Thursday, May 18, 2006 6:07 PM
hey, Just a small question Im pretty sure nobody has brought up before, but I was wondering if anyone has ever used these before, at any parks. They have been popping up around CF waterparks recently and I always wonder whats the big deal. Its just a small area fenced off with some chairs. Theres lawn chairs and tables everywhere. I guess some people use them, but I was wondering if anyone here has. At MIAdv they're $50 a day and at Dorney they're about $75 on weekends. I guess its a nice place to just store stuff but I just think those prices are a little steep for a small space youre only renting for about 8/10 hours at most. If you're paying to get in the park how much are you going to sit around in there just because its a small fenced in tent? *** Edited 5/18/2006 10:09:49 PM UTC by P18***
Thursday, May 18, 2006 6:24 PM
matt.'s avatar People are rich. $50 or $75 is nothing for some people, I say if they're a good money maker for the park its a great idea.
Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:29 PM
Rented one once. Loved it. Shady spot. Reserved beach chairs. Reserved table for snacking. Reserved tubes for the wave pool. Tableside waitstaff delivering sandwiches and beer.

However, I don't think they are doing as well as they could. We rented one the year they first came on-line. A saturday in July. Less than half were occupied. That might have gotten better recently, I don't know.

I could imagine renting one again, we just haven't had a day where we planned to spend most of it in SC since then; mostly we just duck in for a few hours, and then duck back out again.

Edited to add: it appears that the prices are the same in '06 as they were in '04. This is either part of the rollback, or they still aren't doing so well. *** Edited 5/18/2006 11:30:24 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:30 PM
Were the sandwiches and doses of beer included in the rental fee?
Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:31 PM
Of course not.
Thursday, May 18, 2006 7:36 PM
Here's what I said about them back then:

The cabanas in Soak City need to be much better advertised. They are a nice service---you get plenty of space, shade in a park utterly without any, and tableside service in a park with woeful food stands. We rented one on a Saturday in July, and fewer than half were taken---that's abysmal for the day that is supposed to be peak attendance. I have to believe given the hotel occupancy rates (at >$200 per night) that there are enough folks out there who would be willing to plunk down $75 for a cabana's amenities, but unless you've scoured the web site, how would you know they are there? Every guest booking a stay on-point should have a flyer advertising the cabanas inserted into their confirmation letter. These are the people who are going to spend the $ to splurge.

Friday, May 19, 2006 2:16 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar So exactly what is it like to be rich, Brian. ;)

(Sorry, just having a chuckle at the idea that someone who chooses to drop an extra $75 on vacation is rich.)

I personally think Brian's is the perfect example and is in spectacular contrast to the idea of the original post. It's not meant for people hopping all over the park. It's for people planting their asses in the waterpark all day - vacation style.

Seems like an odd option at parks like Dorney or MIA (although one that I can still see people choosing), but makes perfect sense at a park like CP where a family might be taking more of a vacation than a day at the park kind of trip. I can easily see a family taking a 3-day trip to the Point and hooking up with a room at Breakers, spending an evening in Challenge Park, 2 days in the amusement park and a day planted in a Cabana. Sounds like a hell of a lot of fun to me.

Friday, May 19, 2006 8:40 AM
But why pay $75 for some cruddy tent on a concrete pad when you can go sit on the beach (for no extra charge)? I guess I don't see why people would plunk down money for a waterpark if all they want to do is sit in a chair.

Maybe Cedar Point ought to offer cabanas for the beach and hotel pools (or do they already?)

Friday, May 19, 2006 9:16 AM
It's harder to imagine making a day of sitting at the CP beach or one of its hotel pools. But, it's pretty easy to make a day of it in the waterpark.

The problem with the beach is that, with the current bouy line and the shallow drop off, you can't actually swim there. However, at another beach, it could work---when we go to the Outer Banks, we set up what amounts to a cabana early in the week, and leave it set up for the duration.

The hotel pools are just pools. My HOA has a pool that is nicer than some of the hotel pools.

