Cedar Fair (lack of) creativity strikes again!

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Hmmm...maybe. But even online...well, take a look.

Even the Carowinds site before you get to the page I linked to - the main rides page.

Flight Deck used there possibly isn't compelling enough to make me click through and get the pics and info.

There's all kinds of advertising - tv, print, radio, online. The inital selling in almost every case comes with the name. That's the hook.

That's not to say it's a big effect, it very well might not be. But these parks don't give these rides these names so that our track records are easier to keep. It's marketing - plain & simple. The sell begins in creating that 'persona' for your biggest and baddest ride. Get people interested. That sort of thing.

There's a reason smaller, more common rides usually have generic, stock names like Wave Swinger or Tilt-A-Whirl or Ferris Wheel - those aren't the sell. It's the big investments, the marquee rides that get the attention and names like Delirium or Skyhawk or Psyclone.

I guess what I'm saying is you might not base the decision to go while surfing the site on the names of the rides, but you might not be surfing the site in the first place if you hadn't heard (or read or saw) that ad for Top Gun: The Jet Coaster.

The name of the ride is most certainly a tool used to sell the ride (and park) to potential patrons.

Mamoosh's avatar
There's all kinds of advertising - tv, print, radio, online. The inital selling in almost every case comes with the name. That's the hook.

But that's assuming all the consumer gets is the name. In every example you give save one (radio*) there will be an image to accompany the name. There is a big difference between hearing only, "Flight Deck...now at Carowinds," without any images and hearing it with video of the coaster in action or a photo of the train upside-down in an inversion.

Gonch, you'll notice that link is exact same one you referenced first in your post above. Are you telling me that any park guest interested in coasters and navigating to the Flight Deck page would read the description, look at the photo, and say, "Looks cool...but with a name like that I bet it's dull."

*EDIT - even with radio spots you'll get a desciption. "Flight Deck...the suspended, looping, fly-you-thru-the-air coaster at Carowinds now."

*** Edited 1/10/2008 7:31:07 AM UTC by Mamoosh***

LostKause's avatar
Valid points and I understand what you all are saying. Maybe not "most", Moosh. Maybe some are like you and some are like me.

When my band releases our first CD, understand that we will find a clever title for it (and some dandy high quality artwork for the insert too!) I want as many people as possible to be interested in what music may be contained inside. I want listening to the CD to be an exciting experience. Why? So we sell more CDs of course.

Spelling it out...

A clever CD title is = to a likable coaster name. Finding a clever name for your product is the first step to creating an exciting experience when using the product.

Why do I always have to argue a small tidbit of what I have always thought to be common sense? Do you people really not understand the basics of selling products? The experience is not just the taste or the ride or the music, the experience starts from the moment you have knowledge of the product until the moment you stop telling people how you felt about it. Tell Nintendo or Target or Apple how laughable that idea is. A lot of successful business know how to promote their product.

You don't have to be a college graduate to understand how this works. I know what I am talking about. Maybe I am not saying it in a way that you all can easily understand it, or maybe I am over complicating it.

I'll come back in a week or so and see how a one sided discussion held together. This topic does not interest me anymore...

Who buys CD's anymore?
Bands with clever names come and go every week.
No one ever hears of them...or their songs.

'The Eagles Greatest Hits' is far from a clever name...yet it's the best-selling album in history.

'Disaster Transport' is an incredibly original name.
Doesn't help the coaster one bit.

With coasters, there's even more to it than an album. You can have a great name and a great, original ride concept...and neither one matters if the execution is poor.

Anyone else?


NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Well then, riddle me this, you guys.

Why do parks even bother? Why do they name rides, give them a logo & theme (and I don't mean theming) and generally try to create an identity for them?

Certainly the only answer isn't to sell merchandise, is it?

rollergator's avatar
^Now that you've MADE me think about it.... ;)

In the OLDEN days, lots of rides had names like "Roller Coaster". Thinking specifically of Lagoon and Dorney, but it wasn't at all uncommon. Weather phenomena and animal names came into fashion too - enough so that parks eventually "branded" their ride...Arkansas Twister, Texas Cyclone, etc.

