Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
SonofBaconator

Ability to become a Flagship Park

Recommended Posts

Over the summer while I was interning at Cedar Point, a coworker and I were discussing the chain and the different additions to each park. When we were discussing Kings Island, he said that it has the potential to become a flagship park, mainly due to its high attendance, its size, and other factors. I was skeptical for the longest time until I thought, "could he be on to something?" From a business standpoint would it make sense to invest into making Kings Island a flagship park? Would its abundance of land, close proximity to a major city and highway, and other factors make it a good candidate?

This is all hypothetical of course but I'd like to hear your thoughts and opinions before I share my opinion.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...I thought Kings Island already was considered one of the chain's flagship parks?

The scuttlebutt I always heard was that CF wanted KI, but had to pick up four other (relatively good, but not as good as KI) parks to do that. 

• Wonderland ended up being a blessing in disguise who's potential was never truly realized by Paramount.
• They ended up making significant investment in Carowinds and Kings Dominion to try and unlock a bit more potential.
• Great America they were than happy to sell to the 49ers, but when they didn't: "eh, I guess it works."

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even if KI had their best year ever they wouldn’t match on just a good year because of their out of park spending.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I was asked what the "flagship" parks are in the Cedar Fair chain, I would say Cedar Point, Canada's Wonderland, and Carowinds.  The investment that they have made into those parks since the Paramount acquisition is why I would lean in that direction. 

Even though I don't put Kings Island in that category, I think Kings Island does have its own unique place, which is not insignificant.   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, jimbo t said:

I always wondered why they didn't expand out to use all if not most of the land.

Expanding into new areas not only requires new rides/attractions, but expanding infrastructure and operation as well. They won't even put bathrooms in X-Base. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't the term "Flagship" imply that there can be only one?  I don't see Kings Island overtaking Cedar Point in any key regard, so Kings Island does not have the ability to become a flagship park. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Gordon Bombay said:

Expanding into new areas not only requires new rides/attractions, but expanding infrastructure and operation as well. They won't even put bathrooms in X-Base. 

I am not arguing that X-Base could use a restroom, for I think it does, especially the lines that the 2 coasters back there can generate.

Alternatively, don't forget the park sees X-Base as part of Coney Mall. If you look at a park map, X-Base does not exist. It is never mentioned. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which I think they could add a flat ride or two back there, and a retail area/food stand and it would be a nice addition to that area of the park.  The likely deal breaker is, like Action Zone it is a dead end path (with no easy and cheap way to alleviate that issue).  And there simply is not a lot of room to expand towards Windseeker back there because of all the back of house buildings.

Don`t forget that Knott`s Berry Farm, as the sole year round operation for Cedar Fair is considered one of their top parks.  

Knott`s also has an on property hotel.  (Hotels are also coming to Carowinds and Canada`s Wonderland).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cedar Point has lots of rides and coasters, but it is hardly a flagship quality park IMO.  Some of the dirtiest restrooms in the business, horrible food, total lack of shade (including the queues)/concrete/asphalt atmosphere and lack of total family attractions puts it in a B class category.    Kings Island is in that same category IMO for some of the same reasons.  Plus Cedar Point is not even a theme park other than Frontiertown.   That definitely throws it out of a flagship status.

In fact, I don't believe there are many flagship parks in the USA.   Europa Park in Germany and PortAventure in Spain are fine examples of a flagship parks.   Quality rides in all categories, excellent theming and atmosphere, updated facilities, etc.

Kings Island has a lot of potential. When it was built, it was designed as one of the best regional theme parks in the US.  However, changes of ownership really deviated from the master plan and lowered the park in its status.    Cedar Fair has been taking it in the right direction.

Kings Island needs a lot of infrastructure work to this day. CF has been doing that with new concrete, new buildings and remodeled restrooms. 

Still, compared to its sister park in VA, the park has a "trashy" atmosphere.  For example.  The condition of International Street and the general lack of trees are two big factors.   I Street definitely needs an overhaul to be more like Kings Dominion with more shade and cozy sitting areas instead of the trashy white picnic tables that are in the main walkways with no shade. 

