Retheming nickelodeon areas at Cedar Fair parks

Friday, August 28, 2009 10:29 AM

Wow. This seems like a lot of work and a lot of money spent.

I seem to remember KI's dark ride updated exactly, perhaps coincidentally, every ten years. So the next "scheduled" update would not appear until, what, 2012 or 13? I guess the spell is broken.

Although I thought Scooby was slightly off in terms of consistant themeing, I have thoroughly enjoyed every ride at every park I've seen, especially the one's at KD and KI. "Scary/Friendly" is always so much fun for the young ones. So I guess I'm sad to see 'em go, and I can't imagine what they have in mind to replace them.

Wait a minute--I've been all over that events page and I don't see this announcement. What gives?

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Friday, August 28, 2009 10:33 AM

I was starting to wonder that as well, RCMAC. I can't find that announcement on the page, or anywhere else on the site. Also, regarding Scooby, I guess if its leaving, that would be why on my last visit it seemed they had either let the pop-up Scooby and Shaggy props stop working or removed them.


Original BlueStreak64

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Friday, August 28, 2009 1:00 PM

Someone found that page using the same glitch that people have used for years to find pages that are posted in advance. Just bring up the newest news post and increase the page ID number in the URL and bam, if something's been posted in advance for later release, it'll come up.

Despite the known security hole, the park still got all upset about it and pulled the page from the site this morning, but not before trying to force the fan sites to ban discussion of it.

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Friday, August 28, 2009 2:04 PM
Jeff's avatar

Seriously? It's the Internet. Trying to put a stop to it doesn't erase it from history or brains.

The thing I keep hearing over and over is that the licensing is so favorable to Viacom that trying to make up the cost in volume is nearly impossible. I agree that doesn't account for warm fuzzy feelings, but aparently it's pretty bad.


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

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Friday, August 28, 2009 2:18 PM
Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar

Maybe they should consider updating those outdated "Paramount" website templates. They've owned them for 3 years now. I seem to remember a similar situation when people found out about the Platinum Pass prematurely.

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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:00 PM

Well, I'm glad I'm not crazy. Well ok then, yes I am.

But anyway, announced yesterday, today, or tomorrow it seems like it's gonna happen, and I'm just dying to know what is planned for these parks. KI's area is so expansive that if they made the announcement that it was to be the only new feature for 2010 it would make sense financially. Who I might feel sorry for are the KDs and Carowinds of the world that are spending big bucks on major coasters too. They might suffer with half assed conversions because the money just isn't there for them right now.

Cedar Fair is taking a lot of flak on these forums for making a stupid decision, but could it be that they were taken by surprise and Nick pulled the rug out? These Planet Snoopy announcements, as we get them, aren't exactly chock full of details, design, or anything really except a mention as a way to sell season passes. Which leads me to believe some design team somewhere is scrambling right now to think of how to stretch that Planet Snoopy concept over several acres and keep the kids as well as the bottom line happy.

Normally, announcements like this would be making a much bigger splash, don't you think? I could envision a chain-wide re-do on an off year when nothing much else is going on- but that, (probably to CF's chagrin), is not the case.

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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:17 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

I still don't understand all the fuss over this. Do we really think (aside from the cost of revamping everything) that this is going to hurt CF? To me, it's like suggesting that Breyers would sell less ice cream simply because they change the cartoon they print on the carton. It's still ice cream inside.

Does anyone know how much Nick merchandise CF was selling? Can we tell if the sales were specifically due to the Nick license?

I just don't see this being a problem in the bigger picture.


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

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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:22 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I understand the finacial thing, but on every other level Nick trumps Peanuts. Will it affect business? Sure, but apparently in a positive way for CF (or at least they think so).

Even bigger in my mind than somehow retheming the entire Nick Universe area (!) is the loss of the Scooby dark ride. Why do I keep flashing back to the HRP dark ride massacre of 2009? Those Scooby shooters are so awesome for all ages, that I can't imagine CF doing something equal to or greater than the current ride.

