Geauga Lake / Cedar Fair Improvements?

Sunday, September 26, 2004 11:31 PM
I'm curious what opinions people have had after the first season that Geauga Lake has had under the new ownership by Cedar Fair. Am I the only one that thinks that there has been absolutely zero improvement? I went in May, July, and last night, and it was really pathetic. In May and July, Steel Venom (formerly Superman) wasn't working and neither were the Raging Wolf Bobs. And Mr. Hyde's Nasty Fall (as if I care) has been closed all year. Not surprising, since those and other rides have all had problems in the past few years. But man, last night was depressing.

X-Flight had the typical slow loading times, and had only one car running. I now realize I haven't seen the second loading station open in two years. As that was my first ride, I thought of how Cedar Point's ride operators act like a well-oiled machine. Geauga Lake's operators act more like bored salespeople at those carts in a mall. A relatively short line for X-Flight took a ridiculously long time.

Steel Venom was actually running, but again completely uninterested operators made loading times take forever. Even with no line at all, it shouldn't take 7 minutes of waiting!

By the time I got to the Villain, and realized that they only had ONE TRAIN RUNNING (and saw similar ride operator behavior), I just got fed up. This was ridiculous. Big Dipper, same thing. Dominator actually had two trains, I was shocked and amazed by that.

They added a lame Fright Zone this year, but the haunted houses were slightly better and you can tell Cedar Fair is putting some effort into at least the Halloween setting (but aside from the Fright Zone at CP, they aren't exactly pros at this matter).

So this gets to my main point. What in the heck is Cedar Fair doing with Geauga Lake? Letting it rot until it sinks into its namesake? I thought they fired a lot of employees at the beginning of the season and re-hired people of "Cedar Fair"-caliber? If so, it's time to let the staff go (sorry people) and try again. Shut up and reboot, as the story goes. I'm hoping that they use the winter downtime to repair all the rides and hire people of the same quality as Cedar Point.

I don't expect GL to be another CP, I just want to see the second loading station open on X-Flight. Is that too much to ask?

Sunday, September 26, 2004 11:36 PM
Givem time. They only had months to undo years of tyranny!
Monday, September 27, 2004 12:44 AM
Why do they need two trains on a ride when the ride has is a walk on? I havent waited more than five minutes for a single coaster ride this year over three visits.

I will agree with you that some of the coaster ops are not that great, especially Steal Venom's, but they are in my opinion far better than the sfwoa crews.

Monday, September 27, 2004 1:38 AM
Ya know, this arguement really is getting old. As I've said before, stop waiting for a miracle to happen, it ain't gonna! Actually, the miracle already happened when CF got GLP for the price they did, and decided to take it.

It will take a couple of years for GLP to fully get up to CF standards. I would imagine that next year we will see a focus on customer service as well as visually branding the park a Cedar Fair park. I'd imagine we'll see some painting of rides and some fixing of scenery along with that.

When you work somewhere that is slow and there isn't much to do except stand there, you aren't going to want to be there. Granted, the company letting that happen is at fault, but I would imagine that once they have a full off season to prepare, and then start early at training, you'll see things get better.

I'm sure CF has learned alot from this year. I'd say that there will be improvements implemented next year, but don't expect GLP to be quite up to CF standards yet. They still have to fist the park's image so that they can do the most important thing they have to do, and that is attract customers.

Once people have realized that it is no longer SFWoA, and CF has a fully branded park, in which they have spread out on all sides of the lake, people are going to look back and wonder why they ever doubted.

I had a great time at the park. They have a strong coaster lineup and the park was spotless. Everyone was friendly to me, and even though it wasn't busy(which I didn't mind, but the park needs ca$h), people seemed to be trying their best to dispatch trains.

Give it time. It hasn't even been a year and there are people announcing its demise already.

Monday, September 27, 2004 3:23 PM
Bare w/Me... this is out there:
I'd heard earlier this summer that if geauga lake staff got enough complaints, they'd can most of the staff and hire, as well as, transport Amish kids to man/woman the park...
I have no idea how real this is, but i bet the cheese stix will be great...
Monday, September 27, 2004 4:13 PM

Puablo said:
They added a lame Fright Zone this year, but the haunted houses were slightly better and you can tell Cedar Fair is putting some effort into at least the Halloween setting (but aside from the Fright Zone at CP, they aren't exactly pros at this matter).

