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Phantom Theater

Validity of the 5 Year Planing Cycle

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3 hours ago, KIghostguy said:

Paramount Parks Design and Entertainment was based out of Charlotte, at least under and prior to Anthony Esparza. It's possible they relocated out to California after he left in 2003, but I haven't talked with anyone from that division at that time.

The North American Park division was based out of Charlotte for some time - and was treated as a completely separate division from the overall Parent Company - Viacom.  However there was, simultaneously, a foreign division located in LA devoted to non-us licensing and themed attractions for Asian and European Parks.  Something (of which I’m not privy - perhaps Esparzas departure) happened and Viacom made a decision to re-structure around 2002-2003.  Ride concept, development and design fell to the LA group.

It was during this time that Mr Cobb was named Sr Creative Director of Paramount Parks and attractions including Tomb Raider (at KD), IJST, Survivor (CGA) etc were proposed, conceived, developed and generated in LA. It remained as such until the chain was sold.

Shaggy

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4 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

The North American Park division was based out of Charlotte for some time - and was treated as a completely separate division from the overall Parent Company - Viacom.  However there was, simultaneously, a foreign division located in LA devoted to non-us licensing and themed attractions for Asian and European Parks.  Something (of which I’m not privy - perhaps Esparzas departure) happened and Viacom made a decision to re-structure around 2002-2003.  Ride concept, development and design fell to the LA group.

It was during this time that Mr Cobb was named Sr Creative Director of Paramount Parks and attractions including Tomb Raider (at KD), ITST, Survivor (CGA) etc were proposed, conceived, developed and generated in LA. It remained as such until the chain was sold.

Shaggy

That would make a lot of sense. Anthony Esparza specifically told me he relocated from LA to Charlotte when he joined PPD&E, so that makes sense that his departure caused a restructuring that relocated the division to LA.

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17 hours ago, Shaggy said:

 Since I am not affiliated in any way with the inner workings of Kings Island, I can only go by what I was told - as you only can.  You may consider that "making false claims" but in truth, its repeating what I was told - just as you have.

 

This statement cannot be stressed enough!

For everyone, especially the youngsters that haven't been through the corporate world cycle yet, just because an employee tells you something doesn't mean it is 100% the truth.  The reality is a lot of times people are required to provide the corporate response or the appropriate response deemed acceptable at that time.  Examples that come to mind:

  • At the time, Thad Matta having a press conference in front of Xavier saying he has no intentions of leaving Xavier and basically proceeds to go thru the backdoor of the building into a limo waiting to take him up to Ohio State to be announced as their head coach.
  • At the time, Brian Kelly was in the midst of a run that could potentially place UC in a national championship game and says he is committed to Cincinnati and not leaving, yet had taken the job at Notre Dame.  I still think if he had been committed and not focused on the Notre Dame job and put together a more convincing victory at Pittsburgh they would have played in the National Championship game.
  • Countless people saying they are not considering running for public office and then run for office.
  • Countless companies that tell their employees the company is doing well and the next week lays off half the staff.
  • Firehawk is dismantled and until the teasing campaign started, when interviewed by the media, KI staff would say they do not have immediate plans for the site.
  • Same is probably true about Vortex.
  • Kings Island saying they don't know what is going in the Theatre this year.
  • The list from corporate America or even daily walk of life can have this list go on for infinity.

Even more so for an interview for something that is going to be published, whether it be for a radio station, news story, magazine, or book, etc.  Being completely truth-telling generally involves personal risk for loss of job or reprimand or some other course of action, so when someone is being interviewed, they will have their guard up to not accidentally share something their employer doesn't want them to say.  They will generally error on the side of caution and not be as open or say as much. 

It is why many corporations have instituted a "no comment" policy for all of their employees but the designated spokesperson.  The truth of the matter is Shaggy or BoddaH or anyone else with personal relationships with higher ups at KI probably will be told more than what that same employee would share to the general public or someone in the media.   It is human nature...

It is also very possible to be told something at that particular time that was true, but something changed and they went in a different direction and because you are not an employee and not "in the loop" you were not aware of the change.  It doesn't mean what you shared is false or inaccurate. 

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A couple of follow up questions.  When did Dave Focke leave Kings Island?  Did he retire?  Also, what is Anthony Esparza doing now?

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1 minute ago, CoastersRZ said:

A couple of follow up questions.  When did Dave Focke leave Kings Island?  Did he retire?  Also, what is Anthony Esparza doing now?

I believe Anthony is working for Carnival cruises as a creative director.

