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Is theme Making a Comeback?


TylerRider
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regarding stunt coaster being filled with water again- someone asked in the old ki 5@5 questions on FB a while back why it wasent filled and the person responding said ill look into it. sure enough within a week or so it was filled

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On behalf of BLSC, although the splashdown is filled and the pumps are all running (although we still don't have the water spray), I noticed that the past two times (within a week of each other) that I have visited the park, the helicopter has not been moving. Moving, as in rotating and aiming. The blades on top of the chopper still move, but it just sits there, completely parallel to the track while bullet hit noises come from the opposing side. I'm wondering if either the effect was disabled, or the motor has ceased to work. Either way, I really hope it is fixed. It is the little things like that which can really throw off a ride.

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On behalf of BLSC, although the splashdown is filled and the pumps are all running (although we still don't have the water spray), I noticed that the past two times (within a week of each other) that I have visited the park, the helicopter has not been moving. Moving, as in rotating and aiming. The blades on top of the chopper still move, but it just sits there, completely parallel to the track while bullet hit noises come from the opposing side. I'm wondering if either the effect was disabled, or the motor has ceased to work. Either way, I really hope it is fixed. It is the little things like that which can really throw off a ride.

The "little things" like that have long been overlooked. Like I've said with The Crypt, I believe Backlot is in a "Do Not Resuscitate" state as of now. In other words, when something breaks, don't fix it. If it's to be fixed at all, leave it for the off-season. When a light goes out, that's just one more light that the ride will operate without. Simple as that.

See Kings Dominion's & Canada's Wonderland's for examples - Kings Dominions still has a splashdown (though a very differently programmed one, and it only splashes on one side), but lacks its fire effects. The rotor on their helicopter does not spin, and the helicopter does not move. Wonderland's, often considered the most neglected of the three, has absolutely none of its effects - no fire, no water, helicopter is motionless - and it's been reported here and elsewhere that the ride was reprogrammed to not stop at the helicopter scene, but to slow down and pass quickly through as the gunshot noises play. That, to me, sounds like there's no attempt now and will not be an attempt for some time to fix that.

What I guess is annoying to me is that, today I went to Cedar Point and rode the train. In the skeleton town on the train (which has been around for quite a few years now,) there's a firefighter scene where a building's two upper windows are on fire, lit by essentially the same flame effects as Backlot. Next to it, a skeleton is holding a fire-hose and aiming it into the air. The hose really shoots a large stream of water up over a fence and into the Mantis lagoon on the other side. And, Iron Dragon still dives through two clouds of fog / mist, which apparently is okay on that ride, but not okay on Adventure Express, Top Gun, The Crypt, Backlot Stunt Coaster, or any of the other rides that are equipped and already set up to handle such effects. Maverick's water bombs go off (well, three of the four) when the train passes, absolutely drenching the track and passers-by.

My friends (not me!) pointed out how strange it is that the train, Maverick, and Iron Dragon get fire & water effects that are, in most of the cases, pointless and add nothing to the ride experience, while the Backlot Stunt Coaster's faltering effects are treated as if they're irreparable. Consider, if Kings Island shut the ride down for one day and had a crew come in and do their thing from morning to late afternoon, the ride could honestly be operating at its "norm" again, with water, flames, helicopter, maybe even a fog machine in the tunnel.

I understand that the splashdown and the water effects were superfluous and actually did an amount of damage to the track (which, apparently, doesn't happen to Iron Dragon or Maverick? - just saying), but at least keep the flames and the helicopter running. It's honestly the very least you can do the keep the ride in any presentable shape. Why Cedar Fair thinks its guests are ignorant dummies, I do not know, but when you remove flames, water, in-car music, fog, and themed trains, people notice. And not just "our" kind of people. They will learn that in time.

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^Everytime I have ridden Backlot Stunt Coaster this year I have overheard at least one person mention an effect that used to be there and no longer works. In one case I had a younger kid and his friend behind me, the one was raving about the ride and how at the end you splash down and water shoots up, well when we rounded the corner to a completely dry splashdown area they were both disappointed. The one who had been talking about it said, "Maybe they'll fill it up later."

Well they got there water back (finally), but still no splash.

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Right. People can mistrust their memory to a certain extent. Maybe if just the fog was gone from the tunnel, people wouldn't really remember and chalk it up to a poor memory. But Kings Island's guests are not idiots. They won't simply "write off" the ride's lack of fire, water, synchronized music, a splashdown, fog, a helicopter, perfectly themed trains, etc. And they are also not foolish enough to say, "Oh well it used to be owned by a movie studio." Because even the Average Joe recognizes that Paramount cannot and did not copyright flames, or water fountains, or fog machines.