CP definitely is not the best at the halloween thing yet. But at the same time, the scares are light enough for the whole family. Be careful lumping it as CF though, Knott's has one of the most intense and best done haunted attractions in the nation. There are no "safe zones" and the thrills are pretty heavy no matter where you are in the park.

I really think the rest of the CF chain should look at what Knott's is doing, because they do it right. I can't believe how many people out here I've talked to (non enthusiasts) that can't wait to head to Halloween Haunt. For many it's the only reason they ever go to Knott's.

What if CP kept like it was during the day, and went more the way of Knott's for night. Or at least for the whole back half of the park (Iron Dragon on). I think they could draw both the families that way, and those that are looking for hardcore scares. Might bring in people that would normally head to the local haunted houses instead.

Monday, September 27, 2004 4:36 PM
But it would drive away people like me that can't stand Halloween and don't want to be hardcore scared.

I like cornstalks hanging off everything and black lights everywhere, but I'm there to ride coasters, not get chased with a damn chainsaw. If I wanted that (and why would I ever want that?) there are all kinds of haunted houses that don't have roller coasters for people to go to.

CP's low-key Halloween stuff isn't that they don't "get it" yet or that they're "working towards" anything - they're exactly where they want to be. They're not out to terrify little kids and make people fear for their life when they enter the park. A startle here and there if that's what you're looking for, but they're still an amusement park, not a giant haunted house.

Monday, September 27, 2004 4:43 PM
Improvements? I call the elimination of the superhero theming a huge improvement. And yes, call me stupid and petty but a roller coaster named "Batman" does take away from my enjoyment. There I said it and too bad if you don't like it! :)

What is "Cedar Fair" branding? cutting down all the trees?

Monday, September 27, 2004 5:25 PM
What is "Cedar Fair" branding? cutting down all the trees?

That and lots of cement ;)

Monday, September 27, 2004 7:08 PM
There have been several times this summer/season that XFlight has had both stations open, 2 trains, 2 stations. If both stations weren't open they often times had 2 trains in 1 station. It is just recently that they have stopped running 2 trains, like a lot of people have mentioned, there just aren't enough guests (or employees) to run 2 trains. *** Edited 9/27/2004 11:09:09 PM UTC by JulieSFO***
Monday, September 27, 2004 7:41 PM
.. ohh and just how would you know this Julie??? ;)
Monday, September 27, 2004 8:04 PM
Actually, someone asked about that at the convention in June, and the rep said they had timed loading with one station and with two, and there really wasn't a significant savings in using two stations. So they stick to one.

Puablo... Any chance you could give Cedar Fair a little time to turn things around? They had only a few months to de-Six Flags the park, develop and implement new signage and graphics, train staff, integrate Geauga systems into Cedar Fair's... it just seems to me your expectations were far too high. Though I suppose in a way that may a compliment to Cedar Fair, that you think so highly of their effieciency.

Monday, September 27, 2004 8:30 PM
Using two stations might make a difference if X-Flight could run three trains. Running three trains is basically impossible because that requires reclining the trains on the lift to meet interval, which I have heard can't happen because as the trains go around the curves to the lift fully loaded, the hydraulic cylinders on the trains get damaged.

Of course, using three trains and two stations would really confuse the loading and unloading procedure if Cedar Fair still had the Six Flags bins.....!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Monday, September 27, 2004 9:03 PM
Complaining about not running two trains on all the rides is just petty and ridiculous. I was there yesterday, too. There were about 200 cars in the lot.

Every ride was a walk on, even on the front seat. I actually thought that the Boomerang was broken because I never saw it run... then I realized that there was just no one in line. There were still two trains on Double Loop, Dominator, and Serial Thriller. On Dominator, the train in front of us had four people on it. We were alone on our train. On Double Loop, the trains before and after us were completely empty. We were again alone.

Villain, Dipper, and X-Flight with one train were all walk ons, and not only walk-ons, but walk-on-and-choose-your-seat because no one else was there.

What I do find assinine is this: no loose articles boxes. We were told we had to hold on to everything while riding... so you're telling me it's better to take a half-a-bottle of Diet Pepsi and a camera with me than to leave it in the (empty) station? Yeah, that's real safe.