And what does it mean for the Spongebob simulator ride in Action Theatre?

Sigh.


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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:28 PM

Jeff said:
The thing I keep hearing over and over is that the licensing is so favorable to Viacom that trying to make up the cost in volume is nearly impossible. I agree that doesn't account for warm fuzzy feelings, but aparently it's pretty bad.

I remember that the licenses for both Nick and Paramount movies were included in the purchase price of the parks, and I believe the numbers were 5 and 10 years respectively on those licenses (I don't have immediate access to my notes from talking to someone in Investor Relations in 06, so I'm going from memory). If those are correct, then Cedar Fair still has until 2011 left on their existing license with Nick. If they already have the license, the only thing that could possibly be costing them right now are revenue sharing agreements in there or something similar (% cut of merch sales, admission, etc.), right? I can understand not wanting to be in a position where you end up with your back against the wall because you've not left enough time to plan for the transition, but like RCMAC has said, these announcements seem to be extremely vague and short, simply stating that the Nick Universes are changing to Planet Snoopies. That would suggest to me that they're dealing with a last minute change of plans, which seems odd given that they have 1 year left (maybe 5 if I got the terms wrong) to do the switchover.

Of course, maybe the KI announcement will change my perception when it comes out for real, but until then, something just doesn't seem...right with the whole picture.

Also, if the licensing was costing them beyond the purchase of the parks and it was such a bad deal I would have thought they would have been doing a switch like this last year (giving it two whole seasons to see how things work out), or even at the time they switched out all of the Paramount theming.

Edit: Gonch, I'm worried about the Scooby dark ride as well, as it is always a must-ride when I visit. Nothing like getting stopped for about three minutes and racking up the score! :)

As for the Action Theater, since they ripped out half of it for the Haunt last year, I could see the entire thing becoming a Haunt attraction that's used as storage the rest of the season (like the old carousel building in Frontier Town at Cedar Point). Regardless, I think the AT was on its way out anyway, even if Nick would have stayed.

Last edited by maXairMike, Friday, August 28, 2009 3:33 PM

Original BlueStreak64

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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:32 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Carrie M. said:
To me, it's like suggesting that Breyers would sell less ice cream simply because they change the cartoon they print on the carton. It's still ice cream inside.

I dunno. Do you think Breyers would sell as many of these with Snoopy on the front?

I'm inclined to say no. :)

I get what you're saying and from all I've been led to believe, the park will see greater financial success with the Peanuts terms - even if less popular.

But I still say there's an intangible effect there. Sure it's nothing but the same rides in the end, but if the characters attached to those rides don't matter, then why attach one in the first place? Is Disney still Disney without the characters?


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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:39 PM
rollergator's avatar

^The characters are the "brand". If Disney rolled out 8-10 new princesses tomorrow, the kids would still want Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White, etc. Frmo what you and Jeff are saying, the Viacom terms are absurd - so do something really crazy and *negotiate* for better terms. Viacom would still rather make some money from the licensing than none at all.

Peanuts was a great brand for MoA due the the LOCAL appeal. Nick has national (and even international) appeal....as I just found out! ;)


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

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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:40 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

So long as the competing brand two rows over doesn't have Dora on the carton, then I would say, yes, they will still sell with Snoopy. That's the key on this issue to me. If Nick is licensed at a park in the same geographical market as these parks, then I think it's a problem. But I don't really see that as the case.

Kids may be disappointed. But they will also get over it. And unless parents decide they can only go to the parks where Nick exists, then I don't see this making a difference in the bigger picture.


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

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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:42 PM
crazy horse's avatar

Carrie.

When you have kids that really like nick, and you take that away, it will make a differance.

It's like if you took your kids favoarte toy away from them.

My daughter thinks sponge bob is the greatest thing. When we pull into the parking lot of kings island, thie first thing out of her mouth is "were gonna see sponge bob!!". We have actualy made some special trips to kings island, just so she could see sponge bob and dora.

