Magic Mountain to get another coaster in 2010

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:11 AM
janfrederick's avatar

Knoebels, Dollywood, Waldameer, Silverwood, Kennywood, Silver Dollar City, Lake Compounce, and Holiday World where I'll get a good return on the money invested to get there.

I think I see a pattern here. ;)

Beyong lousy service, I'd also suggest that perhaps he's just a little tired of the park (correct me if I'm wrong Matt). I probably feel the same way about Great America (Santa Clara) that Moosh feels about Magic Mountain. The parks used to have a lot more to do than coasters (monorails, trains, sky ride, crazy ferris wheels, trolly, etc.) Strip those out, dumb down your service, and it just gets boring. Why bother?


"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:28 AM
matt.'s avatar

Soggy said:
Roller coaster enthusiasts (who are supposed to like roller coasters) do nothing but complain about the fact that a new roller coaster is being built.


*snip*


SFMM will not be closing no matter how well or poorly run the chain is.

Many of us much more readily identify as park enthusiasts as opposed to coaster enthusiasts. Still "coaster enthusiast" is a pretty common umbrella term for that sort of thing but there are just as many ways to be enthusiastic as there are enthusiasts. Many of us here get off on talking about the business side of things so that's what happens.

Also - wasn't SFMM like...close to what you just said will never happen? I was under the impression SF was looking for buyers and just backed out because they couldn't come up with a condo developer who would offer up enough dough to make it worth it.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 1:39 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Soggy said: I love it. A roller coaster park announces plans for a new roller coaster. Roller coaster enthusiasts (who are supposed to like roller coasters) do nothing but complain about the fact that a new roller coaster is being built. Did I miss something? Personally, I go to parks for roller coasters, not spin-&-pukes.

Yes, you missed something.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:20 PM

^ What'd he miss? The part where you sound like a broken record? It really couldn't be that...

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:37 PM

They added Thomas Town and will be adding Wiggles World, so SFMM will have 3 "kiddy lands" for families to enjoy, so it is not like they are not catering to that segment aswell.

We have 5 waterrides there, a carousell and a couple of flatrides. I dont understand the argument that if the park add flatrides that you can basically find at any county fair will make it a better park

Customer service, cleaning up the place, paint buildings is what makes it a fun park to visit and it is being adressed by the new management.


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:42 PM
Jeff's avatar

Can some one point me to the place that says you have to be an unconditional fan of all things roller coaster?

An amusement park is not just roller coasters, and in fact if they intend to appeal to a broad audience, they have to offer a diverse set of attractions. I'm not speaking for Moosh, but if that's what he's after, I agree. To a more broad set of potential customers, flat rides and other attractions make for a better experience for me people.


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

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:47 PM
Soggy's avatar

Matt: did it happen? No, thankyouverymuch. And all things considered, I doubt that the land deal was ever really a viable proposition. And looking at SoCal property values now, it never will be. You can speculate about how much you think you know about the way a big business should be run, but until you run your own big business, you (and many others) are just blowing smoke. It has been stated time and time again, Six Flags (or similar chain) CANNOT survive on the same business model as Holiday World (or similar family-run park), period. So don't expect it to.

Moosh: I didn't call you out here. I've gone several rounds with you before and you aren't suckering me in again. Like others have stated before me, we all know you won't go to SFMM, so why repeat yourself?

And to both of you, don't you know that Cedar Fair is the new company to hate? ;) Hating Six Flags is so 2001...

Jeff: But can you can expect a park like SFMM to continue what it apparently does well, which is build roller coasters? Universal and Disney do things much differently than Six Flags and Cedar Fair. If I'm going to a Disney park, sure, I am looking for attractions other than coasters, and enjoy that. But I have come to expect that Six Flags does non-coaster things pretty half-assed, so I do expect them to keep doing the one thing that they can do well, coasters.

Last edited by Soggy, Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:55 PM

Pass da' sizzrup, bro!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:08 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

And yet Six Flags' "coasters first" business plan got them into $2B in debt. Sounds like a great plan to me.


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, December 10, 2008 3:13 PM
rollergator's avatar

^Exactly. I'm not saying the kRaX and Soggy are wrong to believe that SFMM is a coaster-park, just that it's not a good BUSINESS plan. Shoot, I love Intamin chain-lift hypers....but if I'm building something for a park that I intend to PROFIT from, I'll make something like an interactive dark ride. I love coasters, but if I'm going to be riding 20 years from now, the park has to be profitable first and foremost. The thrillseeker market is simply too small for "coasters and more coasters" to constitute an effective business strategy.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:17 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

But is it a reasonable business plan given their location and proximity to the other parks in the area?

Perhaps the logic in Valencia is, "If we can't beat 'em, play a different game."


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:17 PM
Jeff's avatar

What does it take to be good at building coasters? Anyone can put up the capital and do that, but it doesn't have anything to do with success. Does everyone forget that SFMM was up for sale last year?

It's not about other park operators. You can have the expectation that Six Flags doesn't do theme or live entertainment or Dippin' Dots well, but isn't that the core problem? The company doesn't get a free pass for doing anything "half-assed," especially if it means they can't achieve financial success.


