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Something I thought of yesterday: which Cedar Fair park had the best decade from 2010-2019?

How I consider best experiencing more successes than failures. For example- I wouldn't consider KD to have the best decade in the chain. 

I'd be interested to hear what you all chose and why! For me, I'm still on the fence with my decision

 

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  • 4 months later...

I'd also say Carowinds. I think it goes without saying though that all the top 4 CF parks had a great decade. In fact I think the 2010s were a good defining decade for the chain- they saw which parks did better and which parks could be put on the back burner for the time being. Now with a newer CEO, the chain wants to forcus on the mid/ lower tier parks as well which will be needed if you're home park is Dorney, Worlds of Fun, Kings Dominion, etc. 

I wonder if Covid will force the chain to mainly focus back on their top tiers for the 2020s

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I would say Carowinds had the best decade overall.  Adding Intimidator, Fury, and Copperhead Strike were all great additions that elevated the park's standing.

While Intimidator is probably one of the lesser hypers, Fury is my #1 steel, and Copperhead Strike is a great addition.  What they have also done with even their smaller additions (i.e. Camp Snoopy and Harmony Hall) and themeing has elevated the park.  I don't think Carowinds is as good as either CP or KI overall but it is certainly a park that CF was smart to invest in.  It will be interesting to see what they do in the decade ahead. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/19/2020 at 5:48 PM, Rivertown Rider said:

It will be interesting to see what they do in the decade ahead. 

I wonder what parks will come out on top for the 2020s. We know the top 4 will be taken care of. I'm more interested in the mid tier parks. Will Kings Dominion get out of their little slump and add more reliable coasters to combat BGW? Will CGA ever get that hyper and emerge as a premier California park? Will Knotts get a larger scale coaster to keep them relevant in the southern California market? I think there's a lot of potential for these parks this coming decade.

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12 minutes ago, flightoffear1996 said:

Its going to be hard to expand Knott's.

I agree I don't know what they could do. I always thought they could've installed a tall B&M dive and have it go over the pathways but Hangtime nixed that idea. 

Truth be told I don't know what else they could add without removing something else; and if they did, what would they remove?

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Knott`s is a tough one.  I am sure that they have thought of options.  Some are probably more expensive than others (parking garages, versus buying additional property).

I enjoyed my visit to Knott`s back in 2015.  Unfortunately Excelerator was down for refurb at the time.

I agree that Kings Dominion needs to have something added to it.  Of the former Paramount Parks, I feel that this park is the one that has not seen as much attention paid to it compared to the others.

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They could do that.  They would just have to find a space to locate the station and queue though.  Pony Express is immediately to the north, and there is an existing theater building to the east, and maintenance buildings to the south.

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I'm just going to speak to the CF parks other than KI that I've been to.

Kings Dominion really needs to put in something great to replace Volcano but they are in a tough spot with BGW right down the road.

Carowinds would be really well served to put in a GCI like Mystic.  I would say the same thing for CP.

Wonderland is tough because they really need something with high capacity.  Going the RMC conversion route with Wild Beast would be good.  Although there have been varying opinions on whether RMC can even work in Canada. I could also see a Mack.

While I would have preferred a GCI at Dorney, the rumored Gravity Group shuttle coaster gives them something unique.

Worlds of Fun could do well with one of the smaller Dives or even a Wing.

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1 hour ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

Maybe build over their rapids ride like we did with MT?

Knott's has been adding/refurbishing animation on their rides. Their raft ride just got a pretty big overhaul where you ride past bears, wolves, etc.

If they didn't add all that stuff I'd say go for it but having a coaster built over the raft ride with its current animation would ruin the affect

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10 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

Knott's has been adding/refurbishing animation on their rides. Their raft ride just got a pretty big overhaul where you ride past bears, wolves, etc.

If they didn't add all that stuff I'd say go for it but having a coaster built over the raft ride with its current animation would ruin the affect

That is a good point that I had not considered.

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If we are talking 2020s whats the chance KI gets an RMC? Maybe Racer for 50 years? Also for KI whats the chance SOB comes back in some form? Either RMC, or some kind of reboot for the ride (i.e. Daughter of Beast, or Son of Beast Reborn). Im sure this has been discussed a million times, sorry I joined today.

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4 minutes ago, MysticEnthusiast said:

I'm sure this has been discussed a million times, sorry I joined today.

Its okay! We don't really want Racer to be touched by RMC, or any of our wooden rides for that matter (its kind of like the 12th commandment on here). SOB is a touchy subject and I just think the park wants it to remain buried.

Welcome to KIC!

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2 minutes ago, KIghostguy said:

None. Look in Banshee's queue sometime...Son of Beast is dead and buried.