We don't get a reaction or anything like that when we go to cedarpoint where the dog is.

Nick has several channels of programming. How many channels does snoopy have? There is more shows on nick and noggin, then I can count on two hands that kids love.

You see snoopy durring some holidays. That's it....not everyday like nick.

Point is, snoopy does not have nearly as much marketing power as nick does. Sure it may coast a little more to keep sponge bob at the park, but at least your guests will appreciate it more than a cut out of a dog pinned up next to the rides.

Before I had a child, I could care less about the theme of the kiddie rides area. Boy, how things change.

We actualy took some friends to the park last year that have never been to kings island before. The only way we got them to go was because they had the nick area, and there kids loved nick. These people don't like coasters, but they loved the nick area, and the kids did not want to leave. If it were snoopy, there would have been no way to get them to the park.(End Rant).


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:53 PM

Next spring, there should be a brand new Peanuts special on TV.
What could they call it....?

"It's a huge roller coaster, Charlie Brown!"

Synopsis: The Peanuts gang goes to their local theme park to have fun, save the day, etc.

I wonder who could sponsor it? What types of commercials could actually air during the breaks? Hmmmmmm.....

Last edited by buckeye brad, Friday, August 28, 2009 3:55 PM

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Friday, August 28, 2009 3:53 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

crazy horse said:
We have actualy made some special trips to kings island, just so she could see sponge bob and dora.

Mind if I ask if you have a season pass? If so, then KI didn't gain from your special trips to the park just to see Sponge Bob and Dora.


We don't get a reaction or anything like that when we go to cedarpoint where the dog is.

The question is, though, would you not go to Cedar Point because your daughter doesn't care for Snoopy as much? The fact that you still went means that the character doesn't matter for your family as it translates to admission revenue at least.

Sure it may coast a little more to keep sponge bob at the park, but at least your guests will appreciate it more than a cut out of a dog pinned up next to the rides.

That's just emotion. How does it translate to revenue?


The only way we got them to go was because they had the nick area, and there kids loved nick. These people don't like coasters, but they loved the nick area, and the kids did not want to leave. If it were snoopy, there would have been no way to get them to the park.(End Rant).

That's interesting. So if they had the same attractions, but Snoopy was the theme, they wouldn't have taken their kids to the park to enjoy the rides? Interesting.

Last edited by Carrie M., Friday, August 28, 2009 3:54 PM

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

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Friday, August 28, 2009 4:01 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Carrie M. said:
If Nick is licensed at a park in the same geographical market as these parks, then I think it's a problem. But I don't really see that as the case.

And unless parents decide they can only go to the parks where Nick exists, then I don't see this making a difference in the bigger picture.

So you're sold on the idea that kids drag their parents to KI because of the rides that are there, not because Spongebob and Dora are there? And you think those kids will be just as happy to hug Snoopy and take a picture (and buy one?) as they would be with Spongebob or Dora? And that kids would rather see Snoopy ice skate for 30 minutes than see Spongebob or Dora on Stage? Or be just as likely to buy a Snoopy shirt as a Spongbob one?

Could be?

I don't see it as such an 'either/or' situation like your making it. I see it as shades of gray or a slider of sorts.

Because, quite frankly, you're dead-on in terms of losing any tangible business from the switch. But I think you're entirely missing the idea that all park visits aren't created equal. There's definitely a perception difference. An almost subliminal thing. A vibe, if you will. People might not even consciously get it. But the size of their smile just might be a little different when they leave at the end of the day...and that has a long term effect.

Carrie said to crazy horse:

That's just emotion. How does it translate to revenue?


Again, if the faces on the rides didn't matter, then the most financial sense would be to not pay for any faces in the first place. There must be something to it beyond revenue.


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Friday, August 28, 2009 4:09 PM
crazy horse's avatar

I do have a season pass, but my daughter does not and my gf does not eather....so they made money off of us on a trip that we would not have taken if it was not for the sponge.

