What is with the Cedar Fair love?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 9:43 PM
I have yet to understand why people highly praise Cedar Fair. I've visted multiple Cedar Fair parks and have found the standards and employees to be just as horrible as your typical Six Flags park. From a park operations standpoint, I can think of multiple Six Flags parks that I would visit over any Cedar Fair park I've visted. These Six Flags parks include Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags New England. I find Dorney Park to be the most depressing and flat out bad major amusement park I have ever visited. I cannot think of a single positive thing to say about the rides or the park in general. The lack of trees, the lack of color (except for the billion bown trashcans bringing the only color to the park), boring ride collection, poor management(scheduling reguar maintenance for a major roller coaster in the summer at a seasonal amusement park is totally unacceptable) and lackluster employees at Dorney Park actually make me want to go to a Six Flags park.

I live in Los Angeles and used to regularly visit Knott's Berry Farm. For the first time in quite some time, I've decided to not renew my annual pass due to park operations. Last year, the entire Perilous Plunge crew was fired when they decided to send an empty boat since they heard an usual noise and the shift leader refused to let them call down the ride. The wheel assembly broke off that boat as it was going down the drop during that test run. The mechanics said that if the crew sent a boat full of guests, there would have been catastrophic consequences. Improper maintenance was the cause of this accident. This crew should have been praised, not fired. Due to the several accidents on Perilous Plunge (ie. brake failures, death of rider, wheel assembly falling off), it seems to me that Knott's is just waiting for a large of enough accident to have an excuse to close this death trap.

In the past few years, Knott's Berry Farm has changed greatly. Much of Ghost Town has recieved a make-over with new paint schemes and an out of place brick town hall stage (theprevious, old themed barn house stage looked pretty nice in my opinion). Ghost Town also has a new B&M roller coaster, Silver Bullet, and an S&S Screamin' Swing. I understand the reasoning behind the updating/removal of several Ghost Town buildings but the park took no efforts in aging the looks of the modifications. When they build Silver Bullet, the park spent little energy blending the old with the new. Instead, there are old fashioned looking lamp posts next to giant flood lights on big metal poles and a maze of metal staircases coming out of an overly large, minimally themed wooden looking station. This lack of attention to detail in the park theming extends beyond these expansions. New barely themed uniforms for ride crews are another thing that reinforce the park's lack of commitment to keeping Knott's Berry Farm a THEME park. The park used to have a special charm that was unique to Knott's Berry Farm. It was unique since the park was fairly large yet still kept a special, hometown atmosphere that southern Californians could call their home park (the old slogan for the park was "the park Californians could call home").

I am not going to complain about Kingdom of the Dinosaurs and its current state or the addition of Screaming Swing since they have both been exhausted on this site too many times. Search the message boards if you are interested.

I recently made a quick trip to Knott's Berry Farm using a shoppers pass to see if park operations have changed. They have taken a turn for the worst. My friend and I walk past Silver Bullet and notice one train operation on a summer weekend with quite a line. We walk back to Xcelerator and notice a crew of only 4 attendants and a ride operator yet 2 trains. In a cost saving move, Knott's decided to cut the 2 train Xcelerator crew by 2 ride operators. We walk through the queue line and notice the park still has not fixed the overheating problem in the PLC building. For those of you who are not aware, the park has a generator with piping that goes up and over the queue line using plywood that is attached to the queue line railings with plastic fasteners. This has been a problem for over a year by now. We reached the station and wondered why the line was moving so slowly. It took almost 5 minutes to dispatch each train during my wait in line. The trains were typically checked in a relatively timely manner but the ride operators felt that playing with the gate or telling a fellow ride operator a funny story before getting into position was more important than their jobs. The ride operator even used an incredibly short version of the old manditory ride spiel when launching the train. The shift leader was in the control booth and obviously had no problems regarding this modified spiel or slow ride attendants.