The cabana isn't about sitting in a chair all day. The cabana is about not having to sweat the little annoyances that, added together, make the day a bit less enjoyable. When you're done on the not-so-lazy-river, and you want to get something to eat, you don't have to stand in that horrible line in the only real counter service place in the entire park for 20 minutes waiting to place an order. You don't have to send your family off to scout for a table (or more likely, a patch of grass) during the time when every one of the thousand+ people in the park want to sit down at one of the 80 tables to eat. You don't have to figure out how to carry four baskets and four drinks back to your family, with its as-yet-unknown location. When you have finished eating, and you want to go to the wavepool, you don't have to sit at the edge like a vulture waiting for someone to give up their tube, you just get one of yours. When you are done in the wave pool, and you want to get out of the sun for a little while, you don't have to search for one of the six beach chairs in the entire park that actually has shade, nor do you have to go camp under one of the waterslides. You just go to your cabana.

The other nice thing about the cabana, and I won't lie to you about this one, is that it feels good to know you have one. Shallow and materialistic, true. Still, nice. It's not an everytime thing. I've been to SC at least a dozen times and probably more, and rented the cabana only once. Then again, that's the only time we literally spent the day there.

If you are spending a day at the waterpark, (as opposed to visiting it for a few hours), having a cabana makes the day a qualitatively different experience. Sometimes, I'd rather pay a bit more to not have to deal with the hassle of this or that when I'm on vacation. As another example, I sprang for the riverside reserved seating for Fantasmic! when we went to Disneyland. Financially, it was silly--it cost a day's admission, and while it did include a nice dessert buffet and soft drinks/coffee, the desserts weren't *that* good. However, it was nice to not have to fight the crowds to get a seat an hour+ early on the steps in front of ROA with two small kids. I certainly won't do it everytime we go to DL, but as a special treat? Sure!

*** Edited 5/19/2006 1:18:25 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

Friday, May 19, 2006 9:31 AM
So rather than making enough tables, food stands, shade, etc. available to *everyone* who paid admission to the park, they're going to only offer limited comfort to those few people who want to/are able to pay extra? Real nice. What's next? paying for a tube? ;)

but hey, whatever floats your boat. I'm not the type to spend all day at a waterpark or at the beach so what do I know? :)

Friday, May 19, 2006 9:36 AM
You know, now that I think about it, there was one other time we spent the day at SC, and I didn't get a cabana then. However, that was in early June, on a Sunday---not exactly a peak attendance day for the water park. On a day like that, you don't really need it.
Friday, May 19, 2006 9:42 AM
millrace: there is at least one example of a water park that offers a uniform and guaranteed high level of service to everyone who comes through the door. It's called Discovery Cove. Only $150-$180 per person, depending on the season. Of course, that doesn't include the dophins!
Friday, May 19, 2006 9:52 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Brian Noble said:
The cabana isn't about sitting in a chair all day. The cabana is about not having to sweat the little annoyances that, added together, make the day a bit less enjoyable. Sometimes, I'd rather pay a bit more to not have to deal with the hassle of this or that when I'm on vacation.

Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! :)

This is the one thing that seems to be the divide between the 'spenders' and the 'non-spenders' on these forums.

I'm with you on that one. Any vacation-type situation should be just that...a getaway. I can't imagine the fun in worrying about cheap hotel rooms, going out of my way for some nominal discount, flinching at parking prices or packing a coller in the trunk. Fretting over things like that feels an awful lot like...well, every day real life.

If I'm off on a trip/vacation of some kind (even park trips), I want a hotel room that feels like I got away, not just a place to sleep. I want to be able to do the Skycoaster on a whim and not be thinking, "This isn't a good value!" or "Where can I find a discount?" I want to just eat what I want to eat and not be budgeting time to repeatedly return to the cooler in the trunk. I want to let the kids do the stupid "Guess You Weight" game for $5 and be thrilled to win an inflatable mallet or equally nominal prize.

Anything less wouldn't be worth it.

millrace said:
So rather than making enough tables, food stands, shade, etc. available to *everyone* who paid admission to the park, they're going to only offer limited comfort to those few people who want to/are able to pay extra? Real nice.

And that's the perfect example of the other side of the argument. It's hard to find fault in that logic, even if it seems a little naive to me personally.

