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Apr 11, 2017
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KD is putting quite a bit of focus on dining this year. Their web page has many job openings for culinary positions that are full-time, year round positions. Up until this year, most food related jobs offers were seasonal positions.

What I find interesting is the fact that the park is having a hard time finding life guards for the waterpark this year. In years past, it appeared the park had no problem filling life guard positions. I always thought the water park was better staffed than the dry park during the prime summer season. Many times I saw life guards working the dry side of the park before and after the water parks scheduled operating days.
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Yes, COVID has thrown a major wrench into filling job positions across all industries and businesses. But, the related restrictions and closures seem to be having a far deeper inpact on the US workforce and what work conditions folks want to accept before taking a job. Whether or not this is temporary or permanent remains to be seen.

KD had a lot of long time employees. Not sure if many of them will come back, after finding new jobs. One employee in particular I remember is the one older guy that worked at I305. His notable quote is "HOLD ON TIGHT AND ENJOY YOUR RIDE", right before the Dale Earnhart Jr spiel plays to dispatch the train. Then again, he could have retired a while ago.

As we all know, VA lifted covid restrictions a while ago. It must be Cedar Fair or KD's decision to continue operating as they are. If it's a staffing issue; then they to find a way to get the staff in. If the park closes at 7pm; your not going to get a lot of people from the greater Washington Metropolitan region. As I've said before, there are a lot of people who don't want to arrive as soon as the park opens. They may arrive at 1:00pm or 2:00pm and stay until close; which in the regular world is 10:00pm for KD. But if the park is forced to close at 7:00pm, that in turn changes the psychology of the guest. Arrive at the park at 2:00pm and only ride a few things before they close at 7:00pm. After one ride, food and a game. It doesn't leave you much time to ride.
 
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Mar 18, 2017
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New this last weekend, or I just noticed:
Social distancing stickers removed from ride queue floors.
FoF seating every row (still backed up by 1:00)
(Do still have one way entrance/exit signs on shops)
Squirt BBQ sauce bottles for everyone rather than individually packaged in Country Kitchen
New entrance counters for ticket takers past the old ones, so 2 employees won't have to share one, with plexi shields (seems inconsistent with other changes, but it is very tight there)

Did have an odd experience at Country Kitchen. Back on Preview Day they were weighing the meat, but I saw people getting 6-7 slices of brisket, and I got a big portion of pork. On Sunday the guy put on 3 slices, weighed it, and took one off. I said what's going on here, that's not even enough for a sampler. Since there was no resolution, I said put it back and give me roast chicken, which is a 1/2 chicken, not as big as it sounds but plenty. According to the internet, 4 slices would be typically 3 oz. but of course it varies; you'd get more food than 2-3 slices with the awesome G&G shrimp skewer which isn't chosen for its size. Keep an eye on them if you go there, I hope it was just a mistake (still get something better than chicken tenders! what's with people?). I did get butter once I asked for it, but the muffin wasn't warm at all this time. Chicken was steaming hot, with a visible smoke ring and good flavor, but no crispness to the skin.
 
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Nov 1, 2012
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New this last weekend, or I just noticed:
Social distancing stickers removed from ride queue floors.
FoF seating every row (still backed up by 1:00)
(Do still have one way entrance/exit signs on shops)
Squirt BBQ sauce bottles for everyone rather than individually packaged in Country Kitchen
New entrance counters for ticket takers past the old ones, so 2 employees won't have to share one, with plexi shields (seems inconsistent with other changes, but it is very tight there)

Did have an odd experience at Country Kitchen. Back on Preview Day they were weighing the meat, but I saw people getting 6-7 slices of brisket, and I got a big portion of pork. On Sunday the guy put on 3 slices, weighed it, and took one off. I said what's going on here, that's not even enough for a sampler. Since there was no resolution, I said put it back and give me roast chicken, which is a 1/2 chicken, not as big as it sounds but plenty. According to the internet, 4 slices would be typically 3 oz. but of course it varies; you'd get more food than 2-3 slices with the awesome G&G shrimp skewer which isn't chosen for its size. Keep an eye on them if you go there, I hope it was just a mistake (still get something better than chicken tenders! what's with people?). I did get butter once I asked for it, but the muffin wasn't warm at all this time. Chicken was steaming hot, with a visible smoke ring and good flavor, but no crispness to the skin.
Did you ask for the manager or report this to guest services? To me, 6-7 slices on preview day might have been a perk where they were not restrained by checking weight on that day. I have never seen food portions that big at KD. I could see 3-4 slices being a proper portion for brisket.

Ironic in that I had a craving for BBQ and went to a restaurant, this past weekend, that specializes in BBQ of all types (pork, beef, and chicken). They had signs both in and outside the building that stated to check with your waiter before ordering due to price increases. When I asked the waiter what was going on, he said staff was told that, due to worker shortages at meat processing plants, meats (in their case ribs) had DOUBLED in price by their supplier. Way more demand than supply. The waiter told me that the other meats had not gone up, yet. I was not getting ribs, so the menu price had not changed for my meal.
 
Mar 18, 2017
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^^-- they were putting it on the scale on preview day. Maybe don't know how to use the scale. Anyway, whatever it costs, if it results in 2 little slices on the plate they should give up on it. What are they charging now, $15 or more?
P.S. they said 4 ounces, not sure how much that is.
 
