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California Great America (CGA) Discussion Thread


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Was going to go tomorrow but my allergies/coldand decided to visit me yet again...and I wouldn't want that to ruin my visit...nothing would be worse than having sudden bursts of being hot and sweaty, sneezing constantly, and nasty headache. Going next weekend, should be better.

 

About Jackaroo Landing, the past 3 seasons I've gone I've never seen any of the slides open other than the one light blue one in front. In fact, the rest of them have panels bolted over them to prevent people from sneaking onto them, and have the runoffs netted up. Limited staff makes sense to me, I usually never see anymore than a couple people if that on the play structure. I wish they would open the rest of the slides, look like they could be fun for smaller slides. So, I wouldn't count on the slides being open this season either.

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It is so frigen annoying! I like those large slides in Jackaroo Landing! I mean with those closed it's like half of Boomerang Bay is closed. & Wow only 6 slides to go on. Lets see Tasmanian Typhoon, Downhill Thunder, Didgeroo Falls, Screamin Wombat, Ripsnort Ridge & that 1 big green slide in Jackaroo Landing. Very,very,very disappointing. I don't know if Boomerang Bay is worth the $15 locker anymore. They too know there are hardly any slides so why can't they get their act together for better Jackaroo Landing operations? I get more & more annoyed over that. Maybe I'll stop doing Boomerang Bay until they get more slides & wait for all the ones in Jackaroo Landing to be open again. I know you don't need a locker for the Tasmanian Typhoon, Downhill Thunder, Didgeroo Falls since you sit in a raft & don't really get wet. Is it worth it to get a locker for Screamin Wombat & Ripsnort Ridge? I kind of think so but that's a locker for only like 3 slides!. I guess it is a rip off for 3 slides your paying $15. Angry Gumball your right they may be very small but still quite a thrill & one of them still gives me a wedgie. I always scream down the twisty dark blue one. Oh & they didn't let me go down Didgeroo Falls this year by myself. I had to go w/a random group of girls. They have let me go myself a couple times before. Last year I went myself & on one of the curves OMFG! Almost flipped over! I guess that's why. Do you think we should have seen footers for a coaster by now if we are getting one next year? I sure haven't seen any signs for a new coaster next year.

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About the whole bumbercar issue. I think some of the people on them are idiots. Though i've done head on collisions myself since I view they are the best, especially between friends. However, SFDK has a policy against it so I don't do it often.

 

My friends idea of fun on them is keeping me stuck in a damn corner. GRRRRR

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^^For body slides, it is not worth it. The tube slides do not get you that wet, so a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo is not necessary. However, the body slides will get you soaked, which puts me in a really sticky situation, since I am a total Dan when it comes to water rides, and I typically like to bring a change of clothes, yet I usually cram all my belongings in my pockets so I do not have to get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. What I did was leave my belongings with a non-rider. However, the body slides are nothing to write home about, while the tube slides don't get you that wet. If you don't want to get a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo, just skip the body slides altogether.

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I guess I'm done getting a locker. It's really not worth it for those 2 slides! I'll wait until Boomerang Bay gets more slides. Then it would be much more worth it. Those 3 big ones Tasmanian Typhoon(the enclosed yellow one), Down Hill Thunder, & Didgeroo Falls you can ride wearing all your clothes & shoes & waist pack. I've done that before. & Why can't they start showing another movie like the Temple one next to Spongebob? They need both sides open again. & Does anyone think CGA has a chance in getting a Flight Of Fear? It would fit nicely in the Pictorium. I really hope things turn around for CGA. It really needs a huge Boomerang Bay expansion & more coasters. Attendence sure has picked up. Even during the week it seems slightly more busy than it was a few years ago.

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Cedar fair got a new ceo

 

CEDAR FAIR NAMES FORMER DISNEY EXECUTIVE MATTHEW A. OUIMET PRESIDENT OF THE COMPANY

SANDUSKY, OHIO, June 20, 2011 – Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN) today announced that Matthew A. Ouimet has been named president of the Company, effective immediately. Ouimet, 53, will succeed Dick Kinzel, 70, as chief executive officer, who will retire upon the expiration of his contract on January 3, 2012. Today’s action is in line with Cedar Fair’s previously announced CEO succession planning process.

