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Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom Discussion Thread


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Yep, can confirm. Was there today with the family. Possessed still slaps. The holding brake still hasn't been turned back on, and honestly, I doubt it's ever coming back, but it doesn't need it. It's still a great ride even without it.

I'll have a longer write up in the next few days, but overall, it was a great opening day without any of the major problems that plagued the other parks on their first day of operations. It was great to be back!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Park Update:

All 9:00 summer closings have been moved to 7:00. 

Grand Carnivale is still listed on the website from 5-9 from July 24 to August 8 but the hours have changed on the calendar so I’d assume 7:00 closings now. I have no clue if the event will still happen or not.

If you’re looking for something to do instead, Great Adventure just extended all of their summer hours a few days ago due to overwhelming demand and Knoebels closes at 9:00 on summer weekends and not 7:00.

lol

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So happy I didn't grab the Cedar Fair Platinum Pass this year... Six Flags is really doing a number on Cedar Fair.

Six Flags Darien Lake kept their waterpark open until 8 PM on Saturday due to demand.... they are doing the opposite of what Cedar Fair is doing this year/

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1 hour ago, disownedpear said:

I'm surprised they still had it listed as 9pm closings for this long. Cedar Fair is really something else this year. 

Can they sell all the parks to Six Flags? 

NO

Six Flags would 

never build

ORION

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1 hour ago, disownedpear said:

I'm surprised they still had it listed as 9pm closings for this long. Cedar Fair is really something else this year. 

Can they sell all the parks to Six Flags? 

It would be a fun to see Worlds of Fun become a six flags park for 10 years and SFSTL become a cedar fair park for 10 years and see which ones benefits more

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Also, when they said that they were closing on all Mondays and Tuesdays they've included the federal holiday for the 4th of July as a day that they'll be closed.

Big brain moves...

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yeah. .just saw that on their twitter feed, and thought:  what rides other than Talon does Dorney really need to "staff" ????

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I know that labor supply is a huge issue for everyone and don’t want to downplay that, but is it crazy to wonder if some of this is just them going “Well, now we have to pay people $15-$20 an hour at a theme park that’s going to be empty-as-empty-can-be on most Mondays and Tuesdays and we’ll probably lose less money if we just don’t open?”

I don’t believe that this was a factor for Cedar Point. I think it’s highly conceivable that it was a factor for Dorney. I wonder if that may be why Cedar Point is going to attempt to go back to daily ops in a few weeks and Dorney was happy to slash them from the calendar for the whole year, push demand to some other dead weekdays and call it a day.

...I also wonder how long before someone catches that July 5th thing.

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Ugh. I got the email today too including an "update your reservation" email, as we were planning on going Monday as part of a Philly-centric trip next week. I think we're going to take a ride up the good ol' turnpike and check out American Dream instead.

Last August we had to entirely re-plan our Cedar Point and Kings Island trip because both parks stopped being open on weekdays, so we just went to Cedar Point on the weekend instead and omitted KI, which may have been a bad choice as we only got one ride each on most of the major coasters due to the access pass debacle, but weirdly got to ride Dragster 3 times.

I do understand why these things are happening and I sympathize with the labor shortage issue. But I do wish they could give more notice with scheduling changes. We were just looking at Airbnbs and hotels near Cedar Point to go in August again, and we decided to hold off another month or so before booking anything to see how the season plays out. But other parks in the chain still following this pattern of "oh, by the way we're now going to be closed half of next week" makes us less likely to book a trip to any Cedar Fair park.

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6 hours ago, coasterbill said:

I know that labor supply is a huge issue for everyone and don’t want to downplay that, but is it crazy to wonder if some of this is just them going “Well, now we have to pay people $15-$20 an hour at a theme park that’s going to be empty-as-empty-can-be on most Mondays and Tuesdays and we’ll probably lose less money if we just don’t open?”

I don’t believe that this was a factor for Cedar Point. I think it’s highly conceivable that it was a factor for Dorney. I wonder if that may be why Cedar Point is going to attempt to go back to daily ops in a few weeks and Dorney was happy to slash them from the calendar for the whole year, push demand to some other dead weekdays and call it a day.

...I also wonder how long before someone catches that July 5th thing.

