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Does Kings Island need a giga?

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33 minutes ago, Coaster Critics said:

Although I do not have any specific numbers, I know from working at the park this season versus last season that there were far less busy days. This is also very usual as a new coaster is a major attendance booster and usually the next season drops lower than the previous one.

It is true that Cedar Fair had a slow start to the 2018 season in general. But that does not mean that attendance is on a permanent decline and will be until we get a giga, as you suggested.

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On 2/26/2019 at 5:07 PM, KIghostguy said:

It is true that Cedar Fair had a slow start to the 2018 season in general. But that does not mean that attendance is on a permanent decline and will be until we get a giga, as you suggested.

Attendance went up to finish the year I believe. 

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18 hours ago, KIghostguy said:

It is true that Cedar Fair had a slow start to the 2018 season in general. But that does not mean that attendance is on a permanent decline and will be until we get a giga, as you suggested.

I agree that it is not proven that the park is on a permanent decline. That was just a hypothesis of my own based on the previous attendance of parks around the world after they get a major coaster. Parks continuously add new rides because it boosts attendance for a short time. They need to consistently add to maintain this heightened attendance.

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58 minutes ago, Hawaiian Coasters 325 said:

KI didn't really add anything except a restaurant in 2018, so that's why imo attendance wasn't as good as 2017. Imo more families will come to the park this year for the antique cars, but we'll see. 

How do you know that the attendance at Kings Island wasn't as good as 2017? Based on personal observations, doesn't really give actual facts of attendance being on a decline or an incline. 

If we go on personal observations after a ride has been installed and attendance has declined, I'd venture to say Kings Dominion fits that category. I would guess Kings Island has never really hit a mark in the parks history quite like KD has.

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55 minutes ago, chugh43 said:

How do you know that the attendance at Kings Island wasn't as good as 2017? Based on personal observations, doesn't really give actual facts of attendance being on a decline or an incline. 

If we go on personal observations after a ride has been installed and attendance has declined, I'd venture to say Kings Dominion fits that category. I would guess Kings Island has never really hit a mark in the parks history quite like KD has.

I agree, if attendance declined after large investments then I don’t really see CedarFair installing rollercoasters as often as they do, if Banshees growth was only that season and the next season declined I seriously doubt CedarFair would have built Mystic Timbers as soon as they did

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2 hours ago, Ben43065 said:

I agree, if attendance declined after large investments then I don’t really see CedarFair installing rollercoasters as often as they do, if Banshees growth was only that season and the next season declined I seriously doubt CedarFair would have built Mystic Timbers as soon as they did

Let's take Banshee as an example. What I am saying is that 2014 was better than in 2013 for attendance but in 2015 was less than in 2014 but still greater than in 2013. It would take a long time before the attendance would go back to the low numbers of 2013. (2013 < 2015 < 2014)

3 hours ago, chugh43 said:

How do you know that the attendance at Kings Island wasn't as good as 2017? Based on personal observations, doesn't really give actual facts of attendance being on a decline or an incline. 

If we go on personal observations after a ride has been installed and attendance has declined, I'd venture to say Kings Dominion fits that category. I would guess Kings Island has never really hit a mark in the parks history quite like KD has.

It is not only personal observations that lead me to believe this. It is my inference as well. Let's take the example of a car. Speed= Park attendance. In 2016 Kings Island is at a steady pace but once Mystic opened in 2017 the gas pedal was pressed to make the car pick up great speed. Then the gas pedal was let off after the hype ran out for the ride and the car is currently drifting towards were it was in 2013. Now it will take a long time for the car to get that slow again but a new attraction such as a new coaster will start the cycle all over again.

As for KD the only explanation I have is that some parks react differently than others to new attractions. This probably means that KD does not have as large of a spike in attendance as Kings Island does after a new coaster and therefore would be a poor business decision to invest too much into KD.

