Published: November 3, 2009 at 11:26 AMI would pay a special attendance fee to see Mean Streak torn down... but I just don't like that ride. I'm not an expert on Kings Island and Cedar Point attendance, but it seemed quite busy this year. The only other park I visited this year, owned by Cedar Fair, was Worlds of Fun which was not that busy at all. Although it sometimes there would be a 30 min wait since they seemed to run only one train on most coasters. My real problem is there parks are losing character, or at least WOF has. I grew up visiting WOF at least three times a year. I would stay all day, and although it may have been hot, I enjoyed it. There we little displays set up throughout the park for you to look at. There was the fountain, near the main gate, with all the shops around where everyone would meet their party at the end of the day. The main entrance has been replaced by go-carts and the new entrance has no character. The same fountain, which had shops to sell that last min fudge brick to you, is hardly even visited by anyone.
Published: November 3, 2009 at 4:31 PMI personally found the Cedar Fair season pass less attractive because of the amount of money it costs to get a pass that allows you to visit more than one specific park in the chain with the same pass. A Silver pass which only lets you get into Carowinds and which is somewhat of a no frills pass since it does not include any benefits hardly (no free parking, etc.) is $59.99. However, the Platinum pass which is the pass I would have to get to be able to use it at both Carowinds and Kings Dominion (or whatever other Cedar Fair Park) costs $140. It does come with free parking and some other benefits, but going from basically $60 to $140 ($80 more) just so I can also get into another park in the same chain with the season pass made it less appealing to me. If I were going to go to Kings Dominion several times (which is somewhere around 6 and half hours away from where I live), maybe I'd think it were more appealing.... but I'd probably only use the pass once or twice during the season for a park other than Carowinds (which is only approximately an hour and a half away from where I live)..... so it makes you think, is it worth paying $80 more to get that pass? Then you start thinking well I don't really want to go to Carowinds over and over and then I decided to just get the 2 day pass (which is not what I would consider a severe amount less than the silver season pass) and not allow myself to go anymore after that. If I had bought a pass though, maybe I would have gone more (although this has been a tough year so maybe I would not have gone more from being broke).
Published: November 3, 2009 at 8:25 PMOk, so here is a thought...
Why not discount your food and beverage prices thus allowing guests to spend to eat while in the park. When they can leave the park and get fast food for much less then return to the park or go on home they usualy will. Also, merchandise prices are another point where the guests just aren't willing to fork out a bundle for items they don't need but might would like to have.
Maybe even try giving season pass holder discounts straight across the board for all Food and Merchandise purchases that would make a difference. Years ago Carowinds gave coupons to use in the park when you bought a season pass and now you get you admission and parking (LOVE the parking being included).
Oh and another thing, I am so glad I didn't renew my season pass yet. I will wait and see what other cuts they plan to make before I sink that kind of money into it. Carowinds customer service standards have improved greatly over the past 2 years, but does this mean now it will go down hill???
Published: November 3, 2009 at 10:25 PMI have to say that I was at King's Island over the summer and did not wait more than 20 minutes in line for any of the rides. I remember going 7 years ago around the same time and the waits were all over 1 hour for the big rides.
Published: November 6, 2009 at 12:59 PMBoth KI and Cedar Point seemed crowded to me...
Note to Dick -- if you want to improve season pass sales, give the holders some benefits to engender loyalty. For a hint, take a look at the Busch Entertainment platinum pass.
It's good for 2 years, includes all the parks, parking, food and merchandise discounts, and some special events. When I had mine, I felt like I had something special, instead of just a cheap form of admission. I know I helped their bottom line, 'cause I always ate lunch in the parks and purchased more drinks owing to the passholder discount.
Also, standardize the passes and benefits across the enterprise. Different rules between KI and CP (two parks in the same state!) are confusing, unnecessary, and discouraging.
Consider how Holiday World can throw in free parking and free soft drinks all day long and still make money...?
Published: November 6, 2009 at 2:20 PMSomething that caught my eye in the Cedar Fair report was the acknowledgment of the companies annual passholders as having a negative impact by not returning for as many repeat visits as in previous years. As a premium annual passholder for ALL of the Southern California parks (Disneyland Resort is my fave.), I am constantly seeing posts on blogs that annual passholders are a burdon to the parks...especially Disneyland. I am told that we do not spend as much and we tend to just hang out rather than contributing to the existence of the park. It was nice to see something "official" that pays a little attention to those of us that enjoy the luxury of having a park close enough to actually be able to purchase a pass that will cover anticipated future visits. It was nice to see a theme park company actually voice the fact that when annual passholders fail to make as many return visits as in previous years (they already have our money from the pass purchase)it hurts the bottom line rather than burdons it. I feel vindicated that as an AP holder I am a valued guest and not just a "freeloader", (I was called that on another blog).