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SonofBaconator

Cedar Fair- Attack of the Clones

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Ever since Cedar Fair Entertainment Company bought the Paramount parks in the mid 2000s, it seems like they've been straying away from cloned rides. Initially we saw some rides share the same name: multiple Flight Decks, Vortexes, and so on. However, in the more recent years we've seen these names change to better reflect their parks with a few exceptions like Racer 75, Patriot, and BLSC.

In terms of cloned rides, I can't recall a time Cedar Fair has built a ground up cloned coaster. With exceptions to WindSeeker, Delirious, and a few smaller rides, most of their flats have been somewhat original as well.

With all this in mind, is it safe to say that Cedar Fair trying to avoid cloned rides, and if so why? Is there a certain standard that the company is trying to set? Do they not want to just mimic the practices of rival companies Six Flags and Sea World? Or is it something else?

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40 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

With all this in mind, is it safe to say that Cedar Fair trying to avoid cloned rides, and if so why? 

Could it be to give each park a unique branding of rides and further inspire guests to travel between the parks?

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I am glad that Cedar Fair has started to give each park their own unique identity along with appropriate names.  It give each of the parks their own look and feel.  While KI and KD are a lot alike they also have a lot of differences as well.  Hopefully they keep coasters unique throughout the chain.  I wouldn't mind if they bought similar flat rides for their parks though as those types of rides are good for fleshing out the overall experience and if they bought two it would probably bring the cost down.  For example, if one year they bought two Screamin' Swings and put one at KI and one at Wonderland, I think that would be fine.

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I would like to see Cedar Fair branch out to different ride manufacturers like Six Flags has.  Sure B&M's are reliable, but there's plenty else out there that would make good additions to CF's ride list.  I almost think CF is a bit too traditional and would like to see a more modernized approach to ride additions.  

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Out of sheer boredom earlier, I went and used RCDB and Google to see how many cloned coasters Cedar Fair has made. So, I did some research, and found according to Wikipedia Cedar Fair was formed in 1983, so I used that as my starting point, and then began seeing what coasters were added to all their parks after they were acquired. I did not count re-locations (so no Geauga Lake rides were counted, since Cedar Fair didn't build any coasters there anyway). I also didn't count rides already at the parks prior to Cedar Fair taking over, or prior to 1983 for Cedar Point and Valleyfair. I found that Cedar Fair, since 1983 at all their parks, has made 51-52 coasters (there was 1 am unsure they made, I'll describe below) and of those, 10-11 were clones and 41 were unique. I did count the 2 new-for-2019 coasters, Copperhead Strike and Yukon Striker, though obviously they are not clones.

Here is a list of all "11" rides I found that were installed by Cedar Fair, that were clones:

#1- Dragon Coaster @ Dorney Park (Zamperla, 1992)
This is the one I am unsure about: it was added to Dorney Park in 1992, the same year Cedar Fair acquired Dorney. I could not find at what part of the year the acquisition took place OR when this ride opened, so I am not sure if it was added by Cedar Fair or Dorney's Previous Owners. In 2010 this ride was re-located to Valleyfair, where it operates to this day as Cosmic Coaster. It is also a powered coaster.

#2- Woodstock Express @ Cedar Point (Vekoma, 1999)
Wow, first for-sure clone at a Cedar Fair Park added by Cedar Fair wasn't added until 1999. This is your typical Vekoma family coaster.

#3- Mad Mouse @ Valleyfair (Arrow, 1999)
One of the last Arrows ever made, as they went under in 2001.

#4- Wild Mouse @ Dorney Park (Maurer GmbH, 2000)
Another Wild Mouse, this time by Maurer.

#5- Woodstock's Express @ Dorney Park (Zamperla, 2000)
A typical kiddie coaster. Similar to Howler at Holiday World, for those who have been there.

#6- Boomerang @ Worlds of Fun (Vekoma, 2000)
OMG Cedar Fair BUILT A VEKOMA BOOMERANG. I thought for sure this was re-located or added prior to Cedar Fair, but nope...

#7- Steel Venom @ Valleyfair (Intamin, 2003)
A Intamin Launched Inverted Impulse Coaster. This is the 185-foot version with one twist and one spike.

#8- Spinning Dragons @ Worlds of Fun (Gerstlauer, 2004)
A Gerstlauer spinning coaster. While it is a clone, there are only 2 of this model, so it is still a bit rare.

#9- Pony Express @ Knott's Berry Farm (Zamperla, 2008)
A Zamperla Motocoaster, it launches from 0-38mph.

#10- Coast Rider @ Knott's Berry Farm (Mack, 2013)
A 3rd Wild Mouse, and by a 3rd Manufacturer. Cedar Fair did have a few of these beforehand, as parks like Kings Dominion had this model. I assume they liked it.

#11- Railblazer @ California's Great America (RMC, 2018)
While only 2 of these RMC Raptor single-rail coasters exist, this one has to get the clone title, as Wonder Woman opened first.

There were also 2 "Nearly Clones":

Raptor @ Cedar Point (B&M, 1994)
Sierra Sidewinder @ Knott's Berry Farm (Mack, 2007)

These rides were unique when new, but some foreign parks have built clones of them. However they were unique when built, so I don't consider them clones.

In conclusion: Looking at this, Cedar Fair tends not to do clones, and it has been this way for a while. Consider that there are 41 unique non-cloned rides they have added to their parks since 1983, versus 11 clones, and of those clones most are family rides or Wild Mice (save for Boomerang, Steel Venom, and Railblazer).