Also gotta love that a park in the literal middle of nowhere (Knoebel's) can manage to operate a daily schedule even though the labor market in "middle of Pennsyltucky" is considerably more sparse than the Lehigh Valley. Now granted they haven't been immune (as seen with the numerous ride closures during the week that are not mechanically related) and it also helps being a family-run organization that retains staff with literal decades of experience, but still, literally every other park in the area is showing how to properly handle this labor challenge. Yes it sucks to not have as many night opportunities as in the past, but most people will take the early closures over not being open at all during a hot summer day.

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11 minutes ago, wildcattb5 said:

Also gotta love that a park in the literal middle of nowhere (Knoebel's) can manage to operate a daily schedule even though the labor market in "middle of Pennsyltucky" is considerably more sparse than the Lehigh Valley. Now granted they haven't been immune (as seen with the numerous ride closures during the week that are not mechanically related) and it also helps being a family-run organization that retains staff with literal decades of experience, but still, literally every other park in the area is showing how to properly handle this labor challenge. Yes it sucks to not have as many night opportunities as in the past, but most people will take the early closures over not being open at all during a hot summer day.

look, I LOVE, Knoebel's. . but you might want to rethink your comparison here:

they had over 25 rides closed yesterday, many due to . . . yup, staffing.

so is a park being "open" but with half the attractions shut down (including Twister!) better than a park shutting down on some days?

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28 minutes ago, bert425 said:

look, I LOVE, Knoebel's. . but you might want to rethink your comparison here:

they had over 25 rides closed yesterday, many due to . . . yup, staffing.

so is a park being "open" but with half the attractions shut down (including Twister!) better than a park shutting down on some days?

Gotta agree with @bert425 on this one.  A closed park is better than a park where many major rides are not running - this way you know not to go.

At least Knoebels has the courtesy to keep their website updated so people know not to go.  Of course, that leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy - with enough rides closed, people won't go, decreasing their revenue, making those days less profitable to open at all, leading to them not opening at all.

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Knoebels also benefits from the pay-per-ride model. People visiting can pay specifically for riding whatever's open, whereas buying a day ticket to any of these other parks when half the rides are closed for the day would no doubt create a customer service uproar. Knoebels' model, while not alleviating disappointment, at least means they don't have to factor that into a decision to close the whole park down.

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14 hours ago, Mike240SX said:

Gotta agree with @bert425 on this one.  A closed park is better than a park where many major rides are not running - this way you know not to go.

At least Knoebels has the courtesy to keep their website updated so people know not to go.  Of course, that leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy - with enough rides closed, people won't go, decreasing their revenue, making those days less profitable to open at all, leading to them not opening at all.

I still feel like a half-open park is better than a closed park as long as the park is transparent about what will and will not be open.

I also wonder if Cedar Fair is missing an opportunity by not copying the Six Flags "Coaster Power Hours" thing on days where they're closed. You only need to open coasters and a few food stands and thousands of people will show up. Then again, it's an easier sell when you never had those days scheduled to begin with and then add them later rather than saying "Okay, we're going to open but only kind-of and it's an upcharge now" so I see how they've screwed themselves at this point.

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20 hours ago, bert425 said:

look, I LOVE, Knoebel's. . but you might want to rethink your comparison here:

they had over 25 rides closed yesterday, many due to . . . yup, staffing.

so is a park being "open" but with half the attractions shut down (including Twister!) better than a park shutting down on some days?

When it comes to Knoebels, I'll give them a free pass on having stuff closed for staffing. They are free admission for entry, it costs nothing to park, so if worst case half the major rides are down for the day, I'm not out any money past the gas it took to drive there.

On the other hand, just a couple weeks ago at Hersheypark, day after Memorial Day, they had 31 rides closed throughout the day, including both their non-Boardwalk water rides and five coasters. That was a day where we ended up just leaving early because we literally ran out of things for my daughter to do. Thankfully guest services gave us a comp ticket to come back another day.

Until we can get back to 100% capacity and 100% staffing, I'm afraid there's no one right answer on how parks should be handling this situation. Six Flags is definitely making the best of a bad situation though as I feel like they're doing the best possible job at running the majority of their rides on skeleton crews.

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At Dorney now. Most everything is open, except one of the lazy rivers and one of the wave pools, and the bar in the water park. Amusingly there is a live band playing near it, but no liquor flowing haha. Ride lines are reasonable, but definitely more than the normal Dorney nothingness.

 

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Funny how Cedar Fair's business model of loading up their rides with staff for maximum efficiency has the unintended consequence now of ride closures. Whereas Six Flags has always run with a skeleton crew, so no change in service level. When you never hired enough people no matter what, I guess a shortage of labor doesn't affect you as much. 😆

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