Cedar Fair the new company to hate?

Friday, April 4, 2008 10:44 PM
matt.'s avatar

Nice try at comparisons Rob but when's the last time you've seen a forum for steakhouse enthusiasts....

A search for "steakhouse" on Chowhound returns 10,772 results. And remember that doesn't include conversations about steakhouses that aren't called "XYZ Steakhouse." And that's just one forum. And doesn't include the thousands of foodist blogs and publications out there.

Just sayin'.

Friday, April 4, 2008 11:21 PM
^What other kind of enthusiasts are there besides Trekies, Star Wars people, roller coasters, band groupies, Mcrib people?

Im all out of ideas.

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

Saturday, April 5, 2008 12:14 AM
I don't think Cedar Fair's getting ENOUGH flack.

The Paramount purchase was a negative for everyone, except maybe KI who'll finally get a real marquee coaster. They've injected all the parks with the generic, McDonalds-with-less-emotion Cedar Fair branding and have made really unpopular and silly decisions in the vein of The CF Way(tm).

No more endless rerides on unpopular rides? UGGGGGH. I used to be able to get 5-10 midcar rides on Top Gun - on especially hot days, Carowinds is a water park that happens to have coasters - and now I gotta run flippin' laps to do it. LAME.

Turning around Racer/TR/Rebel Yell Backwards? Ugh.

Just ripping the signs (and BORG ball) from BORG, Top Gun et al, without any attempt to replace any theming that was there? Ugh.

Drop Tower? UGH.

I think Cedar Point is awesome. I don't think CF as a whole is any great shakes and absolutely not much better than Six Flags. In terms of park "feel" as in branding and atmosphere I think the better SF parks smash the Cedar Fair Not Cedar Point parks. It's not even close.

Saturday, April 5, 2008 12:25 AM

Jeff said:

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.

What the hell is the question you want me to answer? That a park absolutely has to have wide-open expanses of concrete to handle 3 million guests per year? Have you ever been to Busch Gardens? Sea World? Hersheypark? Those parks all handle enormous crowds, but they have found aesthetically-pleasing ways to do it.

Intamin Fan said:
^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.

Yeah, I neglected a few instances of badge engineering, but if you look at the Mazda CX-7 and Ford Edge, you'll see two crossover SUVs that don't look anything alike and clearly target different demographics. Perhaps I should have compared Ford vehicles to Volvo vehicles.

Nice try at comparisons Rob but when's the last time you've seen a forum for steakhouse enthusiasts...

Never looked, but I'm sure they're out there.

Saturday, April 5, 2008 12:58 AM
Jeff's avatar Yes, I've been to BGE and Hershey, and as I said earlier, they're clusterf's when it comes to trying to get out of them, especially in the evenings.

See, you associate big wide midways with some kind of charm-killing disgraceful design choice, and I'm asking you what the alternative is. As much as I love BGE and Hershey, I hate that I have to be packed in shoulder to shoulder with people. And don't tell me it must just be the days I went, because I've encountered it every time.

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

Saturday, April 5, 2008 2:50 AM
Welcme to 2008 and more hate but Cedar Fair? They have lead the way in innovation for years now. Maverick what else needs be said? Ah Fahrenheit the future expands. Now while Six Flags is adding the bare minimum, Cedar Fair is building B@M Hyper Coasters. New Wooden Coasters, people who visit California's Great America must be thrilled to be out of Paramont ownership. So far bring back food favorites. Adding a new Flat Ride then Wooden Coastesounds good to me. So when I visit Six Flags Great America and view three major empty spots this season does this make me hate on Cedar Fair? Quite to the contrary I pray they buy Gurnee's Great America. Remember both companies are about making a profit. Until they do parks must change or cease to operate.
Ronald Witrzek
Saturday, April 5, 2008 6:54 AM

Jeff Young said:

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.

Sorry, the car nerd has to speak up for a second.

The CX7 and the Ford Edge share zero components.

CX7: Turbocharged 4 cylinder engine, riding on a from scratch platform, suspension sourced from the Mazda5 and the MPV.

Edge: V6 engine, riding on the Ford CD3 platform which underpins the Fusion, Milan, MKZ, MKS and CX-9.

The Mazda CX9 and the Ford Edge share a platform and drivetrain, but zero sheetmetal and interior components. Sit in a CX7 and an Edge and you'll see how much bigger the Edge feels... the 2 get compared because the Edge is only a 5 seater like the CX7, whereas the CX9 seats 7. The Edge could have a third seat, but it was left out as not to steal sales from the Taurus X, Explorer and upcoming Flex.

On the Homogenization of the former Paramount Parks: Weren't those homogenized from the start? Look at Kings Island and Kings Dominion. They were designed to offer visitors a very similar experience, even sharing the same entrance plaza style, International Street and "weenie."

