Darien Lake, Elitchs Gardens, Frontier City, and Enchanted Village food and drink pricing.

I'm not sure how SF does it but at fast food places, I have actually seen instructions on the soda fountain (not the self serve ones but the ones where the employees fill it) that says to fill the cup with 1/3 ice. At other places, I have seen a small indentation in the cup usually about halfway to the top showing where to stop filling the cup with ice. I always request no ice when I get a soda at a place with no free refills. The soda is cold anyway and you get more soda in the cup. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that workers at SF are instructed to fill 1/2 the cup with ice, or more.
Ride of Steel's avatar

Incidentalist said:
How can one improve a Coke?

Maybe I'm wrong but I think he might be referring to the park experience itself. The more fun people are having at the park to begin with for whatever reason (great rides, shows, customer service, etc.) economically speaking the more inelastic they will be to to high prices. It won't bother them as much.

In the case of Darien Lake, where they were wrong was that Darien Lake is a small park with a limited number of attractions that hasn't exactly gotten alot of attention in recent years for whatever reason. A park like Disney or Universal can get away with higher prices without ruining the experience as much because they have more to offer to begin with. The problem was, last season, Darien Lake's prices were comparable to Universal and Disney.

Once again these higher prices do affect the guest experience to a certain extent and Darien Lake simply can't handle ridiculous prices because it only offers a limited amount compared to these larger parks.

DawgByte II's avatar
Part of the problem with paying a higher price for food at a park, is that you are essentially gambling, for lack of a better term.

You pay $1.50 or 2 bucks for a Coke, and you're ok with it, even if the dispenser may happen to put a little more seltzer than syrup in it. You jack up the price to $3.00, and it better be the best damn tasting Coke you ever had. Every penny counts.

Same goes with a burger. You pay $2.00 for a hamburger. It's tolerable if the burger isn't the best tasting or even the biggest patty... but if you charge Six Flags prices like $4.50 for a burger, and it had better have gold plating around the cheese! You don't want to walk away dissatisfied & ripped off because then you'll be less likely to spend any more money on anything else. $4.50 for a burger, $3.00 for a small fry, and $3.00 for a Coke. Over 10 dollars for your meal, and you're left feeling ripped off because not only did it taste rather bland, but you're also still a little hungry.

...are you going to waste any of your money that you have left over then on games & souvineers from the same place that you felt ripped-off, or are you just going to pocket the money & not give them the benefit? Personally... if I felt ripped off, complaining won't do much good except MAYBE recieving a small apology. So I'll just save my money & spend it elsewhere, trying to enjoy the rest of the park experience without blowing any more money.

matt.'s avatar

Ride of Steel said:

Maybe I'm wrong but I think he might be referring to the park experience itself. The more fun people are having at the park to begin with for whatever reason (great rides, shows, customer service, etc.) economically speaking the more inelastic they will be to to high prices. It won't bother them as much.


You're right on your points but what I was saying about soda is that you can't improve it the way you can a pizza or a sandwich.

You can increase the price of a 20oz. Sprite from $1, to $2, to $4 but the perceived value is always going to go down because there's no way to improve a 20oz. bottle of sugar water.

You can more realistically improve your food offerings, and in turn, your entire PARK's offerings and jack up prices and the perceived value will be in line with the higher prices. But expensive soda is just going to seem like expensive soda 99 times out of 100.

The other example is parking. It costs more and more to park your car, but parking your car never really gets "better" because there's very little you can do to improve the parking lot experience. There's some things you could do to justify the higher prices (more trams maybe?) but at the end of the day paying $10 or $12 for parking is pretty much the same experience as paying $5 or $0 for parking at different park.

Of course, some parks do take advantage of this with "preferred parking." You pay more, you get a better experience. Of course now this sounds like an argument for Qbots and Flashpasses....

THREAD GOES TO 20 PAGES, EVERYBODY PANIC *** Edited 4/20/2007 2:46:01 PM UTC by matt.***

Or with Great Adventure's case the opposite happens. Raise parking from $10 to $15 in 2006 and then for 2007, make the preferred parking area at least twice as big as it was before, so you now have an even longer walk to the gate. So a trip to Great Adventure now gives you the chance to pay $5 more and get to walk more in effect charging you more and getting less for your money. *** Edited 4/20/2007 4:26:22 PM UTC by YoshiFan***
matt.'s avatar
Not to mention you get to wait twice as long because of the automated parking machines, lol.

*** Edited 4/20/2007 5:12:09 PM UTC by matt.***

Coke at KI tastes better than Coke at McDonald's. Why? Because KI puts more syrup in their COKE. That's the only way I see the quality of soda being improved.

As for the other stuff, whatever. I just want a good experience at a reasonable price. Reasonable is subjective. No one wants to feel as if they got riped off. People don't care about weather or not the business makes a profit. They just want reasonable prices.

...And if SF isn't okay with reasonable prices, people can choose to spend their money somewhere else.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

dexter said:
...And if SF isn't okay with reasonable prices, people can choose to spend their money somewhere else.

Exactly!

It doesn't really get any more complicated than that on the consumer level.

If you enjoy talking the business side of things then the rest of the conversation is for you. :)


matt.'s avatar

dexter said:
Coke at KI tastes better than Coke at McDonald's. Why? Because KI puts more syrup in their COKE. That's the only way I see the quality of soda being improved.

I'm just hoping the point isn't being missed because we can think of subtle ways to improve to taste of fountain sodas that the vast majority of the park going public are not going to notice whatsoever....

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Speaking of souvenir cups, check out the deal Kings Island is running this year.

Needless to say we jumped on that.

For the record it's a 32oz cup. :)


matt.'s avatar
Good deal, especially over multiple visits.
^Gonch,

We also snagged the cup deal at KI yesterday. Well worth it!

Wasn't it just a beautiful day at KI yesterday? We didn't ride much, just walked around the park and enjoyed the day. For a Sandusky boy, 80 degrees on April 21st is heaven indeed! :)

-Tambo (who took the MAXXPass out for the inaugural spin yesterday)

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Sorry to keep bringing this back up, but I just read a Knoebels TR and scraperguy99 was kind enough to note the drink size.

$2.00 for 20oz at Knoebels. That's 10 cents an ounce.

Using the sweet KI deal noted above, by the 3rd refill, you're essentially even and by the 4th refill you're paying less than 10 cents an ounce.

Just to make it clear, it's not a slam on Knoebels, but rather info useful to the conversation at hand.

I'm still going to be keeping an eye on drink prices/sizes this year... :)

*** Edited 4/30/2007 4:05:43 AM UTC by Lord Gonchar***


That seems to make sense for a big park like KI. If you help keep the per caps up, then they offer a better value than otherwise. The mega parks need high per caps to pay for those big coasters.

Arthur Bahl

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