Author Topic: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports  (Read 37952 times)

Pudgy Jones

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #240 on: December 02, 2021, 09:16:37 AM »
The apple dumplin/cinnamon ice cream stand down by MRF didn't have apple dumplins and cinnamon ice cream on the menu this year. Has anyone else had luck finding them at the park or are they gone this year?

Duelist

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #241 on: December 02, 2021, 10:35:34 AM »
^ They didn't have the apple dumplings during our last trip in October. None of the popcorn/lemonade/snack stands were open when we went in October.  I don't think they have enough staff to run any of the snack stands.  Was the Chicken Waffle Cone shop that took over the Fry Bread shop open?  It's not listed on the website or on the app now.
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shavethewhales

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #242 on: December 03, 2021, 03:36:08 PM »
Neither of those stands seem to be open today.

Park is very crowded, which makes sense considering the great weather. It feels like a late spring day out here. Unfortunately ride ops aren't great. Only one train running, and it doesn't open until 4pm. Most coasters seem to have one train ops again. TNTs second train was pulled apart in the maintenance area. Long lines everywhere, especially food stands again since only half of them see to be open.

Kinda not worth going at Christmas anymore unless you are just ducking in to see the lights. It's just too crowded, even during the week now. It would be better if the rides and food stands were all operating like they used to, but it's still just plain too crowded.

MCLFLN

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #243 on: December 03, 2021, 03:44:07 PM »
"It's just too crowded, even during the week now"

Funny you mention that as I just watched John/Amy's video today where they said they were there on a Wednesday and it wasn't as busy....but as I watched I thought it looked pretty crowded...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQv7_ZcZl84

Neither of those stands seem to be open today.

Park is very crowded, which makes sense considering the great weather. It feels like a late spring day out here. Unfortunately ride ops aren't great. Only one train running, and it doesn't open until 4pm. Most coasters seem to have one train ops again. TNTs second train was pulled apart in the maintenance area. Long lines everywhere, especially food stands again since only half of them see to be open.

Kinda not worth going at Christmas anymore unless you are just ducking in to see the lights. It's just too crowded, even during the week now. It would be better if the rides and food stands were all operating like they used to, but it's still just plain too crowded.

shavethewhales

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #244 on: December 03, 2021, 04:24:35 PM »
I'm sure as early in the week as you can get is better, but even Thursday was pretty busy this week. We might try wed-thurs next year.

We are in the grand expo now and all the lines are out past the entrances for each ride. Not having the big shows probably hurts as well. It used to be that half the crowd was here for the lights and shows at this time of year, but there's definitely been a generational change. Plus the shows aren't what they used to be.

My brother just tried to go see the pickers and couldn't get in there... That's about the last really good show left, IMO.

Gilligan

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #245 on: December 04, 2021, 10:58:17 AM »
"It's just too crowded, even during the week now"

Funny you mention that as I just watched John/Amy's video today where they said they were there on a Wednesday and it wasn't as busy....but as I watched I thought it looked pretty crowded...

I pulled in Wednesday about 4:30 and the parking guy said every lot was full. We decided to turn around and leave.  Maybe another day...hubs and I just wanted to eat dinner and see the lights thinking Wed. would be a lighter attendance day. 






biscuitcreek

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #246 on: December 04, 2021, 12:41:22 PM »
We were there Wednesday 12/1, and it didn't seem that crowded. We parked in lot 3. We were able to see the last Dickens and the Living Nativity. (I don't remember if anyone mentioned it but the Living Nativity is also a new production this year). Got Chesters Chips before getting into the Dickens line. Don't know when the chips were cooked but the chips and toppings were cold.

Thursday the 2nd was insane. We parked in lot 5. Wall to wall people, long lines everywhere. Most food/drink stands were closed. The 1st and 2nd performances of Dickens were canceled due to lack of staff (don't know if that means performers or front of house staff). We saw the saloon show and got into the last performance of Home for Christmas. We waited in line for over an hour to get in.

We thought the new Dickens production was good. The new songs have some similarities to the old.

Didn't care for Home for Christmas. The musical aspect was good (singers and live band) but there needs to be a story instead of unrelated Christmas song after unrelated Christmas song with a patriotic song in the middle.  The last song should come across as a finale. It didn't. We didn't know it was the end until the cast paused and then started taking their bows.  The costumes were terrible in that they didn't go with the songs. Costumes were what you would see in Dickens or were costumes you would see on a riverboat show or a Carrie Nation show. No costumes you would associate with a 50s/60s style Christmas song. The choreography needs help too. Honestly I have seen better productions at various large churches.

On Thursday we waited over 30 minutes to get ornaments, decided to skip getting season passes. At 3:30 the line for the first train at 4 pm was backed up into Midtown. At 7:30 pm the line for the train was backed up into Midtown. Every bathroom we used during the day was trashed. There was poop smeared on the walls of one stall in the hospitality house. Why don't the bathrooms have hot water anymore for handwashing?

After 20 plus years of season passes not sure we are going to do it for 2022. We have loved SDC over the years but I just don't know if it's worth it anymore.

shavethewhales

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #247 on: December 06, 2021, 09:32:41 AM »
My family was there Thursday, I got there Friday, and we drove past Saturday. They told me Thursday was indeed more crowded than we expected. They didn't get on the train unfortunately, but were able to do a few things and had a reasonable time. Friday was very busy during the day until 7ish. The crowds did die down in the evening, but one train ops and half the food stands being closed still made for long lines everywhere.

On Saturday the line to get into the park was as bad as I've ever seen it before they even opened, and I think it was only 1:30 or so before the park was posting their usual high crowd notice telling people to wait till 6:30 to come.

