Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekly Topic: Cedar Fair, the new company to hate

First off I wanna kick of this blog entry by introducing a new recurring segment, and that is the Weekly Topic. The Weekly Topic was the brain child of Nate from the Kevin & Nate Show over at coasterdom. The weekly topic is going to be written by one different coaster fansite everyweek, and all the other folks that are on board will post their thoughts of the topic on their sites. The person who writes the Weekly Topic will rotate from week to week. A very cool idea and one I am looking foreward to partaking in each and every week. And now onto this weeks topic:

Cedar Fair, the new company to hate
The original article can be viewed here and was written by coasterdom's Nate. My thoughts on the topic:

I have noticed the same thing as him and that on the most popular coaster boards like Coasterbuzz (if you can get past all the pop-ups) or TPR. And I don't really get it, I mean here are the common gripes that are written against Cedar Fair and why I think their crap.

Cedar Fair Parks Have Too Many Trashcans
Complete crap. I mean if a park is dirty and has overfilling trashcans then it definetely deserves to be bashed, but if the parks are clean and have lots of trash recepticles to keep them that way I think bashing them is dumb.

Cedar Fair is Uncreative
Okay so what was a generally un-themed coaster named Top Gun is now a generally un-themed coaster named Flight Deck. Whats it matter, are you not going to visit the park cause its Flight Deck? Are you going to enjoy the ride less with the new name? Is your day at the park going to be disappointing because Drop Zone is now Drop Tower? NO this was all a result of bored fanboys stuck in an offseason of boredom. It has really no impact on anything excpet lame jokes made by some losers on message boards.

Cedar Fair Destroys Theming
First off, Cedar Fair doesn't 'destroy theming' just to remove it from the park, but they do so if they are going to replace that 'themed area' with a world class roller coaster or attraction. Personally I don't go to any park outside of Disney-Busch-Universal for theming, because when Six Flags or Cedar Fair trys it normally its mediocre at best. Its not like Cedar Fair is removing something along the lines of Cinderella Castle or the Lost Continent, to put in Pony Express, but instead was an old tired graveyard area. I mean if its true that the B&M is coming to Kings Island next year, what are more people likely to say:
Kings Island got rid of the lake by Italian Job, I don't wanna go there
There is a new 200 foot coaster over at Kings Island, lets go

If you wanna beat up on a chain, I stick the traditional standpoint and bash good ole Six Flags and here are a few reasons why.

There more expensive
Six Flags is the pricier chain for a generally worse experiance. Between admission (60 bucks to many) parking (15 bucks at many) and the absolutely crazy prices for 'flashpass' makes SF an easy target.

There are ads everywhere
Six Flags parks are becoming more and more like Pro Sports Stadiums with ads everywhere they can stick them. From ads for cornnuts in medusa's line to 100 posters for 'the seeker' on the parks lightpoles to giant GEICO banners hung on SFGAm's Viper or SFGAdv's water tower.

Mandatory Lockers on all Coasters
This year every major coaster at Six Flags parks you must pay a dollar to put loose articles in a locker, such as back packs, basketballs and stuffed prices. What this means to me is that I won't be playing any games cause I wouldn't wanna pay the locker fees if I did win, and also Its goodbye cheap souvenir cup refills all day and hello 3.50 20 oz cokes.

They're Taking Out A Lot Of Rides
New Six Flags corporate policy is aparentely remove a lot of rides and close down unpopular sections of the parks and let the rides rot. I mean look at what got removed from SFGAdv this offseason:
Movie Town Water Effect
Space Shuttle
and the old country will be closed, so no music express or bumper cars and now shows in the showcase theater or the stunt arena.

SFKK closed off the area with Twisted Twins.

SFMM got rid of almost all their flat rides.

There Not Adding Big Coasters
I am surprised this one hasn't gotten more attenion on the nerd forums, but has anyone else noticed that with Shapiro at the realm Six Flags hasn't been adding big coasters. Now let me also say I don't care "whats smart for the park to add" or "thats a great investment for the park", I am a fan, not a stockholder. And look at what Six Flags parks have added in the two years Shapiro has controlled capital expansion:
4 Small Tony Hawk Themed Spinning Coasters
3 Dark Knight Themed Wild Mouses
Evel Knevel
Thats it. Two years and the only semi large coaster was a mid-size GCI woodie. Most expansions have been cheaply done unexciting additions with some licensing tie in.