I love the design style used in the original KECO parks: where a nice hub style was changed just enough to have some region-specific touches (Coney Mall at KI, Old Virginia at KD).

I think we have a better chance at seeing a business model not unlike the KECO plan (strong entertainment program, family oriented, light yet cohedive themeing) under Cedar Fair than we EVER had with Paramount.

Keep in mind, parks one of the few businesses that patrons feel a stong sense of ownership owner. For me, I remember seeing Paramount come in a take out the Wild Animal Habitat, add rides to locations that didn't make sense, and cut the Live Entertainment options. I saw that as "ruining" my park. People 10 years younger than me might look at is as Cedar Fair as ruining their park by removing the "cool, movie themed rides." At least there are still people who feel strongly about these parks. I'd rather have customers who care, even if they're angry, than customers who are indifferent.

Indifference in patrons kills parks. See Geauga Lake. *** Edited 4/5/2008 11:00:37 AM UTC by PREMiERdrum***

Saturday, April 5, 2008 8:51 AM
eightdotthree's avatar When I was at Hershey last year it was a really slow grind trying to get out of the park, and then even slower to get out of the parking lot. Busch Gardens has the same issue, everyone meets up in London and its just too small.

Cedar Fair just designs a different kind of experience then those parks. What's the big deal? Busch Gardens is not just about rides, Cedar Fair is. The experiences are designed to be different and thank goodness they are.

How come Busch parks get a pass when everywhere you look they are advertising how great Anheiser Busch is. Right down to when you take a pee.

PREMiERdrum said:
On the Homogenization of the former Paramount Parks: Weren't those homogenized from the start? Look at Kings Island and Kings Dominion. They were designed to offer visitors a very similar experience, even sharing the same entrance plaza style, International Street and "weenie."

Exactly, the parks have never been unique to one another.

Saturday, April 5, 2008 9:04 AM
Let's face it: ALL parks will eventually become the same. The smaller parks will die off, nobody will be happy, and we'll all be pissed. It'll be just like the MATRIX!!

Show me ONE park that EVERYBODY thinks is perfect.

You guys shoot down SF becuase they're too commerical, yet you blast CF for being too bland. You take the little parks like Canobie Lake for granted (it seems like I'm the only one who has a clue about the Yankee Cannonball) Yet you want to rave about a new coaster when one of these same "big guys" pushes the envelope.

Sounds like we have ourselves a good old-fashoind paradox.

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

Saturday, April 5, 2008 10:17 AM
eightdotthree's avatar The funny thing is some people involved in this discussion think thats what we all want.
Saturday, April 5, 2008 10:55 AM
I think it comes down to what park experience you prefer. I live in VA and I have the pleasure to be able to visit 2 major parks within a 1.5 hour drive or less.

Busch parks are the most immersively themed parks outside of Disney and Universal. With BGE, the whole park is divided into European style villages, most of which represent the architecture of the 16th - 17th centuries.

Because of BGE's commitment to maintain that level of themed detail of small villages, you are always going to have bottlenecks in the small pathways going to and from each area. You will never see a midway path the equivalent of a 6 lane freeway running through BGE.

But, as good as the customer service is and the quality of the food, shows, and rides may be at BGE, the park is experiencing growing pains. With attendance exceeding 3 million in 2007, there is no way to improve the crowd flow and lines on the rides and restaurants, without compromising the Busch standards, unless they expand again.

I can see this hapening if they decide to build another country east of Italy or Octoberfest. But, without some sort of expansion, there could be degradation of the park experience if BGE is not careful.

With Kings Dominion, there never was the level of themeing that BGE had; but, KD did have a general theme for each area and the rides and buildings in that area reflected its theme. The employee costumes reflected each area as well.

KD was know for its entertainment throughout the region. In the KECO heyday, there were as many as 10-12 shows being performed each season. A good number of those shows had live bands to accompany the singer/dancers. Just to give you the scope of the entertainment offerings back then, there was an air show, dolphin/sea lion show, country music show, a couple of children shows, a couple of contemporary/ pop music shows, and a big broadway style review with 16 performers, lavish costumes and fancy sets. The park had an advertising theme for many years in the '80's called "Betcha can't do it All". And that was the truth! There was no way to see all the shows and ride all the attractions in one day. You had to spend 2 days to do everything!

Most of the rides were not heavily themed (with the exception of the Lost World mountain complex | now Volcano), but they were named to fit the area they were located in.

When Paramount first took over, I do think they had wonderful plans for the parks. But, I think after a few seasons they realized that you cannot make regional theme parks, that are seasonal, into full fledged movie parks like MGM and Universal. The cost/profit ratio bombed out.

So Paramount removed the animal safari attraction, they removed the steam train and the skyride at KD. They started placing ride attractions, with a movie tie-in, wherever they pleased without consideration to the original themed area it was in. Paramount decimated the enterainment division going from 8-10 shows down to 2-3. Most of KD's entertainment venues were removed.

