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Kings Island (KI) Discussion Thread

p. 792 - Camp Cedar campground to open in 2021!

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I've done it that way 4 times over the last 3 years.  It definitely is a long day, but it's nice having not spent the extra money on a hotel and additional food.  And it is extremely nice and rewarding to get home and sleep in your own bed after such a long day.  The way it has worked out I went on two of those trips on Sundays late in the season, and twice last year so the park wasn't open late AND didn't really want to stay in a hotel anyway.

As with KC, I'll sometimes bundle KI with a concert and obviously spend the night in that situation, or if I go on a day when the park is open longer hours, I'll spend the night.  If I had my way and no other commitments, I'd be visiting almost exclusively on Haunt Saturdays...

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^ the response they're getting is appalling.

sheesh. . .  all I can do is shake my head and think "entitled much?" at many of the responses.

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3 hours ago, prozach626 said:

You drive there and back in one day? That's brutal. 

OMG! I agree. I have done HW and back in one day which is a 6 hour round trip and I have done 12 hour drives. But I don't think I could do 11-12 hours AND a theme park day. And I wouldn't be talking about making it in 5.5 hours with a cop on the boards, that must be petal to the metal and Zach's gonna be watching for you with his radar gun 😜

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Everyone should be happy that they aren't closing entirely those 2 days, geez. An 8 pm close on Sunday and Monday, oh the humanity. SFSTL is only open until 7 right now most nights, 8 on Sat

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25 minutes ago, teacherkim said:

Everyone should be happy that they aren't closing entirely those 2 days, geez. An 8 pm close on Sunday and Monday, oh the humanity. SFSTL is only open until 7 right now most nights, 8 on Sat

You know the days they listed in this post are Fridays and Saturdays, right?  I agree that it's not a big deal, but please don't misrepresent.

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13 minutes ago, Mike240SX said:

You know the days they listed in this post are Fridays and Saturdays, right?  I agree that it's not a big deal, but please don't misrepresent.

You are right, my bad, I was thinking July not June. Just a mistake, not a misrepresentation. However, my point was that staffing and slow realignment to normal operations as the pandemic situation improves are just going to be the lay of the land for the foreseeable future and the people that are complaining about it need to chill the hell out. Still better than last year at this point when most parks had not even reopened yet.

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Yeah, just another thing we have to come to expect at this point.  It is what it is.  Kind of like how last year we had to assume half the rows on rides would be blocked off and that most indoor attractions would be closed entirely.

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10 hours ago, prozach626 said:

KI is our clear winner until SDC builds one more home run and starts selling beer. I hope they see the beer sales at KK and offer a few limited places serving alcohol, with 'no alcohol past this point' restrictions, to keep the park family friendly.

I mean it's 2021...even Cracker Barrel sells beer and wine now.

 

It's so weird to me to see parks apparently having people to be open but needing to cut back hours. Times have definitely changed from when I worked in a park. When we had Friday night concerts they would usually end about 9 with a scheduled 10pm closing. We were frequently told (at like 9pm) we were staying open an extra 30 minutes- an hour if the concert drew a huge crowd to avoid having everyone hit the exit road at the same time. 

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3 hours ago, coasterbill said:

So like I said... the bar for “least screwed up Cedar Fair park” isn’t the highest...

 

 

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How sad!!!!  WTH is wrong with people today!?   Happier living off the system? I outright told my daughter (she is 16) today that if she wants her hair dyed and to stay in TaeKwanDo, she better find a job.   There is no reason why she cannot start helping herself.   Hell, for $20/hr, free meals, free board, free entry to CP, *I* will go work there!!!  I have no shame!   That's great money!!   And FREEEEEE RIDES!!!  Hell yes!

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7 minutes ago, Carrie said:

How sad!!!!  WTH is wrong with people today!?   Happier living off the system? I outright told my daughter (she is 16) today that if she wants her hair dyed and to stay in TaeKwanDo, she better find a job.   There is no reason why she cannot start helping herself.   Hell, for $20/hr, free meals, free board, free entry to CP, *I* will go work there!!!  I have no shame!   That's great money!!   And FREEEEEE RIDES!!!  Hell yes!