And don't even ask me what the right thing is to do when I overhear people in line for The Crypt rave to their friends about lasers, an "evil god," flames, water, music, and five flips (and trust me, those people are just as prevalent if not moreso than those who assure their friends it's a roller coaster or, more recently, a show. I tend to think those who have been saying it's a show are really not so far off). And if someone does speak up to prepare them for the lack of water, lasers, music, etc. they often ask, "Why did they have to get rid of water / lasers / music / fog / atmosphere / story / fun?" to which the informant must honestly reply, "I don't know..."

I hadn't been to the park since 2005, and just casually checked the website one day in 2008 to find the name's changed (far from an enthusiast at the time, and clueless about "Cedar Fair," "CBS," or anything of the sort). I made a note to visit the park, sure that nothing would change but the names. I was wrong, even then. And things have only gotten worse.

Imagine someone who came to the park today who hadn't been in five years. They'd likely get their friends all pumped up about the roller coaster where you sit in perfect little MINI Coopers and splash into an LA aquaduct.

Or the one where you enter an ancient tomb and awaken an angry goddess.

Or the ride where you're a stunt actor filming the big "drop" sequence for a new blockbuster movie.

Or the one where you're with Scooby Doo, blasting the ghosts alongside your favorite cartoon characters.

Or the world's only looping wooden roller coaster.

Or a backwards racing coaster.

Or the beautiful landscaping of the Paramount Story Gardens and Swan Lake...

What do you think they would think of the "new" Kings Island? We've watched as things were removed slowly, one at a time, and chalked them all up to necessity. What if you hadn't visited since 2005, and saw all of the themeing removed in one fell swoop? Would you even recognize the park you loved? Guess what? I didn't...

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In Mr. Kinzel's world, you have Diamondback...and that's enough theming...for the most part.

And in his defense, under CBS or Paramount, that was probably not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

Also, by now, under Paramount, it cannot be sincerely said that all the effects on all the rides would be working. Or even most of them, for that matter. Who got rid virtually all the theming on Top Gun? It wasn't Cedar Fair. On Adventure Express, who took out the fog and many of the effects? It wasn't Cedar Fair. Who let the second lift hill effects first fall into major disrepair? It wasn't Cedar Fair. Who first began letting Tomb Raider's effects stop working, one by one? It wasn't Cedar Fair.

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But you're right that we cannot say that there wouldn't have been a massive overhaul of all of the parks (unlikely as it is, we do not know). I think that, if no buyer had stepped forward, CBS would eventually have gotten them fixed up (if for nothing else, than to sell to a more esteemed company, like Merlin or Universal). And I'm confident that if the parks had never been transferred to CBS, they would still be incredible alternatives to Cedar Point's midway-style parks, not sisters of it. There was, as someone said in the Flight of Fear discussion, a survey asking about re-theming the Tomb Raider: The Ride preshow. Certainly that meant they had an eye on the ride and understood that something needed done. And Paramount / CBS is considered one of the worst owners in the parks' histories. So why is that? Everyone agrees that the park was clean, the music was appropriate, the landscaping was well-done, the rides added were unique, the park was brought to a much higher level of regard by the public, etc... (even in the CBS days, we would have never seen a discussion "What is the black stuff on the lap bars," and that says something).

I guess my thought is, I highly highly doubt that Tomb Raider: The Ride would've ever gotten to a "Crypt" point, with no lights, no music, no effects, no preshow, no story, and no thrill. I have said before and I'll say again that I'd still take 2006's on-its-last-leg-Tomb-Raider over today's Crypt any day of the week. It's a difficult ride to operate, and a tremendous undertaking for a seasonal park. I think they saw the one-time pricetag and sort of wrote on maintenance - like "oh well this ride is elaborate, but all you have to do is press the green button and everything will work the way it's supposed to." Not the case. But shouldn't we still be impressed that we ever had a ride like that, even if for only a week?

