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MisterSG1

As an outsider, wondering what your opinion is on the Paramount Era

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While I am very critical of the Paramount era in my own park, Canada's Wonderland, what's the opinions of everyone here of the Paramount Era at Kings Island.

This of course leads to a few questions, did an area exist before in Kings Island where Action Zone is today? If it did, how many rides were compromised to allow for Paramount's attractions?

I know that in the era of Paramount, they were ambitious with their projects at Kings Island (unlike at Wonderland) such as the Son of Beast, and their attempt at creating a strongly themed Tomb Raider ride. I know that the mentioned ride led to a log flume ride being compromised, does anyone miss that one strongly?

There was also the doomed Son of Beast, but let's face how ambitious this ride was, that ride is what got me to the park in 2004, and I personally felt nothing wrong on my ride.

Is there any strong hatred of this era from Kings Island enthusiasts, boy are there many with the Paramount Canada's Wonderland era, but I won't list them as this is a Kings Island forum.

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11 hours ago, MisterSG1 said:

While I am very critical of the Paramount era in my own park, Canada's Wonderland, what's the opinions of everyone here of the Paramount Era at Kings Island.

This of course leads to a few questions, did an area exist before in Kings Island where Action Zone is today? If it did, how many rides were compromised to allow for Paramount's attractions?

I know that in the era of Paramount, they were ambitious with their projects at Kings Island (unlike at Wonderland) such as the Son of Beast, and their attempt at creating a strongly themed Tomb Raider ride. I know that the mentioned ride led to a log flume ride being compromised, does anyone miss that one strongly?

There was also the doomed Son of Beast, but let's face how ambitious this ride was, that ride is what got me to the park in 2004, and I personally felt nothing wrong on my ride.

Is there any strong hatred of this era from Kings Island enthusiasts, boy are there many with the Paramount Canada's Wonderland era, but I won't list them as this is a Kings Island forum.

I loved the Paramount era, even the little things like the waynes world car

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Sure, Paramount didn't seem as greedy as the current owners appear to be. For instance, a Canada's Wonderland season pass worked at all the other Paramount Parks, there was no special pass you had to get. This was one of the perks that got me to KI back in 2004. Also, when one bought a season pass in the fall, they were buying next year's season pass but could use it for the rest of the current season. Obviously this is not the case anymore in the Cedar Fair era.

Of course, Cedar Fair on the positives built the Behemoth and Leviathan, something that Paramount would have never done. Paramount simply constructed a "Suspended Looping Coaster" model and named it Top Gun and tried to promote that as the signature attraction for their entire tenure of the park. Nothing to make the park stand out, it was just a "theme park" but nothing special like Kings Island or Cedar Point.

 

From what it appears, Kings Island didn't really appear to suffer and lose some of its charm during the Paramount era unlike what happened at Wonderland. I was just wondering if Kings Island went downhill during Paramount's tenure.

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For your reading pleasure, see also these threads...

 

 

 

There are probably others you can find with the search thread, but these have over 100 replies you can read through to get a sense of what you are looking for...

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At the time it was a total bummer for me personally. It was like they stripped away the KI of my youth and filled it with movie promos. Seemed like a lot of fluff with little substance. I loved 'The Grind' parties though and in retrospect Tomb Raider was very cool--At the time all I wanted was a big steel coaster.

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22 hours ago, LuvingKI said:

I loved the Paramount era, even the little things like the waynes world car

I was 13 when Paramount bought out KECO. At the time I was a bit disappointed. I felt I was going to lose the uniqueness of my home park and now it was just be like a midwest Disney/Universal type. That never happened thankfully. I was also a huge movie geek growing up so things like "The Paramount Story" walkthrough, the movie posters and themeing in gift shops, those first few years really were cool to me. And Top Gun operating with all its effects and full queue was pretty darn cool too.

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I'm a big-time movie nerd, so I loved the Paramount era (I was also in my teens for much of it and was easily impressed by thrills and flash). Some things were really cool: I liked Tomb Raider when it was fully themed. There was a cool laser show they did in the Kings Island Theater themed to Paramount movies. There was actually a purpose to the garden area off the Eiffel Tower instead of just being a sad smoking area. 

I feel like CF has been kind of a best-of-times/worst-of-times thing (I'm from Detroit, so I only get to go once a year). I think there's been a lot of TLC given to bring more coasters and thrill rides to the park; Diamondback, Banshee and Mystic Timbers are all world-class coasters. But I feel like customer service has taken a dive and the food offerings don't feel as special. But that might also just be 40-year-old me being more particular than 20-year-old me.  

