Holiday World Free Drink Fun Fact

Monday, June 9, 2008 2:33 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Just looking at the HW June newsletter and there's a bit about how much free soft drink the park serves.

According to the newsletter the park served 380,000 gallons of free soft drinks last year.

Ohhh, is that a number? I like numbers.

(Gonch's mind starts racing and putting numbers together)

What can I say? I'm a numbers dork and the first thing that popped into my head after reading that was, "I wonder how much free soft drink per guest that equals?"

We know Holiday World recently broke the 1,000,000 mark in attendance so for the sake of simplicity let's just round that down to an even one million and run the math:

380,000 gallons = 48,640,000 ounces

48,640,000 ounces divided by 1,000,000 guests = around 48 or 49 ounces per guest.

Is that it? Wow! That just one and a half large drinks from the big mean chains that charge $4 a cup for that large drink.

Is the average guest really drinking less than two large drinks worth of soft drinks?

No wonder HW has seen revenue grow since adding free drinks - they're only giving away an average of $6 of drink (at the highway robbery, big chain, corporate park pricing) to each guest on average.

I have to admit, that makes me rethink the 'drinks included' approach.

Rather than super sizing the drink and charging out the ass for it, maybe tie in a few bucks to the gate and offer 'free' drinks - with nice small 12 or 16 ounce cups, of course. Now someone gets 4 free drinks in a day and still has only taken 48 ounces of soda. If the gate price was right, the park could actually end up ahead thanks to the pyschology of the cup size.

Am I on to something or just on something? ;)


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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:02 PM
janfrederick's avatar Duh! ;)
"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:05 PM
Very interesting, I mean I always sort of saw what you meant about paying for it in some way, but when it all averages out yeah its only a small amount per guest that ends up mostly paid for anyway. I'm guessing some guests have it more then others (like if one person drinks double that amount and another has none, does the one get the better value, even though overall it doesn't matter anyway?)
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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:07 PM
Do you remember the math that Holiday World used when they started the drink program?

They calculated out their drink per-cap, and found out it was $2.80. They rounded up to $3 and added that to the gate price.

Now the question is: Back when Holiday World was selling fountain drinks, what did they charge on a per-ounce basis? Your numbers say they are giving away $6 worth of beverage based on 2008 Cedar Flags pricing. I'm curious...what does that work out to based on 1999 Holiday World pricing, which is what the program was based on?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:14 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:Am I on to something or just on something?

Why can't both be true? ;)


Oh, and ^Dave - Gonch wants me to tell you they aren't "giving away" anything...per the $3 gate increase you noted above... :)

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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:15 PM
Gator, just because it's paid for doesn't mean it isn't being given away... :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, June 9, 2008 3:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I suspect they're not still operating on that $3 increase.

I'm sure it may not look that way on paper and official word would probably claim otherwise, but I'd bet there's been other monies added to the gate that maintain the integrity of the free drink program.

Even still, to me, it's more about comparing that 48oz per guest to what other parks are charging and establishing the actual 'value' to the guest.


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Monday, June 9, 2008 4:04 PM
rollergator's avatar Honestly, one of the better things about their program is the $aving$ on people manning drink stalls.

Lake Compounce has "free" drinks and a MUCH better interactive dark ride...

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Monday, June 9, 2008 6:02 PM
You left out the "ice" factor. C'mon, we all know those 32 ounce cups aren't actually 32 ounces of soft drink. :)
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Monday, June 9, 2008 6:09 PM
I wonder how much they spend. Total syrup, ice, electricity to run the machines, cups, etc. :)
Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
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Monday, June 9, 2008 6:13 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
You left out the "ice" factor. C'mon, we all know those 32 ounce cups aren't actually 32 ounces of soft drink.

How much do you think there is if we factor in ice?


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Monday, June 9, 2008 6:53 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar I rarley get ice. When the liquid CO2 is added to the syrup it is already cold. Why waste valuble space with more water. It's mostly water already. With that being said, 48 ounces sounds about right. I greatly appretiate being able to get it. But even though it's free, I'm still drinking about the same as I would if I were going to buy it.

