Cedar Fair the new company to hate?

Friday, April 4, 2008 3:51 PM
The only thing I hate (and that's a strong word--I'd rather use dislike) Cedar Fair for is the hideous new paint job on Bezerker at KD. It's a viking ship, why must its counterweight and support section be light blue? I heard it looks worse in person.

Seriously though, I'd love to see how many people will actually go through with their threat not to patronize a Cedar Fair park because of closing down the ride side of Geauga Lake.

It seemed a lot of people were angry last year. Are they still as angry now that some of those rides have wound up in their backyards, or are they a little bit more forgiving since KD, MiA, and DP all have major "new" coasters?

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Friday, April 4, 2008 3:57 PM
What are you smoking? And did someone from Cedar Fair give you a hit? You want to talk about serious?

Believe it or not, some people aren't all that keen on homogenization, and there are a lot of companies that understand that. Outback has its famous steakhouses but also has a chain of Italian restaurants called Carrabbas. Go to both and you won't find one thing that suggests the two chains are connected in any way. No homogenization there. Ford owns Mazda, yet Mazda vehicles couldn't look any more different from their Ford platform-mates. No homogenization there either. Invididuality is sometimes a good thing, and some people appreciate it. I know that if I lived near Cedar Point and decided to make the trip to Kings Island, I would want it to be a vastly different experience than what's down the block. And yes, I understand that Cedar Fair didn't begin the homogenization of the former Paramount parks, but they now own the parks so they're responsible, whether they like it or not.

High prices aren't isolated to Cedar Fair parks, but it's no secret they are a reality. Maybe they're in line with prices at other theme parks owned by other companies, but if a Cedar Fair park is the only park a visits in a year, they're not going to know the high prices are common to the industry, they're just going to assume the prices are high. Ditto for long lines. Tell someone waiting two hours for Millennium Force that lines are like that at other parks and I seriously doubt that's going to make them feel any better about their situation. If someone rear-ends your car, are you going to feel better knowing that the same thing just happened to someone else a few towns over?

For the record, I didn't say I prefer narrow dirt paths in my amusement parks, you're just making an assumption, and a poor one at that. I have no problem debating but make sure you pull your head out of your ass before you continue because you don't come across as someone that wants to converse as much as someone with some kind of agenda.

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Friday, April 4, 2008 3:57 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I'm willing to give that a certain segment of people (seemingly enthusiast types) feel that way about the 'concrete wastelands' that exist.

But what about all the people that apparently don't? Like the millions and millions of people who visit these 'concrete wasteland' parks each year?

Which goes back to what Jeff says about the large, concrete midway being a necessity. Which came first the midway or the people? Is it a necessary evil?

Also, I can't help but wonder why people get so pissed about a company offering a product they don't care for? The larger than life, treeless, concrete slabs of midways full of lights and sounds are what CF does. It's the product they deliver.

If you don't like it then why the annoyance or anger? Why not ignore their product and purchase a product more to your liking?

I don't stand outside of Wal-Mart and protest or complain to anyone who will listen because I hate their stores. I don't go to their stores. I shop elsewhere instead.

I have no reason to complain. And I can't use the "I'm a customer" excuse, because I'm not - why would I be if I hate the product?

Or more on topic - I don't care for small little parks with a handful of rides in a gravel-pathed, wooded setting. The small walkways annoy me and the lack of things I'm interested in make it not really worth my time or money in many cases.

I tend to avoid these parks because they don't offer a product I'm interested in.

It doesn't seem like that much of a mystery to me.

(and isn't this just turning into a rehash of Chuck's thread?)

Perhaps we should revisit Charmland? :)

(I'm also surprised a joke website response called "concreteland" or "corporateland" or something like that hasn't popped up yet :) )


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Friday, April 4, 2008 4:11 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
I'm willing to give that a certain segment of people (seemingly enthusiast types) feel that way about the 'concrete wastelands' that exist.

But what about all the people that apparently don't? Like the millions and millions of people who visit these 'concrete wasteland' parks each year?


I'm not suggesting everyone thinks the parks are concrete wastelands. People might not even realize that's the case. It's entirely possible people enter the parks and, without being able to put their finger on it, just see the parks as being ugly. People in this area that are clearly not enthusiasts regard Dorney as "the ugly park" because it doesn't have the trees of Great Adventure and the flowers of Hershey. Not my words, just a sentiment that has been expressed by people that you would think couldn't care less.


