Wonder about KI

My kids were at KI last Friday. They were there all afternoon and came home around dinner. Why you ask? Because they kept shutting down rides. They could not understand since there seemed to be people there. But we (ACE members) got emails about KI needing ride operators to help out. Now if they had thousands and thousands of applicants, where are they? Would they have not hired older folks to help since they would be available sooner than later.. Anyone else experiencing this?

As long as school is still in session, operations are "limited" till 5P. The rides that are affected, mainly, are the flats. After 5 everything should be open. We went down Friday but didnt get there till 6:30 or so, and with the exception of Diamondback experiencing some down time,everything seemed fine. It sounds like your kids were home by then, tho.

I have been to KI seven times this season, and I too have wondered why we still see so many teens working, and why daytime operation is limited . I saw the same reports about the long lines at the job fairs, and the number of displaced adults looking, and really thought I'd notice a difference in staff this year. Not so much. One thing I haven't seen at KI or CP is the large number of foreign students working, but maybe that's to come.

LostKause's avatar

Maybe all of the applicants had dreadlocks...hahaha.

Raven-Phile's avatar


James Whitmore's avatar

I was at KI on Friday, May 8 with "limited operations". There was plenty of things to do. All the coasters and major rides were running. I could definitely see that they were short-handed. I saw both police/security and maintenance personnel loading Diamondback and Racer (probably others too, but I wasn't really looking either). I had a great day.

Yes my wonder is if all these out of work adults were there, did the park just blow them off? Were they 'overqualified'? Just surprised that after the news that the parks were packed for hiring this year that we still see limited operation while school is in session.

I don't know how many guests were in the park, but if it's minimal it would make sense to not run the park at full capacity. A friend of mine went on a weekday a couple weeks ago and said it was absolutely dead despite the weather being nice.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

LostKause's avatar

But the people who visited the park still paid full price, and expected full operations during their visit. School is not a valid excuse for a park to limit operations, imho.

Is the park advertising limited operation days?

I'm not saying it's the right thing to do, but from a strictly financial point of view it makes sense. Six Flags has done it for years, not that they're a good example to follow...

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

It's not a new occurrence at KI - my wife and I went there mid-week after Memorial Day in 2006 and half of the rides were closed, others opened late, many of the restaurants were closed including all of the Skyline Chili, (what was then) Bubba Gumps and the blue ice cream stand.

And this was the day after we had been at SFoG were everything was open...go figure.

--George H

mlnem4s's avatar

There is ZERO EXCUSE for Cedar Fair parks to have "staffing issues" in 2009....folks I hate to say this but if there are then in my mind that means serious management issues which seem to be more frequent at CF parks. As a previous person mentioned, they have had THOUSANDS of applicants apply for work this year. As a former HR manager in the industry I also know that non-profit organizations and temp-staffing agencies are ready, willing and available to help parks meet the needs to be full operational if it is an issue of high school students still being in school. As a paying guest I simply will no longer spend my money at poorly run parks...and I don't. I have had a GREAT experience at BGE this year already (fully operational on a May weekday) and also intend to visit SWO, Dollywood and a few others this season knowing that my money spent will meet my expectations.

Jeff's avatar

Having a large applicant pool doesn't mean that you have a large budget to pay people.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

mlnem4s's avatar

If "budgets" are the culprit then DEFINITELY something is wrong at CF because THE single #1 operating moto has always been "every ride open-every day-at full capacity." A possible "budget" excuse leads into the whole mentality at Six Flags under the Burke regime where any excuse was acceptable to "make budget" be damned what the consumer thinks. We see where that thinking and operating standard landed Burke and the giant mess Shapiro has had to clean up, eh?!

Jeff's avatar

No, it just leads to Kinzel realizing that the debt from the acquisition wouldn't just evaporate in a recession with a tough credit market, and you've gotta cut somewhere.

But seriously, let's not overstate this. It's not like there are two-person crews running big coasters.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

mlnem4s's avatar

Would you not agree that the general public "perception" doesn't know the difference between an 8-person coaster crew versus a 2-person coaster crew...rather they know that they paid $40+ and rides/attractions are sitting idle for no known reason? Isn't "perception" the exact thing that Six Flags is trying so desperately to overcome now?

Six Flags is overcoming the negativity about its parks by making sure every ride is open and operating at full capacity as often as possible baring weather/mechanical issues. Cedar Fair simply has been dropping the ball maintaining their operational standards for various reasons since the purchase of Paramount, now it really is going to show if "finances" are added to the equation.

I also think "finances" and the decisions being made behind scenes are taking their toll on a full-time staff who simply can't "give any more" and are retiring or quitting. Wasn't this also a contributing factor to why SF parks fell apart operationally because of the inconsistency of management teams?

Oh what an ironic twist of fate between CF and SF parks. I will always be a CF fan but I, like many people, think the time has come for some "changes" starting at the top : )

Wow i was there Wednesday this past week and they had every ride open. I have been to Cedar Point 3 times already and have had no problems.....

LostKause's avatar

Maybe it was a fluke?

Jeff's avatar

That was my point, I can't put together any trend that shows rides sitting idle.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Haven't been to KI yet (going in a couple of weeks). As far as CP is concerned, other than opening day weekend, from what I've seen rides have had pretty good uptime records, while operating at what I would call appropriate capacity. We were there on an extremely dead day this past Sunday and, except for Blue Streak and CCMR, every other coaster had at least two, if not three train operation.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

There have definitely been some subtle changes/experiments with operations over the past couple years at KI. Obvious ones are things like Racer only running one side in the mornings and on slow days (Who woulda thunk?). Adventure Express opened with only 2 trains this year and the third sitting on the ground nearby. Now that CP seems to have added Corkscrew's third train, I wouldn't be surprised to see AE get its third train before July/August.

It's worth pointing out that KI isn't really starting with a full deck when it comes to coasters anyway. Invertigo, Son of Beast, and Firehawk are handicapped despite the crew's best efforts. Flight Deck stacks routinely because it is short and has no midcourse. Beast and Diamondback are really the only rides that tend to have a steady moving queue.

As for idle rides, I personally haven't seen anything dormant except for the trampoline jump pay attraction. I thought the Action Theatre was closed a few times, but it turned out that there was just no one who wanted to ride it. That's a chopping block attraction if I've ever seen one.

Edit: Forgot to mention how much the addition of seatbelts helps Flight Deck dispatch intervals...

Last edited by Pagoda Gift Shop,

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