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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Europe Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Cedar Fair

Cedar Fair

the_winged_beast the_winged_beast Profile

Posted:
8/26/08 at
6:55:28 AM

Views: 837

Reading a few reports on Cedar Fair, I think the chain has bitten off more than it can chew with the purchase of the former Paramount Parks, the company seem to be making a lot of bad decisions

Not enough steel coasters?
Dick Kinzel has been quoted as saying that the Paramount Parks have really good wood coasters but not really any good steel coasters

The paramount parks are giant parks, with 10s of roller coasters already . . i really don't think plonking in B&M hypers, and relocating Geauga Lakes biggest assets will improve the operation of these parks, maybe a strategy of reducing the number of quite frankly bad coasters, they removed Hypersonic for example, ditch the boomerangs, mice, rough woodies and arrow loopers, focus on parks with a better quality of well presented good rides would make these parks more affordable to operate

Un-licensed to thrill
Removing the Licenses from established attractions like Italian Job, Top Gun, Tomb Raider and replacing them with generic forgettable names like Flight Deck, Crypt and Time Warp is a wasted opportunity . . these rides should have been re-branded properly

Maybe more of an effort to keep the licenses as part of the take over of the chain should have been made, after all that's what made the Paramount Parks experience

Geauga
It's been reported that the bids for the land on the now defunct Geauga Lake amusement park are too low and so they won't be selling the land until they receive higher offers - great decision to demolish the park so hastily then

Worryingly the company have no idea who has actually bought the 1920's big dipper coaster

Re: Cedar Fair by Graeme Graeme Profile at 8/26/08 9:17:43 AM

First of all, I should say, you've been to these parks and I haven't, so you know them much better than me. I'll just base what I say on my impression of Paramount over the years.

> Not enough steel coasters?
> Dick Kinzel has been quoted as saying that the Paramount
> Parks have really good wood coasters but not really any
> good steel coasters

Well, I have to be honest, Paramount parks really didn't appeal to me much over the years. I was much more interested in the B&Ms Six Flags and (especially) Busch were buying. In that regard, I do agree with him.

> The paramount parks are giant parks, with 10s of roller
> coasters already . . i really don't think plonking in B&M
> hypers, and relocating Geauga Lakes biggest assets will
> improve the operation of these parks, maybe a strategy of
> reducing the number of quite frankly bad coasters, they
> removed Hypersonic for example, ditch the boomerangs, mice,
> rough woodies and arrow loopers, focus on parks with a
> better quality of well presented good rides would make
> these parks more affordable to operate

Yes, I completely agree with that bit. It's not really about woods vs steel. It's just about good coasters and good park operations. I prefer a park with one great coaster to one with ten average coasters.

> Un-licensed to thrill
> Removing the Licenses from established attractions like
> Italian Job, Top Gun, Tomb Raider and replacing them with
> generic forgettable names like Flight Deck, Crypt and Time
> Warp is a wasted opportunity . . these rides should have
> been re-branded properly

Yeah, I largely agree. I'm really not one for licences, but I do agree that since the rides were built around licences in the first place, it is a bit naff to remove them. The rides end up seeming like "fake" versions.

> Geauga
> It's been Worryingly the company have no idea who has
> actually bought the 1920's big dipper coaster

Yes, indeed. I have no idea how good any of the woodies there were, but it was surprising for them to close a park that had been operating for years. OK, maybe Six Flags' expansion of it wasn't the best idea, but it's hard to believe the core amusement park there couldn't have been viable in any way.

I seem to recall this happened at the end of 2006, coincidentally when we were all fuming at the destruction of Pleasureland. I suppose Cedar Fair handled it slightly better than that, by at least giving the coasters a chance.

All in all, I think the Paramount parks are looking up, to be honest. They didn't seem to be part of the 1995-2005 coaster boom, and the new Diamondback looks incredible, as does Behemoth. Cedar Fair are also showing good taste with the GCI woodies like Renegade, plus (I've just seen on RCDB) one for next year at Great America.

