Mega Coaster Parks - apparently an American thing...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 1:02 PM

Hey all,

Been thinking a bit lately about the proliferation of coasters at various parks, the CP vs. SFMM coaster count wars, etc., and an idea struck me....

How many parks are out there that have a ton of coasters?

For this discussion, I decided to define one of these "Mega Coaster Parks" as any amusement park that has 10 or more operational coasters. As my data source, I of course used www.rcdb.com. After doing a bit of research, I found an interesting result....

Apparently, giant parks full of coasters is a very American thing. Here's the breakdown;

USA
SF Magic Mountain
SF Over Texas
SF Great Adventure
SF Great America
SF New England
SF Over Georgia
Cedar Point
Knott's Berry Farm
King's Island
King's Dominon
Carowinds
Hersheypark
ADD - Lagoon

CANADA
Canada's Wonderland
LaRonde

EUROPE
Blackpool Pleasure Beach - England
Europa Park - Germany
ADD - Wiener Prater - Austria

ASIA
Nagashima Spa Land - Japan
Sun Park - China

Final score USA = 13, rest of the world = 7.
If you lump Canada in with the US, then the score gets more lobsided at 15 to 5.

Now, if you want to consider parks that are "knocking on the door" and drop that qualifying number to 9, you get;

USA
SF St. Louis
SF Fiesta Texas
SF America

EUROPE
Alton Towers - England
Flamingoland - England
ADD - Heide Park - Germany

ASIA
Quancheng - China
ADD - Nasu Highland - Japan
ADD- Greenland - Japan

Just curious if over time, we'll see more parks in other parts of the world hit the 10 coaster mark, or if it's just going to stay an American thing....

Later,
EV

EDIT: CP Maverick found a few I missed. Edited to update. Didn't add Shijingshan as almost half are listed SBNO.

Last edited by EchoVictor, Wednesday, September 30, 2015 1:46 PM
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 1:09 PM

I think part of the counts here can be linked to the coaster wars of the late 90s and early 2000s. Parks aren't building coasters in the quantity they were 15 years ago, and that is a good thing. Also, I'd be curious to see a total number of parks in each of the areas you mentioned in relation to the "mega parks"

Also, keep in mind that some of those parks may have a coaster count around a dozen, but how many of them are good, quality rides worthy of a trip? I'd take a visit to Holiday World or Kennywood or one of the Busch Gardens parks any day over some of those that are listed.

Last edited by BrettV, Wednesday, September 30, 2015 1:12 PM
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 1:12 PM
janfrederick's avatar

Interesting to see one of the smallest parks, Knott's, on the list.


"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, September 30, 2015 1:26 PM

My search results are different:

# Amusement Park (Location)
19 Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia, California, USA)
17 Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio, USA)
16 Canada's Wonderland (Vaughan, Ontario, Canada)
14 Kings Island (Mason, Ohio, USA)
13 Six Flags Great America (Gurnee, Illinois, USA)
13 Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, New Jersey, USA)
13 Carowinds (Charlotte, North Carolina, USA)
13 Kings Dominion (Doswell, Virginia, USA)
13 Hersheypark (Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA)
12 Six Flags Over Texas (Arlington, Texas, USA)
12 Europa Park (Rust, Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany)
12 Wiener Prater (Vienna, Vienna, Austria)
12 Nagashima Spa Land (Nagashima, Kuwana, Mie, Japan)
11 Six Flags Over Georgia (Austell, Georgia, USA)
11 Six Flags New England (Agawam, Massachusetts, USA)
10 Knott's Berry Farm (Buena Park, California, USA)
10 La Ronde (Montréal, Québec, Canada)
10 Lagoon (Farmington, Utah, USA)
10 Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK)
10 Sun Park (Chaoyang, Beijing, China)

