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I'm eating at the park right now. Completely empty. Rode Ka 3 times in a row earlier.

I didn't think it would be crowded. I do not think I heard or saw one ad saying it was opening weekend

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Yesterday was more crowded than I was expecting. Nitro had a reporter 35 minute wait and Skull Mountain was 45 minutes because 1 train was running.

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My wife and I went on Sunday, mostly to get the processing of season park and meal plan passes out of the way. Here are my observations FWIW:

 

We got there about 11 am, and it started getting fairly crowded from that point forward - tons of young families. By the time we left around 3 pm the parking lot was fairly full.

 

The processing of passes was a disaster from the get go. We were told by three different employees to go to three different places to get it done, eventually accomplishing it at the ticket building just to the right of the main gate entrance, where we went to start with. Ugh. I think we were fortunate that they took us there because we bought the season passes through a friend that works there.

 

Once we got our passes, we were told we had to go to the GA Cafe to get our soda bottles. The line was ridiculous and was not moving at all. After a few minutes I asked a passerby where they got their bottles and they told me at the Coke store. So we went there and got our bottles and filled them in less than a minute. Apparently people in the GA Cafe line were still waiting to get their passes processed, and they were woefully understaffed (maybe two people processing passes).

 

As far as the new-to-us meal plan goes, we were clueless, and apparently so were most of the staff. I understood that we qualified for a lunch, snack and dinner during different time frames, but I didn't know what we could order on the menu at each restaurant. And most of the staff had no idea, so they had to go get their manager. It wasn't until later that I figured out there was a little "S" symbol next to the menu items that qualified under the meal plan. And it wasn't until later that I found another soda station to fill up at, with almost no line (nice on hot days coming).

 

We tried eating lunch at the Frontier restaurant around noon, but it wasn't open yet, I asked a couple staff, and they couldn't tell me when it was opening. It looked like it eventually opened up around 1:00. Why that late, I don't know.

 

For lunch I got a piece of pizza and fries, and she got a caesar salad. The salad was small, but good. The pizza was lukewarm at best, but the fries were good. For snack we got a brownie and a soft pretzel. Many of the snack stands were not opened. Again they probably don't have the staff for them yet.

 

We went on the safari at about 11:30 and it was a 60-minute wait - they didn't seem to have their act together with enough trucks. This was the first time for me - I was impressed, although I hate waiting that long for any ride. It was the guide's first day on the job, but he was good. One negative is that I had a hard time hearing the guide over the roar of the truck's engine and the fumes were nasty at times. I wonder if they could go green and find trucks that are electric powered..... ;)

 

The Joker was not running. El Toro did not run until at least 11:30-12:00.

 

As I said the main reason we went was to process the passes and get a lay of the land, which we eventually accomplished. Certainly things did not go as smooth as they could have, mostly because they didn't have enough staff, and the staff was so new they had little knowledge to impart to us.

 

We plan on going back during spring break week.

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Opening weekend is usually rough for the park operations wise. Employees are new and learning how to do their jobs, staffing is a problem on many days, etc.

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Opening weekend is usually rough for the park operations wise. Employees are new and learning how to do their jobs, staffing is a problem on many days, etc.

That's what I figured. This kid working the main gate looked like he was 12 years old. Man, am I getting old....LOL

 

 

Oh - I also noticed that Runaway Train had three jerks/dips in the spiral section that were perceptable. Were they always there?

 

When does the log flume typically open during the season? They have a lot of leave cleanup to do in the troughs!

Edited by Yoshi
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The sign at the entrance says Memorial Day but I think it usually opens sometime during the beginning of May. I miss having it open for the start of the season.

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I was at the park Sunday and it was pretty crowded, the parking lot was almost solid to the treeline. Walkways were so crowded it was hard to just walk around. Joker, Roundup, Flume, were not running while Skull Mt and Dark Knight broke down. Operations were pretty poor, especially on El Toro. Sky Screamer was bad too, a employee asked me too wait another turn because of a family with a handicap pass. Only to see there were six seats they let go empty anyway, no reason for me to wait another turn. I was by myself that trip so I wonder if the ride attendants pick on singles? Last year I was asked to give up my front row seat on KK when I was by myself, then they ran another train anyway. Once is weird, twice is suspicious.

Edited by The Master
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I was at the park Sunday and it was pretty crowded, the parking lot was almost solid to the treeline. Walkways were so crowded it was hard to just walk around. Joker, Roundup, Flume, were not running while Skull Mt and Dark Knight broke down. Operations were pretty poor, especially on El Toro. Sky Screamer was bad too, a employee asked me too wait another turn because of a family with a handicap pass. Only to see there were six seats they let go empty anyway, no reason for me to wait another turn. I was by myself that trip so I wonder if the ride attendants pick on singles? Last year I was asked to give up my front row seat on KK when I was by myself, then they ran another train anyway. Once is weird, twice is suspicious.

