Why were so many bad roller coasters built in the 1980s?

Monday, August 13, 2018 12:21 PM
Jeff's avatar

Please don't quote the entire previous post.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Monday, August 13, 2018 12:25 PM
Vater's avatar

Trackmaster said:

I think that a lot of what hurts the industry is the fact that its perceived as something that kids do, and parents just do to make their kids happy. I think that as the product quality objectively increases relative to the era, the more likely that we'll see adults and professionals going without having to bring kids with them.

As much as you want parks to cater more to single adults, I don't see it happening. The industry isn't being hurt by a lack of single adults. It's not only perceived that amusement parks are more for kids, it's reality. You will always see more families at amusement parks than single adults. Young adults tend to go in groups with their friends, sure. But who goes by themselves other than the die-hard enthusiasts?

I know many adults who enjoy coasters, but it's not something they would ever consider doing by themselves. By the same token, I probably know just as many adults who can't stand them.

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Monday, August 13, 2018 12:43 PM

Trackmaster said:

In my mind, if you put a basic GP on an awful headbanger like GASM or Viper at SFMM after they'll mustered the courage to get on, it'll reaffirm their fears

But put a fanny pack carrying ACE member on those rides after a free lunch and they'll just whine about the trim brakes and reaffirm my fears.

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Monday, August 13, 2018 12:47 PM

I really hate the term "GP."


Loving Maverick since 2007!
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Monday, August 13, 2018 12:50 PM
Vater's avatar

^Don't forget the preceding "basic." That's even more general than the general public.

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Monday, August 13, 2018 1:27 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

If you put a basic GP on a head banging roller coaster, wouldn't she spill her pumpkin spice latte?

(HATE the term GP more than the abbreviation SteVe)


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Monday, August 13, 2018 1:43 PM
birdhombre's avatar

Remember, the cubby-holes are for Ugg boots ONLY.

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Monday, August 13, 2018 3:46 PM

I think a successful amusement park operator thinks of ways to cater to all audiences. Thrill rides, kiddies, family rides, and liquor bars.

Seriously, I’ve never thought much about it. But I can honestly say that during any park visit anywhere I’ve always seen a spread of ages and groups. I happen to like all aspects of amusement parks and wherever I go I always check out all areas, from the kids’ places to the adult-sized more thrilling attractions. So I may be unlike single enthusiasts that post here and there or attend events. They tend to concentrate on roller coasters and thrill rides and perhaps ignore other goings-on at the park. But I can’t imagine a park lacking in any particular subset of customers or routinely ignoring their existence.

As a frequent single traveler (my solo park visits far outnumber those where I’m with a date or a group) I have been met with certain challenges. (Disclaimer side note: I’m ok with this, I’m used to it and am not speaking from the butt-hurt angle)
But singletons can be often treated as an anomaly and even an inconvenience. (Just like we are in restaurants and other places). I ride by myself and have no choice. I stand in queues alone. I take up an entire table at the food court or patio and am treated with looks. Ride ops often pair me with another single, sending me to a seat or a row that wouldn’t be my choice. I’ve developed ways of kindly asking for different accommodations if I feel like it and sometimes that’s successful. And policies have kept me from riding as often as I might like- it sucks to have to wait for someone who will welcome me into their Ferris wheel car. And after that, it is what it is.

Believe it or not, Idlewild was a park where I had the most “trouble”. They had many rides with “no single rider” policies, even the Whip for crying out loud. I finally went to the office and introduced myself as a single, paying customer who had traveled some distance to get there and asked for a possible solution. They were quite nice and apologetic and assured me I’d be accommodated. And like magic, I was. Maybe they called around and let them know or something. (Uh... look out for the guy in the Cedar Point shirt... he’s only here for the day...we think...)

Well, this was lengthy and slightly off-topic.

Oh, and as for the GP thing, it’s a term I dislike and a distinction that doesn’t need to be drawn. We’re all customers in the end, and in spite of our perceived knowledge and resulting entitlement, we are no different from anyone else.

Last edited by RCMAC, Monday, August 13, 2018 5:05 PM
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Monday, August 13, 2018 8:27 PM
Pete's avatar

Very well said about the GP thing, my feelings exactly and you expressed it perfectly.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:18 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Enh. I think "GP" is fine as a description of someone who doesn't invest as much time and energy in researching and riding coasters. I mean, it is useful to distinguish between the different behaviors of different kinds of people. i.e. "Most GP will head towards the first big ride they see. That's why <ride> has such a long line in the morning. You would do well to head towards the back of the park first." My problem is when "GP" is seen as derogatory and especially when "enthusiast" comes with some air of superiority. Though as I write this, I'm thinking maybe the distinction and the superiority cannot be decoupled?

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:40 PM

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Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:53 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Exactly, there's certainly a BIG difference between the fan or enthusiast of any given interest and the average customer or follower. It's not just an amusement industry thing.

And I don't think GP is a derogatory term. Although I think a certain type of enthusiast would use it that way...which is kind of exactly the point of the distinction if you really think about it.

Around here, the conversation is a little different. I don't think I've ever seen GP used as "looking down my nose" sort of thing around here. Folks here tend to use it more in terms of trends, perspective and in a business sense.

I have no problem with GP as a term. On forums like this, and when used not as a derogatory term, but rather a self-aware term acknowledging that we're a bit off in the big picture, it's indispensable.

