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Tomb Raider: The Ride 2002 Media Day Video


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Sean Flaharty posted a video on August 28th that makes me so nostalgic for Tomb Raider: The Ride that I could just about cry:

 

 

I've wanted to see video of Tomb Raider's media day forEVER, and that music and the video of the queue and that MUSIC and the fact that you can see the door to the preshow open with music and lights and THAT MUSIC. GAH.

 

This video doesn't do the original ride justice, but it's the closest dang thing I've ever found (apart from a full queue walkthrough video I found several years ago that I've since lost and never recovered.) I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did.

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I miss this one so much. It was amazing when it originally opened with all the theming adn teh ride itself was fun too. Once it got gutted ti wasn't even half of what it was. This adn Phantom Theatre top my most missed attractions at the park. TR:TR was in my top 3 rides there when it was fully working.

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You have to wonder if those in power at Cedar Fair even understand.

Yes, maintenance suffered (as most rides did during CBS's years). Yes, Tomb Raider was already more complex than any of the chain's other attractions at a time when maintenance suffered. Yes, it was an intense ride to keep in shape, I'm sure. Yes, the ride system was a piece of junk.

But you really do have to wonder if today's Cedar Fair management thinks of the ride only as The Crypt, or if they realize that Tomb Raider truly met and exceeded Universal or Disney quality in terms of ride experience. Seriously! I mean, it was fantastic. Videos like this remind us that it was NOT rose colored glasses. The ride truly was so outstanding and miles away from anything else at a seasonal park. The next great revolutionary attempt at a dark ride in a seasonal park would be DarKastle. Arguably, Tomb Raider was more impressive.

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I remember that day well. I was working as a "media ambassador", basically acting as a liason between a member of the media and the park, making sure they had everything they needed to complete their story about the ride. I was assigned Mike Terwilliger, who was the weatherman for one of the Dayton stations at the time, I want to say channel 22. One of the "explorers" in the khaki shirts and hats happened to be an aquaintance of mine from college who I hadn't seen since we graduated seven years earlier. I still have the media ambassador shirt I wore that day, a nice black long-sleeve t-shirt with the TR:TR logo in gold shiny print.

Thanks for letting us know about that video! It brought back some nice memories of a wonderful event and a great, immersive queue and ride experience. It was also nice to see some familiar faces including Mr. Jeffrey Siebert, several other former co-workers, and a clean-shaven KIC member who looked a little less shaggy without the beard he now has.

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The first ride anticipation was intense. I kind of figured by the layout in the construction area, the concrete structure that could be viewed from the train the year before opening and some of the promotion pictures after announcement that it might have been a Top Spin....but the ride really exceeded all my expectations.

I never rode the ride after the Kinzel makeover...just didn't seem worth my time.

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I really hope KI's next ride is a dark ride. But then comes the question of how well will they maintain it? KI, has gotten a little better it seems in the past year or two on keeping theming up. I think we could use something competently new, dark ride experience to the park. Something that takes a page out of Universal's, Amazing Spider-Man ride. Something that requires a min height of 40-42in (since the park doesn't have much in the way of that height range), also it could be a fairly intense of a ride.

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Alls that went through my head "Mmmmmmmm theming".

Such an amazing ride, I didn't get to ride it until The Crypt was around, which I despised it due to being small and lack of theme probably.

Hey look, on ride photos! Limos!

Thanks for posting, indeed a nostalgic attraction.

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  • 1 month later...

Maybe it's just me, but I find the way PKI hyped the ride almost as interesting and unique as the ride itself.

Not only was Tomb Raider known for being one of the best dark rides ever, but the case study behind the marketing of the ride is just incredible. If any of you ever wonder why Jeff Siebert is held in such high esteem, this ride is just one of the many reasons why.

One of my favorite all-time forum topics is from over at CoasterBuzz, and really gives a great look at how spectacular this marketing scheme was. It's really worth a read if you have a few minutes, and you'll see a few familiar names too: http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Topic/tomb-raider-the-ride---proof-of-giant-top-spin

I really hope Kings Island can look at this marketing scheme for possible future attractions, because it remains one of my favorite case studies. I'm even doing a college essay over it! :)

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Maybe it's just me, but I find the way PKI hyped the ride almost as interesting and unique as the ride itself.

