Is the torch being passed from CP to KI?

Saturday, December 28, 2019 12:19 PM

Cedar Point will always hold a fond place in my heart. But I’m beginning to wonder if we may be witnessing the passing of the torch for which park will end up being the thrill park. Obviously, this will happen over the course of several more years but great change is happening at both parks.

CP still has a great collection of world-class coasters. But it’s rather obvious they are becoming more of a family friendly, multiple day, vacation destination. With more to do for the family unit of all age ranges, it is no longer just for major thrill seekers. CP’s location on Lake Erie, coupled with how the park has changed, makes it appear like a destination resort for the summer where one doesn’t even have to leave the peninsula until it’s time to go home. Now if they go and plop down a 500 foot roller coaster in 2021 then that would make this a mute point. But I’m not too sure that is going to happen.

KI is going through some major changes with the biggest right now being the addition of Orion. Yes, removing two coasters while adding only one would appear to be going in the wrong direction. However, if that torch takes five-seven years to pass, it’s still being passed. Vortex was old, rough, and dated. Newer coaster models could use that plot of land for a way better coaster. Diamond Back gives them a great hyper and they have three wood coasters already in place. The Beast needs no introduction but I could see Racer getting the RMC treatment. KI has their bigger Raptor and some of the same flat ride fillers. KI appears to have plenty of room to add coasters of any type. We have seen CP over the years build a new coaster right after arguing it out in another thread that they are running out of room. KI is not running out of room any time soon. Imagine the potential of KI if CF is heading in this direction. KI’s location is also near several state lines and a mixing bowl of freeways from north, south, east, west, up, down, sideways.

I could be 100% wrong of course and way off base. But what would be the purpose of having two parks in the same state with the same allure? CP is becoming the seasonal resort like jewel on the lake that gives the feel you are on an island. I thought about this many years back while sitting at the swim-up bar. It was a beautiful day with blue skies with Lake Erie being the backdrop. I sat and sipped my overpriced drink with my back slowly roasting in the sun (worse sunburn of my life). I remember thinking, “this is so nice, I feel like I’m at a tropical resort”.

Last edited by Winston, Saturday, December 28, 2019 12:22 PM
Saturday, December 28, 2019 2:37 PM

You're proposing a binary outcome, which isn't what will happen. It's not like CP's roller coasters and thrill rides are all going to go away. KI has had a lot of catching up to do over the last decade.

Saturday, December 28, 2019 3:10 PM

This is a contest where there are no losers. KI has added some great things and has lots of room to expand. CP does want to become more of a resort with extended stays for patrons and numerous activities to do. However, I don't ever expect CP to take a back seat to anyone in the thrill factor. Expect something huge for 2021.

Saturday, December 28, 2019 3:33 PM

But I would even challenge that. The enthusiast mindset is that you're not winning unless you're always introducing new things, and I think that's silly. If CP never installed another roller coaster, it would still be home to Millennium Force, Magnum and others.

Saturday, December 28, 2019 4:16 PM

Eventually some of CPs coasters will face the same fate as Vortex. Well, all coasters do at some point. And after riding Magnum this past summer, I wouldn't care if they got rid of it. Blue Streak felt like rusty steel roller skates. Corkscrew, the iconic midway piece, is maybe nearing the end its service life and no one would bat an eye if it went except for old school enthusiasts. Take CPs hyper vs KI hyper, which one is better and has more life left? SFMM seems to keep building coasters, thou I wouldn't consider West Coast Racers an enthusiast bucket list coaster.

It's obviously a good problem to have for CF. However, I just can't help to notice KI is really going to have a great arsenal of coasters. Add in a drop coaster or wing, maybe both over the next several years and I would be driving past CP to go to KI. Now as Double Dip said, if they add something big to CP in 21, then I would go to both. SV, MF, and Maverick are great coasters and loved by enthusiast. I guess my point is if KI adds similar coasters, why would they make them smaller or less thrilling than the ones at CP? They are filling the giga hole at KI, maybe in a cheap way, but if it didn't matter what CP has, then why? On the other hand, they could add a couple new coasters that CP doesn't have like a flyer or raptor track which gives reasons for both.

