FLP up again to $249 on Saturdays

Sunday, August 15, 2021 2:53 PM

Universal requires that everyone use the wristband at the water park so there is no “regular” line. So at least there it works really well. Again, nothing like that will ever come to fruition because, what guest experience?

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 3:51 PM
Jeff's avatar

Fastpass at Disney does not in any universe limit what you can do in a day.


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

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 4:51 PM

So this might be Tim Fisher’s M.O. opposed to Zimmerman… Apparently he all but ran a theme park chain in Australia (Village Road Show) into the ground with the “sell cheap passes, spike attendance, wonder why spending isn’t up inside the park, cut back operations to compensate” model. He left, the new leadership was closer to Ouimet’s model, and that chain is now doing well. This was between his time at Paramount and now being back with Cedar Fair.

Last edited by Shane Denmark, Sunday, August 15, 2021 4:56 PM

ROUNDABOUND.

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 5:00 PM

Got FP+ yesterday as Wife and I brought a friend who has never been to Cedar Point. Got 3x at FP regular price upgrade due to having platinum passes.

Was able to hit Steel Vengeance twice, Maverick twice, MF twice, Magnum twice, Raptor 3x and the rest once. Only missed out on Cedar Creek Mine Ride and Iron Dragon as both had an hour wait that couldn't avoid. All the FP lines were 15-20 min each, MF once being 35. We easily could have hit more / done the big ones easily but we took our time through the day which kept us relaxed. There was only 1 time passing Raptor around 1pm where we saw a Fastpass line be an hour long.

If we didn't have that, we'd likely miss out on 3/4 between SV, MF, Mav, and Dragster. Would say it was worth it to get our friend full CP experience.

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 5:01 PM
Thabto's avatar

I'm sure there are a few people who buy the cheap passes, food, drink, and FL+ add-ons and don't spend a penny in the park the entire year. I don't know if there are alot of such people, but of someone goes to the park almost every day, uses meal plan, drinks, etc., they have to be losing money on those people. I doubt that number is very significant and just a very tiny percentage of overall passholders. But there are probably also some who just buy the cheap pass, use it a couple times and say good enough.


Brian
Valravn Rides: 24| Steel Vengeance Rides: 27| Dragster Rollbacks: 1
2021 Visits: 5

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 5:33 PM

Jeff said:

Fastpass at Disney does not in any universe limit what you can do in a day.

You couldn't have said it better. It's so funny the number of misconceptions out there about Fastpass and how it impacts stand-by lines or what you can get done in a day. They couldn't be further from the truth. That being said it's sad that Fastpass returning in it's prior form is getting increasingly unlikely. We'll see how this "Genie" pans out. I'm hoping for the best!

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 5:45 PM

Shane Denmark said:

So this might be Tim Fisher’s M.O. opposed to Zimmerman… Apparently he all but ran a theme park chain in Australia (Village Road Show) into the ground with the “sell cheap passes, spike attendance, wonder why spending isn’t up inside the park, cut back operations to compensate” model. He left, the new leadership was closer to Ouimet’s model, and that chain is now doing well. This was between his time at Paramount and now being back with Cedar Fair.

I'm aware of the Tim Fisher/Village Road Show fiasco, but Zimmerman is above him and could stop it if he wanted to. There's a mention in John Hildebrandt's book of the Paramount season pass strategy being talked about all the time by Zimmerman who came to Cedar Fair via Paramount as he was GM of Kings Dominion at the time. Him and Fisher were both at Paramount prior to Cedar Fair's purchase. Fisher left to run Village Roadshow into the ground and then returned in 2018.


-Matt

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 6:17 PM
jimmyburke's avatar

"The Best Day Ever" theme doesn't matter one bit. It is just a marketing phrase that is catchy and customers eat it up. Good marketing. I would wager to guess that in training of employees this season as well as last season, as well as the previous 40 seasons the trainer has instructed the employee on how to make the experience optimal for the guest. Best Day Ever is just marketing rhetoric.

