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Okay so after visiting Carowinds, Kings Island, and Cedar Point in the last 9 months, man does KD need an update for these. Kings Island and Cedar Point had nice modern looking gates with self-scanners for passes and it made getting in and out so easy. Granted I don't think KD is difficult to deal with getting in and out at all but honestly man they need to update the gates. Even if they keep them 2 separate smaller gates like they have now, they give off the perception you're arriving at like an old-school drive in compared to those other gates and the BGW gate.

One has to wonder if the park is considering renovating all of this and the entrance gate down the road as they expand. I hope they put a nice hotel where the old one was like a Spring Hill Suites like at Carowinds. I do think KDs entrance gate itself looks much nicer than the entrance gate to Kings Island. They should definitely consider the nice looking security booths all three of those parks have outside so that the main gate isn't such a clusterf*ck when you arrive sometimes. I don't know just a random park infrastructure comment I've noticed especially after visiting some other Cedar Fair parks and figured I'd open it for discussion.
 
May 23, 2021
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This is an interesting topic. And I agree as well, that KD's parking gates/toll booths, and entrance gate could certainly benefit from updates. But there are certain existing aspects I like about KD.

I love the self-scanners at the KI and CP parking gates. But I'm always weary when it comes to passholders having issues scanning their barcodes (whether from their card or phone) where no attendent is nearby to assist. OR some of the daily ticket holders/non-gold passholders who need to pay for parking, but choose the lane by accident(?); likely because it can be shorter, and usually shows more movement.

The updated CP and Carowinds entrance gates look nice and modern. There's absolutely no denying GateKeeper's proxmity helps elevate the mood. And of course Fury does the same at Carowinds. -Where even at Carowinds' second dry park gate, Afterburn does the same as it dives under the interior entrance path.

Comparison of security (metal detector/bag check) and ticket scan is also interesting between all parks:
Both CP and KI have a good space buffer between security and ticket scan, allowing for lines to properly reform once moving through the first.

Carowinds on the other hand has to be one of the most chaotic (phrasing politely) messes I've ever witnessed, at least on my last several visits this season:
Carowinds attendants at metal detectors do not inspect bags (again at least on my visits). Instead after metal detectors you're directed to a (poorly thought-out) interior U-shaped line. And once done there, you must circle back and find another (space-constrained) ticket scan line to stand in - if that line is actually served by an attendant scanning tickets; which I've unfortunately found out the hard way, as attendants sometimes leave their post with large lines queued up.
Of note, my frustrations with Carowinds entrance gate operations is likely due to staffiing, here in 2022. But it's not a procedure anyone should be subjected to in starting a day at an amusement park.

What I like about KD's entrance gate is that both security and ticket scan is covered and out of the sun (just like ticket scan at KI). Sure, while waiting for KD security you're in the sun (which can be long if you arrive near opening hours of Soak City). But once you get to the metal detectors, you're in the shade - which is also a big positive for the on-duty security attendants themselves.
KD Security also does a good job of throttling traffic so not too many people queue up for the ticket scan lines. But once through security, as lines are physically constrained in length, you can generally switch to shorter lines.

So my personal thoughts of what KD should potentially look at:
  • Add self-scanners at parking gate? MAYBE (If gate can be actively staffed to assist occasional guests with issues)
  • Update/refresh physical appearance of toll booths? YES
  • Update/refresh physcial appearance of entrace gate? YES (To extent possible)
  • Update layout/procedure of entrance gate? NO
  • Add new coaster at entrance gate (like GateKeeper and Fury)? ABSOLUTELY YES!! 😃😃

And if you read this far, apologies/congrats, regarding the post's length. (But if you skipped to the summary bullets, no congrats 😉)
 

EdK

Feb 26, 2021
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379
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I would agree with @outhikn with the exception of another coaster at the gate. I actually prefer when parks keep the coasters well within the park and not right at the entrance. Examples are BGW, WDW and Universal (Hulk is after the main entrance area). I would also prefer if they moved Dominator to the back of the park along with the other ride and instead extended international street with additional shops and dining in addition to nicer landscaping. To me these parks look so much nicer when you have a clean entrance with lots of trees and foliage.
 
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Mar 16, 2016
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I would love to see it. In fact I think the front gate should be noted up towards the parking lot more too. Move it up towards the planter trees, move the GS buildings up more, use some of that to connect an additional way to Dominator while reclaiming some of the parking lot to build out more of an area around Dominator.
 
Nov 30, 2018
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The pathways around Dominator definitely have some potential for small shops and eateries. Maybe as an alley theme off Intl St with street food, merchants, and small spectacle attractions. Right now it’s pretty bare and a long walk to Planet Snoopy with nothing in between.
 
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Reactions: outhikn
Mar 1, 2016
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This is an interesting topic. And I agree as well, that KD's parking gates/toll booths, and entrance gate could certainly benefit from updates. But there are certain existing aspects I like about KD.

I love the self-scanners at the KI and CP parking gates. But I'm always weary when it comes to passholders having issues scanning their barcodes (whether from their card or phone) where no attendent is nearby to assist. OR some of the daily ticket holders/non-gold passholders who need to pay for parking, but choose the lane by accident(?); likely because it can be shorter, and usually shows more movement.