Re: Cedar Fair by the_winged_beast the_winged_beast Profile at 8/26/08 11:12:11 AM

> Well, I have to be honest, Paramount parks really didn't
> appeal to me much over the years. I was much more
> interested in the B&Ms Six Flags and (especially) Busch
> were buying. In that regard, I do agree with him.

Very true, the biggest B&M paramount had was Top Gun at Carowinds, i think they should CedarFair-ize it, paint it bright colours and neatly present it, just like Talon, Silver Bullet or Raptor, that would make it stand out rather than a half hearted rename

Also on the renaming, i forgot to mention they changed the paramount "drop zone"s to "drop tower"s does what it says on the tin i guess, but hardly inspiring or exciting

> Yes, indeed. I have no idea how good any of the woodies
> there were, but it was surprising for them to close a park
> that had been operating for years. OK, maybe Six Flags'
> expansion of it wasn't the best idea, but it's hard to
> believe the core amusement park there couldn't have been
> viable in any way.

Maybe a scaled back traditional family amusement park with the new water park would have been a winner, it would definitely make more money than it sitting empty as it currently stands

There seemed to be a lot of affection locally for the park, so why not capitalise on the tradition, something which the 2 previous owners ditched in favour of high octane modern park, which for whatever reason never quite worked financially

> All in all, I think the Paramount parks are looking up, to
> be honest. They didn't seem to be part of the 1995-2005
> coaster boom, and the new Diamondback looks incredible, as
> does Behemoth. Cedar Fair are also showing good taste with
> the GCI woodies like Renegade, plus (I've just seen on
> RCDB) one for next year at Great America.

Diamondback will be a great ride i'm sure, perhaps it would be worth removing Invertigo and Vortex (horrible arrow multi looper) . . and possibly even Son of Beast next season, that way you are ditching the old crap and helping the maintenance/operational costs to go down and at the same time distracting people with a big shiny new coaster to move the park forward - quality over quantity

Re: Cedar Fair by TrickTrack TrickTrack Profile at 8/26/08 12:10:36 PM

I didn´t like the Paramount parks at all and I thought they were incredibly trashy (but in a bad way).

Saying that the former Paramount Parks have enough GOOD wooden coasters shows that Kinzel might have had his last wooden ride on The Beast in 1979.
The woodies at those parks vary between mediocre and lousy!

To be honest: "Flight Deck" was ditched and is now "Afterburn". I am not a big fan of themeing with movie-tie-ins. I think this is incredibly lazy and unimaginative. Disney can do it but all this branding really started with Six Flags under Warner and they went for the cheap way.

It would have been a good chance for the parks to re-evaluate their standing and try to go for something new with original and individual names. Paying good money to a PR company who come up with ideas like "Flight Deck" and turning "Drop Zone" into "Drop Tower" is one of the worst business decissions they could have made.

I can come up with ten better names at the drop of a hat and I am not even a native speaker. Don´t they want to sell merchandise? Who will buy a shirt that says "Drop Tower"?

As for Geauga Lake: They got this park almost for free! The money they paid included all these almost "brand new" rides. As sad as it is, but ripping out the rides and trying to sell off the land must have been too tempting. Otherwise they would have needed to invest in the park while trying to re-gain a good public perception of a park that once was advertised with "being better than Cedar Point".
Duh!

StellaVista

Re: Cedar Fair by the_winged_beast the_winged_beast Profile at 8/26/08 1:45:44 PM

> Saying that the former Paramount Parks have enough GOOD
> wooden coasters shows that Kinzel might have had his last
> wooden ride on The Beast in 1979.
> The woodies at those parks vary between mediocre and lousy!

lol! so true :P

> I didn´t like the Paramount parks at all and I thought
> they were incredibly trashy (but in a bad way).