Well obviously they wouldn't bring back SOB as SOB but some type of wood/hybrid coaster in the nature of The Beast or sob *could* happen because of the legacy it left on the park

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1 minute ago, SonofBaconator said:

Its okay! We don't really want Racer to be touched by RMC, or any of our wooden rides for that matter (its kind of like the 12th commandment on here). SOB is a touchy subject and I just think the park wants it to remain buried.

Welcome to KIC!

Whats the 11th?

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1 minute ago, SonofBaconator said:

Don't touch Adventure Express

I like the ride but now I go to the park more than I have but i may start opting to skip it unless I have friends with me who aren't ready for orion and other thrilling rides. the final lift hill kills it for me

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Knott’s already owns several properties across the various streets around the park.  Mostly used for overflow parking for Haunt, and holidays.  But I am unsure if this is speculation, rumors, or what but I know websites have discussed basically doing the same thing Disneyland, and Cedar Point have done, move maintenance and other facilities across the street, down the street, etc, basically just build new facilities and expand the park onto their current location.  There is easily enough room between the current public areas of the park and the hotel for an entire new section of the park.

But Knott’s Scary Farm is incredibly important, and those overflow lots might be more valuable then expanding the park.  The rumor I have heard is a significant portion of the parks profits are from Scary Farm.

Back to the original topic, Cedar Point did receive several good rides, and nice upgrades but frankly, nothing really that unexpected, except for maybe the sports facilities, or the hotel and property purchases, none of which directly effects the park.
 

I would say Carowinds easily had the best decade, because even the locals were surprised by the frequency, size, and expense of the changes.  Corporate looks at Carowinds as their next big park trying to turn the chain from the top four parks, to the top five, and as such money is just being dumped into the park.  Carowinds is the only park outside the top four I can even argue being the best off in the chain.  The issue in my mind is the top four just seem to get what they need or deserve, not much of what they received felt like it was something special, like the chain really went above and beyond normal expectations.  But I can easily say they did for Carowinds.

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53 minutes ago, Kenban said:

The rumor I have heard is a significant portion of the parks profits are from Scary Farm...

 Corporate looks at Carowinds as their next big park trying to turn the chain from the top four parks, to the top five, and as such money is just being dumped into the park.  

The Scary Farm part interests me. I know they go all out for Halloween but I didn't know that event was responsible for a good chunk of the park's profits

 

Regarding Carowinds, do you see them going year round like they've mentioned? I don't think Charlotte is in the right climate to justify year round operations but then again I've never been to Charlotte in the winter. I personally feel like they lack some key components to make them year round:

One would be lack of dark rides. When the weather gets bad, whether it be from rain or cold temperatures, you almost need a few dark rides that can operate independently from mother nature. 

Two would be lesser attendance. KI, CP, and CWL all pull in well over 3 million annually where as Carowinds pulls in over 2 million (according to Wikipedia anyway so take that how you will). I know Charlotte is experiencing a lot of growth and Cedar Fair wants to capitalize on that, but I personally don't see the urge to make a park year round if the attendance to beat is over 2 million. 

Three would be variety. Yes they have Fury, Copperhead Strike, Intimidator, and Afterburn but I still think they need to keep building in order to want people to come year round. They still have more dated coasters like Vortex, Nighthawk, and Hurler which don't seem to fit if they're trying to become the "Cedar Point of the South." I also think they need to focus more on family oriented attractions as well. 

Believe me I'm not bashing Carowinds at all and I hope they succeed on all fronts, but I don't see them as a year round park anytime soon. Maybe by the 2030s but they still have a lot to do in my opinion.

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Charlotte doesn't get much, if any snow, in winter, but it's still chilly-30s-40s and fairly rainy.  Not exactly ideal weather to keep the park open.

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I am not certain anyone ever really defined year round operations.  There are two different ways to look at year round operations, 365 days a year, or they are open weekends year round and weekdays when it makes sense.  The park might not ever reach true 365 operations but weekends year round is not only doable, Carowinds is closer then you might realize.  Winterfest ended I believe December 31, and the opening was scheduled for March 21st this year.  They should have only been closed for basically 11 weekends, so they only need to add 22 operating days and they will have reached year round operations.

I believe the weather is good enough, it can get very cold, but it is still better than some other year round parks, just most of those are overseas.  If the goal is year round operations I would focus on ways to draw in guests during January and February.  For example another indoor theatre for shows, a dark ride, and make up some festival.  Not sure how well it would work but it might be possible to have one or more traveling shows, which start the season at Carowinds then move to other parks as they start their seasons.

Total attendance does not matter, as long as these days do not hurt the regular season they just need to worry about making them be enough of a draw during those handful of days to justify being open.  I think you will see small moves like leaving winterfest open an extra weekend or two in January.  Move the opening forward a week or two, and see what happens.  As the gap shrinks at some point just announce the park is going to year round operations and run the park even if it loses money those handful of days in January and February.  I could see it happening in a few years, but not until after it recovers from the current mess.

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