Posted Thursday, July 12, 2001 8:39 AM | Contributed by Jeff
In the coaster-building boom of the last few years, The Discovery Channel and its other networks have been good enough to show us the rides we couldn’t always ride. This year, the cable network takes us back stage at what many consider the best amusement park on the planet, Cedar Point. The park scored several 2001 Coasters’ Choice Awards, voted on by members of CoasterBuzz.
"The World’s Largest Amusement Park" is the story about a typical day at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. The park is home to 14 roller coasters and a staggering number of other attractions. It also includes a complete resort facility that includes hundreds of rooms, a campground and a water park. Even if you think you know what’s going on at a park like this, the show will most certainly surprise you.
The program starts the way most days start at the park, with ride inspections. You’ll get to see what is involved with the daily checks of both Mean Streak and Millennium Force. The show ends with the park’s "Summer Spectacular" light and fireworks show and the clean up and preparation for the next day.
What makes Cedar Point stand out in so many ways is its guest service, and the program does a good job in capturing that, documenting and exposing the personalities of employees from food service to sweeps.
The show starts with the "coaster show guy" voice, but for the most part follows the narration of Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel. The program’s editing pace is often swift, in part because they try to cover a lot of ground in only one hour. In depth coverage is given to the activities of food service, linen service for the hotels, the morning coaster inspection, the police department, park operations, the call center, traffic control, wardrobe, planning and design, the CP & LE Railroad, lifeguards and other areas.
The show features three rides with point-of-view video. Magnum features the same video from the "Top 10" program using Dan Haverlock, while Raptor features the Rockhold family from the same program. The Millennium Force video this time uses ACE representative Howard Gilooly in the front seat.
Overall the show is well produced, though another 15 to 20 minutes would have been helpful to cover aspects like the overnight maintenance and landscaping. Even for a Cedar Point veteran, there are probably things featured in the show that you didn’t know about. The show captures the personality of its staff while providing some moments of humor (just wait until you see the test rides for Millennium Force).
As a fan of the park, the thing that stood out the most was the segment of park operations, where the former vice-president of operations mentioned that they account for everything from traffic to gate entry, from number of rides taken to number of hot dogs eaten. He explained that collecting all of this data is what allows them to run the park as efficiently as possible, and provide the best experience possible for the guests. This is where the park shines, and the show captures it perfectly.
"World's Largest Amusement Park" debuts on The Discovery Channel on Monday, July 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
I will be watching this for sure. I will be leaving the next day also for a 3 week east coast coaster road trip, first stop CP! However, I don't think that there is a better park! MM and CP are tied in my mind! Everyone always gets in fights about who is better! I am one of a few who stand in the middle that I know! Both parks are awesome!
The Magic Mountain show was good, but this one is somewhat more interesting because of the more diverse operations and focus on the personalities of employees. Wait until you see the washers and driers for the hotel linen. Before the guy fires up the washer, he says, "Clear!" Like it's a ride or something!
Dan's right about the other show. It was supposed to be about Lightning Racer at Hershey and Millennium Force. Apparently, Intamin didn't want anyone seeing how they bend track or some such nonsense.
------------- Jeff Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
Only 3 rides, wow, looks like they need to make a 2 hour version of the show. I'd like to see a front seat POV of each ride with the "coaster show guy" voice giving the play by play of the ride elements. I hope they don't have many cut shots during the ride footage. I can't stand it when they're showing the ride, then they cut to someone talking for 30 seconds while the ride footage is still running, then the come back to the ride and it's over. Wow, that was exciting footage, watching someone sitting behind a desk tell me that roller coasters have G-forces. Or that people have a type T personality, gee, I never knew that, glad you told me during the ride footage so I could miss it all.
I'll watch, but I know I'm gonna be disappointed when they have those cut shots during the ride.
------------- Robin Fox - "I see Stars, Can You See Them Too?"
If you're looking for on-ride POV with play-by-play, go somewhere else. The only POV in this show that even comes close to being complete is Millennium Force and that's chopped up a bit. The show is all about how the park operates, not what the rides are like.
Oh, and the Millennium Force forward POV is NOT the footage with the truck.
Well I for one will love seeing the Lightning Racer - I got to LOOK at it last time I was in the area, but both Dorney and Hershey were closed, so I only got to look. The trains on Lightning Racer excite me! Those articulating trains with the retro look, WOW!
As for the CP show, I hope that "other themers" learn something by watching - i.e., employees MAKE the park experience. Cedar Fair has the best employees, and for those who don't beleieve it, visit Knott's sometime.
Finally, Intamin makes a great hyper, and MF was that powerful, but do they believe they know something other manufacturers don't. That seems kinda foolish, but maybe they haven't heard of SD2K yet...
I have worked for CP and Disney and the guest service, friendliness, cleanliness is right up there at both. I don't think there is a real noticeable difference.
I haven't been to SFMM in many years but the other Six Flags parks I have attended are not close in this regard and the Paramount parks are far removed. Like all those other parks but this is where they suffer.
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I wasn't all that impressed with CP. I didn't notice being treated any differently by the employees, and in my opinion, the only coasters worth riding over and over are MF and Raptor. They may have 14, but Arrows shouldn't count, cause they suck miserably. Also, it was way too crowded. I was there on a Friday in May. Doesn't anyone go to school in Ohio? I only care about ride quality at a park, I could care less if the employees are nice and stuff. Just get me on good rides, and quickly! SFWOA has better rides.
Cedar Point's coaster collection is very well-rounded, and serves a good variety of people. Iron Dragon and Mine Ride aren't even close to being the best in their class, but when you see the kids get off of it with huge smiles, they're just as much winners as Millennium Force and Raptor.
------------- Jeff Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
I just spent all day at Cedar Point yesterday...and it was unbelievable! Millenium Force front row hands up was the best roller coaster expirience I have ever encountered..Oh and the other rides were pretty sweet too, especially Raptor 3 times in 10 minutes!