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6 minutes ago, cdubbs727 said:

I'm a big-time movie nerd, so I loved the Paramount era (I was also in my teens for much of it and was easily impressed by thrills and flash). Some things were really cool: I liked Tomb Raider when it was fully themed. There was a cool laser show they did in the Kings Island Theater themed to Paramount movies. There was actually a purpose to the garden area off the Eiffel Tower instead of just being a sad smoking area. 

I feel like CF has been kind of a best-of-times/worst-of-times thing (I'm from Detroit, so I only get to go once a year). I think there's been a lot of TLC given to bring more coasters and thrill rides to the park; Diamondback, Banshee and Mystic Timbers are all world-class coasters. But I feel like customer service has taken a dive and the food offerings don't feel as special. But that might also just be 40-year-old me being more particular than 20-year-old me.  

At least at Wonderland, the Lazer Zone shows also ran in the KECO/Taft era as well (who actually owned the park, I was never clear on that) Assuming we are talking about the same show, as it was held in the Paramount Theatre (now Wonderland Theatre) as well.

My main beef with the Paramount days was how a lot of family rides were compromised here, the worst was when my favorite ride in the park was eliminated, Shiva's Fury which was an Eyerly Monster. Replacing these rides that parents could ride with their kids, rides that were not that intense but were a good middle ground in terms of rides, a step up from the kids rides but a step below the thrill rides. Shake Rattle & Roll is a great example of such a ride I'm talking about at Kings Island. In the end, 5 such family rides were removed and replaced by more intense thrill rides such as a "HUSS Giant Jump 2", a "Mondial Top Scan", and a "Mondial Frisbee".

Also, Paramount was ignorant towards the original themes of the park and placed rides that didn't have anything whatsoever to do with the theme. Wonderland's Top Gun for instance replaced a log flume ride called the Zumba Flume, the old ride was in a section that was to resemble a 19th century World Fair, so instead of creating a new ride with a cultural theme, they place Top Gun full of its hangars in the area. Eventually World Expo would be called Action Zone, but oddly enough to this day, the flags and globe still stand to the entrance of this portion of the park that's now called Action Zone.

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^^^
In Paramount's defence (never thought I'd type those words), if they didn't remove the family rides for the intense rides like the Jump^2, Top Scan and Frisbee, there wouldn't have been any thrill rides added at all...

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I went less than a handful of times under the Paramount moniker, but I always felt nickel and dimed.  I also felt the park was just a giant movie commercial. 

Just a personal opinion and not an experiential one--I like the park much better under Cedar Fair than under the various Paramount owners.  

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6 hours ago, Honorarius said:

^^^
In Paramount's defence (never thought I'd type those words), if they didn't remove the family rides for the intense rides like the Jump^2, Top Scan and Frisbee, there wouldn't have been any thrill rides added at all...

Not necessarily. I figured to get an understanding, I will write a basic timeline of what happened when Paramount took over.

 

The basic idea similar to Kings Island was that Canada's Wonderland had a bunch of themed areas. International Street, International Festival (which was the area behind International Street that surrounded the mountain but mostly on the right side of the mountain), Hanna-Barbera Land, Medieval Faire (a medieval themed section), and Grande World Exposition of 1890 (a 19th century's World Fair themed area). Frontier Canada which was supposed to have a centerpiece of the Mighty Canadian Minebuster was never built. Only the Minebuster was built, however Splash Works, a water park would open in the area later on in 1992, and Wonderland's White Water Canyon ride would open nearby, this new section by WWC was called White Water Canyon in latter years.

 

393866_10151035831233924_684028905_n.jpg

Below is a latter park map from the 1989 season in the Park Guide for that year:

Canadas-Wonderland-Map-1989-600x408.jpg

 

So now, from memory, this is the timeline of what Paramount did to alter the park, unfortunately I do not have the Park Map from 1993 on hand. But unlike what happened at the other parks, Canada's Wonderland would not become Paramount Canada's Wonderland until 1994, even with this new name, the park was always referred to the public as "Canada's Wonderland" or simply "Wonderland".