We seem to go to kings island more than cedarpoint because of nick. We take our daughter with us quite a bit more now on trips, and it does make a diffeance when there is something there that she really likes. Sure we still go to cedarpoint, just not as much as we used to since having kids. Nick is responsable for that.

It translates into revenue because I and many other familys that watch and follow nick, would go and spend our money there because there kids got excited over nick.

Nope.

They would not have gone because there kids are really into the nick stuff. Like I said, they are not typical park people. They only went because there kids wanted to go see the sponge. They would not have gone if it was snoopy. They spent a lot of money to go to the park. Tickets, food, souvinears, hotel, pictures...ect...ect.


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Friday, August 28, 2009 4:11 PM
rollergator's avatar

Gonch said in reply to Carrie's response to crazy horse: "Again, if the faces on the rides didn't matter, then the most financial sense would be to not pay for any faces in the first place. There must be something to it beyond revenue."

^....and we head back to the recommendation for "Freakonomics". How do you get hard (financial) data from stuff that is essentially very touchy-feely in nature? It's not easy, but those who are capable of using that seeminly-unintelligible data will prove to be the winners in the end...

Last edited by rollergator, Friday, August 28, 2009 4:13 PM
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Friday, August 28, 2009 4:19 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Lord Gonchar said:


So you're sold on the idea that kids drag their parents to KI because of the rides that are there, not because Spongebob and Dora are there?

That's not exactly what I'm saying. I'm saying that if SpongeBob and Dora are no longer an option at the parks the kids have the ability to get to, then they will settle for the rides and whatever character that boasts them.


And you think those kids will be just as happy to hug Snoopy and take a picture (and buy one?) as they would be with Spongebob or Dora?

No, but again, if Dora and SpongeBob aren't there, they may just settle for what is.


And that kids would rather see Snoopy ice skate for 30 minutes than see Spongebob or Dora on Stage? Or be just as likely to buy a Snoopy shirt as a Spongbob one?

Could be?

Well, we could do this with all kinds of examples. But my point is that if Dora and SpongeBob aren't there, I believe that kids will move on to whatever is there. Will they buy something? Maybe not. I admit that merchandise sales is the area where the biggest affect is possible.


I don't see it as such an 'either/or' situation like your making it. I see it as shades of gray or a slider of sorts.

I'm not sure how I'm making it either/or. It seems the entire thread is that way by comparing Nick and Peanuts. Unless CF can have both at the parks, how is it not either/or?


Because, quite frankly, you're dead-on in terms of losing any tangible business from the switch. But I think you're entirely missing the idea that all park visits aren't created equal. There's definitely a perception difference. An almost subliminal thing. A vibe, if you will. People might not even consciously get it. But the size of their smile just might be a little different when they leave at the end of the day...and that has a long term effect.

A long term effect on what, though? If not admissions, then what? And how long can the effect for the kids' theme last? The main topic of conversation I hear families discuss when it comes to amusement parks is how long it will take for the kids to grow into the adult rides/coasters. They may be smiling about Nick, but they can't wait to leave him or any other cartoon in the dust for the big kids' rides.


Again, if the faces on the rides didn't matter, then the most financial sense would be to not pay for any faces in the first place. There must be something to it beyond revenue.

I believe the something is a competitive edge over the other parks. It's not much more than that. If Nick is not otherwise a competitive force for CF, then why bother with it?


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

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Friday, August 28, 2009 4:21 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

crazy horse said:


We seem to go to kings island more than cedarpoint because of nick. We take our daughter with us quite a bit more now on trips, and it does make a diffeance when there is something there that she really likes. Sure we still go to cedarpoint, just not as much as we used to since having kids. Nick is responsable for that.

I gotcha. So, then the only other question I have for you is... what does the absence of Nick at KI in 2010 mean for you and your family? With it gone, will you not go there?


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

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