Also, I can't help but wonder why people get so pissed about a company offering a product they don't care for? The larger than life, treeless, concrete slabs of midways full of lights and sounds are what CF does. It's the product they deliver.

Because people are always going to complain, it's that simple ;)

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Friday, April 4, 2008 4:22 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
What are you smoking? And did someone from Cedar Fair give you a hit? You want to talk about serious?

Not cool.


Rob Ascough said:
Go to both and you won't find one thing that suggests the two chains are connected in any way. No homogenization there.

Castaway Bay looks nothing like Cedar Point yet they are owned by the same company.

I am not saying homogenization is always a good thing, but no one complains when every Disney park is a circular layout with some sort of center piece.

I am not sure why I always get lumped into being a Cedar Fair fan boy but I go to lots of parks and enjoy most of them. I don't even have a season pass for anywhere this year.


Rob Ascough said:
Tell someone waiting two hours for Millennium Force that lines are like that at other parks and I seriously doubt that's going to make them feel any better about their situation.

Long lines are a result of what Cedar Fair is doing well, lots of people go. You want them to stop advertising and let less people in the gate?

If you want short lines go to a smaller, less popular park.


Rob Ascough said:
People in this area that are clearly not enthusiasts regard Dorney as "the ugly park" because it doesn't have the trees of Great Adventure and the flowers of Hershey. Not my words, just a sentiment that has been expressed by people that you would think couldn't care less.

Do you honestly think people from around Pittsburgh see Kennywood as a beautiful gem of park?


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Friday, April 4, 2008 4:30 PM
OhioStater's avatar

there are a lot of companies that understand that. Outback has its famous steakhouses but also has a chain of Italian restaurants called Carrabbas. Go to both and you won't find one thing that suggests the two chains are connected in any way. No homogenization there. Ford owns Mazda, yet Mazda vehicles couldn't look any more different from their Ford platform-mates. No homogenization there either.

I should have been more clear; i meant amusement park industries.


I know that if I lived near Cedar Point and decided to make the trip to Kings Island, I would want it to be a vastly different experience than what's down the block.

It is vastly different. Similar signage only tells me that I am a park owned by Cedar Fair...but there is a totally different feel to KI than CP.

Out of curiosity, what do you feel is so similar about CP and KI? I live in Columbus, and could go either way...but I certainly dont feel that I will get an even remotely similar experience at the parks.


Tell someone waiting two hours for Millennium Force that lines are like that at other parks and I seriously doubt that's going to make them feel any better about their situation.

What situation? I would bet the average person expects long lines, unless they have been living in a cave. And you were arguing that long lines were somehow linked to Cedar Fair...which doesnt make sense.


Maybe they're in line with prices at other theme parks owned by other companies, but if a Cedar Fair park is the only park a visits in a year, they're not going to know the high prices are common to the industry, they're just going to assume the prices are high.

Which they are...but again you mentioned "high prices" as if it were tied to Cedar Fair, which it isnt. And does a person complain about the "high price" of a beer at a baseball game? Only if they're an idiot. While no one ejoys the prices, it is certainly an expectation. Are you suggesting there is a segment of the population who are actually surprised by 1) long lines and 2) high food prices?

Now quality is a different story...


If someone rear-ends your car, are you going to feel better knowing that the same thing just happened to someone else a few towns over?

I dont get this analogy. Again, youre assuming people are somehow "outraged" over long lines...which, while they are not fun, is 100% an expectation. I have never met a human being who is suprised to find a long line for a top attraction at a park.


For the record, I didn't say I prefer narrow dirt paths in my amusement parks, you're just making an assumption, and a poor one at that.

It wasnt an assumption, it was an exaggeration.


I have no problem debating but make sure you pull your head out of your ass before you continue because you don't come across as someone that wants to converse as much as someone with some kind of agenda.

Sorry Captain Sensitive. I thought we all wore thick skin here...

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Friday, April 4, 2008 4:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
Believe it or not, some people aren't all that keen on homogenization, and there are a lot of companies that understand that.
Like the companies that own and operate one park?

I love the long lines thing. I haven't waited two hours for Millennium Force in years. I haven't even waited for Maverick for more than an hour. 69 rides, plus shows, plus people walking (plus crappy food service ;)), and those lines are thinned out pretty well.

I've waited an hour to ride The Voyage though. But we couldn't hate on Holiday World, because we're touchy feely with the PR rep and the owners and live in an alternate reality where it's not a business and they don't really want our money. That's the disconnect that annoys me the most.