 

1994

-In the White Water Canyon area, Days of Thunder (which would later be known as the Action F/X Theatre) is built, no attractions are compromised, how rich, the first thing Paramount builds is a movie theater
-The Paramount Story featuring a sort of "walk of fame" showing Paramount blockbusters on the ground as well as some props like Garth's car from Wayne's World and the Idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark are among the path

1995

-In World Expo, Zumba Flume (a log flume ride) becomes DEFUNCT, it is replaced by Top Gun, (a Vekoma "Suspended Looping Coaster") this themed area features a large line queue with various small hangars as well as a Funnel Cake shop which resembles a hangar outside the ride

1996

-In World Expo, along the path into the "main area" by the globe and flags, the Xtreme Skyflyer, an upcharge attraction opens, no attractions compromised to my knowledge
-In Medieval Faire, using empty space adjacent to Wilde Beast, Speed City Raceway a go-kart track, which is an upcharge attraction opens, again no attraction compromised
-Splash Works Expands, this is done by building a bridge over the far side of the Minebuster, it's unclear if the Minebuster track is altered for this to occur, some claim it was but I'm unsure, on the other side of the Minebuster, The Black Hole an enclosed tube water slide opens, The Pump House, an interactive water playground, and White Water Bay, Canada's Largest Outdoor Wave Pool opens (as an aside, Canada's largest wave pool is indoors at the West Edmonton Mall)

1997

-In Medieval Faire, Drop Zone: Stunt Tower opens, no attractions compromised, and does not fit with the Medieval theme whatsoever
-All other rides in the Medieval Faire which have a Medieval style name are renamed, Viking's Fury, a swinging ship becomes The Fury, Wilde Beast, a wooden coaster is renamed to Wild Beast, Quixote's Kettles, a teacup style ride (forgive me, I don't know the actual name of this ride) is renamed Spinovator and has its kettle handles removed, the "kettles" now resemble "buckets". Dragon Fyre, an Arrow steel coaster is renamed Dragon Fire. Finally, Wilde Knight Mares, a HUSS UFO is rebranded to Night Mares.

1998

-Kids Kingdom, a section of the park that Taft/KECO had opened in 1993 with its own unique set of characters along with a playground is rethemed to the bland KidZVille with a bunch of other attractions added. Snail Trail a simple ride is replaced by Swing Time (Zamperla Children's Swing), everything else in KidZVille is new, Taxi Jam, the same layout as Kings Island's opens, Chopper Chase opens, as well as a miniature teacup ride known as Flavourator. An Antique Cars ride, before known as Wonder Tour is renamed to Jokey's Jalopies, Balloon Race is renamed to Frequent Flyers.
-The Edge Climbing Wall another upcharge attraction opens in Medieval Faire
-James Bond: License to Thrill replaces Days of Thunder in the Action F/X Theatre.

A VERY BAD ONE, outdoor brands appear in the park for the first time. Later on, brands like Dairy Queen, Starbucks, and Pizza Pizza would appear in the park eliminating the park's own food options.

1999

-The Fly, a wild mouse steel coaster opens where the batting cages were in International Festival, rides weren't eliminated this time, but the batting cages were.
-Splash Works Expansion, a second bridge is built that crosses the minebuster, the bridge goes underneath one of the "camel humps" of the Minebuster and over the other, in this same area, two water rides are built using the same entrance, Super Soaker and The Plunge, both are family raft water slides, the former goes through an enclosed tunnel, passes through a waterfall and slides into a pool, the latter simply goes down a slide with two humps.
-One side of the Action F/X Theatre now shows Dino Island 3D, a ride where glasses are worn, James Bond is still seen on the other side, the problem with this, now it becomes impossible to theme this ride, as two programs can be shown at once.
-Shiva's Fury , an eyerly monster is simply renamed The Fury, further detheming World Expo

2000

-Cliffhanger, a Mondial Top Spin opens next to Spinovator in Medieval Faire, no attractions are compromised
-Scooby Doo's Haunted Mansion an indoor interactive dark ride replaces Bedrock Dock, a small boat circular boat ride
-One side of the Action F/X Theatre shows Meteor Attack in the Spring/Summer, and switches to Superstition in the fall. James Bond is no longer seen, Dino Island 3D is seen in the other side of the theater.

