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Greatest Amusement Industry Blunder of the Decade?

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Top one would be hard Rock Park.


Then in no particular order.


Wild West World

Vertigo coaster (overseas)

Son of Beast

Pilgrims Plunge (lack of theming on it really, great water park ride, but not wet/dry park ride and the location is really bad for the water park people).

SFNO (location, Six flag buying it and not letting it die)

partly flying turns (only because it has taken time to get it open, but I do give Knoebels credit for trying something that others are not)

Coaster clips......enough said.

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Surprised no one has mentioned Fuji-Q with it's horrible park operations. Even though I have never visited, it "looks" like it could be one of the greatest parks in the world, but with crappy operations and random closings, it sounds like management blundering to me.


CP Fanboy rant: Steel Dragon 2000 & Kingda Ka built just to get the height record. I believe that they actually ended up as worse coasters than MF and TTD. I have not ridden Steel Dragon 2000, but the reviews have not been good and TTD is better because of the lap bars and not as much down time (other than the 1st year)! But SFGA got El Toro, so it's all good!



Paying for lockers at SF. Not a blunder because they are making money, but it just irks me that that the GP is being nickled and dimed to death when I think that the bin systems at most parks work just fine and do not slow ride operations that much (if at all).



Although this is not decade specific - US fairs versus fairs in Europe/Germany - why not focus more on spin-n-pukes, kick-ass traveling coasters and huge beer tents instead of farm animals & rednecks?




And of course, the obvious that everyone has already pointed out:




*Geauga Lake/TehBD fiasco

*Flying Turns - After seeing it in person, I didn't think it really looked all that impressive. Different yes, but it just doesn't look like it will ever live up to the hype if/when it finally opens. Especially after people have waited this long for it to open. Couldn't they have basically gotten the same thrill with one of the bobsled rides like they have in Europe? I was actually more excited about the new (relocated) dark ride.

*Spam coasters & the fact that I still can't believe that SF dared to eff with the already awesome El Toro trains.

*No free beer at the Busch Parks

*The fall of the mighty Arrow

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1. Flying Turns - prototype or not, it should not take a seemingly competent park 5 years to build a roller coaster.


2. Turbulence (Hershey) - reminds me of signing a cell phone contract and then them pulling the classic "Oh wait, there's some additional costs and fees that we haven't mentioned".

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Last decade I thought it was Intamin needing to put extra supports on their Impulses and pulling an inversion out of Maverick.


Astroworld - It did seem to turn into a scrap yard but I do respect them for bringing us the theme park concept, being a pioneer.


HRP went over budget to not have cash for marketing. I'm not going to hold anything else against them.

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Six flags re-branding too many parks too soon then playing favorites thus leaving many of their properties in bad shape ride wise(cough SFA cough) and it was them,not CF who ran GL into the ground.....CF may have put the final nail inGL's coffin but it was SFI that bought said coffin first.


Arrow 4D.


Vekoma's overcomplicated prototypes(flying dutchman & GIB)


And finally S&S's poorly executed "thrust air" prototype.

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I'm surprised Wild West World isn't getting much attention ( I think only one other person referenced it). They were open for under two months before going bankrupt. At least Hard Rock finished out two seasons before dying...


My other vote for a blunder that hasn't been mentioned: Stitch's Great Escape. Taking out an attraction a lot of guests enjoyed for a completely gutted version is a recipe for disaster. Everything I loved from Alien Encounter was completely ripped out or overly toned down. Gripping suspense, gone; sudden scares, gone; creepy effects, gone; fun in general, gone.

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All the great ones are taken so I well come up with ones that have not been said yet.


PARK: I will go with what would have been my howntown park of Carolina Crossroads. The whole concept was a bad failure but atleast, unlike HRP, it was never built.


COASTER: I will have to go with Cobra in Denmark and Fujin Raijin II in Japan.When a train derails, thats a major problem.

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Perhaps my favorite blunder was Mark Shapiro's EPIC FAIL attempt to not only sell Magic Mountain, but to also trash it in the local papers (which of course spread all over the net lol). Not only could he not sell the park, he later tried to backtrack and spent the rest of his tenure trying to squelch it. The park still has not fully recovered.


Such a bonehead rookie move.

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^ I agree wholeheartedly. Even attempting to sell MM was a dumb move.

I'll also agree with a previous poster about Giovanola pulling out of the coaster industry. Goliath is a seriously amazing ride


I don't quite agree with it being amazing but it was a first step for a company that had huge potential

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Greatest amusement park blunder?


That will have to be the way Six Flags America is being runned (or ruined).


As for me personally, I have four rides in two parks that were removed and I think they were both blunders.


1-a) At Kings Dominion, in 1986, they removed a great family coaster called "The Galaxi" and replaced it with a stand-up coaster called "The Shockwave". Back then, I didn't mind the Shockwave, but I wished they could have reassembled the Galaxi elsewhere in the park (that coaster was a swell ride). Today, I still love to ride any Galaxi coasters, but I cannot ride any standups (you can say that I cannot "stand" them!).


1-b) Still at Kings Dominion, in 1996, they closed "The Lost World" and converted it into "The Volcano". Now, I do love the Volcano, but I still miss the Lost World with its three attractions: The Haunted River, Time Shaft, and Smurf Mountain.


2 -a) At Busch Gardens, the removal of The Big Bad Wolf.