The park still has Paramount eyesores like the Stunt Coaster and the empty warehouse in Rivertown that trash it up.   Oktoberfest needs a complete overhaul as there is not much to do there or neither is it Oktoberfest themed.  Then there is the ever trashy Action Zone with no theme and no shade.  

The addition of the antique cars was also a step forward installing a new total family attraction.    It should clean up that deserted area of the park with the potential landscaping.

They also need to step up their live entertainment at these parks to become flagship.  Cedar Point did that this year.  One could go see shows all day long if one wanted.  THAT is the kind of thing that elevates at park.

Cedar Fair has been taking these parks in the right direction with themed attractions and replacing infrastructure.  If they continue to do so, they could have several flagship parks from the Taft chain.  KI, KD and CW are all in high population areas.     KD is one of the most beautiful theme parks in the country (with some Paramount/KECO damage evident in the park) on one of the most highly traveled freeways on the est coast.  It baffles me why their attendance is so low.  Busch is surely a factor but lack of family attractions and shows is a factor also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the way I see it, I consider Cedar Point and Kings Island the top 2 in the chain as a whole and I'm not the only one- there's a couple of online polls that rank Kings Island as the second best Cedar Fair park overall. 

A rough comparison but I see Cedar Point as the Magic Mountain of the chain while Kings Island is Great Adventure.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems flagship needs defined. @super7 seems to take appearance into account more than anything.

I see it as the park making the most money and getting the most capital investments. In this regard I think CP and KI, and Carowinds would be CF's flagship parks. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Gordon Bombay said:

Expanding into new areas not only requires new rides/attractions, but expanding infrastructure and operation as well. They won't even put bathrooms in X-Base. 

very true . I understand the cost. I just thought if it was a lot bigger it would draw more people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's just a few two cents:

It's a no brainer that in the pre-Cedar Fair days, Taft and including Paramount, that Kings Island was the flagship park of the chain. In this era, all the good stuff went to Kings Island, The Beast, Vortex, Son of Beast (despite its failure) broke records in their own ways. Before SOB, most would think a giant loop on a wooden coaster would be totally impossible, and that wooden coasters can't invert. It's what I think of attractions in the sense of those that "attract" visitors from great distances.

Kings Island has not really done anything big since Cedar Fair took them over. They got Diamondback, but pretty much everyone has a 200' Hyper B&M nowadays. Then there's Banshee, a world record breaker sure, yet personally it doesn't strike me as a mega attraction.

I mean, with the new rides that Cedar Fair has brought upon Canada's Wonderland, especially now with the addition of Yukon Striker, the first roller coaster built in Wonderland that will be a record holder of some kind, one could debate if Wonderland or Kings Island is the better park. This would be a dumb question to ask in 2004, as the answer would be a no brainer, Kings Island for sure, but now Wonderland has gotten close to the level of Kings Island.

 

As for someone who asked why Kings Dominion attendance is so low. Even though it's on the I-95 corridor, it practically is in the middle of nowhere. The city that it's anchored onto, Richmond, is the smallest metro area for starters out of all the former Taft/KECO properties. Canada's Wonderland on the other hand, is anchored by one of the largest metros in either Canada/US, has great public transit access relative to the other parks, you can almost take the subway there now. (Toronto outside NYC has the strongest usage of public transit) I'm sure the vast majority of Wonderland's associates come in to work using public transit. Kings Dominion is for better or worse, an attraction in the middle of nowhere along I-95. Some could say Cedar Point is the same thing, but Cedar Point has made itself more of a destination than the local amusement park, at least that's how I see it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, MisterSG1 said:

I mean, with the new rides that Cedar Fair has brought upon Canada's Wonderland, especially now with the addition of Yukon Striker, the first roller coaster built in Wonderland that will be a record holder of some kind, one could debate if Wonderland or Kings Island is the better park.

I think it all depends on what you consider "better." The one standout feature CW has over KI is its extremely flatride collection. Canada's Wonderland now has a great top 3 but the rest of their lineup is mediocre. You could argue the same about KI but I feel like their supporting coasters pack a bigger punch. Canada's Wonderland needs, from my standpoint at least, better supporting coasters to complement its top three.