2001

-In International Festival, Shockwave, a Mondial Top Scan opens, this opens in the spot where Klockwerks, a Huss Swing Around was. However, Klockwerks relocates and replaces Bayern's Curve, a circular bobsled ride.
-A portion of the Kids Kingdom playground, notably a jumbo yellow slide is removed, in its place is a new section of KidZVille called Zoom Zone, Jumpin' Jet a crazy bus, and Blast Off, a frog hopper, Silver Streak, a new Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster opens.
-The Action F/X Theatre is now showing Stan Lee's The 7th Portal
-For reasons unstated, Pharaoh's Falls in World Expo, where riders rode down a steep slide on sleds was shut down this season, removed completely at the end of the year

2002

-In World Expo, with Pharaoh's Falls removed, the other water ride that was its neighbor Watersnake, which was an enclosed tube ride (that sat outside Splash Works) was also removed, both of these two rides were together known as the Racing Rivers, in the place of Watersnake is Psyclone, a mondial frisbee, again does not fit with World Expo theme
-Splash Works Expansion, Pipeline an enclosed body slide is removed and replaced by Riptide Racer, an 8 lane racer slide, Barracude Blaster, a new bowl slide is built and dumps riders into a portion of the Lazy River, the kids section of Splash Works is also expanded on
-Sol Loco, a HUSS Giant Enterprise is renamed to The Orbiter and its unique Mexican like entrance is removed, again further removing the World Expo theme
-The Bedrock Aquarium, where a sea lion show had been taking place since the park opening is shut down, this was a wise move as shows involving live animals today are generally shunned

2003

-In World Expo, Sledgehammer, a Huss Giant Jump 2 opens in the spot roughly occupied by the other Racing River, along with Psyclone and Orbiter, these three rides form a new section of the park called Action Zone
-The Bedrock section of Hanna-Barbera Land is rethemed to Nickolodeon Central, two of the Bedrock Rides are removed, Hot Rock Raceway a car ride like antique cars but only for kids, and Flintstone Flyboys, a pterodactyl ride. The bumper cars ride is rethemed with a rugrats theme. There is also a Dora themed ride and Jimmy Neutron themed ride as well.
-Spongebob Squarepants 3D runs in Action F/X Theatre

2004

The following point angers me the most
-In World Expo, both The Fury, an Eyerly Monster, and The Great Whale of China, a Mack Rides Sea Storm Ride (this ride was moved to Carowinds and today operates as Peanuts Pirates) are both compromised to make way for Tomb Raider: The Ride, a Zamperla flying coaster

2005

-In Action Zone, Italian Job: Stunt Track opens, no attractions are compromised
-Wipeout in Splash Works is removed for unknown reasons

2006

-No new attractions to my knowledge open this year
-Orbiter, the HUSS Giant Enterprise is dismantled at the beginning of the season and Wonderland no longer advertised the ride, however after Cedar Fair announces the purchase of the park, the Orbiter is put back together and reopens later that season

 

 

 

So there you have it, my rant on how Paramount fundamentally changed the style of the park in my neck of the woods. They didn't care whatsoever about theming (although one could argue that the latter days of Taft, they equally started to lose interest in theming). Gone were classics like Shiva's Fury and The Great Whale of China, replaced by Tomb Raider, which is now called Time Warp or shall I say Spine Warp. The folks over at CWMania when that site was active strongly agreed with my opinions on Paramount's destruction of the family rides. Like it or not, one of my great early memories of Wonderland was riding Shiva's Fury with my mother, and its neighbor The Great Whale of China. Sure, one could argue that The Fly and BLSC are family rides as well, but not in the same sense, they are more intense than the two flats I mentioned. Even Zumba Flume and Bayern's Curve were great family rides, Top Gun and Shockwave are not.

Also the 2004 season had the worst shows ever seen, one such kids show was simply a "Meet & Greet", no show in the Playhouse Theater but simply a lineup to shake hands was an indication on how bad things had gotten. Wonderland staff tried to blame the issue on the SARS epidemic the year prior, but there's no excuses like that. Kings Island also had the same horrible show as we did in our respective Paramount Theaters, in which guests recreated the cheesy King of the World scene in Titanic in such a bad way that the effect looked extremely cheesy.

