Whales coming back to Six Flags Worlds of Adventure
Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2001 5:53 AM | Contributed by wkyc.com
According to a Cleveland TV station, Six Flags has the paperwork in order to bring orcas back to Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, half of which used to be owned by Sea World's parent company, Anheuser-Busch.
I never thought that a lack of killer whales could be such a devastating blow to the marine park. The crowds were never anywhere near as heavy as they used to be when the park was Sea World, and it's amazing how many people missed Shamu. Even though it sounds like these whales are "on loan", this is definitely a good development for the park.
I think that would scrap the plan for a coaster near the orcas. If they would attempt to build it near them, it is likely they will be told it would disturb them. Just a guess but you never know. Still glad to see them coming back.
Nonetheless, I think they would still want the hyper for the sake of competing against Cedar Point. While there are still things that need fixing in that park, I give them credit for constant additions. Think of where it was just a few years ago and in a short time they bought Sea World, added Batman, Superman, Villain, and X-Flight, and now the future has the potential of whales, maybe a 200-ft coaster, a new World with animals, not to mention the possibilities for a new monorail, a dark ride, etc.
That's all great, but you have to stop and ask how that translates to cash. Drive about 30 minutes west and you have one of the world's greatest zoos for $9, and that includes admission to the outstanding Rain Forest. If that's the market you're after, it's a hard sell. You also have to feed the animals year round and care for them, guests or not. I've been saying for ages that had to be one of the primary reasons for Busch to sell.
I really want to see them succeed, but I don't think they're going about things right at all. Work on infrastructure, roads, hotels, etc., at the same time. Those are the things you need to build a destination. Drawing people from the Cleveland and Akron areas alone isn't going to get them to the numbers they'd like. Give people a reason to travel there, and give them somplace to stay.
----------------- Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com "As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"
In the last couple of years, Geauga Lake has actually done some great improvements you speak of, Jeff. (Though most of them will be unoticeable to travelers) Since I grew up going there, I have noticed things like new direction signs, to keep traffic off more of the residential roads (even though the park is in a mostly residential area) Also, there has been a new turn lane added this last year on Rt 306. The park also bougth a campground and a hotel last year.
New in 2002: you will not have to cross Geauga Lake Rd to get in the Rides section. Nope, SF Inc., will be building a new road that lets out beyond the parking lot, it will run paralell with the RR tracks in the back and dump out on 82 most likely with a light. Construction should start this fall.
Jeff, Sea World here in San Diego is about 9 miles (or less actually) from the San Diego Zoo and about 25 miles from the San Diego Wild Animal Park. It seems to be doing fine without a bunch of rides. Then again, they aren't competing with any local ride parks.
I have to disagree with you on this one, Jeff. I had SFWoA season passes this year, and boy was that wildlife side empty! The wild rides side was packed beyond capacity, the park's biggest problem. Everybody misses Shamu (even though she won't be "Shamu" anymore). I know that the whales will ease the crowds on the rides side. If they bring back the night whale show and laser show, you will be very surprised at how empty the rides side will get at around 8:30.
John, that you road you speak about was planned to be built this year but never was. It will be next year, like you said, when the new shopping center across the street opens. This is NOT a good thing. I have lived in Aurora for 10 years and let me tell you that road, Rt. 43, is high in traffic. Adding a light to the road will only make it worse! If you ask me, if they make the road look alittle nicer, they should keep the road system they have now.
Now the whales, I think we will see more people on the "marine side" but not as many as Six Flags hopes. I mean there is no balance between the two sides. And the average Joe when faced with rides and animals, goes for rides. Now all people aren't like this, I am just saying that a majority is. Well I guess we will have to wait and see....
----------------- Take a good look at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure because in a few years the Sea World side will look exactly like it does, a zoo.
BUBBA: Actually, the road was planned to have gone under construction later this year once the park closed. According to a security guard, the park met with the local township within the last week to get all the details finalized. Since the road won't require any sort of pipeline re-routing, or sewer systems, the park should be able to contract it out quickly and efficiantly with very few problems.
I don't think the light will be a bad thing. As long as that Plaza has plently of entrances/exits, it should not back up traffic all that bad.
All the more reason why a hypercoaster on the wildlife side would draw crowds to that side.
Cleveland's zoo is nice, but it's good to have a zoo and an amusement park with animals to give us some variety here. This way, you can go to different places with different atmosphere and attractions.
The zoo has had and will always have no impact on Sea World or any marine park. They are different venues with different intents.
Sea World failed because of poor management and lack of future opportunities (plus I hear that Busch Jr. has no interest in the whole marine business). The attendance was alright (if slacking a bit over the past few seasons) and that park could have been fine for the near future. But things being as they were, SFI was the only buyer who would pay for the value of the park.
Whales are for oceans, coasters are for amusement parks. The idea of placing highly intelligent highly social creatures that are used to migrating thousands of miles each year into a tiny puddle where they are isolated from their highly social lifestyle and then calling it "amusement" is an idea that was best left in the past. I don't want to come off sounding all radical but let's be realistic. In this day and age our pursuit of amusement cannot come at the expense of a highly intelligent sentient being who we place into solitary confinement and then parade out to do party tricks.
I don't think that's a fair assessment of why these animals are in captivity. I'm married to an environmentalist, and there is a difference between keeping animals for profit only (that's certainly a component) and for the sake of science and conservation.
First off, these animals haven't been captured in decades. They've either been living in captivity for that time or were born in captivity. They can't survive in the wild because they don't have the instinct to. It's our duty to care for them. Keiko, the whale most know as "Free Willy" is a perfect example of this phenomenon, who refuses to leave captivity.
Second, these social creatures have strong bonds with their trainers and the scientists that care for them. What we learn from these animals (all animals) is necessary for our fundamental understanding of our world, how we got here, and how we as a complete ecosystem can continue to survive.
Third, are you aware of the extensive conservation efforts of Anheuser Busch? They've gone well beyond the realm of being a "good corporate citizen." They've saved endangered whales and rehabilitated them, at an expense in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, to let them go again and release them into the wild. They've also cared for bald eagles since before they were removed from the endangered species list.
Like everything, the idea about whether or not animals should be kept in captivity is not a black and white issue. Common sense lies somewhere in the middle.
------------- Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com "As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"
Yah, it's tough. On one hand, you hate to see animals in zoos. But on the other hand, their homes are so impacted that soon zoos may be the only survival option.
And like Jeff said, many captive animals can't go back to the wild...especially the social ones that normally grow and develop in groups. Imagine if one day, our government decided that you hanging out in your apartment eating Fritos was against your nature (not to mention really mean) and threw you out into the Kalihari with a spear and a loincloth? It'd be pretty tough. ----------------- Yeeee Haaawwww!
*** This post was edited by janfrederick on 11/1/2001. ***