So if you don't want a wooded dirt path, then what is it you want, and how will it accommodate 3 million guests per year?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Friday, April 4, 2008 4:47 PM

eightdotthree said:


I am not saying homogenization is always a good thing, but no one complains when every Disney park is a circular layout with some sort of center piece.


Homongenization is not a matter of parks having similar layouts, it's about the tangible aspects. It's a matter of the same signage, the same characters, the same shows, the same look, etc. I realize the parks aren't there yet, but things seem to be moving in that direction.


I am not sure why I always get lumped into being a Cedar Fair fan boy but I go to lots of parks and enjoy most of them.

Who lumped you into a group? I don't recall anyone suggesting that you were a Cedar Fair fanboy.


Long lines are a result of what Cedar Fair is doing well, lots of people go. You want them to stop advertising and let less people in the gate?

Of course long lines are an indication that a park is doing well. They're also a complaint of people thinking about visiting amusement parks. Ask people what they hate about parks and I promise most will tell you about the long lines.


Do you honestly think people from around Pittsburgh see Kennywood as a beautiful gem of park?

People living in Pittsburgh seem to be pretty happy with the park.


OhioStater said:


Which they are...but again you mentioned "high prices" as if it were tied to Cedar Fair, which it isnt. And does a person complain about the "high price" of a beer at a baseball game? Only if they're an idiot. While no one ejoys the prices, it is certainly an expectation. Are you suggesting there is a segment of the population who are actually surprised by 1) long lines and 2) high food prices?


I didn't say they were tied to Cedar Fair parks, but when you take the specific complaints and the complaints about the amusement park experience in general, you end up with people blogging and ranting about how much they dislike Cedar Fair parks. I didn't say I agreed with everything, I just stated that I can understand the unhappiness, especially when non-enthusiasts are making the comments.


Sorry Captain Sensitive. I thought we all wore thick skin here...

Probably so. But when you come across as antagonistic, what kind of reaction do you expect? You don't need to act as though you have a chip on your shoulder to make your point.


Jeff said:
Like the companies that own and operate one park?

I gave examples of two companies that operate under more than one brand. Or did you miss that?


So if you don't want a wooded dirt path, then what is it you want, and how will it accommodate 3 million guests per year?

Since when does a park need 3 million guests a year to be successful?

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Friday, April 4, 2008 4:47 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
But what about all the people that apparently don't? Like the millions and millions of people who visit these 'concrete wasteland' parks each year?

Which goes back to what Jeff says about the large, concrete midway being a necessity. Which came first the midway or the people? Is it a necessary evil?


There is nothing that bugs me more than when you're at BGE or HP and the crowds are in full swing and there's nowhere to go. You're just surrounded by people.

Separating what irks me about both parks is the narrow little pathways that you're forced into at BGE in some of the "countries," and the large amount of people with strollers or double-wide strollers at HP on once again narrow pathways.

I'd much prefer a wide-open midway where I can move at my own pace and not get stuck behind people on cellphones with seemingly no place to go, or parents with strollers that become obstacle courses as I'm trying to navigate my way around the park.

While I like both parks (and especially love HP), it just shows how you can keep adding stuff but forget that moving people around the park on really busy days becomes a challenge because of all the new stuff you've added.

It's like the mega mall that keeps expanding but the roads around it haven't grown any wider or gained any capacity. See Towson Town Center in Towson, MD for a great current example. Try finding a parking spot in the garages on weekends. It's murder. They're adding 30 new stores plus four new eateries, and across the street a developer is adding 900 new condos/apartments.

Did the roads around it get any wider? No. Did the roads gain any capacity? No. Did the Baltimore Beltway which feeds Dulaney Valley Rd. and York Road all the sudden have a reduction in cars? Again, that would be a solid no. In fact, even though those people will be able to walk to some stores and activities, I'm sure they'll all have cars to take them to their jobs.

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Friday, April 4, 2008 4:57 PM
Funny, you don't hear people complaining about Epcot Center or Universal Studios Florida being concrete wastelands but that is what they are, save for lakes in the middle of them.

I've said other places that given Cedar Point has one of the highest number of rides of any amusment park in the world...including several of the tallest roller coasters in the world...it is amazing that there is still wooded areas, the lagoons, large and beautiful garden areas, etc.

Frankly, I think this whole argument is unfounded concerning Cedar Point.

Intamin makes a great point about the "narrow" walkways in BGE (& BGT for that matter). Heck, even the Magic Kingdom is nearly a nightmare to navigate anymore...and I only go in the "offseason".

There are plenty of reasons to knock Cedar Fair, or Cedar Point in particular. This ain't one of them.

