Is the torch being passed from CP to KI?

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 8:58 AM

Given the retrofit of Mean Streak to Steel Vengeance just a couple of years ago, I'm trying to figure out where this idea that CP has "exited the coaster wars" came from. If that's not an out-and-out thrill ride, I don't know what is.


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Wednesday, January 1, 2020 11:13 PM
Fun's avatar

Steel Vengence is a great ride, but did nothing to help the business except push T-shirts and nano coasters to nerds. I predict Cedar Point won't be catering to the thrill market with a superlative ridden mega coaster anytime soon... and that Paddlewheel 2.0 will fill more hotel rooms than the last three coasters installed.

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Thursday, January 2, 2020 7:47 AM

Fun said:

Steel Vengence is a great ride, but did nothing to help the business

Great rides by definition help the business.

Fun said:

I predict Cedar Point won't be catering to the thrill market with a superlative ridden mega coaster anytime soon

I'm not sure what a "superlative ridden mega coaster" is, but again if the conversion of Mean Streak -> Steel Vengeance doesn't count then I don't understand what you mean by "thrill market".


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Thursday, January 2, 2020 10:00 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

This thread keeps getting weirder. It wasn't just coaster nerds whooping and hollering on that brake run or running to the queue in the morning.


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Thursday, January 2, 2020 11:14 AM

Who is to say Steel Vengeance and other recent additions didn't help business? CP's attendance has been between 3 and 3.6 million people since the early 90's. That park and the market are mature. It's not like they've been getting some huge attendance growth out of new thrill rides for quite some time. Does that mean all of the additions were mistakes? Probably not. Will they be able to maintain 3.5 million in attendance if they only build one big ride every ten years? Probably not. Have they sort of created a monster where customers now EXPECT some sort of record breaking attraction on a regular basis? Maybe. Are there other numbers aside from simple attendance that mean a whole lot when if comes to the bottom line? Yep. Per capita spending, length of stay, number of unique visitors jump to mind. Could they grow their bottom line even more by adding a couple of quality rides that cater to the whole family? I think so. I know of a lot of people that simply stop going for several years when they have little kids. That's a shame and something they could probably remedy with a lot less capital than a 500 footer. I really like what the park has been doing the past 10 years with the beach and resorts and in general just making it more of a first class experience which is what makes this gold pass strategy so strange and kind of upsetting to me. I suspect they'll hit a big number this year for attendance and that's without building a big ride. I'm still worried how it all pans out with guest satisfaction and what happens the year or two after though.

As or KI, it's always been a park with great infrastructure and a great layout and location. However, when CF took it over, they had a lot of catching up to do as the previous decade or two had the place with littered with low capacity gimmicky/cheap rides that really were better suited for smaller parks. I'd say CF has done a masterful job bringing KI up to speed and I'd say KI has been hitting on all cylinders in recent years. It is now on par with CP in almost every way for a single day visit. It will never be CP because there's no lake, no beach, no resorts, etc. Carowinds is a very similar story to KI. CF has done nicely with those properties. I'd expect investment in HUGE rides to slow a bit at all of these parks as they try to focus on other things that are needed. Heck, they might even give some love to their smaller parks.


-Matt

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Thursday, January 2, 2020 12:03 PM

Cedar Fair would be VERY wise to continue to add attractions like the return of the boats, antique cars, expanding live entertainment and events and especially get into the dark ride business if they want to appeal to new customers. Continuously adding coasters regurgitates the same customers after a point in time.

Last edited by super7*, Thursday, January 2, 2020 10:57 PM
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Thursday, January 2, 2020 12:29 PM
Fun's avatar

Brian Noble said:

I'm not sure what a "superlative ridden mega coaster" is, but again if the conversion of Mean Streak -> Steel Vengeance doesn't count then I don't understand what you mean by "thrill market".

I'm not so sure what is hard to understand. I'm talking about the next 3-5 years, and how I predict there won't be another coaster the scale of Steel Vengence, Valrayvn or GateKeeper.