And I get frustrated because literally any other major owner - SeaWorld Parks, Universal, Merlin, even Parques, would have seen that rides like Tomb Raider and Backlot be fixed up and ultimately, maintained. Some people here praise Cedar Fair for what they've done to return the park's theme to something respectable (a claim they've never been able to substantiate with a single example), but I'm grateful Paramount tried. They gave 100% in their attempt to make a themed seasonal park, but because 50% of their details ended up not working in the long-run, we remember them as bad operators. Cedar Fair takes away the remaining 50% and then maybe gives back 10% a few months later, and we thank them for the 10%? It's not right.

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I agree however Cf is not inetrested in a theme park, they want an amusement park. I will always love the Paramount days but that is just me.

Which in my opinion, I believe is wrong. Kings Island was designed from day 1 to be a theme park from the ground up. Even when ideas were circulating in the mind of a certain Mr. Wachs in the mid-late 1960's to build a new park, they were not for a standard, dull, midway style amusement park, they were for a grand theme park. Kings Island has always been a theme park, and now we have owners who don't like theme parks? If Cedar Fair (Mr. Kinzel) never liked theme parks, then why was he always wanting to have Kings Island? Either way, although Paramount may have scrambled the themes of the park's individual areas, and were not very clean in terms of litter, they still treated the park as a theme park, which it should be. I have to say though, that Cedar Fair has gotten a little more theme oriented lately, but they still insist on running only amusement parks.

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However KIBOB this is not the same KI that was once in its limelight, from the start there have been several owners each having new ideas and such, some successful some not as much. Everything changes in life.

A Theme Park is a place where the park itself, along with the lands and rides in the park are built to tell a story. The story should fully immerse you into the environment it creates with little to no reference of the outside world. The best example are the Disney Parks. Each park has it's own story, the lands in each park have their own story, and each ride has a story starting from the moment you enter the line. Disney also does a good job with making sure you can't see outside the park, letting guests forget about the problems of the outside world, and just have fun.

An Amusement park is a place where the point is just to really thrill you. Rides are placed with no real thought of theme or story. The outside world can usually be seen from several points in the park. An example of this is pretty much every Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks.

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On Tuesday, August 17th, the fog screen effect on Boo Blasters was working, but the skeleton scene was not (no movement, and all targets were off). The pond on BLSC was filled and water was being ciruclated (the splash effect has been removed entirely) but the helicopter remained in the up position and did not move.

You win some, you lose some.

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I was also at the park yesterday (Tuesday, the 17th). Things I noticed:

-When I rode Boo Blasters, both the skeleton scene (the skeletons were moving and all the targets were on) and the fog screen effect were working.

-I also rode Flight Deck today and second what Beast1979, I have no idea what the original poster meant about "new announcements"...

-Flight of Fear had it's show lights on in the ride and the queue. It was the first time this year I saw the red lights in the tunnel leading down to the hangar on, the colorful stage lights, what's left of the lights on the UFO, and most of the screens showing the movie or the random images that the computers under the UFO show. I assume that every show light that wasn't burnt out inside the UFO part was also on, not too impressive but it's a start. The station looked great though. One big drawback, the flood lights were still on in the queue, kind of killed the experience a little bit, but MUCH better today than every other time when only the flood lights were on. Which brings me to my next point...

If I remember correctly the whole floodlights being on in indoor queue lines began when Cedar Fair took over, and included Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle. Well this year Boo Blasters does not have the same lights on, the line is back to the way it was originally for SDatHC... Why is it that that is ok now? And if Boo Blasters can be like that, why not Flight of Fear? (I can't comment on the Crypt since I've only been on it once this year and do not remember). Just wondering if anyone knows the answer or if it is just another one of those things that doesn't make sense.

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The only reason why Flight of Fear still has the flood lights on to this day is to keep people from line jumping in the hangar. If you recall the old days, there would be two instances in the preshow area where the entire hangar would go pitch black to simulate a complete system shutdown (as per the government official "pulling the plug on the whole operation", so to speak) and reset itself. Well, every time that happened, numerous amounts of people saw that as an excuse to hop over rails and get further and further into the line (although it was quite difficult to maneuver in the darkness even WITHOUT trying to cut in line). Thus, the floodlights came on, and line jumping came to a (supposed) standstill.*

*Rumors suggest that the reason the majority of the lighting and special effects remain either off or unfixed is due to the floodlights being on, as it negates that simulation of a system shutdown as mentioned earlier.

Also, and I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but Universal has its fair share of instances to where effects be broken and remain unfixed for quite some time. The Incredible Hulk coaster, as well as a lot of attractions at Islands of Adventure are under the same situation that Flight Deck is to where paint is chipping and fading or going into disrepair (a good chunk of which was restored to its original beauty just weeks prior to Harry Potter's Grand Opening). Several effects on Revenge of the Mummy are usually turned off in the slow months and sometimes don't get fixed for quite a while when broken (or they go into lengthy rehabs that last up to a full year at times).