 

Ouimet is a 20 year veteran of the amusement park and hospitality industry, of which 17 years were spent with the Walt Disney Company (“Disney”). During his tenure with the global entertainment conglomerate, he had the opportunity to work in a wide range of business lines with increasing levels of responsibility. Highlights of his tenure at Disney include serving as:

 

- Senior vice president, finance and business development, and chief financial officer of the Disney Development Company, in which he was responsible for the financial management of Disney’s resort, theme park and corporate real estate projects in California, Florida and France;

- Executive general manager of Disney Vacation Club, where, through expanded marketing and sales initiatives, Disney established itself as a major competitor in the timeshare industry;

- President of Disney Cruise Line, where his team built the most successful family cruise product in the industry;

- President of the Disneyland Resort, where he and his team developed and implemented a comprehensive strategic plan that resulted in significantly improved and sustained performance for Disneyland’s 50th anniversary and beyond.

 

In 2006, Ouimet was recruited to serve as the President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, overseeing 900 owned, managed and franchised hotel properties in 95 countries. In this capacity, in support of brand-driven pricing premiums, he drove an operational focus on delivering a guest experience consistent with the characteristics of each of Starwood’s hotel brands, including St Regis, Westin, Sheraton, W Hotels and five other brands. In 2008, Ouimet joined Corinthian Colleges, a $2 billion, publicly-held, post-secondary education company which operates in the U.S. and Canada. As President and Chief Operating Officer, Ouimet championed executive talent development and the expansion of management and systems infrastructure to support rapid growth in the student population and expanded regulatory complexity.

 

“Without question, Matt is the right leader to join Cedar Fair now as it builds momentum on its renewed path of sustained, profitable growth in 2011 and beyond,” said C. Thomas (“Tom”) Harvie, independent chairman. “Throughout his career, Matt has proven to be a critical thinker and effective business strategist with an enviable track record for identifying growth opportunities within existing businesses in the amusement park and resort industry. His broad and diverse background in resort development, finance, marketing and operations will allow him to integrate quickly into Cedar Fair.

 

“While our thorough search process with the assistance of the executive search firm Korn/Ferry International enabled us to meet with and consider many extremely qualified candidates, the Board agreed that Matt stood out from the rest due to his strategic business mindset and his natural and engaging leadership style,” said Harvie.

 

“Matt is an impressive business and operational executive whose character and values will be a great complement to the strong Cedar Fair culture,” said Dick Kinzel, chief executive officer. “I look forward to working with him over the coming months to ensure a seamless leadership transition.”

 

Ouimet currently serves on the Board of Collective Brands, Inc., a $3.4 billion global enterprise encompassing the internationally recognized footwear brands of Payless, Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite and Saucony, where he serves as a financial expert on the audit and finance committee. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in accounting from State University of New York at Binghamton.

 

“I am thrilled to join this successful Cedar Fair leadership team. I am particularly pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Dick Kinzel and to continue to build on his legacy in years to come,” said Matt Ouimet. “Cedar Fair is a wonderful company – its properties are vibrant and extremely well-run, its reputation is superb, and the record-setting 2010 performance has put us on a path to deliver the positive financial results Cedar Fair has long been known for. I am truly honored to have this opportunity and sincerely thank the Board for entrusting me with this critical leadership role at this pivotal point in Cedar Fair’s evolution.”

 

“On behalf of the Board, the management team and all of our colleagues past and present, I would like to thank Dick Kinzel for his unparalleled vision, passion and selfless dedication to Cedar Fair over the years,” said Harvie. “Without Dick, Cedar Fair would not have the opportunities or the growth potential it has today. He has been the heart and soul of this organization for many, many years and, while he can be succeeded, he can never be replaced. We wish Dick and his wonderful family all the very best as he moves into his well-deserved retirement at the end of the year.”

 

Kinzel began his career in the amusement park industry at Cedar Point in 1972. In 1986, he was named president and chief executive officer of Cedar Fair, L.P., the parent company of the parks, which was listed on The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FUN) in 1987. Kinzel also served as chairman of the Board from 2003 to 2010.

Is this GOOD news for cga

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^^^Who knows? Maybe CF will stop only caring about CP and the other parks can get more attention. (Actually, CP has felt a tad niglected as well over recent years) Although a former executive of a family fun park chain taking control over what is mainly a thrill park chain will be an interesting mix. I am not quite sure at the moment which way this is going to go. I would like to see more revenue put into theming and family rides, but not to the point of which it will at all slow down construction of more thrilling rides. (i.e. I would pefer if CF parks did not go to the Disney way of thrill rides, with one family coaster every 10 years or so, although this is very unlikely to happen, especially with parks like CP)

 

I had a dream recently, where the exact opposite happened. A former CF executive took over Disney, and an Intamin hyper was announced for Frontierland (California) shortly after. I really am not making this up! I really did have the reverse dream, and I wonder if the reverse result will occur in real life.

