I always have thought that parks at night were a great experience that you got for about one hour per visit. I won't forget going to Knobels and Hersheypark in the summer of 03 and having many night rides. Six Flags uses the excuse that they are focusing on families more, but I think we all know that it's really because of the huge debt they have, and not wanting to pay workers for the extra hour or two.
Busch Gardens used to be open til 11 PM on some occasions, now they want you to leave right as it's getting dark.
Is this just a trend this year, or do you see it becoming a permanent thing? Is anyone as annoyed at this as I am?
I mean, Carowinds has been closing at 8 PM for like 4 years now, so I haven't been able to do it there, but Kings Dominion, which has been my home park since around 1990 was always open til 10 in the summer, and I always loved the last hour or two of my visits the most due to short lines, different ride experiences, and the experiences were just more memorable. Not to mention the fact that it was about 10 degrees cooler.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
Yeah, overall it does seem to be dying out. Shame too, they haven't invented a coaster that's not better at night. Even clunkers like Vortex at CFCar are a bit more fun with the darkness, lit up midways and cool breeze. I specifically remember a particular time at Carowinds being on Vortex's lift hill as fireworks were being set off... nirvana.
Even if it is, I must say that the current theme park situation as a whole is very scary. Six Flags thinking of bulldozing Magic Mountain instead of selling it originally, the Myrtle Beach Pavilion closing, and who knows if Cedar Fair will keep Carowinds and Great America for long...
Those things along with less hours, Six Flags becoming family parks, which may mean bulldozing a few coasters in the future, and the new parks coming up in Myrtle Beach and West VA sounding like small regional parks, well....
Do they want us to have heart attacks?
Also, I'd assume drink and food sales would decrease, and it may not be as profitiable to operate in dark then in light, thus giving reason to cut the hours.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)
A lot of chain parks aren't really anything special at night. Kings Island has all the charm of an oil refinery at night. Geauga Lake, with the exception of the ferris wheel, is equally dismal.
Well, there are different types of night visits. There are parks with light packages, and ones without. Sometimes I like the "I feel like the park is closed" feel. Kings Dominion used to have pretty good light packages though. Last few years they were basically spotlights on some of the coasters, however. There's just something different about riding a coaster at night with or without lights. Heck, even the Hurler, which is now a backbrace waiting to happen, is better at night, and it's never really had lights.
Night parks are.... I'm looking for a good word here.... iconic?
^You mean parks like Lakeside?
Sadly I've never been to Lakeside, so I wouldn't know. But I did see it in part of a documentary on Discovery about 9 years ago. The park was shown at night, with what I think was the Cyclone featured.
I just thought of another possible reason for some parks cutting hours. Could it be the recent upturn in city enforced curfews for those under 18? I know that that's been quite the trend lately in VA at least. Dunno about elsewhere....
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