TTD and Highsight being 20/20 and all

Monday, September 13, 2004 6:22 PM
25 million dollars seemed like a steal to get all the publicity Top Thrill Dragster bestowed on Cedar Point. CCI is out of business and Intamin AG is practically the ONLY coaster company making coasters that are still getting rave reviews from everyone. It's a fantastic ride and gets rave reviews, myself included.

Now it's September 2004, and everyone has heard ad nauseum about TTD and it's problems.

My question is, was the investment worth it when the rest of the amusement park business seems to be steering towards family attractions, and the honeymoon is over at Cedar Point considering the aftershock of long breakdowns, PR issues and injuries, however minor? *** Edited 9/13/2004 10:23:44 PM UTC by Homey G.***

Monday, September 13, 2004 6:31 PM
Yes. I think it's worth it.

But I still truely believe there most successful coaster since the park opened was Millennium Force.

Forgot which is a better ride. MF didn't have as many mechanical problems and runs pretty reliably and ALSO hasn't had any accidents. People love it. I have this habit of talking to people in the queues and most of them like MF better because its one thing: Longer.

Dragster was a good addition, and I truely don't think the park regretted putting it in, bringing even more customers.

They are getting the problems worked out and it seems to open everyday, getting better and better. The impact of a 420 foot coaster will last for a while.

I'm not sure what you mean by family the Scooby Doo mansions?

I wouldn't say that all parks are steering towards family attractions but CP is the only record breaking park, SFMM falling WAY behind IMO. Will have to see with the SFgaDV coaster though...

But honestly, do you think the parents are going to say yee haa let's go to CP because of the new dark ride? Or how about Let's go to CP because of the new tall coaster called the Dragster! They also have a couple kiddie coasters and kiddie rides for little ones too!"

Most people don't care if the kiddie rides are new. CP has a good selection of kid rides that *adds to the experience* but isn't the main reasons guests go.

Thank God aside from that Dragster accidents, ride ops have kept everyone secure and there haven't been any deaths on CP's Intamins.

Monday, September 13, 2004 6:33 PM
How can you say Intamin is the only company getting reviews? There are many other coasters that have popped up with great reviews that were not made by Intamin. In fact, I would say that Intamin has been receiving more slack than praise recently.

To answer your question: Yes.

Monday, September 13, 2004 6:40 PM
Ride of Steel, no. Not just Scooby. Things like Italian Job. That seems to be the trend nowadays. How many 200+ feet coasters have been built since 2000? Conversely, how many flat rides and waterparks and Scooby's have been installed? That's my point.

Neuski, if you'll notice I said PRACTICALLY.. I'd like to see your LIST of other companies that have put out multiple rides that have recieved rave reviews from the vast majority of folks. GCI? Sure I love THead like everyone else, and I've heard OzCat is very nice as well, but I also know people who think differently... Look, my point is this. Intamin was king of the jungle there for a while. Accidents have taken them down a few notches.

Cedar Point built the tallest and fastest coaster in the world. And they spent 25 million to do it in an era where MAYBE that's not really what's important to people anymore.

I myself wonder that even if TTD had near 100% uptime whether it still would be worth it..

Monday, September 13, 2004 6:48 PM
B&M, Intamin, Premier, and S&S all seem to have positive images.
Monday, September 13, 2004 7:07 PM
Thanks to several of you who are zeroing in on one sentence I made and completely not answering the stinking ONE question I started the thread for.

But since you've stepped in the batter's box, please name me more than one coaster from each of those manufacturers (other than Intamin, which was at the crux of the thread anyway) that were the manufacturers of a big ticket investment for a park since MF. Please don't say the Mummy's at Universal Florida and Hollywood. You'd only be adding to my argument since those fall into family catagories MUCH quicker than TTD would. Also don't forget that those are themed to the 9's which would seriously increase the capital investment.

Brian, who would just rather people answer yes or no than try to go head-to-head with me about non-issues. *** Edited 9/13/2004 11:10:03 PM UTC by Homey G.***

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:14 PM
First off, IMO, B&M, Premier, and S&S are all great, but they don't put out the types of rides that Intamin does. Accidents or no accidents, the ride is the same, and an accident doesn't take away from a ride, lets not make that the topic. Intamin consistently builds more top notch rides.