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I had an extremely short visit to CGA today. It's safe to say that I have never seen the park so crowded. Got there around 4:00, and I estimate that the parking lot was 80%-85% full.

 

Lines were utterly insane: all (except maybe three) lines were spilling out their entrances. Drop Tower's entire overflow was full! Never thought that was possible. I ended up walking one lap around the park, with only one ride (Endeavor). These crowds HAVE to be good for the park.

 

Good news: Firefall was testing nonstop. It looked good, hopefully it will open soon.

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I had an extremely short visit to CGA today. It's safe to say that I have never seen the park so crowded. Got there around 4:00, and I estimate that the parking lot was 80%-85% full.

 

Lines were utterly insane: all (except maybe three) lines were spilling out their entrances. Drop Tower's entire overflow was full! Never thought that was possible. I ended up walking one lap around the park, with only one ride (Endeavor). These crowds HAVE to be good for the park.

 

Good news: Firefall was testing nonstop. It looked good, hopefully it will open soon.

 

Yeah, this was a busier day for the park, especially for having no schools in the park for one of their functions as happened in May and early June.

 

Firefall started cycling around 4:30 or so, and began to draw some people to it, several were watching it cycle and others asking if it was open or going to be opened today. Chances are I was at the control booth when you saw it being cycled, we are hoping to have it open soon, it just needs to do a few more cycles before it can be opened and the water filled-or in the case of the lower pond, changed since that water is dirty....

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I believe Comcast had their company picnic yesterday, plus lots of other smaller company picnics. But still, higher attendance means the park makes more money on food and souvenirs. So yesterday was VERY good for the park.

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Hopefully the crews at the park knew how to react to crowds like that and pick up on the operations. They most likely did. But that always seems to be a struggle for parks in California these days.

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Just got back from the park today, a busier Sunday than what I'm used to. But this is excellent for the park, it feels alive again. Flight Deck's line remained pretty consistent, starting at the roll up door props. Drop Tower's line started at the ride's entrance but no overflow (thank God!), Grizzly's line was starting to spill out onto the last section of the ramps, Vortex's line started at the soda machines, and Demon's line (from what I saw) started on the top pad just before the station.

 

The water park was also very busy as the day progressed with lines (for the original 3 slides) using the entire line/path. The wave pool had no 'swimming space' as it was packed...made me think of South Park's "Pee" episode...yea, kinda gross. Actually, being as it wasn't the warmest day, that kept some people from getting soaked. Others who got soaked actually made use of the drying booth.

 

Last note: Firefall testing as others stated. Also spotted a couple TPR members (One had a TPR shirt but I didn't feel like being 'stalker-ish), and one happened to be one I've ran into on several occasions (Hi Mike!). All in all, was a great busy day at the park. And to end it, kudos to the Flight Deck crew, around that last hour, you guys were pumping out trains like crazy, no stacking, enthusiastic operators.

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I stay away from CGA on the weekends & holidays. It's not worth it going when it's way too crowded. So much nicer on the weekdays. Hardly a wait. I went on a Wednesday a couple weeks ago & it was super light. I'm going tomorrow. How is it on a Monday?

 

On a Monday, you should be fine. For the major rides, they should all have 10 minute waits or less, the exceptions being Psycho Mouse and Tiki Twirl.

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Cool stuff! Occasionally, I'll see oldschool Great America film come in over at my work. I work at a DVD Transfer Lab where people bring in their old movies and tapes to get them digitized. All of the GA stuff I've seen though was silent, so no joys of the screeching Sky Whirl or the traditional Arrow lift hill. I did see some offride Turn of the Century stuff though.

 

On another topic, somewhat...I wonder why Tiki Twirl doesn't have any real signage yet...when I walk by, the only signage I see is the whole back story...and seeing that the name "Tahwhirimatea" is the largest word on the sign and if I never knew the ride was named Tiki Twirl, I would vouch to say that the ride's name is "Tahwhirimatea." Also, the A-frame has gone AWOL so that makes it even more confusing.

IMG_9857.jpg.5639d057903b80d45630afa4fd2351a2.jpg

Only indicator of the ride's name...otherwise, even the A-frame's missing.

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Awesome video. That was two seasons before I worked there but I remember all of that stuff, the dolphins, the train, Tidal Wave, the Lobster, and yes the screeching Sky Whirl/Triple Wheel which was one of the rides I worked. Oh yeah and omg....Smurf Woods!!!

