Park Evolutions

Wednesday, August 9, 2000 11:00 AM
Please bear with me. I have some random thoughts on my mind and I dont know where else to share them. You all seem to be the best at accepting differing opinions and giving true and honest responses, so I talk here. Anyway, I've been giving a lot of thought to the "My park's better than your park" discussions that have filtered across the net. I especially note the recent trashing of the Paramount and (mostly newer) Six Flags Parks. It's funny. During the '80s I went to a lot of different parks including SFMM, SFStL, PKI, SFGAM and CP. I really remember the first time I went to CP ('89) and thought that it was like the ultimate park. Great America sucked, PKI (then just Kings Island) blew and while Magic Mountain was okay, it was just too darn far (I lived in Chicago). However, recently, it seems like the other parks have caught up with, if not surpassed CP. I mean during the 90's, Great America has added three absolutely fantastic coasters (B:TR, Viper, RB) and PKI has added two 'interesting' coasters of their own (Face/Off, OL:FOF), all the while CP only adding Mean Streak and re-theming Avalance Run. I know people have been downing their respective chains lately, but now I really dont see much difference between the three parks. I know when I first visited Kings Island ('85) nobody I was with had fun. However, I went back this year with those same people (sans one) and everybody loved it and talked about going back. Paramount cant be doing everything bad. And as for Six Flags, I think its going to take a few years for the 'new' parks to get up to speed. While I would have liked them to have worked on procedures first and infrastructure second, maybe by doing it this way they can highlight the most troublesome 'customer service' areas. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that all the parks are constantly changing (with the exception maybe of DisneyLand but I digress) and what is considered bad today maybe great tomorrow so let's give them al 愀 挀栀愀渀挀攀⸀  䄀昀琀攀爀 愀氀氀Ⰰ 眀栀椀挀栀 漀渀攀 漀昀 甀猀 挀漀甀氀搀 氀椀瘀攀 愀 氀椀昀攀 搀攀瘀椀漀搀 漀昀 挀漀愀猀琀攀爀猀㼀℀㼀
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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 11:52 AM

"I mean during the 90's, Great America has added three absolutely fantastic coasters (B:TR, Viper, RB) and PKI has added two 'interesting' coasters of their own (Face/Off, OL:FOF), all the while CP only adding Mean Streak and re-theming Avalance Run." Hmmm. During that decade CP also added a couple of little coasters called Raptor and Mantis, along with a new family coaster and several other world-class thrill rides. Those are odd things to overlook.
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Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 12:05 PM
I agree with 2hostyl. I had a little more fun at PKI then I did at CP this year. I think one thing was the lines. When you don't have to wait 30 min+ for evry ride is really nice. I mean Outer Limits and Vortex were like 10 min. Those are like world class!!!!! I don't care what anybody says, but CP has some competiton now. We actually one stuffed animals at PKI!!!!!! I never thought I would say this, but coasters are really only a small part of a park. MF is amazing, I won't deny that.

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DOWN WITH TRIM BRAKES!
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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 12:49 PM
i had a far better time at cedar point than at kings island this year. i will say, imo, sfohio has better coasters, but kings island actually feels like an amusement park, while sfohio feels like an industrialized desert. imo also, i think coasters make up a huge part. bgw kinda got me down b/c i rode everything in 1.5 hours. i stayed 12 hours and not once was i bored. i kinda got bored, and would have if i didnt go with my church group to kings island. its very hard to rate these, but out of the parks i have visited this season, this how i rank them.

Cedar Point
Hersheypark
Busch Gardens W (tie w/ hershey)
King's Island
Six Flags Ohio

i dont think the point has any competition. if bgw and ki get good woodies and some great smooth steelies, they will be very close to the point. if hershey gets a hyper that is good, it will be up there also. but if i really think about it, i cant think of reasons why cedar point isnt the best. with an arsenal consisting of: the force, magnum, raptor, mantis, and gemini, i find any park that comes close. if cedar point get a cci that is similar to villain/st/ghost rider, the point will surpass perfectness. in an area of atmosphere, bgw and ki come somewhat close, but dont reach cp. the point also has the friendliest staff and best food. thats my opinions.
nice written post 2hostyl
-Mike
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48.6mi. - CP
27.2mi. - SFO
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3 MF rides:
3-2, 5-1, 9-2
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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 1:27 PM
OK I'm an idiot...I dont know how I forgot about Raptor and Mantis (I guess I should stick to doing my work when I'm at work =]). I also left out the "family coaster" but GAm and PKI also added their own as well (Spacely Sprockets Rocket and Ghoster Coaster) but as far as I'm concerned those can go away.

