I know there are a handful of you out there who are close to the coaster industry in a variety of ways, and I would assume that some of you are in fact in the coaster industry. The question that I am interested in discussing is what is the "next big thing" in the coaster industry? It would seem that the latest coaster wars are over (or at least dying), and parks are no longer trying to build the highest, tallest, fastest...or are they?
Is it a new form of technology only those who attend the conferences get a sneak peek at? Is it 500 ft? Will we see a 400 foot "traditional coaster" (not a one-trick-pony like TTD/KK)?
What is on the coaster horizon? *** Edited 2/14/2007 4:36:13 PM UTC by OhioStater***
I think family experiences...even from the coaster point of view...will be growing as parks try to capitalize on that segment of the business that offers the highest per cap in a day's visit. The teens/young adults who are riding TTD and the thrill rides aren't spending a lot of money in the park.
As for new technologies, I don't know what is in store.
THE WOODEN ROLLERCOASTER.
You can loop whatever, Launch whatever and make it whatever hight you want. It still doesn't out thrill a good wooden coaster with elements layed out in a exciting manner.
And for 1/3rd or less than the initial cost! of a large B&M or Intamin.
-Short trains, individual cars instead of trains
-Integrated theming i.e. not just theming the station and queue but the ride experience as well
-Spinning coaster will full layouts as opposed to the mousy kind
I've also see a lot of coasters with lots of low to the ground, zig-zaggy elements I've never seen before. The Italian Jobs, Maverick, Mystery Mine, Furious Baco, Renegade, Troy all seem to be doing it in different variations.
None of these are really new technologies or anything, just seem more like trends to me. *** Edited 2/14/2007 5:07:16 PM UTC by matt.***
It really is sort of interesting how we have kinda come to a end of the latest coaster era, when will the next one start?
Charles Nungester said:
They next big thing is the first big thing.
THE WOODEN ROLLERCOASTER.
I really wish I could agree with that, but recent events say otherwise. Psyclone at Magic Mountain is being decomissioned and the loop on Son of Beast is coming down (sorry to break it too you, IntaminHater, but the woodie inversion idea has already been done and shot down). And besides that, according to RCDB, 4 woodies were built in 2006 and only 1 was built in 2005, correct me if I'm wrong. As much as I hate it, now is probably the most tragic time for wooden coasters.
My guess, the next big things are small coasters. Family friendly experiences are what parks are aiming for, as Wahoo Skipper said, so parks want new, smaller coasters that the whole family can enjoy, like these Tony Hawk coasters that are opening this year. As a result, Maverick's probably the best thing amusement parks have to offer extreme coaster enthusiests this year.
The coaster wars are over for now...Cedar Point just hasn't gotten the message yet. lol.
Right, one of the most despised coasters in history is being torn down and one of the other most despised coasters in history may be getting fixed. Or at least they're trying. Psyclone is no great loss and the SOB stuff will be a good thing if it works.
"And besides that, according to RCDB, 4 woodies were built in 2006 and only 1 was built in 2005, correct me if I'm wrong. As much as I hate it, now is probably the most tragic time for wooden coasters."
2005 was a fluke year. 4 woodies in 2006 sounds fine and this year we're seeing around that plus some re-building efforts at Cypress Gardens and Little A-Merrick-A. The wooden coaster is now as healthy as it has ever been, except for maybe the CCI heydays of 1995 to 2000 give or take. I don't think we'll ever see another time like that but also remember that the steel coaster market was incredibly strong then as well. It wasn't just wooden coasters, it was the whole industry.
"As a result, Maverick's probably the best thing amusement parks have to offer extreme coaster enthusiests this year."
You're forgetting Boardwalk Bullet, Knoebel's Flying Turns, Furious Baco, Griffon, Hollywood Dream: The Ride, Mystery Mine, Renegade, and Troy.
I'm probably leaving out a bunch, but this looks like a fabulous year for coasters, steel and wooden.
Considering the reach of Cedar Fair that means a lot of parks might be thinking about steel first. Plus, Universal/Disney have not got into the wood mix because of their target audience.
All of that combined is a significant number of parks.
And even if it doesn't, it's not like anything has changed. Cedar Fair wasn't building wooden coasters, and Paramount wasn't building wooden coasters. Putting the two companies together makes for one big company not building wooden coasters. What's the difference?
I'd actually say this is a *good* thing for wooden coasters. Not only can Renegade have a positive effect on Cedar Fair but now the Paramount parks are part of the game as well.
The same goes for Universal and Disney, it's not like they once were building wooden coasters and now have dropped out. *** Edited 2/14/2007 7:04:50 PM UTC by matt.***
Wood coasters are in transition and on the comeback, The fact that we are loosing many are for a variety of reasons, Many of which have nothing to do with the actual coaster itself.
Williams grove is a park that struggled for years and eventually the owner lost interest in keeping running.
Psyclone? it's in a park that needs to make major infastructure changes and operational changes just to keep it's marketability up. Several other parks are closing for various reasons. SFNO for a hurricane for example.
Im sorry, Most parks aren't CP or Universal and cannot afford Intamin or B&M loopers, launchers ect. When a normal park is looking to install something, It's gonna be whats going to get the best return on investment for them.
FOr CP thats usually going to be some record breaker or totally unique ride. For Waldameer it's going to be a wooden coaster and the same can be said for about 80 percent of the parks looking to add thrills to their lineup.
I suspect the Spinny mouse crazy is already here and nearing saturation. It's a way to add a family style thrilling ride but it's still quite expensive. Some models cost more than Voyage. A coaster that on average is 4-5 times as long as any of them.
And who said Dick Kinzel doesn't like wood? The fact that Mean Streak was basically a total disaster shouldn't destroy his whole view of them. The fact that three of the best coasters in his company are wood should be.
Charles Nungester said:
I suspect the Spinny mouse crazy is already here and nearing saturation.
Just a hunch but I'm still seeing this as just the beginning. If we were still working with the mouse-like layouts I would say maybe this is the epitome of the craze but things like what they're building at Knott's makes me think most major parks will be building something like this at some point or another.
I mean when so many parks have more than 10 coasters the spinners are an obvious way to diversify and not be redundant. And they have wide appeal.
Of course some of the forces involved might be.
Chuck, whos yet to see a MF train do some of the elements TGG has. I know they could but still :)
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