Saturday, December 28, 2019 6:04 PM

In addition to it not being an either/or, I think the answer is: not for a long time.

Saturday, December 28, 2019 8:49 PM

Brian Noble said:

In addition to it not being an either/or, I think the answer is: not for a long time.

Yeah, that's not exactly a good measure. Cedar Point has a lot more visitors on this site than Kings Island does, hence more people rating those coasters.

That being said, I think the original argument is flawed to begin with. There is no "torch" to pass. The fact is, these two parks are in different markets. It might not seem that way to people in Ohio since they're close to both. But having grown up in the northeast (NY and MA), I know many families that took trips to Cedar Point. I don't think most average people in the northeast have even heard of Kings Island. KI is closer to the midwest and I'm sure people from that area have heard of it and travel to it, as well as CP. But CP is also serving the whole northeast.

CP also has the lake going for it. I went there several times with my family growing up, and we didn't just go for the two days at the park. We did all the tourist stuff, visited the islands (Put-In Bay is very nice) and it was a week long vacation. KI doesn't have that, it's just an average suburban park. I don't much feel like spending a week with my family touring Cincinnati haha.

Then there's the expansion issue. These parks probably aren't getting much bigger, they've got to be close to hitting the maximum size for profitability. New rides will be added at the expense of old rides being removed. Vortex is a perfect example of this. Parks can't expand infinitely. Kings Island might have a lot of space for additions, but that doesn't mean it makes sense from a business standpoint to fill in all available land; this isn't Roller Coaster Tycoon.

And in any case, SFMM has a way better selection of thrill coasters than CP does.

Last edited by bjames, Saturday, December 28, 2019 8:54 PM
Sunday, December 29, 2019 1:13 AM

Winston said:

It's obviously a good problem to have for CF.

I don't see why the two parks need to be seen as competing with each other. They both have stuff for the entire family to do, including thrill-seekers. They both are marketed to both families and thrill-seekers.

Kings Island still has the "Best Kid's Area in the World." It's not like Cedar Point will not have something great to replace Magnum when they decide to finally take it down.

They both have their own clientele, consisting of both families and thrill-seekers, especially now that season passes are popular.

Sunday, December 29, 2019 1:46 AM

IMO Kings Island has always been the superior overall park (except for the Paramount years), because it is a theme park and CP is not. The park has really headed back to the right direction under Cedar Fair

However, CP has more coasters and rides and probably always will. CP does have some clunky “junk.” KI has just gotten rid of two of their bad coasters and is cleaning up the collection. All of their additions since Cedar Fair took over have been golden with the exception of Firehawk which is now gone.

I don’t think Cedar Fair is putting KI on top or Orion would have gotten a more superior design. It’s good but definitely not the best. Carowinds got the best model.

Last edited by super7*, Sunday, December 29, 2019 1:02 PM
Sunday, December 29, 2019 2:41 AM

bjames said:

Yeah, that's not exactly a good measure. Cedar Point has a lot more visitors on this site than Kings Island does, hence more people rating those coasters.

That's exactly how it doesn't work.

Sunday, December 29, 2019 1:50 PM

SFMM - Why do they keep putting more and more coasters in if as said, CP and KI have reached their limit of profitability, what makes SFMM different? It is a smaller park, size wise, yet they just soft opened West Coast Racers. Granted they are open year round but why is it profitable for them and not CP or KI? Just looking at KI in Google Earth it's rather easy to see they have plenty of room to work with and CF isn't shy about buying up land they need. CP and SFMM are known across the world but I wouldn't put KI in with them, yet.

Just having visited SFMM in October for two days, I'm not sold on it being leaps and bounds better than CP. It is different no doubt and has a different selection but some of the coasters there are just like some of the so-so ones at CP. TC I liked the most while Superman I found underwhelming and would take Dragster any day of the week. Scream, while a head-banger, CP doesn't come close to in floorless coasters. Goliath I found to be a touch better than Magnum. They had nothing close to Mavrick IMO and mine trains, well I'm not a big fan of those no matter where it is. I would say they have a great collection no doubt, but they are different and you can't really have a vs off match. Would I take another trip out west for the sole purpose of going to SFMM? Not unless a 500ft T-rex is plopped in.

