Late Ride Openings

I didn't see any posts about this yet, but I heard a nasty little thing about a new policy while at the park this weekend and it is as follows:

Less popular rides now open at 11AM instead of 10AM.

I don't know for sure which rides this includes (as all the printed park materials and even the website still advertise a 10AM opening), but I can tell you for sure that Mean Streak and Corkscrew are two of them. I believe that this started sometime between opening day and this past weekend, but I don't know exactly when.

Granted I'm probably never going to run to these rides to start my day, but the day they do it to Magnum because it doesn't generally get a line right away, I will be pissed! :) And who knows, some people like to start their day with something a little more mild than Millennium Force or Dragster.

I just think this is one more example of management trying to push the budget cutting envelope. They must think people are blind to the fact that the things they loved about CP are going away. Next thing you know, they will be writing up Magnum's crew for opening early! Or how about closing the lines of popular rides early so the crew doesn't have to stay late and get paid to cycle everyone through.

First it's cutting back to 10PM closes from 11PM closes and now this. Lame. Nothing like getting to the park and walking around like a jackass for a half hour trying to find a "non-less-popular" ride that is open for your kid.

I'm hoping this is a trial that doesn't last long.


e x i t english's avatar

As far as I know, it's mostly a staffing issue but hey, it could be other budget cuts, too.

I did notice when I got there on Sunday that Corkscrew and (I think) Gemini were closed until around 11 or so, which seemed odd to me.

Also the absence of the lift spiels on Magnum and Gemini add some kind of an eerie silence to the back parking lot.


Ralph Wiggum's avatar

I noticed this too but didn't think to start a topic about it. I know for sure it applies to Mean Streak and the other rides already mentioned. My friend also said there was an "open at 11 AM" sign on Disaster Transport too.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

I think this will go away in the peak summer months.


Mayor, Lighthouse Point

Chuck Wagon's avatar

Sounds like it is most likely staffing issues, but I wonder, would low-ridership have anything to do with it? I don't know the particulars of which rides are more likely to have a valley occur, but if MS were a candidate, and it's 50 degrees at 10am with no one around, wouldn't the possibility be much much higher?

While I highly doubt this is a cause for late opening, I thought I would throw it out there.

-- Chuck Wagon --
aka Pagoda Gift Shop

I don't really buy that it's staffing issue quite honestly. If the rides are opening at all, than there are obviously enough people to run them. In order to open them on time, they'd just need those same people to come in early. Even if they have to work an O-C, the park is still only open until 8 this early on so an O-C is an O-8 which is a shift that will seem like a dream come true for most of the employees come July and August! :) Also, if you don't open, the next shift for someone to come in is 11:30. So 11 because of staffing makes no sense.

Low ridership in the case of Corkscrew is certainly not the case. That ride can run empty on a 32 degree day and it won't roll back. I guess maybe that could be an argument for Mean Streak, but I don't buy this argument either.

I think we're just trying to think of some reasonable explaination that makes it look better than it actually is.

I also hope it goes away once the busy season hits. And never comes back! :)


Kevinj's avatar

somebody has to pay for all that shiny new red track out front...

I'm hoping this is just an early season thing....

2007: Millennium Force, 2008: Millennium Force ATL, 2009: Top Thrill Dragster |

It looks like the trigger effect to me. They reduced admission prices in anticipation of an off year. Then they reduce the hours of operation for the park. Now they're opening certain rides late.

Rolling blackouts will be next. :)

Gilbert, Vegan Rider

99er's avatar

Ralph Wiggum said:My friend also said there was an "open at 11 AM" sign on Disaster Transport too.

And on Peanuts Playground.

What ever happened to the days when they would advertise 10 AM opening, but would let people in at 9?

It became what is now normally 9:30 with 9:00 being for Joe Cool and Resort Guests.

2007: Millennium Force, 2008: Millennium Force ATL, 2009: Top Thrill Dragster |

Vince982's avatar

I noticed it on Mean Streak and something else, I can't remember what. It was disappointing to see because I usually hit up Mean Streak right after my first ride on Millennium in the morning.

We'll miss you MrScott and Pete

Josh M.'s avatar

What was annoying to me is the Railroad Gates were even up at the Frontiertown Station to allow people over to Mean Streak only to see the little sign "This Attraction Opens at 11 AM".... It reminded me of the poor little guests in RCT wandering to the end of a path and then turning around and wandering back....

Ripcord Crew 2002 / MF Crew 2004

They are confusing the hell out of everyone!

The first two Sundays, the gates opened at 9:30 for JC & Resort Guests. This past Sunday I took my time getting to park knowing this. It was a few minutes past 9am and the gates were already open! What gives?! Pick a time and stick with it!

I didn't hear anything about late openings. But was curious why I saw rides testing late.

In the "good old days" of the 1970's, the gates opened at 9:00 AM promptly. Games and food opened at 9:30AM, after the playing of the National Anthem. Rides opened at 10:00 AM (unless of course there was a problem that couldn't be rectified the night bfore).

The concept of "rolling" opening times was developed by Busch to force people into various areas of the park early to avoid congestion near the main gates.

Jeff's avatar

Boo freakin' hoo. If a ride gets two dozen riders in the first hour, I wouldn't open it either. It's not like the crowds have been banging down the doors the first few weeks, especially on week days.

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

I noticed the signs yesterday. My first thought was for the kids who love Disaster Transport. It was bad enough that the gates open at 9:30 and junior has to wait until 10:00 to ride. Now he has to wait until 11:00. Is this a big deal? Depends what your kid thinks about it.

But like Jeff said, there really are not many small kids here in May so the park is not creating too many unhappy faces. So assuming they open at 10:00 in peak season then I don't have a problem with it.

Jeff's avatar

I'll concede that this is less than ideal, but I also appreciate that these small cost savings add up, and I don't believe for a minute that they're anything more than short-term.

Remember... Cedar Fair pays out $1.88 per unit and still manages to offer more service than Six Flags ever has. The price changing and newer marketing will hopefully correct things to get back to the ideal in the next year.

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

FWIW, Mean Streak didn't manage to open today until after noon some time, which was the last time I was in the back end of the park. I was hanging out on a bench back there, and there was a steady stream of people walking back to the RR crossing, only to turn around again. They were doing a track walk around 10:30, and were cycling empty trains preparing to open at noon. After that, one of the trains got put over on transfer.

There are precious few parks that don't stagger-open these days, and while I wasn't *that* surprised by some of the delays given the attendance level, Mean Streak seemed like a surprise to me. If you are going to open Skyhawk for Joe Cool/Resorts, you ought to have some other "major" ride back there actually open at 10:00. I'm not sure that CCMR and the Antiques are getting it done. I'd be a bit less taken aback by it if the park had a daily (weekly, whatever) times guide that listed alternate openings/closing times.

On the other hand, every coaster I rode this morning started out with a full complement of trains, and there were a more than adequate number of food stands open, etc. I almsot felt bad about my lunch at chuckwagon, because my $10 didn't pay for the five people working there for the 30 minutes it took me to eat, and I was the only person in the place until nearly the end of my meal.

*** Edited 5/24/2006 11:43:47 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

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