Is themeing important?

matt.'s avatar
^It's like a dollop of whipped cream on a piece of pecan pie.

If someone says "Hey, you want some whipped cream on that?" I'm not going to say "no," but at the same time if there's no whipped cream around I'm still going to enjoy the pie.

I'd say theming is important. I'd also like to say that the worst example of theming is/was Geauga Lake.

One of the times i was there, waiting by X-Flight, I talked to a maintenance worker. He cracked me when he said: Do you think that grass and gravel under X-flight is real? That's delicate theming there boy!

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Theming totally depends on the park, the attraction and the guest. Would Disney be so successful without the theming? No. Would they be able to charge so much for their hotels if they looked like Holiday Inns? No. So, in their case, theming is critical.

In Cedar Point's case, theming isn't important. People don't go to CP for the theme. It's a bonus there.

Does it affect the ride? I would say it depends on the ride and the rider's expectations. Would Mystery Mine (or even Maverick) be just as thrilling without the theme? Maybe, maybe not. Depends who you talk to really. I'm betting a bunch of coaster enthusiasts would like Mystery Mine's track if it were sitting out in the open. But, a majority of the guests to Dollywood would probably not like it as much - or maybe not even ride it because it. I think Maverick would be just as thrilling without anything they've "added" to the base coaster. It all goes back to expectations.

My big issue with theming is about upkeep and thoroughness. If you attempt to theme a coaster, and don't go all out, it looses something in my mind. The same applies to theming gone bad. I'd say bad theming is WAY worse than no theming. The cardinal rule at Disney was if a guest notices something they shouldn't, you did a bad job as an Imagineer.

My friend grew up in Florida. We went to Cedar Point last summer. He was so amazed by the fact that there was no theme. He loved it.
Mamoosh's avatar
...would you rather have maverick with all its themeing or without? Would it make a difference to you?

It would not make one bit of difference to me.

I'll hold off my decision until i have a chance to ride the thing.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

Maybe the question needs to be: How visual are you when it comes to theming and rides at amusement parks.

A friend of mine was looking over this thread and she said theming doesn't matter at all. She told me she rides with her eyes closed.

I like theming on some rides. It's like Disaster Transport: I like it okay, but i get more of a kick from the theming on Devils Den.

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coasterqueenTRN's avatar
I like good themeing but it's not that big of a deal for me.

As far as Dollywood, it's the SMELL of all that fresh wood that I like, not the themeing. I DO look forward to Mystery Mine next weekend, though. :)


^you got that right. The wood, the flowers, the FOOOOOD!!!!!!!!
argh, I so want to go there this summer....

Tina: have a great time!

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Fresh wood, Tina?

It's all about the smell of the cinnamon bread...and the steaks...and the CINNAMON BREAD!! :) :) :)

"Life's What You Make It, So Let's Make It Rock!"
SFoGswim's avatar
Some people mentioned Universal and Disney (as they should have) and Mummy and Expedition Everest are two of the best examples of this point. Well, for me at least. If neither of them had any theming and were built on flat ground, I wouldn't ride either even if I was in the park. However, with the theming, Mummy is one of my favorite rides overall, and Everest isn't too terrible.

Welcome back, red train, how was your ride?!
I think theming is only important if done right. The themeing Dueling Dragons at IOA blew me away. Instead of waiting in a boring old line, you wait in a cave. That's awesome!
Then there is Dragster at CP. They took away theming on the trains...but after that launch you pretty much forget about the lack of theming.
I also like the fog in Magnum's tunnels if they still have it.
I have some senarios to ponder:

BTR at SFGAm in it's first year had great theming. Now it's half assed. The vacant lot actually has LESS junk in it. To be honest, I forgot how intense the theming was in the begining until I saw some old video of the ride. What happened to all the grafitti? In the end, the theming only made me think of the movie(s) and cartoons. Not the ride. Which is great by itself anyway. The only other clone I can speak of is SFStL and that realy wasn't as good either.

Why didn't SUF get the same theming treatment that BTR did?

Next is Zeus at Mt.O. Before Hades, Zeus dissapeared into the woods making it feel bigger than it is. And it felt more out of control with the trees flying by. Now that they cleard the one side for the parking lot Hades goes under, Zues is exposed to be a middle-of-the-road, but still fun, coaster. This is not an example of theming I guess, but use of topography and existing environment.

Did someone say "Alpie"...

V2 at SFGAm has a great location that has you looking down at the pond below before dropping back through the station. SV at VF just has you looking at a que line canopy.

Forget about theming if it isn't maintained. Overrated paint jobs don't work as well as how a ride incorporates it's surroundings.

Thanks for another great season, VF!

Theming...Although it's not saying much, because of it's theming I like Disaster Transport.

And think of Magnum's strobe lit, foggy tunnels (when the effect is working). The ride would be brilliant without them (imo), but with them the ride is superb.

Compare any ol' Reverchon (sp?) Spinning Crazy Mouse to the one Kennywood placed inside of a heavily themed building. Exterminator wins hands down.

Could you imagine Space Mountain outside of the dark themed building, placed on a concrete pad? The ride wouldn't suck, but theming helps that ride a lot. (I'm talking about MK's SM. I've never been to DL.)

...Just some thoughts.

CoasterDiscern's avatar
^ Holly crow it is late.

I like your reply. So not always the themeing surrounding a coaster, but the little things that add punch to it. God, a coaster at night would be lost without all those decorative and elaborate lights. They all seem to be arranged and planned carefully to, oh I don't know, added excitement.

Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
^^ If SM (either American layout) was placed outside on a concrete pad, I suspect it would suck big time.

WildThingNative said:

BTR at SFGAm in it's first year had great theming. Now it's half assed. The vacant lot actually has LESS junk in it. To be honest, I forgot how intense the theming was in the begining until I saw some old video of the ride. What happened to all the grafitti? In the end, the theming only made me think of the movie(s) and cartoons. .

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

BTR at SFNO had no theming what so ever. The building was just a giant alumium rectangle out in a plot of land and after riding my second BTR at SFOG I realized how bad mine was and it continued through SFMM(where these kids saw the one hour wait from here sign and was like I am not waiting this long when there was a one car wait, side story) and SFOT which I thought had the best theming out of the ones I had ridin

Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers

I think it's important to have something unique and interesting to look at while on the coaster. Sometimes it's the location that enhances the experience. Cedar Point lacks theming but the plehtora of beach-front property enhances the rides. I didn't find the collection of rides at SFMM exciting because of the giant slabs of concrete under every ride.
Mamoosh's avatar
Really? SFMM has giant slabs of concrete under every coaster? Hate to break it to you but only three of them do: Colossus, Scream, and Goliath. The rest? Yup...all landscaped.

I'm far from the biggest fan of SFMM but come on, not finding ANY excitement? You've got to be kidding...or seriously jaded. In either case if you can't find excitement riding coasters at SFMM I suggest you find another hobby, stat.

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