Hard Rock Park closing early...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 1:33 PM

coasterqueenTRN said:
I guess Gonch and I need to buy the park. ;)

Took you long enough to get here. :)


I felt like I got my money's worth and had a complete blast! I would gladly drop down another $50. I know one thing. The next time I go to MB I am avoiding Family Kingdom and Strand altogether. It just did nothing for me...

Like I said, I'm a first timer, but I felt exactly the same way. If I ever go back it'll be passing through - to hit HRP again. :)


It's HIGHLY underrated but like Gonch and I mentioned before, you have to love rock music to fully appreciate it.

Interesting that you and I both enjoyed it so much and we're pretty much the same demographic - mid-30's enthusiast types who grew up on 80's rock.

I imagine the further you stray from that profile, the less enjoyement you'll find at HRP...and that's the problem they're facing. You have to be into this, like really enjoy the whole "Hard Rock" thing, to make a day of the park.

I think it works for the restaurants because that's more of a novelty thing. Get lunch and see a few pieces of memorabilia. It takes a little more commitment to make a day of it and people expecting to take the kids for a day of rides are in the wrong place.

We spent 13+ hours, but we rode all the rides, saw several shows, ate dinner, enjoyed some live music, shopped, BS'd with some employees, dug the memoribilia, took time to read the riff notes posted all over the park, spent a bit of time watching the cow statue humiliate people, let the kids beat the heat in Reggae River Falls for a hour or so, caught Bohemian Rhapsody, took pictures, I could go on and on.

The park is fine. I'm just not sure enough people 'get' it.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 2:20 PM
^That´s exactly what I was getting at in the "news" section.

I always believed that "one-theme parks" don´t work. It would certainly be fine to have a HRP section in another park. But for people who are not in the demographic, a visit to the park could be cringe-inducing.

Of course I am just seeing this from my position as someone who dosn´t like rock. (I only dig the stupid things about it, but certainly not the "myth").
The idea to ride the best coaster to the soundtrack of one of my most hated songs ever (sorry, fans. It´s just me) and looking at things I don´t get or don´t care for have put HRK pretty low on my to-do-list.

I had read some funny letters from concerned parents who were nagging about the many drug-references around the park and its overall fixation on the "darkside" of rock. I can only guess that planning a park like this is just an impossible task to find an acceptable middle-ground without annyoing anybody.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 2:21 PM

Lord Gonchar said:


The park is fine. I'm just not sure enough people 'get' it.


That's obvious if you read the comments attached to the article about the layoffs in the news section. I could have sworn I heard "Dueling Banjos" playing in the background.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:03 AM
Gonch, I couldn't agree more. I know a couple of locals that live near the park and they are around our age as well. They LOVE it and visit the park on a regular basis. They are all huge rock fans as well. :)

I have also talked to people who didn't think much of the park, but they were not really rock and roll fans to begin with. There is definitely a "target" audience I guess, which unfortunately isn't enough to pack the place. :( I am still shocked that I was there on a Saturday in July and it was DEAD. Then again I liked having the place to myself. ;)

Can you imagine if someone opened up an "80's" park? I would be all over that! ;)

-Tina

*** Edited 8/14/2008 1:04:25 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 2:44 PM

Jeff said:Awareness of the park is a total failure to date. Earlier in the summer I kept mentioning it to people and they had no idea what I was talking about. One even thought I was talking about the restaurant at Universal Orlando.Everything Gonch tells me leads me to believe that it's a solid park. If no one is aware of it, that's not going to matter.

Exactly. The park needs to expand on its drawing power. HARD ROCK, Now would you take a country fan into Hard Rock? It's drawing power is too narrow. Add a Hip Hop, Country and R&B section, Call it Hard Rock Park and Music Kingdom.

Chuck

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 2:54 PM

Charles Nungester said:
Now would you take a country fan into Hard Rock?

Just for clarity, an entire section of the park is devoted to country music.

I'd also argue that new country is a lot like old rock in many ways.

I know that wasn't exactly the point you were making. Just saying. :)


tricktrack said:
I had read some funny letters from concerned parents who were nagging about the many drug-references around the park and its overall fixation on the "darkside" of rock.