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We actually do have some data for Kings Island attendance- thanks to the TEA Reports. 2018 isn't posted yet from them, and some do question how accurate these reports are (Stuff like KI beating out parks like Magic Mountain or Great Adventure- which are in 2 MASSIVE markets- was suspicious to some), but I decided to check them out since they are really the only source I could think of. The reports for KI go back to 2007. I got the numbers from this page on Wikipedia, but TEA was used as the OG source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_amusement_park_rankings#North_America

Here is how Kings Island did year-by-year, I also list what big new attractions were added, if any:

2007- Firehawk: 3,050,000 (2006 Data Unknown)
2008- Cedar Fair Re-Themes and Forwards Racer (No New Rides): 3,126,000 (+76,000) (+2.49%)
2009- Diamondback: 3,000,000 (-126,000: Recession Seen As Part of Drop) (-4%)
2010- Planet Snoopy & Boo Blasters: 3,112,000 (+112,000) (+3.7%)
2011- WindSeeker/Dinos: 3,143,000 (+31,000)  (+0.9%)
2012- Soak City Retheme/Expansion: 3,206,000 (+63,000) (+2%)
2013- Reds HOF Grille (No New Rides): 3,206,000 (+0) (+0%)
2014- Banshee: 3,238,000 (+32,000) (+0.9%)
2015- Woodstock Gliders & Snoopy Space Buggies: 3,335,000 (+97,000) (+2.99%)
2016- Tropical Plunge: 3,384,000 (+49,000) (+1.4%)
2017- Mystic Timbers/Winterfest: 3,469,000 (+85,000) (+2.5%)

Decade (2007 vs. 2017): +419,000 (+13.7%)

If attendance did drop in 2018 (which it may have for KI- Cedar Fair themselves seem to hint at this- but the TEA report hasn't come out for 2018 yet), it will have been the first since 2009 (which was the only "down" year until 2018 under Cedar Fair). Of the coasters, not counting Firehawk because 2006 data isn't available so we can't see what kind of effect it had, Mystic Timbers saw the biggest jump with a 2.5% increase. Though that also came paired with the much hyped return of Winterfest- and a extension of the operating season. Banshee saw only a 0.9% increase, but that same year Kentucky Kingdom re-opened and that park got about 500,000 guests, and I have to figure at least a few of those were Louisville area locals who went to KK instead of KI (possibly even up to 50,000?). Diamondback ironically saw a BIG 4% drop, in spite of it being one of the most popular rides in the park in the past decade. Though the fact it opened in a bad year for the economy probably didn't help at all.

What I find really shocking though is what years did the best in terms of attendance increase. A few may have claimed that Snoopy replacing Nickelodeon was a bad move in 2010, but apparently no one cared too much because a whopping 3.7% increase in attendance happened that year. Pretty impressive, especially if you consider there were no new rides, as Planet Snoopy was just a re-theme (even Boo Blasters was really just a de-themed Scooby Doo and the Haunted Castle at its core). The economy was also better in 2010 versus 2009 though, so I guess a lot of people suddenly had some money for once and wanted to go back to KI as well. Probably also to check out Diamondback, as I bet a lot of people missed it in 2009, and coasters typically remain draws for many years if they are good. Heck- The Beast probably still has decent "drawing power", and it is turning 40!

2015 was also a huge year. Add a $24 million B&M Invert KI fans have been asking for the past few years- get a 0.9% attendance increase. One year later, add some kids rides (granted one was also a "return" of a KI Classic, the Flying Eagles) for probably about $1 million tops and...AN ALMOST 3% INCREASE!?!? Yeah, totally not a drop as may have been expected. Stuff like this is probably why Cedar Fair is probably gonna start doing more smaller additions to its big, developed parks more often and not do huge coasters as much. Also, based on this, I am expecting a decent attendance boost from the Antique Cars in 2019. Family rides seem to be big draws for KI in the past decade. I expect more of them in the near future, after the rumored but likely 2020 B&M.