It has always been about packing people into the park. I've read numerous PointBuzz posts by those waxing nostalgically about the days when such and such had lines to the midways. We didn't have the internet to vent in real time then.

Jeez, I am still upset about the long wait time I had at Sir-Rub-A-Dub Tubs.

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 6:29 PM

jimmyburke- Magnum having a line to the midway when it opened is understandable. We had never seen anything like that before.

Millennium Force having a line to the midway when it opened is understandable. We had never seen anything like that before.

Top Thrill Dragster having a line to the midway when it opened is understandable. We had never seen anything like that before.

The difference then vs now is while that one attraction had a ridiculously huge line, the other coasters weren’t stupid long. And certainly the B and C level coasters weren’t an hour plus. And the food lines weren’t 30-45 minutes. And there weren’t lines for the bathrooms (for the most part anyway; the bathroom at the main gate always got a bit crazy at closing time). Gold Passes aside, capacity was a goal. Rides were ran full capacity and at quick intervals. Now it’s just about getting the $99 up front and screw the rest. You’re willing and able to spend $250 on Fast Lane, well then screw you again. You’re still gonna wait in lines.


ROUNDABOUND.

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 6:45 PM
jimmyburke's avatar

As a young boy around 1970ish I couldn't stand waiting in a line. But my fuzzy memory recalls Space Spiral all the way down those ramps, Skyride & Frontier Lift all the way down the stairs and then some, and it seemed to me that Log Ride & White Water Landing being agonizing waits. Even Earthquake & Pirate Ride seemed long. Oh, and Giant Slide had lines down the stairs. It all must be a child's perception of things.

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 6:59 PM
Cargo Shorts's avatar

But if you want to step up to our $500 VIP tour, let’s talk.

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 7:25 PM

Sealedseven said:

Was able to hit Steel Vengeance twice, Maverick twice, MF twice, Magnum twice, Raptor 3x and the rest once.

And this is what really jags me about the current paid fast lane system. I make the choice not to pay the extra hundreds of dollars for fast lane. I've been to the park 4 times this season, all mid-week, and maybe it's just bad luck on my part but I didn't see a SV standby line shorter than 2 hours. Heck - one day on my last trip the FL line was 90 minutes. I believe that's in large measure due to FL+ riders re-riding multiple times. Couple that with gold pass crowds, it makes for a frustrating experience.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but at least something a Disney-style FP doesn't really allow for is users marathoning rides at the expense of the average Joe's experience.

Last edited by AndyG, Sunday, August 15, 2021 7:27 PM
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Sunday, August 15, 2021 7:26 PM
Jeff's avatar

I never made the connection that Fisher was the Village Roadshow guy. That was a disaster. Getting as much money as you can out of customers is not an effort that is mutually exclusive of providing a great experience, but you can't make the former take precedence above the latter. It never works out, or at least, never lasts.

I'm a little surprised that Zimmerman is on the same page. He had a front row seat under two different CEO's, one of which had no idea how to scale, the other was pretty much a dream mentor. I'm not saying that Ouimet made all good decisions, but as he would say himself in interviews, he always hoped to get it "mostly right." The "Fun Forward" initiative had clear objectives and measurable results that righted the ship. It considered the product mix and included appropriate focus on opportunities like the benefit-oriented customers without diluting the value of everything else.

Looking back since this exec team took over, they've vastly underperformed compare to the market at large. I wonder if Wall Street will embrace what they're doing now. In 20+ years of doing this, I haven't seen quite this much complaining about operations (beyond the usual enthusiast whining about ERT or row assignments, anyway).


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

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 10:07 PM

Jeff- You’re right, they are not mutually exclusive. And I’ve never been opposed to paying a premium price for a premium product. Thats why we made the 6 hour trip to Cedar Point multiple times a year; not because it was a bargain, but because it was an amazing experience. Yeah we paid for it. But it was worth it.

I guess at least they aren’t charging a premium admission for a subpar overall product. It’s amazing how even if the hardware stays the same, the operating procedures and general park philosophy can totally change the experience.

And what does “no idea how to scale” mean?

