Freestyle announces themed areas and entertainment

Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2009 6:35 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Freestyle Music Park, the former Hard Rock Park, showcased a stunt show with bikes, skateboards and roller blades and an ice skating show set to country rock music as the park's new owners continued to ready the park for its May 23 reopening. The roller coaster formerly named after The Eagles, located in the park's country section, is being renamed to the Iron Horse. Perhaps the largest change is the Myrtle's Beach area, which used be rock 'n' roll themed but will now be a "tongue-in-cheek celebration of all things Polynesian," the park says.

Read more from The Sun News.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:00 PM

Wow, from the look of this and the commercial (on the website), it really seems like this park is coming together. I really hope it does well. I honestly think the people behind this miiiight actually know what they're doing.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009 11:51 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, this is pretty much crap.

(feeling froggy tonight :) )


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009 12:05 AM
john peck's avatar

The new Park Map is online.

Previously unannounced new major ride names:
"Carnaby Carousel" Formerly All the King's Horses
"Soak'D" Formerly Slippery When Wet
"Round About" Formerly Maximum RPM

It looks like all the flat rides have been renamed as well.

The park is positioning themselves to do good things, I hope they can make it a few years so they can.

Last edited by john peck, Wednesday, May 13, 2009 12:07 AM
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009 5:38 AM

Jeff. You need to change the website for this park as a link, because the hardrock park website now takes you to the Hard Rock brand.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009 10:06 PM
WildStangAlex's avatar

It is great though, that they are accepting the 2008 Annual pass holders with free parking as well. I think this place has a chance, especially if they can start advertising the heck out of it.


"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 1:19 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Wow! What am I missing?

All they did was add four kiddie rides and then remove and retheme all of the uniqueness, the experience, right out of the place.

People used to complain that it looked like an overpriced, understocked amusement park. Upon visiting I found it to be so much more than an amusement park. So far all I see these guys doing is removing all of that extra stuff that made it so great.

The took away the stand-out ride of the park (NIWS) and added four kiddies, took away unique shows like the Roadie Stunt show and the Malibu Beach Party, removed the one-of-a-kind curiousity/venue in Phonehenge, rethemed all the edgy, playful, interesting, entertaining names, themes and ideas that brought the park alive and dropped the price a few bucks. In my completely non-professional opinion it seems like they're changing all that was actually right with the park.

You know what is looks like it's going to be in 2009 - an overpriced, understocked, run-of-the-mill tourist trap amusement park. Having been there last year and knowing what's been changed, I have absolutely no interest in returning...everything I enjoyed most about the place is long gone.


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Thursday, May 14, 2009 6:41 AM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

I agree, Gonch. :)

I got a massive headache just from reading that article. It's just.....wrong.

Still, I am curious to see how things will go this time around. Although I think the "change" is a complete joke, I still wish them luck.

At least we got to experience Hard Rock Park, and we both LOVED it! ;) My curious side wants to visit the area again. I am always the one to try out anything once before I judge, no matter how painful it will be. ;) I can already see myself busting into tears upon entering the front gates. :(

If I ever visit there again within the next few years I will be sure to wear my Hard Rock Park T-shirt and baseball cap, just for my own amusement/to protest in my own way.

I just wish more people would of shared our enthusiasm about HRP. I found it VERY family-friendly, kickass, and totally worth the cost.

RIP Hard Rock. :(

-Tina

Last edited by coasterqueenTRN, Thursday, May 14, 2009 6:50 AM
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Thursday, May 14, 2009 8:19 AM

Wish I could have witnessed it in its single year of greatness.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 10:17 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

:)

Gonch, what you seem to be missing (though normally you tout it as a claim to fame :) ) is that while you adored the park in its previous form, you may have been in the minority there. Some folks are getting excited about the plans to make the park more of the idea they had in their head of what it should be... an amusement park.

But honestly, what I think most want more than anything is to see this park succeed in any form. The new owners are doing what they can to make sure that happens.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:16 PM

And, given the various intellectual property entanglements that appear to be legitimate, they may not have had much choice in what they (didn't) keep...


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Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:54 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Carrie M. said:
Gonch, what you seem to be missing (though normally you tout it as a claim to fame :) ) is that while you adored the park in its previous form, you may have been in the minority there.

No, I get the irony of my comments and I was just waiting for someone to call me out. I've gotten lucky up until your post. :)

The thing is, I understand the park failed. I just disagree with the new owners on the cause of failure. As it stood, HRP was not a viable business. What these people are doing is not the changes I think need to be made to make it a viable business.

Some folks are getting excited about the plans to make the park more of the idea they had in their head of what it should be... an amusement park.

It becomes an amusement park by removing the prolific dark ride and adding a 4pc Zamperla kiddie package? That a minus, not a plus.

But honestly, what I think most want more than anything is to see this park succeed in any form. The new owners are doing what they can to make sure that happens.