Friday, May 19, 2006 10:08 AM
I guess all I'm saying is that *for me* I don't see the value in spending $75 on a cabana. But if other people enjoy that type of thing and that's how they want to spend their vacation money, then whatever.

Everyone finds value in different things and it is somewhat interesting to hear people's opinions on stuff that would never occur to me to do. And, likewise, you'll probably find my vacation choices equally as baffling.

Friday, May 19, 2006 10:14 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Exactly. You nailed it, millrace. :)
Friday, May 19, 2006 10:17 AM

If I'm off on a trip/vacation of some kind...

This is the key. CP is our home park. Most of our visits there are let's-goof-off, mow-the-grass-tomorrow, day-trip sorts of visits. On those, we don't play a bunch of games, we may not have a sit-down meal (though we often will), and we don't spring for a lot of those little extras.

Once a summer, we do try to go for a 3-day, stay-on-point, make-it-a-vacation trip. On that trip, we do all kinds of stuff that we wouldn't normally do. The kids get on the turbo bungy. We might get a cabana. We play games, we eat nice meals. It's a vacation then.

Of course, even on vacations there are some things I think are good values, and other things are not---the cost is never completely ignored. For example, we visit Florida late each winter during Disney's second-most-expensive season; only Christmas is more. While it would be a bit more convenient to stay in a monorail resort, we don't---one hotel room on the monorail for $350-450 per night vs. a 3BR/3BA townhouse with a private pool 10 minutes from the parks for $110. We pick the townhouse, and that cuts the total trip cost almost in half. Plus, we find that the overall trip is more pleasant when everyone has their own space.

However, I don't bother trying to plan to have meals in the townhouse to save a few bucks unless that's where we are when we're hungry. If we are in WDW, and we're hungry, we just eat. We buy shirts, hats, and junk toys that get tossed in the back of the toy box a few weeks after we get home. We eat lunch with the princesses. We buy the CD with all the "pro" photos taken of us over the week. When I total it up, we probably spend more than we should. But, we aren't freezing our butts off in Michigan, so it's all good!

hard to find fault in that logic

The only fault I can find is that all that stuff costs money, and having it means park admission has to be higher to cover all those costs. So, everyone is on a more equal footing, but fewer people overall can afford it. I'll let the MBAs figure out which model works better.

Friday, May 19, 2006 10:20 AM
I saw this kind of stuff at Universal Orlando last year. In addition to regular tickets, you can purchase packages that give you express passes to all the rides and unlimited food and drink throughout the day. If you load up on the options (like the one that grants you access to the Studios and IOA), one ticket could cost more than $100. I guess there are people that feel that's necessary and if they're willing to spend the money, that's fine. But as for me, I have my limits.
Friday, May 19, 2006 11:56 AM
Glad to hear everyones imput on this, and looking at some posts I can see why some people who can afford them have them. Having a limited budget though I can't see getting one myself especially at a park like CP where I paid to get in and theres so many rides to go on. "springing for a little extra" or my "treat" at a park/waterpark would actually be eating at one, so I usually dont worry about finding tables and what not. The only place where spending/worrying about money *slightly* slips my mind is at Knoebels (being the park we camp/stay at every year), especially when it comes to food/munchies. Thats not just because we stay there its just more reasonable and tat place always makes me hungry for something (that mountain air). I wish I could go on vacations and not worry about money but I just can't right now.

Also Rob, The meal option is regular admission, $59 online for an adult, plus $18 for one park, or if you Just want unlimited soft drinks its $7 plus admission. If youre planning to spend all day there and eat all 3 meals there, the meal ticket seems like a pretty good value at only $18 (althought Im not sure what they mean by "participating meal deal locations", I hope they just don't mean soft pretzels, cotton candy, and nachos lol). Same goes for the beverages thing with the heat and all. The meal options might get me to eat there but only if I was going to be there from open-close eating every meal there with some in between to take the most advantage of it lol. I could see getting the softdrink thing since I usually grab a drink at most parks and you could pay for that with about 2/3 drinks.

Now I SHOULD be looking for Busch Gardens Africa/ Sea World stuff like this considering its to those parks Im going to when Im in orlando in June... *** Edited 5/19/2006 4:12:20 PM UTC by P18***


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