A nice news article in favor of local parks.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 11:52 PM
I came across this article and was pleasantly surprised at some of the parks they mentioned. Thought it was an interesting read.


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Sunday, June 1, 2008 12:29 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar That is a nice little article. I just take exception to logic like this though:

"Cotton candy is $1.99 — less than half what it costs at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey."

With all due respect, I'm pretty sure just about everything in Santa Claus costs less than half of what it does in New Jersey.

Then after detailing how much cheaper it can be at the smaller family parks they say this:

"So where do you find these family-run amusement parks? In most cases, not in the major metropolitan areas."

Arrrgh! Am I the only one that sees it?

Essentially the moral here is, "Leave the big city and find out of the way places and you'll also tend to find a more quaint, laid back and less expensive experience to be had"

Kinda common sense 101, isn't it?

But yeah, to see Beech Bend, DelGrosso's, Arnold's and Alabama Adventure all mentioned in one article is a pretty rare thing. :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008 7:58 AM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar And they didn't mention Camden Park? ;)

That's an awesome article! Thanks for posting that, Super Loopy!

Gonch, I know the gas prices were (and probably still are) higher in Santa Claus than West Virginia but I don't know about New Jersey. ;)


*** Edited 6/1/2008 12:03:59 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

Sunday, June 1, 2008 9:10 AM
Jeff's avatar People tend to go to what is close. Coaster idiots like me may drive six hours to Holiday World, but I'm reasonably certain that most Clevelanders won't.

I love small parks too, but that like or dislike has nothing to do with anything other than geography.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008 4:47 PM
I just got back from a long weekend trip to my first time at Darien Lake (ick) and my second trip to Waldameer. 886 miles total driven and without a doubt the most expensive part of the trip was the gas.

As a fan and supporter of small parks, I agree that bargains can be had. (19 bucks for Waldameer Ride-a-Rama and 3.50 for lunch! Beat that!) But one employee there mentioned that even with a fabulous new ride they are still waiting for the crowds. I think at least for now, most people are staying off the road, and no savings at a small park will offset the expense of getting there.

Sunday, June 1, 2008 5:06 PM
Was Darien Lake really that bad? Haven't been in a long time, but I'm thinking of going up for the new moto-whatever thingy coaster.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008 7:39 PM
^Well, yes and no. I added 6 rides to my list in one day which isn't bad. But I thought the place looked like hell, the coasters were just ok, (exception: Ride-O-Steel. Loved it), the flats were rusted pieces of crap, (2 exceptions: UFO and Ranger, both kinda rare these days) and the place was running with ill mannered kids. (On Friday maybe 100 cars in the lot and 500 school busses- can you feel my misery?) Line jumping everywhere, and although I had planned on staying there through the evening, I had had it and was on my way back to Erie by 5 P.

So from east Cleveland it might be worth the trip for you, especially if you combine it with Waldameer. But don't make a special trip just for the Moto Coaster- it's Zamperla's portable version, it's intended as a family experience (not that there's anything wrong with that), it didn't open till late afternoon, and it was a real snooze after a long wait in line. And in true (I believe) Darien style, it was plunked down on a big cement slab back by the campgrounds where all the rest of the structures were woodsy log cabin types. (one of the nicer areas in the park, actually) And as for the Orange County Choppers tie-in, I didn't get it. One of the log cabins was a store with Merchandise, but as far as themeing goes it wasn't working for me. It looked like something from the State Fair.

Gas in New York was 4.12 that day.

Sorry for the trip report, folks. Back on topic now.

Monday, June 2, 2008 2:49 PM

Jeff said:
People tend to go to what is close. Coaster idiots like me may drive six hours to Holiday World, but I'm reasonably certain that most Clevelanders won't.

I love small parks too, but that like or dislike has nothing to do with anything other than geography.

Jeff, I agree with this! It will be interesting to see how these smaller parks do with the prices of gas and all. I also believe that it should help their business a great deal, especially if the park is located in a highly populated area.

Monday, June 2, 2008 3:02 PM
Well, this can go both ways!! Either help them or hurt them if people want to get more for the buck. The smaller parks could benefit if they don't want to travel far, but many people who have the funds to go to these parks are going to spend the extra for the gas.
Monday, June 2, 2008 3:40 PM
The smaller parks don't usually have the bigger rides like Six Flags, or Cedar Fair does. So, you are paying more money because they have more attractions for you to go on, or that cost much more. Does Holiday World have any adult steel coasters? How many flats do they have?

I think the price they charge is a lot for that park. However, you are getting "free" parking, and "free" drinks if you want to drink them. To me, it seems like these things are included with price because the price is kind of high.

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Monday, June 2, 2008 4:06 PM
matt.'s avatar

Spinout said:
The smaller parks don't usually have the bigger rides like Six Flags, or Cedar Fair does.

Thank goodness for that!

Spinout said:
Does Holiday World have any adult steel coasters?

No, but they have 3 adult wooden coasters that kick the ass of every steel coaster I've ridden. Of course some will make the argument that the GP doesn't necessarily agree but if more of the GP were exposed to rides like the quality of those at HW, they would.

Spinout said:
I think the price they charge is a lot for that park.

Obviously, the people coming through the gates leading to massive attendance gains over the past decade or so disagree, but really, isn't it about time we stop considering Holiday World a "small" park anyway?

They have three incredible adult coasters, an excellent selection of non-coaster rides, several shows and non-ride attractions, plus one of the best water parks out there. All of this, not to mention that their yearly attendance regularly beats some corporate parks that nobody thinks of as "small."

Really, I think the only reasonable explanation is that the Kochs and Co. deserve a huge amount of credit that anybody still thinks of HW as "small" because while they've grown into a verylarge facility they've maintained that friendly, local, family-oriented small park feel.

Not to be cliche, but they've done it without selling out their original core beliefs but when it comes to the numbers, don't be fooled, Holiday World ain't exactly...you know...Del Grosso's.

Monday, June 2, 2008 4:55 PM
eightdotthree's avatar If Holiday World didn't have the water park I would say it was too expensive for what it is, but they do and its priced right IMO. Kennywood has more rides, but no water park and its $8 less for a single day for reference.
Monday, June 2, 2008 5:34 PM
Most of the people who attend these smaller parks probably travel 2-3 hours at the most (with the exceptions of people who post on coaster boards).

I don't see these places losing much business because of oil prices. In fact, families may decide to visit their local parks more often and forego the longer, more expensive trip to the bigger park or some other destination.

Monday, June 2, 2008 9:43 PM
I agree with RatherGoodBear's point about local parks at least maintaining their attendance levels, if not exceeding them this summer due to gas prices. With Cedar Fair and Six Flags admissions and in-park prices being so high, I see the smaller parks gaining this summer.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008 5:45 AM
Darn! That means Canobie's gonna be more crowded.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!


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