OK, first, I have held a season pass since 1998. I had passes before that, but it was spotty. Since '98, I've had one every year. The reason? The water park added an attraction called Wipeout Beach. Water Works is now Boomerang Bay and Wipeout Beach is now Pipeline Paradise, but it's the same ride, a sheet-wave surfing ride called a Flowrider. It's the one thing you can come to the park alone to ride, and not feel odd 'cause you're not with a group. The amazing thing is that I've made lots of friends there who like the ride as much as I do. The nice thing is that it was resurfaced during the off season and rides great now.
There are a lot of people to whom I've talked, who've already given up on KI. I've tried to get them to see another perspective, but they're pissed off and not going to buy another season pass. Maybe in a few years, they'll change their minds, but that's several years' worth of business lost. (The person I spoke with usually bought 5 passes.)
Management seems to always expect employees to hit the ground running while they act as if in a state of slow motion. There were many things CF should and could have anticipated that they didn't. One of those is that long term patrons may have tired of the park's changing hands as it has over the past few years.
I do see some improvements. I had heard only good things about Cedar Point from friends who've been there. (I never have visited CP and am not an Ohio native.) They talk about how clean the park is and how friendly the employees are. Nice! I was expecting a change for the better at KI and have noticed changes. Last year, I encountered a few CF managers walking through Boomerang Bay who actually greeted me and a friend. Managers in the past seemed to be few and far between out in the park. They also didn't seem to want to talk to guests. Some of them (again in the water park) kinda had an antagonistic attitude toward the regulars at Pipeline. We're not an unruly crowd or anything like that, so it was always puzzling that return guests and guaranteed season passholders would be viewed this way.
The park is cleaner than I remember it and they are sprucing up things here and there, which is great! Try working on the parking toll plaza, the FIRST thing guests see. There are potholes in the pavement. I can understand that Paramount wasn't about to spend money on a property it was about to sell, but geez! It's about time to fix those potholes. And I realize that no associate or manager sees those, save the people who work at that location.
I could go on (and will if you like) but don't want to turn this into a bashfest. I really like PKI and get frustrated when I see things not what they could be. I've worked there for FearFest for the past 3 years and attend the park 4+ days a week. I'll summarize a few things to wrap it up. This is my opinion only!
Landscaping- ok, this has been improving for a few years, so I don't know if CF can take all the credit for this. It's great! (I have a hort. degree and have been in landscaping for 15 years.)
Managers- friendlier, more accessible and visible
Cleanliness- it means a lot and things have improved
Lifeguards- they really care about their job and the park. I know a lot of them from Pipeline Park is being generally spruced up
HR- Streamline the hiring process. I've tried to get a p/t job and waited a long time to get a call back for an interview. Then I waited a lot longer for the first interviewer to pass Now I'm in "enjoy the rest of my summer" mode.
Maintenance- They seem slow to respond at times. Are there enough of them?
See what a guest sees- potholes at parking plaza
Don't run away when we complain- Why spend thousands on marketing surveys, let your guests tell you what they think!