Didn't get to see the shows since I was with the niece and nephew and they just wanted to ride, which I am happy to oblige. We never did get on the train this year. For some reason it didn't open until 4pm on Friday. We actually ran to it first as a group and were disappointed. Very strange to not only have just one train running, but to open it so late. It sounded like they had two trains running later on though. Seems like another staffing issue?

We had a reasonable time all-in-all. Got to do most of the coasters and a number of GE rides with the kids, in addition to the mine with the whole family. I do feel that the crowds are getting to be more of a pain than ever. Maybe I'm just spoiled from the good old days when we could come in and do everything in the park easily. Of course back then there was technically less to do, but the experience feels more fulfilling when you aren't standing in lines most of the time.

KevinLong

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #248 on: December 06, 2021, 05:09:46 PM »
Crowds at OLD TYME CHRISTMAS -

That's how the holidays/festivals are, you go once and its beautiful, easy to get around with  low crowds, no lines and perfect weather, and you and the family have an amazing time. then you go home and post your photos and tell all your friends.

The next year your friends show up have a great time and tell all their friends.

And so it goes until one day, before you know it, you're fighting your way through a 45 min wait to get your spiced cider drink. and its packed to capacity at every single show and elbowing your way around ride queue's becomes a way of life. Not to mention parking in a lot, except you realize it's no lot; you're on 76 waiting to get into a lot.

I would not visit at Christmas on a bet. You're welcome for me leaving you my space, I hope it helps.

my two cents.
Kevin

Pintrader

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #249 on: December 06, 2021, 08:41:48 PM »
True......also doesn't make it any less crowded when they are voted every year as one of the top Christmas destinations.

Dewayne

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #250 on: December 07, 2021, 07:20:49 AM »
My family was there Thursday, I got there Friday, and we drove past Saturday. They told me Thursday was indeed more crowded than we expected. They didn't get on the train unfortunately, but were able to do a few things and had a reasonable time. Friday was very busy during the day until 7ish. The crowds did die down in the evening, but one train ops and half the food stands being closed still made for long lines everywhere.

On Saturday the line to get into the park was as bad as I've ever seen it before they even opened, and I think it was only 1:30 or so before the park was posting their usual high crowd notice telling people to wait till 6:30 to come.

Didn't get to see the shows since I was with the niece and nephew and they just wanted to ride, which I am happy to oblige. We never did get on the train this year. For some reason it didn't open until 4pm on Friday. We actually ran to it first as a group and were disappointed. Very strange to not only have just one train running, but to open it so late. It sounded like they had two trains running later on though. Seems like another staffing issue?

We had a reasonable time all-in-all. Got to do most of the coasters and a number of GE rides with the kids, in addition to the mine with the whole family. I do feel that the crowds are getting to be more of a pain than ever. Maybe I'm just spoiled from the good old days when we could come in and do everything in the park easily. Of course back then there was technically less to do, but the experience feels more fulfilling when you aren't standing in lines most of the time.

Every year during OTC, the train ALWAYS opens at 4 (sometimes 3ish) on Weekdays, including Sunday, and 2 or 3 on Saturday. It has been this way forever, litterally. It has ALWAYS said this in the Pathfinder. That's why you need to read it for the ride times. It has NOTHING to do with staffing. OTC is about lights. Almost everyone who ride the train during OTC, want to see the lights. This is why they open late. They bring the second train out at 6:00 or 7:00 everyday, unless they have very few people in the park.

At times, they will trick you by blowing the first whistle around 2:30 and possibly doing the test run before 3:30, but still waiting to open at 4. I used to wait for the first ride every time, but now I know that it's not worth it. The best time to ride (if you want to ride before dark) is the second train of the day. The first line waiting to get in will be boarded with a few extra people, then it will be the shortest line all day, then it will slowly get longer. Once they bring the other train, the line will get shorter again and should then grow even longer and faster. This is how it works most days, unless there are very few guests in the park.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 07:27:59 AM by Dewayne »

shavethewhales

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #251 on: December 07, 2021, 09:57:16 AM »
I am almost never there on a weekday, so I guess I didn't realize that. Still seems odd to me. Why so late, and why  only one train to start with? It seems like the train is the most popular ride in the park so you'd think they'd have it going full tilt the entire time they are open. I disagree that OTC is purely about the lights and that most people wanting to ride the train do it for the lights. We just plain wanted to ride the train like usual.

Dewayne

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #252 on: December 08, 2021, 07:21:44 AM »
I am almost never there on a weekday, so I guess I didn't realize that. Still seems odd to me. Why so late, and why  only one train to start with? It seems like the train is the most popular ride in the park so you'd think they'd have it going full tilt the entire time they are open. I disagree that OTC is purely about the lights and that most people wanting to ride the train do it for the lights. We just plain wanted to ride the train like usual.

They don't do the normal train during OTC. That's why. Plus, they feel that they need it to be dark enough for Grampa's story too.

Duelist

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #253 on: December 08, 2021, 08:41:09 AM »
^ You can enjoy Grandpa's story without it being dark.  The train has long lines before it gets dark.  True, some people do prefer to ride the train after dark for the lights but not everyone (myself included).

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sdcfan88

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #254 on: December 08, 2021, 10:34:53 AM »
If they were to do an all day train operation, it would be neat if they came up with a Christmas version of the Train Robbery skit during the day, then once it gets dark switch it over to the traditional Grandpa Christmas Story. Though with their issues with staffing and logistics as-is that's probably out of the question. But hey its always fun to do some imagineering.