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Former Paramount Park patrons...


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I don't think this has been brought up for discussion yet, and if it has please feel free to close and redirect.

 

How do you feel Cedar Fair is doing running your home park?

 

My observations at Carowinds are as follows:

 

Wooden coasters - Saturday I was at the park all day so I had the whole day to experience the coasters (a.m. and p.m.)

 

Hurler - Unless you ride in the front row, the thing is jackhammering all over the place and overall beating the rider to death!

 

Thunder Road - Pretty much exactly the same unless you don't ride on a wheel (the middle seats on each car). There's no air (but never was before except the first hill the past few years).

 

Fairly Odd Coaster - Saturday it sounded horrible! Sounded like it was going to do a "wolf bobs" any second. Grease the stupid thing!

 

Borg - Didn't ride, but rode on August 4 and it's getting rough. It shakes and rattles a lot more than it used to.

 

Top Gun - Still it's awesome self.

 

The park overall looks as clean, if not cleaner than before.

 

Employees are pretty much just the same as far as friendliness, I haven't noticed a difference one way or the other.

 

Food prices seem to be up slightly, and they were expensive before.

 

So how do you feel about the job Cedar Fair is doing with the parks since they've had them a little more than a year now?

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Every time I go to King's Dominion it seems a bit worse than the time before.

 

The main thing that gripes me is the employees. Simply put, they're a bunch of slackasses.

 

In one visit, I saw the bar checker on Rebel Yell pushing the green button with one hand while noodling around with his cell phone with the other. About 4 employees were taking their break in the Hurler operating booth. The checkers were giving the all clear for about 20 seconds before the operator looked up from his conversation with an off-duty employee to see that it was time to dispatch. Meanwhile, the checker at the front of the train was yelling for him--not to tell him to dispatch, but to ask if he could go on break. The ops on Grizzly were paying so little attention that there were numerous no-nos as far as people exiting on the wrong side and re-entering (in front of other guests who were waiting), I saw a train go out where a guy in the back seat was talking on his cellphone as the train rolled out of the station. A guy who had just gotten off the ride was trying to reride, sitting with a single rider. The lapbars were already locked and half of them checked, but they went ahead and got the key (adding ages to the checking process, since the op threw the key to the checker, who missed, etc...) to pop it for him so this clown could go again.

 

Cellphone usage is atrocious. It seemed like 2 out of 5 employees had one pressed to the ear. There was much more trash than usual, which I noticed after I walked by a girl who had a broom and dustpan in one hand and a phone in the other, up against her head, and she was looking up toward the trees, smiling and having a lovely conversation with the dude on the other end, but literally walking by wadded up napkins and empty cups.

 

I only had two positive interactions with employees that day. The sweet girl who got me a coffee at CinnaBon made my day with her smile and courteousness. And the guy at guest services was very nice when I asked for an email address to which I might send some comments about my day at the park.

 

As far as ride performance, Rebel Yell is a misery now, even in the front seat. Grizzly was shuffle city and there is a new jolt that I had never noticed before as you begin to climb after the first drop that gave me Villain flashbacks. Hurler--are you sitting down?--was the nicest ride of all three woodies. I didn't ride anything else but the adult wood coasters that day.

 

I have a friend who has a relative in upper management. She said he used to get a bunch of comp tickets and stuff for friends and family. Not only does he not get those kind of perks anymore, but he also took a pretty significant paycut.

 

My last visit was so bad, that I actually got the impression that they probably have some plans up their sleeve to make improvements, but that they just aren't bothering to implement them until next season. It's like they're just trying to finish up this year without the place burning down and then they'll really try in the spring.

 

At any rate, I'm done with KD for this year and I'm still up in the air as to whether I'll get a pass for next year. Fortunately, I've got BGE down the road the other way, which has been knocking my socks off all year with customer service and operations. I'll be getting my crisp autumn park fix there, thanks.

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^I have to agree with you about Rebel Yell and Grizzly. I was very disappointed with both coaster when I went in late June. Oh and while I'm not a fan of Hurler, I do admit that's it running better this year. ...and dare I say the best wooden coaster in the park. As far as improvements, I haven't really noticed any this year.