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horsesboy

professional Pantheon observer
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Jun 16, 2013
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New this last weekend, or I just noticed:
Social distancing stickers removed from ride queue floors.
FoF seating every row (still backed up by 1:00)
(Do still have one way entrance/exit signs on shops)
Squirt BBQ sauce bottles for everyone rather than individually packaged in Country Kitchen
New entrance counters for ticket takers past the old ones, so 2 employees won't have to share one, with plexi shields (seems inconsistent with other changes, but it is very tight there)

Did have an odd experience at Country Kitchen. Back on Preview Day they were weighing the meat, but I saw people getting 6-7 slices of brisket, and I got a big portion of pork. On Sunday the guy put on 3 slices, weighed it, and took one off. I said what's going on here, that's not even enough for a sampler. Since there was no resolution, I said put it back and give me roast chicken, which is a 1/2 chicken, not as big as it sounds but plenty. According to the internet, 4 slices would be typically 3 oz. but of course it varies; you'd get more food than 2-3 slices with the awesome G&G shrimp skewer which isn't chosen for its size. Keep an eye on them if you go there, I hope it was just a mistake (still get something better than chicken tenders! what's with people?). I did get butter once I asked for it, but the muffin wasn't warm at all this time. Chicken was steaming hot, with a visible smoke ring and good flavor, but no crispness to the skin.
6-7 slices sounds way to generous and was likely a mistake. meat can be hard to judge weight wise and depending on what the weight was 2 might very well have equalled what you were supposed to get. Weight per servings as a big deal in the industry as in DON'T underway your servings as it is technically considered fraud and can get the company in big trouble so it's usually fairly well monitored. But the the price of meat is increasingly very rapidly and after the hacking incident the other week supplies are be watch very closely by many place so they are also probably being very strict with the employees on don't under weigh items.
 
Apr 11, 2017
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They were pretty lenient on 4th of July. There were people who did not know that a separate reservation was needed for Soak City. They still allowed people in by telling them there was space availability. But more importantly; the saga continues with the staffing shortage. We are almost knee deep in the summer and there isn't a tear drop of a chance of us ever seeing any night rides at KD. Meanwhile, down in Williamsburg, 10:00pm closing on weekends is a reality.

Why is this harder for KD to so? Does this mean there are more people willing to work at Bush Gardens than KD? Is it because Williamsburg is more of a tourist area, so the staffing is always available. Even if that were the case, it can't be too hard for KD to give their staff weekend premiums in order to work a 10:00pm closing hour. Lately the crowds are bigger, but still not like the Saturday crowds that flocked the park before the world pandemic came.

My only concern with this, is how it will effect the Fall season. I am crossing my fingers that reservations won't be needed by that time of the year. But how do you get people to work haunted mazes vs ride operations. There are easy solutions to this. But my gut feeling, tells me that KD will try and operate 8 mazes with early closing hours. It wouldn't surprise me if HAUNT only operates until 10:00pm this year.
 

Gavin

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Sep 27, 2009
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Spotsylvania, Virginia
Transportation is the biggest issue KD has when it comes to hiring employees. KD is literally in the middle of nowhere, and while they use to partner with GRTC to run buses from Richmond, for one reason or another they haven’t this season.
 

Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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Transportation is the biggest issue KD has when it comes to hiring employees. KD is literally in the middle of nowhere, and while they use to partner with GRTC to run buses from Richmond, for one reason or another they haven’t this season.

GRTC has it's own staffing issues alongside of them announcing continued free fares along regular routes meaning the subsidization needs are probably increasing to cover those costs... Basically it's not cheap to run those busses with the frequency needed for staffers to use. But that doesn't discount the employees with cars in the area; it sounds like the lack of international employees and the overall desire to work seasonally for less than year-round or work on a much more flexible schedule is really the culprit in their hours.
 
Jun 3, 2010
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Newport News, VA
Looks like Kings Dominion is stopping reservations. Just went to make some for next Friday, and the website says they're no longer required. I checked Dorney, since I'm going there next month. They'll still require reservations for single day tickets, but not season passes. Don't know about any other Cedar Fair parks.
 
Jul 5, 2017
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They definitely were not really enforcing the reservations at all the few times I went this season except MAYBE the first visit back in early June.
 
Apr 22, 2019
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Looks like Kings Dominion is stopping reservations. Just went to make some for next Friday, and the website says they're no longer required. I checked Dorney, since I'm going there next month. They'll still require reservations for single day tickets, but not season passes. Don't know about any other Cedar Fair parks.
In the case of Dorney, they only require a reservation for single day tickets if you want to go to their water park, not the dry park. Except it says that your ticket includes your reservation, so what does it even mean? Maybe it means that single-day tickets are dated and not good any day. But then that would seem like a reservation for the dry park too. Hmm. I'm not convinced they know what the rules are.
 

RocketChk

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Mar 26, 2011
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Oof. We went last Saturday, arriving at about 2pm. Promptly left at 4. All we did was ride Grizzly. The crowds were wide open. I have personally never seen the parking lot that full. Maybe I was just spoiled by the Covid crowds, but man, I was not ready for that sea of people.
 
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Reactions: Nicole and belsaas
Nov 30, 2018
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I'm wondering if the lower ticket prices are driving more demand beyond even this summer's surge everywhere.
 

horsesboy

professional Pantheon observer
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I'm wondering if the lower ticket prices are driving more demand beyond even this summer's surge everywhere.
KD was a mad house Sunday with the lot probably 3/4s full by 2:30 so it might just be that crazy in general right now.
 

RocketChk

Silver Donor
Mar 26, 2011
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Welp. That explains it. I didn't know the tickets were that cheap either. It was horrible. We noped out of there when we were coming from the Drop Zone area and could see past Auntie Anne's at just a sea of people.
 
Nov 30, 2018
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Season passes are the lowest price in years and daily tickets aren't real high either. I'm not sure how price sensitive KD's customers are to entry prices, so it may just be the craziness in general.
 
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