Author Topic: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports  (Read 30461 times)

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #225 on: November 24, 2021, 08:49:00 PM »
The City was packed today.  Ride lines and food lines took forever.  Limited staff working and not controlling crowds are a big concern for safety and a good experience for the guests that spent a lot of money for families.  I have been a big fan of SDC for many years but this experience was terrible.  Food lines at least an hour wait then ran out of food when you finally made it to the counter frustrated many people.  You could not move in the crowd at several locations.  No concern for Covid.  There were hardly any hand sanitizer and no hot water.  Bath rooms needed attention.  The kicker was trying to go out to my car to get a jacket, then not allowing me to enter because they were at capacity.  Capacity should have occurred hours before then.  When I  bought my tickets online 3 months ago it stated the crowd would be limited.  Why did it take capacity at 6:00 p.m.?  The best line was a SDC gate keeper that said you shouldn’t have come today it’s too crowded.  Really.  SDC needs to fix some major problems.

cowboy

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #226 on: November 24, 2021, 11:31:30 PM »
We were at the park today too.  We got lunch early, but didn’t wait in any of the lines after that….everything had a big line and we didn’t feel anything was worth waiting for. Same with the rides and shows….extremely long waits, including Flooded Mine and Fire In The Hole (hour+).

So we shifted into Christmas light lookers and shoppers. Got a few items we couldn’t live without and really enjoyed the sights, tree, parade, etc. The Mill didn’t have much of a line for their treats and the Ice Cream Parlor also had a short line, so we did get a few items from there.

We still had a good time, but probably because we go often enough to adjust to crowd, etc. I can completely understand any frustration that others experienced though….the place was extremely packed.

Jay

shavethewhales

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #227 on: November 25, 2021, 10:43:05 AM »
Before the pandemic hit we were discussing how the park unfortunately needs drastic change to accommodate even the current crowd levels. The past few years have seen them chipping away at what needs to be done with large pathway expansions around Time Traveler and Mystic River, not to mention the added holiday area.

The main square and entrance are unfortunately what needs to be addressed next. I say unfortunately because that will change a good bit of the nostalgia and atmosphere of the park. Perhaps why it's been avoided so far.

Parking is the other issue... they simply need to invest in a disney style parking deck at this point. So all in all, they need at least $100 million worth of infrastructure improvements just to handle crowds.

But for all that to be worth it, they need enough employees just to run the park as it currently stands! Lots of tricky issues for them to sort out, but this has been going on for years.

sdcfan88

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #228 on: November 25, 2021, 11:17:37 AM »
Not gonna lie regarding the post above, I was there yesterday and considering we are coming out of a global pandemic, the state of the bathrooms and the lack of soap/sanitizer and absolutely no hot water operating in the bathrooms is inexcusable. (wasn't even lukewarm, just straight cold water as the sinks would shut off if you tried to turn it to hot) You know employees working at the food stands using the bathrooms are in the same boat which is unsettling. Hopefully everyone handling food is abiding by health and safety standards by at least wearing gloves all the time. I have worked in the retail/food/restaurant industry for years and if we had got caught with something like that in the establishment we would be shut down. The main basic requirement of any establishment serving food per the FDA is hot water.

https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/commercial-kitchen-water-temperature-requirements-27241.html
« Last Edit: November 25, 2021, 11:22:27 AM by sdcfan88 »

Preachin_Bill

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #229 on: November 25, 2021, 08:41:55 PM »
Before the pandemic hit we were discussing how the park unfortunately needs drastic change to accommodate even the current crowd levels. The past few years have seen them chipping away at what needs to be done with large pathway expansions around Time Traveler and Mystic River, not to mention the added holiday area.

The main square and entrance are unfortunately what needs to be addressed next. I say unfortunately because that will change a good bit of the nostalgia and atmosphere of the park. Perhaps why it's been avoided so far.

Parking is the other issue... they simply need to invest in a disney style parking deck at this point. So all in all, they need at least $100 million worth of infrastructure improvements just to handle crowds.

But for all that to be worth it, they need enough employees just to run the park as it currently stands! Lots of tricky issues for them to sort out, but this has been going on for years.

I don’t understand this logic.

The problem has absolutely nothing to do with space. I have been to the park hundreds of times and have never felt like I couldn’t get in or out. The entrance and exit has never been more than a minor inconvenience if someone stops right in front of me. Then I simply walk around them. You are too set on getting rid of the old SDC you are looking for excuses.