As for the "best" business, I have yet to pick a true personal favorite, instead I just have the top three mentioned above (CP, PKI, SFGAm) Until the last two years, I would have said CP hands down, because they had the only hyper-coaster. But now, all of them have differing styles of hypers. The workers at all 3 parks seem about the same to me (and I've looked at PKI & GAm with a more critical eye since joining this forum, CP got off light =]). Same goes with the cleanliness. I think CP has the best atmosphere (partly b/c of the lake setting), PKI had the best coasters, and GAm had the best theming (I like my theming minimal not over-the-top like IOA). If needed be, I could claim that any one of the was the best and make an argument that you would be hard pressed to refute. I just think that the top parks are closer than it would seem with some of the random pissing matches I've heard (read) not necessarily on this site, but I dont want to bring it up on 'other' sites (help me Chitown) because very few ideas would be expressed b4 the "YOU WOMP!" comments start flying. I thank you for reading my thoughts and I appreciate you letting me read yours =]. I'll holla.
JCSN
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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 1:32 PM
It's in the little details that you find the differences. Frankly, the parks you're talking about don't share any markets, with the exception of CP and PKI sharing Columbus. They really don't compete.

I've been to all of these parks, and several other this year. As far as variety of rides, SFGAm can be ranked highly, but I can't really place it higher than Cedar Point. While I put that park far above any of the other Six Flags parks I've been to, the food is average, it's not quite as well kept and it lacks the charm and history (namely the resport atmosphere and location) that Cedar Point does.

PKI, like PKD, just leaves me wanting more. These parks lack the killer signature ride and quality. Both have a lot of coasters, but few at each jump out at you as some of the best you've ever been on. Sure, each has a cool ride like Volcano or The Beast, but aside from those, they didn't offer anything to challenge me. And don't even get me started about the nasty food and the less than enthusiastic staff.

Like I said, I don't think these parks really compete, but as far as which is better, my favorite parks are Cedar Point, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Six Flags Great America. These are the only parks that really kept me away from boredom after a few hours.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 2:55 PM
2Hostyl, you said that KI and SFGA have added their own hypers. Where is their Giga?? I don't really like these park competition threads because I think almost every park has something unique about it that is good. I don't think CP is number one in alot of areas (ie: BGW has them beat for atmosphere IMO). However, CP has a great atmosphere. Its the combination of being one of the best if not the best in most areas of the amusement industry that sets CP apart. I think Punk said it best in his thread. "If KI and BGW add a few more good woodies and smooth steel coasters they will be in CP's league. Thats just it other parks are trying to catch up to CP and CP keeps adding rides to keep themselves on top. The only park IMO that has a similiar attitude to having the best rides is Magic Mountain (The CP of the west coast, or is CP the MM of the midwest??). Bottom line is most parks have great rides and I love KI, SFGA and BGW almost as much as CP. Being at ANY amusement park is better than being at work! *** This post was edited by CP Twister on 8/9/2000. ***
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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 4:12 PM
None of them stand out as that much better than any of the others. Friendly staff doesn't matter to me, because the only conversations I have with them is along the lines of "a hot dog and a coke, please." Efficient staff is a more critical area, but I don't want to start that discussion.

