CoasterBuzz Podcast #124 posted

Posted Monday, September 29, 2008 6:00 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Jeff, Mike and Pat review this week's news in the amusement industry.

  • Halloween for kids. Jeff's research department determines Kings Island included it with normal admission.
  • Lo-Q kicking it financially with Six Flags.
  • The Gravity Group launches a podcast and blog.
  • Universal Studios Japan turns around with guru manager, addressing the cultural needs of the locals.
  • Disney is apparently not adding any big new thing for Orlando, but do they even need to?
  • The boys look around at renderings of Schlitterbahn's new Kansas City complex, which does not translate well to listening.
  • Hard Rock Park files for bankruptcy, and, big surprise, they say that a lack of out-of-market advertising was a problem. We were saying this at the beginning of the summer.
  • Talking about Hard Rock leads us to Universal Orlando, where we wax nostalgic about The Enchanted Oak, which is gone. But there's a lot of excitement building around the new Harry Potter stuff.
  • The Fall Affair was a great success. Voyage is still so physical, in a good way.
  • CoasterBuzz Club events coming up this year: BooBuzz at Cedar Point. Visit the CoasterBuzz Club page for more information.

Link: CoasterBuzz Podcast

Monday, September 29, 2008 7:30 PM

I really liked Hard Rock Park. It is my current favorite "Theme park." If an enthusiast was going there just for the rides, they'd probably be disappointed. The best way I can think to describe it would be to call it a an adults version of Disney World. And for those of you with your mind in the gutter, I didn't mean that in a dirty way.

At the Hard Rock Park ACE event on June 21st we had a Q&A session and asked about the tie-in to the Restaurants and the Hotel. IIRC they said that the Park, Restaurant Chain and Hotel are 3 separate entities. So even though it makes sense that it would be a logical way to advertise, it's possible that it would require some kind of advertising contract that they either haven't pursued yet or haven't come to an agreement on yet.

In addition, the park owners seemed to know there was a problem with the advertising (or lack there of) early on. I'm very surprised they didn't try to do more about it then. It seems to me like they were resigned to the old saying "Well, there's always next year."

On the topic of park pizza, I agree that Holiday World has very good pizza. I also think that Cesari's Pizzeria at Knoebels and La Rosas at Kings Island are also very good. Of course while your eating your Cesari's pizza, you have to get some Birch Beer. I'm going to Phunfhest next week and my mouth is already watering. :)

Last edited by Jason Hammond, Monday, September 29, 2008 7:32 PM
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008 12:32 PM

The old HRC is still at USF. Take a walk down past the Woody Woodpecker coaster. The building is just sitting there. If you look on Google Earth or whatever it is just west of the hotel lobby. And on the subject of Nickelodeon they actually were taping at the park over the summer. Guts (now called Family Guts or something) filmed at the park and the set looked much like the old one complete with that big rock wall thing.

As for the bridge at IOA.... Dueling Dragon's entrance is now over by the bar ("girlie drink stand") in Jurassic Park. You walk through Jurassic Park, over the original bridge by Flying Unicorn and up the original exit of Dragons. The line then climbs up the stairway that connects the exit path to the entrance of the castle. The whole courtyard main entrance of Dueling Dragons is all closed off now (as in the last week).

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008 1:28 PM

Huh, so it is. The old HRC looks so much smaller than it did back in the day, when the hotel wasn't there.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008 4:36 PM

Funny you should mention that. I have a friend that used to work with me. Now he's a supervisor at Universal. We were down there a few weeks ago and he pointed that building out to me while we were taking the kids on the Woody coaster. I asked him what they used it for, and he said nothing. They really don't know what to do with it, but don't want to tear it down, so it just sits there. Meanwhile, when they run out of things in the park, that building gets slowly gutted from the inside.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008 11:21 PM

That was my first HRC. Can't say I love 'em, but they're consistent (and too loud, LOL). The park should have "advertised" as heavily as the resturants. ;)

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 8:13 AM

OK, I don't know if it's just me, but what in the world is HRC?

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 8:38 AM

Hard Rock Cafe. Like the park, minus the coasters, plus more food selection and some booze. Not a bad place to go, not great. Pretty expensive if you ask me.

Why don't they want to tear it down?

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 9:22 AM

The food is remarkably average, but they seem to create a pretty good atmosphere, particularly if you're into the tattoo and piercing crowd.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 11:42 AM

Jeff said:
...but they seem to create a pretty good atmosphere, particularly if you're into the tattoo and piercing crowd.

So the park did follow the business model. :)

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 2:39 PM

Jeff said:
The food is remarkably average, but they seem to create a pretty good atmosphere, particularly if you're into the tattoo and piercing crowd.

Never said the food was good, just there was more of it. I've only eaten at two of the cafe's, Cleveland and Atlanta, and both were meh. I usually go to the one in Atlanta since I go with friends and we just want to have a good time.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 3:15 PM

I just go to HRC to get the shirt. I rarely eat at one as the food is about Applebee's quality at twice the Applebee's price. I do, collect the shirts, however, as I like them as a souvenir. Probably because they were the big fad in the eighties when I was in high school. :)

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 4:42 PM

Yeah, I only had one shirt in high school, but all the band geeks got one from London on some trip.

And come on man, nothing is as crappy as Applebees. Except that dump called O'Charley's a half-hour east of Holiday World.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 4:46 PM

Denny's is like Applebee's without the beer. That's definitely crappier.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 9:09 PM

I am trying to figure out what town is a half hour east of Holiday World big enough to have any chain restaurant. Boonville maybe? You should have stayed in Jasper and ate at the Schnitz, Mill House, or the Country Buffet at the Jasper Inn. All are far superior to any chain restaurant.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 10:39 PM

Jasper sucks. I stayed there the first year I went down there. Plus it's totally out of the way. It already takes me six hours to get there, and you want me to go an extra half-hour?

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008 11:43 PM

The Hampton Inn in Jasper is fine...and the local places that deliver food are cheap as it gets.

But yeah, the drive to and from the park always annoys me.

I had a cabin at Lake Rudolph booked this year...until I had to cancel...sigh.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008 2:05 AM

Whoa there Jeff.... that's my hometown you are a-dissin'!

You don't have to tell me about the drive. I have driven it nearly every day for four summers in a row. Really it is not all that bad. Especially if you find something decent to listen to, the drive is pretty quick. I have found that the best place to stay in Jasper is my folks place, so I really cannot say anything about the hotels, but there are some decent restaurants, if you know where to look.

BTW, Jasper is on the way, if you are coming from Indy or Bloomington.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008 4:02 PM

Is Boardwalk Bullet considered a home run?

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008 4:16 PM

^^Obviously you've never been on it!! ;)

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