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

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:44 PM
Soggy's avatar

That's just it, Gonch, SFMM can't win in the family category against Disney & Universal in SoCal, so why try? The bottom line with the average SFMM SoCal local is "Did they build a new coaster?" If 'yes' then they go, if 'no' then they don't. Why do you think they marketed X2 as a new addition?

Company-wide, they can try other things if they want, but the park in Valencia only has legs in the coaster dept. That's the one and only category they have in the bag, so why not run with it? If they announced the coolest, best-themed, longest, most interactive Sally dark ride EVER, the population would collectively shrug their shoulders and stay away, or go to Disneyland.

Andy, the debt is company wide, note solely on the shoulders of SFMM.

Last edited by Soggy, Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:44 PM

Pass da' sizzrup, bro!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:47 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Well, I'm stretching in an attempt to play devil's advocate, but SF has done dumber things.


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:49 PM

^ No, the core problem isn't ride selection, it never has been. The core problem has been customer service, cleanliness and undervalue. It was never about the rides. As has been mentioned before, SFMM has a lot for the non-coaster rider (go to their website and take a look) to do, but what seprates them from the other parks up the road has always been their coaster collection.

In talking to Jay Thomas this past year, he told me that he had heard the rumors about how unbalanced the park was, but he was shocked at how many rides for families the park already had. He's going to build upon this, but first he want to get rid of unpopular rides with lots of downtime, and actually replace them with quality attractions, one step at a time.

This "SFMM needs flatrides" may be true, but it's also completely overblown, and not even near the top of park priorities. The park needs better customer service (check out the reviews of the park this year), cleanliness( check out the reviews of the park this year), and quality attractions that appeal to guests of all ages, not just families.

But they also have to continue to make money, and a shiny new flatride for all of it's long term appeal, is not going to do that.

And sorry Moosh, but the more time you spend away from the park, the more outdated your opinion becomes. Jay Thomas has this park on the right road.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:15 PM
Jeff's avatar

It seems that some of you are implying that just because Jay says so, Moosh should just fall in line.


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

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:23 PM

No, that's silly Jeff. What I'm offerring is an opposing view point. Moosh doesn't have to do anything.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:23 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

I just can't figure out why so many people are so concerned about Moosh's park choices. Is anyone really losing sleep over the knowledge that Moosh may never step foot into SFMM again? If so, we should really start an on-line petition. ;)

The thing is that Moosh's opinion will never be outdated, John Knotts. Because it's based on his experiences when he last attended. That's never going to change no matter how much the park does.

That's what makes the turn around from poor customer service experiences such a long, hard-fought battle.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:38 PM

I don't think SF's existential crisis can be traced to one single failing. YES, they concentrated on coasters overly, to the detriment of families. YES, they didn't pay enough attention to intangibles like service and cleanliness and not chopping off customers' legs (oops, how'd that sneak in here? Sorry). YES, they expanded their park base too rapidly and slammed way too much cap ex into their properties in a short time period.

I haven't been back to a SF park since Shapiro really started to put his imprint on the company, so I can't speak first hand about my experiences. It sounds like they are focused on turning the chain around. Let's hope.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:53 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

There's no reason to hope, Ensign Smith. The SF experience in the last season or two is already markedly better than the SF experience from the first half of the decade.


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:54 PM
matt.'s avatar

Soggy said:
Matt: did it happen? No, thankyouverymuch. And all things considered, I doubt that the land deal was ever really a viable proposition. And looking at SoCal property values now, it never will be. You can speculate about how much you think you know about the way a big business should be run, but until you run your own big business, you (and many others) are just blowing smoke.

Uh, ok, first - my point was that you were arguing X is never going to happen when it looked like, just a few months ago, X indeed could have very possibly happened. I have no insider knowledge of what would have had to have taken place for SFMM to be sold to another operator or dumped for subdivisions and retail but that doesn't really matter, my only purpose was to say if it looked like SFMM was put on the chopping block it's not crazy to think it could happen again. 5, 10, 20 years from now, I don't know, but I certainly have no clue what connection you're making between SoCal property values and it NEVER happening. If you want to clarify that, go for it.

Your second bit about most of us having never run a corporation cuts both ways - you haven't either. If you don't want to participate in the "blowing smoke" than that's fine, there are plenty of other message boards where 9 topics out of 10 are "OMG what was the last coaster you rode?!?!" and "Poll: What is the bestest B&M EVER?!?!"


Otherwise, there are a lot of us who enjoy talking business, and even if we're not the ones in the driver seat many of us do know quite a bit about a wide range of topics and sometimes it's fun to see if we can apply them to the industry. If you don't like it, fine, cool, but otherwise you just come off as a jerk who doesn't like what others are jabbering about so you'd rather supress it than ignore it.


EDIT: I think this seems pertinent -


Soggy said:
Hmmmm... I have no idea. I've neverheard that, but that doesn't mean anything. My point is that the KBFflume is arguably the best one around. To remove it would be one of theworst decisions in the history of the amusement industry.

Last edited by matt., Wednesday, December 10, 2008 4:56 PM
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