Yes they were very in your face and pretty much offensive to all five senses

It was a case of here's lots and lots of rides, that are okay but nothing outstanding and some very loud annoying music looped on a short playlist

Cedar Fair putting more rides in isn't going to resolve any of the issues these parks had, nor is it going to help CF get out of the debt they are stuck in because of the purchase

Maybe buying 1/2 of the parks rather than the whole chain, would have been a better option, allow them to enter the Virginia/Carolina/Canada markets, they've let Star Trek Experience just close and they really didn't need another Ohio park, Geauga Lake was already proving that

Re: Cedar Fair by Corkscrew_Foley Corkscrew_Foley Profile at 8/26/08 9:23:20 PM

The only Paramount Park I had to my name was Canada's Wonderland. I thought it was a nice park, beautiful with its landscaping. As for the branding, not too keen on that either, because when a film's trademark ends and what not, you normally have to dole out to keep the name, or change it.

I still am saddened to see the way Geauga Lake went, thus I was able to empathise with everyone here about Pleasureland. I had been once, but fell in love with the park, and it's coasters. Graeme, their woodies were good, Big Dipper was a great ride, it was fun, had some good air, and would have been just your sized coaster. Raging Wolf Bobs was a bit rubbish, but I rode it twice, and it did what it was designed to--make me smile.
Villain, as I have sang its praises, I don't really have to go into about. I was in tears when I found out no one could save it, it was only 7 years old, and had it went to another park, it would have been well loved.

Re: Cedar Fair by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 8/27/08 12:56:39 AM

> Dick Kinzel has been quoted as saying that the Paramount
> Parks have really good wood coasters but not really any
> good steel coasters

He is pretty right on with that comment. The one Paramount Park that doesn't have any good wood will be getting a new GCI wooden coaster next year.

> The paramount parks are giant parks, with 10s of roller
> coasters already . . i really don't think plonking in B&M
> hypers, and relocating Geauga Lakes biggest assets will
> improve the operation of these parks

They really don't have a choice. It's very difficult to resell large rides. Cedar Fair had to either scrap them, sell them for scrap or move them to other locations. For an asset that is still worth a considerable sum scrapping is not a good options.

So tou think rides like Diamondback and Behemoth are disappointing?

> Removing the Licenses from established attractions like
> Italian Job, Top Gun, Tomb Raider and replacing them with
> generic forgettable names like Flight Deck, Crypt and Time
> Warp is a wasted opportunity . . these rides should have
> been re-branded properly

I agree that they should have been more creative in re-branding of the rides. However, there is nothing to gain from doing so. Cedar Fair isn't going to reinvest money in marketing these old attractions again.

> Maybe more of an effort to keep the licenses as part of the
> take over of the chain should have been made, after all
> that's what made the Paramount Parks experience

Paramount Parks did not have to pay licensing fees to use the brands from parent-company CBS-Viacom. Also, the parent company benefit from the in house marketing. With the change of ownership it doesn't make sense for Cedar Fair to pay to use someone else's brands. Why market someone else's product? Also, it would increase the operating costs of the park since they'd now how to pay a licensing fee.

Aside from Nickelodeon, the branded attractions weren't drawing guests because of the brand. Children's areas are really the exception.

Six Flags is in my opinion making this mistake right now. Paying Evil Kneivel, the Terminator franchise and Tony Hawk to use their likeness? Why bother? That's money being flushed down the toilet.

> It's been Worryingly the company have no idea who has
> actually bought the 1920's big dipper coaster

I'm certain Cedar Fair knows who purchased it. Whether they will meet their conditions for the sale to proceed is up in the air.

Re: Cedar Fair by Graeme Graeme Profile at 9/1/08 5:13:46 PM

At the end of the day, I cannot criticise a man with such good taste in rides! This is not reckless spending - this is well-considered purchasing of the most deluxe rides around.

I know it's not Paramount, but Cedar Fair have just announced a new GCI, "Prowler", for Worlds of Fun. It looks excellent, even by GCI's previous standards!

PS - the Great America GCI might have been delayed. Does anyone else think it looks like Toverland's Troy?