Cedar Point guests experience traffic jams, complain on the Internet

Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:30 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Cedar Point officials are reviewing the popular park's parking and traffic procedures after last weekend's huge crowds led to hours-long waits to exit. Irate Cedar Point guests complained on Facebook and elsewhere, even as they sat in their cars with nowhere to go.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 4:10 PM
Jeff's avatar

Walt: I think you would draw that line more south along that water way, if it were environmentally possible.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013 5:51 PM
Gemini's avatar

It's a path of lesser resistance, but I think that makes for a tougher connection to US 250.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013 5:51 PM

There's a fi!ne line with pricing. It's kind of a mind game with people. Charge $50 aticket, let's say, and a bunch of people will say it's way too expensive. Charge $49.95 and suddenly those same people will buy the tickets. Gate price and parking fees are only part of the income. Once people are in the park, they get thirsty and hungry so they spend more money. Some want souvenirs so they spend more money. Raising ticket prices to cut attendance will cut income from concession sales. Will the increased ticket prices cover the lost concession sales? Who knows.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013 5:55 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'd argue that the ridiculously long lines inside the park deter people from waiting for concessions who might otherwise buy in the same way that $50 might deter people who'd pay $49.95 in your example.

Obviously, it's very complex.

My take as far a cutting off sales inside the park? Ask Holiday World how completely eliminating their drink sales inside the park and moving that revenue to the gate has worked out.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013 6:55 PM

I can tell you that for me, Halloweekends are completely off the list. I just won't even try to go. I got caught in that mess in the second year (?), over an hour to get in to the park (at the ticket window), after an hour on the causeway, on a Saturday, people streaming out at 1:00 pm telling me to save my money (multiple, distinct groups). I wasn't expecting an Uncrowded day, but the sheer gridlock inside was just brutal.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Thursday, October 17, 2013 6:55 PM
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Thursday, October 17, 2013 7:01 PM

Columbus Day Saturday has been for years the most crowded day at CP for the entire season (more then the 4th of July, more then any other Saturday.) The Saturday before and after Columbus Day is also insanely crowded, but not as bad.

Stop going on just Saturday, Fridays and Sundays are fantastic crowd wise, you will be able to ride to your heart's content.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013 7:06 PM

Well, flying in from California for just a limited Friday night, or Sunday doesn't make sense. It's just a reality that those weekends are now some of the busiest of the year. I get it. I'll just go a different time.

The business question is how many dissatisfied customers who don't realize that those days are now the busiest of the year use that as an excuse to not go back the next year, or worse, convince others that the crowds are just too much (at any time). In my mind urposely allowing those weekends to be that busy (Season Pass, gate discounts) can't be a good thing overall

As Gonch says, it's a balancing act

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Thursday, October 17, 2013 7:11 PM
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Thursday, October 17, 2013 7:32 PM

An overcrowded park certainly hurts in park spending. The long lines at the rides also mean excessively long lines at the concession stands and stores. On those days people are leaving with money in their wallets that they planned to spend.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:38 PM

^Neither does flying in from California for just one day. If you stretch it to two you can do the low capacity stuff (haunts, coasters) on Fri/Sun and do the high capacity stuff (shows, scare zones, flats) on Saturday.

When I fly to California I spend a week out there, and even though Ive been twice I still have yet to make it to SFMM or USH. Disneyland and Knotts Berry/Scary Farm are just too much fun and convenient for me to venture out yet.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013 11:42 PM

Anecdote:
I have a new friend in my country dance group and tonight I got wind that she went to CP on Saturday. I went straight over to her and said "what on earth were you thinking?!?" Turns out they were meeting friends from Pittsburgh, they had never been to Cedar Point before, and had no idea what Columbus Day weekend brings. Oh dear.
They rode two rides, the Giant Wheel and Blue Streak. They were fun. The other coasters were fuggetabout it as the line for each one was 2 hours at least. They were able to manage a few haunts and they liked them. They had little to eat. They left the park at 11p and didn't even start the car, in the front lot, until they could move out of their parking space at 3a. She said a lot of people around them had come "prepared" with air mattresses, folding chairs, and tents to set up for a parking lot party, tailgate style. She said the only saving grace was that they had discount tickets and hadn't spent a lot. (see discussion about dynamic pricing...) Their friends from Pittsburgh begged them to stay with them at their hotel but they were concerned about their dogs so they left and pulled into Columbus at 6a.
She said "That's it, I never want to go back there again if that's what it's like that there." I said, "Oh, no. You come with me some weekday in May and you'll change your mind. And don't you never, ever do that again!"
:The End.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 12:04 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

And that's why CP cares about more than stuffing people through the gate. It not only reaches a point of diminishing returns, but eventually a point where it begins to affect them negatively.


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Friday, October 18, 2013 12:37 AM
LostKause's avatar

I don't think it was mention here yet, but Screamscape is saying that ticket prices at the gate for Cedar Point were raised sometime during Halloweekends from $54.99 to $58.99.


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Friday, October 18, 2013 1:26 AM
bjames's avatar

LostKause said:

I don't think it was mention here yet, but Screamscape is saying that ticket prices at the gate for Cedar Point were raised sometime during Halloweekends from $54.99 to $58.99.