Last edited by Shane Denmark, Sunday, August 15, 2021 10:29 PM

ROUNDABOUND.

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Sunday, August 15, 2021 10:13 PM

Jimmy- Sure. And I remember as a kid the 3 hour drive to the 1,000 Islands being absolutely intolerable. It took FOR SO LONG ARE WE THERE YET I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM ARE WE THERE YET DAD CAN WE STOP AND GET A HAPPY MEAL ARE WE THERE YET? But now 3 hours in the truck pulling the camper is nothing, I don’t even bat an eye at it. That’s the starting point for our road trips.

My kid complains when the line for the Jack Rabbit at SeaBreeze is 20 minutes. I remind him that’s not a wait, that’s just a pause compared to some of the parks we’ve been to.

So yeah, maybe those lines as a kid weren’t REALLY all that long. But I’m sure they felt like forever and you wished you could have a Happy Meal while waiting in line.

Last edited by Shane Denmark, Sunday, August 15, 2021 10:29 PM

ROUNDABOUND.

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Monday, August 16, 2021 9:02 AM
jimmyburke's avatar

Thabto said:

I'm sure there are a few people who buy the cheap passes, food, drink, and FL+ add-ons and don't spend a penny in the park the entire year. I don't know if there are alot of such people, but of someone goes to the park almost every day, uses meal plan, drinks, etc., they have to be losing money on those people. I doubt that number is very significant and just a very tiny percentage of overall passholders. But there are probably also some who just buy the cheap pass, use it a couple times and say good enough.


I was part of that very small percentage that you cited, I'll use 2018 and 2019 as examples. We resided 5 minutes from Cedar Point, we had Platinum Passes. I added the all season drink plan to two passes (mine & my son's) and meal plan to one of the passes (mine). Both of those operating seasons we recorded in excess of 100 visits each season, including a handful of Kings Island visits. We stopped frequently for drinks, and indulged in various dining experiences, as one meal was plenty of food to split with my son so as not to get upset stomachs. We also frequented Cedar Point Shores often. I never spent any additional money in the park, except back in 2012 when it was chilly and we bought a hoody for Ethan.2020 being a tumultuous year we decided to get the bargain Gold Passes with no add-ons. We certainly got a bargain as when CP opened we went frequently, I don'recall the number for last season. This season we have recorded two visits in mid-May and that is all as we have sold and relocated to FL. (does not stand for fast-lane)

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021 11:48 AM
Jeff's avatar

Getting back to the demand issue... Magic Kingdom has increased their price for the special Christmas Party nights from $169 to $229. That's one evening in the park during the holidays, which is essentially the same park you can visit during the day. It's not a perfect comparison, but apparently Disney believes that one night is worth more than twice what an entire season at Cedar Point is worth. Or Cedar Fair believes a season at Cedar Point is worth less than half of what one night at Magic Kingdom is.

I just keep thinking of all the things I've done for fun that cost something on the order of a hundred bucks when it's all said and done, and I just can't compare that to a CP season. It's worth so much more.


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

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021 12:32 PM

While not a perfect comparison, the Disney example shines a pretty big spotlight on the underpricing of the season passes, Gold or Platinum.

Is CF in so deep with the cheap passes that they are afraid of the unbelievably severe backlash that would occur if they "right" priced the passes?

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021 1:18 PM
Dvo's avatar

^If the pricing is done right, there wouldn't be any backlash at all from a financial standpoint. The number of unique heads in the park may decrease year over year, but if people are more inclined to return to the park because of a good experience and also are spending more per capita (which I believe has been shown), then it's a financially sound decision.

As many have pointed out, they've also de-valued the premium for staying at the resorts, which get the benefit of early entry. A good price point would incentivize staying on-site, so that if you don't have a season pass, you can still enjoy the benefits of short lines in the early entry hours.


374 MF laps
Smoking Area Drone Pilot

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Tuesday, August 17, 2021 1:22 PM

I was thinking of the social media backlash. It would be swift and it would be severe. There would be a whole lot of bad press coming their way.

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