Geauga Lake's Wild Water Kingdom... Closing?

Monday, June 23, 2014 12:49 PM

On Fathers Day, the place was at capacity... By that, I mean there was not a single chair available and we ended up lounging on the grass by the lake. Others followed shortly after since they could not find anywhere to go. Liquid Lightning had a "full queue" wait completely down the steps along with the tube slides. Wave pool was wall to wall people. They also had little events going on around the park (putt putt, pick a duck, etc...) which was doing very well.

They have the ability to draw large crowds... I just wonder if they actually invested in the park with new attractions if they could maintain larger crowds more frequently. It is only really dead when cold or rainy, though. Like any waterpark, I suppose!

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Monday, June 23, 2014 12:55 PM

It's a very nice park, but compared to other water parks, it's really small. They only have one slide tower, a kiddy play area, a wave pool, a lazy river, and a funnel slide. Oh, and some kind of teen play area or something. Just the basics, really.

I've had fun the few times I have been there. I wanted to visit last year but plans didn't pan out.

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Monday, June 23, 2014 1:42 PM

I don't know that having more rides matters. I'm mostly curious on whether or not it's profitable. We don't really know.

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Monday, June 23, 2014 10:40 PM

Oh, I guess I was insinuating that having a smaller number of slides and other activities than the water parks at Cedar Point or Kings Island may have an impact on attendance. Perhaps the locals keep the place "afloat" with season pass sales? Maybe it's like a summertime babysitter?

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 1:34 AM

I think the problem is that it's a locals only park. Most locals pay a one time season pass fee and little else.

When we visit, we don't pay for parking (platinum pass we bought at a different park) and very rarely buy food because our visits are only 4-5 hours or so. I estimate we give that park $0.00 to $10.00 per year. I don't even bring my wallet in the park because I don't want to leave it with my shoes when I'm in the water.

Now, that's not to say we don't love it. Its a great water park and a great alternative to the crowds at CP during July and August. I'll be very sad if it closes. We just don't spend money there.

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Tuesday, June 24, 2014 1:38 AM
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:09 AM

Some random thoughts and observations from the numerous visits I have done this year:

It's still a nice water park. But it just seems to have signs of closing (no real case I have...just comparing it to other parks I have been to, and then have seen them close down the following year).

HOLY freakn' empty parking lot Batman. Just keeping the weeds pulled on that HUGE parking lot has to be an undertaking. Seriously, is there a water park that has that big of parking lot. It's just crazy to think of the olden days when that parking lot was full and running trams. Now even when it's 1/5 full the park is packed.

The parking booths, just have an weird feel with so much empty parking lot around...it's like you are pulling into an abandon theme park. They need a lot of flags, flowers,....something (it's no CP when you pull up to it...or like any other Cedar Fair Park...the others you know when you are pulling up)

Cedar Fair hasn't done much to improve buildings or infrastructure from what one can see. There did close the outside gift shop before the front gate, but it's still there. They have REALLY put a move on taking everything down on the other side of the lake.

Why can't they do something really cool with that 4d theater still standing? I don't know...World's first water movie interaction 4d wave machine....It would look AWESOME with a Sharknado theme ;)

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD REMOVE THE SMALL ROCKS by Thunder Falls. I STILL can't figure out WHO thought it was a great idea to put small rocks next to where bare feet walk!!?! Seriously it's stupid enough to have small rocks in some stupid little tykes area, that no kids play in (and my kids like little tykes) but to put small rocks there, and next to a sidewalk for bare feet. STUPID (ok end rant)

Their "sand box" isn't sand...it's sandstone. The sand the moved over from when they removed the stadium...it's harder than cement. Seriously, they need to fix it, and make it nice. It's funny watching kids get all excited to play in it and then realizing its not fun sand...it's like dropping an ice cream cone on a hot day.

They still have so many buildings around it that are not torn down. A lot of it is just blocked off with wooden fence walls.

Food- REALLY lacking here. Placement wise is also pretty stupid, 2 of the 3 places most public people didn't know seem to know there are there.

