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.
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***
(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.
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!
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 ;)
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...
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!
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.
Let's hope we don't hear about any park closings next season. We have been told about Astroland's last season is 2008.
Ok, so I'm planning to make it an annual thing, I don't think the wife is though. ;)
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.
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.
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