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Everything posted by jzarley

  1. I feel really old in that I'm pretty sure I remember when that piece first aired :-) (Doug Adair, but no Mona Scott at that point...it must have been after the "unpleasantness" which occurred between them...) It's too bad that we never got to see what Paramount Studio's vision for the parks was going to be...I think things may have been very different if it wasn't for the Viacom acquisition in 1994. (Although, given the consolidation in the media landscape in the intervening years, it's unlikely Paramount Communications would have remained an independent entity for long anyway...who knows who else could have bought them, which could have meant even worse things for the parks...) The one thing I do remember about the early Paramount years was the quality of the retail merchandise (I still have both a "Paramount's Kings Island" and "Paramount's Carowinds" tee shirts that I sleep in, even though they're 20 years old :-)). Viacom/Paramount was planning the launch of a chain of "studio stores" (remember when those were big back in the mid-90s?), and used the retail outlets in the parks to try things out as a precursor to the launch of the retail division. (If I remember correctly, Viacom actually did open one of the concept studio stores on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, but I'm pretty sure it never expanded beyond that...) As the years went on, the aesthetics and the quality of the retail merchandise continued to go down hill...and (IMHO) is pretty awful under Cedar Fair (not just for KI, but all the CF parks in my opinion...) I might be open to the argument that it's now an age thing with me (maybe I'm not as enamored by theme park souvenirs in my mid-40s as I was in my mid-20s), except for the fact that I always still find myself dropping a lot of cash on tee shirts, hats, mugs, etc. every time I visit a Disney or Universal park :-)
  2. Trust me, I do it every freaking time I pass. I believe when they built that Funhouse looking thing, they used to do their broadcast with the windows looking out at the street like the Today show did/does. Except no one cared and they might have had one lonely oddball outside at any given time. I think they scrapped that. Not certain though. Yeah, it was actually a Channel 4 (the NBC affiliate) studio space orginally, but they abandoned it pretty quickly. Channel 10 then took over the signage on the corner. One of our conference rooms at work has windows to that corner and you can see the sign animations reflecting off the conference table and in your peripheral vision...it can be really distracting. (Especially if it's during a meeting you've already sort of mentally checked out of :-)
  3. ^ not to mention the really good rail systems. It literally took me less time to take the high speed train from Paris to London than it takes me to drive to Sandusky from Columbus. While Spain's passenger rail network isn't quite as good as the rest of Western Europe, it's still considerably more extensive than the US rail system.
  4. From a tourist perspective, that part of Spain (located between Barcelona and La Costa Del Sol area) probably makes a lot more sense than Disney's placement of DLP near Paris. (A lot of Europeans "holiday" in Spain...especially the British and Germans.). I agree that the mix of IP used for the attractions seems odd and generally not too appealing. (Bumper cars themed to "Grease"? Ok...) I wonder what happened to the hardware (and software, for that matter) from the old Star Trek Experience in Vegas? Is that still with CF, or did the attractions somehow revert back to Viacom? They should try to install those attractions in the "Future Plaza" area. The "Klingon Encounter" simulator at ST:TE was by far the best of that type of ride (as was the walk-thru of the Enterprise experience...). The "Borg" 4D movie wasn't bad either. I always thought that Viacom missed a huge opportunity by not bringing attractions of that type into the then Paramount Parks. (Of course, I shudder to think of the "miscellaneous generic science fiction name & theme" they would have received after the CF acquisition :-)
  5. The parks are doing well too...I don't have the release in front of me, but if I recall correctly park revenue increased by 6%. (I read another article that said Disney's Parks & Resorts division was generating $1B+ A MONTH in revenue--$600M in profit for the quarter.). This was actually Disney's best financial quarter EVER. (Pretty impressive for a company that has been around since the 1920s...) The only real weak spot in the results was with the ABC broadcast network...but that's pretty much par for the course with all of the broadcast TV networks.
  6. I just read this on Kindle on a flight out to Utah last week...really enjoyed it!
  7. Speaking of dark rides... Does anyone else remember the old "Earthquake" dark ride at CP? I only have very vague memories of it (as a child, I went to KI much more frequently than CP...), but I seem to remember it being located somewhere along the main midway. I recall it being ride-through, and at various points it looked as though parts of the scenery were falling on you. It was certainly no "Funtastic World of Hana-Barberra" (but then, what else was? :-), but I seem to remember it being fairly fun (at least to a child of six or seven or so...) There was also a ride at Carowinds (early 90s maybe?) that was pirate ship themed...you simply sat on long horizontal wooden benches in a tube that was mean to recreate the hull of a ship. The outside of the tube moved around you in varying stages of motion...you never actually moved (I don't believe you were even belted to the bench in anyway), but it gave the most incredible illusion of making you feel as if you were turning upside down! Like the short-lived "Alien Encounter" ride at WDW, it provided an amazing sensory experience in a really low-tech ride.