Anyway, I think everyone overlooks the blessing that CP, SFGrAM and PKI are all relatively close together and I can make a complete circuit of them each year. Next year I'll add SFO to the tour. Each park has its own advantages and I still don't see much point to debating which is best. Even if I conceded that CP is best, there is no way I would forego going to SFGam or PKI.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 9:15 PM
My, how a post can change around. Now, I have never been to PKI and CP, but I can tell you that those 2 parks get more exposure than any other parks in this country. I have never disputed CP as being a world class park because I know that they have some world class rides. The thing that bothers me is the 2 different class of people. 1 being people that have only been to CP and pretty much no other major park, in which they automatically decide that all other parks are crap. The second being the ones that have gone to CP and when they do visit another park they enter it with a closed mind. I will give Jeff props on this because he ventured out to other parks this year and kept an open mind in which he found 3 parks that he enjoyed (outside of CP). An open mind always will help out in enjoying the park that you experience for the first time. My homepark is SFGAm (I am sure you figured that out with my member name) and I know it doesnt hold a candle to CP as far as history because its only 25 years old but it has become a staple in the coaster industry for record breakers, first of its kind coasters, theming, and a well balanced amount of rides that the whole family can enjoy. While I really could care less about the food at an amusement park I have noticed a different variety of foods at this park. So in my closing statement, lets stop having a competition war between parks and enjoy what we have because that is what its all about. P.S. This is to CP Twister, why would you ask where the Giga coaster is. All it boils down to is a name created by Intamin. You dont need a 300 ft coaster to be a world class park.
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"DONT FIGHT IT, RIDE IT",,,,RAGING BULL
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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 9:24 PM
during the 90's, CP re-themed avalanch run, added many smaller rides, and built raptor, mantis, woodstock express, and power tower. Im in no way trashing any other park, but i do believe that CP is doing very well keeping up in the theme park industry. i believe that space there is not an issue, because they have water to expand into, and they can always rearange. they also have the space on the beach and behind the mean streak
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Wednesday, August 9, 2000 11:30 PM
I really hate going to parks with people who are always comparing, it's very boring. "Oh I liked it, but Cedar Point has this or that". "That was a cool ride, but nothing beats The Beast at PKI". I drop these people like a bad cold and hang out by myself. It reminds me of those people who no matter what you say you have done, they have done something better. Just boring IMO. How frustrating it must be to have to compare everything to your favorite, of course the others are going to come up short. I like to enjoy parks for what their worth, then I go home(usually having had a blast despite the park's shortcomings). The only park that really got me this year was SFO, which needs alot of work to say the least. But it doesn't have to become CP to satisfy me, just hire people who know what they are doing, and run their rides at a better capasity.
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Thursday, August 10, 2000 5:40 AM
Smooth operations are what really differentiate parks for me. I think that's one of the things that the Cedar Point crowd takes for granted. CP sets a very high benchmark for capacity and operations, and that's why they get more than half of the best capacity vote in the Golden Ticket Awards every year.

This operation is where some parks fail all too miserably. SFO and SFA are the worst offenders I've ever seen, and PKI comes in right behind them. On the other hand, places like Kennywood, with far fewer "big" rides, do a great job of moving people. This is, without question, the single greatest factor in shaping my experience. I'm impatient and hate waiting in line, especially when it's hot.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Thursday, August 10, 2000 6:22 AM
I tend to sit on the fence in this debate. While coasters are the biggest draw factor for the GP, it's really the quality of the park (both appearance, and in operations) and sometimes the historical charm that determines whether or not I'll return. Sure I'm a coaster nut, but I spend most of my time at a park evaluating all aspects of the park and it's operations.

For instance, my home park, Kennywood, is one of the most attractive parks that has maintained it's long rich history. While they don't have the luxury of having hundreds of acres to span their rides across, they do an extremely well job of populating the park with quality rides that compliment their classic coasters, while not destroying the historical aspects of the park. Additionally, their staff are among the friendliest and efficient staff I've seen at a park.

Food service is another big factor in shaping my opinions of a park. When I visit an amusement park, I look for the quality "amusement park" food that I crave. CP and Kennywood does a great job of satisfying that craving. What does burn me up, though, is going to a park and seeing fast-food chains strewn across the park (cough-SFO-cough). If I wanted that, I'll go to the mall.

A park could have some of the best rides, but if the operations are lacking, I won't go back. I absolutely love The Villian, S:UE and BKF at SFO, but I'll never go back for the very reason that the park operations and appearance are much less than marginal.


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Neil
Pittsburgh, PA
www.geocities.com/neildeweese
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Thursday, August 10, 2000 7:00 AM
CPtwister said "
2Hostyl, you said that KI and SFGA have added their own hypers. Where is their Giga??"

Where is KI's & SFGA's giga? Well, where is a GOOD woodie and a GOOD siting looper at CP? Total coaster count is one thing, GOOD coaster count is another. Don't you think it is a little arrogant to compare other park's lack of a giga since there is only the one in the US? Give the other US parks a chance, other gigas will appear, thus making the evolution of the mega parks one step further. The Millennium Force has already been toppled as the largest, so don't go around pretending it hasn't. I know you did not say that, but maybe I was reading into your comment a bit far.

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Gotta ride 'em all!
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Thursday, August 10, 2000 8:55 AM
I agree with soggy. The park is not made by having the largest, fastest, or most record setting coaster. CP being my home park, I can understand how you may get a sense that an other park is lacking coasters, or height and speed but I can't stress enough that that is not what makes the ride. As an extreme coaster enthusiest, I do enjoy large drops and fast rides like the Millennium Force, but I also have been on a lot of rides that were not so tall, but were still a blast. One of the main things I look for in all coasters is airtime, and just because the coaster isn't 30 some stories, dosen't mean that it won't be an exciting ride.