Also worth noting though- Kings Island has been around the 3 million attendance mark for a while now. When Vortex was added in 1987, Kings Island saw its first 3,000,000 guest season and while 2017 may be the current record-holder, I recall reading somewhere that prior to 2017, 2004 was one of the best years for attendance as it had around 3.4 million guests as well, and have also heard there were some years in the 90's like 1999 doing almost this much as well. At best, I think a Giga might get KI past 3.5 million (since MT and Winterfest got the park close at 3.469m as long as the 2018 drop isn't too huge), but not by much as Kings Island does seem to attract about as many guests as it can already. But a Giga could also very likely be marketed for at least 3+ years, probably even 5+ the way Diamondback was during the years leading up to Banshee, allowing the park to focus on smaller, cheaper things like improvements, flat rides, and waterpark additions while Cedar Fair spends its big money on its other parks that actually do still show they have room to grow, like Carowinds.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, McSalsa said:

I think a Giga might get KI past 3.5 million (since MT and Winterfest got the park close at 3.469m as long as the 2018 drop isn't too huge), but not by much as Kings Island does seem to attract about as many guests as it can already. 

A giga would certainly be able to get the park to 3.5, I’d say 3.6 million wouldn’t be an unreasonable estimate considering giga coasters are huge draws. Kings Island is still growing and I don’t believe the market is saturated. A 13% increase over a decade is a healthy growth rate in my opinion. You can’t expect a park that already draws a large number of people to grow by 3-4%

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28 minutes ago, Ben43065 said:

A giga would certainly be able to get the park to 3.5, I’d say 3.6 million wouldn’t be an unreasonable estimate considering giga coasters are huge draws. Kings Island is still growing and I don’t believe the market is saturated. A 13% increase over a decade is a healthy growth rate in my opinion. You can’t expect a park that already draws a large number of people to grow by 3-4% 

I just did a bit of math, and TBH, I agree with a possible 3.6 million in 2020. I took 1% off the 2017 attendance (2018 was a drop, but due to a increase in Haunt/Winterfest attendance it I don't imagine it was a huge drop-off) so 2018 was still probably over 3.4 million. If the Antique Autos can pull a extra 2-3% in (and they may well do it, given how well family rides did in the last decade when they were added) that will get KI very close to or over the 3.5 million mark. At that point, the Giga just needs to bring in another 2-3% increase to hit 3.6 million, which should be possible because the GP adore Giga Coasters due to their huge stats (and they are very easy to market).

Though it could still not happen if something fairly unpredictable, like terrible weather or another economic crisis (Diamondback likely would have gotten KI a big boost in 2009 had the economy not crashed) happens.

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On 2/28/2019 at 1:06 AM, Honorarius said:

Bodies through the front gate isn't the only metric that needs to be measured...

If your attendance goes up from 50000 pass holders making an extra 2 trips from the year before how much does it add to the bottom line???

Even in that case of a pass holder making more trips to the park they still will spend more money on food, games, and merchandise. I have heard numerous times that food and beverage is KI's money maker, not admission.

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56 minutes ago, Coaster Critics said:

Even in that case of a pass holder making more trips to the park they still will spend more money on food, games, and merchandise. I have heard numerous times that food and beverage is KI's money maker, not admission.

Yes, it's why 'per cap spending' is always brought up those corporate conference calls... They make a lot from passholders up front with passes for parking/admission/photos/drinks/dining but they're hoping you still get a funnel cake, shop for some merch and play a game or 5... 

But how profitable is a repeat visit from someone who's money they've already gotten compared to someone who shows up at the front gate to buy a ticket and also spends on parking/merch/food/drinks/games/fastpass???

My point is that it's not just about attendance...

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2 hours ago, Honorarius said:

Yes, it's why 'per cap spending' is always brought up those corporate conference calls... They make a lot from passholders up front with passes for parking/admission/photos/drinks/dining but they're hoping you still get a funnel cake, shop for some merch and play a game or 5... 

