Matt Ouimet hopes to attract more families to Cedar Fair amusement parks

Posted Saturday, December 31, 2011 5:49 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Matt Ouimet, who was named Cedar Fair's president this summer and adds the chief executive post this week, wants to bring more magical moments to the company's parks in the Midwest and along both coasts. He knows how to do it after spending 17 years managing Walt Disney Co.'s resorts, theme parks and cruise line.

Read more from AP via The Chicago Tribune.

Saturday, December 31, 2011 6:42 PM

Ouimet sure seems like he "gets it" when it comes to what makes a park experience great. I'm optimistic for Cedar Fair's future.


"Thank the Phoneticians!"

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Saturday, December 31, 2011 6:48 PM

Odd question, I know, but how is Ouimet's surname pronounced? Is it like "wee-met" or "ooh-e-met?" Or something else entirely?


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Saturday, December 31, 2011 7:40 PM

I believe it is pronounced "wee-met".


"Thank the Phoneticians!"

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Saturday, December 31, 2011 8:05 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

My guess (based on the fact that "oui" sounds like "wee") is that "met" would sound like "may" - sticking with the French thing.

My vote would be for "Wee-May"

However, I decided to google and the top three results all disagreed with each other.

The first says "Wee-may"

The second says "wee-met"

The third says "wee-mut"

So there's my non-definitive answer. :)

---

With Shapiro out of the industry this guy's my new man-crush. He's saying all the right things. This is long overdue for Cedar Fair. Hopefully, he'll be essential to widening the gap that Six Flags closed on them over the past 5 or 6 years.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, December 31, 2011 8:08 PM
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Saturday, December 31, 2011 8:34 PM

"His philosophy is fairly simple: Open the gates and rides on time; keep the park is clean; and make sure the employees are friendly."

I'm not sure you need much more than this. Nothing is more frustrating that getting in the park to find rides that are not ready. I've skipped Magic Mountain for the better part of a decade for this very reason. Ten years later, I still have an instant negative reaction to the park, even if it might be better today. Every time I think about giving it another chance, I find an excuse not to go. There is a certain age/maturity level that a person reaches, where they no longer accept poor customer service, no matter how fun the rides are. I'm guessing there is a lot of money on the table for those parks that "get it."

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Saturday, December 31, 2011 8:54 PM

I agree Aamilj, especially for something like ERT... EVERY single time we went this year for early entry, the rides were not ready. We would wait 15-30 minutes for MF to open. By then, wasted all of the early entry. They used to be better in the past...

One big peeve of mine... If you promise rides open at 9am for early entry, don't open them at 9:45.

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Saturday, December 31, 2011 9:25 PM
LostKause's avatar

I feel the same way about Great Adventure, Aamilj. Rides closed at least half the day, food stand closed with long lines at the one that were open, dirty park, slow operations and long lines don't make me want to hurry back.

After reading the linked article, it sounds like Ouimet shares with me a lot of ideas about how a park should operate. Watching how well this works is going to be really fun!


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Saturday, December 31, 2011 9:27 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

Nothing like dangling the candy in front of the kids with this news piece. For anyone who follows Cedar Fair closely, 2012 is going to be like having Christmas every day : )

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Saturday, December 31, 2011 9:56 PM
LostKause's avatar

I don't think the 2012 season will be anything special, now that I know that rubber dinosaurs will be replacing Paddlewheel Excursiuons. I suspect I'll have to wait a few years before I can get excited about Cedar Point again.


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Saturday, December 31, 2011 10:16 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Wow. Travis' last Paddlewheel comment of the year...


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Saturday, December 31, 2011 10:59 PM

One of the reasons I feel that Cedar Point is special every year is it's great location over Lake Erie. That's the reason I always get excited about going to that park and that area. I love the beach and the boat trips to Put In Bay. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have some of the best roller coasters on the planet either. I do not know how those Golden Ticket Awards are voted, but Cedar Points location may have something to do with it winning best amusement park every year.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012 11:04 AM
john peck's avatar

I have been a fan of Cedar Point operations for years, even with some of their recent cost-cutting measures. It was rare that you would see a ride down for the day or not opening with the park. But now you see the Sky Tower and Sky Ride closed more now than you would in the past, and the last couple of years they closed Mean Streak down early for the season. Newer problematic rides gave their 99% uptime a jolt, but I'm sure the new numbers aren't far from that. 97% now maybe.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012 11:28 AM

Maybe CP will finally add a great indoor ride like Curse of the Dark Castle or something which i think CF parks lack!

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Sunday, January 1, 2012 8:07 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
My guess (based on the fact that "oui" sounds like "wee") is that "met" would sound like "may" - sticking with the French thing.

My vote would be for "Wee-May"

However, I decided to google and the top three results all disagreed with each other.

The first says "Wee-may"

The second says "wee-met"

The third says "wee-mut"

So there's my non-definitive answer. :)

My vote is for the Pete Seeger pronunciation.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkb2MFLU4pE&feature=related

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Sunday, January 1, 2012 10:03 PM

While I respect the hell out of Pete Seeger, I prefer the Tokens' version..at least the chorus.


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Sunday, January 1, 2012 11:42 PM

Or, perhaps taking a cue from Steven Colbert, he's changed the pronunciation to "Wee-meh"...


Now standing and operational: Chums of Coasterdom.
chumsofcdom.wordpress.com/

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Monday, January 2, 2012 7:14 PM

Or Maverick.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012 9:34 AM

I agree with gamerguy, A "Curse of the Darkcastle" type ride would be a great addition to Cedar Point. Or to any of the other parks. I've seen some pretty sweet concept art from Sally. I am curious on why CP hasn't had any traditional dark rides in awhile.


Astroworld.....Gone But Not Forgotten

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Thursday, January 5, 2012 11:43 AM

Essentially it's because the dark rides that were removed had capacity and maintnenance issues. A Disney style ride utilizing a Omnimover system would have corrected that, but was considered way too expensive at the time. Management favored coasters which is what the GP was asking for during that era.

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