Pretty sure that's the "opposition value cost" or whatever gonch was talking about at the beginning of the thread.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 1:27 AM

These Halloween events are very popular. This past Sunday Great America was very crowded and suppose to close at 9. Around 5:30 they started making announcements that all Haunts, Rides, would remain open one extra hour until 10. We stayed enjoyed and where able to exit in 15 minutes.

Should Cedar Point have stayed open longer for better crowd control? What I have read is they are very concerned this never happens again. I trust they will not let this happen again.

The other option which Great America does use is closing the parking lot. They post on the Highway Sign and at Grand Ave: Park Full Park Closed.

I can't say I've seen that in the last five years as Fright Fest has expanded. Now the rapids ride and Hurricane Harbor have helped spread the crowds out.

As for upping the costs or blacking out season passes not a good idea since so much of the crowd is us pass holders. This is also the time of year when they sell the most passes for next year.

Keep in mind Halloween is huge. Be prepared the next two weekends are the busiest of the year. Good luck everyone.

Then in the blink of an eye the midways go silent for months on end.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 1:43 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Ron Witrzek said:

Should Cedar Point have stayed open longer for better crowd control? What I have read is they are very concerned this never happens again. I trust they will not let this happen again.

So they acknowledge that crowds were a problem and are very concerned this never happens again.

But...

As for upping the costs or blacking out season passes not a good idea since so much of the crowd is us pass holders.

Limiting passholders who are much of the crowd (and the crowds are the problem) is a bad idea?

Can't have it both ways. Which is it?


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Friday, October 18, 2013 3:59 AM
Superstew's avatar

Blacking out season pass holders would be a low-ball, bush-league tactic to say the least ... These people paid their money and now you're going to tell them, "nope, can't come this weekend because we're just going to be too busy!"

On the other hand, if there was a stipulation, advertisement, promotion, whatever, when the purchase was made - offering option A, B or C, and subsequently making the buyer aware that certain plans come with different inclusions and exclusions as far as the schedule is concerned - then that's a different story.

I still really don't think that CP's BIG "problem" (and this all sounds like the old making a mountain out of a mole whole thing) which seems to only happen a couple of times a year, is the huge deal some are making it out to be - especially with season pass holders. Out of 50,000 people in the park how many actually fall under the SP category ?? A couple thousand at most ? ... hardly enough to make or break the average Joes' guest experience.

This just might be one of those situations where if you're CP, you say to yourself, "it is what it is." Not a big fan of that cliche, but sometimes it is apt.

Again, if something needs tweaked a bit with admission, parking, marketing, ect, then do it - otherwise leave it alone !

Last edited by Superstew, Friday, October 18, 2013 4:21 AM
Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions !
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Friday, October 18, 2013 4:21 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Superstew said:

Blacking out season pass holders would be a low-ball, bush-league tactic to say the least ...

Within Cedar Fair, they already do this at Knott's. I'm pretty sure there are other (non-CF) parks that do this too.

These people paid their money and now you're going to tell them, "nope, can't come this weekend because we're just going to be too busy!"

Now, if there was a stipulation, advertisement, promotion, whatever, when the purchase was made - offering option A, B or C, and subsequently making the buyer aware that certain plans come with different inclusions and exclusions as far as the schedule is concerned - then that's a different story.

Well, obviously.

We're talking about preventing this in the future. It would quite clear when you buy your pass that Halloween events aren't included - the same way they make a point to sell you on the idea that they are now.

I still really don't think that CP's BIG problem (and this all sounds like the old making a mountain out of a mole whole thing to me) which only happens a couple of times a year, is the huge deal some are making it out to be...

What's a couple? Twice? There's only 18 or 20 days of Halloween event each year. You're looking at this being a problem 10% of the time. Heck, include a couple of other Saturdays that aren't quite this bad, but still pretty problematic and those 4 or 5 days suddenly represent as much as 25% of the Halloween event.

That's not something you ignore.

Again, if something needs tweaked with admission, parking, marketing, ect. do it - otherwise leave it alone !

This is one of those things that is so dumb that it wraps back around and becomes profound in an almost enlightened way.

"If something needs changed, change it. Otherwise, don't."

Indeed. :)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, October 18, 2013 4:22 AM
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Friday, October 18, 2013 4:23 AM
Superstew's avatar

What are you doing still up at this hour besides trumping me ?!?! LOL

Last edited by Superstew, Friday, October 18, 2013 4:36 AM
Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions !
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Friday, October 18, 2013 9:25 AM

Like I have been told many times by others on this site...

CP just needs to reiterate on your season pass (or daily admission ticket) that they owe you nothing (other than a long wait in line).

Or...

If you don't like it. Stay home. Problem Solved!

Cedar Point's new motto "The Waiting(est) Place on Earth" - they can even put it on a plaque over the entrance - right under Moneytaker, I mean Gatekeeper.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 10:51 AM

Here's even a better idea...

As a modest Upcharge --- institute FastPark and FastParkPlus! One get's you into the front of the parking lot, and the other get's you out first by giving you a special lane - just for your vehicle.

Spread the cost out over a 50 year lifetime payment plan (which will be easy for everyone to justify), and you will be "outa-there" faster than that $20 pizza you bought at the park for lunch!

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