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Friday, April 4, 2008 4:59 PM
Jeff's avatar Agreed that BGE and Hershey are a nightmare to get out of, especially Busch.

Rob Ascough said:

So if you don't want a wooded dirt path, then what is it you want, and how will it accommodate 3 million guests per year?

Since when does a park need 3 million guests a year to be successful?


Who said anything about success? Answer the question. Why do you penalize a park for having necessary infrastructure to handle its capacity? That's what you're doing.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Friday, April 4, 2008 5:00 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
It's a matter of the same signage, the same characters, the same shows, the same look, etc.

And how does this not apply to Disney or Universal? Or Kennywood and Lake Compounce?


Rob Ascough said:
Ask people what they hate about parks and I promise most will tell you about the long lines.

Thats a complaint with every amusement park though, its not a Cedar Fair thing.


Rob Ascough said:
People living in Pittsburgh seem to be pretty happy with the park.

But you don't live here so you don't really know. You would be surprised.


Rob Ascough said:
Since when does a park need 3 million guests a year to be successful?

Who said that it did? The point is Cedar Point is designed in a way to keep people moving on and off rides.


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Friday, April 4, 2008 5:32 PM
I don't get how asking if Cedar Fair is good or bad advances the discussion in any way. Asking if it is good for the health of the amusement park industry for larger chains to take over smaller parks cuts more to the heart of the issue for me.

Given Six Flags agressive purchases of amusement parks in the 90's and Cedar Fair's buy up of parks in this decade I think it is fair to be skeptical of big chains taking over smaller parks while revamping them to fit the brand. Given the large sums of money the chains have access to it is getting harder for independent parks to stay independent. For me diversity is key to the continued health of the industry. *** Edited 4/4/2008 9:33:38 PM UTC by rc-madness***

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Friday, April 4, 2008 5:40 PM
A few things here:

Cedar Fair Parks Have Too Many Trashcans
Complete crap. I mean if a park is dirty and has overfilling trashcans then it definetely deserves to be bashed, but if the parks are clean and have lots of trash recepticles to keep them that way I think bashing them is dumb.

Cedar Fair is Uncreative
Okay so what was a generally un-themed coaster named Top Gun is now a generally un-themed coaster named Flight Deck. Whats it matter, are you not going to visit the park cause its Flight Deck? Are you going to enjoy the ride less with the new name? Is your day at the park going to be disappointing because Drop Zone is now Drop Tower? NO this was all a result of bored fanboys stuck in an offseason of boredom. It has really no impact on anything excpet lame jokes made by some losers on message boards.

Cedar Fair Destroys Theming
First off, Cedar Fair doesn't 'destroy theming' just to remove it from the park, but they do so if they are going to replace that 'themed area' with a world class roller coaster or attraction. Personally I don't go to any park outside of Disney-Busch-Universal for theming, because when Six Flags or Cedar Fair trys it normally its mediocre at best. Its not like Cedar Fair is removing something along the lines of Cinderella Castle or the Lost Continent, to put in Pony Express, but instead was an old tired graveyard area. I mean if its true that the B&M is coming to Kings Island next year, what are more people likely to say:
Kings Island got rid of the lake by Italian Job, I don't wanna go there
OR
There is a new 200 foot coaster over at Kings Island, lets go


If you wanna beat up on a chain, I stick the traditional standpoint and bash good ole Six Flags and here are a few reasons why.

There more expensive
Six Flags is the pricier chain for a generally worse experiance. Between admission (60 bucks to many) parking (15 bucks at many) and the absolutely crazy prices for 'flashpass' makes SF an easy target.

There are ads everywhere
Six Flags parks are becoming more and more like Pro Sports Stadiums with ads everywhere they can stick them. From ads for cornnuts in medusa's line to 100 posters for 'the seeker' on the parks lightpoles to giant GEICO banners hung on SFGAm's Viper or SFGAdv's water tower.

Mandatory Lockers on all Coasters
This year every major coaster at Six Flags parks you must pay a dollar to put loose articles in a locker, such as back packs, basketballs and stuffed prices. What this means to me is that I won't be playing any games cause I wouldn't wanna pay the locker fees if I did win, and also Its goodbye cheap souvenir cup refills all day and hello 3.50 20 oz cokes.

They're Taking Out A Lot Of Rides
New Six Flags corporate policy is aparentely remove a lot of rides and close down unpopular sections of the parks and let the rides rot. I mean look at what got removed from SFGAdv this offseason:
Chiller
Movie Town Water Effect
Space Shuttle
Swings
and the old country will be closed, so no music express or bumper cars and now shows in the showcase theater or the stunt arena.

