I think this (and the Six Flags free-fall removals) go to show that the coaster- and thrill-heavy focus in the late 90's-early 00's was the wrong path to take. It let parks ignore it's flats, and this is what happens.
Honestly, it reminds me more of the rush a couple years ago to get rid of the Falling Stars...I think the ride has exhausted its "useful life", been amortized by the accountants, and become a maintenance/repair headache.
For the smaller parks elsewhere (read: outside the US and *industrialized* Europe), maintenance labor might be cheaper, insurance/liability laws less stringent means part could be *machined* more readily, and lower capacity isn't the issue it might be for "Megapark chain X".
I really enjoyed Chaos a LOT, and even though my shins suffered the consequences, I rode most times I saw one running at a park. Sadly, I think the cost/benefit of having, and keeping, one operational turned against the Chaos - the MiA incident was a major blow, but by no means the only situation where the safety and "hassle" factors became daunting...and eventually damning. :-/
It's not a matter of "past it's prime" it's a matter of how much a park is willing to put up the quirks of a ride technician's nightmare. I've seen the wiring schematics for the Chaos,and chaos is an appropriate name for it.
Let's check the Falling Star toteboard for a second: MiA, check Adventureland, check (although not running on our trip in July) IB, check Knotts, gone
Looks like the "smaller" parks are the ones that still have 'em... ;)
I understand what Dutchman is getting at, there IS still life left in these rides....but for a larger park with OTHER rides to take care of/worry about, something that's no longer "a marketing draw" and eats up a LOT of maintnenance....to the larger park, that very likely means the ride's going off into the sunset..
Oh, and the Huss Rainbow, like the one from MBP, is typically run as a *far* more intense ride... ;)
*** Edited 12/18/2006 8:48:53 PM UTC by rollergator***
SFStL's Rush Street Flyer (which I rode this year) is OK...but it was run on the "gentle" cycle, with dispatches few and far between...and I'm gonna guess that maintenance is the primary reason for that...oh, and SFStL is FAR from a large park (medium-ish, I'll agree on, LOL)... ;)
The problem I have with the Chaos, and Six Flags Great Adventure is that the parks are now going to do what they have been doing especially Six Flags. Keep the flats smooth, and not that thrilling, and make the roller coasters thrilling. If some of the flats were more thrilling, they wouldn't have to build as many roller coasters.
Great Adventure has had nightmares for the rides they are bought along with Chaos, and they are just going to continue buying more roller coasters, and making the flats just smooth, and calming. If a flat breaks down once, and awhile, I think it's okay to keep it like the Spin Out at an amusement park. That ride might break down a couple times a day, but it's worth it.
So, might Superman Ultimate Flight. Zippers, Scats, Orbiters, Tilt-A-Whirls, Gee Whiz/Moby Dick, Yo-Yo's that actually tilt, Power Surges, Freak Out's (rather have Afterburner Fireball), and Shockers are all in the same category. Well, some are more thrilling than others, but teenagers might actually ride some of these compared to only roller coasters, and that big giant drop ride over there.
In other words, you don't need 8 good roller coasters in a park if you had more of these types of rides because they will fill the teenagers up with more rides to go on than roller coasters, and of course what I said before. You have Max Air and these other types of rides that are big, but why not just get smaller rides that don't cost $4 million each.