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Nov 30, 2018
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I'm always stunned by how great this event is. Long parade, immense cast, great food—it really feels like peak KD in all the best ways. Also, I'm a sucker for interactive, environmental performers and characters and Carnivale even provides that. It just makes the park's core feel so alive.
This is why I can’t understand why KD doesn’t do these types of events more often. They are certainly capable of putting on good events, and most their events tend to drive attendance well, but they have big gaps in the year where nothing is going on and the attendance can be sparse.
 

Zachary

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This is why I can’t understand why KD doesn’t do these types of events more often. They are certainly capable of putting on good events, and most their events tend to drive attendance well, but they have big gaps in the year where nothing is going on and the attendance can be sparse.

Well, I can't speak for normally, but yesterday the food booths were literal ghost towns. Essentially no one was buying anything. People liked the parade and performances, but the booths saw VERY few sales yesterday.

Note: We were there the entire time the booths were open doing a comprehensive tasting so we can actually say with confidence that we didn't just miss the rush or whatever.

It's a shame too because most of the food ranges from great to fantastic.
 
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Nov 30, 2018
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Well, I can't speak for normally, but yesterday the food booths were literal ghost towns. Essentially no one was buying anything. People liked the parade and performances, but the booths saw VERY few sales yesterday.

Note: We were there the entire time the booths were open doing a comprehensive tasting so we can actually say with confidence that we didn't just miss the rush or whatever.

It's a shame too because most of the food ranges from great to fantastic.
Doesn't the event officially start today. It's hard to judge an event's success on an unadvertised soft opening.
 
May 23, 2021
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From lunch, through 2pm, when I was at the park today, I noticed the booths were still ghost towns. As @rswashdc noted, I agree on why the booths were empty for last night's soft opening. But today being the official opening of Carnivale, I would have expected more.

On any given Saturday, when BGW does a food event, their lines are impressively long. Of course, discussed at length in this forum, a big part of that is likely due to how many other restaurants are closed at BGW - whereas at KD, just about every single restaurant (and a reasonable percentage of their food/drink stands) are always open, every operating day.

At KD, I imagine their (incredible) All-Season dining plan really cuts into the food event sales - where of course neither BGW nor SFA still offer an equivalent.

So though I absolutely love the Cedar Fair All-Season meal plan - as it is in my opinion one of the best values in the industry, which I add to my family's platinum passes each year, without hesitation... and especially for the past couple of years where the food at KD has greatly improved - I do often wonder how it impacts these food events, like Carnivale and Taste of the Season.

But back to Carnivale... as I noticed quite a number of people purchasing daily tickets today (so excluding the season pass holders who may have the meal plans), I would hope the food booths to receive more traffic... and especially once Soak City closes for the evening, which has a big impact on how much traffic the dry park restaurants receive.
 
Nov 30, 2018
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I don’t think the food booths were even open until 4pm based on the event website. In the evening they seemed at a normal business level with reasonable lines. For comparison we ate at Outpost Cafe around 6 and there was basically no line, so I don’t think the booths were being under utilized for how busy the park was or how hot it was. In general KD had a lot of food options around in carts, etc. that I hadn’t seen in years, so food availability was broad throughout the park.
 
Nov 1, 2012
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As stated above, the Grand Carnival food booths do not open until 4 pm. The opening ceremony starts at 5 pm and entertainment on the I-Street stage is almost non-stop, with 3 acts rotating almost continuously till close.
 
May 23, 2021
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As stated above, the Grand Carnival food booths do not open until 4 pm. The opening ceremony starts at 5 pm and entertainment on the I-Street stage is almost non-stop, with 3 acts rotating almost continuously till close.

Hmm, that's interesting, and makes sense that the booths do not open till 4pm - that is, open shortly before the actual festivities start.

But what made me think that the food booths were open... was yesterday when I got to the park around 11:30, till when I left shortly after 2 (as I came just for lunch and to ride a few rides), most all of the food booths were staffed with at least 1 to 2 people. (Of note, the game booths in comparison were all very much closed though, with a tarp draped down across their front.)

So again, it's interesting that food booths are staffed throughout the day, but that those people sit idle, for 4+ hours, inside a (hot) booth, rather than being utilized elsewhere in some other capacity.
 