Hypers are not being built like were in the late 90's. When was the last hyper built in the US? So family attractions are being put in at a much higher pace.

Now onto the real topic. Yes, TTD was worth it. Maybe a few years down the road would have been better timing.

CP was still drawing really well from MF, and they just added WT the year before. It was a great investment for the park. I think they could have drawn off MF for a few more years, then when attendance would have started to slack they could have done it then. But I am happy they did when they did because it is one hell of a rush and I wouldn't want to have to wait for a couple more years for it.

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:15 PM
TTD paid off very well for CP. Sure the ride has many problems but look at what happens when the ride is open. Not only does the ride constantly have a 1+ hour wait even on most low crowded days but the ride even attracts non-riders to come and watch it do its thing. The excitment around the ride is shocking. Never would I have thought the grandstand would be half full most of the season.

If you look at this years top 10 steel coasters you'll see whose the top manufacturer today. B&M continue to produce their steel marvels and Intamin continue to aww the GP with their fast, smooth, and tall rides. I think Intamin's popularty won't go down because of the recent accidents. How many average day people go to an amusement park and say "That's an Intamin I'm not going on it." You don't. They produce fun rides and people love them.

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:21 PM
Kris, as far as that goes... I would trade every coaster at SFoG (save Cyclone of course ;)) for a RoS... let alone SFNE's ROS!

Brian, not concerned about accidents on coasters anymore than I am about getting on a plane, getting in a car, or climbing outta bed.

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:22 PM
It seems like family attractions or adding "something for everyone" has worked equally well for the flagship Paramount Park a few hours south of the Point. Would Cedar Point have seen the same jump in attendance if they added the same things? It's really hard to say. I think if they added something more the size of Xcelerator instead of TTD, I think they would have seen the same jump in attendance and maybe even more people interested in riding than just watching.

While TTD is one of the best and wildest ride experiences I've ever had, I would rather have seen something smaller, longer in duration, less *element-challenged*, and more for the "entire family"... Which Xcelerator and Storm Runner probably fall in line with or at least attempted to by the types of parks they are in.

I think CP could have done more with $25 million and got a higher attendance while *generally* keeping their uptime/ride operations record. PKI made the same wooden-version mistake 4 years earlier and I would say it wasn't worth it... I'm going to say it wasn't the best move for CP either.

+Danny, interested in more thoughts

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:25 PM
LOL, Danny. I'm with you entirely.. TTD is scrumdiddlyumptious, but to me, Cedar Point adding Dragster was like when when the Texas Rangers signing Alex Rodriguez to a 10 year, 252 million dollar deal. Crazy for one person? Everyone thought so. So why is 25 million for ONE coaster any different?

The difference is, the Rangers traded ARod to the Yankees. Cedar Point can't exactly trade Dragster. ;)

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:29 PM
I'll comment on the one sentance just to be a conformist: B&M have done quite a few coasters that get rave reviews, but I agree, only maybe them and Intamin;).

Now on to the more important thing: you true question/topic.

I think that had TTD had major good uptime and no injuries that, yes, the Po!nt would still be lovin their newest baby. How many other coasters do you know that can break down and people will still stand in line for 5+ hours just to ride on for, what, 30 seconds?

To me, the trend is not that everybody is going all family, the trend, to me, is that more family oriented parks (most notably the Paramount chain, IMHO) are going more family. IJ:ST, Scooby Doo at almost all of their parks, expanded Nick areas, it is working for Paramount because they've seen the light and have realized that they're known more as Family Parks to the GP.

Then you have SFI, who is seen as "the Thrill Park Chain that has bad customer service, so we'll just drop off our Teenagers there and let them run amok". Thats why I feel that if the SFGAdv rumors are indeed true(;)), SFI has a winner on their hands in *that* catagory if they can get the thing running. Were SFI to really focus on cleaning up their customer service, People would look at them as a Thrill Seeker's park chain, with some things for families.

Then there is Cedar Fair. If you go to any state in the nation, I'm sure they've atleast heard of Six Flags. Many states are familiar with Paramount when it comes to the east and west coasts (oh, and those ruff necks from Ohio). But when it comes to Cedar Fair, most people are like "Huh?" Mention Cedar Point, and I'd be most people have at least heard of it (esp. if they have atleast a passing interest in coasters).