If Cedar Fair is going to be building "Behemoths" and Six Flags is going to be building "Tony Hawks" clones in every park, I know what team I wanna be on.

Other Responses:
Theme Park Village
News Plus Notes

Topic General Discussion


Observer said...

The Geauga Lake closing, though over half a year ago, could have a bad impact on Wildwater Kingdom and Cedar Point this year.

The destruction of John Miller's 1925 classic Big Dipper roller coaster, the 12th oldest on earth, would echo for years to come. It is up for auction on June 17-18. Cedar Fair's public statements have indicated a complete unwillingness to even consider the ACE plan to preserve the coaster on site along with a museum and some entertainment/retail development, as is summarized in the CNN irreport along with historic pictures of Big Dipper:

In addition, the general public in Northeast Ohio is still upset about the park closing without notice after 120 years. This will intensify as the summer storms roll in and the Big Dipper meets its fate.

Pat McCabe said...

I honestly think that the elimination of the ride side will have absolutely no effect at all on CP's attendence, which could increase quite a bit with people in Ohio having one less place to go for Roller Coasters. And since the waterpark was the big draw for GL anyway I think WildWater Kingdom will do decent in attendence even if its small.

I am sure Cedar Fair would consider the ACE plan if they were even close when it comes to the money that that piece of land would go for.

Mike In Va said...

I agree on the six flags bashing being more in line than with the CF bashing,especially with the way Shapiro continues the fine tradition of leaving parks to rot with no new rides....take SFA for instance,no new theme park rides have been added since 2003 & rides have been removed steadily at the rate of about two a year.

The only thing I hate about CF's way of doing things is the renaming of some rides in the former PP chain.I mean "Drop Tower" sounds like something a 4 year old would've come up with when they could've used a trademarked name like "Power Tower" or "Supreme Scream" instead.

chemical_echo said...

About the uncreative comment.

How can you say they're not? It's really not hard to think of a new name for rides. Even different names for the same rides at different parks. Parks should be different experiences instead of re-used names at each park.
Plus, a name like Drop Tower? Come on, seriously. What does it take to get into Cedar Fair's marketing department? A grade 2 education?

Anonymous said...

Geauga Lake was hardly competition for the market in the Cleveland area. Cleveland is a poor city, Cedar Point is expensive.

Take this into consideration:
- Between 2006 and 2007, two high-tech popular coasters were removed from Geauga Lake.
- Prices in 2007 were higher than in 2006.
- Regardless of the previous two facts, attendance was UP for 2007.
- Cedar Fair as a chain & Cedar Point's attendance was DOWN in 2007...

DICK Kinzel, President and Greedy Executive Officer of Cedar Fair, postponed retirement to purchase the Paramount parks. This put the company nearly $2 billion in debt. Geauga Lake is on fairly valuable land, and APPEARED to be taking attendance from Cedar Point. So it's gone.

Cleveland area people typically went to BOTH parks in the summer. A couple 4-7 hour visits to Geauga Lake, and a weekend at Cedar Point. Argue if you want, but gas prices and the Cleveland economy will not be strong supporters for bringing those casual Geauga Lake guests back to Cedar Point for multiple visits.


And don't expect the waterpark to be around long. Prices are the same this year with just the waterpark.

Pat McCabe said...


Where are you getting your information on attendence?

Cedar Points attendence was up 1.5% last year according to the numbers that came out.

Where'd you hear that attendence was up at GL?

Anonymous said...

From people that know these things. And Cedar Fair's attendance was down for the beginning of the season... Cedar Point could have recovered their loss by the end of the year.

But I do know, for a fact, tha Geauga Lake was busier in 2007 than in 2006.

Janice said...

When me and my friends found out that it was closing we were devastated. The only reason we went was for the roller coasters.