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Are Dark Rides Worth the Investment?


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5 hours ago, purdude86 said:

Probably not worth the cost to the park but would love to see Planet Snoopy rethemed to Camp Snoopy. This would add more trees and shade as well as transition better from Rivertown to a wooded/camp theme versus the generic theme now.

Thanks for agreeing with me and restating all I said. 

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The park needs more total family rides.  Ones that EVERYONE can ride.   Right now this category includes  the train, helicopters, antique cars, the very Boo Blasters and the Carrousel.    Plus the Eif

I have listened to many podcasts with park officials as well as design firms and it seem that the biggest challenge with a dark ride is the story.  If you have a familiar intellectual property such as

There has to be somewhat of a balance between thrill rides and family attractions. There are some parks that do this well and others that don't. Cedar Point, for example, does a good job of incorporat

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Wonder Mountain's Guardian is the reason I'm so skeptical of Cedar Fair doing a major dark ride well. I know Knotts just renovated theirs and I didn't mind Voyage to the Iron Reef... But WMG is a disaster. Wonderland is my home park and it's a reasonably popular ride but its a maintenance nightmare. It suffers from regular downtime, multiple guns on each train have been taped off in the last 3 seasons and the screens are already in a state of disrepair. For a major ride like that to be in such bad shape so quickly, and at the busiest seasonal park in North America no less, is telling. 

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On 8/23/2020 at 5:53 PM, JimParker85 said:

Wonder Mountain's Guardian is the reason I'm so skeptical of Cedar Fair doing a major dark ride well. I know Knotts just renovated theirs and I didn't mind Voyage to the Iron Reef... 

I know Knott's is naturally better at theming because they kinda have to be. They're in the southern California/Hollywood market where they have to compete with Disney and Universal. Unfortunately here in the Midwest its not as necessary to have insane theming. I'm hoping Boo Blasters gets some work done like Knotts did to their dark ride.

It would also be cool to have a new show building built somewhere that could feature more than one dark ride but I don't think KI is willing to invest in something like that, I think they're more content making elaborate que lines at the moment

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I'm not going to lie, Paramount built some cool-themed rides when they owned the park. I DO miss the theming. Really bad. However, I don't think Cedar Fair should go the Six-Flags route, either. That's not going to work as neither company really buys in and sells it. There's a market for dark rides in the midwest. Done right. Not expecting to see one anytime soon.

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I'm critical of Six Flags in a lot of ways, but I must admit to really enjoying the version of Justice League we went on at Magic Mountain. They have a great IP for that and can sustain some larger queues with the multiple pre show rooms. It was a much higher quality than I was expecting. 

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15 hours ago, bjcolglazier said:

I'm not going to lie, Paramount built some cool-themed rides when they owned the park. I DO miss the theming. Really bad. However, I don't think Cedar Fair should go the Six-Flags route, either. That's not going to work as neither company really buys in and sells it. There's a market for dark rides in the midwest. Done right. Not expecting to see one anytime soon.

Truthfully, I think it's the mechanical aspect of most dark rides that hold them back these days. We'll never see something like Phantom Theater again because it's not really cost effective in the long haul. I believe the future application of VR technology will be our answer for getting more dark rides. Other than vehicles to simulate movement, you really don't need tangible objects in a ride like that these days.

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I think a solid dark ride is an integral part of a ride line-up.  Boo Blasters has definitely seen better days.  I rode it a few weeks ago and was surprised how "beat" it looked.

Personally, I'd like to see something along the lines of a Toy Story Mania - interactive, but easier to maintain than a true mechanical attraction.  Theme it to Peanuts.  Maybe mix in some nods to old Kings Island attractions in some of the scenes?  

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On 8/24/2020 at 10:35 PM, SonofBaconator said:

Could you describe that route?

My impression is typically Six buys/builds a ride and then slaps the theming on afterwards. In contrast to a ride like Mystic Timbers where I believe theming was at the forefront of the ride development. At least a little bit. Six has many different looking Batman rides, for instance all over the country. None of which that I'm aware of are themed around the Batmobile. Which just seems like obvious planning for a Batman ride. They build random coaster and then just paint it, put on the Batman logo's, and the name. Not really the inspiration for the ride.

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I would kill for a non-interactive, story telling, practical effect dark ride at KI.  I would also be thrilled with a thrill ride with theming and effects on par with Tomb Raider (or The Mummy).  Sadly, I have realized this is likely never happening.

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