That's hilarious. This parent's opinion is that they didn't take it far enough. :)


RatherGoodBear said:
That's obvious if you read the comments attached to the article about the layoffs in the news section. I could have sworn I heard "Dueling Banjos" playing in the background.

Heh. I'm going to have to take your word for it. I can't force myself to read more than a handful.

But yeah, talking through this makes me realize it is a relatively narrow focus that will truly 'get' and enjoy the park and the further you get from that focus, the less you'll get from the park. Kind of a shame really. The park is outstanding.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 4:51 PM
I think the focus is much more narrow than you and Ms. TRN have let on, as well.

It's not that it's a good park if you like rock & roll... it's that it's a partially complete park, and you have to like a specific period of rock. I could care less about any band associated with any ride there. In fact, I detest most of them. From what I've seen, this isn't Hard Rock Park. It's Classic Rock Park.

The thing is, I keep hearing that you can't theme things to today's music, or you can't use more obscure bands. You have to use big bands with staying power. I think that's crap.

Rock music is ever changing. To stay current, the park should be too. Why not have something themed to current music? Change the theme in 5 or 10 years to keep it fresh. Not saying do away with the Led Zep coaster, but why not have major attractions themed to many different eras of music?

By the way, they should totally have a first aid station themed to The Cure, a flume ride themed to Blondie's "The Tide Is High" and a gift shop named Depeche Mode. Also, their official airline provider should be NWA. Just sayin'.
*** Edited 8/14/2008 8:53:54 PM UTC by kpjb***

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 4:56 PM
You MIGHT have something there. You could add in a Robocoaster and have it go to whatever song is current.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008 5:27 PM
Like I said, Anyone hearing the term Hard Rock park would not know it has a country section.

Why is Kid Rock on the top of the pop/rock and country charts? Because yesterdays rock is simular to much of todays country and southern rock bridged the gap a long time ago. Hatchet, Skynard and others.

Chuck, who meant that they have to find ways to market the park to a much broader audience than their name dictates.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 6:02 PM
Good point, kpjb. There are a lot of rock bands that I am missing from HRP.

Where is the Nine Inch Nails dark ride? Who's "The Moody Blues" anymore anyways?

Led Zepplin was one of the greatest bands of all time, no doubt, but I want to see a KoRn roller coaster! Now THAT would rock!

Where's the Slipknot or Marilyn Manson haunted house?

And how long ago was the British invasion era?

I like the idea about adding Kids Bop to the mix. Those CDs are very popular!

I love the music I listen to. Everyone listens to different stuff. I can only hope that when I pay a visit to HRP, that they will have some sort of inclusion of the style of music that I listen to.

..At least a hint of something on my I-Pod.

My point is, most everyone is a music snob.

Edited for spelling... *** Edited 8/14/2008 10:03:56 PM UTC by LostKause***

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 8:21 PM
Korn coaster- Arrow suspended "Freak on a Leash"

Marilyn Manson/ Boy George - Ole timey photo souvenir themed to cross dressers and goth look

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 8:28 PM

Charles Nungester said:

Why is Kid Rock on the top of the pop/rock and country charts?


Because crappy music doesn't limit itself to one genre.


Where's the Slipknot or Marilyn Manson haunted house?

I think a Rob Zombie dark ride would kick the ass of any Moody Blue "trip."

*** Edited 8/15/2008 12:31:48 AM UTC by kpjb***

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 9:56 PM

kpjb said:
I think a Rob Zombie dark ride would kick the ass of any Moody Blue "trip."

1. I'm a HUGE Rob Zombie fan.

2. Nights in White Satin is the only Moody Blues song I'm remotely familiar with...barely...and I don't care for it or the Moody Blues. I couldn't tell you one thing about the Moody Blues other than they did Nights.

With that said, that ride is easily the most underrated dark ride of the past decade. Seriously.

Maybe it's that the idea of a Moody Blues dark ride leaves you with no expectations going in? But it works...really, really well.


kpjb said:
It's not that it's a good park if you like rock & roll... it's that it's a partially complete park, and you have to like a specific period of rock. I could care less about any band associated with any ride there. In fact, I detest most of them. From what I've seen, this isn't Hard Rock Park. It's Classic Rock Park.