I's have to guess that what's CHANGED over the course of time - the sophistication of the *marketing* efforts. Of course, I'm still the guy to come to when you need advice on "marketeering" - that's the NEXT generation of business moving into the future...and into your lives! ;)

The name's biggest impact will be on marketing. What name will sell the most t-shirts, mugs, posters and what not. Poor branding will sell less merchandise. I suspect the name will have minimal impact on the ride experience.
Exactly Pointman. The new name has no marketability. I don't see myself buying a Flight Deck shirt or hat. I like Topgun and wish that Borg would get shipped back to Great America but I might actually buy a Night Hawk shirt. I really don't understand why they didn't just re-use the Patriot name or Patriot The Jet Coaster. The ride wouldn't even need any theming removed.

As for Cedar Fair lack of creativity, I consider this a blip in an otherwise very creative company

Voodoo,Behemoth,Magnum XL200, Mean Streak,Hydra,Mantis,Millenium Force,Wild Thing,Iron Dragon all very creative names. They've only recently re-used names at, and from Geauga Lake since they had to do so much re-naming in such a short time.

If anyone from Cedar Fair happens to read this I offer up some of my Rct names for you to use in the future

Mammoth, Heavy Metal, Iron Lightening, Gold Digger, Reign of Fire(dragon theme), Samurai, Black Knight and Diamondback.

A great points have been made. Ride names, while just names, serve 3 purposes.

1. To add to the atmosphere and theming, which is part of the ride experience. The theming in these parks however has been coming unglued for years, and will probably hit rock-bottom under Cedar Fair.

2. To generate excitement/hype for the ride. While it may not affect ridership among people who have came to the park, bad/boring ride names make the park LESS marketable in advertising campaigns, which drive attendance. The product that amusement parks sell are excitment and atmosphere. These awful names accomplish neither.

3. Product sales. Its safe to say neither Flight Deck or Back Lot Stunt Coaster are going to generate any product sales at the park.

You might be surprised. In an age where the populace must suffer such atrocities as Quicken Loans Arena and (soon to be) Progressive Field, names like the above mentioned don't sound all that bad.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

If the names of marquee rides don't matter, maybe companies could get rid of their marketing departments and eliminate some of their debt. Then everything could just have names like "the blue coaster with the really big hills, the twisty wooden coaster, the yellow one that goes upside down, and the one over by the Dippin' Dots cart."

I think people need to realize not everyone in the country has coaster credits numbering in the hundreds.

But TBCWTRBH wouldn't fit on a shot glass!
Mamoosh's avatar
If the names of marquee rides don't matter, maybe companies could get rid of their marketing departments and eliminate some of their debt.

There seems to be three issues that are all getting mixed up in this discussion.

1] Does ride name affect attendence?

I think to some extent having a marketable name may help increase attendence, but I think what's more likely to affect the gate is the quality of the marketing campaign itself. A clever marketing campaign about a ride with a "stupid" name can bring in more people than a poor campaign for a ride with a "cool" name.

2) Does ride name affect ride turnstyle?

While a "cool" name may get people into the park, once someone is inside the decision really boils down to one factor: can I stomach this ride? No matter how great a ride's name may be, even if that name got the person to come to the park, they're not going to ride it if it looks too scary, to vomit-inducing, etc.

3) Does ride name affect ride experience?

Well IMHO that's just a flat out no. I'm sure we can all think of rides that have "cool, marketable" names that turn out to have a horrible ride experience, and vice versa. A park has to do a lot more than simply rename a ride to significantly alter the ride experience.

LostKause's avatar
I'll say it again, the coaster riding experience to me isn't limited to the time that starts when I lower my lap bar and ends at the time I raise it. That's why the name of a ride affects MY experience. The coaster riding experience to someone else may be just riding, and I respect that. I don't respect that my opinion is laughable.

I think SpongeBob's Rock Bottom Plunge is just about the dumbest name you can possibly give a brand-spanking new coaster.

At the same time, the number of people whose ride experience will be affected? I'm guessing less than three.



NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.

Mamoosh's avatar
I don't respect that my opinion is laughable.

That's the thing with opinions. Some people will agree, others won't. Its your right to hold the opinion that your ride experience is affected by a simple name change. Its my right to think that opinion is just silly.

Neither of us is wrong.

Actually, you're all wrong ;)
^ Real creative, Rob.
Sorry but LoCoSuMo is way cooler than Lost Coaster

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