The updated CP and Carowinds entrance gates look nice and modern. There's absolutely no denying GateKeeper's proxmity helps elevate the mood. And of course Fury does the same at Carowinds. -Where even at Carowinds' second dry park gate, Afterburn does the same as it dives under the interior entrance path.

Comparison of security (metal detector/bag check) and ticket scan is also interesting between all parks:
Both CP and KI have a good space buffer between security and ticket scan, allowing for lines to properly reform once moving through the first.

Carowinds on the other hand has to be one of the most chaotic (phrasing politely) messes I've ever witnessed, at least on my last several visits this season:
Carowinds attendants at metal detectors do not inspect bags (again at least on my visits). Instead after metal detectors you're directed to a (poorly thought-out) interior U-shaped line. And once done there, you must circle back and find another (space-constrained) ticket scan line to stand in - if that line is actually served by an attendant scanning tickets; which I've unfortunately found out the hard way, as attendants sometimes leave their post with large lines queued up.
Of note, my frustrations with Carowinds entrance gate operations is likely due to staffiing, here in 2022. But it's not a procedure anyone should be subjected to in starting a day at an amusement park.

What I like about KD's entrance gate is that both security and ticket scan is covered and out of the sun (just like ticket scan at KI). Sure, while waiting for KD security you're in the sun (which can be long if you arrive near opening hours of Soak City). But once you get to the metal detectors, you're in the shade - which is also a big positive for the on-duty security attendants themselves.
KD Security also does a good job of throttling traffic so not too many people queue up for the ticket scan lines. But once through security, as lines are physically constrained in length, you can generally switch to shorter lines.

So my personal thoughts of what KD should potentially look at:
  • Add self-scanners at parking gate? MAYBE (If gate can be actively staffed to assist occasional guests with issues)
  • Update/refresh physical appearance of toll booths? YES
  • Update/refresh physcial appearance of entrace gate? YES (To extent possible)
  • Update layout/procedure of entrance gate? NO
  • Add new coaster at entrance gate (like GateKeeper and Fury)? ABSOLUTELY YES!! 😃😃

And if you read this far, apologies/congrats, regarding the post's length. (But if you skipped to the summary bullets, no congrats 😉)
I agree. When we went to Carowinds for the first time a few weeks ago it was an absolute mess how they have security and ticket scanning. KD should not go that route.
 
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Reactions: outhikn
May 23, 2021
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I would agree with @outhikn with the exception of another coaster at the gate. I actually prefer when parks keep the coasters well within the park and not right at the entrance.

@EdK , I agree with you on the entry coaster aspect as well. I made my original comment above more in jest -- That is, if KD were to go to all the trouble of refreshing the entry plaza, why not just go the extra bit of effort and simply drop in a $30+ million coaster to "spruce" things up 😉.

Honestly, unless major changes were made, the KD entry plaza is simply not suited for a coaster... as it juts out too far into the parking areas, and you also have the operation buildings to contend with (both from physical and aerial eyesore aspects). And though KI's entry plaza may be slightly better suited for a coaster, it too would share similar issues to contend with.
 
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Jonesta6

Glumble
Feb 14, 2019
4,364
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I actually started rarely using that path just because I don't care for how bare it is. Yeah Dominator is cool to watch but really why is that path still so empty?

I'd have to guess it was a part of the scramble to get Dominator from Geaugua Lake - kicking the can down the road kind of thing.

Of course, they could have rerouted some Planet Snoopy pathways to connect and have some attractions front that path too..
 
Nov 1, 2012
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That path actually predates Dominator and was literally just a path separated by a gate from the bus parking.
Yep, just a chain link Fence separated the path from the bus lot.

The path was always on the outer perimeter of the park. It was not meant to be a location for attractions. It was originally for an "express" path to the concert amphitheater and group pavilions. Especially as an exit path after concerts to the park's main gate.

There is not enough room for anything else with the path now wedged between Dominator and Planet Snoopy. Maybe a small flat could be installed across from the top of the Dominator lift hill and the PS driving school cars. But, I don't see that happening any time soon.
 

Jonesta6

Glumble
Feb 14, 2019
4,364
4,263
250
If they were going to do an entrance coaster, I'd prefer they do something unique and not pull a SF with clones.
 

Jonesta6

Glumble
Feb 14, 2019
4,364
4,263
250
True - I personally don't think an entrance coaster is necessary, but just wanted to throw in that if they made such a decision I'd hope it wouldn't be a Gatekeeper clone.
 
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Reactions: Intimidator325
Nov 1, 2012
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I thought I read somewhere that Cedar Fair did not want to put a front gate coaster at either KD, KI, or Can Won. They did not want the coaster to overwhelm the guest experience entering into the grand space of each park's International Street. That's why parks like Cedar Point and Carowinds received a gate coaster as a focus point to the park entrance. Neither park had a grand entrance like I-Street.
 
Jun 3, 2010
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1,133
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Newport News, VA
The problem is that International Street is on the OTHER side of the main entrance. The front gates of the park look tiny and dated. There is nothing there, outside of Winterfest, to get you excited. Coaster or not, I'd love to see a major update for the 50th. And I'm all for putting in a second floor restaurant looking over I-Street. (Of course, I'd love the same thing for the 50' level of the Eiffel Tower, but that's a whole other thing.)
 
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