By the way, they should totally have a first aid station themed to The Cure, a flume ride themed to Blondie's "The Tide Is High" and a gift shop named Depeche Mode. Also, their official airline provider should be NWA. Just sayin'.


See, further proof that the idea isn't quite there and HRP isn't quite getting the idea across. The theme of the rides is completely secondary. The park has what? Like 14 or 15 actual rides and maybe 1/3rd of them are themed to a specific artist. I'm not sure that's the point.

It goes way beyond that and rock artists of all kinds and eras are respresented in some way - from music being played, to info being shared to memorabilia on display. It's about the vibe more than specifics.


LostKause said:
My point is, most everyone is a music snob.

I'm actually going to agree with you. Any 10 of us could list what we'd like to see there and you'll get 10 different lists. HRP did what any smart business would do and cast the widest net possible. I'd say it's playing about as safe as you can when your 'marquee' artists are Led Zep, The Eagles, Queen and the Moody Blues.

Looks like you nailed it, Travis. There's no way the park can please everyone.

Rock music is much too broad to include everyone and everything notable let alone the things that aren't.


kpjb said:
I think the focus is much more narrow than you and Ms. TRN have let on, as well.

A direct quote from my TR:

"In short, Hard Rock Park is f'n awesome.

I say that as someone who digs the whole Hard Rock thing. I also say that as a music fan who understands, appreciates and enjoys rock music and where it came from."

I don't think the focus is too narrow. It's narrow, but I'm not sure they can't find their audience. You have to be a rock fan. You have to enjoy all kinds of rock music. You have to appreciate where rock is coming from and where it's going.

I suspect your tastes (within the rock genre) may be too narrow. ;)

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Thursday, August 14, 2008 10:05 PM
Probably because people who listen to classic rock have the bucks to afford the admission. They don't exactly want to attract the black garbed teen crowd who hang out at the mall and don't spend a dollar there.
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Thursday, August 14, 2008 11:14 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

HRP did what any smart business would do and cast the widest net possible. I'd say it's playing about as safe as you can when your 'marquee' artists are Led Zep, The Eagles, Queen and the Moody Blues.


Rock & Roll isn't about playing it safe. It doesn't matter what music they play in the park, it doesn't matter that they have cool stuff like the telephonehenge or whatever they call it. It doesn't matter if there are hottie Suicide Girls running the rides.

You list four signature attractions, and they're all themed to classic rock artists. That is all people are going to notice, because flagship attractions are the advertising points of any park.

There's a reason Cedar Point will have Dragster, MF, Magnum, Raptor in ads, and not Troika, CCMR, and the Wave Swinger.

Yes, a few enthusiasts know what the actual rides may be, and what else goes on there, but if I wasn't a part of this website and someone asked me if I wanted to go ride Moody Blues and Eagles rides, I think I'd rather just cut out the middle man and bash myself in the head with a hammer. Not a mallet, mind you, but a big ass ball-pean hammer.

On the other hand, put in a Vekoma SLC themed to Lords Of Acid "Rough Sex", and I'll be first in line. How about a gift shop themed to Judas Priest's "Hell Bent For Leather"? An interactive dark ride... the "Foo" Fighters.

Seriously, I'm not suggesting they need to have Front 242, VNV Nation, Ladytron, Ministry, or any of the obscure crap I listen to. Just saying that if I was in charge, there'd be more to advertise than a bunch of bands collecting Social Security checks. Geezers would not be my target demographic.

*** Edited 8/15/2008 3:17:07 AM UTC by kpjb***

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Friday, August 15, 2008 12:30 AM
I'm not entirely disagreeing.

It's just that your park would have 10 people visiting daily instead of the 60 or 70 that HRP gets now. ;)

Seriously though, you're not a dumb guy. Drop all the musical pretentiousness for a minute. Any of those dinosaur bands (with the possible exception of the Moody Blues) have a larger, wider spreading and more varied fanbase and still sells more albums, merchandise and tickets than all the other bands you listed combined.

