It would seem that the former Paramount parks are quietly releasing their 2007 operating calendars. KI's is up on their website, while others (I checked King's Dominion) aren't up just yet. KI will be opening the 3rd week of April this year as opposed to the 2nd week like last year.
What other seasonal parks are crazy enough to open in April? Who is the crowd that goes to these weekends? Is it because of band and cheerleader days or something? Going to Cedar Point in May is risky weatherwise, I can't imagine going to Cincinnati in April. How do they justify opening this early?
We have gone to BGE the last two years when its 30-40 degrees in Pittsburgh and decent down there and the crowds are fairly busy. The big coasters are usually a 15 minute wait for two trains while everything else is a walk on.
The temperature difference between Northern Ohio and Southern Ohio is very significant. I've been in Cinci in February and it's been 20 degrees warmer than it is in Akron. Provided that it isn't snowing, which rarely happens in Northern Ohio during April, why not be open? It's risky for Cedar Point to be open in October (there's quite a few people that have ridden coasters when it's been snowing or close to snowing at Cedar Point), yet they choose to be. Perhaps the risk is worth the reward. If they're open and it's cold and no one shows up, it hurts the bottom line, but if the next weekend it is 60 degrees or warmer, the lines are very long because everyone is ready to start taking advantage of "summer" weather. After being trapped inside during a long winter, I always look forward to my first visit to an amusement park in the spring.
I know Knoebels opened up in late April last year, but I have no idea what the attendance was. As for CP in October, the place is absolutely packed. I was there in mid October this year and when we left I figured I'd take a quick jaunt down the eastern side of the lot and cut over, that didn't happen. The lot was full all the way to the very last row. They have a nice little gold mine with their Halloweekends event.
I've been at GAdv in March and April depending on when the season opened. Yes it's cold but they try to run what is possible to run in the conditions. As people said what better way to train staff then with crowds that grow with each passing week. Line are never that bad and you can have a fun time as people are just starting the season so they have a fresh outlook for the new summer.
I went to CP one year very early in May. It wasn't -too- cold...sweatshirt weather. It was pouring rain when we got up. But I did what I always did when I was a kid and said "oh it will stop raining". Had breakfast at the Perkins close to the park, still said "oh it will stop raining". We get to the toll both on the causeway and said "oh it will stop raining". Of course hardly NO ONE was there yet, so got a spot in the first row to park less than an hour prior to park opening. Got out of the car and IT STOPPED RAINING! LOL The park was near empty most the day but picked up in the afternoon. Especially in Sandusky, you just don't know what you're gonna get. :-)
As was said.. Knoebels opens in April. I went opening weekend last year and it wasn't crowded, but definitely enough to make it worth it for them to be open. Plus, for the parks that DO open, most of their competiton is closed until May, so that helps them out for people like us who want a respite from the winter weather.
SFKK opens in April. The trees are budding and flowering down there that time of year. It is sometimes quite beautifull. In northern Indiana the trees don't bloom for another few weeks.
I've been there when I had to wear a winter coat then the next day I would only need a t-shirt. So it does fluctuate between cold and very warm. I had a great time both days so the only thing that mattered was on the cold day the only coaster running until 3:00 was Thunder Run. I rode it 10 times.
I can understand using the early weekends as a training grounds. Of course, the majority of food stands, games, etc. are closed. Are all the major rides ready to go? Parks seem awfully busy with maintenance immediately after the season. For a park like WoF, is Nov. - Mar. enough time to do it all?
I've heard rumors to the effect that rides such as Beast are notoriously late openers due to the amount of work needed during the offseason. Heck, PKI was running it in November just a year or so ago.
remember Pagoda...the United States has many differing climates, my friend;) it may not be very warm in Ohio in April...but Ohio is one of 50 states in this country. and lo and behold...other parks in other states are able to open;)
Well South Missouri usually stays in the upper 40's and lower to mid 50's through the end of December with an occasional artic blast or heat spike thrown in for good measure. Shoot the last weekend of the season at SDC the temps were up in the 60s.
Hershey has Springtime in The Park Easter weekend. I went last year and never saw the park so crowded before (admission was $19.99). Storm Runner was 2 hours, Great Bear was 45 minutes. Even SooperDooperLooper was over 20 minutes (almost always a walk on).