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Things Paramount got right/wrong

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On ‎10‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 11:08 PM, silver2005 said:

Just to clarify- my question regarding Intamin is in regards to CP's clause about CW and KI not being able to get a B&M at the time.

I know this is a pretty big topic bump but....

In all my years I have never heard a single bit of proof that there was a direct "no compete" involving B&M and Cedar Point.  B&M would be out of their minds to sign such a contract.  Why deny yourself the business? It's not like Cedar Fair had a lot of places they could shop around to get the size of hardware they wanted.

I think the more likely culprit is this:

Reptar

Son of Beast

Italian Job

Top Gun

These are the coasters that Kings Island built during the Paramount era.  Are any of these projects that B&M would have touched?  It seems to me that Paramount had 3 types of years for KI: cheep but cheerful, attempts at movie themes, and over-the-top projects that no one wanted to touch.  B&M simply doesn't fit into any of these categories.

 

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50 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

I know this is a pretty big topic bump but....

In all my years I have never heard a single bit of proof that there was a direct "no compete" involving B&M and Cedar Point.  B&M would be out of their minds to sign such a contract.  Why deny yourself the business? It's not like Cedar Fair had a lot of places they could shop around to get the size of hardware they wanted.

I think the more likely culprit is this:

Reptar

Son of Beast

Italian Job

Top Gun

These are the coasters that Kings Island built during the Paramount era.  Are any of these projects that B&M would have touched?  It seems to me that Paramount had 3 types of years for KI: cheep but cheerful, attempts at movie themes, and over-the-top projects that no one wanted to touch.  B&M simply doesn't fit into any of these categories.

 

Where does Flight of Fear fit into this? That is one project that I think Paramount did extremely well, the more and more I spend time in the building both as a guest and as an employee, Flight of Fear was defiantly over the top, groundbreaking attraction when it opened, also I think Paramount did Boomerang Bay right too! 

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50 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

I know this is a pretty big topic bump but....

In all my years I have never heard a single bit of proof that there was a direct "no compete" involving B&M and Cedar Point.  B&M would be out of their minds to sign such a contract.  Why deny yourself the business? It's not like Cedar Fair had a lot of places they could shop around to get the size of hardware they wanted.

I think the more likely culprit is this:

Reptar

Son of Beast

Italian Job

Top Gun

These are the coasters that Kings Island built during the Paramount era.  Are any of these projects that B&M would have touched?  It seems to me that Paramount had 3 types of years for KI: cheep but cheerful, attempts at movie themes, and over-the-top projects that no one wanted to touch.  B&M simply doesn't fit into any of these categories.

 

After the SOB fiasco, Paramount created new rules for their creative departments. All projects had to be created, manufactured, and installed within 18 months. That put a strain on the design and development divisions.

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^^
My guess on why Premier Rides was able to build Flight of Fear, B&M did not do launches at all in 1996 (they did not do one of their own until Thunderbird in 2015), so they would have turned that project down if that is what Paramount was wanting. Intamin was also not exactly as well-known for their coasters at that time either, as a lot of the rides that made them famous in that department would not come until 1997-2000. Thus, Premier Rides likely had as good a shot as anyone at that point and thus won the bid.

I would also agree that Flight of Fear has turned out to be one of the long-term hits Paramount added to the park, probably the most successful of the roller coasters they added.

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5 minutes ago, rhyano said:

Where does Flight of Fear fit into this? That is one project that I think Paramount did extremely well, the more and more I spend time in the building both as a guest and as an employee, Flight of Fear was defiantly over the top, groundbreaking attraction when it opened, also I think Paramount did Boomerang Bay right too! 

I knew I'd miss one coaster!

I mean, it's an innovative thing that I think Premier pitched to Kings Island. They've rebuilt it a couple times now, so they own the design. 

I do agree that the themeing was and is pretty impressive, so I would put it in the movie category, however the "No one wants to touch this" thing also applies.  The LIM system was essentially designed for this ride, when it comes to roller coasters.  Plus, the issues it had made it open much later than expected - mid June.  None of this sounds like something that B&M would get wrapped up with.

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While not Kings Island specific, Paramount Parks did add a B&M at Carowinds in 1999 in the form of what is now Afterburn.  Still a great ride at that park.

I am glad that Kings Island got Flight of Fear in 1996, compared to the B&M that Cedar Point got that same year.

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On 4/30/2018 at 9:48 PM, CoastersRZ said:

While not Kings Island specific, Paramount Parks did add a B&M at Carowinds in 1999 in the form of what is now Afterburn.  Still a great ride at that park.

I am glad that Kings Island got Flight of Fear in 1996, compared to the B&M that Cedar Point got that same year.

I also prefer the current B&Ms we have now compared to the 90s- early 2000s B&MS. If Paramount got us a B&M, I daresay it might have been a Batman clone. 

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Right

1. The Music: There was something magical about walking into the park as it opened and hearing the suite from Marc Shaiman's Addams Family score.

