Okay, this year has apparently been dubbed the "Year of the People" (I must have missed the memo) as many of the TRs seem overly focused on the people in the parks. Since, rednecks, fatties, urbanites, and tattoed folks seem to be "gauche" I'm curious to know what people folks "expect" to be at the parks.
It's funny, that there has been so mich talk about SF in particular (and amusement parks in general) are pricing folks out of a day of fun, but when the "folks" actually show up, there is an air of uneasiness. Just wonder what the park landscape *should* look like. Thanks in Advance, jeremy
Frankly its not how they look its how they act, I want friendly people that follow the rules, get on the ride quickly and are fun to talk to in line (yes Im that guy who starts up a conversation, especially when Im flying solo.) Usually families are the most likely to do this but its only the attitude Im looking for.
When going to a park solo, I usually tend to strike up conversations with people, too (sometimes, eh, Touchdown?). But, some of the time, I get between people who I can't really converse with (these are people who disregard the rules, or are being obnoxious).
I have to say, one of the worst experiences was a day at Canobie Lake this year, where groups of kids kept cutting us in line. Employees would walk by, not say anything. It happened at least ten times while waiting for the Yankee Cannonball, and twice while waiting for the Skater and Wipeout. Now I understand that groups account for a large percentage of ticket sales, but these kids needed chaperones.
Now I understand it's not always the park's (or employee's) fault. Queue lines are hard to control, and it's impossible to keep track of everyone jumping fences and cutting. I don't blame parks when they send trains out with empty rows, either (most of the times, it's the people in line who want to go with friends in other rows, and don't ask people behind them if they want to go in front of them). This same phenomenon happens on pirate ships and other flat rides... people in groups want to go together.
Me? If I'm by myself, I try to find another single rider. Sometimes I luck out and get a person who doesn't mind, but there are other times when people tell me, bluntly, "No."
One night I was waiting for Storm Runner, and I was by myself, and I found a family of three. The dad had been on the ride before, but his wife and daughter (who was finally tall enough to ride this year) had not, and were scared out of their minds. I wound up riding with them, and I honestly think if I didn't ride, the daughter wouldn't have ridden.
Contrast that to the last time I was at Six Flags Great Adventure by myself, and I paired up with people at every coaster who spit in the queue lines, yelled at the operators, and threw trash in the grass. Maybe it's who these parks are attracting? (though I have a fair share of horror stories from other, more family-friendly parks)
I don't think "pricing people out" is necessarily the answer. Pricing people out of parks, if anything, discourages a lot of families. Think about it--the more people in your party, the more of a pain the wallet it is. You've got two kids? Great, well, maybe if they're little you'll a couple bucks off the admission price for the kids (it still gets to be pricey, but hey, whatever), but once you're in the doors you're still paying out the yin-yang for food/beverages/souvenirs/etc. A day at the park for a family of 4 is pricey as it is. If you significantly raise the gate prices, families (mine included) will find elsewhere to go.
As for me, personally, I have no control over who else shows up at the park with me so I guess I've never really given much thought to it. Its not the clientelle, necessarily, that gives parks a bad name, but I suppose it can contribute to the atmosphere. But it really only becomes a problem to me if the attitude carries over to the staff that THEY don't care about the place. That's a bigger problem.
What is the "proper" clientele, jeremy, depends on your perspective. Ask Snyder, he'll tell you they want leprechauns entering the park with pots o' gold. (He wouldn't really SAY that, but he'd be thinking it, LOL).
There's a reasonably normal human concept of "I wanna be around people like me"...what DEFINES *like*, varies, WIDELY, from person-to-person.
As long as everyone is well-behaved (thinking of GAdv and the rampant line-jumping here) and not creating undue stress for employees or other park guests, they're welcome in my park -maybe not my HOME, but my park, yeah... ;)
As far as "pricing people out" is concerned, I have to give credit to Cedar Fair for making their Ohio parks (CP and GL) more affordable. They know that the local economy in Ohio, Southern MI, and Western PA is not that great. I hope that their approach turns out better for the bottom line than Six Flags audacious price increases.
While I don't believe in pricing people out of going to a park. I think it would cut down on a lot of the issues people seem to have with obnoxious guests. However, I know for a fact that some of the most obnoxious teens comes from families with money. Many (not all) seem to think they are entitled and therefore do whatever they want. I will say now that cruises have become more affortable to the average family I have noticed a severe downward spiral in behavior and dress on them.
The right people from the park's perspective are those that spend lots of money. For me, there are no right people, because I would just assume have the park to myself. :) OK, not really. I do enjoy people watching.
For me, it's people who practice some sort of general hygiene, can act like they've been in public before, understand that there are other people using the same walkways and breathing the same air, and don't have the need to let everyone within 500 feet know what they're doing. I guess that can all be lumped under the term "common courtesy."