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Thursday, January 2, 2020 12:46 PM

"Despite a decades-long history of installing fun coasters every several years, I'm sure they're going to stop."

Okay. I mean, blind squirrels and nuts and stuff, but I don't see the basis for this.


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Thursday, January 2, 2020 1:15 PM

I'dd add my .02. When I went summer of 2018, I really enjoyed how CP had re-worked the beach side with the removal of the eyesore that was the stadium. The view is what is really breathtaking to me, since I live 5 hours away. I always thought the stadium and the removal of Disaster Transport was a brilliant move to improve the resort-like atmosphere.

KI is my home park. It's closer to me and I've enjoyed it since nearly its opening. I've been through the Keco, Parmount and CF days. Keco was highly enjoyable. Paramount did some things right, but also did some things very wrong. Never felt that way about Keco. To me, CF has been a return to a similar era as Keco.

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Thursday, January 2, 2020 11:07 PM

extremecoasterdad said:

I'dd add my .02. When I went summer of 2018, I really enjoyed how CP had re-worked the beach side with the removal of the eyesore that was the stadium. The view is what is really breathtaking to me, since I live 5 hours away. I always thought the stadium and the removal of Disaster Transport was a brilliant move to improve the resort-like atmosphere.

KI is my home park. It's closer to me and I've enjoyed it since nearly its opening. I've been through the Keco, Parmount and CF days. Keco was highly enjoyable. Paramount did some things right, but also did some things very wrong. Never felt that way about Keco. To me, CF has been a return to a similar era as Keco.

Cedar Fair has returned the Taft parks to the original idea of the parks. They saved the parks IMO as Paramount did a lot of damage to the consistent theming of the themed areas. It took them a few years to get on the right track but their recent additions (rides and events) have been as good or even better (especially the theming of Copperhead Strike, new County Fair and Blue Ridge Junction at Carowinds as well as Twisted and Mystic Timbers) as anything Taft installed

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Sunday, January 5, 2020 3:05 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

What I meant by "exiting the coaster wars" is simply that they are improving the overall park rather than just going for the most coasters on the planet.

Of course they are still building thrilling new rides, and of course they are still using superlatives. (see... I understand.) In fact, they are using those superlatives to the point of nausea, in my opinion.

But look closer. They removed Disaster Transport to build Gatekeeper. Coastertool opinions about GK aside, it was a massive overall improvement to the park, considering they got an entirely new visually striking entrance plaza out of the deal. They removed Wildcat for a fancy stage and eventually another "est" coaster. Again, opinions aside, a massive improvement. Ditto MS/SV.

They have greatly improved their resorts.

They have torn down eyesore areas of the park and updated them.

They have added new unique food options and restaurants to give some much needed alternatives to chicken strips and bad burgers.

And that dumb island thing.

The next few years seem to be all about improvements to the park as a whole, and attempting to draw more visitors through the gates. They are doing this through improving the overall experience, not a 500 foot coaster.

And Gold Passes.

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Sunday, January 5, 2020 5:49 PM

Tommy- I agree with everything you said right there. And I also think Gold Pass pricing is counter-intuitive to everything you pointed out. I’m very curious how this will play out.


But then again, what do I know?

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Sunday, January 5, 2020 9:09 PM
Jeff's avatar

There never was a "coaster war," except in the minds of enthusiasts and the media. Parks have always built coasters as a means to sell tickets, not be at war with anyone. The average Cedar Point local doesn't care what's at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and vice versa.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, January 6, 2020 1:26 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

@Shane - Well, my son and I have not renewed our passes. We have zero interest in going to CP this year.

A drop in the bucket, I know. You guys can save your breath.