That, to me, is where TTD comes in. If you go to Nevada or Oregon and mention Cedar Point, the first thing people are going to think of (in most cases) is 'Rollercoasters'. Many might even think 'That new one that breaks all the records'. I doubt that people outside of enthusiast communities and the surrounding area knows that TTD has had such a rough start.

I remember seeing TTD in Maxim Blender when it debued last year, but I never see anything nationally about it breaking down, so I would say that the only thing CP is upset about is it's downtime. Hey, you want something that has never been done before (and by that I mean a launched full circuit 400+ foot coaster), and you're gonna have problems the first time atleast.

As of me writing this, Cedar Point has 3 things that no other park has: The tallest/fastest coaster in the world, more (operating) coasters than any other park, and 4 coasters over 200' tall. It puts them on the map. When I was there, there were loads of people from all over the country in line for Dragster, just because of what it is. Its still bringing in people, and as long as it stays the Tallest/Fastest, Cedar Point can advertise the heck out of it. After the record is broken, they still have 16 coasters to market, and 4 over 200'.

Disney has the ultimate experience for families.
Universal has loads of highly themed trill stuff for people.
Six Flags can babysit your teens and offer them Thrill Rides.
Paramount is a fun day trip for the whole family.

None have TTD. It took Cedar Point another notch up in how many coasters they have, and it broke some records.

Was it worth it? Are they happy with the results when Dragster is running?

I think I've answered that already:).

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:31 PM
Brian, would you trade TTD for 4 SLC's? Nope, didn't think so.

How about for 12 Raven's? Yeah sure. But 12 Raven's would consist of a little much room, plus wouldn't draw as well as TTD.

Hey, you could turn those 12 Raven's into one SOB! No, that wouldn't be worth it either.

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:35 PM
I think you may have proved my point even more Clint. Without TTD, Cedar Point ALREADY had 3 coasters over 200 feet tall (although WT is almost inadmissible ;)). They didn't NEED TTD, but they got it, and they dropped some serious bank on it.

My question remains, would CP do things differently in hindsight?

Brian, who realizes he could very well be asking a question with no real answer, but I'm intrigued by the responses.

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:37 PM
Kris, if you think Raven only cost HW 2 million after everything has been said and done, well, you know good and well it was much more by the time Mike was done with it.

Brian, who would pass on the 4 SLCs and multiple Ravens, but would love to see dueling Deleriums swinging simultaneously and feet coming within feet of each other ala Dueling Dragons. ;)

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:38 PM
I agree with several post here. Yes, I do think Dragster was worth it, but maybe at another time. I would love to have seen the 25 million spend on some of these huge, very popular flat rides that are trying to make a comeback. Eventually CP will see that PKI is doing the same thing (attendance wise) without adding multi-million dollar coasters year after year and maybe they will start throwing in a few intense flat rides to even out their mix. Maybe a break from building massive coasters to focus on smaller investments that aren't as much trouble would be better for a while.


Monday, September 13, 2004 7:42 PM
Who would be dumb enough to buy 12 or even 4 of the same coaster for the same park? If you're going to do that, add dueling "Raven"s to Dorney, Michigan's Adventure, WOF, Geauga Lake, Knott's, and ValleyFair! You'll get two parks to tie the record of Most Wooden Coasters while you're at it. Better yet, take some of those and add them to the Soak City parks. That would turn some heads. There's a lot of ways to spend $25 million that would work, even with 12 Ravens. ;)


Monday, September 13, 2004 7:44 PM
No Danny. 1 Raven, but 12 Ravens long! ;)
Monday, September 13, 2004 7:46 PM
Lets all slip into the mind of the GP.

"Whoa, worlds tallest rolleycoaster. I must go ride, it has to be the best if it is 420 feet and 120 mph. Lets drive 12 hours and go do it." (inspired by Homer Simpson).

CP caters to what would draw them the most people, and the GP is easy to convince about coasters. I could have told so many lies about coasters in lines at parks, and people would have believed me. So its really easy to convince people to come to your park.

They didn't pay $25 million to build the worlds tallest, fastest coaster, they bought the label. And that alone will draw people. Parks are businnesses and they willl do what they believe they have to do draw. Even though I still think it would have been wise to wait a couple of years and drawn off MF.

Monday, September 13, 2004 7:46 PM
"Thanks for bringing up Holiday World again... :o\"

+Danny ;)


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