The Typical American Theme/Amusement Park.

Sunday, February 18, 2007 4:03 PM
^Arthur, I would agree that Holiday World has themed areas obviously, but great theming? It's got a long way to go in that category. At no time at Holiday World do I feel like I've been immersed in a whole different world/environment. I think the hundreds of knats flying around The Voyage entrance took care of that.

It's interesting when you talk about union in the states that there's one state that's still a little bit defiant. When I visited Texas in 02', I bought film at the gift shop at SFOT. I asked the lady who rang me up what the deal was with everyone wearing something with Texas on it, as you don't see people wearing a whole lot of stuff with Maryland (homestate) on it, for example.

She said that most Texan's are still upset about not being their own country. Naturally later in the day I bought a Titan shirt that has Texas in huge letters on it:) I was actually kind of disappointed when I found out that "Dont Mess with Texas" was only a littering campaign. I figured it was related to their liberal captial punishment program. A lady on the news says that such-and-such a person was the twelth person executed in the state and it's only May!.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007 6:00 PM
OhioStater's avatar

The European countries, on the other hand, (despite or maybe even because of the EU), still make some effort to keep to their local heritage. You can immediately tell the difference between a
French, German, or Italian town. Some places are more challenging---Switzerland for example---but in part because the Swiss culture is something of an amalgam of France and Germany, and in part because the Swiss are more "new world" than many of their old world counterparts.

Uh....that's because they are all different countries. You can tell the difference between a US town and a Mexican town right away too.

You made a distinction between "Europe" and "The States". That makes no sense.

A Budwieser is exotic if you're in Germany, and a Krombacher is exotic if you live in Columbus Ohio.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007 7:40 PM
Actually, in Germany, if you find something called Budweiser, it was brewed by Budvar, not A-B. (Of course, many German establishments are still the equivalent of tied houses, and as Budvar is Czech, you won't find it in all that many different places there, either. What's more, it's not even that much better than Bud.)

But, in any event, as I've already said:


I'm glad you're paying attention, because that's exactly my point. That's the reason that US parks are "losing that special one of a kind something", and that European parks "are all different and unique in their own way", to quote PizzaMan's original post.

I claim that the US parks never had it in the first place, because the US is much more homogeneous.



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Sunday, February 18, 2007 8:07 PM

Brian Noble said:
Well, what you've hit upon is the essential difference between Europe and the States. I could blindfold you, put you on a plane, and drop you in the middle of nearly any mid-sized city in the US, and you would be hard pressed to know where you were. WalMart here, McDonalds there, a GAP on the corner, etc. etc. etc.

The European countries, on the other hand, (despite or maybe even because of the EU), still make some effort to keep to their local heritage. You can immediately tell the difference between a
French, German, or Italian town. Some places are more challenging---Switzerland for example---but in part because the Swiss culture is something of an amalgam of France and Germany, and in part because the Swiss are more "new world" than many of their old world counterparts.


I think you are being unfair with this statement. Those countries may have appear to have held on to "local heritage" better due to unique language. Still, in the USA different regions of the country do have differences. I have lived in many palces in the USA and I submit that the food, accents, and styles do make them unique and identifiable.

Back to the original topic. I think folks here a picking a few European parks and comparing them to most parks in the USA. This is an unfair method. Comparing the best few American theme parks to all of the parks of Europe as a whole would not be fair either.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007 8:23 PM
OhioStater's avatar BN, you have a talent for talking in circles. Albeit, those circles at least sound intelligent in a Wikipedia sort of way, so back to the point, which was that your comparison of Europe to "The States" is flawed.

Let me be a little clearer; American Budwieser is "exotic" in a European town, much like a Krombacher is considered exotic here (no, I am not talking about the Czech Budweiser, which has nothing to do with A-B).

There are plently of parks in the US with that "special something".

If you do not think American cities and the amusement/theme parks dont each have their own appeal and flavor, either you haven't left your bubble, or you're not looking very hard.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007 9:28 PM
I didn't say they didn't have their own appeal. I said that expecting them to have the same diversity of character as "European" parks is like wishing it would rain scotch.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

But, it would be nice.


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Sunday, February 18, 2007 10:14 PM
OhioStater's avatar Funny.

I wish it was raining scotch. :)

Call me odd...but the few European parks I have looked into, aside from a handful of coasters I would like to ride, do not really appeal to me at all. Too much style over substance, and not enough substance when it's there.

For me, the perfect park would be a hybrid betweeb Busch Gardens Europe and Cedar Point.

Can I ask...to those of you who prefer a European style park....what exactly would you change about, say, Cedar Point to make it more desireable?

I need enlightended.

And some scotch. :) *** Edited 2/19/2007 3:15:40 AM UTC by OhioStater***

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Sunday, February 18, 2007 10:46 PM
I'm guessing that I'm in the minority, but I think CP is quite unique, thanks almost solely to its physical setting. It manages to be immersive through no fault of its own---the peninsula does that for you. When I spend a night or three in an on-point resort, it's like the outside world simply doesn't exist.

