Park at capacity - 10/19/19

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 6:58 PM

When I said let it be over, I was referring to the 2019 season.

Everyone and everything about Cedar Point seems very unpleasing to all right now. Kind of like waking up on Christmas morning and finding coal in your stocking.

I've never cared for Halloweekends as I am a coaster enthusiast, but I still go and pay no attention to all of the Halloween stuff, just an old school enthusiast.

I'm quite happy marathoning Gemini and Magnum XL 200, it is so nice to get some old school air time without the B&M clam shell restraints.

As for Halfpint writing a letter, don't hold your breath for a reply, don't see it happening.

Cedar Point is very lucky the massive crowds didn't turn ugly, it could have gotten pretty bad quickly, tempers flaring, punches thrown etc.....

Forget getting extra security, police, and emergency services in there to help in that situation, by then it would have been a full out rumble.

I had to squash a fight between 2 teenagers early in the season near Magnum XL 200, not complaining, just did the adult thing that needed to be done.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019 7:04 PM

djDaemon- How do you do 90% of your riding in the Early Entry hour? At first I thought maybe you were a local who comes for Early Entry, eats lunch, and leaves... But then you mentioned you stay at Breakers several times a year. Care to elaborate?

Jeff hit the nail on the head with his gate integrity comment.


But then again, what do I know?
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Wednesday, October 23, 2019 7:23 PM

I would guess that the platinum pass holders spend more on a guest-season basis, but much less than the day pass holders on a guest-visit basis. However, I would venture a guess that the gold pass holders will be well below the platinum pass holders on both the guest-visit and guest-season basis. So I just don't see why they are offering it for that price.

Also, in most of the advertisements, they say that it is being offered for a limited amount of time. If they started selling more than they expected (it would shock me if this were the case), why didn't they raise the price before the end of the season?

A nice-weather Columbus day weekend Saturday has traditionally been the most crowded day of the year. If the capacity closure happened that Saturday, it would be easier for me to believe this wasn't partially caused by the gold pass - but it wasn't. It was the next Saturday, which historically shouldn't have been as crowded. The weather was similar both weekends too, I believe.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019 8:11 PM

I foresee a lot of “County Fair” behavior next season.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019 8:28 PM

Travis Lea said:

A good portion of the employees are shuttled into the park. Those employees were also stuck in the same traffic.

Yep - someone told me the parade had probably half the people it normally does on Saturday afternoon.

I totally agree with the people saying that the gold pass strategy flies in the face of the efforts they've been making to build the resort side up the past several seasons. I'm curious if this "giving away the gate" is a shift in strategy because what they were doing wasn't working as they hoped financially or if it's just a miscalculation on a promo designed to get people in there next year for 150 when they're not building a major new ride? I'm hoping it's just a miscalculation and they intend to exit from it after next year. The problem is the damage might already be done at that point since a lot of long time customers will have been turned off y the watered down experience and a lot of the new customers might not pay the higher price or be happy with the lessened perks of the Gold Pass 2.0.

Despite the topic being a downer, this is a really enjoyable thread to read and a lot of good thoughts from many different people. I think management would do well to read it and take some notes. I see many people here that have been long time defenders of most things CP has done that are truly disappointed with what they've done here.


-Matt

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019 11:12 PM

I’ll chime in as I don’t post very often, and, my wife and family are gold pass holders. (Previously we held platinum passes and decided not to renew earlier this year, but then, the gold pass happened)

My wife and I attended Halloweekends on a Friday night about three weeks ago. Much to our dismay, the park was quickly turned into an absolute zoo, with wall to wall people. The outdoor scare zones became complete jokes and you could hardly enjoy whatever “atmosphere” the park was trying to show off during what used to be the highlight of the season. We were so turned off by this experience that we actually have not and will not be returning at all this season. And that’s with a gold pass.

The gold pass, no matter how some might spin it, has no long term positive outcome for the park. Financially it’ll severely cut down in park spending, and from the guest experience side, it’ll slowly destroy whatever good faith folks have built up in the park over these last few seasons.

I have no clue why there were not limitations placed on this pass. When literally every other organization with a tiered pass program employs some sort of blackout policy. This is pure common sense and it seems some or many decision makers at Cedar Fair missed the mark here. And this too will bite them in the ass...long term.