But how profitable is a repeat visit from someone who's money they've already gotten compared to someone who shows up at the front gate to buy a ticket and also spends on parking/merch/food/drinks/games/fastpass???

My point is that it's not just about attendance...

Fully agree....I've even heard some folks say that as passholders they don't have the money to spend in the park because they only budgeted for the pass.

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Everything you stated still doesn't mean there isn't a correlation between increased KI attendance and profits @Honorarius . Yes they would like to squeeze every penny out of you, but there is only so much they can do in certain markets. Example I'd say Cedar Point makes more on average per guest than Kings Island does.

A giga would make me visit much more frequently from my wagon wheel residence. On the flipside, I am not a fan of season long dining. IMO it leads to lower quality food service while also putting extra non-spending bodies in the park on weekdays.

@chugh43 I wouldn't take what I hear from "some people" as true across the board. Sure some people will buy their pass and not have much else to spend in the park that day. But logic would say that since they bought a season pass, they will be back for more visits..and who knows, maybe they will bring some money with them when they do. (People usually get paid every week or every other week.)

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3 hours ago, Number5IsAlive said:

Everything you stated still doesn't mean there isn't a correlation between increased KI attendance and profits @Honorarius . Yes they would like to squeeze every penny out of you, but there is only so much they can do in certain markets. Example I'd say Cedar Point makes more on average per guest than Kings Island does.

I'm not saying there isn't a correlation... I'm just saying that there are more factors... Per cap spending is often brought up on conference calls, and CP does makes more per guest than KI does... So to the bean counters at head office, 50000 people through the gate at CP is more money coming in than than 50000 through the gates at KI...  Where it gets even more complicated is 'adding Ride A at Park B for cost C will increase attendance by D and profits by E' vs 'Ride F at park G for cost H will increase attendance by I and profits by J'...

They're trying to get the bigger of the two E or J, but they're just trying to predict/guess/magic 8 ball which addition where will give it to them... They obviously have better data to go off than I do, and they still get it wrong...

To me and my napkin math, a giga makes great sense and will for sure make money, but that isn't the question being asked by the decisions makers... The question being asked is how much money does it make compared to other options???

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12 hours ago, Number5IsAlive said:

Everything you stated still doesn't mean there isn't a correlation between increased KI attendance and profits @Honorarius . Yes they would like to squeeze every penny out of you, but there is only so much they can do in certain markets. Example I'd say Cedar Point makes more on average per guest than Kings Island does.

A giga would make me visit much more frequently from my wagon wheel residence. On the flipside, I am not a fan of season long dining. IMO it leads to lower quality food service while also putting extra non-spending bodies in the park on weekdays.

@chugh43 I wouldn't take what I hear from "some people" as true across the board. Sure some people will buy their pass and not have much else to spend in the park that day. But logic would say that since they bought a season pass, they will be back for more visits..and who knows, maybe they will bring some money with them when they do. (People usually get paid every week or every other week.)

I run a season pass page....and have very specific conversations with multiple members....some I know pretty well and they have specifically stated "I don't have it in the budget to buy souvenirs or extra snacks at the park."  You're correct people usually get paid every week or every other week but not everyone is able to drop extra money outside of what's budgeted. 

 

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12 hours ago, chugh43 said:

I run a season pass page....and have very specific conversations with multiple members....some I know pretty well and they have specifically stated "I don't have it in the budget to buy souvenirs or extra snacks at the park."  You're correct people usually get paid every week or every other week but not everyone is able to drop extra money outside of what's budgeted. 

 

These things can be pretty expensive, more so when you compare their average cost outside the park. A meal at the Chicken Shack is a meal for two at Raising Cane's and for the price of eating two slices of LaRosa's pizza and a breadstick, you can have your medium pizza and an entire order of breadsticks. 