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It wasn't just line jumping while the Flight of Fear queue was pitch black....it was also...how to nicely put this...certain guests not being able to keep their hands to themselves during that interlude...perhaps thinking they were groping their boyfriend or girlfriend but actually getting someone else...or perhaps with no intent of getting anyone they knew. More than one guest was very, very displeased about that, and at least one pursued a remedy. The lights were then no longer extinguished during the queue show.

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That always confuses me. If the line for The Crypt is in the preshow room, you are absolutely positively blind walking through the collapsed chamber part of the queue. I literally have to hold my hands out in front of me and feel for the barriers, and I consider myself someone who knows the queue quite well. When it was torch lit, you could see alright. But all of the Tomb Raider torches have been extinguished and the path is now lit by red floodlights that are underneath the bridge, thus providing no sense of where you're located in relation to the hand-rails.

Someone (or two...) could be lying on the ground in the middle of the queue and I wouldn't even realize it until I tripped over them or stepped on them. It's that dark in there. But the lights had to remain on in Scooby Doo (and now, no longer do? Who makes these decisions?). But then again, if they turned on the house lights in the Crypt queue, it would be the last straw for me and I would probably just leave the ride alone.

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Oh I was well aware of the problems when Flight of Fear's lights would all shut off, I just don't see why that requires the flood lights to be kept on. It seems they could just use the stage lighting and the queue would be bright enough, not to mention it would look a whole lot better.

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The only reason why Flight of Fear still has the flood lights on to this day is to keep people from line jumping in the hangar. If you recall the old days, there would be two instances in the preshow area where the entire hangar would go pitch black to simulate a complete system shutdown (as per the government official "pulling the plug on the whole operation", so to speak) and reset itself. Well, every time that happened, numerous amounts of people saw that as an excuse to hop over rails and get further and further into the line (although it was quite difficult to maneuver in the darkness even WITHOUT trying to cut in line). Thus, the floodlights came on, and line jumping came to a (supposed) standstill.*

*Rumors suggest that the reason the majority of the lighting and special effects remain either off or unfixed is due to the floodlights being on, as it negates that simulation of a system shutdown as mentioned earlier.

Also, and I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but Universal has its fair share of instances to where effects be broken and remain unfixed for quite some time. The Incredible Hulk coaster, as well as a lot of attractions at Islands of Adventure are under the same situation that Flight Deck is to where paint is chipping and fading or going into disrepair (a good chunk of which was restored to its original beauty just weeks prior to Harry Potter's Grand Opening). Several effects on Revenge of the Mummy are usually turned off in the slow months and sometimes don't get fixed for quite a while when broken (or they go into lengthy rehabs that last up to a full year at times).

From the amount of people I see line-jumping in broad day-light, I doubt very much that turning on the lights in the hangar has cut down on line jumping.

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The only reason why Flight of Fear still has the flood lights on to this day is to keep people from line jumping in the hangar. If you recall the old days, there would be two instances in the preshow area where the entire hangar would go pitch black to simulate a complete system shutdown (as per the government official "pulling the plug on the whole operation", so to speak) and reset itself. Well, every time that happened, numerous amounts of people saw that as an excuse to hop over rails and get further and further into the line (although it was quite difficult to maneuver in the darkness even WITHOUT trying to cut in line). Thus, the floodlights came on, and line jumping came to a (supposed) standstill.*

*Rumors suggest that the reason the majority of the lighting and special effects remain either off or unfixed is due to the floodlights being on, as it negates that simulation of a system shutdown as mentioned earlier.

Also, and I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but Universal has its fair share of instances to where effects be broken and remain unfixed for quite some time. The Incredible Hulk coaster, as well as a lot of attractions at Islands of Adventure are under the same situation that Flight Deck is to where paint is chipping and fading or going into disrepair (a good chunk of which was restored to its original beauty just weeks prior to Harry Potter's Grand Opening). Several effects on Revenge of the Mummy are usually turned off in the slow months and sometimes don't get fixed for quite a while when broken (or they go into lengthy rehabs that last up to a full year at times).

From the amount of people I see line-jumping in broad day-light, I doubt very much that turning on the lights in the hangar has cut down on line jumping.

I completely agree.

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