While visiting the park last Thursday May 15, I must admit I was very very disappointed in the park staffing and its operation. First off, I am a Cedar Fair pass holder and have been for years. Recently in addition to myself, my family opted for a Cedar Fair pass over Disney because I have a toddler niece and the lines at Disney were to much to deal with. With that said we also know to avoid Knott's on weekends or busy periods. When I attend the park alone and want to ride the "grown up" rides I also leave work early on a non peak weekday or arrive first thing on the weekends. Overall I am very aware of the peak periods at the park.
With that said, the last two times I have been to Knott's on a off season 10am-6pm operating weekday I have been utterly disappointed in the parks performance. Arriving at 11am, as far as I saw EVERY coaster in the park was only running one train(including one tower on Supreme Scream). The trains were not fully loaded and the dispatch times between trains were HORRIBLE. Many employees seemed lethargic with an attitude. Overall the park was not crowded attendance wise but every major attraction/rollercoaster in the park had at least a 30 minute wait time due to the rides low hourly capacity. On a 8 hour business day I find this unacceptable. Once again I was without my family and a single rider, something that Knott's does not use to fill in empty seats on any attraction.
Another major concern of mine in the park that day was on the Sierra Sidewinder children between 42"-48" policy of riding with a responsible adult. On this Thursday the park was operating one train(as on all rides) and I waited in line 30 minutes to board the next train. The adult in the boarding lane next to me had at least 3 children that were between 42" and 48". The staff had him ride with one child the cycle before mine while leaving his other very young dependants unattended, confused, and crying. After that cycle I was asked by your ride operators and the staff trainer that was at the ride Robin(without a name tag on) to ride with one of these children that I had never met before. Now as a middle aged single male I felt very uncomfortable and awkward with this request for obvious reasons and on top of that I told them I did not want to be physically responsible for a 5 year old child that I have never met. The staff told me I was not responsible for them or anything that happens to them on the ride. So I asked why I had to ride with them. Policy. So for me not wanting to ride with someone else's young child between under 48" I had to wait another two cycles while one of the employees rode with the children that were not even in my lane extending my wait significantly. I should have never been asked to "watch" a strangers child on a ride.
On a side note I also have a platinum pass for the Six Flags chain. The last two time I have visited Magic Mountain on a off peak weekday they have had all rides very well staffed and most, if not all major attractions/coasters were in two car operation and the dispatch times were very efficient even allowing guests to re-ride.
I realize a park or ride can have a bad day but this seems to be much more than just one bad day. Just like any other publicly traded corporation you have a bottom line, and responsibility to your stockholders and consumers. For me to take time out of my day and voice this is something I feel very strongly about and something that can be rectified.