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Mdcastle

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Everything posted by Mdcastle

  1. As for opening the wave pool, the problem isn't coronavirus getting into the water. It's that people bunch up together (bad) and scream (very bad). I was in a Cedar Fair focus group a while ago. They kept asking questions like "what food and beverage options would encourage you to visit the park more? What family friendly entertainment options? What new games and experiences?" All the responses were "Coaster! Coaster! Coaster!" The Iridium Satellite phone disaster (where Motorola lost $2 Billion) is a prime example of what happens when you try to use market research to support your preconceived notions rather than as actual market research.
  2. So the summer is basically cancelled now with the State Fair being cancelled. Although with the state now switching more towards a "risk reduction with contact tracing" as opposed to "near complete risk avoidance", I've been thinking about how Valleyfair might reopen if it's clear we're over the curve. Based on what we know about coronavirus, it's extremely dangerous to be in prolonged contact with people indoors. That means indoor dining is out of the question. Haunt is out of the question, even without indoor mazes the environment is too uncontrolled. Despite all we've heard about the 6 foot rule on jogging pahts, passing someone outside seems to be low risk (although it's multiplied by thousands of times at the State Fair or Valleyfair). Despite the paranoia about touching doorknobs and gas pump handles doesn't seem to be especially risky so they wouldn't necessarily have to santize a ride vehicle after every guest, maybe just once or twice an hour. You'd see temperature checks and masks for employees for sure, and probably for guests. Capacity would be limited with assigned ride times and admission would require an ID or season pass. That way if someone tests positive that rode Northstar at 3:15 on Sunday they could notify anyone that was on the ride at the time and suggest they quarantine. Despite incidental outside contact being relatively safe, we know coughing, sneezing, talking, or yes, screaming can eject enormous amounts of virus and infect anyone around. Mad Mouse is probably OK but I don't see how it's a solvable problem with the roller coasters unless you limit each train to one or two families or social groups. The wave pool would be out of the question with screaming and no feasible way to prevent close contact, combined with the impracticality of masks. They could possibly run the rest of the water rides, possibly with the changing rooms not being available, you'd have to come in wearing your swimming suit underneath your street clothes. Even if they're allowed to, Cedar Fair will have to make a decision whether it makes sense to open with conditions like this, with the possibility of being shut down immediately if there's an outbreak traced to the park or the general curve starts going up again or if it makes sense to just mothball the park for the season.
  3. Unless the virus disappears really fast I'm thinking amusement parks are going to have to write off the season. Even if say they're allowed to open in July a lot of people are still going to be afraid to come and they'll have a hard time finding workers. The cities of Minneapolis and Bloomington have already written off summer and it wouldn't surprise me if the State Fair gets cancelled too.
  4. The new waterpark is actually comparable to West Edmonton and American Dream in square footage. The main difference is that the wave pool is split in two. Possible reasons might be closing one side on slow days, not having to close the entire thing in the even of a "guest illness" or running different wave programs on different sides. American dream looks to have more lazy river while MOA will have more space for lounge chairs, something that's always an issue at Valleyfair.
  5. Well, another season in the bag. Went to haunt again last night. The fog was better and they dialed back the floodlights just a little bit, enough to make it merely extremely distracting and obnoxious as opposed to completely unacceptable. I didn't go into the mazes due to the long lines and it's always awkward doing so as a single adult. I did see and like the hypnotist show. A few years ago there was a discussion about moving towards more permanent haunt structures. Wonder if that's dropped or still pending. I'm also curious why Cedar Fair doesn't do more "haunt rotation"; mazes that Knotts has retired would still be new to people here. I'm particularly intrigued by the concept of the "Trick or Treat" maze with interactive flashlights. I also wonder about a more politically correct FearVR, maybe an old prison theme or a generic haunted house. I own an Oculus setup and even with the limited FOV horror games are really something else. I did do the dining plan this year. I really wish they'd include snacks with it, but I'll probably do it again. As for the idea that there'd ever be an extra charge for the waterpark, remember Worlds of Fun / Oceans of Fun was set up that way originally and now it's one gate.
  6. This could mean a couple of things: A) They just want to get rid of an old, probably maintenance intensive, ride and we'll have grass there for a while B) They want the land as part of the grandiose waterpark expansion to the back C) They've permanently dropped plans for the grandiose waterpark expansion and want the land for a minor expansion. A mat racer slide is an obvious waterpark staple that's missing that doesn't require a lot of staffing relative to it's capacity.
  7. Went to the haunt last night. Worst year ever. Instead of fog machines and decorations they have portable floodlights everywhere outside the scare zones completely ruining the atmosphere. Blood on the Boundary Waters was fun, but Darkness Awaits seemed to be just a couple of random scareactors in an undecorated area that was pretty well lit from the waterpark lights that were also turned on. I asume this is a reaction to the knife fight last year, but this is why we can't have nice things (and couldn't they just get a few IR cameras?)
  8. They could just raze the stage, but the seating area is nice for overflow from the nearby food stands and as a venue for the corn roast. If they want to build a permanent Chik-Fil-A the logical spot is the existing Chicken Shack, which seems to be underutilized.