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3 hours ago, Joshua said:

These things can be pretty expensive, more so when you compare their average cost outside the park. A meal at the Chicken Shack is a meal for two at Raising Cane's and for the price of eating two slices of LaRosa's pizza and a breadstick, you can have your medium pizza and an entire order of breadsticks. 

Very True. My family of 3 has passes. My daughter goes to the park ~25 times per year.  My wife and I only visit around 10-12 times, with her. We get the Drink plan, but not the Meal plan. I hate paying roughly double for a meal, but we usually make it a point to eat a meal at the park.

For one, it's kind of fun. It creates memories that last a lifetime. I still remember sitting by the lake in Oktoberfest with my Dad and uncles.They would have a couple beers and some food before we headed over to The Racer. The experience, sometimes, outweighs the cost.

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As it pertains to people assigning Mystic Timbers the denigrating status of  "tweener" or "just a family coaster", these labels really do irk me...

First off, while I know that some of you may roll your eyes at me making a Maverick comparison, but it is true that GCIs are similar to Blitz and Mega-lites in the sense of despite not being anywhere close to tallest and fastest rides in their parks, their compact elements compensate for their relative lack of speed and height, thus upping their intensities to a level comparable to the biggest coasters.

 

"But Maverick has a 70 mph launch and a 95 degree drop!"

 

Correct. However I'd argue the most intense part of the ride occurs on the first series of turns and first airtime hill - a part where I can imagine its not going much faster than 50 mph (based on 100ft drop).

 

All I'm trying to say, stats or lack thereof, DO NOT necessarily translate into intensity. Think about how forceful Backlot's opening helix, despite it reaching a top speed of "only" 40 mph.

 

Sigh. I bet there's some already writing off Copperhead Strike as a "family-style" launch coaster, because of going "only" 50 mph. 

But like I said, based on how compact and tight the layout and transitions on CH are...

Don't worry, I don't think there's going to be any shortage of intensity on Carowinds' new launch coaster. :rolleyes:

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16 hours ago, BeastForever said:

As it pertains to people assigning Mystic Timbers the denigrating status of  "tweener" or "just a family coaster", these labels really do irk me...

First off, while I know that some of you may roll your eyes at me making a Maverick comparison, but it is true that GCIs are similar to Blitz and Mega-lites in the sense of despite not being anywhere close to tallest and fastest rides in their parks, their compact elements compensate for their relative lack of speed and height, thus upping their intensities to a level comparable to the biggest coasters.

 

"But Maverick has a 70 mph launch and a 95 degree drop!"

 

Correct. However I'd argue the most intense part of the ride occurs on the first series of turns and first airtime hill - a part where I can imagine its not going much faster than 50 mph (based on 100ft drop).

 

All I'm trying to say, stats or lack thereof, DO NOT necessarily translate into intensity. Think about how forceful Backlot's opening helix, despite it reaching a top speed of "only" 40 mph.

 

Sigh. I bet there's some already writing off Copperhead Strike as a "family-style" launch coaster, because of going "only" 50 mph. 

But like I said, based on how compact and tight the layout and transitions on CH are...

Don't worry, I don't think there's going to be any shortage of intensity on Carowinds' new launch coaster. :rolleyes:

I can understand this comparison because after my first ride on MT on media day I called it the Maverick of the woodies. My opinion has changed slightly, however. I do agree that Mystic has great pops of airtime and quick pacing it doesn't have the G forces and intensity of Maverick. Copperhead Strike from the POV seems to lack G's more so than mystic along with its slower pacing.

Edit: This is not to say that Copperhead Strike won't be an awesome coaster. But it will have a different appeal to it than a Blitz. Copperhead Strike will exceed in hangtime and I am excited to ride it!

Edited by Coaster Critics
Clarify my Opinion

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Forgive me for a grumpy old man post...

If I'm being totally honest, I'm really indifferent to what coaster comes next. It's going to be what it's going to be. There are great coasters and not-great coasters of literally any size out there. I don't care what it is as long as it's fun.

