A gimmick vs. an innovation

Friday, May 4, 2001 9:05 AM
Many people have stated their opinions about floorless coasters just being gimmicks to up the attendence of parks. There hasn't been much of this discussion lately, but when the first floorless coasters were announced, many people claim that it was just "another B&M gimmick."

Flying coasters seem so much different, yet some people claim they are gimmicks. I'm even heard people say that stand-ups are gimmicks, but I believe they are both innovations.

My question is why do some coasters end up being gimmicks, while others end up being innovations.
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Friday, May 4, 2001 9:55 AM
I think all rollercoasters are gimmicks to a certain point, but the latest innovations in coasters I find to be amazing. Just in the last 5 or so years we've gotten coasters that launch, fly, drop vertically and pull the floor from under you. A lot of purists will say "nothing can replace good old fashion traditional wooden coasters", I say they're not trying to. The way I see it, today's designers are trying to push the possibilities of the imagination, how can that be a bad thing? But like anything else, some things work, and some don't, that's life, not just coasters. Most people use the term "gimmick" as with negative connotations, but when I hear that word I think, wow they're trying something new, whether it's a 300ft drop, or spinning cars on a coaster, it just blows my mind the things that can be done with technology today.

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Charles M Schulz(1922-2000) You were the best!
RIP *** This post was edited by OutKast on 5/4/2001. ***
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Friday, May 4, 2001 10:04 AM
I think it depends on the length of the ride...all new styles are innovative, just some are also a gimmick. Medusa is pretty long so it's not a gimmick, whereas Viper right next door is more of a gimmick because it is incredibly short.

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http://www.bolliger-mabillard.com
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Friday, May 4, 2001 10:09 AM
Batman is short, but it's far more than a gimmick. It is the single most influential coaster since wood. You have to start somewhere in order to move on to Alpie and Montu. I love short rides that pack a mighty punch like Batman, Raven and probably X.

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Charles M Schulz(1922-2000) You were the best!
RIP
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Friday, May 4, 2001 10:09 AM
I am perhaps the biggest hater of amusement park gimmicks. I define gimmicks as something that does not dramatically enhance the quality of a roller coaster ride or something that is invented for the puprose of inventing something.

As such, I believe that stand-up coasters and flying coasters are not gimmicks because they do something that radically change the ride experience. I love falling into the stand-up restraint on Mantis, and from what I understand, "flying" on a coaster is very exhilerating.

Are floorless coasters gimmicks? Kind of. First of all, I have a disclaimer: I have never ridden a floorless and am using the opinions of others as well as extrapolation of my own coaster experience to formulate the OPINION. From what I understand, the front seat in floorless trains is amazing. They give a great deal of freedom, and provide a great view. I think a truly great innovation should affect the whole train. The rear most seats don'y give the full effect, again from what I hear.
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Friday, May 4, 2001 10:11 AM
in my eyes an innovation becomes a gimmick when the coaster totally relys on whatever the innovation is. I've never ridden a floorless coaster, but, knowing B&M, I would say that those coasters don't rely purely on the fact that you can see the track beneath your feet. as for B&M's new flying coaster, I believe that it will be great. judging from the pics that I've seen and from the fact that it will be flying through trenches I would say that it won't be a gimmick. as for standups, well I've only ridden Iron Wolf at SFGAm. and from that I can tell you that standups aren't gimmicks. now to deal with the purists. while wooden coasters are some of the best that I've ever ridden and while no park can seriously compete without them, steel coasters are also some of the best coasters I've ridden and no park can seriously do business without them. the trick is to have the right balance between wood, steel, and innovation.
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Friday, May 4, 2001 10:15 AM

themeparkne said:
"I think a truly great innovation should affect the whole train. The rear most seats don'y give the full effect"


True, the seats other than the front seat do not give you the FULL effect, but you still get a good visual effect. Inverted coasters are more a culprit of this... In the front seat you have the full effect of the ride, in any other seat all you can see is the seat in front of you. At least on a floorless your view is not limited to the back of the seat in front of you.

