Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Weekly Topic #1

NewsPlusNotes will now be participating in a Weekly Topic discussion that involves several prominent Coaster/Amusement Park websites and blogs. One site will post a topic each week, the participating sites will then post a reply, and there will be a central place for discussion. It's a great idea and it's wonderful to have several sites/blogs come together like this!

This weeks topic was posted by Coasterdom and is titled "Cedar Fair, the New Company to Hate." You can read that article here.

My thoughts?

Well, Cedar Fair certainly isn't looked at by the fan community the way it was in the past. Sure, die-hard fans are still around, but there's been a general waning of support for the operator in the past year or so.

I think Cedar Fair started as such a fan favorite because of the obvious: they own Cedar Point - which has legions of fanatics that will defend the park till the end of time. The massive new coasters and exciting attractions Cedar Point added translated into popularity for the operating company, at least in a general sense. Past park purchases, such as Dorney Park, Worlds of Fun, and even Michigan's Adventure have led to new exciting rides at those properties, further enhancing the perception of Cedar Fair.

But then they purchased the Paramount Parks. Everyone wondered how they would handle the purchase, and what the former Paramount Parks would end up like. Well, it's human nature to resist change, and when these parks started to see name changes, reduced theming, lame ride names like "Flight Deck," etc. - the enthusiast community wasn't happy.

That said, it's also worth pointing out that like with any fan group - opinions tend to be pretty severe and criticisms rather harsh. I tend to take a lot of what I read with a grain of salt, however the overall 'vibe' toward Cedar Fair has turned sour.

Maybe it's their somewhat generic approach to the looks and feel of their parks? Is it really that there's too many trashcans? (joking) Is it just that Six Flags is finally picking up the pace after years of bad operations, horrid customer service, dirty parks, lazy employees, and even their own reduction in theming? Perhaps.

Whether a fan of comic books, stamps, movies, bugs, theme parks, or whatever, fans always have a favorite and least favorite - perhaps some of Cedar Fair's recent moves have made some of the amusement die-hards switch sides for a while?

Share you opinion on the matter here.

Read other site's replies to the topic:
A Walk In The Park Podcast
Theme Park Village


DrewJ said...

I think Cedar Fair has a long term plan that is hard to see from the out side. Yes, I do agree that they have not made some great choses, like Geauge Lake. So, I will wait and see...

Observer said...

Cedar Fair has 2 big problems in Northeast Ohio that could hurt Wildwater Kingdom and Cedar Point.

The destruction of Geauga Lake's Big Dipper would be a PR nightmare. It is the oldest operating wood coaster in Ohio and 12th oldest in the world. Yet, it has a June 17-18 date with the acution block for sale/relocation.
Cedar Fair's publc statements make it clear that even if there is a willing buyer for the coaster and the land it sits on, efforts to keep it on site will not be considered, as summarized in this CNN irreport: http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-4020

Also, the general public is still upset by the closing of the park without notice, and there has been no explanation as to why it was handled differently from parks like Astroworld or Erieview where advance notice was given.

If the Big Dipper is destroyed, the negative backlash will make the reaction to date look tame. How long can Cedar Fair escape the consequences of insulting both Northeast Ohio and ACE by refusing to even consider keeping the Big Dipper on site?