If you eliminate the parks top 3 coasters and clones that it shares with KI you'd get, Minebuster, Wild Beast, Flight Deck, Dragon Fire, Thunderrun, Fly, Timewarp, Wonder Mountain's Guardian and The Bat. If you eliminate KI's top 3 roller coasters and the clones that it shares with CW, you'd get The Beast/Mystic Timbers (which ever you personally don't rank as the top 3), Vortex, Racer, Firehawk, Adventure Express, Flight of Fear, and Invertigo. 

I think Canada's Wonderland is definitely in the top 4 like what @IndyGuy4KI said, but they need a good wooden and launched coaster to get on KI's level, IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To some Degree of ranking

 

I go

Cedar Point

Knotts

Carowinds tied eith Canada

Then Kings Island. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SonofBaconator said:

I think it all depends on what you consider "better." The one standout feature CW has over KI is its extremely flatride collection. Canada's Wonderland now has a great top 3 but the rest of their lineup is mediocre. You could argue the same about KI but I feel like their supporting coasters pack a bigger punch. Canada's Wonderland needs, from my standpoint at least, better supporting coasters to complement its top three.

If you eliminate the parks top 3 coasters and clones that it shares with KI you'd get, Minebuster, Wild Beast, Flight Deck, Dragon Fire, Thunderrun, Fly, Timewarp, Wonder Mountain's Guardian and The Bat. If you eliminate KI's top 3 roller coasters and the clones that it shares with CW, you'd get The Beast/Mystic Timbers (which ever you personally don't rank as the top 3), Vortex, Racer, Firehawk, Adventure Express, Flight of Fear, and Invertigo. 

I think Canada's Wonderland is definitely in the top 4 like what @IndyGuy4KI said, but they need a good wooden and launched coaster to get on KI's level, IMO.

Since you know more about the Wonderland than the average bear, I'm curious, do you see any spot where a new wooden or launched coaster could go? I mean one could say that the easiest solution is to put the Wild Beast on the chopping block, but it's something I don't want to see happen myself.

The reason why KI's supporting coaster lineup is superb is because obviously. KI was the flagship park. KI got the record breaking Vortex, we got Dragon Fire. Or KI would get Flight of Fear while we would get as it was known Top Gun. While Kings Island gets the Son of Beast, we get The Fly.

It was only when Cedar Fair took over that Canada's Wonderland started to get some respect from corporate. If I recall, I remember reading once that Leviathan was intended to go to Knott's originally, I mean it does seem a bit redundant having a hyper and giga, it's like junior and senior.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There can only be one flagship park and as long as Cedar Point is part of the Cedar Fair chain, Cedar Point will be it. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, MisterSG1 said:

Since you know more about the Wonderland than the average bear, I'm curious, do you see any spot where a new wooden or launched coaster could go?

Rude, I never said I knew more about Canada's Wonderland than others. I'm just stating that CW needs better coasters in general to be as good as, if not better than KI. One thing I've learned from Mystic Timbers is that its possible for a good coaster to be put in tight quarters. For another launched coaster, Timewarp and Flight Deck could be removed for a new coaster if they really wanted to. Also they could build over the lake to the left of Behemoth if they needed more room.

They also need a strong wood coaster. Minebuster and Wild Beast, while awesome coasters considering their callback to Coney Island's old coasters, are weak and could be replaced. MCMB would be harder since its got limited space but if you couls do something with Wild Beast. Either RMC it or tear it down and build a new wooden coaster entirely and tear out the old go kart track to make room like the concept posted below.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From a revenue/earnings standpoint, number 1 is Cedar Point, and number 2 is Knotts and while number 3 is Kings Island it is not even close.  The last year the numbers were available was 2016 (plus this is from measuring a pie chart so the percentages are likely +/- 1 percent), Cedar Point is about 24% of the chains earnings, Knotts was about 22%, KI was 14%, Canada's Wonderland suffers from the exchange rate and is around 10% and Carowinds is somewhere around 7-8%.