What they have IS Fun. Thunder Falls is one of the best water slide structures in the NATION that I have been on. All the slides are great, the body slides are some of the best EVER!

Raging River (lazy river) is fun.

Water play area is fun with whirl pool.

Liquid Lighting is fun (as most of these are)...It actually moves people WAYYyyyyyyyyyYYYyyyyyYYYYyyyy faster than the one down at Kings Island.

Compared to Kings Island...this water park is WAYyyyyYYyyyy more efficient with lines....seriously...I don't how people can stand Soak City, Kings Island lines and how slow they are, rules, swimming suit checks, low capacity tube slides, beyond snail pace family raft rides, etc.

Geauga Lake still has SOoooooooOooo much more potential. I just wish someone would also snap a fun waterslide at the top of the hill and have it come down to the wave pool. So much unused land here.

The waterpark just screams for potential.

I too love the feeling of the walk down to the park...It still has flower baskets going down, but it lacks the landscaping and ambiance...they really need to trim back the trees, it's going from looking nice to overgrown, and they need to bring back the music leading up the park.

I miss Snoopy. I wonder what the cost was to have him there? It was cool for awhile, because it felt like Cedar Fair...now it doesn't really scream Cedar Fair anywhere.

The park REALLY seems to be trying to get rid of the name "Geauga Lake" even from the Geauga Lake: Wild Water Kingdom tag line...now you barely see anything even saying Geauga Lake mentioned at all...Though almost all locals look at you crazy when you say Wild Water Kingdom? ...It's always Geauga Lake, when it was Six Flags, it was Geauga Lake...when it's Shopping Mall and Condominiums...it will be Geauga Lake.

They did get new Chairs This year!!!!!!!!! WOoooHHHooooo Something NEW!!!!

As I said before...the next thing Geauga Lake appears to get that will be new is a Shiny New Padlock.

-RollerCoasterGod

Last edited by RollerCoasterGod, Tuesday, June 24, 2014 3:10 AM
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 1:55 PM

It kills me to even post this...but it speaks to one of the many problems here in Northeast Ohio that impact things like WWK, R&RHoF, museums, etc.

This past weekend I spent a lot of time with my family, all of whom are life-long Aurora residents. Everyone is involved locally in the community to varying degrees. During conversation I had the chance to bring up the issue of WWK and it's future.

The first thing I asked is how do local residents and elected officials feel at this point of having lost SeaWorld, Geauga Lake, Six Flags, etc. Unanimously everyone said that locals here are so glad there is no longer any summer traffic. Of course then I had to raise the point of how losing tourists has impacted the economy and the sentiment is that new housing and retail are much preferred by locals to "grow the community." When I mentioned the possibility of losing WWK, the consensus was the majority of people here already are clueless that it even exists on the old SeaWorld property.

While this is just a snapshot of Aurora residents and their attitudes, it does speak to a larger problem in this region. People did not appreciate what we had when the parks were here, it was taken for granted and, locally in Aurora, they were almost despised. Aurora has always had an undertone of an elitist attitude; theme parks just aren't "desirable" for rich folks to have in their back yard drawing pesky tourists, tying up traffic, crowding restaurants/outlet stores/hotels, etc. Already with the entire property being rezoned the sentiment is that it will magically turn into some form of a Legacy Village life-style type center that is upscale and becoming of the area. Unfortunately, this also goes to show how clueless people can be because right now brick and mortar retail is dying as are malls trying to compete with internet sales while many chain restaurants are also facing their own uphill struggle for grabbing discretionary spending.

At this point I think all we can hope for is a company like Premiere Parks LLC or another water-park focused company with deep financial resources to express interest in purchasing the property, if they are up for the challenge considering all the hurdles that exist. I personally would love to see Kieran Burke come in and clean up the mess that he himself created here!

Last edited by mlnem4s, Tuesday, June 24, 2014 1:57 PM
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 2:15 PM

mlnem4s said:

At this point I think all we can hope for is a company like Premiere Parks LLC or another water-park focused company with deep financial resources to express interest in purchasing the property, if they are up for the challenge considering all the hurdles that exist. I personally would love to see Kieran Burke come in and clean up the mess that he himself created here!

