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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Friday, October 18, 2013 11:08 AM
Bakeman31092's avatar

SnoopyDoo said:

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

You should take your own advice regarding this website.

Every single one of your comments has come with a tinge of vitriol, which makes you come across as an angry, negative person. You are not fun to read.


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Friday, October 18, 2013 12:07 PM

Touchdown said:

^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.

Although I could, I don't fly in for one day. It's a weekend. However, given the schedule at CP for Halloweekends, why would I invest in that expense, when the Saturday is a complete no-go? See the horror story listed above. I'm not complaining, just stating the obvious. There are other parks to visit for the October weekends. I'll have to do CP at some other point in the season.

I don't go to Vegas for NYE, Disney at Xmas, or try to book a cruise during Easter break, because I know they are the busiest times of the year. Early October Saturdays at CP are the same, and given that the schedule is only Fri-Sat-Sun, using Saturday to do just the shows and scare zones isn't realistic. Again, I'm not complaining, because I understand this. The family listed in the horror story above has probably told that story to 20-30 people at least, many of whom will remember that when planning their vacations next year, and won't take the risk.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 12:29 PM

Only happy, positive, pro corporate remarks are welcome here?
Showing the true fanboy there aren't you?

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Friday, October 18, 2013 1:13 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

SnoopyDoo said:

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.

Yeah, they already do preferred parking for $25 that gets you closer to the gate and presumably into the park quicker as well.

What's so funny is that this is the second time you're tried to be sarcastic with some wild scenario only to find that the scenario actually exists. You're out of touch with what's really happening at the parks.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, October 18, 2013 1:13 PM
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Friday, October 18, 2013 1:30 PM

Only trying to prove to you how silly sanctioned line jumping actually is, and how CF is already gouging the customer given the chance to do so.
I am not out of touch, the public that accepts and justify Disney like charges without getting that quality of service are the ones that are out of touch.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 1:58 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

So the masses are wrong and you are right?

That seems reasonable.

If the prices were too high people wouldn't pay them. When people don't pay for a product or service businesses go under. That's even more true of things people don't need - like amusement park visits.

Yet, Cedar Fair's EBIDTA growth is between 6% and 9%

You can keep saying it as much as you'd like, I suppose, but none of it is based in reality. At some point it goes from "uninformed" to "clueless" and eventually ends up "Eww. That dude has issues." levels when repeated ad naseum.

"Sanctioned Line Jumping" started at WDW almost 15 years ago. Might be time to suck it up and understand the industry changed...a long time ago.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, October 18, 2013 2:06 PM
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Friday, October 18, 2013 2:03 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Disney like charges? Ignoring the fact that a 1-day ticket to a Disneyworld park is hair under double that of Cedar Point, one could argue that Fastlane is a better service than FastPass because you get to ride as many times as you want.

Cedar Point is a pretty awesome value if you ask me. *shrug*


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Friday, October 18, 2013 2:40 PM
Bakeman31092's avatar

SnoopyDoo said:

Only happy, positive, pro corporate remarks are welcome here?
Showing the true fanboy there aren't you?

Well I'm not a moderator, but...

Honest, sensible, insightful, friendly, and humorous remarks are what make this a great forum. Much of what you write is inflammatory. If I'm a fanboy then you're a hater.


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Friday, October 18, 2013 2:54 PM

No, the masses are correct, and that is why the congestion issue is getting attention in the first place - otherwise we would likely be discussing how pretty the souvenir drink cups were this year.
The prices are getting too high, and I don't see paychecks keeping up at the same pace. Are yours? If so, send the link about how - because we all would like to know!
The EBITA growth says nothing about what lies ahead or customer satisfaction - and that, is changing by all the posts concerning this overflow weekend and the short term outlook for the years ahead.
Ask yourself this, if CP had to be quickly evacuated under this crowded condition - would this situation be acceptable?
And BTW WDW does indeed have sanctioned line jumping. However they still treat the guests on the "economy plan" with more respect than CP. Everyone visiting their parks leaves feeling they were special in some way.
After paying $ to park in the first place, CP should put as much effort into getting everyone out quickly and safely as they did collecting that fee and making sure everyone played follow the leader into their spaces.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 3:08 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

SnoopyDoo said:

No, the masses are correct, and that is why the congestion issue is getting attention in the first place - otherwise we would likely be discussing how pretty the souvenir drink cups were this year.