  8. This was some sad news about a true veteran of the industry: http://www.iaapa.org/news/newsroom/news-articles/former-iaapa-chairman-of-the-board-gary-story-passed-away-on-saturday-sept.-21
  9. You mean like when Top Gun at PKI was sponsored by Gillette (with a billboard and everything), or Snake River Falls at CP was sponsored by Pepsi? :-)
  10. Plans were announced yesterday for the redevelopment of the Scioto Peninsula on the West Bank of the river across from downtown Columbus. One of the most interesting things mentioned was a new indoor Columbus Zoo attraction which would be built near COSI. Here's the link to the Dispatch article: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/public/2013/08/13/scioto-peninsula-announcement.html
  11. Very cool! Thanks for posting. I actually have the Haunted Mansion album with accompanying book that's shown in the video. I got it back as a child in the early-to-mid 70s. It's now in an album "picture" frame (from The Container Store) along with my albums of Bambi, Peter Pan, and the Mickey Mouse Club.
  12. 1650 passengers per hour would mean sending out 51.5625 full 32-passenger trains per hour, which is a full train about once every one minute and 10 seconds. Well, as I learned years ago from reading rec.roller-coaster (and most likely, from Dave Althoff's knowledgable posts) there's a big difference between *theoretical* ride capacity, and *actual* ride capacity :-)
  13. Well, we may have had to wait 21 years, but this finally makes up for my disappointment that our Top Gun wasn't a B&M inverted like the others installed at the same time :-)
  14. When I was on "Top Gun" (sorry, I refuse to refer to it by that generic rebrand) a few weeks ago I was thinking that CF would do well to go back to the original (rumored, anyway) name of that coaster when planned by KECO--"Swoop". I figured with the mature tree growth back in that area now, a bird theme would fit well. (Plus, the whole sort of failed attempt at fighter jet themeing just seems kind of sad now...) However, I really like the idea of renaming it as "The Bat" even better...such a great homage to KI's history. Plus, if "Attraction 2014" has a scary/haunted theme, the new "Bat" would fit in perfectly within the same area. Haven't a few parks done some sort of floorless train retrofit on their legacy Arrow suspendeds? I'm sure something like that wouldn't be in the CapEx budget for 2014 with the other new construction, but that's a pretty interesting idea...
  15. I really like this premise...I've thought for a while that an FEC-type area outside of the main park would be a cool idea at KI. It would be similar to Challenge Park at CP, but could have a much longer operating season (due to Cincy's weather and larger metro area) than the regular park. Throw in a putt-putt course, restaurant, party facilities, some retail and a season pass sales/processing center and they could have a nice (nearly) year round revenue generator.
  16. That actually sounds like a Cedar Fair ride name. Definitely something they might have picked during the "fire drill" rebranding at Geauga Lake! :-)
  17. Jeffrey Siebert is a class act and letting him get away was one of the biggest mistakes KI made. And then there was David Mandt, Carolyn Boos, Bill Mefford and on and on (I didn't mention Barb Colnar did I? Imagine that...) Don's good at what he does, but many of the Paramount people were, too. Look at where many of them are today. And, while her tenure was pre-Paramount, of course the legendary Ruth Voss
  18. Well, at least it's still a lot better than rec.roller-coaster used to be...that was the wild, wild west :-)
  19. Airlines and hotels have been doing similar pricing strategies for years...it's called yield management. I wouldn't be surprised if Disney takes it a step further in the future...charging more for busier times of the year (Christmas, Spring Break), or even for certain days of the week. Did anyone see the panel discussion that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas did last week where they predicted a similar strategy change in movie ticket pricing? Where a big "tent pole" movie like "Man of Steel" or "The Avengers" would be priced differently than an art house-type film?
  20. It's also not Summer...yet. ...or maybe, an announcement might not come during the day.
  21. ...especially if the timing of "Festival of the Lion King" and "Finding Nemo: The Musical" works out for you :-) I do have to question the appeal of CarsLand without Radiator Springs...yes, CarsLand at DCA is probably one of the best themed things I've ever seen done in a park, but without that big E-ticket attraction at the end of the street you don't have much more there than a food and shopping expansion. (Although, I was pleasantly surprised with Mater's Junkyard Jamboree...I think I rode it at least five times!) And while I agree that Test Track and Radiator Springs provide similar ride systems, the story and experience of the two are very different. (And, I think the same argument about similar ride systems could be made of Spiderman and Transformers at IOA and USF, or any one of the multiple "4D" movie experiences Disney repeats at each of their parks...)
  22. The more I see/hear from Matt Ouimet the more I like him...
  23. While technically accurate, "evacuated" seems an especially dramatic choice of words for the actual situation...
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