...but you still love it?
Blackpool Pleasure Beach (sorry, 'Pleasure Beach - Blackpool') has long since been my favourite park. I love the whole British seaside thing - it's great, it's what I grew up with etc. If you have visited you'll know the Pleasure Beach is famed for its wood coasters (five in total) and various dark rides and flats from days gone by.
However...in recent years, they have made some decisions that I really can't agree with - yet the park remains my favourite - simply because of all the memories etc it holds for me and my family.
I'll just highlight some of the things that they've done that have really got to me;
a) a number of 'classic' rides removed (including original 'Whip' and 'Tumblebug') with no replacement.
b) removal/closure of four dark rides within four years, again with no replacement - and other attractions are left to rot.
c) bizarre operations - closure of one particular wooden coaster for weeks on end, opens for a day, and then...closed again.
d) closure and demolition (including a 1935 woodie) of their second park just up the road....understand it had to happen from a business point of view, but so sad from a company that has fought so hard to maintain its 'classic' friendly image. They then have the cheek to move the SLC from the park 10 miles up the coast and market it as a new £10m thrill ride!
And for my biggest gripe,
Since opening in 1896 Pleasure Beach has been a free entry park. Yet now everyone must pay to get on the property. To observe (and ride the miniature railway) is £5 ($7.50) and for an unlimited wristband, that sets you back £30 ($45), but now it feels like the park has had the life sucked out of it. The general buzz that the park once had has gone, it just makes me sad.
That said, it's still my favourite park - and probably always will be.
I think the more history you have with a park, the more critical of it you are.
I think the main problem with my current home park is that the first three times I visited were for CoasterBuzz events...then we moved here.
Never been as fun as those first three visits were.
I'm the opposite, Gonch. I LOVE Kings Island. LOVE it! Every time I go, I have the best time ever. :)
Sure, some of the things that they have done, and changes within the park over the last 30 years, have been a bummer, but I still love it. I have so many great memories. KI doesn't frustrate me at all.
Maybe it's because I only get to go once or twice a year. I live 3 1/2 hours away. When I go, I need to get a hotel, pay for 8 hours worth of gas, and make a big day of it. I don't take any visits to my favorite / home park for granted.
As a matter of fact, the only frustrations that I feel about any park is when they act like they shouldn't operate as if some of their customers can only get there once or twice a year.
What's your home park these days Gonch?
This is the first year in eight or nine that we have not gone to Cedar Point. However, it's not really the park's fault, so much as we're getting busier and busier each summer with various sports, camps, etc. The kids were starting to take it for granted, so we decided to take (at least) a year off and didn't even buy passes. Instead, we're spending a week in Williamsburg and a week at Disney this summer.
Next summer the only planned vacation is an Alaskan cruise (we want to go before it melts.) I'm not sure if we'll do some other "trip", or if we'll go back to getting CP passes.
For me, it's quite the oppiset with Canobie Lake.
I fell that every time I go, it gets better. Granted, they could use a new coaster, but I'm always satisfied with how the park has actually IMPROVED over the past 5-6 years. They've managed to strike a balance between adding new stuff (a Huss Disk-o, revamped front entrance, and new games) and keeping the old fun stuff (the carousel, Turkish Twist, and my personal favorite, the Yankee Cannonball) up, running, & refreshed.
Only gripe I have is the food prices.
My home park is Cedar Point. I have an endless list of good, awesome, and amazing memories and experiences that I wouldn't have without Cedar Point but I haven't visited the park since 2007 and don't plan to this year.
Aside from the recent business practices of Cedar Fair I have found myself getting more and more frustrated with the quality of park operations, quality of other services at the park (food, guest service, merchandise, etc), and the general feel of the park.
A lot of people complained that when Cedar Fair bought KBF they raped the soul out of the park. I looked at those people and thought them to be over-obsessed fanatics who just wanted to complain. Now I've watched the slow descent into mediocrity that Cedar Point has taken since around the time Magnum XL-200 hit the stage and weep for my hobby. The soul has been sucked out by money grabs, cost-savings, and lack of pride in operating the best park in the world. I understand what the KBF home-parkers were bitching about now.
I love and hate Cedar Point.
My problem with my "new" home park (just came back to WI after a 9 year absence) is how disappointing my first few visits were to it in the 90s. Part of it was my experience with parks up to that point were small family parks in New Hampshire (Canobie Lake, Story Land, Santa's Village) Disney World, and BGW. They all have amazing friendly staffs, are impeccably clean, and had the capacity so that the crowds they attracted allowed their lines to never run more then 90 minutes on the days I visited them. They also (except the two kids parks) all stayed open late and looked amazing at night.
Contrast that with my first visit to Six Flags Great America in 1993. The place was dirty, crowded (2 hour waits for every ride worth riding) the staff was horrible, and because of a gang issue a few years earlier the park closed at 8:00 in the middle of the summer. I still have yet to spend a night at Great America, which is sad because its my favorite time in parks. My experiences have gotten better since that first trip but Ive just never liked that park that much. I moved to Milwaukee over 2 months ago, and I havent had a desire to go to SFGAm yet, yes, I plan on getting a 2011 Season Pass because by then I will want to go on a coaster next year but I had my enough coaster rides with KI and CP before I left Ohio this year that I dont have to go to SFGAm. It may sound strange but Ive never "connected" with that park like I did with all my other home parks over the year (the NH trio, BGW, CP, KI) or the parks Ive been too I wish were my home parks (WDW, Universal.)
So this summer, this enthusiast is swearing off the local coaster park and has instead invested in a season pass at Noah's Ark, because I have much more fun there then I usually do at SF. You also wont catch me at Mt Olympus anytime soon, I have no desire to put my life in that companies hands again after riding Zeus once before the big merger, besides their water slide collection is no match for Noah's Ark.
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