2. The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear: While the queue video hasn't aged well, the theming perfectly encapsulated the 90s UFO/X-Files/Outer Limits vibe. 

3. The Props/Posters: I really loved seeing the Top Gun props, movie posters, and even Wayne's World's Mirthmobile throughout the park. 

4. Green Slime Zone: This area was a lifesaver on hot humid days. Being able to walk right through a sprinkler system without really having to wait through line? They should've kept this. 

5. Top Gun: Sure, technically it wasn't initially planned as such, but Top Gun was (is) a great ride. Not only that, but the film was a great selection as it was a popular film that had both brand recognition and with a story about fighter pilots training to be the best, it had ride potential. The theming of the queue line, before it was bypassed, was incredible, arguably immersive. When you finally bucked yourself in, it really felt like you were about to head right into the Danger Zone

6. Tomb Raider: I never rode the ride as anything but The Crypt, which was underwhelming, but the more I hear about the ride's original theming, the more I wish I did. 

 

Wrong

1. Getting Rid of Great Rides: R.I.P Kenton's Cove 

2. Not the Best Movies for Rides: While Top Gun, Flight of Fear, the short-lived Tomb Raider, and arguably The Italian Job were great with the theming, others felt lazy. Drop Zone and Face/Off were both bargain bin titles when they were christened as rides. Drop Zone was a downright, godawful movie with an enjoyable Hans Zimmer score (later used for The Mask of Zorro and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl trailers) and one incredible, heroic moment that doesn't involve the film's star, Wesley Snipes, but a secondary, daredevil character named Swoop. Snipes feels sidelined, non-participatory throughout the majority of the film. Face/Off is notorious for its cheese factor with its two hammy leads doing impressions of each other and admittedly, it is a guilty pleasure for me. But it's obvious they just picked films that sound like ride titles, placed them on appropriate rides, and never bothered with the actual theming. 

Meanwhile, brands such as Mission: Impossible, Jack Ryan, and Star Trek were left in the dust. 

3. The Theming: They could've done more, a lot more. Sure, there are a few decent examples, but the point of a movie studio buying/making a park is the immersive experience that comes from riding the movies.  But a lot of times, it was just movie titles slapped on rides. They even re-named Amazon Falls after Congo, but never bothered to justify it with additional theming. 

4. The Theming, Part II: This is arguably the root of the problem with Paramount Parks. As Disney and Universal have shown, there's a lot of value in the "riding the movies" concept. However, as Paramount Parks prove, it's better that a studio build and tailor-make a park for its own purpose than to purchase another park and slap branding all over it. The risk is, even if they go all out, which you want them to go all out, when the branding has to go, so does the value of the rides. 

Tomb Raider is the most unfortunate example of this. It was arguably the most immersive Paramount ride, but when they took out the theming, it killed the ride. 

5. The Placement of Rides: Paramount Parks sure had a knack for picking the worst spots for a future defunct ride to rot in plain sight. The biggest culprits are Italian Job and Tomb Raider, both of which belong in Action Zone. But another one is Action Theater, an ugly, barely used building that sits smack in the middle of The Racer. It's just one of the weirdest spots to put a ride. 

6. Son of Beast: All I will say is the more I learn about this ride, the more I'm amazed there weren't more accidents on it. 

7. They Didn't Have Enough Fun With It: There was so much more that could've been done had they been more persistent with it. Imagine a ride based off the hilarious main title scenes from The Naked Gun films, where you're placed in a vehicle with a siren and taken from one strange environment to the next. Or why not a ride based on the Airplane films?

Had Viacom not purchased Paramount a year after they purchased the parks, things might've been different. Viacom didn't really have much of an interest in the parks beyond using them to springboard brand recognition and, on occasion, using them to advertise upcoming movies. They never seemed to have fun with the concept of owning amusement parks. And it showed. 

 

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Just personal opinion, but I felt the movie theming cheapened everything. Themed rides and areas of the park should stand on their own-not be based on some separate universe. Also hated all the TVs in the queues. While FoF was (and still is) great, the SoB was a mess. To me, the Italian Job summed up the PKI era: A wonky eyesore that disrupted the feel of the park with an obnoxious amount of movie themed fluff for a ride that is underwhelming. 

MTVs The Grind was epic though-I'll give them that

 

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I don't know. The Happy Land of Hanna-Barbera seemed to do it well and there have been various TV/movie elements in the park since Day One. (The park, after all, was originally owned by Taft Broadcasting.)

Also, a lot of ride-theming is derivative of movie cliches. Both Adventure Express and Mystic Timbers are big examples of this. And this goes double for Haunt, even down to KI having its very own version of The Cryptkeeper. I mean, that's why we go to things like Land of Illusion, Haunt, and Halloween Horror Nights. Some might argue it's to "be scared," but the experience of such is rooted in what know, love, or hate about scary movies and the mazes are designed as such. 