SFKK closed off the area with Twisted Twins.

SFMM got rid of almost all their flat rides.

There Not Adding Big Coasters
I am surprised this one hasn't gotten more attenion on the nerd forums, but has anyone else noticed that with Shapiro at the realm Six Flags hasn't been adding big coasters. Now let me also say I don't care "whats smart for the park to add" or "thats a great investment for the park", I am a fan, not a stockholder. And look at what Six Flags parks have added in the two years Shapiro has controlled capital expansion:
4 Small Tony Hawk Themed Spinning Coasters
3 Dark Knight Themed Wild Mouses
Evel Knevel
Thats it. Two years and the only semi large coaster was a mid-size GCI woodie. Most expansions have been cheaply done unexciting additions with some licensing tie in.

If Cedar Fair is going to be building "Behemoths" and Six Flags is going to be building "Tony Hawks" clones in every park, I know what team I wanna be on.

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Friday, April 4, 2008 5:48 PM
HP and BGE were my home parks for one year, and I never had a problem getting out of them, granted I traditionally ended my day on Nessie and SDL at those parks so I didnt have far to go so that may be it.

As for waits, they happen everywhere. Heres what I expect at any park: the newest, most wild, most popular rides at the park will have a 2+ hour wait if it is not within 2 hours of the park opening or closing, its a universal truth, thats the way it is at any big park on your standard summer day.

So with that in mind, I make sure Im there before opening, position myself so that I ride the most popular ride 1st, then the 2nd, and so on within the first hour and if I want to reride them wait until dark and volia, no two hour waits for touchdown (unless I feel like re riding those rides mid day which usually doesnt happen or the park is quite busy and the lines dont die down at night but then at least its cool.) Then I ride all the flats/lesser coasters and see shows midday. If I take a break, its midday for a big meal, chilling at the water park (read napping/riding the lazy river) or sometimes even going back to my car and taking a nap inside it (if cool enough.) This is not something that just enthusiasts do either, I have seen/know non enthusiasts that do that too, its the only way to have fun.

You also live for days when this doesnt happen (see May, non Saturdays in October, and random summer days) and power ride the headliners on those days.


2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

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Friday, April 4, 2008 6:31 PM
phoenixphan :-)'s avatar Wow... this constant state of negativity on the buzz makes me wonder if I still want to call myself a coaster enthusiast. Not sure what you all do outside of here, but it seems some need a hobby from this hobby.

Was I upset that Geauga Lake closed, sure. Did it bother me that Cedar Fair bought the Paramount parks, at first yes. Does it make any real difference when I still love the roller coasters and get to ride them. No.

I can't imagine why people get so heated over such petty issues. So Cedar Fair removes trees. They also have brought us some awsome rides. So the generic names applied to rides at Cedar Fair parks lack creativity. Six Flags has been doing that, and from a marketing standpoint its a great way to save money.

Lastly, we just spent a day at King's Dominion on Sunday... I have been wanting to post a trip report taking about all the postive thigs that day, but am tired of all the personal attacks whenever anyone actually enjoys something about a park.

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Friday, April 4, 2008 6:40 PM
Phoenix, Ill go further, I was thrilled when I learned CP bought KI. That instantly slashed my SP price I was expecting to pay when I came here :).

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

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Friday, April 4, 2008 7:21 PM

Rob Ascough said:
Ford owns Mazda, yet Mazda vehicles couldn't look any more different from their Ford platform-mates. No homogenization there either.

Hmm. Mazda Tribute.

Ford Escape.

They look the same to me. Also take a look at the Mazda CX=7 and the Ford Edge. Same vehicles.


Jeff Young
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Friday, April 4, 2008 8:13 PM
^There have been a few Mazda/Ford siblings. The first was probably the Probe which was nothing but a Mazda MX6. Mazda's B-series pickup truck (still available), is nothing but a clone of a Ford Ranger with a different grille.
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Friday, April 4, 2008 8:40 PM
Nice try at comparisons Rob but when's the last time you've seen a forum for steakhouse enthusiasts....preferably one in which they complain about say Outback closing their local steakhouse & thus vowing never to return to another Outback steakhouse again hmm?

About the only thing that I personally don't like with the CF aqquisition of the former PP properties is the rather lame & uncreative names they've given to some of the rides in said parks but that's not going to stop me from visiting KD this summer....not in the least.

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