Cedar Fair the new company to hate?

I have never had a problem getting in or out of Animal Kingdom, and I've been to that park on days with some pretty insane crowds. But it doesn't matter. Take a look at other Disney parks... Sea World parks... Busch parks. They all handle insane crowds, and none of them feature barren expanses of concrete. It's amazing what some shade trees, flower beds and decorative stone can do.
OhioStater's avatar

My point is that large midways can be designed to be aesthetically-pleasing.

Very true. In fact, I would agree with you 100% that there are many things (this is always my thought about CP in regards to one thing they could change to reallly put them "over the top" (insert music from 1980's Stallone arm-wrestling movie here) about CP that are not aesthetically pleasing.

Im wondering if you are talking about Cedar Point or Kings Island?

Could you give an example of where this was done?

Rob, I think you have your Disney blinders on.

In AK, it's not getting in or out that's the worst of the problem, though I'd also argue that the turnstile area is both too narrow and shallow for the typical morning crowd---that's why I *always* use the Rainforest Cafe turnstiles instead.

But, getting in/out of Africa (or even moving around back there) is also a cluster. It's pretty, but doesn't handle crowds well at all, because pre-Everest, that was the one and only marquee attraction, and it's at the end of a narrow dead-end. MK's Splash/Thunder peninsula is another traffic engineering nightmare---two of the park's three headliners on a narrow dead-end.

(Edited: the FrL Train Station helps with this, at least.)

Don't even get me started on DL's Adventureland. On a weekday in mid-February, still wall-to-wall people.

DL's and MK's Main Streets, and Epcot's tombstone-littered plaza between the gates and Spaceship Earth also suffer on peak days. Only an idiot would try to leave DL, MK, or EP immediately after the fireworks. For MK, we nearly always wait a good half hour after Wishes to leave, and even then the monorail and trams are a zoo. MK and DL go so far as routing guests backstage to exit when Main Street gridlocks---a routine practice during Christmas week.

Somehow, DS never has this problem after Fantasmic. I can't figure out why, though. Perhaps because the bottleneck is getting out of the theater.
*** Edited 4/10/2008 2:29:53 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

Rob Ascough said:
Busch parks...handle(s) insane crowds, and none of them feature barren expanses of concrete.

I like trees, I like winding paths, but there's no way in blazes I can agree with you there.

I did BGT during spring break a number of years ago...back when Da Midget still fit in a rental stroller. Try pushing that thing past their various chokepoints and you'll see what I'm saying.

And don't get me started on my wait for admission tickets. Holy-whatever-you-wanna-name-here, was THAT ungodly. I'd actually welcome a CP-style admission area there.

Mind you I lurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrve BGT. It holds my #1 and #2 steel coasters, for crying out loud. FKA CBaby's too, tho she'd invert my #1 and #2 order. But I can't avoid ranting about that.

That having been said...does every CF park need the same cookie cutter, break-out-the-paver-cuz-it's-time-for-a-new-ride look? You might have a point when a park draws 3 million plus a year every season. Just possibly.

But does DP need Cheerless Boulevard or WoF (which PEAKS at a million-and-change, for crying out loud) need the Overly Vast Mamba Flatlands or Does VF need Lifeless Riptide 'Plaza' right next to the Sterile Xtreme Swing Concourse which is down the way from Steel Venom Desert? I don't think so.

And if it is so vitally necessary? Why do all the broad-and-spacious rules change when they wanna shoehorn me past sixty-leventy-two shops, game booths, 'attractions' and stalls? Oh, funny how we'll all of a sudden fit THEN.


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

Jeff's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
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.
You keep saying this over and over and over again and you never give examples of where Cedar Fair has done this. I've seen pictures of the old Dorney, and it only looked old. Examples, please.

And the entrance/exit path at Animal Kingdom is a cluster-you-know-what. There's nothing wide about that path. Sure it's all wooded and pretty, but it's Disney, and it's a zoo. What else would it be?

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

eightdotthree's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
Take a look at other Disney parks... Sea World parks... Busch parks. They all handle insane crowds, and none of them feature barren expanses of concrete.

Maybe your going on slow days, none of those parks handle crowds well IMO. I do more people dodging in those parks than I do in Manhattan.

Rob Ascough said:
It's amazing what some shade trees, flower beds and decorative stone can do.

No one is arguing that at all though. I can't speak for everyone else, but I get the vibe that everyone in this thread loves the parks you keep brining up.

