Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Well this week on In The Loop we played a little game where with the Inauguration this week we looked back on the past 8 years and looked to ahead for what to expect in the next 4. While if you know me, then you probably know I hate politics with a passion (but love theme parks) so I wanted to expand on the conversation a little bit with a blog post, because a lot has happend these past 8 years and we have a lot to look forward to.

The Past 8 Years (a long time when you think about it)

Halloween Explodes
We have seen halloween events go from one or do weekends at the end of the year with a few pumpkins and maybe a haunted house, to full blown spectacles with some that last from mid-September to early November. This has become in many parks the most popular time of the year and while I'm not the big haunted house guy, I do enjoy a good halloween event.

SFGAdv Evolves To Superpark Status
The past 8 years have been very good to my former home park. It has added Nitro, Superman: Ultimate Flight, Kingda Ka, El Toro and The Dark Knight Coaster. While they have lost a large number of flat rides, I think the addition of the big timers more then makes up for it and I mean I pay $50 bucks to ride El Toro, not the scrambler. One of my best memories in the past 8 years was attending opening day of the worlds tallest & fastest coaster with my brother back in 2005.

Cedar Fair Buys Paramount Parks
Probably the biggest single thing to happen in the past 8 years when it comes to amusement park news. While theres always going to be haters out there, I have been happy with the move. Some of the former paramount parks have seen the addition of some really great rides and hey, its one less season pass to buy!

Six Flags Regime Change
Dan Snyder, Mark Shapiro and Red Zone took over the struggaling Six Flags chain. They made a lot of changes like putting ads everywhere, adding smaller rides all cheaply themed to a license, raising prices and removing rides. While I think from a business standpoint they have made the right moves, but from a fan standpoint I completely hate it and hope the stock stays in the toilet and they FAIL FAIL FAIL.

Sweet New Designs
We have had the Intamin Rocket Coaster, the B&M Flyer and the Intamin Woodie. All awesome and I hope we see many more of them in the future.

E Tickets
Not a great 8 years for E Tickets but we did have Revenge of the Mummy, Soarin & Expedition Everest......... I am expecting better in the next 4 years.

This new medium (which I completely love) was born and flourished. Its obviously become a hobby of mine between running A Walk In The Park Podcast for the past 2.5 years and were getting to almost a full year of doing the new In The Loop. We have had a lot of really great podcast come up including Coaster Radio & Season Pass and many excellent disney ones: Inside The Magic, WDW Today & WDW Radio Show.

Zero New York Yankees World Series Championships
This was not cool all.

New Parks Flopping
I think we've learned that building parks is a very very risky thing to do, and has a high chance of failure. We have seen flops like Wild West World, Cypress Gardens (rides side), Celebration City and the biggest theme park flop possibly of all time Hard Rock Park.

Old Parks Gone
It wasn't only the new parks that struggled, we saw some parks that have been around for quite a while calling it quits including Geauga Lake, Astroland (it was a dump, good riddence), Astroworld (not a good decade for parks with 'astro' in the name) and The Myrtle Beach Pavillion.

Looking Forward To The Next 8 Years

What Will Happen To The Busch Parks?
InBev has taken over and needs money and the disposable non-core asset that the theme parks are, well are being put on the block. They've already cut out the free beer (boooo). The parks have always been excellent and in my mind of a quality just below the Disney/Universal level. The million dollar question is whose going to buy?? No one knows, but it will be fascinating to watch. Will all the parks be sold together or will they be split up? Would a Disney or Universal be interested or will a foreign company take the reigns? Boy, I would love to see Disney take over the Sea World Orlando parks.

What Will Become of Six Flags?
There stocks in the toilet, they've got a butt load of debt and they're building hair salons.

Many New York Yankees World Championships
Bank on it, its gonna happen.

E Tickets
This one has me really excited 2010 brings The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Universal Orlando, and while we haven't been told just whats going to be in the giant show building residing in between Jurassic Park & The Lost Continent, but I am expecting something spectactular. 2011 brings Transformers: The Ride to Universal Hollywood, spiderman technology meets giant robots..... sign me up! The biggest things to happen in the next 4 years will be in the 1.1 billion dollars being put into Disney's California Adventure. I am sooo pumped for Wonderful World of Color, The Little Mermaid and Radiator Springs Racers.

Christmas Events
Will Christmas be the next Halloween? A lot of parks seem to be jumping on the bandwagon and while its not as easy to pull off, it seems to be gaining steam.

My Move To Orlando
While not official official yet (I am about 95%, barring any unforeseen events its on) I am planning on moving to the center of the theme park world. I don't like my current city or area of the country (it was -33 wind chill last week) don't like my job enough to stay here and could use a change in my life and to me there is no better town to live in. Stay tuned to the blog in Mid-February, thats when I will be making the official call to move to the sunshine state with the target move date of late March.

Hope you enjoyed reading, please post your comments!!

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