The ultimate -est topic..

Wow, with that title I am moving onto thin ice here.. but it has a good reason.

Last week a lot of new coasters have been announced for many locations in the USA. Many of those parks " sell" those coasters to the general public by using word as " the highest of... " "the most inversions" "steepest hill" etc

I have noticed that such words (and the facts of course) seem to " live" in the coastercommunity in such that many people seem to want to go on a particulair ride because it is the -est with something, or somethings. I remember a good conversation with someone that was about why a certain park had a higher ranking where the other park has the fastest/highest etc of many kind coasters and because of that should be ranked higher..

Do you think it " works" for a park to get more visitors because the just openend a recordbraking ride. And does such record then really has to mean something? Like the fastest of the world, that is a different thing, but the fastest of the mid-west.. or even the fastest within 1 mile of this park.. right? ;)

I haven't done many coasters that have a list of -ests, but most of time I prefer the coasters that are not so big. Don't get me wrong, a bigger coaster can give a good ride, but most of the time for me the " suprises" in a compact themed package are more to my liking, but then how would one market that? World's most expensive and most detailed themed? Disney did that with Expedition Everest, I like that coaster but was expecting a little bit more power and a more intresting layout.

It is maybe intresting to know that promoting a rollercoaster with all kind of superlatives is also a good way to get customers in Germany, in the Netherlands is doesn't work that well. Six Flags Holland tried to convince people to come to their park with so many recordbraking rollercoaster from 2000, in 2002 they even build a bigger one, but nevertheless that park still can't get the number of visitors they were hoping for.

ApolloAndy's avatar

I'm sure it works in the US, for ambiguity if nothing else. I've been standing in line lots of times and heard, "This is the fastest roller coaster ever" when it was advertised as "the fastest <qualifier> coaster in <geographic qualifier>." Does superlative marketing make a difference? Not a big one but definitely something. Does it cost anything? No.

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Tommytheduck's avatar

People who know very little about theme parks still "know" that Cedar Point is supposed to be the best park in the country. It has a reputation, and all those records prove it, right? (I get this a lot as someone who lives in close to CP but works with people from all over the country.)

I also think the records help to advertise parks that are intended to be a "destination" park. Again, CP is the most obvious example. CP advertises in an extremely wide radius which includes Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Penn, and New York. Yet all of these markets already have theme parks of their own, some quite large. A family in the Chicago area may go to Great America every year, but the thought of a park with even bigger and faster coasters may be enough to convince them to take a road trip.

If you're in the business of thrilling people, I can only imagine that it is to your benefit to market yourself as having the biggest, fastest, and tallest thrill machines known to man and womankind.

tall and fast but not much upside down

Jeff's avatar

Americans value size over everything. That's why we're so fat.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

slithernoggin's avatar

Tommytheduck said:
People who know very little about theme parks still "know" that Cedar Point is supposed to be the best park in the country.

Do they? I'd argue that people who are not coaster enthusiasts go to a park because it's advertising something they find appealing.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

matt.'s avatar

Completely anecdotal evidence but 9 times out of 10 when roller coasters or theme parks come up with people who are not big coaster nerds, Cedar Point comes up. I think the rise of things like the Travel Channel and social media have generally made more people aware of parks outside of their target market. But I also suspect that still means very few extra people through the gate for most regional parks. It's one thing to know about a park halfway across the country, it's another to go to it.

Germanator2112's avatar

I operate the small coaster at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Sometimes for my safety spiel, I'll say ""enjoy your ride on the longest/fastest/tallest/adjective coaster in central Ohio.

Owner of Germie's Coaster Yard

Ah, the old Jet Flyer of my youth.
How's Sea Dragon running these days? I haven't darkened the door of that place since Wyandot Lake went away.

Last edited by RCMAC,

Sorry for hijacking this discussion, but I was happy to hear Germanator2112 mention the Columbus Zoo's roller coaster. I had the opportunity to ride it a couple of years ago during the Halloween festivities. Fun little roller coaster!

tall and fast but not much upside down

Jeff said:

Americans value size over everything. That's why we're so fat.

I don't think that is the reason.

But strangely enough a lot of people in the USA are overweight, but for those people there are not too many rollercoasters to ride, or not?

Here in europe some rollercoasters have a few places for people that are a bit more, but of course there is a limit. From Intamin that limit is very small, with the buckle and restraint having to close.

Jeff's avatar

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

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