Worst year ever for enthusiast community?

Every time I check back to this site its bad news.

1)Closing of GL. Biggest amusement park story in years?
2) Removal of excellent rides. I went to SFGADV once, in 2005, and Chiller was my favorite experience. I was sad to see it was being removed and feel bad for my east coast buds. But Deja is just a killer for me personally. I have a lot of enthusiast friends here in the Chicago area, most of whom consider DV the best, most thrilling coaster at Great America. Some people here complain about "lines" -- I know capacity is an issue on this coaster, but the very presence of long lines indicates that the coaster is well-loved. Has there ever been a case before where a ride with the longest line in the park has been removed? Why do we still have Iron Wolf, one of the most painful rides in the industry, standing and we get rid of this awesome ride. You get the feeling that the people in the suits don't really care for/appreciate/ or have any sentimentality towards the thrill ride experience.

Jeff's avatar
I had a pretty good year, and it's not even over. Lots of good times. I expect no less next year.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Kevin, Im not going to reply to #1, we have a long enough thread on that but as for #2:

Long Lines means that the coaster is more popular then its capacity. That does not necissarly mean that long lines=great ride, especially when it involves a coaster with horrible capacity like Deja Vu. I for one didnt really care for the thing, and wish the sky wheel would have stayed. Raging Bull, B:TR, Viper and S:UF are the coasters I go to SFGAm to ride.

Also lets focus on some positives:

1. This was the first full year of CF running the Paramount parks, and as a whole the transition has gone quite smoothly and for those of us living in Ohio it has allowed us to access the two best parks in the state with one SP.

2. Maverick was a huge hit for CP and is truely an enthusiast's coaster, it has thrills, air, and is very disorientating.

3. I could mention the other huge new rides here (like Griffon @ BGE and Renegade @ VF) but I dont want to be repetitive

4. 3 Six Flags Parks, KD, CW, Hershey, and Knobeles have already anounced they are building new (or in KD's place a relocated ride) coasters that are set to open next year

Edit: For me personally this was the best year I ever had, it was the first year I was <2 hours away from a park I owned an SP for, which resulted in 12 trips to CP (3 Soak City, 2 Halloweekends) and 5 trips to KI (1 Boomerang Bay, 2 Halloween Haunt) also on my summer trip to Florida I managed a day at BGA and SWO, 2.5 days at UO, and 6.5 days at WDW. *** Edited 10/30/2007 4:45:04 PM UTC by Touchdown***

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

I had a great summer season too.

(1) I went to Hershey Park with three of my friends, 2 of whom had never been. It was one of the greatest times. Lightning Racer particularly was excellent. Great Bear was excellent. Super Duper Luper was excellent. The food was great. Chocolate World pulled out each of our inner children just like it does so well. Tidal Force was amazing. River Canyon Rapids was a ball of fun.

(2) I went to Great Adventure with a friend who had never been before. We went on El Toro (last row) and it blew her mind completely. I got an Aquaman tee shirt there for my husband. I never thought I'd find an Aquaman tee shirt ever in my life, but there it was, in this glowing light like the holy grail. It was meant to be. My husband loves that tee shirt.

Mark Small's avatar
It has nothing to do with not caring about the sentimantality of the thrill ride experience. The rides that are being removed at Six Flags parks are all high maintenance rides that have cost the parks quite a bit to keep running.

Will they be missed? Sure they will. But remem ber they are still in a heap of debt, and the quicker they can cut their operational costs, the better it is for the bottom line. The coasters they're adding next year might not be the extreme thrill machines that we all might want, but they should be low maintenance and will bring in the family demographic that Six Flags is targeting.

Just like Jeff, this has been a great year for me. I've been to parks I hadn't been to before, ridden plenty of rides I had never ridden before, and I've made quite a few new "coaster" friends as well. I'm looking forward to an even better season in 2008!

HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar
I still maintain 2003 was the worst year ever for the enthusiast community and the backlash that ensued afterwards. Not to mention the loss of a life, something that a park can't ever replace.

~Rob Willi

I have had better years, and worse. As bad as what happened in 2003 was, some great things still happened that year, like any other. I'm just glad to still be around, and will hopefully be here to enjoy another year. As for Deja Vu - I'd sooner marathon on Iron Wolf than ride Deja Vu once, and I am thrilled to see DV go - even if it was a great ride, no park that busy should have an attraction that major with a one-train operation. Which only goes to show that we all have opinions.
GL closing was horrible, and still is. The Chiller is a true loss - best ride at GAdventure. Deja Vu? Well curse whoever made the call to remove Sky Whirl.

As long as they don't touch the Whizzer, and keep up Viper... Those big (and small) B&M's do almost nothing for me, and some of my friends as well. It's either all pos G's (Batman) or gettin pushed around on a Lay-Z-Boy (Raging Cow).

The Whizzer is the heart and soul of Great America for me, along with Demon - the dark soul ;)

Seahawk, by your logic impulses and invertigos, as well as drop rides, have no places in major theme parks?

It's always a good year if you can travel, or if you live near CP. Bad year if your parks have their best rides removed, or your park itself is removed. I can't remember another year where two significant very good and popular rides were removed. One thing to remove Shockwave, a constant walk-on and very painful ride--this is another thing altogether

Kevin Max said:
removed. One thing to remove Shockwave, a constant walk-on and very painful ride--this is another thing altogether

And imagine if the Shockwave got the Phantom/'s Revenge treatment! I've had a bunch of layouts in my head and on paper; a geek in the truest!