Once we got off the ride, we asked a ride operator who just got off her shift some questions about these new changes in the operation of Xcelerator. She told us some surprising information. First of all, all rides except Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Train are now new hire rides. It used to be that the premier rides in the park (ie. Silver Bullet, Xcelerator, Ghost Rider) were all reserved for the best employees. All but one of the employees on the Xcelerator crew that day were brand new. There used to be prestigue in working the major rides in the park and those typically had the fastest and friendliest crews. That is definitely not true anymore. That Xcelerator crew was the worst I have ever seen. The ride operator we talked to also informed us of new ride specific policies, one of which I was shocked to hear. Each day, the crew has to ride down three particular rules on how to be an Xcelerator ride operator. One of those three rules is bob your head. I noticed the ride operators bobbing their heads which checking restraints thinking they were double checking the restraints. I was wrong. I am still unsure why they are bobbing their heads but it is not to double check lap bars. Three days in a row recently there was one train a day where a train was dispatched with at least one lap bar up (and some of those seats had guests in them). For those of you who are not familiar with Xcelerator operation, the ride operators must lower your lap bar for you. The entire operation of the ride has turned from professional to a kindergarden activity. When we inquired about the rides operations manager, we realized how these new policies were passed. The new ride operations manager was fired from Soak City in 2004 and then rehired as a shift leader for opening crew of Silver Bullet later that year. This young man is none other than Brok Falfas. If you haven't guessed already, he is Jack Falfas's son. Brok cannot be more than 20 years old and has only had minimal amusement park experience. Wow, Cedar Fair has reached a new low.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 10:08 PM
So based on a visit to one park you're qualified to judge the entire company? If that's the only one you've been to, then the thread would be more appropriately titled "What's with the Knott's love."
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 10:17 PM
I am not basing my judgements on one visit but on all my recent visits. I focused on this last visit since I believe it reinforces and encapsulates the lack of commitment to quality Cedar Fair has in all the Cedar Fair parks I have visited.

Plus, the first half of my post is mostly NOT about my visit. *** Edited 8/31/2005 2:23:05 AM UTC by Matthew***

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 10:17 PM
I don't like Cedar Fair at all! Sure, Cedar Point has the some of the best roller coasters in the world. But my experience in the park proved that this park can rip you off. I had to wait 3 hours for Millennium Force, and 4 hours for Top Thrill Dragster (including downtime). I spent 7 hours waiting in line for just 2 coasters. Plus, I didn't get the front seat because of Cedar Point's Seating Policy : If front seat queue is full, choose another seat. Plus, no rider was allowed to leave their backpack on the exit platform, so I had to waste more money for a locker. The only coaster that I got the front seat on was Mantis. At Six Flags Darien Lake, New England, Great Adventure, and Magic Mountain, I had a better time there. And I don't know why people don't like Six Flags. My experience at the 4 Six Flags Parks I visited was better than the Cedar Point Experience!
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 10:29 PM
^What you just stated is that you don't like Cedar Point. You did not mention any other Cedar Fair park in your thread. I'm not going to persuade you either way on your stance, but think about what you said.

You cannot judge the entire chain by going to just one park. Each of CF:LP's parks are so different from each other that it would be impossible. For instance the shade at DP and CP are a direct contrast to the foliage that is available at WOF. Once you have been to all of the parks in the Cedar Fair chain then perhaps you would be able to jump to conclusions.

Having been to all of the CF:LP parks and all but a handful of SF parks (have not been to SFMW, SFNO, SFNE, SFA, of SFGAdv) I can say that I would rather have a Cedar Fair park as my homepark anyday. However I go for the "entire package" when I go to the park and not just the coasters like some people do. Keep that in mind when you look at CFLP parks. They are FAMILY destinations not THRILL parks exclusively.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:13 PM
Dorney, Michigan's Adventure, and Geauga Lake are bland, lifeless, and lacking personlity. Cedar Point as a coaster park or park as a whole doesn't even compare to SFGAm and SFGAdv for me. Minus the flats at both parks, which I probably wouldn't ride anyways, SFMM was way more enjoyable than any trip I've had to CP as well. Now, I did happen to like Knott's quite a bit and that was a first. It was probably my least favorite park the previous two trips I took there, but it was better than I remembered. Maybe the friends and event helped that being during Solace.

They all just severely pale in comparison to the surrounding major parks. I've had issues with employees at all 5 parks on more than one visit. The only issue I can recall with an employee at SF was not giving free ice water on a hot day at SFKK this year.

The CF praise does seem to come from people who have only been to CF, which to me is like saying you love a band when you've only heard their singles. It's lame.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:21 PM
My biggest reason CF parks aren't that great is they would rather send a train out with empty seats than let you reride. You spend a lot of money to go these parks and they want you to stand in lines even at coaster events where we are supposed to have ERT. I don't think they understand what that means ( Exclusive Ride time) it can't get much plainer than that!!!! They don't even have a fastlane system to give you a choice not to stand in line. And yes I have been to all CF parks.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:21 PM
To make this short and sweet, all this does is shift over to "whats with the Six Flags love?"

It's all personal opinion here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:34 PM
MForce2K, I don't see much Six Flags love on this site. It seems like you guys bash Six Flags more than anything.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005 11:34 PM

...they want you to stand in lines even at coaster events where we are supposed to have ERT. I don't think they understand what that means ( Exclusive Ride time) it can't get much plainer than that!!!! They don't even have a fastlane system to give you a choice not to stand in line. And yes I have been to all CF parks.

