The Beach waterpark closes, cites competition, economy

Posted Saturday, March 10, 2012 9:36 AM | Contributed by LostKause

After more than 27 years in business, The Beach Waterpark announced plans to close for the 2012 season Friday. The park said the closure begins immediately and is the result of a challenging competitive and economic climate and changing patron entertainment habits.

Read more from The Enquirer and WLWT/Cincinnati.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 3:10 PM

I know Six Flags is doing Fast Pass for their water parks this year so I could see Cedar Fair doing that down the road.

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Monday, March 12, 2012 4:26 PM

I think KI worries about angering their local season pass holders by making the waterpark a separate gate. There was a minor uproar last year when they tried to make Halloween Haunt a separate gate and it was quickly changed back to being included for all passes.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 3:14 AM

Vater (and the rest lol), adding a fast past thing to the waterpark will not make it less crowded. I would argue that it would make lines longer, not shorter.

Of course, adding such a system would allow me to just cut in front of all the poor losers and ride whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and stick my tongue out as I flauntingly pass them by, but that's besides the point. It still wouldn't make the park less busy.

I am very interested in seeing how this all works out. Will the new Soak City expansion help with crowds, or will the Beach's closure even it all out?

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, March 13, 2012 3:16 AM
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:21 AM

That's not beside the point... that IS the point!

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 7:49 AM

I'd pay money to not wait in lines at the water park. 100%. Every time.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - it's just like any other experience. You want to actually *see* the band? OK, that'll be $75+ instead of $40. As a bonus, you'll get a roof over your head in case in rains.

Whenever I'm in pavilion/reserved seating, I don't "look down" on the others who paid less/wound up with lawn seats because they didn't get to the ticket counter in time. Everyone still gets to experience the same thing, just not everyone can be up close at the same time. Pit tickets? Sheesh - people are selling their DMB summer tour pit tickets for up to $1499.00 EACH on Stub Hub right now when they paid $75 for them - do I think it's right? Hell no - but people are willing to pay that much because it's important to them, and they want that experience. I'd never pay more than face value for pit tickets, because I'm old, would like a seat/personal space, and I've seen it before so it's time to let someone else have their turn.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:10 AM

Last summer at Wet n Wild, a non-fast pass (or whatever they called it) admission was essentially a ticket to the wave pool and lazy river. Waits for slides were 45 minutes plus with many (if not most of them) being an hour plus. Fast Pass folks were streaming by us and slowing the lines down to barely moving. And when we got there, the wave pool wasn't operating. We rode 2 slides, spent some time in the river and wave pool (later when it was working), had lunch and left. Prior to that visit, if anyone asked me if I thought they would like a visit to a water park, I always said that I never had a bad time at a water park. I can't say that any longer. Though in fairness, only part of it was due to the effect of the fast pass. Park had a certain level of grossness to it when compared to the Disney water parks, Water Country USA and even Soak City. Had we known, we would have skipped WnW and gone a day earlier to Disney and spent a day at one of their water parks.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:21 AM

The trick to water parks is simple---and the same as at an amusement park, but possibly even more important, because slide lines build so quickly---go early, or go late.

We'll be doing the "non-Disney" tour the last week of June this summer, and that will include Aquatica and Wet-n-wild. It will be interesting to see the impact of pay-to-cut at the latter on our "typical" approach to such parks.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 12:16 PM

How would a fast pass work on a water slide? There is no exit gate to use and the entrance stairs typically seem pretty narrow to try and have two separate lines going up them.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 1:28 PM

FP users could ride up the raft conveyer. Double bonus.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 2:17 PM

Nothing kills a day at the waterpark like 1 hour waits between getting wet.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 3:46 PM

It already works pretty poorly sometimes at a ride park. I can see it only working less efficiently at a waterpark.

I hate front-of-the-line access, but I'll pay it just to keep people from cutting in front of me. Using it makes me "turn evil", in a way. :)

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:04 PM

Come to the dark side. We have more time on our hands, and better music over here.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:21 PM

Brian Noble said:
We'll be doing the "non-Disney" tour the last week of June this summer, and that will include Aquatica and Wet-n-wild. It will be interesting to see the impact of pay-to-cut at the latter on our "typical" approach to such parks.

I have had *terrible* luck trying to go to Aquatica at opening (once being turned away 10 minutes after open). However, due to our summer rainstorms, if you go to Aquatica around 4pm, you can pretty much have the place to yourself until closing...

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 4:33 PM

Shades said:
How would a fast pass work on a water slide? There is no exit gate to use and the entrance stairs typically seem pretty narrow to try and have two separate lines going up them.

At WnW, they split the stairs. One side was fast pass people and the other was non-fast pass. There were several FP folks lapping through the lines 5+ times as you waited in the regular line.

There were two slides that had a spiral stair case servicing two separate slides. There were two non FP lines and on FP line that fed into the stairs with a post-merged lead up to the stairs. Any time there were any FP people in line, the other two lines stopped. Even if there were no FP people waiting, the other two lines were often stopped to keep the lead up to the stairs clear (so that if any FP people showed up, they wouldn't have to wait). It was a very difficult set up for FP.

That line also had 3 high school aged girls who cut in line. They ended up merging right ahead of us. When they got to the top of the slide (after having to decide 1/2 way up which slide they wanted), they didn't like the slide they had selected. Both slides used the same platform but loaded from opposite sides. The girls were complaining that the ride op wouldn't let them go on the other slide by just crossing over. He told them that they needed to go back down the steps to the separation point. I felt like telling him as they cut in line that they should have to go to the end of the line. But as they complained, we rode ahead of them. It was amazing to watch.

We went early in the day at WnW. Didn't matter.

I think one big difference with water parks is that you typically only have a relatively small number of decent slides/rides and the ride times are very short. If you allow folks unlimited access to all of the rides, that will create issues for the non-FP people. One option that WnW did have was to buy a FP that got one FP ride on each of the 10 big slides. They crossed off the ride on your wristband with a marker.

Any FP system needs to be monitored in terms of how many FPs you sell. But I think that water parks seem to have less margin for error.

I don't know how long WnW had FP system in place. Maybe they were working the bugs out of it. Maybe we just hit the park on a bad day. I do know that I have no desire to go back. If in the Orlando area looking for a water park, I would hit one of the Disney water parks instead.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:23 PM

go early, or go late

My experience with alomost EVERY water park (except old Schlitterbahn) is that IF you go early, you have 20 minutes MAX to keep ahead of the expanding crowd. By then everything except the lazy river and wave pool has a wait that ultimatley is not worth it.

Going late makes sense until you realize that almost every water park has figured this out and closes rediculously early.

So to sum it up...waterparks SUCK...unless it is old Schlitterbahn! They simply don't have the capacity. Now if you want to go look at some hoochie...I guess they can be OK. But any lake or beach has the same scene much better and cheaper.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:33 PM

Look at some hoochie? That's pretty disgusting.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012 8:44 PM

Some people like it? Some don't. But if you are planning on spending a day at a waterpark, I surmise you better enjoy the "scenery." Standing and staring is 98% of the day.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012 12:23 AM

"Staring" is just plain creepy.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012 12:33 AM

^Found out who that guy is last night. I'm all for catching the criminal, but that guy is just a dick.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012 6:59 AM

LOL. Welcome to the running joke, Billy. :)

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