9 Six Flags St. Louis (Eureka, Missouri, USA)
9 Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio, Texas, USA)
9 Six Flags America (Upper Marlboro, Maryland, USA)
9 Alton Towers (Alton, Staffordshire, England, UK)
9 Flamingo Land (Malton, Yorkshire, England, UK)
9 Heide Park Resort (Soltau, Lower Saxony, Germany)
9 Greenland (Arao, Kumamoto, Japan)
9 Nasu Highland Park (Nasu, Nasu, Tochigi, Japan)
9 Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park (Shijingshan, Beijing, China)
9 Quancheng Euro Park (Qihe, Dezhou, Shandong, China)

----

This breaks down to
No. Parks >10 Coasters
ASIA 2
- CHINA 1
- JAPAN 1
EUROPE 3
- AUSTRIA 1
- GERMANY 1
- UK 1
NA 15
- CANADA 2
- USA 13

No. Parks = 9 Costers
ASIA 4
- CHINA 2
- JAPAN 2
EUROPE 3
- GERMANY 1
- UK 2
NA 3
- USA 3

Last edited by CP Maverick, Wednesday, September 30, 2015 1:40 PM
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 1:35 PM
LostKause's avatar

Here is an interesting website that might help you with this discussion.

http://coast2coaster.com/default.aspx


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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 2:33 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

One of my go to sites whenever I travel. I cannot believe I found this site only a few years ago.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 3:49 PM

I'm thinking that perhaps there's a trend for the types of vacation one experiences in each location. For example, typically when I visit the US it's to go to some sort of attraction (theme parks often included), whereas whenever I visit places outside of US/north America it's typically for the culture, cities, etc. Being there IS the attraction. I wonder if this is also true for others, particularly the non-north Americans who travel

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 4:22 PM

I don't think this is surprising at all and just an example of the different stages of the industry in different parts of the globe.

It's no secret that the amusement industry is in a fairly mature stage in North America. So many parks in this region are far more developed than in other regions since they have expanded with attractions over decades (Cedar Point, SF Great Adventure, Magic Mountain etc.).

However in Asia and the Middle East (and to a lesser degree Latin America) the amusement industry is booming and in a total growth stage currently. They can't build parks fast enough right now. I don't know of any startup parks with 10-15 coasters in the initial build.

So I think the answer is as simple as that and in 20-30 years, perhaps it will balance out as long as the aforementioned regions continue to grow and eventually mature and have to expand for growth.

Last edited by Hanging n' Banging, Wednesday, September 30, 2015 4:26 PM
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 7:13 PM
rollergator's avatar

As China really gets cranked up, expect to see more of their parks on the list.

I don't expect to see any new US parks outside of whatever comes from Houston's multitude of "plans" at various levels of seriousness. Of the existing parks, SFA is turning more and more into a waterpark a la Dorney. SFFT is in a growing area, not so sure about SFStL.

I *still* need to get to LaRonde...


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 8:52 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Hanging n' Banging said:

I don't know of any startup parks with 10-15 coasters in the initial build.

SFOhio sure as hell tried.


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, September 30, 2015 9:10 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

And we know how that worked out...


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015 9:11 PM

When you add 5 coasters in 2 years, sure. But I wouldn't call Geauga Lake -> SFOhio a "startup" park. It was already well established.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015 10:19 AM

The number of mega-coaster parks in the US seems to correspond with the overall low quality of the parks in the US as well. When the entire budget is spent on coasters, that's all you get.......Six Flags and Cedar Fair lead the way in coaster numbers as well as overall low all-around park quality, with Six Flags taking that title.

Last edited by super7*, Thursday, October 1, 2015 10:20 AM
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Thursday, October 1, 2015 11:14 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Oh, is Six Flags bashing still the "in" thing??

I thought that was mostly an early 2000's fad.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Thursday, October 1, 2015 1:28 PM

I don't bash but my only Six Flags experience was SFOhio and as Noggin said, we know how well that worked. It had it's good points but overall I wasn't impressed.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015 3:00 PM
LostKause's avatar

I hate Six Flags more than most people, but I wouldn't call any of their parks that I have been to low quality.