Compare that to what Cedar Fair has done, I don't feel like writing a timeline, but they built Behemoth in 2008 which first came from a huge announcement in 2007, in the Paramount era, Paramount thought their SLC would be the only coaster they'd ever have to build. But in 2008 Wonderland saw the Behemoth, and perhaps because Wonderland gets more visitors than either Cedar Point or Kings Island, they gave Wonderland a much larger Behemoth in 2012 called Leviathan over 300 feet high, a giga coaster. Both these rides were built by thinking outside the box, no other attractions were compromised to allow these rides to happen. It's also a nice touch how Leviathan's station actually resembles the older stations in Medieval Faire. Jet Scream, a looping starship was compromised for WindSeeker. And SkyRider, a TOGO stand up was compromised in 2014, which we still don't know what will replace it, but I'm sure it will be something world class as well. Paramount never gave us anything ambitious or that strong in their era. Paramount was at least somewhat ambitious at Kings Island involving SOB and Tomb Raider, but they didn't try anything big at Wonderland.

This is my rant for now.

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As a person who has always loved movies, I loved it. It was nice to have a local park that embraced films. I loved the posters, the Addams Family score that greeted you as you entered the park, the Mirthmobile that sat comfortably in Tower Gardens. I loved it all, at the time. 

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The Paramount era was the darkest time in Kings Island history.    The 4 original Taft parks (KI, KD, Carowinds, CW)  were excellent, beautiful, THEMED regional parks.  (Carowinds was not built by Taft, but was a high quality them park under them)    There were the best regional theme parks in the nation (along with Busch Gardens).

Under KECO, the parks suffered.  Ride removal and general neglect were the pattern.  Probably because KECO had loan payments to make.  But they did overall keep the theme of the parks coherent.  They were responsible for leaving Oktoberfest in its current condition for the most part.  They also made a serious error at Kings Dominion by draining the lake and installing that horrible water park in its hole.     I believe they were also responsible for not following through on Frontier Canada.....

But then Paramount came along and totally decimated the parks.   They were more concerned with promoting their horrible, forgettable movies instead of managing theme parks.  They removed great family rides in may of the parks (trains, skyways, dark rides, car rides, monorails, etc).    Their new installations often had nothing to do with the themed area, and were completely out of place in the parks.  The Stunt Coaster is an excellent example.  What an eyesore.    They also neglected live performances as their focus was only on thrill rides.  They neglected the landscaping and items such as the floral clock, etc.

Kings Island survived better than the other parks.  The most notable Paramount damage there is the hideous Stunt Coaster in the middle of the park, the decimation of Lion Country into the generic Action Zone and the awful warehouse that now sites where the Keelboat Canal lake once was.    I believe the saving grace of the train was that it was transportation to the more remotely located water park....

KD fared very poorly. They lost their train, cable skyway, dark rides in the Lost Mountain.   They destroyed the aura of the Grizzly by cutting down most of the trees around it.   The park lost many of its live entertainment venues. 

Carowinds was totally decimated by Paramount.  The park was once a beautiful park with lots of water and 8 sections themed to the Carolinas,  Almost all of the water and theming were lost under Paramount.  Most family rides removed including the riverboat, speedway cars, monorail.  And again live performance venues removed.    The park is just a shell of its glory.

The look at Great American in CA vs Great America in Chicago.  The CA version was decimated by Paramount as well.  There  is hardly anything left of the original theming of the park!   While Six Flags is horrible neglectful management, they have left the Chicago park in tact much better...

And even coaster-wise, Paramounts installations at these parks were not significant.  When CF bought the parks is when they started getting great coasters..

For the most park Cedar Fair has done a great job with the parks.   Before purchasing these parks, they did not seem to be a company that cared about theming, but most of their installations in these parks have enhanced the themed area of the parks. They have made some major errors like removing Thunder Road and Powder Keg Flume at Carowinds.  But all in all it was a miracle that they saved these parks from the horrible wrath of Paramount.



 

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I mostly agree with what's already been stated.  Paramount seemed to just kind of drop things in without much respect to how it fit in.  Cedar Fair has done a masterful job of enhancing the area(s) of the park that they install things in (although I've never been a fan of draining Swan Lake for Diamondback, as well as it's placement in the park, but it does blend in about as well as a 200+ feet tall, red, steel rollercoaster can, and they did a great job of integrating it with an existing, original KI building).  Cedar Fair has also proven to do a great job with general, small details throughout the park (a great example is the improvements to the Tower Gardens area and its nice integration to the area behind Coney BBQ...has become a very nice area of the park).

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I was a 90s kid.  I remember the park before the Paramount era slightly, but otherwise, the majority of my younger years associated with the park was Paramount era.  

This opinion is a bit of a combination of my views as a younger person along with the benefit of hindsight and now knowing what went on behind the scenes. 

