Category Archives: Wildwater Kingdom

Everything You Need to Know About the Cedar Fair All Season Souvenir Bottle

170421 2017 Carowinds Souvenir Cups

The souvenir drink bottles tend to have a love/hate relationship among park goers. Those of us who still travel with a stroller have no problem bringing along our souvenir bottles when going on rides. However, those that are strollerless or do not have people to hold their belongings are encouraged to rent a locker for storing your bottle. While the souvenir bottles can be an excellent value, they can also have hidden costs when you need to pay to store them.

While there are other storage options liking hiding your souvenir bottle behind a bush or on top of the lockers, you do so at your own risk of them getting stolen or thrown away.

Carowinds rolled out a test all season long souvenir cup in 2015; however, since it was rolled out in late July, they may not have been too well received since half of the season was already over.

Well the good news is the all-season souvenir bottles were rolled out at all of the Cedar Fair parks in 2016 and continue in 2017 due to their overwhelming success!

How Much Do the All Season Souvenir Cups Cost?

For $29.99, guests can enjoy unlimited refills throughout the 2017 season. The price is the same online as it is in the parks.

In addition to the cost of the cups online, you pay tax and processing fee. You can wait and purchase the cups at the park to save on the processing fee.

170415 Kings Island 2017 Mystic Timbers Souvenir Bottle

Why Are the Souvenir Bottles So Expensive?

If you know anything about the restaurant business, margins are very low on food. While a regular guest paying $15 for a meal makes the company money, a guest on the meal plan carries risk of eating more throughout the year than the cost of the plan. An all-season meal plan at $90-113 (2017 All-Season dining plans at Fall 2016 prices) with an average $11 for a meal ($15 – $4 for a drink not included on the meal plan), means you need to eat at least 9 meals throughout the season to break even. At two meals a day, that means on your fifth visit you break even.

The park than carries a risk of you eating more meals and eating into their profits.

That is where the souvenir cups make up the difference and where the park makes real money.

When you purchase a souvenir cup, regardless of whether it is regular bottle or all season version, you pay upfront a fee to use the cup. In addition, the cost of the bottle far exceeds the cost of the dispensed beverages, which costs cents. No matter how many times you refill the cup, the park makes money.

So the short answer is, the parks make their money on the souvenir bottles more than the food, and thus why you pay a premium for the bottles.

Where Can You Use the All Season Souvenir Cup?

Just like in 2016, we have independently confirmed from park officials that the 2017 all season cups will be able to be used at ALL Cedar Fair parks!

There still tends to be some confusion about where you purchased your souvenir cup online versus which park you take them to redeem. For example, can you purchase your cup through the Cedar Point website but redeem for them at Carowinds since they open earlier in the season?

In 2016, we successfully did redeem our Cedar Point souvenir cup receipt at Kings Dominion. While we are sure this will still be the case in 2017, you should try and purchase your cup at which ever park you will visit first to avoid confusion. Thereafter, you can use the cups at ANY Cedar Fair park.

Word to the wise! The all season cups will become highly valuable this year, and just leaving them around makes them all the more prone to theft. Factor in the cost to secure your cup during each visit, or you will find yourself thirsty at the well.

160404 Carowinds Souvenir Cups and Popcorn Bucket

Should You Purchase the All-Day or All-Season Souvenir Cups?

The all-season cups offer free refills all season. However, there are still all-day cups that are free refills on the day of purchase and $1 refills all season.

During the 2014 and 2015 seasons, one could reactivate your cup on a subsequent visit to get unlimited refills on that day versus paying the $1.00 per refill fee. So the question was, could you reactivate the all-day cups?

Cup reactivation was deactivated in 2016 with the introduction of the all-season cup.

Therefore, if you plan on visiting more than a couple times, it makes sense to get the all-season cup. If you are only visiting for one, or even a couple visits but do not plan on drinking a lot, it may make more sense to buy the all-day cup and get $1 refills on subsequent visits.

160430 Cedar Point Valravn Souvenir Cups

What if I do not want to pay and store the souvenir cup to ride?

The great news is that for 2017, Cedar Fair introduced a season pass drink program. For $29.99, you can use your season pass at any drink location to receive a disposable cup. The drink program has a 15 minute time constraint between refills.

For additional details and discussion, use these references.

Cedar Point Season Pass Drink Program Coming in 2017

To Souvenir Cup, or Not to Souvenir Cup

* If you liked this post, join other readers who have signed up to for our free Newsletter…because then you will never miss another update!

Is All-Day Dining Worth the Cost?