But what a waste... to make room for the man of rugburn...

Personally, I had a good year. Didn't get to as many parks as we usually do but we got to most of what we wanted to visit and our trip to northern California was fantastic.

As far as the industry goes, things get a little fuzzy. The closing of Geauga Lake is the biggest negative news item since the closing of Astroland and, before that, probably Crystal Beach in 1989. It's proof that no amusement park is safe. A lot of classic parks and attractions are endangered. Trimper's in Ocean City almost closed and still may at some point in the future. Williams Grove was auctioned off- the final nail in that coffin. Coney Island is standing on the edge- whether it be the edge of something great or the edge of something horrible remains to be seen. Classic darkrides like the ones at Rye Playland might be on their way out... much like a number of steel coasters that we assumed would always be there.

Of course, there's a lot to be excited about. Knoebels Flying Turns. Waldameer's Ravine Flyer II. Hard Rock Park. Orlando seems to be preparing to explode with new attractions like it did a decade ago. Theme parks seem to be rediscovering the benefits of wood coasters.

If anything, it's been an odd year!

I had a good season as well. Most years, I can only go to two amusement parks and I took my wife to CP who had not been since before Magnum. An awesome trip since we bought the package deal and spent 1 1/2 days at CP. For me, it was more thrilling for her to enjoy CP the way I love to go than Maverick. That is not a slight to Maverick. I just can't explain the feeling of introuducing her to so many new rides, not to mention a whole new way of experiencing CP. On the other hand, our trip to KI HH was a little off from last year, but was quickly made up by having a very enjoyable ride on Son of Beast, not to mention loving Firehawk and its' new location. If CF can get HH to be a little smoother, it should prove to be a really big hit for years to come. Just wish I had the time to go to Camden Park as I get to pass by it alot and I can't believe how much better this park is looking every year. Just wish they could get Big Dipper looking and running better. *** Edited 10/30/2007 6:33:22 PM UTC by Coasterbuzzer***
I think I had the best year in my park-visiting lifetime. I went to nine unique parks in seven different states and on opposite sides of the country. Most of these parks were new for me and my friends and we had a blast at them all. It was also the best visit I've ever had to Cedar Point. I still have four more parks to visit in December. So, I think I did pretty well this year.

Are there some things I'm disappointed in? Sure. But, I still had an amazing year. Next year is already shaping up to be quite exciting too.

The only negative part of the season was the news about Geauga Lake becoming just a waterpark. Other than that I had a good year. Maverick was amazing @ Cedar Point. I also got to Busch Gardens for Griffon, and that was sweet as hell as well!

Let's hope we don't hear about any park closings next season. We have been told about Astroland's last season is 2008.

Dream it! Do it!!

To have a major chain of theme parks thumb their nose at an entire community and close the doors of a beloved 100 year old park, Without the opportunity for anyone to visit for one last time. It was a bad year for many more people than just the enthusiasts.

I made it to Dollywood and Kings Island. And while I doubt we'll be back to Dollywood anytime soon, the trip to Kings Island has us planning to make that an annual thing.

Ok, so I'm planning to make it an annual thing, I don't think the wife is though. ;)

Good year for me, too. So far I have 13 new coaster credits, took some great trips, and had many visits to my home parks on days when they weren't busy at all. (Advantage to living in Ohio) Am looking forward to attending IAAPA in November, and plan to visit Sea World and Cypress Gardens while I'm there, both for the first time. I may even get to Busch if time permits- then I can add SheiKra to my ever growing list.

While nobody's happy about it's closing, I'm grateful that I got to Geauga on it's last day ever. That will always be a bittersweet memory for me.

I passed 200 coasters, so it was a good year. However, if Big Dipper gets destroyed (and I assume it will), it would be a sad year for me personally. The good always seems to come with the bad. :)
I'm with HeyIsntThatRob?.

If you want to identify the worst year to be an enthusiast, if you want to identify a moment that was perhaps the worst for the community, May 31, 2003 still is about as bad as it gets.

Now if you want to be a little less specific about it, this has not been a great year for the amusement industry. But then neither have the last several years. You talk about the loss of Geauga Lake this year...well, first off, the park isn't gone. The scary thing about it is that it's doing the same thing that Conneaut Lake did about ten years ago, but Geauga Lake isn't actually closing, something Cedar Fair wishes people would actually notice. But what about Williams Grove, Bell's, Bushkill, Erieview, Miracle Strip, Pavilion, Santa's Village, Wild West World, AstroWorld, and Conneaut Lake? That's just the ones we've lost in the last couple of years. Go back to 2000, and I have a list that someone sent me of at least 47 parks that have closed. How many parks have opened since then? Not just opened, but stayed open?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

GL was a truely sad story, but bound to happen if not 2007, then 2008. As for the Six Flags parks and their various removals being rumored throughout the chain. I think it will be sad to see some things go, but lets be honest they are still working to turn that beast around. A little ride clean up through out the chain I find to be a very positive move. Before you can start improving things you gotta clean up the crap. This will help with a lot of things at the various parks that were headaches to the parks and to their guests. This is why I think 2007 is a good year.

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