The short term is that for the parks 150th celebration (of which scarce details are known, oddly enough), the park will absolutely be at its busiest than its ever been in the recent decade. And, that’s without a million dollar record breaking attraction. So I guess that’s a win. The problem is, we all know how much the park struggles with basic operations like food services during May and June, and so it is probable the 150th party will start with a fizzle rather than a bang unless they figure out these logistics problems first.

The gold pass absolutely is a deal. No matter how you slice it. But, it comes at a steep price that I’m not sure is sustainable for more than a season.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 12:53 AM

Great thread and discussion. I'll just chime in on the few things that disturb me the most.

Most years we have the same discussion about staffing, the park knows its an issue and clearly either don't, can't or won't fix it. So then comes the Gold Pass and the thought process around it. Either totally ignorant to what it would do to attendance/ guest experience or just don't give a damn.

Second is the half hour early entry for GP. What a nightmare for any employee trying to explain this policy to the masses everyday, not to mention devaluing the resort guests purchase. Once again either totally ignorant to the issues this will cause or just don't care.

Scary thing is I think it's the latter or a good mix of the two.

They've done an incredible job getting me to spend money with the FP, updated resorts and amazing new attractions. Yet can't find the money to make bathrooms even close to acceptable, hire enough staff ect. So the only conclusion I can come to is they just don't think these things matter to the average guest. I'll be there closing weekend and yeah I'll have a good time. But slowly the value is eroding leading to less visits and thousands left on the table.

The individual gripes with the park are small, but when adding them all up a depressing picture emerges.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 6:43 AM
djDaemon's avatar

Shane Denmark said:

djDaemon- How do you do 90% of your riding in the Early Entry hour? At first I thought maybe you were a local who comes for Early Entry, eats lunch, and leaves... But then you mentioned you stay at Breakers several times a year. Care to elaborate?

The simplest answer is that we don't do much riding overall, so whatever riding we can get in can largely be done during morning ERT (with the occasional FLP or "hey, there's no line for GK" ride thrown in). We have young kids, the oldest of which just this past year hit the 48" mark, so we tend to gravitate toward the kids' areas and such. Though we do occasionally spring for FLP passes so when we're passing by a big kid's attraction, one or both of us can grab a quick ride.

And with our oldest finally hitting 48" it is especially disappointing that we won't be around next year. So much for "vacation DNA" or whatever. I guess we'll establish that DNA at Holiday World instead. *shrug*

0g said:

Also, in most of the advertisements, they say that it is being offered for a limited amount of time. If they started selling more than they expected (it would shock me if this were the case), why didn't they raise the price before the end of the season?

This is an excellent point, and perhaps the only solid evidence supporting the argument that the outcome wasn't what they intended. The only counter-argument I can speculate on is that the GP idea came from very high up, and while other executives and board members aren't pleased with the outcome, they haven't yet gone nuclear in demanding this be rolled back. But that is admittedly a stretch as far as explanations go.

mgou58 said:

...you could hardly enjoy whatever “atmosphere” the park was trying to show off during what used to be the highlight of the season.

This is perhaps the biggest bummer of the situation for us. We have made annual HW visits, knowing full well that the most likely outcome would be that the park would be busy as all hell, but we'd just stroll around, hit the kids' areas and soak in the fantastic atmosphere. But based on how much busier it has appeared to be, combined with reports like this, we're just not going to go this HW.

And I don't have any solid recollection nor data to back this up, but it seems like there are a lot more resort options available 1 day out than we've seen in the past heading into the final weekend. A quick check of Breakers and LHP shows a wide variety of rooms available. Then again, we rarely did the last weekend thing, so I'm probably not the best judge of whether or not this is normal. But if not, it's another worrisome data point.

Last edited by djDaemon, Thursday, October 24, 2019 6:55 AM

Brandon

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:29 AM
Joe E's avatar

Demand is usually pretty soft this weekend ,I've been able to pick up a good deal on 3rd party booking sites the last few years for closing weekend and the hotel was never full, but neither was the park.

However, I was able to get a great deal for express few weeks ago on a stupid busy nice weather Saturday (To give you and idea, there was a 45 min causeway wait to get into the park still at 9PM, and people were jam parked even on the ole Sandcastle site). Hotel did not seem full either based on the lot at night.

Soft demand for the hotels doesn't really surprise me this time of year, but with the increase in crowds I'd expect to see full hotels and less discounts.