I firmly believe that KD was in a severe identity crisis when Cedar Fair took over. The word of mouth about KD was very negative. Bad customer service, poor quality food, low capacity rides, rides that were over-hyped and did not deliver. Safety concerns.

I do feel that there has been a gradual change for the better with KD since Cedar Fair took over. I think too many enthusiasts expect a drastic makeover for KD and the other former Paramount Parks in a very short time. That is just unrealistic.

KD did not get the way it was under Paramount/Viacom/CBS rule in a season or two. The park was the way it was due to 14 seasons under the Paramount label. Do you expect CF to undo those changes in 2-3 seasons?

I think it will take another 3-4 seasons to truely see the mark of Cedar Fair on Kings Dominion and the other parks in the former Paramount chain. So I cannot see myself making an overall judgement on CF, one way or the other, until 2011 or 2012.

Aesthetically, I think CF will eventually find a middle ground between the ultra theming of a Busch/Disney park and the open concrete plazas of CP and still maintain crowd flow.

Saturday, April 5, 2008 12:46 PM
I live in Tampa, and I have to say I find this whole argument funny as heck.

When BGA built Sheikra, I was there within days of its opening. They just built Jungala, and I doubt if I even get a pass this year. I am a coaster/ride enthusiast- I like trees and flowers, but I LOVE coasters and rides.

I took my partner(a florida native) to CP two years ago. He absolutely LOVED it (we will return this summer). The thing he thought was coolest was that there was no theme- and theyre were so many rollercoasters. I have always thought that theming was over rated.

Finally- I have to say that BGE may be crowded and hard to navigate on a busy day - so can BGA. But the WORST is Animal Kingdom on any day.

Saturday, April 5, 2008 7:42 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

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

Because Cedar Fair wouldn't allow them to use any pictures of their parks? ;)

Is Kennywood considered a gem in the Pittsburgh area? It seemed to be when the sale to Parques Reunidos was announced.

I suppose Hershey has narrower walkways than many parks especially toward the front of the park. Once you head out of Founder's Circle (past the carousel) you have all the shops and refreshment stands of Rhineland (inside the gate) and Tudor Square (outside the gate). They all stay open past normal closing time.

For comparison, Dorney has a nice wide midway at the front of the park. If I want to buy something to snack on or a souvenir on my way out of the park, I could walk back and forth across the midway to see what's still open. Most places are already in shut-down mode 15 minutes before the park closes. The layout really is not conducive to impulse buying.

The last few times I was at Hershey, I bide my time, wait till the crowds thin out and leave the park carrying a few bags (of kettle corn and chocolate). At Dorney, I usually end up walking straight through to the parking lot. Occasionally I'll stop for something, if the places are still waiting on people. I'd say Hershey knows exactly what they're doing the way things are laid out and operated.

Then again, I don't have an i-anything, so I may not be qualified to offer an opinion on this thread.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008 5:43 PM
Yep, Cedar Fair sucks! I used to love them, but now I wish nothing but gloom for that company. This from someone who went to CP & GL 40-50 times a season. The money that my family would have spent on season passes this year is going towards our new pool that we are buying. F-off Cedar Fair! F-off Dick Kinzel!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008 7:27 PM
^Tell us how you really feel. :)


Wednesday, April 9, 2008 8:46 PM
^^ Inteligence comming from the Villageidiot? I believe your family will love the new pool...

Intimidator 305 the tallest most hated coaster nobody has ever ridden...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008 9:07 PM
rollergator's avatar For those who LOVE huge walkways - go to MarineLand. Biggest walkways anywhere.

But seriously, consider that parks with the narrow walkways maybe weren't originally conceived to handle the millions of people coming in the gates....

Narrowest walkways on Planet Earth? Silverwood. And a new GIB. Low capacity for a smaller crowd. And none of that horrible "corporate" feel. ;)

Thursday, April 10, 2008 9:28 AM
eightdotthree's avatar No one is criticizing parks like Hershey or Silverwood who may have narrow paths. The general theme seems to be Cedar Fair designs their parks differently and thats OK.
Thursday, April 10, 2008 10:05 AM
My point is that large midways can be designed to be aesthetically-pleasing. Cutting down dozens of shade trees and pouring a square mile of concrete isn't the only way to make a park handle large crowds. Disney's Animal Kingdom has a beautiful wide midway that leads from the entrance to the heart of the park- it handles Disney crowds but still manages to look fantastic.
Thursday, April 10, 2008 10:14 AM

it handles Disney crowds

That's arguable. AK is easily the most congested of the Florida parks---it's not DL-Adventureland-bad, but it feels crowded even on light attendance days.

It *is* beautiful---AK might be my favorite of the four---but it IMO it *doesn't* handle crowds well. *** Edited 4/10/2008 2:19:46 PM UTC by Brian Noble***


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