There's a possibility that we may end up taking a long overdue visit to KI, so that would negate the whole thing anyways.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020 9:13 AM

Fun said:

Steel Vengence is a great ride, but did nothing to help the business except push T-shirts and nano coasters to nerds. I predict Cedar Point won't be catering to the thrill market with a superlative ridden mega coaster anytime soon... and that Paddlewheel 2.0 will fill more hotel rooms than the last three coasters installed.

I don't know if I agree with this. It sounds like SV is becoming the #1 ride at Cedar Point, despite being in the back of the park, and not being visible from the entrance. I think its gotten great word of mouth. It doesn't just sell T-shirts and nanos, it sells $179 one day Fast Lanes, which is almost double the cost of one gold pass for an entire season. They'd have to sell a lot of overpriced chicken strips and overpriced cocktails to catch up to the money they're making on Fast Lanes. So I still don't think that the need for the thrill rides will ever die.But I agree with Jeff too. They already have a great coaster line-up, and most of their stuff will have a service life for 10-20 years to come or more. There's not really a great need to build new stuff other than or the initial new ride rush. That being said, if they really want to become more of a resort and appeal to everyone, they should look at some big time dark rides. That's where the park lacks, and that helps take weather out of the equation, and really capture the imagination of the young ones and the people who aren't as into coasters (and people who are into coasters too). They're expensive, but I think that they'll help the park. I'd prioritize some expensive, quality dark rides (maybe a step below Disney/Universal but still way above Boo Blasters) over outdoor coasters.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020 9:53 AM

I'm not so sure about the coaster war idea either. When I was at SFMM in October, there was no clear tit for tat as in CP built this so we will respond with our version or vice versa. Very different set of coasters. I wouldn't compare Superman to Dragster nor FT to Mavrick. I didn't get to ride Apocalypse because it was closed due to West Coast Racers construction. I took a solo trip to CA just to go there for two days and it was fun. However, I won't be doing it again any time soon. But I could see CF wanting to recapture the "most coasters" in one park title and it seems they are lining things up for it to be KI. Again, I could be totally wrong but seeing what they have added, are adding, and what they are getting rid of, leads me to believe there will be some serious expansion at KI in the next six years. RMC Racer or a ground up, new coaster for Vortex's spot, plus one more and KI will be looking like a mega thrill park. Another factor could be they are waiting to see what kind of impact Orion has.

I'm looking forward to riding Orion and will reserve judgement on it. Some argue it will be forceless and is too short. Could CF be trying to find that sweet spot that is just enough for coaster heads and the GP to say, "we have to do KI"? I've heard many opinions on youtube that it could be the last giga in NA. I'm not sure I agree with that. But CF will have two gigas in the same state. I believe Orion will have higher capacity than MF. And again, with Vortex being removed, it seems rather obvious they will build another coaster in that prime spot. I will say if you live somewhat close to both parks you will have a whole lot of fun this summer.

Off topic/side note - I do agree that SV was a huge hit with everyone. Except my 16 year old son, who I let take a day off school in May, for his birthday, a trip to CP and overnight at Hotel Breakers. He refused to ride any coaster in the park. Dad was not happy for I surely thought he must have the coaster blood his old man has. But after he decided to ride Power Tower (drop) and looked to be having a seizure from fear, dad was then unhappy with himself and vowed never to badger another person into riding anything again.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020 11:53 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

They almost certainly weren't building to be in competition with each other, but there was definitely marketing based on "most <qualifier> coasters on the planet" at both parks.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020 5:43 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Agreed. Thereis no and never have been "coaster wars". Parks add what they have determined, based on analysis and research, will best serve each parks needs.

Of course, they're perfectly willing to promote the "biggest / longest / tallest " coaster that they're introducing in any given year. But that's PR, not intra-park competition.

Last edited by slithernoggin, Tuesday, January 7, 2020 5:44 PM

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020 9:28 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

That said, there was that thing where Nagashima Spaland put the crowning piece of SD2K on (out of order) the day after MF opened, just to be dicks.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020 7:22 AM

SD2K - Yeah, that was kinda of D bag thing to do.

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