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1 hour ago, disco2000 said:

The truth of the matter is Shaggy or BoddaH or anyone else with personal relationships with higher ups at KI probably will be told more than what that same employee would share to the general public or someone in the media.  It is human nature...

Just to clarify - 

Nothing is, or has been, shared with me about initiatives or future projects by those at KI.  I am an unaffiliated enthusiast peon - completely insignificant - and there would be no reason for me to be told anything related to the business. 

The stories I have heard, or shared in the past were told to me as historical anecdotes or “war” stories per say.  A few probably have suffered from the “telephone” effect, or from embellishment over time - which is being pointed out to me quite clearly these days.  But it’s important to be clear there’s never been any intent on my part to mislead.

I, like others here, do “hear” things from others I know outside KI - some has ended up being truth - other things not.  A few times I’ve shared those things here, but that can (and has) burned me when it turned out incorrect.

I have said - and I’ll say again and again - I love KI and learning and sharing knowlege about it.  Much of what I know I have learned from visiting the park, and researching it through old articles, published quotes and shared information on park-related boards such as this.

Finally, I consider many past and current KI personnel friends - But I would never, ever pry them for information.  The friendships mean more to me than any park information or stories could.  
 

 

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1 hour ago, CoastersRZ said:

A couple of follow up questions.  When did Dave Focke leave Kings Island?  Did he retire?  Also, what is Anthony Esparza doing now?

Dave Focke left KI in 2002.  I believe he left to start his own business - and - I believe - was a part of the “restructuring” that occurred.

Anthony Esparza left KI and went to work for Herschend and Sea World... and has recently taken a job with Carnival Cruises.

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Thanks for the information.

I love when you share the things you have learned over the years.  Even if some of them are war stores that have been exaggerated over time. I have learned a great deal from you, and hope that you continue to post on here.

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3 hours ago, CoastersRZ said:

A couple of follow up questions.  When did Dave Focke leave Kings Island?  Did he retire?  Also, what is Anthony Esparza doing now?

Dave did retire but was a forced retirement, paramount gave him no choice shortly after Tomb Raider was complete 

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4 hours ago, Ben43065 said:

I believe Anthony is working for Carnival cruises as a creative director.

Anthony worked as Chief Creative Officer/SVP Guest Experiences for Herschend under their CEO at the time, Joel Manby.  When Manby was offered the CEO position at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment- Anthony accepted a lateral move to join him in Orlando.

Unfortunately, Anthony became part of the (one of) many executive expunges SW has participated in recent years.   

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This isn't much of a contribution, but I just want to say: as someone who grew up in the Paramount era and developed an initial love of the industry because of Paramount's later-era additions, I'm really enjoying and appreciating all of the backstory and insight being shared here. Thanks for sharing, everyone.

Following Dave Cobb on Twitter and YouTube a while back has given me a taste of this kind of stuff, but this has been really nice.

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14 hours ago, Shaggy said:

I, like others here, do “hear” things from others I know outside KI - some has ended up being truth - other things not.  A few times I’ve shared those things here, but that can (and has) burned me when it turned out incorrect.

I always enjoy seeing posts from you and the historical anecdotes you share. I think a lot of members here (self included) share your passion for park history and enjoy the never-ending quest to learn as much as possible, and I hope you don't feel burned in any cases where members have sought more information on stories you've shared. I assume it all comes from a genuine interest in park history and trying to piece together all the details after half-a-century, not out of malice. As you've said, stories can suffer from the "telephone" effect or become embellished over time, but sharing them can help piece together the park's rich history.

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23 minutes ago, TombraiderTy said:

I always enjoy seeing posts from you and the historical anecdotes you share. I think a lot of members here (self included) share your passion for park history and enjoy the never-ending quest to learn as much as possible, and I hope you don't feel burned in any cases where members have sought more information on stories you've shared. I assume it all comes from a genuine interest in park history and trying to piece together all the details after half-a-century, not out of malice. As you've said, stories can suffer from the "telephone" effect or become embellished over time, but sharing them can help piece together the park's rich history.

That response is very much appreciated Ty.

Piecing together KI's vast (and ongoing) history is the primary reason I visit these boards - and I've learned just as much (if not more) as I've shared over the years.  You're absolutely right, we all share that passion for KI - otherwise none of us would be here!

