General Carowinds discussion
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By coasterbruh
#104496
Since there seems to not be an official Winterfest thread I figured we might as well use this one as it!

So the topic of why the particular rides are not operating (basically the coasters) has come up a lot lately. While we are have talked about various reasons from being too cold to who the park wants to cater to, what we haven't talked about is pricing point.

For instance, Six Flags over Georgia seems to have a lot of their coasters operating. Now, that can be looked upon as a good thing but their online price for a daily ticket comes in at $54.99. Dollywood seems to also have their coasters running until they can't and their one day ticket clocks in at $69.95. Now Carowinds, with limited coasters operating, is offering their any day ticket at $36.00.

So with that tidbit of info, it seems the park has priced itself to have minimal overhead (cost of running the rides plus wages of the operators) while still being able to charge a lower gate admission than the other parks in the area.
By sorashaun
#104497
If attendance figures are ever released from Carowinds, SFOG, and Dollywood's Winter events then we'll know which is the better play - less rides and cheaper tickets or more rides and more expensive tickets.
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By RiDeWaRrIoR
#104498
Definitely agree coasterbruh! I would imagine the cost may increase in colder temperatures, but I do not know. It seems like it would take more work to maintain the rides and keep them running properly etc. Similar to how on opening weekend this year the balloon ride kept breaking down and the wooden kiddie coaster as well, it would stop every single dispatch :lol: They finally just shut it down. I think that has a lot to do with it as well. Steve did say winterfest is more of a family event and that is why the big coasters dont run. I also think maintenance staff might be an issue, since steve said they dont have a manager right now and they are hiring other maintenance positions.

As for Winterfest this year, I have really enjoyed it. While its more for families to enjoy, I have had fun even without my kids. I love that they expanded into the water park and over into thrill zone. I am hoping next year in addition to Copperhead Strike they add a coaster or two, maybe hurler or cyclone. I am glad to see them expanding each year. I do wish that they would do away with the horse carriage ride and make it more of a sleigh ride some how, I guess I am thinking planet coaster sleigh ride type deal :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: I haven't done the horse ride this year, and will probably do it next week when my kids are here :D
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By coasterbruh
#104517
Guess who's closed again tonight. :cry:

The Gods don't seem to favor winterfest . . .
By Capler
#104530
Went to WinterFest tonight and I think I now understand why more coasters are not open. Apparently they have a very hard time hiring help this time of the year. The park was packed and it appeared that everyone wanted to be a singer, a dancer or a character, while few wanted to be a ride operator. Rockin Roller only completed 3 cycles in an hour because there was only one guy on site, and the line stretched all the way out to the midway. Very frustrating.
By Coasterphreak
#104532
I mean, I hate to say it, but if you're looking for part time work this time of year would you rather work in the nice warm retail store or freeze your butt off outside for six hours? Personally, I've always suspected exactly what you suggest: they simply cannot get enough reliable labor to operate most of the larger rides that need 3+ operators (plus the people to cover breaks, etc).

I also suspect that one of the primary motivators for building the dorms is to solve precisely this problem.
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By coasterbruh
#104534
But . . . you won't freeze your butt off since the temps have been really good.
By RollerBee
#104535
Coasterphreak wrote:would you rather work in the nice warm retail store or freeze your butt off outside for six hours?.

Outside for six hours but I love being outside.
By RRRAPIDS
#104536
Between Fury, Intimidator, Nighthawk, Vortex, Cyclone, Hurler, Cobra, Woodstock Express, and even little Wilderness run that is not open for Winterfest; that is, "18 Coaster trains,"they have to rebuild. That's not even including Drop Towers cars, Windseeker, Southern Star, Rapids, Plants vs Zombies that has to be rebuilt/serviced as well. They have to get a head start on some attractions. Everything can't be open. I don't really care what Six Flags does. Carowinds doesn't have to mimick them. Now on Saturdays during Winterfest when the park seems to do well with opening at 2pm, they can possibly in the future run maybe 2 or 3 big coasters like Flying Cobras, Hurler, and Goldrusher. At least Copperhead will be open for Winterfest next year. With all that being said, give the big rides a break. You can ride them from March through October. Just enjoy the experience. It's plenty of activities, entertainment, food, and of course rides that are open, to occupy your time.
Last edited by RRRAPIDS on December 24th, 2018, 2:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By RRRAPIDS
#104537
Staffing is not an issue for Winterfest at all. It's all about the budget and what days everyone is available. At the end of the day, they are still perfecting the experience currently and for the future. In a couple of years, I can see this being bigger than Scarowinds.
By Capler
#104538
RRRAPIDS wrote:Staffing is not an issue for Winterfest at all. It's all about the budget and what days everyone is available. At the end of the day, they are still perfecting the experience currently and for the future. In a couple of years, I can see this being bigger than Scarowinds.


I agree that, weather permits, WinterFest could be as large or larger than Scarowinds. The place was crawling with families and kids and they seemed to be having fun decorating cookies, writing letters to Santa and enjoying the entertainment. Yes, the low staffing could be budget related, but honestly Winterfest is probably more profitable than Scarowinds because those mazes have to be staffed and all the rides are open. Winterfest also has the extra up charges as such as cookie decorating.

With that said, difficulty finding help seems to be the most plausible reason they are understaffed. I would hate to think they would purposely diminish the guest experience simply because they are too cheap to hire folk. Rockin Roller needs 3 people. In the county fair section, there should have floaters going between the rides when the lines get too long. Of could that would not have worked last night because they would have been stuck on one ride.
By Coasterphreak
#104540
I guess I phrased my point poorly: I've got a lot of years in the service industry, and it is very, very, VERY difficult to staff part-time help the fourth week of December, aka one of the busiest weeks of Winterfest, and it's made even more difficult by the fact that most of the staff will be laid off after January 2nd with no promise of future employment. Cedar Fair knows this, and as a result does not want to promise guests that major attractions will be operating and fail to live up to that promise.

Knott's manages to perform rolling rehabs on their attractions throughout the offseason. Annual maintenance has little bearing on which attractions operate during Winterfest.
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By carolinaman
#104541
I can't comment on the staffing or budget, but one reason I have been told that the "BIG" coasters are not running is Carowinds wants Winterfest to be more about family and family activities than thrills.
By RollerBee
#104542
Knotts is open year round and does annual maintainence over the course of most of the year.

Carowinds for now is still a seasonal park and does the bulk of its annual maintence in Jan-March.

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