That being said, I'm kind of hoping the next coaster is over 300 feet tall. (I'm really tired of the g-word, haha.) It's not because there's some "hole" in our lineup, but because the discussion about Kings Island getting one is overtaking every corner of enthusiast discussion here and elsewhere. That level of excitement is not unusual in years where there are teaser posters (I was here in 2008, 2013, and 2016--I remember), but this is some next-level stuff. We already decided what we're owed from the park years before there being any hint of construction. That's a recipe for disappointment and outrage whenever the next announcement happens if it's not what we've rallied ourselves behind.

I don't know that there's any correlation, but I feel like there was a shift in enthusiast culture in the last couple years when everyone and their dog decided to make a coaster news YouTube channel/Facebook page/Twitter/Instagram/Myspace/series of smoke signals/Broadway play. With those seemed to come this attitude of "more coasters, more height, more speed, nothing is enough!" It's become a bit like living in one of those Ride Warriors commercials from 2009. That attitude change has brought a lot of "discussion" that involves a lot of cutting comments and polarized beliefs--if the park isn't announcing a coaster, then what's the point of having an announcement, amirite? Why do parks bother with B&M when Intamin and RMC make way better rides? Why do parks bother with Intamin and RMC when B&M makes more reliable rides? Why do parks bother with wooden coasters at all when RMC makes more intense rides? Why WOULDN'T the Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Epcot be a giga? There's less and less room for nuance or opinion or appreciation for charm, and the pitch is only climbing from here. Carowinds could burn to the ground and (what feels like) the growing majority of people wouldn't mind as long as Fury was still standing.

I think the conflicted response within the enthusiast world to the Antique Cars' return is very symptomatic of this change. Had they done that five or especially ten years ago, I think the response would have been more unanimously and enthusiastically positive. That's a bit sad to me. Parks are more than their coasters. But, like, that's my opinion, man.

To be clear, I'm not blaming the staff here or anywhere else for any of this. I think this is bigger than them.

I just really miss the days when we liked Holiday World for more than just Voyage, y'know?

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^^^ Amen @TombRaiderFTW

I think the online communities are at the entitlted portion of things. Everyone "deserves" something...."KI deserves at Giga"...."Passholders deserve to be able to attend Coasterstock"...etc. (Yes I've heard these multiple times.)

I wouldn't be surprised if parks/our park stops doing things for enthusiasts in the coming years with the attitudes given via social media whether it's entitlement, criticism, etc.

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I agree with everything. Fanboys are starting to become annoying. Some people are starting to forget that the GP make up like 90% of park's income. That's the reason they are bringing the antique cars back since the GP always wanted them back and it's something everyone can do together. I'm sick and tired of everyone complaining about the antique cars and how we should've gotten a coaster in 2019 because they teased it when really it was just posters at CP that didn't really mean much imo. Would we like more thrilling insane rollercoasters? Absolutely! Do we always have to get it? No. 

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I think @TombRaiderFTW hit the nail on the head.  I've been at some events besides Coasterstock and have heard discussion among some of the YouTube "stars."  It was something like this"  "Well, ******* wanted to come to the event, but the park would not pay for the airfare from ******"  Or, "We we were going to go to ********, but all they offered us was a free ticket.  I can't believe they turned down all of the exposure from our channel because they wouldn't throw in food and  front of the line passes."  I get that parks and the "stars" have a mutally beneficial relationship, but when it comes to the expectation of travel and free things, or the "stars" will throw shade, I think something is wrong with the equation.  The most bizarre event I ever went to was promoted as an end of the season event, but kind of morphed into a birthday party for one of the Youtubers.  That was weird.

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100% agree with @TombRaiderFTW

There a lot of enthusiasts out there who want every single thing from their fandom of choice to be made specifically for them. Heaven forbid there be a new ride that caters to families with young children, seniors, and anyone with conditions that prevent them from riding coasters. 

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