This will be unpopular, but the rides I call gimicks are the S:UE types. I don't speak from first hand experience, but these look... well... rather boring. I also think that wooden coasters with loops (of which there is only one modern example) sound gimmicky (as someone stated somewhere "And it even goes up side down!"). And, since I am stating my opinions here (as unpopular as they are to some), even racing coasters where they run one side backward are border line in the gimmick department.

As far as floorless being gimmicks or not... never really thought about it... never really mattered. To me they are basically "sit down" models without the floor.

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Oh the good old days... when superheros were superheros and coasters were coasters...



*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 5/4/2001. *** *** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 5/4/2001. ***
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Friday, May 4, 2001 10:16 AM

OutKast said:
"Batman is short, but it's far more than a gimmick. It is the single most influential coaster since wood. You have to start somewhere in order to move on to Alpie and Montu. I love short rides that pack a mighty punch like Batman, Raven and probably X.


Batman isn't very short when you compare it to Oblivion, Viper, TA2K, etc; these are all one-trick ponies.


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http://www.bolliger-mabillard.com
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Friday, May 4, 2001 10:21 AM
Floorless coasters aren't a gimmick. Taking an inverted coaster and flipping it to the other side of the track was a fairly innovative move. You can say the visuals only really work for the front seat, well, that could be said about almost any coaster. Bottom line is you're riding around and your feet dangle as opposed to planting firmly in a train - that's a new ride experience for an above-the-track ride. It may not be radically different than a sit-down looper, but it's generally an improvement.

A gimmick implies that something is being done underhandly to promote a coaster; maybe the name "floorless" is a little gimmicky, but not the coaster itself.
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Friday, May 4, 2001 11:06 AM
I don't think floorless coasters are just gimmicks either, they also come with some incredible B&M sitdown elements. I agree with B&M webmaster that one-trick pony rides, while great, are more what I would qualify as gimmicks. The thing with floorless coasters, is that they are more "family" friendly sit down B&M loopers with a slight twist to add to the appeal.



BTW, I don't think one trick pony rides are bad, they just are what they are, great novelties.

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Charles M Schulz(1922-2000) You were the best!
RIP
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Friday, May 4, 2001 7:04 PM
Speaking of coasters running backwards as a gimmick...yes, that is correct...Gemini at Cedar Point will be running one of it's sides backwards!

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(Who at 16 years of age would be more than willing to pay a $15-$25 dollar subscription in order to keep this site running)
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Saturday, May 5, 2001 7:55 PM
I think floorless coasters are quite exhilerating to ride. Again, especially in the front seat.

I'm sure that the first steel coaster, and the first steel looping coaster were considered gimmicks by some, too.

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I refuse to add a signature. Damn, too late.
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Saturday, May 5, 2001 10:08 PM
I think kpjb has the right idea. If anything sticks around enough and retains its popularity, it ceases to be a gimmick. The first vertical loop was probably considered by many just to be an unnecessary gimmick, but look at us today. I think that the difference between a gimmick and a true innovation is how it affects the ride experience as a whole. A new paint job, theming, renaming, etc, are more gimmicks because the ride feels the same if you have your eyes closed. In a way, floorless coasters would fall into that category as well, but I haven't yet ridden one (can't wait!) and as was mentioned, B&M surely doesn't rely on one thing for a great ride. To use another example, however, would Son of Beast be considered an innovation (wow! an inversion on a wooden coaster!), a gimmick (whoopee, we can get inversions everywhere else so what's the big deal?), or something totally unique (okaaaaay... it's a great ride and there won't be another like it anytime soon!)? I've never been on SOB either, but hopefully this summer!

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Po!nt of View: A different look at Roller Coasters.
http://www.crosswinds.net/~justmayntz/thrills/index.html
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Sunday, May 6, 2001 1:35 AM
Although I agree with most and would say that B&M train and track changes are innovations as are Hypersonic with Air etc Can anyone tell me why we haven't seen floorless woodie trains or stand-up trains or open-air trains etc I could imgaine Ghostrider with a Floorless or open-air train would be awesome with a capital A, Baby!

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If Lifes a Rollercoaster, I want a Flawless
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