On the (empty) Skyscraper we walked up to the exit only to have the ride op tell us that we had to enter around the other side. We walked around the other side... to have the same ride op let us in.

I swear, Cedar Fair just makes up random stupid rules to get their kicks.

*** Edited 9/28/2004 1:04:48 AM UTC by kpjb***

Monday, September 27, 2004 9:13 PM
millrace said,

"Improvements? I call the elimination of the superhero theming a huge improvement. And yes, call me stupid and petty but a roller coaster named "Batman" does take away from my enjoyment."

I definetly don't call you crazy I am the same way!

Wouldn't it be better if their was a different theme at six flags parks other than just superman and batman. Just anything but that!

Monday, September 27, 2004 9:32 PM
I think Cedar Fair is doing a damn good job with GL. There are a few things I would change. Prices, the fact that you can't leave items o the loading dock, and that you have to walk 3 miles from the ride entrance to get to the ride.
Monday, September 27, 2004 10:46 PM
Interesting responses. Half of which I expected (such as minor complaints about simple issues like pricing and leaving items in stations), half I certainly did not. I think kbjb was just lucky in timing, because while I agree the park had a light crowd, I certainly did not encounter "walk-on-choose-your-seat" rides. What I encountered was very short lines that should have been walk-on in the first place, but weren't due to very obvious inattentiveness by the ride ops. Now don't mistake my meaning here, it would be silly to complain about a 10 to 15 minute wait. The problem was not the wait, but the very obvious issue that the people that were there could have been moved faster if any reasonable effort was put forward in the ride loading and operation. Had the line been of a considerable size, it would have moved at a snail's pace. (Yes yes they might have added more trains, just hear me out.) The point is that the small crowd made it more glaringly obvious to me that nothing has improved.

I didn't expect a whirlwind improvement this year, but what I did expect during Cedar Fair's short period of ownership was better general operation (ride-ops, etc.), what with the hiring binge they went on. But now at the end of the season, I saw no improvement aside from a Fright Zone at Halloween (which is a fine start), and the appearance that they took repairs to Steel Venom seriously. As for the two-station system for X-Flight not adding time improvements, that's the kind of attention to detail I expected. However in that particular case I am 100% certain that it would only apply in well-managed "time-trial"-style loading situations, which has not been the case in practice as of yet. But it is comforting to know that someone has at least witnessed the second platform actually open this year.

I guess I came off bashing GL more than I intended, which was not my point. My point was, as I waited 7 minutes in an empty Steel Venom queue, that I have seen no improvements after the first season, and obviously many others share my opinion. But as I said before I have faith that they will really get their act together next season and in the ones following. GL is still a fine park, but it's because such little effort could make it a great park is what makes me sad.

Monday, September 27, 2004 11:28 PM

slithernoggin said: They had only a few months to de-Six Flags the park, develop and implement new signage and graphics, train staff, integrate Geauga systems into Cedar Fair's....

Months? Try 22 days from the time CF moved in till opening day.

Monday, September 27, 2004 11:48 PM
One thing I don't understand is the not liking of the superheros thing.

While SFWoA might not have been operated to it's full potential under SF's control, I don't understand how anyone can not like the Batman, Superman, Looney Tunes themes on rides.

I am sorry, but CF's characters being of the Peanuts is very unenergetic and most kids and even adults these days could care less about them. I grew up with the Peanuts characters and while I watched them, it just didn't really appeal to me.

My daughter thinks that Charley Brown and Snoopy are as exciting as watching paint dry.

If you disagree with me, fine, but take a poll on what people like better. Bugs Bunny and Batman, or , Charley Brown and Snoopy?

At least Six Flags parks are incorporating the Viacom characters(the people that own Paramount parks). CF just sticks with the ultra boring Peanuts characters. *** Edited 9/28/2004 4:01:47 AM UTC by Chitown***

Monday, September 27, 2004 11:56 PM
I do agree Chitown. Granted, I know some things can get boring but I def found the superheros to be much more exciting and a more fun theme than what GL has now. Names like Dominator and Steel Venom don't get me pumped like Batman Knight Flight or Superman Ultimate Escape. I know it's just a name and I'm not bashing but I do miss the old names and characters.

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