  9. Couple of thoughts for this year: * The way they've spruced up Planet Snoopy is nice, but are the Peanuts character relevant for kids nowadays? The last comic strip was before they were born. * Seems to be issues with the food service with slow and bad service, serving different items then on the web site, and malfunctioning menu boards. This seem to be slowly improving. * There's a nice large seating area at Coasters and the Red Garter Saloon where you can get out of the elements for a bit. Another one or two more towards the front and right side of the park would be nice. Do they really need two duplicate gifts shops at the entrance? If not the one shared with Starbucks could be additional seating, and maybe they could rebuild another one, perhaps Panda Express, in part of the Dino Graveyard while still leaving room for what everyone here wants. * North Star seems to be having a lot of issues.
  10. Since it costs money to see, Valleyfair makes money if people hear about it leaving and want to see it one last time. "Polaris": Original Minnesota style hot dog.
  11. Translation: Guests aren't willing to pay the kind of prices we want to get for the junk we're serving now.
  12. I don't see another log flume. Now that there's somewhat close to adequate capacity in Soak City that's depreciated the other water rides. Riptide went away and no one really noticed. Most people want to get wet in their swimming suits, not their street clothes. Non-Ride ideas, besides moving the park road in preparation for a waterpark expansion. * Winterize the utilities, insulate some of the buildings, etc to leave open the possibility of a winterfest * Replace the last of the ugly 1990s parking lot style path lights with the acorn lights found in the rebuilt areas * Replace the last of the asphalt with pavers. * Repave the parking lot an install LED lighting. They're actually using enclosed only rated metal halide bulbs in the non-enclosed fixtures; a lamp could explode and rain down glass on guests. (The mercury vapor bulbs those fixtures were designed for didn't have that issue.) * Rebuild the parking lot gate. * Build a canopy by the ticket center for guests waiting in line * Build a larger Panda Express building * Enlarge the Caribou by the front gate for more inside seating by taking over the gift shop, then enlarge the gift shop on the other side to compensate. * Second Caribou location somewhere on the other end of the park. * Rebuild the Red Baron bathrooms, possibly closing down the ones by Stupid Cat, or else consolidate them in front of Wild Things. * Another permanent haunt structure * Widen the path back to Dark Harvest, etc so guests don't have to walk through the whole Dino loop back to the park. * Beef up the fence in by Wild Thing / Route 76 to prevent a repeat of the fence jumping fight night.
  13. New merchandise opportunity next haunt: Selling clean, dry pants at the exits to the mazes.
  14. It's possible that's why we're having an off year, so the park can rebuild some restrooms and food stands so they can be used in the winter. A light frost during haunt is one thing but I doubt much of the park is in a condition to be operable after the ground freezes solid.
  15. Wait, it actually happens that people pee their pants in haunted attractions?
  16. What to people think of having 3 of the haunt attractions isolated from the rest of the park way out beyond the dinos, and have their been any more rumors of permanent haunt structures? Also wondering why Cedar Fair doesn't do "Haunt Rotation", the could send all the props to another park for a new maze after it closes at the previous location.
  17. Anyone notice any more work on the proposed employee road location? Can the public drive back to the employee parking lot to see it or do they have some kind of gate?
  18. Yup. I forgot my keys in my pocket once and set off a metal detector at Six Flags Great Adventure.
  19. Backpacks don't go through the metal detector, they get passed to the side and searched manually. I'd usually bring a backpack in with my swimming suit and towel into the park, and at the beginning of the year they'd look into every little pocket, but by the end they'd just take a quick look through the top of the main compartment. I can see how they'd miss a knife or even a smaller handgun. We're probably talking about something more along the lines of a folding knife as opposed to a 16" bayonet.
  20. I'll throw out the idea that this year might be the year they move the road as the first phase of Soak City 2.0, you don't announce "Coming Next Year! A New Service Road! Get Your Season Passes Now!", so that's why we've heard nothing, and they already have a permit so there's be no new permits issued. If Dinoland is vacant for a year or two it wouldn't be the end of the world since it's already spite-fenced off from both inside and outside the park, so it's rather visually unimpressive.
  21. Where did this "Mississippi" rumor come from? If it's true, maybe they're re-theming Soak City to a Mississippi Riverboat theme.
  22. This summer there's been a lot of 80-85 degree days; too cold to go swimming in the waterpark and too hot to feel like tramping around the dry park. And a lot of days where it's been raining.
  23. Probably the ideal would be to have the dry path go all the way back to the parking lot, but have an immediate gate into the waterpark right at the parking lot gate. That way guests could still walk from their cars to the waterpark in their swimming suits, but you could also close off and secure the waterpark before the main park closed. Otherwise you'd have people that used the waterpark gate and then went into the main park cut off when the waterpark closed, or else you'd have to let people wander through the area and probably post staff just to watch them. Also something like a roller coaster would be easier to build in a wetland than something else since it just requires isolated footings, so a dry path going all the way back could also lead to that.
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