As a side note - In general, I do not feel burned by people's responses or take them personally.  I always keep in mind on "message boards" there's facets to people's personalities we don't know - like personal life circumstances, experiences or young age and maturity level.  Sometimes those things can project an unintended tone - and on occasion and intended one ;-) 

I'm here to have fun, and share fun stuff about KI with friends - I don't plan on changing that or going anywhere. :-)

 

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1 hour ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

This isn't much of a contribution, but I just want to say: as someone who grew up in the Paramount era and developed an initial love of the industry because of Paramount's later-era additions, I'm really enjoying and appreciating all of the backstory and insight being shared here. Thanks for sharing, everyone.

Following Dave Cobb on Twitter and YouTube a while back has given me a taste of this kind of stuff, but this has been really nice.

FYI - Not only is Dave fascinating to follow online - he is a really great guy too.  He has had (and continues to have) an amazing career - I've been fortunate to have been friends with him for nearly two decades and I still marvel at his adventures!  LOL!

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5 hours ago, Shaggy said:

That response is very much appreciated Ty.

Piecing together KI's vast (and ongoing) history is the primary reason I visit these boards - and I've learned just as much (if not more) as I've shared over the years.  You're absolutely right, we all share that passion for KI - otherwise none of us would be here!

As a side note - In general, I do not feel burned by people's responses or take them personally.  I always keep in mind on "message boards" there's facets to people's personalities we don't know - like personal life circumstances, experiences or young age and maturity level.  Sometimes those things can project an unintended tone - and on occasion and intended one ;-) 

I'm here to have fun, and share fun stuff about KI with friends - I don't plan on changing that or going anywhere. :-)

 

Absolutely keep posting your stories here.  Even the rare incident where you may have been called out for being "wrong", I am sure at the time the information was shared with you or someone's recollection of it was accurate at that time.  Plus, as a business, they can change course after something was told to someone, even after it is put in concrete it can change (looking at you relocated rides LOL).

Paramount literally tossed out (like in the dumpsters) a lot of history of the park archives when they took over, so stories from you and others documented here will be one way it can be preserved the best it can!  Plus, every time an employee leaves or retires, another databank of historical knowledge disappears.

 

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On January 30, 2020 at 11:35 AM, Shaggy said:

That response is very much appreciated Ty.

Piecing together KI's vast (and ongoing) history is the primary reason I visit these boards - and I've learned just as much (if not more) as I've shared over the years.  You're absolutely right, we all share that passion for KI - otherwise none of us would be here!

As a side note - In general, I do not feel burned by people's responses or take them personally.  I always keep in mind on "message boards" there's facets to people's personalities we don't know - like personal life circumstances, experiences or young age and maturity level.  Sometimes those things can project an unintended tone - and on occasion and intended one ;-) 

I'm here to have fun, and share fun stuff about KI with friends - I don't plan on changing that or going anywhere. :-)

 

I always enjoy reading your stories. The best discussions here are about the park's history. When I first joined, there were active threads on historical photos, defunct rides, and lingering remnants. I'd love to see a little bit more of that around here again. 

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On 1/29/2020 at 8:17 PM, Shaggy said:

Just to clarify - 

Nothing is, or has been, shared with me about initiatives or future projects by those at KI.  I am an unaffiliated enthusiast peon - completely insignificant - and there would be no reason for me to be told anything related to the business. 

The stories I have heard, or shared in the past were told to me as historical anecdotes or “war” stories per say.  A few probably have suffered from the “telephone” effect, or from embellishment over time - which is being pointed out to me quite clearly these days.  But it’s important to be clear there’s never been any intent on my part to mislead.

I, like others here, do “hear” things from others I know outside KI - some has ended up being truth - other things not.  A few times I’ve shared those things here, but that can (and has) burned me when it turned out incorrect.

I have said - and I’ll say again and again - I love KI and learning and sharing knowlege about it.  Much of what I know I have learned from visiting the park, and researching it through old articles, published quotes and shared information on park-related boards such as this.

Finally, I consider many past and current KI personnel friends - But I would never, ever pry them for information.  The friendships mean more to me than any park information or stories could.  
 

 

Also, I know a lot of people who were under Paramount and earlier.  They often tell stories and you have to interject with questions because knowing the basic outline of history you know that the story can't be 100% accurate.  Talking to someone about the Nick Parade, he cited that he worked with a person who I knew had left before that.  After asking about it, he rethought it and remembered it was someone else.  That parade was 15 years ago.  That was another day at work.  How accurately do you think your details of work stories really are if you were to tell one from that long ago?  With dozens of people willing to fact check you, you're going to find wrong info from time to time.  It just happens from time to time.  Doesn't make anyone a liar.  It just make them human.

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