Agreed. Which is why if you go back to the very first reply to this story - I suggest prices need to go higher to combat the crowding.

The prices are getting too high, and I don't see paychecks keeping up at the same pace. Are yours? If so, send the link about how - because we all would like to know!

That's contradictory to the first statement. If prices are too high the crowds wouldn't be so huge. Prices are too low when crowds get that unmanageable.

The EBITA growth says nothing about what lies ahead or customer satisfaction - and that, is changing by all the posts concerning this overflow weekend and the short term outlook for the years ahead.

I tend to agree with this too. Which is why (again, if you read my replies) I suggest raising the price to lower crowds and offer a superior experience.

Ask yourself this, if CP had to be quickly evacuated under this crowded condition - would this situation be acceptable?

I hadn't really considered this and it's not a part of the conversation I'm interested in...

...but, no. If Godzilla rose from Lake Erie, a bunch of people would be squished and eaten in the parking lot with no escape. That's bad.

And BTW WDW does indeed have sanctioned line jumping. However they still treat the guests on the "economy plan" with more respect than CP. Everyone visiting their parks leaves feeling they were special in some way.
After paying $ to park in the first place, CP should put as much effort into getting everyone out quickly and safely as they did collecting that fee and making sure everyone played follow the leader into their spaces.

Ok. Fair enough. Even if comparing the 'special' feeling at WDW to trying to leave CP on the busiest night of the year is a little odd.

However, I suspect the difference is that crowds arrive in a very different pattern than they depart. I don't doubt the effort is there - pissing people off is a bad business model. The crowds are overwhelming. Simple as that. You need to alleviate the crowding.

I suggest you do it with higher pricing or dynamic pricing or whatever. You suggest prices are already too high - so how do you stop the large turnouts that cause the problem in the first place?

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, October 18, 2013 3:08 PM
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Friday, October 18, 2013 3:39 PM

Increasing the prices to achieve balance in attendance is a poor solution to a problem that was created by an inadequate master plan in the first place.
P.T. Barnum once posted signs that said "hurry and see the Egress" in his museum in order increase ticket sales. Perhaps that is the solution CP will implement in this case too! If people will blindly pay the extra $ as an up charge without finding out what an egress actually is, I think the problem is solved.

Last edited by SnoopyDoo, Friday, October 18, 2013 3:50 PM
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Friday, October 18, 2013 4:08 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'm not just talking the issues with leaving the property at the end of the day, I'm also considering the reported 2-hour+ lines inside the park.

Flat out - the park was VERY crowded.

So what's the problem here? That the park and it's Halloween event is wildly popular? Oh damn them for creating something that people enjoy!

Regardless of how you choose to word it, the solution is lower the crowds to a manageable level.

We can discuss the ways to do this if you'd like (again, I've said that raising the prices, making it a separate ticket and such seems like the best idea to me), but all you keep doing is complaining in different ways that the problem exists. Bakeman kind of nailed it. The inverse of a Fanboy is just a Hater.

And as fun as that might be if the park had actually done anything wrong other than be ridiculously popular towards the end of the year when the Halloween event is happening, I'd be right there with you.

All they're guilty of at this point is offering something that too good of a deal for them to handle the demand for.


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Friday, October 18, 2013 4:11 PM
Superstew's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

If Godzilla rose from Lake Erie, a bunch of people would be squished and eaten in the parking lot with no escape. That's bad.

Whoa, easy there big fella ... Godzilla would never eat or squish ANYBODY because he was a good guy !! At least in most of his movies .... He might accidentally knock a few coasters over with his tail when he's walking around looking for the real monster he has to protect the point from ;)


Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions !
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Friday, October 18, 2013 4:34 PM

Perhaps if they allowed MA or GL to have Halloween events it would lessen the crush too!