Is All-Day Dining Worth the Cost

For those of us with season passes, we find the All-Season dining plan to be a spectacular value considering we can eat twice per day at all of the Cedar Fair parks with our Platinum passes. A guest previously wrote in and asked what the break even point on the All-Season dining plan was, and whether we thought it was worth the investment.

For our complete analysis of the All-Season dining plans, visit our post, Is All-Season Dining Worth the Cost?

Today Colleen writes in and asks, “What’s your opinion on value of the All-Day food pass? I have four adults and two five year olds to feed for two days.

All-Day dining plans are currently $31.99 and allow a guest to eat every 90 minutes. Drinks are not included.

While the available dining plan menu options are the same on the All-Day and All-Season dining plans at all the rest of the Cedar Fair parks, at Cedar Point, there are some variations with additional food choices. Review the latest Cedar Point dining plans options for reference, and note there are different options between those with the Single Meal Deals and those with All-Day or All-Season dining plans. For all other park dining plans, review our Cedar Fair park food guides.

After purchasing an All-Day dining plan, you take the voucher to any food stand in the park and they will give the guest a wristband for use throughout the day.

Depending on where you eat throughout the day, meals can vary in size from just enough to feed one person, to more than enough to share. We do not recommend getting an All-Day meal plan for every guest in your party, as eating every 90 minutes provides plenty of opportunities to share. The only stipulation is the guest with the wristband has to order the food.

For simplicity purposes, an entree with side costs roughly $10-12.00 with a drink costing around another $4.00. Therefore, your break even point is approximately 3 meals with the All-Day dining plan. Given one can eat every 90 minutes, that provides a lot of opportunity to get value out of the dining plans.

Before we had All-Season dining plans, we would get the All-Day dining plans to share among 4 of us (Our kids were little and our fifth child was a baby at the time). Eating every 90 minutes provided plenty of opportunity to continually keep mouths fed, even if sometimes it was only a bite or two per person. We would let the kids eat the first meal (or two) and 90 minutes later the adults shared a meal. By the third 90 minutes, the kids may be hungry again.

Assuming you get your first meal around 11:00 am, that provides a second meal at 12:30, third at 2:00, fourth at 3:30, and you will be rolling out of the park with a fifth meal by 5:00…and you still have till closing to enjoy the plan.

Tip: Make sure to scan your wristband as soon as possible, and ask if you can scan it when you order your food at sit down restaurants instead of at the end of the meal when they bring your check. This starts the 90 minute clock for your next meal. If you wait to scan till the end of your sit down meal, you delay the 90 minute wait between meals.

Keep in mind, if packing a couple peanut butter and jelly or lunch meat sandwiches in a cooler along with snacks and drinks is more than adequate to keep you full throughout the day, go ahead and bring them along. However, you will have to leave the cooler in your vehicle (or at the picnic pavilions). Make sure to get your hand stamped so you can get back into the park. However, realize time is wasted in the process of walking back to the car, eating, then walking back in. Within that hour, you could have rode your favorite coaster.

For us and countless others, the dining plans have provided a great opportunity to keep guests in the park to eat the food and ride.

In Summary

Generally speaking, we think the All-Day and All-Season dining plans provide a great value for guests so long as you plan on utilizing them. The guest needs to determine how much food they typically would eat in a visit. If you can share meals and make do with the time constraints between servings, there provides plenty of opportunity to get value out of the system.

* If you liked this post, join other readers who have signed up to for our free Newsletter…because then you will never miss another update!

2017 Early Cedar Fair Season Passes and Dining News

Cedar Fair Platinum Pass

Details are starting to come in for the 2017 Cedar Fair season passes, which includes dining plans, all-season drink cups and bonuses for buying early.

Here is what we know so far.

– New 2017 Platinum passes are $189.00
– 2017 Platinum pass renewals are $184.50

Lower level (Silver, Gold, Regular, etc.) season pass prices vary per park.

New passholders get one (1) free admission during the 2016 season. Renewals receive one (1) free Fast Lane Plus wristband valid for one day during the regular 2016 operating season. This still needs to be determined if every Cedar Fair park will offer these bonus incentives.

All Season Dining plans are $113 for Platinum passholders (note they were $99 for the past two years for early purchases). All Season Dining for other levels of season passes are a $79.99 add on.

Just like the past two seasons, All-Season dining is valid for two meals per day, spaced 4 hours apart.

All-Season Souvenir Cups will also return at a $26.99 price point.

Guests with a non-Platinum season pass will have the option to add on all-season parking plans for $45.00.

Additional add on options include Dinos Alive & Fun Pix.

Information subject to change at any time. Refer to your specific park for the latest pricing info.

* If you liked this post, join other readers who have signed up to for our free Newsletter…because then you will never miss another update!