On top of that, I'm not sure that being a fan of either type of artist is a mutually exclusive thing - in fact, I suggest it isn't. But if I were playing the odds, I'd put Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, The Moody Blues and Queen on the marquee before I put Lords Of Acid, Judas Priest & The Foo Fighters - just because of afremoentioned fanbase.


Rock & Roll isn't about playing it safe. It doesn't matter what music they play in the park, it doesn't matter that they have cool stuff like the telephonehenge or whatever they call it. It doesn't matter if there are hottie Suicide Girls running the rides.

You list four signature attractions, and they're all themed to classic rock artists. That is all people are going to notice, because flagship attractions are the advertising points of any park.


Those weren't necessarily the signature attractions, but rather the only four I could think of offhand that actually have an artist tied to them. I'm not sure why we keep making suggestions of how to theme new rides or shops to other bands - that's not really even what the park does. But I digress...

Yeah, I generally agree with what you're saying overall and I think this is what we've been suggesting all along - that the park isn't conveying the message correctly. It goes well beyond the dinosaur bands whose names grace the handful of rides that happen to be tied to a particular artist. They need to let people know it's more than that - that there is a party vibe in the park, that the employees are hotties, that Phonehenge is a cool place to see a show, that it's about rock music in all of it's forms, that there's more than the rides.

That's exactly what I've been saying from the start.


Lord Gonchar said on page 1:
I think that's the angle HRP needs to make known. I don't think it's even lack of awareness, but lack of setting expectations. I'm not sure the park does a good enough job at getting across what they are.

.

*** Edited 8/15/2008 6:03:34 AM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

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Friday, August 15, 2008 1:57 AM
OK, this one I'm giving away....because no one would buy it: :)

"Muddy Waters" shoot-the-chutes ride


But seriously, the Blues musicians (and Motown) might do well within the parks demographics in terms of musical taste. The Memphis and Delta blues could actually claim to be relevant in a "Hard Rock" park. As could the really old rap and hip-hop (but that might scare away some of the rebel-flag crowd, if you get my gist, and I don't think they see John Lee Hooker as a threat on the level of Chuck D.)... ;)

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Friday, August 15, 2008 5:47 AM
^If I ever win the mega lottery I am building my own 80's hair metal band/new wave theme park. ;) I can already visualize a coaster named "Hungry Like The Wolf" or "Rapture" or "Crazy Train".....;)

I seemed to remember hearing all kinds of rock from Elvis to Linkin Park and everything in between, not just the "classic" artists like Led Zepp and the Eagles. Then again my tastes range. I love the classics as well as the newer stuff, even though I am mostly an "80's" rocker. :)

I was hoping for a Motley Crue coaster myself. ;)

I was trying to look at it from the point-of-view of someone who is not into rock music, rock history, etc. I guess I can "understand." ;) If you took me into a sports-related park I would probably get bored fast since I have no interest in that. I would credit ho and leave.

As far as the drug references, I don't remember seeing anything relating to that with the exception of the Moody Blues ride. Personally I found the puff of smoke hysterical, and I doubt little kids will even understand the "reference" anyway. Actually I don't remember seeing anything in the park even remotely offensive. Some of the props around the park were quite amusing to me. Some of them were strange, maybe even mildly disturbing (in a cool way!) I don't remember seeing anything that would not be appropriate for kids, though. Actually, all the little kids I saw were having a blast with everything. If I had kids I would be totally comfortable with taking them there.

I am sure Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms would of had a field day in that park, though. ;)

-Tina

*** Edited 8/15/2008 10:09:03 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Friday, August 15, 2008 6:34 AM
I just think that no one really cares about the brand anymore. There is a Hard Rock Cafe in every major city now, they are not special any more. My first reaction to the park was. Seriously? Then I saw the plans and thought it looked cool. Outside of being a nerd, there is no chance in hell I would have ever heard of the place and if the ads once I get to the beach don't mirror the experience well I think my reaction would be the same.
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Friday, August 15, 2008 7:18 AM
^^ I think "Hungry Like the Wolf" might be a better name for a buffet (not Jimmy).

They could always to a Radar Love/I Can't Drive 55 themed launch coaster.

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