 

 

I really have no desire to return to Kings Dominion anytime soon, now if they were to get a Intamin woodie or Mega coaster, then I might change my mind.

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Kings Island is doing okay. Just an alright coaster added to the collection of 'meh' rides.

 

Pros:

-As I can see already, Halloween Haunt!

-New wood to needed rides (Racer, Beast, SOB..)

-Better brochures IMO

-Ride ops seem more enthusiastic on the occasion

-Limited one train ops

-Park seems cleaner

 

Cons:

-Firehawk is very unreliable

-Prices on food are higher

-Still Paramount Uniforms

-Seems KI rides have more downtime this year

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I find this all very surprising. After all, when I was going to CP in the 90's, one thing that struck me about the park was how efficient the coaster crews all were in running multiple trains. I've been to other parks where you're lucky to see even two trains running at the same time, and the crew just isn't as into it.

 

But maybe this is proving what I was afraid of earlier...that Cedar Fair may be spreading itself too thin, like Six Flags did, and the quality of parks might be suffering.

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As far as park operations go I can't really tell a difference at Canada's Wonderland. Seems to be run the same way with CF as it was with Paramount.

 

Though we're getting Behemoth, so I guess we come out ahead.

 

You guess? Since you're unclear on the matter, wanna trade for Firehawk?

 

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^ How about we trade flyers instead?

 

We'll take Firehawk and you can have Tomb Raider.

 

We'd have to come up with a new name for the ride. But, if we took that Kings Island would definitely win the Golden Ticket Award for worst large coaster collection. Nobody else would even come close.

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As far as park operations go I can't really tell a difference at Canada's Wonderland. Seems to be run the same way with CF as it was with Paramount.

 

Though we're getting Behemoth, so I guess we come out ahead.

 

Yeah. I pretty much agree with that. There haven't been any noticeable changes in the park since CF took over. Wild(e) Beast still sucks, Vortex is still awesome and the Minebuster still makes me sad.

 

Although, Dragon Fire has been running smoother for some reason now. No headbanging anymore. I don't know if CF can take credit for that or not, though.

 

But yeah, woo Behemoth.

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I find this all very surprising. After all, when I was going to CP in the 90's, one thing that struck me about the park was how efficient the coaster crews all were in running multiple trains. I've been to other parks where you're lucky to see even two trains running at the same time, and the crew just isn't as into it.

 

But maybe this is proving what I was afraid of earlier...that Cedar Fair may be spreading itself too thin, like Six Flags did, and the quality of parks might be suffering.

 

I hear what you're saying. It's bad to say this, but last year and the previous couple years Carowinds was great on ops compared to this year.

 

This year they've all gotten into the too often referred to "Six Flags cellphone" territory.

 

I mean, come on. How hard is it to race Thunder Road? You look over at the other op and say, you ready? Yeah, backards ready, forwards ready. Dispatch. That's so freakin' hard isn't it!

 

And after last week, I also got the feeling that Cedar Fair/Carowinds was like...well all the rides are going to crap, let's just let them go until the off season.

 

And don't get me wrong on this thread...I'm not wanting Carowinds to be Busch Gardens, well sure I'd love for it to be that good, but I'm just saying what happened? And I don't try and trash talk my home park, but things just seem like they are slipping.

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When I went to Virginia in May, I was happy to go to BGE, but bummed on missing out on KD. Granted, I'll have to go soon and see, but from the scuttlebutt, it sounds like I didn't miss much at KD. From the reports, etc. here on the forum, KI isn't looking so hot either. Big hairy shame. I grew up with those parks.

 

Edit: (chuckling) My avatar is a pic with Hanna Barbera's Jabber Jaw my parents took on my first visit to KI in 1985. He took my hat and wouldn't give it back. I threatened to go in there with a crow bar to get it and out popped the hat. Funny, but a rude thing for a kid to say. Can only imagine what the furry-op thought of me. Eh, well, I've mellowed...a little.

