Branson's Celebration City closing after this season

Posted Friday, October 24, 2008 8:33 PM | Contributed by pkidelirium

Herschend Family Entertainment announced today in a news release the closure of Celebration City in Branson, due to a shift in business strategy. The company is already exploring various new development concepts for the site including an aquarium, other family attractions, re-theming the current park and also, destination retail and dining.

Read more from The News-Leader and The Baxter Bulletin.

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Friday, October 24, 2008 8:36 PM

Additional comments here.

Friday, October 24, 2008 8:37 PM

Oh ma Lord!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008 8:41 PM

They bought it just so they could close it!!!!1 etc...

(Just getting it out of the way)

Last edited by Fun, Friday, October 24, 2008 8:42 PM
Friday, October 24, 2008 8:50 PM

CONSPIRACY! THAT DAMN (insert CEO name here)! I'll never set foot in another Herschend park again!!!11!!11!!

Friday, October 24, 2008 10:51 PM

I wonder if there's any chance they'll try to combine the park with SDC. The two steel coasters obviously could be moved and re-erected in-house. It may be a bit more costly to do the woodie, but SDC doesn't have any wood as it is, so it may be a decent option.

I'd say milk the coasters and flats as new attractions for SDC over the next 5 or so years. It never made sense to me for the same company to have these two parks in such close proximity, but then again I've never been to either of them.

Friday, October 24, 2008 11:02 PM

Wow, didn't see that one coming.

I could be wrong, but wasn't CC positioned as something of a "second gate" so people would have something to do when SDC closed for the day? That move always struck me as a little odd because it seemed to indicate CC would never be anything more than a place to kill a few extra hours. It would never be a park capable of standing on its own.

I suppose the wood coaster could be relocated to SDC since the park lacks that (and Herschend seems to like GCI coasters) but it would be nice to see CC redeveloped as a more complete, fully-realized amusement park. Add an aquarium and other things, and cover everything with elaborate theming. That's the kind of place I'd spend good money to enjoy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:02 AM

Honestly, the steel coasters are not worthy of a park such as SDC - but the woodie is a major loss. Bad news indeed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:33 AM

From the descriptions I have heard (I've never been to Branson), the loss of Celebration City is not really that big of a deal, provided that good things can happen with the Ozark Wildcat.

If they opt to redevelop the property into something other than an amusement park, I wonder if they would move the Wildcat to Silver Dollar City.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 2:20 AM

That Afterburner is a big deal to me....but the prize is certainly the woodie. They should just truck it up the hill, it would fill a real need for SDC. The Miler was pretty cool too, but I like those more than the average enthusiast it seems.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 11:57 AM

Jumping crocodiles Charlie!

SDC should expand its "carnival section" (Grand Exposition I think it's called) and essentially add the best of CC including the mighty OzCat.

Like many others it seems, I agree the park itself is not a major loss, but the woodie is freakin' great and better than most GCI's. And just to give Gator some love, I too really enjoy the Jack Rabbit (Miler steelie). And of course, flyers are a terrible thing to waste.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:26 PM

I might be totally wrong, but the reaction to this announcement sure *feels* like a double-standard based on the company making the announcement.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 2:17 PM

They didn't even make an announcement so people could go for one last ride! And what about the historic 6-year old woodie, that's one of only 15 or so coasters remaining designed by GCII? Those bestids!

Feel better, Gonch?

Saturday, October 25, 2008 2:34 PM

A little. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008 3:28 PM

Well, they gave us more notice than Cedar Fair did when they closed Geauga Lake, although with Geauga Lake at least there were warning signs.

And they gave a *lot* more notice than Busch did when they closed Boardwalk and Baseball.

Perhaps there is a bit of a double standard here, but I don't think it is because of the company making the announcement. It's more because of the nature of the situation. Celebration City is a relatively new park, built on the ashes of another failed park if I remember correctly, and developed to complement an older, nicer, more well developed park. This is more like if Disney were to buy Old Town and then close it years later.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 4:04 PM

There were no flyers when I went to CC....but there was a pretty kick-butt Flying Carpet-type ride. Not sure what year I was there, but it was an SRM trip, so back at least 5 or 6 years. Dave's last sentence does make a solid analogy, considering HFEC's rep. Just for Gonch - that rep is *earned*, so I don't consider it entirely a free pass.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 4:52 PM

I think it's just that this park has been around for four seasons, not 120. Fewer people have visited it, and there's less emotional attachment. There's no coaster here that you went on with your parents for your first ride, and they went on with your grandparents a generation before.

When they quit making the Geo Prizm there probably weren't a lot of car enthusiasts crying in their cheerios, but when they quit making the Camaro, they were more than a bit perturbed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:02 PM

It's sad to see yet another park close. So few new ones are built, and so many existing ones close their doors every year. God help the industry if this recession worsens to anything even remotely approximating the Depression. (not that I'm anticipating it . . .)

Sunday, October 26, 2008 12:16 AM

Judging by some of the chatter I'm hearing from ride brokers, unfortunately I don't think this won't be the last announcement of this type over the next little bit...

Sunday, October 26, 2008 12:51 AM

I shudder to imagine who's next.


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