Overall, the Paramount era had a solid start and then waned.  I think their heads were a bit too big at first in trying to convert 5 traditional amusement parks to Universal style parks, but I think through the 90's, they adapted a model that worked.  They did work more with innovative rides such as bringing LIM coasters to life, being a bit more thorough on theming than Six Flags and passes were a bit more affordable than SIX or FUN, even for all the parks.  As it progressed though, especially with how Son of Beast and Crypt turned out, they tried to put together big elaborate concepts while cutting corners.  They also didn't completely rely on the Viacom brands for creating new attractions at their parks (at least less so than SIX at the time). 

If any of you pay attention to the industry, then you know that Viacom has been clamoring for a Universal style park in Europe for some time now.  The fact they can't get it off the ground nor provide more detailed concepts kind of shows that they didn't have that great of ideas to continue with the original Paramount Parks.  I don't think they were really married to doing parks after the first decade or so.   They put some admirable effort into it, but I think their idea well dried up (the fact they hesitated in using Star Trek theming always astounded me).    I think the way Viacom has handled Nickelodeon kind of eludes to that as well.  

My favorite bits that the Paramount era gave to Kings Island are Flight of Fear,  Action Zone, the kids area, 2 decent water park expansions, and what has now become the gold pass. 

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We lump the Paramount time as one time when it was multiple different owners.

For Kings Island the original owners in the Paramount Time wasn’t terrible. The later owner groups of the Paramount time was not good.


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So when does KECO take over from Taft, forgive me for being a n00b, but I always assumed that Taft and KECO were interchangeable.

At Wonderland, the only rides that were compromised prior to the Paramount era was a Round Up in World Expo, of course this isn't that much of a big deal, because let's be honest, a Round Up and a HUSS UFO are very similar rides. There was also the Smurf Cave which I faintly recall walking through in 1992, and I hated the ending because there would be scary music or something, the Smurf Cave became a video arcade in 1993 when they changed Smurf's Forest to Kids Kingdom. I mean let's be honest, the smurfs were slightly before my time.

I think Wonderland did somewhat ok with Frontier Canada essentially becoming Splash Works and White Water Canyon, but Frontier Canada does sound a bit more interesting.

Our Backlot Stunt Coaster is at least "hidden" for the most part, it's not a monstrosity like at Kings Island, but it's still kind of lame.

 

Also something to note, Paramount had scored the biggest blockbuster ever early on with Titanic. However, I can easily understand why they never did do any theming whatsoever after that movie in their parks.

The failure of Son of Beast wasn't entirely Paramount's fault, the company they chose cut corners with the engineering of the ride. I'm an aspiring civil engineer at my late age by the way, so I find this stuff interesting. Is it a travesty to say that I actually enjoyed that ride more than the original Beast, but then again I only rode either one once. At the time, the whole idea of a wooden coaster inversion was usually seen to be something impossible.

As for KI's Tomb Raider, we all know the Crypt failed because it's quite simple, that ride is Tomb Raider themed and simply cannot work without it. If Paramount still ran the park today, I'm sure that Tomb Raider ride would still be running.

 

EDIT: You guys can come after me all you want for this, but I think Son of Beast is a better experience than Banshee could ever be. There I said it, I have yet to ride Banshee but I will one day.

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3 hours ago, MisterSG1 said:

EDIT: You guys can come after me all you want for this, but I think Son of Beast is a better experience than Banshee could ever be. There I said it, I have yet to ride Banshee but I will one day.

I've ridden both - SoB both with and without the loop.  It and Banshee were just completely different rides and experiences that I don't really think they can be compared.  Son of Beast was a jaw-dropping structure.  Very imposing.  I always had a real problem with the queue.  It just seemed like such an afterthought to add turnstiles to part of the Top Gun queue.  It did not come across as very well thought out, given the significance (both in size and investment) of Son of Beast.  The biggest difference, of course is the ability to ride Banshee and still feel like you can enjoy the rest of your day at Kings Island, as opposed to wondering if you should have some x-rays performed at the nearest urgent care center (and I'm only slightly exaggerating).

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On July 31, 2018 at 1:41 PM, shark6495 said:

We lump the Paramount time as one time when it was multiple different owners.

For Kings Island the original owners in the Paramount Time wasn’t terrible. The later owner groups of the Paramount time was not good.
 

A part of me wonders what it would have been like if Paramount had not been purchased by Viacom or if Viacom had any actual interest in the parks once they purchased the studio and its assets. 