Not only was Tomb Raider known for being one of the best dark rides ever, but the case study behind the marketing of the ride is just incredible. If any of you ever wonder why Jeff Siebert is held in such high esteem, this ride is just one of the many reasons why.

One of my favorite all-time forum topics is from over at CoasterBuzz, and really gives a great look at how spectacular this marketing scheme was. It's really worth a read if you have a few minutes, and you'll see a few familiar names too: http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Topic/tomb-raider-the-ride---proof-of-giant-top-spin

I really hope Kings Island can look at this marketing scheme for possible future attractions, because it remains one of my favorite case studies. I'm even doing a college essay over it! :)

The historic answer to, "Was Paramount good at promoting new rides?" is... kind of.

They had a mentality of creating a show out of media days. They really catered to the enthusiasts (specifically ACErs at the time - before the trillion other clubs). At the time, this was a generally accepted practice. Jeffrey Siebert really pioneered some things - especially in his tenure at PKI. Pyro, actors, and massive giveaways were some of the things that was a given at media day. Paramount Parks bought into his ideas and he was able to make some of the most spectacular announcements and have some of the most incredible ride openings in history. The problem was that this was a pretty huge expense. Let's not kid ourselves - Viacom had no idea how to run parks, so they simply wrote a check without asking too many questions.

Now, let's review the purpose of media day (in no particular order):

1 - To cater to the media so they can get what they need in order to run their stories

2 - Stock footage

3 - Create buzz

Notice how nothing I mentioned says anything about making sure that enthusiasts get to be the first riders, or that Johnny KIC gets to ride Banshee 43 times on media day. There are certain perks to being an enthusiast or club member or whatever. Sometimes you get to go to media day. You're there for a reason, though. When 1,000 enthusiasts show up to media day it's easier to get photos and video of full trains. But hey - put one in the win column for both you and the park.

I think Jeffrey's problem at Kings Island was that he was great about creating buzz and putting birdies in peoples' ears, but there wasn't a great medium at the time for this. Since leaving Paramount Parks, he went on to be a corporate communications guy at Schlitterbahn and currently serves in the role of Marketing Director at Six Flags Fiesta Texas. He's been able to move Heaven and Earth for both organizations. In today's word of social media it's much easier for the common man to really make some noise.

Check out his latest teaser for the (at the time unannounced) Batman: The Ride

Screen+shot+2014-07-28+at+9.09.08+PM.png

Although I haven't really asked him if this was his idea, it definitely sounds like Jeff. So simply, yet so brilliant. For those of you who didn't keep up with this, a simple balloon flew at different heights for a couple of days. Each placement reflected a section of the ride as well as the height at that particular location. It was simple, but the internet went nuts.

With that being said, I've had a fantastic opportunity to work with four PR people at Kings Island via KIC stuff, and I learned valuable lessons from all of them

Jeffrey Siebert - People are looking to get away from day to day life at KI. They want to exist in a world of excitement and anticipation.

Maureen Richmond - No matter what you're doing, never forget that people are there to have fun!

Bill Mefford - Do you research, cover your bases, write the reporters story for them.

Don Helbig - Give the media what they need to do to get the job done, and they will get the job done.

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  • 1 year later...

Seems like a good place for this:

 

 

Sean posted a video of the Tomb Raider: The Ride announcement. It's interesting how this ride announcement went down compared to Diamondback's, Banshee's, and Mystic Timbers'. It's very simple and appears to be limited to the news media. I couldn't not chuckle when the logo was revealed to nothing but a few camera clicks. Nothing too groundbreaking, but an interesting view nonetheless.

 

Also, was that giant TR:TR display in front of the fountains for the rest of that season?! I love me some TR:TR, but I'm pretty sure the Twelfth Commandment is "Thou shalt not disrupt the view of the Royal Fountains from the front gate." (The Eleventh, of course, is "Thou shalt not mess with Adventure Express, or NOW YOU WILL PAY.")

 

I've always read how mysterious the park kept the details about the ride, but I never realized how vague they really were. They only discussed the effects and didn't even hint about the Giant Top Spin. That strikes me as a really interesting--and gutsy!--move... And yet, on the other hand, here we are in the age of #whatsintheshed. The more things change...

 

In related news, while researching some companies I'd like to follow on Twitter, I uncovered this page on VisualTerrain's website. It's got some neat high-ish-resolution pictures from TR:TR that I figure some around here would enjoy seeing, if they haven't already.

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