And Cedar Fair parks are a lot of things, but low quality is not one of them.

In other words, what are you guys talking about?


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Thursday, October 1, 2015 3:34 PM

I'm not sure why EV's original post points to the U.S. as the one who has the habit, or why that's even a point of discussion. I think it stands to reason.

Even though there are amusement parks (and some ancient ones) in Europe, they don't number what we have here in the United States. Great Britain was known for seaside parks, they (with the exception of Blackpool) were small places with room for one Scenic and in later years maybe a small steel. Germany and France were (and are) better known for Funfairs. Every city of any size hosts festivals that have as a main draw huge traveling carnivals that many times feature full sized yet portable roller coasters. Some of those, in fact, have made there way to the U.S. to find permanent homes. If there was a list of European portable rides that have appeared over the years we might be surprised how many there've been. Even though they haven't lived in an amusement park, everybody knows what they are and many, many people have been on them. And traveling showmen don't add coaster after coaster, they replace with the newest and latest thing.

I've always been under the impression that Europeans love their flat rides, funhouses, and dark rides and hold them as near and dear as they do their coasters. We touched upon this when discussing Cedar Fair feeling the need to scour Europe to find decent (or nostalgic) flats to bring over to their parks. Maybe in Europe it's always been part of the amusement culture to offer guests a wide variety of rides in general, and not just a list of roller coasters. Look at long term European suppliers like Intamin and Mack. Are they content to make and sell just coasters? No, their catalogues also include flats, water rides, thrill rides, towers, monorails, kiddies, you name it, and they do a giant business with them.

Having said that, it's clear that the amusement/theme park concept is spreading. And as parks in Europe and Asia grow and develop into more like what we know here, coaster lists are growing as well. We all know that in order to compete and keep customers returning additions must be made and when there's land available that means adding and not tearing down and replacing. So I think it's not so much as we have a lock on the hobby, it's more like we've had a head start.

Frankly, (and I love my Mega Coaster Parks-who here doesn't?), I wish parks here in the U.S. would take a cue from foreign parks and offer a wider diversity of attractions. In the meantime I guess I'll just say

'MERICA!!1!!1!!!

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Thursday, October 1, 2015 8:11 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

No, Travis - all parks are good parks. Some are just less good than others. ;)

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Thursday, October 1, 2015 8:15 PM
R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Thursday, October 1, 2015 8:53 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I would not complain about Six Flags when it comes to coaster count. However some of the coasters that have arrived to make up that high count, are coasters that were relocated from parks that failed. If Six Flags retained all of it's former parks, and rides, they would probably have the largest coaster collection of any park chain.

As for the Magic Mountain/ Cedar Point race, I think I would favor Magic Mountain over Cedar Point, as they have a larger variety of different kinds of coasters, most of which are "one Ups" of Cedar Points rides. The Riddler is an example. But, now that Mantis has been changed to a floorless, it would probably be better compared to Scream. And. no other American park has a ride like x2. It's also funny that Magic mountain has had 2 stand up coasters, since they removed Shock Wave.

Great America has also seen it's share of recent coasters that have come and gone. I think more coasters have been built and removed from there more than any other park, while the parks oldest coaster, "the Whizzer." still remains. I went to Great America a lot, and I never did get to ride DEJA VU or Z-Force. Won't miss the iron Wolf thgough, and hope they give American Eagle the twister layout in the future.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Thursday, October 1, 2015 8:54 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

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Thursday, October 1, 2015 10:15 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

The first paragraph has left me hopelessly muddled. If parks that failed hadn't failed and coasters in parks that failed hadn't been moved to parks that didn't fail, Six Flags would have a lot of coasters?

Great America is hardly unique in having been home to a lot of coasters since removed. Broadway Trip, Jumbo Jet, Leap the Dips, Scamper, two Wildcats.... Cedar Point has been home to a long list of long gone coasters.


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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