Creating the event is one thing, but charging what they do for attending it leaves them responsible for managing all aspects of it as well - and that includes traffic and crowd control. We may never know how stressed other aspects such as security or safety were stretched that weekend, as I doubt parking was their only downfall. They need to focus more on these logistics instead of profit and filling the park beyond its capacity.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 5:19 PM

I would like the opportunity to pay a handsome up-charge for the Godzilla attraction. This event sounds awesome. No wonder it gets overcrowded!

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Friday, October 18, 2013 5:55 PM

Godzilla came from salt water, and just the chemicals in Lake Erie alone would likely be his demise.
It would be cool if Mothra put the Breakers hotel in a cocoon until renovations were complete though.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 5:57 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Just a crazy thought. I would not be surprised if Cedar Point tried to cash in on traffic jams, with a drive through photo booth at the park exit. Pictures of yourself leaving Cedar point in the traffic jam. $15.00. keychains for your car keys $8.00


I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Friday, October 18, 2013 6:06 PM

I doubt it, but parking lot Shot glasses would likely be a big seller.
Cedarpointopoly could have a get out of parking faster card added as well.

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Friday, October 18, 2013 6:13 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

SnoopyDoo said:

They need to focus more on these logistics instead of profit...

And I suspect this has been your real issue all along. The park is allowed to profit. In fact, it only exsists solely to do so.

Which, again, is why raising the cost of the event is win/win - they don't have to sacrifice profits to control the crowds. In fact, I suspect they can increase profits while lowering the crowd numbers to much more convenient (and safer as you seem to believe) levels.

Perhaps if they allowed MA or GL to have Halloween events it would lessen the crush too!

Well, that's a huge stretch because it assumes two things that I don't believe are true:

1. That the Muskegon, Michigan and Aurora, Ohio markets are coming to Cedar Point halloween events en masse.

2. That the cost of staging a Halloween event at either (or both) of those parks that would rival what's happening at CP would show a ROI for the crowds it would draw - especially when limited to the subset of folks you're trying to pull from visiting Sandusky. The numbers just aren't there.

------------------------------------------------------------------

The other thing that I haven't touched on is maybe you just jack up the rates for Saturday and leave Friday & Sunday alone. This will not only push the crowd away, but redistribute a chunk of them to the other days.

Plus, it looks logical on paper. On Friday they're only open for 6 hours at night. On Sunday, they're open for 8 hours of day. But Saturday gives you the experience of both the day & night.

They already do slightly different pricing online for these days.

And heck, Kings Island already call their daytime and nighttime two different things - so we have precedent within Cedar Fair.

Let's just go for it.

Right now they're at $39/$59 on Fri/Sun and $47/$59 on Sat.

Split it into two distinctly different halloween events. You can do just the spooky night stuff on on Friday or the more family friendly riding and day stuff on Sunday for the normal $47 online or you can do both on Saturday for the super-awesome rate of $79 online (a savings of $15 when compared to doing both separately).

...and I give this stuff away for free! You're welcome.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, October 18, 2013 6:14 PM
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Friday, October 18, 2013 6:22 PM

You know, I get sick and tired of hearing entitled enthusiasts continuously rant about big bad amusement park corporations and their perceived narrow focus on profits. Anyone who believes these places remain in business just to suck money and in the meantime do nothing but strive to make everybody miserable is just stupid.

Cedar Point got caught last weekend, plain and simple. There was a perfect storm of great weather, a holiday weekend, and a wildly popular seasonal event. I'm sure they'd like to consider the weekend a smashing success with boatloads of money as the result, but instead they have unhappy customers to deal with. Mind you, 2.99 million other guests attended Cedar Point this season and didn't suffer with these complaints, and to some business owners that might be a justifiable offset. A less than reputable company might say "Oh well, sorry suckers who tried to attend on Columbus Day Weekend, and thanks for the free money. Oh, and F you."

But I have to believe In my heart and mind that Cedar Point's main focus is on staying true to their mission statement: "Providing... thrills, fun, and family entertainment guided by the principles of safety, service, courtesy, cleanliness, and integrity.", and I don't feel naive, or overly fanboyish in saying so.

Whatever we concoct here may be viable solutions to the problem, maybe not. But believe someone besides us is thinking about it too, and trying their best to regain customer satisfaction while maintaining profitability, two crucial components to staying in business. And there's nothing wrong with that.

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