Considering that CP is my home park, I have been biast towards it in the past, but I will be one of the first to admit that CP could do better on theming. CP has a long past, but Kennywood and Coney Island are famous for their history, and that is why they tend to pay attention to historic detail more. I have no complaints about any parks that I have visited, except for queve length, and I don't believe that it is easy to compare different aspects of parks because different parks are concentrated on different things.


Ride 'Till you drop
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Thursday, August 10, 2000 10:49 AM
Punk I went to Cedar Point over the last couple days and agree with you about it being the best, of the parks that I've been to anyway. The staff there is amazingly friendly as I am used to Kings Island and their employees who don't care about anything and don't mind if you know. I commend Cedar Point on their staff, they are the best bunch of employees I've ever seen at a park.

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http://www.coasterriders.freeservers.com
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Thursday, August 10, 2000 11:18 AM

Bottom line: CP is good. PKI, SFGAm and lots of other parks have slightly different operations and rides. CP is lacking in areas but so are other parks. LET'S JUST BE HAPPY WITH WHAT WE HAVE.
My question: Have any park's atmosphere's changed over the years?? I know one of the most odd atmosphere's was Michigan's Adventure. I felt like I was in a carnival on steroids. I hope they can change that!! One second you are on a small ferris wheel, next second you are on one of the greatest woodies in the world.
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DOWN WITH TRIM BRAKES!
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Thursday, August 10, 2000 2:37 PM
Soggy and Intamin2K, you obviously misunderstood what I was saying in my post as you took one opinion (out of many) from it and interpreted as being arrogant. Let me clarify my position. What I was pointing out was that I disagreed with 2hostyl's analogy of KI and SFGA getting a hyper and that putting them at the same level as CP. CP has a hyper AND a giga. So if KI and SFGA were adding a giga at the same time as CP then I think that analogy would work. If you read my ENTIRE post I don't know how you can feel I was being arrogant as I point out that I think all of these parks are great. From your posts responding to mine it would appear that you think that CP just has the most coasters and no quality coasters. I have to disagree with this vehemently. Milleneum Force, Magnum, Mantis and Raptor are all world class quality rides IMO. Where is the high quality sit down loopers at SFGA and KI?? Certainly not Shockwave or Vortex. Name for me the 4 world class quality rides at KI and SFGA. KI has SOB and the Beast which are but the rest are average coasters IMO. SFGA has RB and Viper but again the remaining coasters are average coasters IMO. After the 4 CP coasters I listed I think the rest of their are average also. But they have more average coasters than these parks as well. My point was that if you look at the big picture and look at all of the aspects that make a great amusement park (# of rides, quality of rides, handling of capacity, treatment of guests, cleanliness, etc...) you will find that CP is one of the best at most of them IMO. The only other park that I have visited and I'am aware of that has this same mentality is Magic Mountain. I think MM and CP are on the same level. Again, I think SFGA and KI are great parks also. I'am truly sorry if I came accross as arrogant. I'am sorry if I do on this post also. Soggy, you have been to MM and CP what is your opinion of both??
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Thursday, August 10, 2000 4:18 PM
CP Twister;

I understand what you were saying and I in no way disagree with you. I was most certainly not saying that CP has no quality coasters, and I don't have the slightest clue how you would derive such a thing from my post. I was just pointing out in response to other posts that you cannot judge different parks on things they don't have in common. People were saying that CP is better just because they have the only giga coaster in the US, and I was pointing out that there are other aspects of a park aside from its coasters that make it enjoyable. My other point is that all parks lack in some areas, and we should just accept that, and enjoy what the parks have to offer instead of complaining about it and saying things like "oh well CP has a better this" and "MM has a better this"

Ride 'Till you drop
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Thursday, August 10, 2000 4:29 PM
Sorry, CP Twister, if my post sounded like an attack. I always seem to be defensive when a "CP person" goes directly to MF and says something like "Your park does not have a 300 footer, so it can't be as good as CP" I know you did not say that in so many words, but that was how I read it. As for CP vs. SFMM, yes they are VERY much in the same league. CP gets the edge in the capacity dept, but I like SFMM's theming a bit better. I could do a coaster for coaster run down for you, but I will save that for another thread. Both parks need a good woodie and a better looper, I must admit. For PKI, I consider Vortex and King Cobra to be worthwhile, and call me a sucker, but I love invertigos. (not as much as B&M inverts, of course) Never been to SFGA. I will agree with the fact that there ARE quality coasters at CP, like you said, but DT, CCMR, MS, ID, Woodstock, Jr.G could go away and CP would still be a great coaster park. KnowWhatIMean?

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Gotta ride 'em all!
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