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I loved SoB, you just had to really brace yourself. If you thought of it as riding a mechanical bull it was great. Still-It was a once (at most) a visit proposition. 

I will always be bitter towards the Paramount era because it seemed that they stripped away many of my early childhood memories while at the same time failing to deliver truly awesome big thrill rides. This was also the advent of in-queue TVs and the programming was trite and repetitive (give me music/music videos all day). 

The Italian Job coaster to me sums up that era. Heavy on theming and ancillary elements, pedestrian in terms of coaster thrills. Poor handling of the opening. 

 

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On ‎7‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 2:41 PM, MisterSG1 said:

So when does KECO take over from Taft, forgive me for being a n00b, but I always assumed that Taft and KECO were interchangeable.

KECO was sometime in the mid-80s.  I remember being VERY disappointed in what happened to the parks after they took over. Ride removals and general lack of park maintenance (sort of like a 6 Flags Park today).   I remember at Carowinds they painted some of the rides in this awful off green color.  They must have gotten a discount on that color!

 

On ‎7‎/‎31‎/‎2018 at 2:41 PM, MisterSG1 said:

At Wonderland, the only rides that were compromised prior to the Paramount era was a Round Up in World Expo, of course this isn't that much of a big deal, because let's be honest, a Round Up and a HUSS UFO are very similar rides. There was also the Smurf Cave which I faintly recall walking through in 1992, and I hated the ending because there would be scary music or something, the Smurf Cave became a video arcade in 1993 when they changed Smurf's Forest to Kids Kingdom. I mean let's be honest, the smurfs were slightly before my time.

I think Wonderland did somewhat ok with Frontier Canada essentially becoming Splash Works and White Water Canyon, but Frontier Canada does sound a bit more interesting.

I think Frontier Canada was supposed to have a full blow steam train circling it.  Imagine what that park would be like with that!   CW did fare better with their flat rides than the other parks during the Paramount era.

wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==

 

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1 hour ago, super7 said:

I think Frontier Canada was supposed to have a full blow steam train circling it.  Imagine what that park would be like with that!   CW did fare better with their flat rides than the other parks during the Paramount era.

To be fair, the rides I truly miss, Shiva's Fury (Monster) and Great Whale of China (Sea Storm) were replaced by a lousy coaster and not a flat. Tomb Raider which became Time Warp or shall we say Spine Warp, a Zamperla flying coaster.

Replacing the "Racing Rivers" with the two flats was a better move when it doesn't really make sense to have water rides outside of Splash Works once Splash Works came to be.

But replacing those two classic above mentioned rides is an unforgivable sin. It hurts me more when our Monster sits rotting outside in storage and it is farmed for parts to keep the Kings Island version of the ride going.

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On 7/31/2018 at 2:41 PM, MisterSG1 said:

You guys can come after me all you want for this, but I think Son of Beast is a better experience than Banshee could ever be. There I said it, I have yet to ride Banshee but I will one day.

You can't diss a ride you've never ridden, Tera 2.0

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Paramount had it's ups and downs. I thoroughly enjoyed the additions like Boomerang Bay (duh), Top Gun & Flight of Fear. However other additions like Italian Stunt Job, Son of Beast's lack of competent construction & the odd implementation of Nick in HB Land just didn't sit right with me. Paramount was a great chain to see theming and quality in the first few years of an attraction, after that it turned sour quickly. Heck Top Gun's lower queue was rarely used and it had a ton of theming. I would say the Paramount era basically gave us the good, the bad, and the ugly in theme park industry.  

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Paramount always had us thinking about what could come next with endless theming possibilities. I quickly lost interest in KI after the sale and I also didn't care for the way some of our friends on the forums was treated.

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On 8/6/2018 at 5:36 PM, Captain Picard said:

Paramount always had us thinking about what could come next with endless theming possibilities.

Funny-That was one of the things I didn't care for. I always preferred theming that was not connected to another franchise/mythology/movie. To me, the rides deserved their own theming that were more based on their unique characteristics. The Beast is a hidden creature residing in a wooded canyon. The Banshee feels like a ghost grabs a hold of you drags you through the air as it chaotically flies through the air. Valravn is swooping bird, etc. I love movies butIi always felt like forcing movie theming onto the rides cheapened both the movie and the ride. 

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I got to admit that I miss Paramounts movie theming like Tomb Raidier, Face/Off, Titanic, etch. But I really like what Cedar Fair has done with the park with many more suprises to come.

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