As I said we waited an hour for the safari ride, yet our truck had at least 5-6 empty seats when we left the station. This attraction does not have the rollercoaster efficiency of two platforms where you exit to the right and enter from the left. thus speeding the process almost simultaneously. Instead, the trucks pull up to the beginning of the platform, people exit to the left, then the truck pulls forward again and people enter from the left. It probably takes close to five minutes to load each truck, ensuring everyone is buckled and the side grate is placed in the upright position. Rarely did I even see two trucks at the platform at the same time.

 

I don't know how long the line gets for this attraction in the peak periods of summer, but it can't be good. They really ought to blow up the loading/unloading system and start from scratch.

Edited by dougdrummer
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As I said we waited an hour for the safari ride, yet our truck had at least 5-6 empty seats when we left the station. This attraction does not have the rollercoaster efficiency of two platforms where you exit to the right and enter from the left. thus speeding the process almost simultaneously. Instead, the trucks pull up to the beginning of the platform, people exit to the left, then the truck pulls forward again and people enter from the left. It probably takes close to five minutes to load each truck, ensuring everyone is buckled and the side grate is placed in the upright position. Rarely did I even see two trucks at the platform at the same time.

 

I don't know how long the line gets for this attraction in the peak periods of summer, but it can't be good. They really ought to blow up the loading/unloading system and start from scratch.

 

It can be 3+ hours in the summer. Because of that, they usually close the line very early in the day.

 

As for the loading process, there's a finite number of trucks they can send through. The experience is much better when there's a fewer amount of trucks inside the safari. They can take their time, get up closer to animals, and you're not just seeing a bunch of trucks everywhere. If they loaded fast, you'd have a line of trucks driving through he safari. It really doesn't matter how fast or slow they load the trucks, because there needs to be decent spacing between the trucks anyway.

 

Also, people usually complain that rides don't unload, move up, then load. lol

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Another huge problem with safari load/unload time is nothing to do with the ride-- but guests. There are rules for children that 90% of people choose to ignore, and then have to move around seats, people love to play musical chairs and believe it or not the biggest issue is seatbelts-- people do not know how to buckle them a lot of the times and even when they switched to different color seat belts for each seat they still get it wrong.

 

Because of this in the summer time when they are running max trucks, trucks can be lined up 6+ deep in the woods because the trucks cannot be sent out fast.

 

Also when they are running a low amount of trucks they sometimes space departures out so they can do their best to have trucks spaced out without trucks being too close or too far away.

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As far as the new-to-us meal plan goes, we were clueless, and apparently so were most of the staff. I understood that we qualified for a lunch, snack and dinner during different time frames, but I didn't know what we could order on the menu at each restaurant. And most of the staff had no idea, so they had to go get their manager. It wasn't until later that I figured out there was a little "S" symbol next to the menu items that qualified under the meal plan. And it wasn't until later that I found another soda station to fill up at, with almost no line (nice on hot days coming).

 

I thought the "M" and the "S" beside each menu item made it a lot easier to determine the difference between a snack and meal.

 

 

We tried eating lunch at the Frontier restaurant around noon, but it wasn't open yet, I asked a couple staff, and they couldn't tell me when it was opening. It looked like it eventually opened up around 1:00. Why that late, I don't know.

 

If you are talking about Best Of The West, it opened at 11:30, I watched them unlock the doors.

 

 

The Joker was not running. El Toro did not run until at least 11:30-12:00.

 

 

El Toro may have opened a couple minutes late, but I was on it by 10:40.

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and believe it or not the biggest issue is seatbelts-- people do not know how to buckle them a lot of the times and even when they switched to different color seat belts for each seat they still get it wrong.

 

 

Ironically I understood the seatbelt and buckle right away because that is the old style used in cars when I was younger. LOL

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Avoid Thursday. I went the Thursday before Easter in 2010 and it was extremely crowded. I mentioned it before but I had an exit pass I won from Funatics Rewards and it was still a 20 minute wait to ride Nitro waiting on the exit ramp. The reason it was so crowded that day was because there was a large group there that brought thousands more guests to the park and the same group will be there again this year on Thursday.

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Avoid Thursday. I went the Thursday before Easter in 2010 and it was extremely crowded. I mentioned it before but I had an exit pass I won from Funatics Rewards and it was still a 20 minute wait to ride Nitro waiting on the exit ramp. The reason it was so crowded that day was because there was a large group there that brought thousands more guests to the park and the same group will be there again this year on Thursday.

Is that the NCSY group?

 

Also, does anyone know how crowded the park could get this weekend?

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