When my son started working at SFSTL just before his 16th birthday, I was actually questioned by another parent as to why I was "making" him work. She couldn't seem to comprehend that while we were of course willing to pay for all his essential needs and hobbies; if he wanted to build his $5000 dream computer he had to earn the money himself. I recently saw an interview with a child psychologist that opined the increase of summer school and internships to pad college resumes over traditional teen summer jobs was detrimental to the young'uns as those jobs provided skills that they cannot get at school. Maybe a contributing factor to why so many teens just cannot handle growing up and mental health issues for them are on the rise? 

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My Brother worked at Astroworld at 17, and he did it because he wanted to, not because my Parents made him.

 

I wanted to, but was only 15, and I think you had to be 17 at the time to be hired. .and by the time I hit that age?  I saw how many hours my Brother worked and realized it was more fun to hang out at the park every day over summer and mess with him (he worked at the hot dog place in Coney Island), than it was to actually, you know. . . work there 😛

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But hanging out at a park won't teach you how to be financially responsible...LOL.   There were things I wanted to do (take private clarinet lessons from a professor at MSU) but my parents weren't going to pay for them (it was not cheap), so at 15yo, I worked at our Dairy Queen.  I took my private lessons and paid for them myself.  Later on, I purchased a stereo system for my room.  Quite honestly, the experience was priceless...learning how to work with money, deal with crappy customers. Get along with supervisors and coworkers, etc.  I don't think parents are doing their kids a favor by handing things to them.  After awhile, nothing will excite them or make them happy and in the real world, they will not be able to figure out why they NOW have to pay to live.  Talk about mental health LOL.  Hell, in my 20s, I worked two jobs and went to school. One job at one point was a paid internship so that one  did contribute to the entire college experience/resume, etc. I really had no choice.  I didn't qualify for a hell of a lot of financial aid and my parents couldn't foot the bill so if I wanted it, it was on me.  Hello, real world.   And, let's be honest....when I was 16, I made a whopping 3.35/hr at McDonald's!  LOL Good times (it was a social job for me..made lots of friends and had fun). 

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All the kids these days probably think they can just become one of those Instagram influencers or something, instead of getting a "real" job...

8 hours ago, prozach626 said:

Anyone think this will extend to the 26th?

It's certainly not an impossibility.  However, this article suggests that Cedar Point might be back to a "normal" schedule pretty soon; I would hope Kings Island follows a similar trend.  Having to reduce hours a second time would not be a good look.

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I get why they're doing it, and I'm glad they're at least open, but this park of all parks to close before sunset is brutal. I'd much rather they be open 2 to 11 than 11 to 8.

 

Maybe they'll get some takers at $18/hr.

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Credit to @onlinehyde on Twitter for this, as I have better things to do than watch the Goldman Sachs Travel and Leisure Conference webcast without actually being a shareholder and there’s no transcript to skim, but there was an investor conference yesterday. Cedar Fair shared that they anticipate burning average of 60 million in cash a month during Q2. As a reference, Six Flags expects to be cash flow positive for Q2. Busch / SeaWorld is already cash flow positive this year. They’re looking to “improve efficiencies” (see: cut budget). The fact that they made another budget move on the same day that they said they were going to do exactly that must be a coincidence, right?

Saying “kids these days don’t want to work... please ignore the fact that Six Flags is paying people half of what we’re paying them, staffing their parks just fine chain-wide, not cutting hours, operating 7 days a week and in many cases extending hours to capitalize on pent-up demand” is easier than saying “We’re absolutely clueless as to what we’re doing so now we have to pay people $15 an hour to work at Kings Island and we’re closing early for budget since we’re losing tons of money thanks to our poor decision-making”.

Based on the comments here, I guess it’s working.

PS: I’ve also seen the over-dramatic Facebook comments. Those people are ridiculous but that doesn’t mean Cedar Fair isn’t also a train wreck. Those two things can both be true. 

