Well, I just got off the phone with the wife, and it doesn't look good for some parks in the land of the rising sun.
According to the local papers, rumors, and a few friends of hers, Takarazuka Familyland (home of some unique rides), Portopialand (Kobe,...and yes, I knew this was happening quite a while ago), Parque Espana (which has that amazing B&M inverted that I have yet to ride), and Expoland (!) are all slated to close, and either demolish their rides, or sell them off to other bigger, more successful parks in the country.
This is a very bad thing. I remember my trip in 98 had bore some harbingers of bad news, but the economy was just "weak" then. By 2001, even the huge Nagashima Spaland (with SD2K only a year old) was a ghost town in the middle of summer. Things are really bad in Japan. Really really bad. You-can't-exaggerate-it-enough-bad. ....and it looks as it will only get worse. The country's economy has not bottomed out. Universal Studios Osaka is hobbling along. Hep5 (with their super tall, and scary Ferris wheel) is customer-less.
The reason for the thread? Simple. Go now. It's cheap to fly there from virtually any place in the US. It's only gonna besmirch you later, and travel is down all over the Orient because of SARS, even though Japan only has 1 case noted. It's your last chance for some great rides.
I doubt all these parks will close, but it just doesn't look good, and now that there is some verification of "trouble" from the Japanese media (and I am talking NHK here), I'd hurry my rear on over. Before it's too late.:(
------------------ I don't take offense to idiots. I am an idiot. Hear me roar.
I wouldn't say that... I'm sure Six Flags got a great deal on the rides that they purchased for SFNO (including a B&M inverted coaster), and I'm sure that Six Flags or another theme park operator would find some of Japan's "used" coasters to be smart purchases.
I believe as well that SF is ready to pick the cream of the rides if it becomes imminent. But think for a moment what effect this will have on the industry!
Currently SF is not doing so well, the economy in the US and in Europe might (and eventually will) go the same direction as the japanese economy: down.
Imagine a whole bunch of rides will be imported to other parks around the world, who will buy new rides?
Currently we see a massive wave of bankruptcy in the industry: HAFEMA and REVERCHON are only the latest names on the list. This trend could increase until only Intamin is in the business (exaggerating here, but they are the only ones who seem to dominate the industry).
On the other hand, Japans amusement industry was growing so fast in the last years, that a self regulation was to be expected. Disney are the only winners in the current situation.
------------------ i was a teenage rollercoaster designer
The Japanese definitely did go a bit overboard in regards to their parks. For such a small country, they have an amazing assortment, and who puts coasters in zoos? Japan does. Or did. ------------------ I don't take offense to idiots. I am an idiot. Hear me roar.
Well, let me know where you are going, and I can make suggestions. Just drop me an e-mail. Ask Peabody, and PT300. I actually do know what I am talking about....;) ------------------ I don't take offense to idiots. I am an idiot. Hear me roar.
that sux that they might close. maybe Knoebel's will buy Pyrenees for cheap! [PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!] what would really suck is if Fuji-Q went under. Dodonpa AND Fujiyama would be gone, but im almost positive if that did happen some park would buy one or the other.
Is Thunder Dolphin's park surviving at an ok type pace? I really hope it doesnt go out like this, espically with the incredable creativity of the Japanese parks. ------------------ lose one coaster, lose all coasters, than you will lose yourself
I doubt that an ECO would ever happen for Japan. It's just WAY too expensive. I thought that ECO was very affordable for what it was. Japan's just another story. When I was getting tickets from Chicago to Tokyo most all American travel agents and websites were quoting me $1500-1600 for round trip tickets!!!! Ouch!
SD2K moving to America? Not all the parks are going under! It's not that grim! :) The above parks are not the biggest of parks over there. Nagashima, Korakuen, and Fujikyu are in a little different plateau as parks due to factors like size, location (Korakuen!), etc.
This is really not much different than America with Jazzland having problems, Visionland, Bonfante Gardens, etc. Not every park thrives.
------------------ - "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson *** This post was edited by Peabody 4/28/2003 10:21:32 PM ***
That's the one and only day he has been there, and it was very rainy! It was well attended when I went. Even Disneyland and CP have their quiet days too....sometimes in peak season when there is bad weather forecast. ------------------ - "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson
Yeah, I guess I didn't mention that it wasn't the greatest weather that day... ;) Sorry. Still, the big parks appear to be thriving, so don't call out the militia! It's just the smaller parks that are struggling. Although you'd think Expoland is a big park, it's really not, and only has one must ride coaster. Orochi, and that's only if you haven't ridden Raptor. The other rides are "a bit rough." ------------------ I don't take offense to idiots. I am an idiot. Hear me roar.
Tokyo has a lot to offer: Disney/Disney Sea, Korakuen, Yomiuri Land, Fujikyu and some others (names escape me) are all nearby or in the city. Even Yokohama (with that obscure "VANISH" coaster) is close.
But be prepared that hotels and travel (lets not talk about food or even nightlife) are ultra expensive.
But I think there are more experienced japan travellers here.
BTW: I haven´t ridden it myself, but all reports I got from SD2K have been mixed. Nobody I talked to was overly impressed by the ride.
------------------ i was a teenage rollercoaster designer