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horsesboy

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So interestingly the KD pass members FB group is reporting that there were fireworks tonight but that they could only be seem with special glasses that the park was giving out at the giftshops. Anyone have any insight into this?

Per post in that group this is apparently the view without the glasses.
 

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mtorange

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The glasses didn’t really make a difference at all, to be honest. I guess it’s better than no fireworks!
 

Nibbins

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I think the hope was to take the little light the fireworks produce and make them look like more with the glasses.
There wasn't nearly enough light produced by the fireworks to even show that effect properly it seems.
 
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Mar 18, 2017
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Yeah they probably had a bunch of diffraction glasses left over from the clown maze. They don't focus properly through the phone so I had to look hard to see the effect. I have a pair right here and it's very obvious with eyeballs.

I didn't stay for the fireworks but July 4 was newbie city. At Dominator before rope drop, the crew sent out test runs of 3 trains at a high rate, then let the people in. Nothing moved for 2-3 minutes between dispatches -- it was at least 10 minutes between getting on a train and being let off. Let me guess, every train someone's too large, chickens out, has loose articles, maybe some kids at the height limit. Back at Timbers, was the least crowd for the first hour I've seen since full park opening. Many empty seats and got a reride or 2.
 

JohnKell

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KD stopped doing fireworks at night during the 1976 season. For the bicentennial celebration, They had fireworks at ground level between the Yell and Lake Charles. Anyway, it rained in the 4th and the all you could see was smoke and steam.
 
Apr 11, 2017
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I missed it. Me and my buddy had just gotten off I305 and went directly over to Flight of Fear to get as many rides in as we could, before the fireworks started. As we were waiting for the front row, we heard them going off. Some park staff, said they would wait until at least 8:00pm, before they shot them off. Well, I guess that was wrong. Anyways, I told my buddy if he wanted to; he could run out and watch them. He decided to ride with me. So we watched the video, as we were standing in line for Rita's Italian Ice. Most of the comments were negative. Afterwards, we drove down to Richmond, VA to watch the fireworks.

As we have all been told, a lot of this has to do with KD's staffing issue. But there are a few things I am scratching my head on. Bush Gardens is still managing to pull of 10:00pm on weekends. What is KD's problem? I'd really love to get another visit in, but I've been twice this year. We expected by July; we'd be able to get some night rides in; but KD's staffing issue seems to be holding it back.
 

horsesboy

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I missed it. Me and my buddy had just gotten off I305 and went directly over to Flight of Fear to get as many rides in as we could, before the fireworks started. As we were waiting for the front row, we heard them going off. Some park staff, said they would wait until at least 8:00pm, before they shot them off. Well, I guess that was wrong. Anyways, I told my buddy if he wanted to; he could run out and watch them. He decided to ride with me. So we watched the video, as we were standing in line for Rita's Italian Ice. Most of the comments were negative. Afterwards, we drove down to Richmond, VA to watch the fireworks.

As we have all been told, a lot of this has to do with KD's staffing issue. But there are a few things I am scratching my head on. Bush Gardens is still managing to pull of 10:00pm on weekends. What is KD's problem? I'd really love to get another visit in, but I've been twice this year. We expected by July; we'd be able to get some night rides in; but KD's staffing issue seems to be holding it back.
KD appears to be taking the strategy that shorter days of full staffing is better then long days of short staffing. Honestly i am not sure which one works better. I am several groups of members for both parks and see lots of post negative to things like one train opps that BGW is doing to spread their staff out and many post negative to short days and limited availability that KD is doing to allow them to be more or less fully staffed and running it seems like more of a dammed if you do dam if you don't situation.
 
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Jonesta6

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Staffing is likely the #1 reason they did daytime, but I don't think you can write off their staying strategy as being on par with BGW since it seems obvious to me that having a mostly staffed park with limited hours provides a much better and consistent experience than partially staffing to retain longer hours.

Though the thought about opening the parking lots only after dark to do the fireworks display seems like a good way to increase cash, I'm guessing the cost of staffing plus any additional facilities such as restrooms needed probably isn't worth it.
 

Jonesta6

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Good question - I'd guess that it comes down to the competitive advantage to have employees headed home before 8pm (assuming the staff has to stay behind a bit to corral guests and clean up after park closure plus it takes time to go from a work location to their cars) vs. retail/food service employers that have a late 2nd shift end or even a 3rd shift (Taco Bell needs to satisfy late nights and breakfasts now). WF operations are for a much shorter term than summer seasonal hours, and although they do bring on new staff I believe a majority of staff you see are summer and/or Haunt employees riding out their employment as long as possible.

With a labor shortage, the park not being a prime employment option for many in the area, and other employers potentially offering more value to employees, they gotta do what they can to ensure proper staffing levels.
 
Jun 16, 2021
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Most employees are working from open to close which encompasses the normal park hours of 11-7 plus around an hour before and about 1 and a half to 2 hours after close. Factor in driving to and from the park, most people are leaving their house by 9am and getting back at 9pm all while doing this 5/6 days a week. Also keep in mind most workers are either in high school or college. Without international workers and the layoff of over a year, most workers are new and very few returners.
 
Apr 11, 2017
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Honestly, I don't understand why the park didn't just open later in the day. Would it have been too much trouble for them to open at 1:00pm and close at 10:00pm? Most people who drove from the greater Washington Metropolitan area probably didn't arrive until 1:00pm or 2:00pm. Many were probably surprised that the park was not staying open past 7:00pm. So if you did most of your day in the water park, you lost a lot of ride time.

Honestly, opening later would probably be the better option. I'd say 1:00pm or 9:00pm or 10:00pm on weekends.
 
Jun 16, 2021
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The park is doing that for grand carnivale. It’s not much better but it’s 12-8. You’re still going to have people complain that the park is opening up at noon. There’s going to be people who you can never make happy.
 
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Nibbins

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There is drawbacks to opening later, so I think people might have good reason to complain.

-Traffic is worse later in the day on a weekend. When I went to the 12pm opening on the preview day my drive was 1hour longer due to multiple traffic jams then it has been on any of the 6 times I have been there for the 11am openings since then.
-If you have a 2-3h drive, its much more manageable to leave early on a Sunday to make it to the park on opening and make it back home in time for everyone to get enough sleep for work/school on Monday than it would be if the park was to open 2pm - 10pm.
-Considering a 2PM opening: Having paid for meal plans for the whole family I really would prefer feeding the kids at the park rather then in the middle of the trip to the park.

I think it's not a problem of some "people who you can never make happy" but rather that you can't make all people happy at the same time.
 
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Apr 11, 2017
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You are right about meal plans. I did not take that into consideration.

I didn't say they had to do 10:00pm closing daily. But weekends wouldn't hurt. The thing I scratch my head on is the staffing issue. You do need a decent number of staff to open in the morning hours. That generally requires them to be there an hour or so before the park opens. So is the issue, not having enough staff to work late evening hours? Could that issue simply be fixed by offering night differential pay? Same thing they do with construction workers and people that work at hospitals. For a theme park, they could easily offer 4 dollars more for staff shifts that extend pass 6:00pm.
 
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