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This is neither here nor there, but I think a large part of CF's staffing woes come from how many employees they dedicate to each ride.  For example, at Millennium Force on the Sunday I was there, here's how many employees were working just that one ride:

-Two greeters
-One at the FL merge
-One grouper in the load station
-Four checking restraints in the load station
-One actual panel operator
-Two in the unload station

That's 10 employees for one ride.

Meanwhile, when I was at SFGAdv back in early May, El Toro had the following:

-Two contracted, outside-company employed, security officers as greeters (don't count)
-One at the Flash Pass merge
-One actual panel operator
-Two checking restraints

That's 4 actual park employees for one ride.

The trend continued at both CP and KI for all rides....there was always almost "too many" employee's stationed at each ride.

That said, based on my experiences at both CP and KI, the rides departments are not where they are having staffing problems...it's food service.  Which, by the way, Six Flags is also suffering horribly with.

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^ Now do Steel Vengeance. 2 greeters at front of line. 1 greeter at the FL/Standby merge. 1 greeter at locker split. 1 employee helping with lockers. 2 employees after lockers checking metal detectors. 1 grouper who can't count to 12 at the top of the stairs. 1 ride op. 4 restraint checkers. 

Uhh...yeah. You don't need 13 employees to run a roller coaster unless you're Cedar Fair.

That said, Kings Island usually had a maximum of 7 on one ride. 4 checking restraints, 1 ride op, 1 grouper (who also controlled fast lane because *gasp* all the lines merge at the station at King's Island), and 1 greeter. Dont remember any coasters that had more than that.

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It seems they refuse to run a ride with under a certain number of employees even if they physically can, unlike SF. For example, Jokers Jinx at SFA is supposed to have a crew of 6, 1 load/flashpass, 1 load, 1 op, 2 unload and 1 security officer. However they are fully willing to run it with a crew of 3, being op, load/flashpass and unload. I don't remember Kings Island running any of their major coasters with three people.

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Haha I didn't use SV as my example because of the lockers, but yeah.  And when I was there there were two at the lockers, one on each side, and a dedicated spiel-er in the station.

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I agree with this entirely. Last year at Kings Island we counted 12 people on the Orion platform (on a day where Windseeker was closed for staffing, which isn't a big deal but still... lol). Let's be generous and assume that some of them were training and some of them were supervisors who were just popping by to chat with the people in the booth. Still, whatever... Nitro needs 3 people on the platform and one of those people groups and does Flash Pass merge (though not scanning) before checking 18 seats (because it has one more row than Orion has) and shockingly they don't double stack most days.

On slow days they won't have a greeter at all and they'll use the exit ramp for Flash Pass so they still only need 3 ops.

And I also agree that Six Flags has major food staffing problems, but they usually just make a bunch of places Mobile Order only so that they have to pay less people and food gets out just as fast (or slow lol). On really bad days they bring in some food trucks and then call it a day.

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Yeah I wont go any farther bc goodness this is NOT the topic I want this to go off into but all the "damn kids today!" "more ok to mooch than work!!!"  reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaalllllly asking for an "OK Boomer" sorry to say it yall. And this is from someone who has been working full time at various jobs for a decade and only stopped to do a Masters Degree so dont even imply I'm some lazy ass who defends lazy asses. Bill also makes a few good points as does the # of staff per ride thing. 

On orion there WERE multiple people doing restraint checks. Compare to Kennywood 2 days before when there was ONE person doing both trains. Which: sucks, and I get KI is prob proud of their ops as they should be but like clearly they can deal w it and we'd all rather more days/hours. So yeah idk gotta be a reason they are having these issues so bad while Six Flags, or Dollywood for that matter, are doing much better. Wouldnt surprise me if Bill is right and its larger financial issues and they are blaming the workers, would make sense actually given they also leave their staff to deal w the OTT outraged mobs lol  Things still aint normal yall, kinda recovering from a year when the world largely shut down. Let's give it time.

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