It being done well is what really makes the difference. Had Italian Job been in Action Zone, there'd be less complaints about its theming. Personally, it's fun having a ride designed after movie car chases. I can understand complaints about the ride itself being lackluster -- it is a little short and underwhelming -- but not its theming. 

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@Joshua Valid points. I guess it all just felt a bit forced. The movie cliches are fine...the idea of the old haunted timber company or some other mythology are great. I love the backstory of Steel Vengeance/Maverick, etc. Just always seemed like with Paramount the movies forced very specific theming. I'll also admit, a huge part of my frustration with IJ was the botched opening. Waited in line forever, then they said I needed a special ticket, then they said no more tickets would be given out that day..it was horrible. Then several visits later when I finally rode it, I was mad at myself for getting all worked up over a marginal ride. I realize that my personal gripes will likely keep me from giving Paramount any due credit-but that's just how it struck me at the time.

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Bubba Gumps Shrimp Shack, had good food, an fyi it's named after the character from Forest Gump which is a Viacom/Paramount film, that restaurant was the first in the park to introduce the Coke Freestyle machine. It also brought in lots of money for the slingshot which I worked when Bubba Gumps was there, the people used to gather to watch it under their shelter and feed the fish. The building at one time was home to an injured herron crane, that lived on the roof of the building, the bird had a broken wing, when it swooped down to eat fish and circle the Viking Fury it was funny, people would get worried/scared that it would dive-bomb them.

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I've heard some on here regard the Lindner era as the lowpoint of Kings Island's history. A lowpoint which very well could have doomed the park for good...

So if anything, even though Paramount was by no means perfect, I'm just thankful they purchased the park when they did. And as others have noted, who knows how the Paramount days would have gone had Viacom not purchased it so early on.

 

(As a brief side-question, to anyone who was around back then and knows... What was it exactly that the Lindner/Great American ownership did that was "dooming the park"?)

I'm not trying to refute your claim or anything. I would just like to know...

Because on the bright side, they did bring us AE and what was later themed as Top Gun, which I think the vast majority of us would agree were positive additions...but there's probably more to the story than that...

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On 4/30/2018 at 8:19 PM, rhyano said:

Where does Flight of Fear fit into this? That is one project that I think Paramount did extremely well, the more and more I spend time in the building both as a guest and as an employee, Flight of Fear was defiantly over the top, groundbreaking attraction when it opened, also I think Paramount did Boomerang Bay right too! 

To the list mentioned there was also technically Scooby's Ghoster Coaster in 1998, but that's not really relevant anyway as it made by 'Pinfari'.

Yep, there was a coaster manufacturer called 'Pinfari'. :)

 

EDIT: Sorry for the double post. My mistake. I thought I was in the edit mode for the post above.

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IMO - the movie props we're an awesome addition and I Dug the Paramount Story, but naming some rides on films that they had to know would not have the staying power for anyone to really care about is strange to me.

Seriously, when's the last time you watched Face Off?  Drop Zone?  Italian Job?  It seems short sided to me.

Also, the fact the Paramount never themed Adventure Express as an Indiana Jones themed ride is strange to me.  I assume Paramount didn't have the rights for whatever reason, but come on, you think they could have gotten them from Lucasfilm for relatively cheap? 

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1 hour ago, YOULLBEBACK said:

Also, the fact the Paramount never themed Adventure Express as an Indiana Jones themed ride is strange to me.  I assume Paramount didn't have the rights for whatever reason, but come on, you think they could have gotten them from Lucasfilm for relatively cheap? 

Paramount never really re-themed any of the prior-existing, non-kiddie rides to their IPs. The only exception is Amazon Falls, which they re-christened after Congo without any other moderations. 

However, if they had chosen to re-theme AE, Disney's use of Indiana Jones at their parks could've been a potential roadblock. 

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On 4/30/2018 at 6:04 PM, Tera Ryzing said:

Kd got volcano and hypersonic while we got sob.  Looks like kd got the better end.

Considering Volcano's fate, this comment is kind of funny. 

And before anyone comments, it's not funny they are removing the ride.  It's funny that she mentioned them having the ride, which will be defunct, while staying we had a ride which is defunct as well. 

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The only thing I wish CF/KI would do that Paramount did was repaint the coasters/rides every other year. Without it, the rides look more carnival grade than "world-class". There could be a reason to it but if not, they should consider doing it again. It kept the park looking fresh and new, year after year. 

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I'm pretty sure Paramount didn't repaint the coasters every other year. I know Vortex has only 1 complete repaint back in 2001. It did get it's orange rails touched up before the 2009 season.

 

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

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IIRC, there was a season or 2 where Vortex's paint was worn away down to the primer, which is a pretty good indicator that it wasn't painted every other year.  KC's paint quality left a lot to be desired, too, for most seasons at least.  And let's not even get started on Racer.  That probably hasn't been touched up since the KECO days.  

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