Poor baby. This has all the makings of an enthusi-ass. They don't owe you anything and you should be thankful they even give ERT to some coaster clubs. They honestly don't need you and IMHO some of the clubs are more trouble then they're worth.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:01 AM
Matthew, What day did you go to Knott's? Xcelerator has been running really good lately, but the weathers been really hot lately so that has its effect on the ride. Were did you here that story about Perilous Plunge?
Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:04 AM
I went to Knott's on Sunday (Aug. 28th). I heard about the incident on Perilous from two people on the Perilous crew that day plus from a friend who used to work at the park. Trust me, it is a true story. It happened about a year ago.

Oh, by the way, Xcelerator was running incredible on Sunday. I was impressed at how fast it was going. Too bad the ride operators weren't as fast. *** Edited 8/31/2005 4:06:57 AM UTC by Matthew***

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:05 AM

Ajrides said:
...they want you to stand in lines even at coaster events where we are supposed to have ERT.

I have a shirt for you.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:08 AM
Oh yeah, I do know that Six Flags has taken away Cedar Fair's records. SFDL's Viper took away CP's Corkscrew record, and Superman Ride Of Steel at Darien Lake is actually taller than CP's Magnum. And don't forget Kingda Ka. Six Flags did copy off TTD, but for a good choice, to show that Cedar Fair is not the boss of the amusement park industry. Good work Six Flags. Continue killing Cedar Point!
Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:12 AM
"You guys"

Whats with the generalization? Coasterbuzz as a whole does not have a single opinion.

And to Ajrides, Cedar Point actually gives a discount to the full price admision during Coastermania in addition to the lunch, and two ERT sessions.


Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:20 AM
I happen to think that cedar fair is a bit overrated myself. I have been to two of their other parks outside of Cedar Point. I happen to think that Dorney wasnt all that good, but does every park have to be compared to their premier parks, ie Cp, and KBF. The uniqueness to each one is different. The next question is have you been to other parks in the chain. There is something you failed to mention. Dont cry a fit over one. Fine you have your opinion of other parks. Thats great and fine, i happen to think that their are much better parks than some CF ones. I still happen to like CP best of all parks, but i agree their are some great diversions out there.

But Cedar Fair loving, not hardly here, not on this site, i cant speak for all of us, but i happen to think that they are quality parks, although not great parks i have seen two of those. The thing is dont base it off of one place, if you cant back it up without some rideability or going to one of the parks in the chain. I could say six flags sucks when i didnt like six flags worlds of adventure, the thing is, each park is handled a bit differently, obviously standards have been set for parks, that are regarded as being good, but not was not the case at Knotts. They need to work on so what, that is what brings us out to see what they have, and what also can be approved on.

let the park know it too, geez your there is that hard to do. they will take into consideration complains, thats their jobs is it not.

Laughable, i just checked your track record, what other cedar fair parks are even mentioned on there. i would kinda be excited to have my rides from parks on there, considering that you have other ones on there. BACK IT UP! *** Edited 8/31/2005 4:24:41 AM UTC by MagnunBarrel***

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:23 AM
Hmmm, back at the Cbuzz event at Dorney in May, they gave re-rides out the wazoo on both Hydra and Talon. Obviously, they had to be ringer crews and not the usual lackluster Dorney employees.

People will like the parks they like, and I'm sure they have their reasons. And their reasons as just as valid to them as yours are to you.

It's funny how so many people in here come in and post how much they hate this park or that chain and they all suck, yet they visit them over and over and over. You don't like CF or SF or Paramount, or whoever, then stay the hell away. Go spend your money somewhere else.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:27 AM

Six Flags did copy off TTD, but for a good choice, to show that Cedar Fair is not the boss of the amusement park industry.


Actually, this whole thread deserves a "wow."

I wish I had the time to hate an amusement park chain and I wish I had the imagination to envision imaginary battles between them.

Silly me. All this time I've been visiting parks, riding rides, eating junk food, playing games, laughing with the kids and seeing the country.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:39 AM

Lord Gonchar said:
Silly me. All this time I've been visiting parks, riding rides, eating junk food, playing games, laughing with the kids and seeing the country.

Thats the problem, park operations have lessened my love of amusement parks. I used to go to parks regularly (usually at least twice a month, especially in the summer) and in the past year, I've gone to amusement parks maybe 4 or 5 times.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 12:42 AM
Why would you call out Cedar Fair though, does every other park have perfect operations?

Maybe you should find a new hobby to over analyze.


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