BONUS
# of Coasters by Make built under Cedar Fair since '83
Arrow: 4
ART Gmbh: 1
B&M: 15 (Counting Yukon Striker)
CCI: 1
Dinn: 1
GCI: 4
Gerstlauer: 2
Intamin: 8
Mack: 3 (Counting Copperhead Strike)
Maurer: 1
Morgan: 3
RMC: 3
Vekoma: 2
Zamperla: 3

That's a lotta B&M.

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Look at the type of coasters which are most often cloned.  They are almost always smaller, more compact rides.  The savings on a cloned attraction come from not having to pay a design fee, while the track, trains, construction, etc are going to be same if the specs are basically the same.  Also clones work best on flat ground because cloning a ride includes the supports.

Cedar Fair is just not building the types of attractions which lend themselves to cloning.  They did build a Raptor from RMC which is a stock design and a mirror image of the ride built by Six Flags.  Cedar Fair has publicly stated if they are going to build a $20+ million dollar coaster they are going to want as many records as possible to help market the ride.

Basically why save $3 million on design fees to instead spend more money moving dirt around, and losing any chance of marketing your ride as the tallest, fastest, longest, etc.  If anyone is wondering the $3 million is what I have heard is the standard design fee for B&M on a custom layout.

Six Flags has committed to building an attraction in every park annually, so they are building a lot of smaller rides.  When they build a larger coaster they are building unique rides, but the smaller coasters like the 4D coasters are clones.  Which makes sense, your saving more than 10-15% per a ride.

If Cedar Fair changes directions and starts installing smaller attractions you will likely see more clones, but as long as it sticks to the larger more expense rides they will likely remain custom.

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It seems like KD is in the market for clones. First there was speculation that they were getting a modified "clone" of Heaven's Wing. Now they're rumored to get a Joker clone in the form 4D Freespin.

Do you all think Cedar Fair will add clones to their lower tier parks? Clones do save money but it doesn't seem like Cedar Fair to use cloned rides?

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21 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

It seems like KD is in the market for clones. First there was speculation that they were getting a modified "clone" of Heaven's Wing. Now they're rumored to get a Joker clone in the form 4D Freespin.

Do you all think Cedar Fair will add clones to their lower tier parks? Clones do save money but it doesn't seem like Cedar Fair to use cloned rides?

What is Heaven's Wing?

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5 minutes ago, tcraig88 said:

What is Heaven's Wing?

A B&M Wing Coaster in China. The OG rumors/possible leaks suggested that Kings Dominion would get a version of the ride to replace Volcano in 2021.

Rcdb Page for Heaven's Wing: https://rcdb.com/15676.htm

POV (has a slightly different name for the ride, it may have had a name change already or the translation is not 100% known): 

 

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28 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

It seems like KD is in the market for clones. First there was speculation that they were getting a modified "clone" of Heaven's Wing. Now they're rumored to get a Joker clone in the form 4D Freespin.

Do you all think Cedar Fair will add clones to their lower tier parks? Clones do save money but it doesn't seem like Cedar Fair to use cloned rides?

Unless something has changed the kdfans website claims to have seen documents which suggest that the S&S Free Spin is a custom layout.  No idea how custom the design would be, but it does at least sound like it will not be the same ride as what you have seen or ridden at Six Flags parks.

If the clone is on the other side of the planet does it matter?  Also there is a giant difference between building two and building twenty.  I really see no issue with getting a copy of a ride when the original is in China, almost no one in the US would even know it exists, let alone ride both.  While Raptor is the original, a clone was built a few years after it opened in Japan, since then it has been relocated to France.  I do not look at the ride any differently just because a second copy exists.  I cannot say the same for the Batman ride which exists at so many Six Flags parks.

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I could certainly see another S&S wing at a park like WOF or VF or Dorney. 

I do think it would be smart for CF to look at buying multiple sets of flats from companies though.  I think if they are serious about spreading out the coaster installations then they'll probably need to pad out their flats collection at most of their parks.  I don't think adding similar flats carries the same stigma anyways since there are very few unique flats anyways.

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2 hours ago, SonofBaconator said:

@Kenban with that in mind, would you be upset if KI got a clone of ride from not around here vs a custom design?

No, because I care more about it being a good ride then if its a clone.  There are tons of rides I would be very happy to see cloned and show up at Kings Island.  Hangtime at Knott's Berry Farm for instance, its fun, decent but not amazing capacity, and compact.  I love watching the lighting on the ride at night as well.  It would be a very easy ride to clone.  Sticking with Knott's, Sierra Sidewinder, another compact easy to clone ride, which is why there are two copies, one in Dubai, and one in England.

I hate terrible cheap clones, like the Vekoma SLC models.  Also clones reduce my desire to travel, when a park installs a ton of clones why spend a bunch of time and money visiting the park if I have already ridden all the rides somewhere else. 

But if you want to see a clone done right look at Dragonflier at Dollywood, its a stock model from Vekoma.  It is also the only copy in North America and its a good ride.

Its not like Kings Island does not already have clones, Invertigo, Flight of Fear, Backlot Stunt Coaster, Flying Ace Aerial Chase , Woodstock Express and the Great Pumpkin Coaster are all clones.  If you add in rides which are the same basic layout like Racer and Bat, more than half of the coasters at Kings Island are clones or have been cloned.  The park only has six coasters with totally unique layouts.

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WindSeeker, Delerium, Dinosaurs Alive! and Snoopy have entered the chat.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

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@Kenban that's an interesting thought on it and you're not wrong. I love to see clones of certain rides at KI: Sierra Sidewinder (as you've mentioned), and Georgia Scorcher.

When clones become an issue to me is when there's more than 3 and they're everywhere: 4d freespins, Batman(men?), Superman flyers, etc.

I'd be upset if we got a Six Flags clone but I'd be fine with it if it was one of only 3 (like I mentioned above) and was given a custom theme

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