than corralling them in the steel and concrete jungle that is Cedar Point. (Outside the beach of course) They’ve certainly got some fantastic live entertainment and in a few spots the food ain’t half bad, but where do you put all those people besides in hours and hours of lines?

Like everyone else I don’t get it. But I can tell you that for the first time in a long time, we won’t be renewing our passes next year. Despite having a year off from the park previously I thought I’d be excited to visit again this year, but every experience has been made negative because there’s just too many people and not enough rides or live e or anything to spread everyone out more.

I don’t know how this will all shake out long term, but I don’t imagine this is sustainable.

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Friday, August 13, 2021 9:38 AM

Jeff-

Let me rephrase. Would there still be more of this and this (your links) if the park was slam packed full of $250 Gold Passholes instead of $99 Gold Passholes?

And I agree with the labor point. I’m astounded that they didn’t jacks up the prices to pass that labor hike along to the customers. But keep posting quarters with a net loss and this leadership regime won’t last long, Covid or no Covid.

I miss Matt Oiumet.


ROUNDABOUND.

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Friday, August 13, 2021 10:09 AM
MrJohnJLewis's avatar

This was the plan all along. Think about the way the remodeled restaurants recently. They all have an assembly line style service. Hugo's used to be a suit down buffet. You can cycle through more people with the new model. Because they know the park is going to be packed


1. Maverick 2. Steel Vengeance 3. Millennium Force 4. Top Thrill Dragster 5. Gate Keeper 6. Valravn 7. Raptor 8. Magnum 9. Gemini 10. Wicked Twister 11. Rougaru 12. Blue Streak 13. Cedar Creek Mine Ride 14. Iron Dragon 15. Corkscrew 16. Pipescream 17. Woodstock Express 18. Wilderness Run
10.

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Friday, August 13, 2021 10:10 AM
Jeff's avatar

I would assume not. You don't see "this and this" at WDW where daily admission is $100 and passes are $800. A packed Taco Bell is more likely to break out with a fight than a crowded steak house that's $100/plate.

I think if investors are smart and paying attention, they don't look at "record attendance" independently of per cap spending. If you followed Six Flags pre-bankruptcy, you definitely know this story. Every quarter it was the same thing, "Higher attendance offset by lower spending." Believe it or not, Cedar Fair had a couple of years that went the opposite, lower attendance offset by higher spending, around the time that Kinzel made his "people gotta eat" comment on an investor call.

All of this subscription stuff and incremental revenue that Six Flags and apparently now Cedar Fair are chasing are models that work really well to online phenomenon like streaming video and video game content, and those industries enjoy the steady cash flow of the model. But forcing it into a theme park model is or will be a mistake. Part of it is just the fatigue of all this stuff that you pay monthly. Another part is the fatigue of spending more to get what you really want after the base price (in the case of cheap AP's).

The other problem with the "just get them in the park" approach is that there's no concurrent effort to make sure the experience is great. OK, that's not entirely fair, because I think they have upped their live entertainment game in a huge way (see: parades and late shows). But there are few stories of operational excellence and lots of complaints that the premium queue mix is entirely broken and benefits no one. So great, you get them in the parks, but are they going to come back?

I don't feel like the executive leadership has a clear "why" anymore.


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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Friday, August 13, 2021 11:44 AM
Joe E's avatar

I have a feeling they are chasing certain traditional metrics (attendance, passholder base, per caps) over everything else. My company in the last 10 years heavy into Net Promoter Scores and the related metrics which drive it. Focusing on those led to better retention, more customers (while keeping or increasing the pricing), more sales, higher profits, etc.

I haven’t seen a CF / CP survey sent to my e-mailbox in 2 years, even for their hotels. Before then I did get the hotel surveys, but never a ‘how was your trip to the park today’ one. About all they did a season pass one at the end of year. We went to Kennywood recently and even they sent us a survey asking about how our specific day was, with metric specific questions (lines, safety, food, overall value, etc). Almost free data, but CP doesn’t seem interested?

If you see NPS start to slip when attendance reaches a certain point, you can at least act on that. Trips to the make me whole department aren’t going to capture your full story. They can’t have any clear picture of guest satisfaction as it related to what happening in the park that day.

Speaking of, I would love to see a survey results with the question of pass value. Given the reaction here and most of social media, I’ve never seen a sizeable group of people would be happy to pay and practically begging to pay more for a product, yet a company not acting on it.

Last edited by Joe E, Friday, August 13, 2021 11:44 AM

Gemini 100- 6/11/01

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Friday, August 13, 2021 12:21 PM
Jeff's avatar

Ugh, NPS is the worst because depending on the industry or business, relatively few people can actually move that needle. In a lot of software companies, people only really respond to NPS surveys when something is broken. But in theme parks, heck, every front-line person can move that score.

I get a lot of surveys from Universal and Disney. With Disney it's often associated with some specific day I was there. I had one minutes after checking in to one of the hotels, and I mentioned that food service in the cafe was slow, and they called me an hour later. There are definitely different levels of commitment to guest feedback.


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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Friday, August 13, 2021 1:23 PM

Jeff- OK I wanted to make sure we were on the same page there. I agree 100% with everything in that reply. In fact I said as much when the Gold Pass went on sale two years ago for $99… Let me see if I can track it down.


ROUNDABOUND.

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Friday, August 13, 2021 2:09 PM
Kevinj's avatar

All the ne're-do-wells trickling into the park.

How often do they do well?

Ne're.

*To see the full act that joke comes from, click here. Well worth your time if you need a laugh.

Last edited by Kevinj, Friday, August 13, 2021 2:09 PM

Promoter of fog.

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