If anything, I'm most likely to use "enthusiast" as a derogatory term.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, August 14, 2018 3:16 PM
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 2:31 PM
Bobbie1951's avatar

I don't know; GP still strikes me as a derogatory term - as if one is referring to the hoi polloi/great unwashed. Reminds me of a comment made on FB by a guy with whom I hung out at Great Adventure a couple of times. He said that going to the park on a rainy day was a good idea b/c "it keeps the ghetto away." That's the sort of connotation I get when someone describes the average parkgoer as GP - although in this guy's case I suspect that it had racist overtones.


Bobbie

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 2:38 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

GP is a lot easier to type than non-enthusiasts.

Last edited by eightdotthree, Tuesday, August 14, 2018 2:38 PM
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 2:47 PM
Vater's avatar

I completely missed this head-scratcher of a post.

Trackmaster said:

I imagine that parks weren't taken that seriously. They were something that you did to bring your family for a day, buy overpriced food, play the midway games, stand in line for an hour, and ride an awful ride.

Minus the "ride an awful ride" part, parks have always been exactly this, and continue to be. The rides you think are awful today were world class back then.

And the late 90's and 2000's came in, and with new technology they could actually make rides that were fun, thrilling, and smooth. It became much more customer oriented.

From my perspective growing up going to KD since forever, Anaconda was fun, thrilling, and smooth. There were a couple transitions that were less than comfortable, but it didn't matter then. It's like standard definition TV vs. HD. It's hard to imagine how we coped with blurry 4:3 CRT screens now that we've had nothing but the crystal clear, wildly colorful 16:9 images in our homes for the last decade or more.

Old school enthusiasts complain about how snobby we are now, but in my opinion, I reserve the right to be snobby.

*vomit.*

You may have that right, but the reason we "old school" enthusiasts (*vomit*...sorry, once it starts...) complain is not because "you want all coasters to be great, smooth, thrilling, and accessible." We complain because with the snobbery typically comes the sense of entitlement that has reared it's ugly head at various coaster events and tarnished the reputation enthusiasts once had (or did they?). This "old school" enthusiast has enjoyed being disassociated from that.

*vomit.*

But anyway, not all coasters need to be butter smooth. Variety is good.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 3:20 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Yeah, but Gonch - around here we don't use GP as a derogatory term, but that's not the case elsewhere. Look at any number of the "kid" coaster bloggers out there, and they're throwing it around like it's the biggest insult you could give someone.

We are all members of the general public, especially in the eyes of the park - we may ben fans and know a bit more, but even now, I've stepped away from a lot of that stuff too.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 3:35 PM

GP = not nerds...lol

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:19 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Raven-Phile said:

Yeah, but Gonch - around here we don't use GP as a derogatory term, but that's not the case elsewhere. Look at any number of the "kid" coaster bloggers out there, and they're throwing it around like it's the biggest insult you could give someone.

Yeah. But again, I think the user base here is more likely to use it specifically to point out that people like you're describing are the exception...and, for lack of a better term, the weird ones.

GP gets thrown around on CoasterBuzz to keep the enthusiast attitude in check, not the other way around.

As in, "The GP doesn't care about whatever super-informed, stuck in a bubble, bizarre minutae you noticed about operations. They just enjoyed the coaster."

It's always been a way to keep perspective in check on these forums...where I think a surprising number of us shun the enthusiast moniker.

(and also probably exactly why I haven't frequented a single forum, YouTube channel, club or whatever outside of CB in at least 12 years)

I don't hate the term GP. I will continue to use it to keep coaster nerds in check with their opinions and will be the one mocking people for being enthusiasts, not the other way around.

...

...

F'n coaster dorks.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:30 PM

The term general public isn't limited to a group of people that go to amusement parks. It applies to pretty much anything. And to me its less about specific people than it is specific interests/issues. Vast majority of people who post regularly here are not members of the general public in terms of amusement parks. But they are when it comes to other interests/issues.

That some group of people use a term derogatively doesn't necessarily eliminate its validity (particularly if its online as there is just a whole lot of dumb online). There are large numbers of terms that can be used derogatively.

Successful businesses I know do not view everyone as simply customers. They are all treated fairly, with respect, etc. But certain groups are catered to more than others in terms of businesses.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018 12:30 PM

GoBucks89 said:

The term general public isn't limited to a group of people that go to amusement parks. It applies to pretty much anything. And to me its less about specific people than it is specific interests/issues. Vast majority of people who post regularly here are not members of the general public in terms of amusement parks. But they are when it comes to other interests/issues.

That some group of people use a term derogatively doesn't necessarily eliminate its validity (particularly if its online as there is just a whole lot of dumb online). There are large numbers of terms that can be used derogatively.

Successful businesses I know do not view everyone as simply customers. They are all treated fairly, with respect, etc. But certain groups are catered to more than others in terms of businesses.

Sorry about quoting the whole post, I thought that it was all relevant -- I just can't think of another form of entertainment where 99.99999% of the customer base is so blissfully ignorant of the product that they consume. For an example, look at people who watch pro football. Sure, over half of the people who watch games are "GPish" and just watch it to get drunk and watch some guys run around. But there are tons of guys throughout America who eat, sleep, and breath football, and know as much as a seasoned player would. Its very commonplace to not have to look far to find people who are very knowledgeable about football.

If the percentage of people who went to parks knew as much about the product as the percentage of people who are knowledgeable about music, movies, craft beer, and sports who consume those products, you'd feel like you were at coaster ERT event every time you went to a park.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018 1:22 PM
kpjb's avatar

You think over half of people who watch football do it to get drunk?


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