Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet talks about the future of roller coasters in the company's parks

Posted Monday, August 31, 2015 9:00 PM | Contributed by slithernoggin

Los Angeles Times reporter Brady MacDonald sat down with Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet for a wide-ranging discussion about roller coasters at Cedar Fair's parks.

Read more from The LA Times.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 10:48 AM

The paragraph under the slideshow begins, "Paramount for Ouimet is making sure major new coasters are comfortable..." That sentence threw me for a loop.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, September 1, 2015 10:48 AM
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 11:33 AM

Me too! I had to read that particular sentence three or four times. I didn't understand why they were talking about the Paramount parks and Ouimet when Paramount hasn't had control of the parks in forever.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 11:36 AM

I think you guys are thinking the wrong paramount...

more important than anything else; supreme.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 11:48 AM

This article made me realize that a hugely disproportionate amount of big rides have been added to the former paramount parks as opposed to the actual original Cedar Fair parks, apart from Cedar Point.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 12:43 PM

I don't get the part about Canada's Wonderland not having a "gate" coaster when it already does? Doesn't Leviathan run across the entrance area?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 2:10 PM

I think of Leviathan as being near the gate and not actually interacting with it as Gatekeeper and Fury 325 do.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 2:40 PM

It comes about as close to the main gate as Fury does.....The only difference is that they didn't build ditches for it to go under walkways, it just was built over. However, the did not give Canda's Wonderland the new Cedar Fair generic entrance that the other two parks got..

Last edited by super7*, Tuesday, September 1, 2015 2:41 PM
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 4:05 PM

2 parks = generic.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 4:38 PM

bjames said:

...big rides have been added to the former paramount parks as opposed to the actual original Cedar Fair parks, apart from Cedar Point.

I'd guess that's due to the former KECO parks being regional themers, while Cedar Fair, pre-Paramount purchase, had as many local parks (Dorney, MiA, Vallerfair) as regional parks (Worlds of Fun, Knott's Berry Farm, Cedar Point) (not sure where to drop Geauga into the mix...); bigger parks with bigger markets got bigger rides.

My take away from what Ouimet said about "gate" coasters was the Cedar Point/Carowinds model, where a coaster is intertwined with the gate or approach to the park, rather than being near the gate.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 6:16 PM

I always thought it was super weird that the original Paramount parks didn't install any traditional steel hypers. Hypersonic and SoB were probably the closest they got and both have since been removed. I guess given the ridiculous success of Magnum and the Morgan triplets at the CF parks, it made perfect sense for that to be the first move. Heck two parks even got a hyper AND a giga. Which makes poor CGA even sadder.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, September 1, 2015 6:18 PM
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 12:32 AM

I was disappointed when I read that there will be no gate coaster for Kings Island. Some of us here were imagining a gate coaster when Banshee was in early rumor stages.

Other than that, this was a great article. It's nice to get a little insight as to what the company is thinking in terms of new additions to their parks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 8:06 AM

LostKause said:

I was disappointed when I read that there will be no gate coaster for Kings Island. Some of us here were imagining a gate coaster when Banshee was in early rumor stages.

Me too, same with Canada's Wonderland. Those main gates for those parks are frickin ugly

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 9:19 AM

The gate for Kings Island may not be amazing but, International Street is. Its oozing with charm to such a degree that you swear Disney built it but where it looses a little on charm it is way better then Main St USA at dispersing crowds because of its side streets lead to Planet Snoopy and Action Zone and the big fountains make the area seem big even when the park is packed.

Having a roaring B&M at one end of that environment would kill a lot of that charm. Right now, between the noise coming from the fountains and the background music you don't hear much ride noise from that area, creating a relaxing vibe. Ditto for KD.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 9:32 AM

GateKeeper doesn't roar. They don't have to roar. But I would generally agree that once inside KI, it's a lovely park. The outside of the gate could still use some attention. I still don't understand why they don't use the International Restaurant for, uh, restauranting.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 9:57 AM

What do they even do with that space these days?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 9:58 AM

Beg to differ. Kings Island's entrance plaza was redone last year with new surface, reconfigured ticket booths, and modern gates. The structure remained the same and that's fine- it still carries that old world feel as an appropriate lead in to I-Street.
The landscaping is nice and traffic flow is much better. Really outdated entrances like Cedar Point's and Carowinds' were prime for a tear down and a gate coaster.
I've tried to imagine a gate coaster at KI. North of the gate is perfect for it, south not so much. There's utility areas there, security, then Soak City. It would have to take up a lot of parking lot. I predict when they get their giga, which they will, it will be at the back of the park.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 10:38 AM

The International Restaurant was being used for smaller catering events. It may also have other purposes, I'm not sure. For years the major issue was reportedly the lack of handicap access to the restaurant. An elevator was installed earlier this season though, so maybe it still has potential.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 11:05 AM

I'm really excited to learn about the new gate ride coming to Michigan's Adventure next year.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 3:50 PM

King's Dominion, Canada's Wonderland and King's Island have some of the most, if not the most, fantastic entrances of any theme parks. They make you think WOW the first time you enter. They were also well designed in the master park plan to funnel people away from the gate to ride rides, and to bring them back to many shops as they exit for the day. They are nice places just to hang out by the fountains, eat or drink something and regroup. It would be a loss if they changed the atmosphere of them at all.

King's Island has the least attractive of the three. Being the original, improvements were made when the other two were built. The international buildings are more interesting at the other two parks and I believe they have a true second floor versus the facades at KI. The fountains are more dated looking (with the pedestals instead of just pure water). Recently, King's Island removed a couple of the landscape islands that separated the tables from the walkways in front of the Italian and Swiss buildings, putting in very cheap looking white picnic tables with no umbrellas or shade. Overall the landscaping is better at the other two parks with more trees, flowers etc.

The ugly part of King's Island's entrance building is the 2nd story that is done in the "shingles on the wall" 70's look. However, that big building makes it more of a surprise when you enter the park for the first time. The International Restaurant is sort of a waste right now, and in its day did give a great view of International Street.


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