Nov 30, 2018
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Hmm, that's interesting, and makes sense that the booths do not open till 4pm - that is, open shortly before the actual festivities start.

But what made me think that the food booths were open... was yesterday when I got to the park around 11:30, till when I left shortly after 2 (as I came just for lunch and to ride a few rides), most all of the food booths were staffed with at least 1 to 2 people. (Of note, the game booths in comparison were all very much closed though, with a tarp draped down across their front.)

So again, it's interesting that food booths are staffed throughout the day, but that those people sit idle, for 4+ hours, inside a (hot) booth, rather than being utilized elsewhere in some other capacity.
I'd speculate they were doing prep work for the day. From my food industry experience when younger, several hours prep is typically needed to get ready for the actual meal times.
 
Mar 8, 2022
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This is why I can’t understand why KD doesn’t do these types of events more often. They are certainly capable of putting on good events, and most their events tend to drive attendance well, but they have big gaps in the year where nothing is going on and the attendance can be sparse.
Sometimes doing too much kills the benefit. You basically spread visits too thin.

From lunch, through 2pm, when I was at the park today, I noticed the booths were still ghost towns. As @rswashdc noted, I agree on why the booths were empty for last night's soft opening. But today being the official opening of Carnivale, I would have expected more.
I think it's going to take a while before people start embracing food at KD again. Honestly, if it wasn't for everyone talking up the prime rib at outpost I wouldn't even have given that a shot.... I really was completely done with food at KD. When you do damage like was done to KD's food offerings previously it just takes time to build back a reputation.
 

Coasternerd

What’s better than one coaster? 2 coasters!
Dec 7, 2021
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I think it's going to take a while before people start embracing food at KD again. Honestly, if it wasn't for everyone talking up the prime rib at outpost I wouldn't even have given that a shot.... I really was completely done with food at KD. When you do damage like was done to KD's food offerings previously it just takes time to build back a reputation.
Oh you mean how bgw is damaging their food rep?
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Change my mind meme:

Majority (98%) of theme/amusement park food is no better than fast food.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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I don't think it's as high as 98% but you're not wrong and the sad part is it never used to be that way. The independent as well as Palace parks all seem to have really good food.
It’s mostly why I think these things are subjective. BK, McD, Wendy’s are the same level of crap; people just prefer one to the other.

And I’m not going to say anyone is wrong in their opinion, but I can say personally the discussion isn’t super helpful because of that part of it.
 

Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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Eh, the challenge with fast food is comparables - is park burgers and fried chicken better? Is park pizza better?

The bigger thing are the park having items not found in fast food locations, including the variety of sides (that didn't used to exist before Chef Denis).
 
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Nov 1, 2012
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Sometimes doing too much kills the benefit. You basically spread visits too thin.


I think it's going to take a while before people start embracing food at KD again. Honestly, if it wasn't for everyone talking up the prime rib at outpost I wouldn't even have given that a shot.... I really was completely done with food at KD. When you do damage like was done to KD's food offerings previously it just takes time to build back a reputation.
I went to the park this past Saturday and ate at the Outpost Cafe. I had the prime rib as well. The portion was huge and the meat was tender. I chose a cold side of the "Cole Slaw". That is NOT the traditional creamy, cabbage based form. It had noodles, sesame seeds, carrots and 2-3 other ingredients, tossed in a sweet vinagarette. Lord that was good!

The interesting thing while eating there was a group of 5-6 adults talking close by where I was sitting. They brought up Busch and stated how much they were enjoying the food at KD. Maybe they had memberships to BGW? I've also seen Facebook posts by folks that go to both parks and they were not too enthused about the normal food service at BGW (not talking about the specialty food events like Food & Wine).

The reputation was building back when Grain & Grill opened last year. Also, Chef Dennis has changed and tweaked menus & and recipes across almost the whole park in the last 2 years. Folks are picking up on the food service at KD fairly quicky on social media sites.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Eh, the challenge with fast food is comparables - is park burgers and fried chicken better? Is park pizza better?

The bigger thing are the park having items not found in fast food locations, including the variety of sides (that didn't used to exist before Chef Denis).
My commentary was more in they need to produce dishes that can have a shelf life while being able to be quickly, cheaply made in large quantities with little variance day to day.
 
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