There aren't many other places that pull that off. WDW comes to mind, as does DLRP and maybe UO. DLR only manages this halfway. BGE might manage if the Kingsmill resort is seamless; I haven't tried that yet. Knott's sort of tries with the Radisson, but doesn't manage it. Maybe HW+Santa's Lodge, but I'll know more after this spring's visit.

In any event, I don't think the question is whether any particular US park is or is not "desireable". I think the question is whether it's the case that if you've seen one park, you've seen 'em all, more or less.

Your comment about style vs. substance rings true. For example, Disneyland Paris is *all about* style. It's possibly the most gorgeous "castle park" Disney has ever built. It's beautiful. But, pound for pound, Disneyland pummels it. I actually like the emphasis on "style", but that's because I've got CP in my backyard, which is pretty low on style, but does okay on the substance front.


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Sunday, February 18, 2007 10:50 PM
To make Cedar Point more desireable, I would have about twenty-thousand fewer people roaming the park. That would be a good start. There would be shade everywhere as the main midway is a killer and I would drop the humidity by about 50% or more. They'd have those Segways for everyone as the walks between some of the rides is quite far. Everyone would get a personal misting fan. No one would smoke in the queues (oh right, it's Ohio, that's not happening).

In all seriousness, I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with Cedar Point. It does what it does and it does it well. It has some pretty good rides, and great operations. But for those who are looking for more of an immersive (and maybe slower-paced) environment like Busch Gardens Europe, it may not be the park for them.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007 11:08 PM
I think theme parks in the US and Europe have a direct relationship on the society which they reside. Europe holds onto their history and mix it nicely with the modern. In the US, we just tear down the old and build new - in many cases not really caring what it looks like. Just look at any suburb in America.

You could say the same about the parks. Cedar Point is the second oldest park in the US, but it looks brand new when you go. Many people would say it has no character. It has a ton of history to me since I've gone every year since before I can remember. But, I can see how someone from Europe would think its a "cold" park full of concrete and steel.

I went to Alton Towers this past fall and it was great to see the difference in a UK theme park. They had the thrills, but they also had the history and theming.

That doesn't make one better than the other. They're just different. And, I would say a byproduct of their society.

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Monday, February 19, 2007 7:23 AM

Europe holds onto their history and mix it nicely with the modern.

Except that sometimes, that mixture turns out hideously. There's a conference center in Germany, near Trier, called Dagstul. It's got two main buildings. One is this lovely 18th century manor home. The other is a very modern and spare steel, brick, and glass building. They are RIGHT NEXT to each other, and the effect is jarring, to say the least.
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Monday, February 19, 2007 7:38 AM
matt.'s avatar

Brian Noble said:
I'm guessing that I'm in the minority, but I think CP is quite unique, thanks almost solely to its physical setting.

And I guess that's why I'm such a CP fanboy (and I say that in the best way, not with the negative connotations).

CP was third or fourth major park I ever visited and it was like a whole other world to me - I visited early enough in my coaster career the holy grail really did end up being the holy grail.

When CP is the 12th major park you visit CP has to be that much better and I think a lot of people just end up not "getting it." Nothing wrong with that but I think CP is unique and atmospheric as any other park I've been to, but there's a lot of things that go into that opinion.

CP is my favorite park to "be in." If I could pick any park in the world to just walk around and look and observe and hang out that's the one.

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Monday, February 19, 2007 7:58 AM
The ultimate American theme park would be divided into the following areas:

* Banking Boulevard: Here, guests would learn the importance of finances and their importance to the amusement industry. The "It's A Business Decision" dark ride will take guests on a depressing tale of a dying amusement park that is unable to secure funds to open for the coming season and the owners of said park can not prove the Return On Investment is going to be worthwhile. Animatronic figures mix with live actors and amazingly detailed sets to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

* Stockmarket Street: This exciting themed area would be covered in ticker tape and would have LCD boards on all sides featuring up-to-the-minute stock prices on America's favorite amusement park companies. Guests can even purchase stocks in the Wall Street gift shop through a licensed TDAmeritrade broker. For the few thrill ride enthusiasts who still exist, they will enjoy rides on the Stockmarket Crash bumper cars (shaped like BMW's) and the Great DOW Jones River Adventure.

* Accounting Avenue: Here, guests will take a unique stroll through various themed offices where accountants crunch numbers to come up with the budget for capital investments. Guests will experience first-hand the stress of turning a profit, balancing guest enjoyment with ROI, and will also witness the demise of a once-great park as a large company did nothing but throw money at it in hopes of becoming a big-time player only to end up selling out at a huge loss. Who needs a real roller coaster when you can ride an emotional one like this?

And this park would have to be located in Missouri so that everyone could experience it's greatness first-hand.

Ray P.

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Monday, February 19, 2007 2:04 PM
OhioStater's avatar Brian, you are not alone in recognizing the uniqueness of CP, for the same reasons you mentioned.

I have yet to visit a park that captures you like CP does before you ever enter the park, and that has to do with the causeway.

To those of us who are long-time CP'ers, try taking someone who has never been there before, and watch their face as you drive up the causeway. That skyline is absolutely priceless. I actually think there is a funny YouTube clip that shows a guy almost peeing his pants as his van drives up towards the entrance.

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