843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

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Monday, June 9, 2008 6:57 PM
The quantities given are probably based on 5x the amount of syrup used (or 5.5x for certain varieties). So Gonch's numbers are probably all messed up in terms of the number of *servings*, but perfectly reasonable in terms of the amount of *drink*. As a rule of thumb, a 12-ounce drink will fill a 16-ounce cup when combined with ice. I think Holiday World uses 12-ounce cups, which is more like an 8 ounce serving. That 48 ounces per customer, then, would work out to about 6 8-ounce servings in 12-ounce cups with ice. Which is probably pretty close to average consumption in that park; I certainly find it reasonable. And Gonch, I am sure they are probably continuing to increase the drinks per-cap. After all, they increased it by 20 cents in the first year of the program. Perhaps it's a linear increase...after 8 years you think they might be up to $4.60 drink per-cap?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, June 9, 2008 7:03 PM
Actually if you 'ice' the cup properly, about 2/3rds, the breakdown of actual soda is as follows:

16oz = 10oz soda

21oz = 13oz soda

32oz = 19oz soda

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Monday, June 9, 2008 7:55 PM

RideMan said:Do you remember the math that Holiday World used when they started the drink program?They calculated out their drink per-cap, and found out it was $2.80. They rounded up to $3 and added that to the gate price.Now the question is: Back when Holiday World was selling fountain drinks, what did they charge on a per-ounce basis? Your numbers say they are giving away $6 worth of beverage based on 2008 Cedar Flags pricing. I'm curious...what does that work out to based on 1999 Holiday World pricing, which is what the program was based on?--Dave Althoff, Jr.

After all these years Our Lord and savior Gonch stil don't get it. It has nothing to do with the price, Cost or even if HW is making a killing off it. It's got to do with getting rid of sticker shock ect.

I visited SFKK on the back end of our HWN trip. 25 dollar medium pizza? 12 dollar sports bottles to get 1.00 refills.

Sheesh!
We rode what we wanted and were out of there so fast it's pathetic.

Remember, All HW drinks are Non Alcoholic.
Chuck

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Monday, June 9, 2008 8:14 PM
While I agree this is a nice deal, to call it free is just good marketing and that is about it.

You are definitley paying for the soft drinks, seems that Child Tickets, HW Season Pass Holders and Groups take the brunt of the cost away from the general main gate admission.

There pricing seems to be higher than their competitions in those three categories.

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Monday, June 9, 2008 9:31 PM
For what it's worth...I would bet the cups cost more than the product inside. Plus the cost to remove the trash (used cups) would easily add to the cost.

What makes / adds more to the total cost...a large 32 oz. cup, or 4 smaller ones? How many cups have to be purchased, stocked and hauled away?

The deal where you can re-fill a park cup helps the environment a bit...but who wants to drag around an empty cup all day and get chased by bees?

Interesting thread! *** Edited 6/10/2008 3:42:16 AM UTC by Richie Reflux***


Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008 8:10 AM
Jason Hammond's avatar ^You would win that bet.

843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008 9:39 AM
When is someone going to chime in and call it "pop"? ;)
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008 9:53 AM
^ Thank you, it IS pop.

Not to get into the whole numbers thing, Chuck has a really good point. Getting rid of the sticker shock thing is huge...my whole mantra with Six Flags parks is get in, get out, get on with your life. When it comes to Cedar Fair, I simply avoid the food at all costs. When I'm at Holiday World I never want to leave: between the free drinks, Plymouth Rock Cafe, and the Voyage I have everything I need in one place!

Consider this: Since I'm so far away from Holiday World it was a real hassle to get there my first time. However, my first trip was so awesome that I made it a point to get there two more times since then. Most Six Flags parks do not leave me with the desire to enter them again.

All of the free stuff at Holiday World makes you happy, and happy people want to come back to your park, even if your gate price is a little higher.

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