I don't think you can put a hard number on the number of coasters parks like CP, KI, or SFMM can add before it becomes worthless. Build it, and they will come. But I suppose only time will tell. It just wouldn't surprise me if we see two new coasters in the next four years at KI, after Orion, as opposed to maybe one going to CP in that same amount of time. Just look at all the new coasters being built for 2020 in the US. BG going just a bit bigger than SV and others with interesting designs that I will be traveling to ride. Just MO.

Last edited by Winston, Sunday, December 29, 2019 1:54 PM
Sunday, December 29, 2019 2:05 PM

Parks install new attractions so they have something new to market. It's not deeper than that. Some have to do it more often than others, depending on regional competition and how much they can run on nostalgia alone.

Sunday, December 29, 2019 4:05 PM

LostKause said:

Kings Island still has the "Best Kid's Area in the World."

I think Dollywood bought that Golden Ticket Award this year...

Monday, December 30, 2019 1:01 AM

SFMM competes for business against a Mouse, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Harry Potter, Legos, that park with the fried chicken, and an entire city full of tourist attractions, beaches, mountains, and even skiing.

In this niche, their selling point is thrill rides, and lots of 'em.

CP has no local competition besides maybe an island full of drunken boaters. It's why I think they exited the coaster wars. They still get new stuff, but CF does seem eager to expand (some of) their other parks as well. Obviously, KI is doing well for the chain and considered a worthwhile investment.

Monday, December 30, 2019 1:40 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

That's exactly how it doesn't work.

How so? People rank CP's coasters 4 or 5 stars more often than they are by people ranking diamondback and banshee. They would not be drawn down as much by random low ratings than a lower ranked park would.

Last edited by bjames, Monday, December 30, 2019 1:41 AM
Monday, December 30, 2019 8:38 AM

You said the volume of ratings drove the score, which is not how the poll works.

Monday, December 30, 2019 11:48 AM

Not sure if this has been pointed out before, but I find something pretty fascinating between the CP additions throughout the late 80's to 2000 and compare to KI from the late oughts (that's 00's) to 2020:

CP - Magnum '89; Raptor '94; MF '00

KI - Diamondback '09; Banshee '14; Orion '20

I don't think this was on purpose, I think this is more of a coincidence but somewhat based on where cap ex can be spent to enhance the guest experience. In the 90's cap ex went to CP in adding thrill rides, but now we are seeing cap ex going towards facilities and rides/attractions geared towards the entire family can enjoy. I think we will still continue to see it because that's what is going to move the needle more in attendance than a new thrill ride. The year Steel Vengeance opened the regular posters over on PointBuzz that frequented the park noticed that the midways weren't as packed and those observations continued this season until the Gold Passes were announced.

Meanwhile, KI has a pretty solid infrastructure. So much so, that they can do Winterfest despite cold, snowy weather. I'm not saying that CP is building for a Winterfest, but the new restaurants at CP look like they were designed to take more people off the midway and organize the process of ordering, paying for, and getting food. KI also has a pretty solid ride lineup, aside from Diamondback, the newer rides being built are replacing another ride that's leaving the lineup.

I wouldn't say the torch is being passed, I think right now the stories of both parks are at different points of development. Eventually the rides at CP built in the 70's and 80's will reach their end of life and need updated or replaced.

Monday, December 30, 2019 7:50 PM

Interesting points. But I think Mean Streak was in between Magnum and Raptor if memory serves me. That was a major addition, even if it did go down hill rather rapidly (no pun intended).

Monday, December 30, 2019 8:41 PM

I don't mean to skip over the other additions like Mean Streak or Mantis in that time frame, I just thought it was interesting that CP did a Hyper, an Invert and a Giga coaster in their respective years and KI repeated that same pattern exactly 20 years later.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 7:02 AM

Illuminati confirmed.


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