The Mole's avatar
The problem I think all parks have with closing crowd control is that they don't offer a reason to leave early/spread out leaving. Magic Kingdom handles this amazingly well, with two parades, with fireworks in the middle, and still keeping the rides open till late. It gets a good chunk of people out to the front of the park to leave, while keeping enough back to prevent a major hassle. Even when it's not possible like in a park like DHS, they open backstage areas to prevent bottlenecks and get people out. It's brilliant how Disney handles getting people out of their parks.

Now only if they could get those busses working better. ;)

Of *course* they don't offer a reason to leave early. If you leave early, the money you spend after you leave will be spent with someone else! The Disney parks don't put all those spectacular ending events on just to be nice to you, they do it to give you a reason to stick around for that extra hour or two after you've done everything you want to do, and/or are a little tired.

In MK, even on a Spectro/Wishes/Spectro night, the vast majority of guests see the first parade, Wishes, and then bolt for the exits en masse.

But, the new Magic in Motion dispatch for the bus system is actually working pretty well. We were at Old Key West this past February just after MiM's roll-out, and each bus we took was timely--no more than 10 minute waits.

The professor makes a return!!!!!

You're right. The samething happened at CP after the laser show. I worked on the garbage crew, and we knew that when the show was over, our night was nearly through.

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

The first time I saw this pic on Gonch's page, it immediately struck me as cold and depressing. Not at all inviting.


Jeff's avatar
Perhaps it's the photo. 13 parks in the chain, surely you can do better than that.

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

I think the problem here is that the bigger a company gets. the more it looks at just one thing: The bottom line. expanses of concrete may be ugly, but they have less maintance than landscapes. If that's one less person they have doing landscape at $11.00/hr, then that's one more ride op they can hire at $6.75/hr, thus having a $4.25/hour savings.

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

I think that picture is a heck of a lot more inviting than blacktop. A lot of things go into the decisions for what is paved, what gets sod, where a garden goes, etc.

I'd rather see concrete than dead grass from idiot people who take short cuts through areas that they shouldn't.

Putting in irrigation for a garden/planter in the middle of a midway is certainly possible but to what end? If that irrigation suffers a break in mid-season they are going to have to cut up concrete at the worst possible time.

If I had my choice of Cedar Point on its most crowded day or Busch Gardens Europe on its most crowded day I'd be at the Point in a heartbeat. Not only is a crowded midway uncomfortable to me, it also makes me feel concerned for my small children. Forget about the hassles of negotiation a stroller, I'd be more worried about losing the kid in a crowd.

So safety, security, maintenance, crowd flow, etc all go into the mix.

eightdotthree's avatar
That part of the midway does suck, but walk another few hundred feet and go look at Talon's queue and landscaping. Its really nice.

Jeff's avatar

Hopman said:
I think the problem here is that the bigger a company gets. the more it looks at just one thing: The bottom line.
That's nonsense. A small company that doesn't look at the bottom line goes out of business. See Conneaut Lake, Wild West World, etc. Puppies, fairy dust and hugs don't sustain a business.

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

Carrie M.'s avatar

eightdotthree said:
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.

This may be the most intelligent post in this thread. Why on Earth people would expect or even want every park experience to be exactly the same is something I don't understand.

Every park has to build on the topography they have to work with. And as was stated above there are a lot of considerations that have to be taken into account to do that.

Jeff said:

Puppies, fairy dust and hugs don't sustain a business.

No, but they do make me really happy. ;)

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

OhioStater's avatar
That is a very isolating shot of Meteor. Dorney is just a strange park to begin with.

My biggest problem with that picture has nothing to do with concrete, but rather the placement of the ride. You have a "themed" White Water Landing, and a colorful flat that would do better on a different Midway (or theme it to blend in with what it is around...at least a little).

Brian Noble said:

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***

The only Disney park I go to that is not congested is EPCOT, but yet at night for ERT because of the hotel, we were staying at it, it was jammed with people near the back of the park (World Showcase). At Disney World, all the parks are crowded to me. In my opinion, I think they are designed horribly for crowds (I'm talking about walkways, and not ride capacities).

EPCOT was the best except at night though. Of course, you have to think of how many people go in the Magic Kingdom a year.

Jeff's avatar
And you don't have the same crowding at Epcot because of, you guessed it, huge wide concrete midways.

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

The Mole's avatar
I think the problem is that Epcot handles the pavement better than others do. They add fiberoptics, patterns, lights, and other things to make it seem as if it's part of the landscape and buildings, and not just large amounts of blacktop. It's also not one giant long line (usually).

link *** Edited 4/11/2008 6:01:11 PM UTC by Jeff***

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