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I have to say Hit and Miss at carowinds, I give them points for retracking thunder road, even though the ride still doesnt get the greatest amount of airtime. Operation of rides is so-so, people are getting less enthusiastic as the year goes on about their jobs. Our park is noticably cleaner than last year however and we didnt get hit too hard by the Trashcan Nazi's

 

Overall I give CF a so-so rating, but im hoping that will increase with the next couple of years.

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When I was at KD recently I really didn't have any major issues with the staff, they seemed to be doing an ok job and I didn't see any ride ops on cells. The park was relatively clean also. My overall experience was a good one, but then again that was the first time I had ever been so I have nothing to compare it to.

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My one visit to Carowinds this year under CF was great. I didn't have any complaints except that Hurler was a bit rough.

 

Kings Dominion wasn't quite as good, but I would say their Hurler was a bit smoother, Rebel Yell was a sad disappointment as it seems that it has been given Roller Coaster Riddilin. A lot of people on this thread have said they didn't care for Grizzly, but I think it is definitely the best wooden coaster at the park. Especially in the front row and at night.

 

The food prices are higher than the past couple years at both parks. Carowinds had the better staff in my opinion (It was cool to meet DarkStitch when he was working on Top Gun).

 

In general, I still enjoyed both parks under the Cedar Fair banner. The only reason I can be kind of Meh about going to Kings Dominion is because other than Cedar Point, I have been there more than any other park, and have been there at least once every year since 1999 except for 2001 (But i still go because I love Volcano and Grizzly, and with the possible addition of Dominator, I may have a better motive to go even if I already have the credit).

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They just released the season pass pricing for next year... I won't be buying a season pass. This is total crap!

 

http://www1.cedarfair.com/carowinds/shop/shopping_season_pass.cfm

 

Who gives a rip about that stupid pullover? That is not worth $40, it might be worth $5!

 

Last year I bought a Maxx pass for $90, and I got free parking at Carowinds.

 

This year I'd have to pay $140 and wow, I get free parking at all the other parks.

 

Unless I visited about 4 other parks, it wouldn't pay for itself.

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I'm not a big CF fan in general, the parks i've been to this year:

 

 

Valleyfair! - Pretty much a hellhole. Two good coasters with Renegade and Wild Thing and an awesome flat with Skyflyer. A lot of things need to be cleaned/painted/hid and not interested in going back anytime soon.

 

Kings Island - Nice park, well staffed, good coaster collection. All the employees are still wearing Paramount Parks shirts though.

 

Geauga Lake -

(Quite honestly I dont care, even though it was awesome before CF nuetered it, it's always been a lost cause).

 

Cedar Point - Awesome park as usual, we mustve gone there on a bad day cause EVERYTHING was breaking down on us. It was kinda frustrating, but I wouldnt really hold that against the park. Operations were not as good as previous years, they had a lot of employees who barely spoke english/awful with microphones where previous years I dont remember that being a problem). They were still really well staffed and everything was open running capacity.

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When I was at Kings Island this summer quite a few od the ride ops said they hated to working for Cedar Fair. Though the reason why I can't quite remember.

 

Bad sort term memory seems to be a running theme in my family...

 

The biggest complaint I heard was that they weren't able to slack off like they used to, and the rules are being more strictly enforced, such as not riding in your uniform when you're not working, tucking in shirts, short length (girls being too short and guys being too long), etc. This was talking to numerous returners towards the start of the year, and to be fair I haven't been to the park in over a month.

 

Overall, I thought ride operations were improved. The operators seemed friendlier and the food and games staff more enthusiastic.

 

The nightmare of SoB and Firehawk being the big draws this year and then being down for numerous maintenence problems is a drawback, but CF didn't build SoB, so I can't fault them completely for that mess. Firehawk was a mistake, and would have been better at a park with smaller crowds, as lines are horribly long.

 

Time will tell as far as KI is concerned, at least IMHO.

 

-James Dillaman

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I kinda forgot to mention my job experience

i have worked in merchandise for paramount and cedarfair, and while i do have to say cedar fair is alot more secure about money ( less theft) the new system is so much worse than what we used to have under paramount. Im not going to go into details but paramount's system was much faster, easier, less confusing, and cedar fair still could have added their rules to stop theft.

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