Cedar Point and band organs

While everyone's still in a fiery Cedar Point mood I thought I'd bring this up.

I haven't been to Cedar Point in a few years but I remember there wasn't an operating band organ for the carousel. That probably hasn't changed so my question is why? For a park that advertises itself as the best park on the planet I would think they would pay more attention to details like this that while minor, really add to a quality amusement park experience.

Yes I realize that it is expensive to maintain a band organ but I have hard time believing that Cedar Point can't find the funds in a multi-million dollar budget. Heck, Knoebels always as at least 3 organs operating.

For all the faults of the 1970s era "theme parks" I do give them credit for rescuing and maintaing historic carousels - often from beloved defunct parks. Cedar Point with it's traditional park pedigree to take such little pride in the carousel is perplexing to me.

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar
It's because Cedar Point sucks, they do everything wrong and win awards for doing them!

Although I do agree on this one... playing CD's of carousel music is kind of shady.

~Rob Willi

Gemini's avatar
Here's something I completely agree with. This is actually a topic that has been brought up before on FanboyBuzz.com, believe it or not. They really should go back to having real organ music. For a park with that much tradition, as well as a great collection of carousels, it's really too bad that they use canned music.

Now, let's see if we can get through this thread without the attitude. :)

*** Edited 5/11/2005 6:33:43 PM UTC by Gemini***

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

While I don't really agree that the park acknowledges tradition (if that were the case, there would be a darkride or two at Cedar Point), I do agree that the lack of a band organ one is a bit odd. A band organ is a big part of the carousel experience and a CD player is no replacement. Of course, it could be worse... millrace and I rode Rye Playland's carousel last year when the band organ was getting repaired and he'll agree with me when I say that a silent carousel is very eerie!
Doesn't CP count Disaster Transport as their dark ride! :)
I guess they could, although that's be a stretch!
Here's another perplexing one. Why don't they care about having the best wooden coasters on the planet?? Oops....wrong place for that. I should know better than to ask here. ;)

Wood Coaster Fan Club - "Sharing a Passion for the Classics"

Yeah, almost seems that Blue Streak was a accidental good one.

CP has done everything they can to ruin it but it hasn't completely worked yet.

Chuck, expecting brakes on the first drop of Blue Streak anyday now.

Common, you have to be fair. We all don't like brakes on MS and Mantis, but they went out of their way to lighten the brakes on Raptor and Magnum. If they don't feel they have to brake the ride, I don't think they will.
Like I've said before, if didn't used to be this way. When George Roose was still active in the management of CP, he'd walk around the park during the season to make sure the four organs were all playing properly. The then head of maintenance Harry Bray tried to stay one step ahead of him. If an organ went down it wasn't unusual to run into Don Stinson working on it in the middle of the night so it'd be ready for the next day.

After Emil LeGross passed away, and George steppped down, things changed, and not for the better. When Robert Munger took over the seperate organ budget was eliminated, and lumped into the sound dept. The Sound people didn't (and still don't) want to be bothered with them. The same attitude that theming was an unnecessary exprense also applied to the organs.

If the midway organ is all there, not missing any parts, it would cost approx. $11,000 to bring back to form. Considering what CP makes in a day, it's a truely insignifcant amount. Surely "The World's Greatest Amusement Park" could afford that.

Considering that CP dumps $25 million on a state-of-the-art steel coaster every few years, what's $11,000?
I really believe there are a lot of things CP could do better when it comes to maintaining the character and history of the park. Look at some of the things they have done in recent years that have taken away character slowly, but surely. They've taken away character signs from ride entrances, removed live spiels from several rides, and removed theming from White Water Landing and Dragster.

CP is great in that they are constantly adding something new to keep people coming back and keeping them interested, but I feel like they've been letting a lot of little things slip over the past few years. I'm hopeful that the trend will stop now because those little things are the things that keep CP from being "just another park with big rides" to a lot of people.


I feel the same way. Cedar Point is a sentimental favorite of mine and was always a part of my summer vacations growing up (despite living 500 miles away). I feel like a lot of the appeal it had for me has been lost and I'm not sure some of the newer changes, additions, and losses were worth it (in my eyes).

The only comfort I have really is the realization that the Cedar Point I loved in the 1970s and 80s probably annoyed those who remembered it during the 50s and 60s.

But Cedar Point has unique charm with a great location and a great history. It bothers me to see so much of that swept aside to become "just another theme park."

I would worry about being labeled "Anti-CP" but since that's already happened, here's my take...

As CP has grown since the dark days following WWII (when the park almost got replaced by residential development), things were lost that made the park so special to many people. Darkrides. Flat rides. Atmosphere. TREES. Yeah, there are 16 coasters and the park claims a huge assortment of rides and other entertainment... but what about what was lost?

There are parks in the country that manage to acknowledge their past while moving into the future- Kennywood, Knoebels and Hersheypark are three fine examples. They add new rides but also reflect upon their history and realize the huge value of nostalgia to certain guests. As Cedar Point has grown, what have they preserved? One of the largest, and certainly one of the most acclaimed parks in the world has no darkrides and a scant two wood coasters- only one of them being rideable. With the exception of Power Tower in 1998 and MaxAir this year, what major non-coaster rides has the park installed? And how many great older rides were removed or severely altered to make room for those coasters?

You can say I'm looking to start a fight but I'm not. It just seems to me that CP manages to polarize a lot of enthusiasts- they either love the place or they despise the place (I stand by my assertion that I fall somewhere in the middle)- and this may be the reason why. As the park tries to position itself as the biggest and the best, little things get lost. The Schwabinchen. The Mill Race. The Antique Cars. The Carousel's band organ. Perhaps if CP spent $20 million on a new coaster and another $5 on preserving something from the past that is oh-so-tempting to remove, maybe the anti-CP people would have less to say?

Rihard's avatar
What happened to the Antique Cars?

- R.A

1 of the tracks for the Cadilac cars was removed when Raptor was built (unless something else happened that I'm not aware of). Not a huge loss but I don't think it weakens Rob's point any.
Pete's avatar
No, the Cadillac Cars never had two tracks. One of the Turnpike Cars tracks was removed for Raptor, the Cadillac Cars were not changed.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

That's what I meant- the Turnpike Cars. Does CP have Antique Cars?
I meant turnpike cars - oops.

Rob, Cedar Point has 3 sets of U-Drive 'Em cars. Turnpike Cars, Cadillac Cars (both on the main midway) and then a set of Antique Cars in Frontier Town. Cadillac Cars and Antique Cars look pretty much the same but I think Frontier Town has the more interesting track layout.

Back on the original topic - I'm curious how many parks still run the carousel band organs. Of the 60 or so parks I've visited, I can only think of two - I guess I've never really made a mental note of this.

Any body got a clue?

And Thrillerman - they did try to build the "best wooden coaster on the planet" in the early 90's - and failed miserably.

To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them".

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