The problems are staffing. They need to hire more people and open everything up when they say the park is open. They need to have powder keg up and running before chain drop. They need to build rides that work, not rides like MRF. They need to use at least two trains on the rides. They need to open the mine back up. They need to be sure all snack stands, lemonade stands, etc are open when the park is open.

SDC needs to take the money they are going to invest in the next “NeW bIgGeSt SpIn DrOp omg!” ride that won’t work, or the money they’d waste on expanding the entrance and invest it instead on staffing and overall park maintenance. 
Small wonder our lives have so little of God in them, when we come in touch with so little that God has made.

Duelist

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #230 on: November 25, 2021, 09:00:42 PM »
Just like everyone else that's desperate for employees they're going to have to pay enough to draw workers in.  That will be passed on to us the customers but I think it has come to that.  My first thoughts after the fire took out the Pork Rinds shop and Flossie's Fried Fancies (after being thankful that no one was injured) were at least they can put those employees to work at some of the food places that have been closed down due to lack of employees.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 12:36:49 PM by Duelist »
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shavethewhales

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #231 on: November 25, 2021, 10:05:48 PM »
Before the pandemic hit we were discussing how the park unfortunately needs drastic change to accommodate even the current crowd levels. The past few years have seen them chipping away at what needs to be done with large pathway expansions around Time Traveler and Mystic River, not to mention the added holiday area.

The main square and entrance are unfortunately what needs to be addressed next. I say unfortunately because that will change a good bit of the nostalgia and atmosphere of the park. Perhaps why it's been avoided so far.

Parking is the other issue... they simply need to invest in a disney style parking deck at this point. So all in all, they need at least $100 million worth of infrastructure improvements just to handle crowds.

But for all that to be worth it, they need enough employees just to run the park as it currently stands! Lots of tricky issues for them to sort out, but this has been going on for years.

I don’t understand this logic.

The problem has absolutely nothing to do with space. I have been to the park hundreds of times and have never felt like I couldn’t get in or out. The entrance and exit has never been more than a minor inconvenience if someone stops right in front of me. Then I simply walk around them. You are too set on getting rid of the old SDC you are looking for excuses.

The problems are staffing. They need to hire more people and open everything up when they say the park is open. They need to have powder keg up and running before chain drop. They need to build rides that work, not rides like MRF. They need to use at least two trains on the rides. They need to open the mine back up. They need to be sure all snack stands, lemonade stands, etc are open when the park is open.

SDC needs to take the money they are going to invest in the next “NeW bIgGeSt SpIn DrOp omg!” ride that won’t work, or the money they’d waste on expanding the entrance and invest it instead on staffing and overall park maintenance.

There have been times when I have arrived to the park that the line to get through the turnstiles stretches back almost to where people were getting off the trams. There have been times me and my family have been stuck in the pathway near Brown's Candy unable to move because the crowd was completely jam packed and we were praying there wouldn't be a stamped or crowd panic. There have been times when the line to exit the park winds all the way up through the hospitality house. Space is absolutely a problem. Staffing is also a problem. There are plenty of other problems too.

Unfortunately, you can't hire people who aren't there, and you can't make space without ruining some of the history and ambiance that we have grown to love. Nothing is going to come easy if the park is going to keep growing the way it has.

Curious what it will look like this weekend. The weekend after Thanksgiving has often been their busiest of the year.

cowboy

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #232 on: November 26, 2021, 12:16:51 PM »
Movement on Wednesday wasn’t horrible…but I did notice they had some traffic directors out (see pictures). They were also using the overflow entrance to avoid the conflict of entering and exiting guest.

Today should be interesting, park opened at 11 and at 11:15 they were sending out crowd notices. Will be interesting to read the Facebook and Google reviews after tonight. Tomorrow expect worse with temps climbing in the 60’s.

Jay

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #233 on: November 27, 2021, 08:44:26 AM »
I don’t understand this logic.

The problem has absolutely nothing to do with space. I have been to the park hundreds of times and have never felt like I couldn’t get in or out. The entrance and exit has never been more than a minor inconvenience if someone stops right in front of me. Then I simply walk around them. You are too set on getting rid of the old SDC you are looking for excuses.