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Edit: I deleted the link to the video since Paramount was quick to pull a copyright infringement claim.

 

On the subject of past rides in the park and Sky Whirl, not sure if this video clip has been shared before on here or not, but it does show many of the rides now gone as well (even though it is from Beverly Hills Cop 3), including Triple Play towards the end of the video clip, Vortex with it's green color scheme and part of the original area now home to Kidzville (before the rope bridge and all that were removed, visible around 4:26 in the video) Tidal Wave/Greased Lightning and obviously the Sky Whirl, though it was likely not the best way to have viewed the ride, having one of it's cages falling from the cable breaking...

Edited by jab88
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As much as I've seen the movie many times and even have it on my iPod, I'll still watch it time to time especially to look at GA in the 90s. One of the not-so-obvious things to point out, the antique car ride initially had a stair case that went up and over the outside track and down to an island for boarding both inside and outside track. Now, the staircase is gone though you can still see the marks on the ground where it once stood as well as filled in holes for the rails on that center island.

 

I totally remember playing in that kids area, thought it was so cool and easily could get lost in it. I loved running across the bridge and flying across the zip lines. It was pretty much an outdoor Discovery Zone, if you remember that place.

 

Other things, not featured in the posted video clip was the old train passing by the Flight Deck plaza, the Okie Dokie scene (Hey, it's Okie Dokie!) Also, the classic carousel in the back of the park (where Drop Tower sits now) was featured, and in one of the shots you can see the tip of The Edge poking out over the trees. Yea, I think I probably over-analyzed the movie and paused it one to many times just to point out the classic rides. Lastly, only to us knowing about CGA, there is some location goofs towards the end. The Eagle's flight is on the other side of Vortex, over by Orbit yet in the movie it appears to be gliding right above Hometown Square. But again, only us that know the park would be able to point that one out

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As much as I've seen the movie many times and even have it on my iPod, I'll still watch it time to time especially to look at GA in the 90s. One of the not-so-obvious things to point out, the antique car ride initially had a stair case that went up and over the outside track and down to an island for boarding both inside and outside track. Now, the staircase is gone though you can still see the marks on the ground where it once stood as well as filled in holes for the rails on that center island.

 

I totally remember playing in that kids area, thought it was so cool and easily could get lost in it. I loved running across the bridge and flying across the zip lines. It was pretty much an outdoor Discovery Zone, if you remember that place.

 

Other things, not featured in the posted video clip was the old train passing by the Flight Deck plaza, the Okie Dokie scene (Hey, it's Okie Dokie!) Also, the classic carousel in the back of the park (where Drop Tower sits now) was featured, and in one of the shots you can see the tip of The Edge poking out over the trees. Yea, I think I probably over-analyzed the movie and paused it one to many times just to point out the classic rides. Lastly, only to us knowing about CGA, there is some location goofs towards the end. The Eagle's flight is on the other side of Vortex, over by Orbit yet in the movie it appears to be gliding right above Hometown Square. But again, only us that know the park would be able to point that one out

 

Yeah, I wound up buying Beverly hills Cop 3 online after unsuccessfully trying to find it at a few Blockbuster closing sales, mostly for the same reason since it shows Great America in the past.

 

As for the antique car ride, I remember the stairs that went over the first track and onto the second track, with usually just as equally long of a line as it has now with just the one queue.

 

I faintly remember that kids area, but do remember the wooden bridge, I liked it too, shame they removed it too. As for Discovery Zone, I think I remember it somewhat, though I never went much since it was way down Blossom Hill Road (in San Jose) and not that close to where I live.

 

And at the end of the clip where the stand is blown up with the annihilator 2000, part of the Hometown Square Station queue ramp(maybe it's exit?) is visible, part of which still remains today as a concrete ramp behind the control room for Celebration Swings (to the left of Triple Play) and no longer accessible to the public as one has to go through Triple Play's old spot to access it.

 

Yeah, I forgot about those clips, of the train, the carousel in the back and the Delta/Eagles Sky Ride being on the wrong side of the park, of which the doors on those would not open like that, but then that's a movie for ya, needing some type of action. I have those clips too, should upload it as well to youtube soon.

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Wasn't that George Lucas that he cut in front of to get on that ride?

 

That is true about the Barney Oldfield Speedway. When I worked there in '89 it was so busy on the weekends we used both the inside and outside tracks and the line would extend up and down the stairs, we also used all three trains on Demon.

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