Gemini 100- 6/11/01

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 12:05 PM

Well, the weather forecast for Saturday day and night sucks miserably, so that could be a factor. Over an inch of rain predicted. There were some cancellations and even the campground has a few spots open now, which never happens. The lakeview cottages just sold out so maybe people switched from camping to those.

We are booked in a cabin but considering just staying Friday night to save $300. It's not a whole lot of fun walking around in the rain if it's going to rain that hard. Last year closing weekend was the same but it was a light drizzle most of the weekend and other than having to wear rain gear, we were able to do most of what we wanted. And an abundance of alcohol kept my friends and I warm lol.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 5:50 PM

Çp4€và04 said:They've done an incredible job getting me to spend money with the FP, updated resorts and amazing new attractions. Yet can't find the money to make bathrooms even close to acceptable

Having been to Walt Disney World, and then Cedar Point, I have to say this was the biggest shock to me. WDW sees HUGE amounts of people come through its bathrooms every day, yet every one I went into was spotless and beautifully designed. Mosaic tile on the floor, spacious, well-lit. Just nicely put together and obviously well-maintained.

In comparison, Cedar Point's were a mess. The one by the front gate is painted concrete blocks, and looked like there hadn't been an employee to clean it in hours - and this was at 11 a.m.! Toilet paper all over the floor, several toilets that were too dirty to use, and water everywhere.

I get that Cedar Point isn't Disney, but how hard is it to make sure there are enough employees checking the bathrooms so they're at least clean? There's no excuse, especially as busy as they've been, to have almost half of your toilets out of commission because they're clogged/filthy.

At the minimum, they should be checked and cleaned often. But some of them need to be redone completely.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 6:20 PM
Cargo Shorts's avatar

Stall doors not square so they don’t close properly, broken latches, the list goes on.

They also gloss those floors so well they always look wet even when they are not. Not sure if that is supposed to be camouflage or what.

I have said it before. Charge me $300 for a PP and fix, modernize, AC and staff the restrooms.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 6:47 PM

Its gonna cost a lot more than your additional $100/year to do all of that. ;)

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 6:48 PM

Cargo Shorts said:

I have said it before. Charge me $300 for a PP and fix, modernize, AC and staff the restrooms.

Coming in 2020 Flush Pass +

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 6:54 PM

If they ever do renovate them I hope XS and me are invited for the ribbon cutting.

In my experience if something looks terrible and unclean people tend to treat it even worse. Doubling the problem. Staying at Breakers allows me to avoid this issue most of the time so maybe in the fine print that's the Flush Pass + .

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Thursday, October 24, 2019 7:14 PM
XS NightClub's avatar

I'd definitely participate in the First Ride Auction for the new restrooms.


Sandusky Fan.

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Friday, October 25, 2019 5:50 PM
3snoH un=l's avatar

I'm going to be uncharacteristically optimistic. Halloweekends are usually packed as we're relegated to only two and a half days open a week, plus tons of teens and young adults for the haunts. I think it will be busier next year with the passes but it will also be spread out more, with usually the best days to go to the park on a weekday as usual and June being the best month. Unfortunately, most of our visits will be relegated to weekends but at least we can try multiple times. If I was buying one day tickets to take my family and it was still a mess during a June weekday, I'd be more upset than being a passholder where the experience will be spread throughout the season.


Upside-down Fun House
Kris

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Friday, October 25, 2019 6:35 PM

I’m here now. Ran to SV and got two rides during early entry and got to MF at 6:05 and the line was already over an hour.

No verification of resort/platinum guests vs Gold. So all the golds were in at 5. Very disappointing. Only thing worse than de-valuing the platinum and resort benefits is giving them to everyone.

Glad my family can all run 7m miles or we wouldn’t have even gotten two rides on SV. When we left that ride the line was almost 2 hours.

Edit: If that sounded salty it was not intended to be so. My family just jumped through crazy hoops to get here for early entry and it was a lot of manufactured stress for nothing. Lesson learned. We will be very judicious with our visit dates next year. Death by the gold pass. Anyway, it’s still better than sitting in the man cave watching the lions lose.

Last edited by MaverickLaunch, Friday, October 25, 2019 6:45 PM
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Friday, October 25, 2019 7:22 PM
Cargo Shorts's avatar

2020 will be known as the Platinum Pass Master Race Vs the Gold Pass Peasant Wars.

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Saturday, October 26, 2019 2:06 AM
Paisley's avatar

Today in the front of the park they divided everyone into 2 groups platinum on the left gold on the right for early entry.

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