Why didn't anyone buy it in 2007 when it was on the chopping block?

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 2:24 PM

It's perfectly legitimate for local residents to be happy they no longer have an amusement park in their city. Tourism brings money into a community, true, but also brings its own issues and concerns as well.

I find it interesting that the notion of retail and restaurants coming into the area is dismissed because of the hurdles those industries would face, while the hope is expressed that an amusement park operator will enter the market despite the hurdles that would stand in the way.

Last edited by slithernoggin, Tuesday, June 24, 2014 2:25 PM
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 2:36 PM

Burke is an asshat. His record with Six Flags was awful.

Greater Cleveland is a weird place. It's full of many awesome things that people don't do. I can't explain it. Wherever causes this is to me the reason the city can't dig itself out in other industries.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:43 PM

@Slithernoggin, the reason I said retail/restaurants would struggle is because already the Market Place plazas next to the former Geauga Lake are already struggling with the loss of the parks (besides the fact they are in the middle of nowhere between Aurora-Solon.) Many empty stores during the recession, still some remain empty today. I just left the retail industry myself, there are still numerous bankruptcies looming on the horizon, it is pointless right now to continue to add more brick-n-mortar stores when the industry needs to consolidate in order to be healthy.

I receive a great monthly email newsletter that speaks to the growth of family entertainment, which is why I believe a company with the financial resources and ability to focus on WWK could make it successful. Premiere Parks LLC has done just that, as much as I am not a fan of Kieran Burke. Right now, Cedar Fair receives a greater ROI with the amusement/water park combos and that is where all of their focus needs to be to deal with the billion dollar debt they have, thus why they have sold off stand-alone water parks and have not put any investment into WWK.

Last edited by mlnem4s, Tuesday, June 24, 2014 4:44 PM
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014 12:06 AM

It just seems to be an uphill battle. The community has apparently had quite enough of amusement parks and tourists and wants to move in a different direction.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014 7:23 PM

Well, we were there two days ago, and it was another nice typical visit. There was nothing new aside from a new set of lounge chairs all over the place, but there was certainly nothing to indicate that anything is changing, either for expansion or otherwise.

Same crowd level (light but consistent lines).

Same well-manicured landscaping.

Same friendly employees.

One thing that was new was that for the first time our Platinum Passes would not scan anywhere. The manager told us they just overhauled the system, and it took all of 60 seconds for him to fix the problem. The parking attendant just smiled and let us in and said not to worry about it. No problem!

Nothing has changed. Across the lake looks exactly the same aside from more plants growing around Big Dipper, what's left of the floorless coaster's footers and some other ruins that are there every year.

So I'm not really sure what would give anyone the indication that this year is somehow different aside from someone spreading a rumor about something they know nothing about.

Last edited by OhioStater, Wednesday, June 25, 2014 7:30 PM
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:01 PM

Then... Who would save you?

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Sunday, July 6, 2014 7:04 PM

I would love to see the park survive, but it seems no one really cares.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014 8:39 PM

You mean except for the thousands of people going there?

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Sunday, July 6, 2014 10:44 PM

Or the people getting paychecks from the place?

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Monday, July 7, 2014 12:38 AM

Sorry: you guys are confusing facts with subjective opinions.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 4:41 AM

Thousands Jeff? While there may actually be a thousand people through the gate on a good day, it doesn’t seem the attendance is what it used to be. I don't want to believe WWK is closing, but how can the park continue with declining attendance and nothing new? Although the park is very well kept up Cedar Fair has not shown much proof they care to keep the park either. I go there 3-4 times a year and since its opening I have seen less people every year. Cedar Fair closing its standalone water parks doesn’t fare well with the rumor either.

Last edited by knottyguy, Monday, July 7, 2014 1:34 PM
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Monday, July 7, 2014 8:02 AM

Well, ya don't say.

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