Yeah, that's fine - whatever. But I don't think they are doing the right things. Just the opposite. I think they're doing all the wrong things in the park. They're fixing stuff that wasn't broken and breaking stuff that didn't need fixed.

The only positive move they've made is cutting their costs. That alone will probably buy them more time than the last guys had. But even still they cut costs at the expense of the things that made the old park even remotely interesting to visit.


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Thursday, May 14, 2009 1:36 PM
rollergator's avatar

I think the major change needed to make it a viable business is decreaing the start-up costs from $400M to $25M. There was simply no way the park could have survived with the capital outlay of the original HRP - not outside of SoCal or O-Town.

After that, growing attendance is a secondary concern....albeit one that will become important if Freestyle will even have a Year 2. Whether the changes being made will significantly enhance or detract from the possibility of it becoming an ongoing concern....remains to be seen.

I think everyone is aware of my feelings re: the business side of licensing good IP. If not, read the TRs from RWW at King's Island (sans 'P').

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, May 14, 2009 1:36 PM
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Thursday, May 14, 2009 1:38 PM
Jeff's avatar

Again, and mind you I didn't visit, the total lack of marketing is what killed the park. I still think that the original product, while it may have needed some tweaking and discounting, was solid.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 2:03 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

I still think that although that may be true, we will never know. The park didn't make it, regardless of the reason. Now the new owners are making changes they believe will ensure a success. If folks are indicating they are happy about some of the changes, what makes them wrong?

And like it or not, this business (particularly because it's coming off a failure) needs to go with the majority preference/opinion, even if that means providing the same watered-down, neutered, assembly line, commercial amusement park experience that is already out there.

It is just the way it is.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 2:34 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Carrie M. said:
And like it or not, this business (particularly because it's coming off a failure) needs to go with the majority preference/opinion, even if that means providing the same watered-down, neutered, assembly line, commercial amusement park experience that is already out there.

Agreed, but they're not even doing that. It's the same park with less. Overall the experience has been minused, not plussed.

Who doesn't see that? Tons of stuff has been removed and all that's been added is four Zamperla kiddie rides.

So in addition to a watered down experience, people want less to do?

If folks are indicating they are happy about some of the changes, what makes them wrong?

The same things that make me wrong for thinking all the changes are backwards steps that don't make sense. :)

They're scaling back...and it'll probably work. But that doesn't mean it's better or corrected. It means they're better prepared to handle the lack of interest and anger once people arrive to find just a handful of rides.

Typical case of fixing the symptoms, but not the cause.


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Thursday, May 14, 2009 2:37 PM

So in addition to a watered down experience, people want less to do?

I don't think anyone wants less to do. I see the argument as more of a business decision---get to the point where your costs and infrastructure match the attendance you realistically can get, rather than the wild-eyed "build it and they will come" projections of a bunch of guys who inexplicably thought Myrtle Beach was a year-round rather than seasonal destination.

And, if the IP issues mean they have to get rid of all the good stuff anyway, well, that's a good place to start.


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Thursday, May 14, 2009 2:58 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, but I don't buy that it couldn't have worked. Like Jeff, I believe the product was solid. The message, the marketing, the timing, just about everything else wasn't.

These guys so far seem to be just changing the product...the one thing I can't help but feel was right with the situation.

Of the two approaches:

1. Scale back and adjust to the audience HRP captured

or

2. Step up the shortcomings and capture the audience HRP missed

They're doing #1 as quickly as possible. I'd have taken my time and gone for #2.

I have the advantage (or more likely, the handicap) of having visited last year. Knowing what I know about what the parks was, this new version holds zero interest to me and I'd have listed my day at HRP as one of the top two or three days my family has had at any amusement park. I still think that if they had gotten more people to experience the park, they'd have had a chance as HRP. The product was indeed solid.


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Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:13 PM
rollergator's avatar

Seems to me that paying $25M for the park (6.3 cents on the dollar) meant they should have WORKED to get a doable agreement on the IP stuff that was available. Getting too involved with Goodwin and his claims might have caused problems, but stuff like NIWS and the use of the band names, etc., probably could have been done in such a way to keep the overall investment under 30M -which I think would have kept enough of the original flavor, but at a price where profit could be made, and without the complete disruption of the theme. And, just to be clear, I never made the six-hour drive last year, so I'm talking out my backside for the most part.... :(

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Thursday, May 14, 2009 3:29 PM

They're doing #1 as quickly as possible. I'd have taken my time and gone for #2.

They might not have that luxury. Depends on where the money came from, and how fast those investers want out.

I get the sense---and I could be wrong---that the IP thing was something of a surprise, and they figured it out too late to work it into the price they were willing to pay, plus they had a deadline to get the thing solved in time to get the season underway.

Whether that's a lack of due diligence, or what, I don't know.


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