Although it is obvious who the flagship is with the massive investments in Cedar Point.  I am surprised people think Canada's Wonderland is favored over Kings Island though, here is a list of the roller coasters at both since the purchase of the Paramount parks.

2007 - KI - Firehawk

2008 - CW - Behemoth

2009 - KI - Diamondback

2012 - CW - Leviathan

2014 - CW - Wonder Mountain's Guardian & at KI - Banshee

2017 - KI - Mystic Timbers

Thats 4 at Kings Island with 3 at Canada's Wonderland, and while CW is getting a 4th next year, it appears based on fillings that KI is keeping with the 3 year cycle and getting a B&M as well in 2020 giving it five since the acquisition.  I believe CW has been receiving a stronger collection of flat rides, but I have a very hard time believing that the park is really getting that much more investment than Kings Island.  If anything overall I suspect the total is similar.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

Rude, I never said I knew more about Canada's Wonderland than others.

 

I think you misunderstood what I meant. After all this is a Kings Island site and I don’t expect to average poster on here to be well knowledgeable on Wonderland’s attractions.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MisterSG1 said:

 I mean it does seem a bit redundant having a hyper and giga, it's like junior and senior.

Uhhhh….. Magnum and Mill Force? Cedar Point has been and always will be the Flagship park of Cedar Fair. Look at Valley Fair. its half of Cedar Fair's name and they never get anything new. Cedar Point is Cedar Fair's baby.

I smell Troll.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

It seems flagship needs defined. @super7 seems to take appearance into account more than anything.

I see it as the park making the most money and getting the most capital investments. In this regard I think CP and KI, and Carowinds would be CF's flagship parks. 

OK That's fair.  Cedar Point is the #1 priority park of Cedar Fair I do believe.    That being said, it is a B class park at best for the reasons listed about. The former Taft parks have SO much more potential to be A class parks....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KI has nearly limitless upside due to its size. Increased theming, flats, coasters can all be done. It could one day be 'everything for everybody'.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, King Ding Dong said:

Nope.  Without a Skyride a park will always be a Tier II Park.  :D

Also bring back Phantom Theater.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/28/2018 at 1:42 PM, MisterSG1 said:

As for someone who asked why Kings Dominion attendance is so low. Even though it's on the I-95 corridor, it practically is in the middle of nowhere. The city that it's anchored onto, Richmond, is the smallest metro area for starters out of all the former Taft/KECO properties. Canada's Wonderland on the other hand, is anchored by one of the largest metros in either Canada/US, has great public transit access relative to the other parks, you can almost take the subway there now. (Toronto outside NYC has the strongest usage of public transit) I'm sure the vast majority of Wonderland's associates come in to work using public transit. Kings Dominion is for better or worse, an attraction in the middle of nowhere along I-95. Some could say Cedar Point is the same thing, but Cedar Point has made itself more of a destination than the local amusement park, at least that's how I see it.

The location is less than suberb, I remember looking at old posters and advertisements boasting about their closeness to Washington D.C. which seemed like a stretch considering KD is 85 miles away form DC.  I agree that Kings Dominion has become the the victim of poor location and inferiority to other amusement parks. Their greatest competition, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, is only an hour and a half away and is closer to huge populated areas Norfolk- not to mention its close proximity to major tourist spots like Jamestown and Virginia Beach. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While Cedar Point could certainly use more shade, it IS the flagship park. It takes in the most revenue and I don't see another park in the chain overtaking that designation any time soon. When I go to Cedar Point, it seems like there is so much more to do. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With Kings Island more of a year round park I still say some unique dark rides a real year round restaurant at the entrance. 

 

A knotts East. Alot like Knotts Berry Farm  

I'd also say Knotts The Point and Wonderland are the only flagships

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It baffles me the amount of attendance Kings Island gets every year in relation to other seasonal parks in the continent even though we don't truly have our own resort. When I interned for Cedar Point's campground this summer, you wouldn't believe the number of repeat customers that continued to stay at the resort simply because they accommodated Rvs. I strongly believe that if KI brought back their campground, more people would be willing to come and stay for a couple of days. Just a thought.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...