I used to think pretty much that way until I was at the Christmas festival in 2019 with 25,000 people and trying to get out of the park after the first tree lighting.  The square was shoulder to shoulder with dividers from the Hospitality House to Ozark Marketplace for people that were coming and going with no one really moving at all.  I know this was just one day but there are more and more of these days with the expansion of festivals to deal with in today's SDC.  You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

I don't know if entering the park needs a lot done to it.  Yes, I know it gets backed up but it moves at a fairly good pace.  I think just separate the entrance and the exit would make a big difference. 

The infrastructure inside the park is a major problem along with staffing shortage of workers.  At this point there is not much that can be done about staffing since almost every business is having the same problem.  I think they have done a pretty good job on the infrastructure so far but a lot still needs to be done.  It's just going to be an ongoing process trying to keep up with.

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #234 on: November 28, 2021, 10:40:38 PM »
You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

How has security screening affected throughput?

Gilligan

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #235 on: November 29, 2021, 07:27:51 AM »
You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

How has security screening affected throughput?
I don't know how it is throughout the day, but I can tell you they were all business and not friendly at 8:00 am for Black Friday.  I entered the park using a wheelchair.  They separated my husband and myself, asked me twice to see my cell phone after I told them I didn't bring it in with me, wanded me and my wheelchair with my arms out, under the seat, etc.  I've been there in a wheelchair before (not a rented one), and entry was never this intense.


MCLFLN

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #236 on: November 29, 2021, 07:31:09 AM »
 Why would they want/need to see your cell phone?


You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

How has security screening affected throughput?
I don't know how it is throughout the day, but I can tell you they were all business and not friendly at 8:00 am for Black Friday.  I entered the park using a wheelchair.  They separated my husband and myself, asked me twice to see my cell phone after I told them I didn't bring it in with me, wanded me and my wheelchair with my arms out, under the seat, etc.  I've been there in a wheelchair before (not a rented one), and entry was never this intense.

Pintrader

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #237 on: November 29, 2021, 07:55:04 AM »
Why would they want/need to see your cell phone?


You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

How has security screening affected throughput?
I don't know how it is throughout the day, but I can tell you they were all business and not friendly at 8:00 am for Black Friday.  I entered the park using a wheelchair.  They separated my husband and myself, asked me twice to see my cell phone after I told them I didn't bring it in with me, wanded me and my wheelchair with my arms out, under the seat, etc.  I've been there in a wheelchair before (not a rented one), and entry was never this intense.

I guess some screenings might be a little intense depending on the situation.  For the most part it's just raise your cell phone and walk through.  If you happen to set off the detectors then you are stopped and they find out what set it off.  It's very quick and has minimal effect on backing up of the line getting in.

Gilligan

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #238 on: November 29, 2021, 08:08:32 AM »
Why would they want/need to see your cell phone?


You used to be able to watch the parade if you were there 15 minutes before it started but now you need to be there way before that if you expect to see anything.

I guess they wanted to see it because they didn't believe that I didn't bring one in with me. They did a thorough search of my book bag and lunch box (the only thing in my book bag), went through all the small pockets in it...it's never been that intense before.

How has security screening affected throughput?
I don't know how it is throughout the day, but I can tell you they were all business and not friendly at 8:00 am for Black Friday.  I entered the park using a wheelchair.  They separated my husband and myself, asked me twice to see my cell phone after I told them I didn't bring it in with me, wanded me and my wheelchair with my arms out, under the seat, etc.  I've been there in a wheelchair before (not a rented one), and entry was never this intense.

Pudgy Jones

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Re: 2021 Crowds/Trip Reports
« Reply #239 on: November 29, 2021, 09:03:24 AM »
My family and I were there Saturday, and we were prepared for a record crowd. Unless we missed something, that crowd never materialized. We have gone the Saturday after Thanksgiving for 20+ years, and we have watched the crowd get bigger each year. At one point in 2018 while we were stuck in a mass of people and couldn't move, we looked at each other and vowed never again (but we did it again  :)).

This year, we went with a plan. We got the a Show-Lovers pass for A Dickens Christmas Carol and knew which bottle-necks to avoid at which time. We went with the intention of NOT riding rides...only looking at Christmas lights, shopping, and enjoying the atmosphere. We were there from 11 AM to the last tree lighting at 10:00 AM. The weather was great, the crowds were manageable, and it might have been one of our more enjoyable trips to the City for Christmas.