2-b) And still at Busch Gardens, a rough and tough coaster called "Drachen Fire".


"And if you don't stop tying and get back into bed, that will be your biggest blunder!"

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For my experience it would have to be Disney's California Adventure.


I was able to visit the park for the first time several weeks before it opened to the general public. I was very excited to go, but when the day arrived it was a hugh let down! Like many have stated in the past, it was Disney-lite.


My brother and I did the entire park in under 3 hours! For a 'Disney' park we were stunned. Not only by the lack of attractions, but also by the lack of charm. Often I enjoy just walking around Disneyland, but DCA was not like that at all.


But, Disney has been working hard to improve this park since then. By mid 2012, we will have the park that Disney should have presented 10 years ago.


As a annual passholder I don't mind all of the construction walls at DCA, but for the tourist who traveled in from who knows where, I feel it's a lousy deal for them. Elissa has often stated that maybe Disney should have just 'closed' the park for six months to do an extensive overhaul. This would have been for the best, but for Disney it would be possibly admitting they messed up (which they'll never do) so construction wall ALL over the entire park is the way it is.


Let's hope by 2012 this park will be a hugh success, because Disney is creative enough to do even more in the future.

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But, Disney has been working hard to improve this park since then. By mid 2012, we will have the park that Disney should have presented 10 years ago.

Do you think so? I'm still not convinced. If anything, the new line-up of attractions seems more of a random mish-mash and confusing theme that before, and lends nothing to the "California Adventure" original theme. If anything, the new changes seem more in line with a park that should be called "Disney's Hollywood Studios."


While I agree that Toy Story Mania, Carsland, the Little Mermaid ride, and World of Suck are pretty good additions, along with the re-theme of the swings and the mouse, but I don't see how any of it fits into the "California Adventure" theme and is the park they should have presented 10 years ago.


I think they are just hoping that the new rides will be good enough to help people forget the theme of the park is the biggest clusterf**k in Disney Parks history.



Edited by robbalvey
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^I agree Robb, the whole 'California' theme has been a waste. But, I believe that Disney feels their 'stuck' with the name after all of these years. It's the 'Iconic' name of the park, and that's a difficult thing to change.


Calling the park ' Disneys Hollywood Studios' would make perfect sense. It goes well with being in Los Angeles / Orange County, as well as owning Pixar. But, the imaginers didn't figure that into the original name, so were stuck with DCA.


In the years to come, I can only hope that this park will improve into something worthy of Disney.


I have have faith in this company, and that they will make things right.(They're spending considerable $$$ capital) So I hope that Disney California Adventure will prove successful, so that they will continue to improve this park.

Edited by BelizeIt
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1.) Coasters: The failure of Arrow- Simply put, we lost one of the biggest innovators of coaster technology in the 'modern' era, all due to greed and egos. A big shame- they hit their stride with Tennesee Tornado, and could have really made a dent in the new market.


Intamin (This qualifies in BOTH good and bad categories; the bad is here)- Expanding into areas where they KNEW going into it that the technology being used was too cutting edge. Seeing how many of their early model (and for that matter later model) Accelerator coasters have lost cables, the Medusa Cluster (Hydraulic package) has burst, and general malaise over these rides. I have been to HersheyPark six times since 2003... and never ONCE have I been there on a day that Storm Runner was OPEN for business.


2.) Parks: Six Flags America: "This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper." SixFlags either needs to close the park, move the rides and sell the land, or get their A**es in gear, and do SOMETHING with the park. They started off the decade with a plan to make the park one of the larger parks on the east coast (Remember all that 'Blanket' provisioning they worked with the PG county board on? Only ONE of the rides actually made it into the park) and ultimately let everyone down by not only failing to expand the park, but REMOVING a major coaster. Big mistake. Then, under the guise of 'We have to use the money for Infrastructure Improvments' NOTHING major is added to the park in EIGHT years. I'm sorry: Adding a kiddie park inside does NOT qualify as a major improvement. At all.


HRP: It's been overdone, so I'll not elaborate... perhaps some of those rides could be used in SFA (Should they KEEP it)


The Busch Entertainment Corporation/Sea World Parks/Worlds of Discovery debacle. I sure do hope that August Busch IV burns in hades for all eternity over this one: Take a world-class chain of parks, with monumental rides, shows and attractions- and then sell it off, with no regards to the history or legacy of the company as a whole. All due to Augie IV being a lazy, pompous, heir to a lot of money- and then acting like a spoiled brat when he's told it's time for him to lead the company. The result? A future where the parks are now regarded more as 'assets' in a new company, rather than 'gems' in the old.


SF/Astroworld/Geauga Lake. In Business schools across the country, in another few years, we will read about the mistakes that were made with SF's failures in depth. Overexpansion, rapid growth on borrowed money, not keeping the brand intact and functioning, no diversity of attractions amongst the larger parks, demolition of GOOD parks, removal of rides from others, improper marketing styles, overpriced and poor quality everything, and an overall failiure to address financial problems- Basically how NOT to run a company. It's a shame, too- as the decade started with a lot of excitement with the SF brand being added to smaller parks, and ended up with the company's future still in jeopardy- and still saddled with a lot of debt, even after the bankruptcy filing.


California's Great America: How long till it closes? The lease on the park is up in 2014, so expect to see this one go the way of the do-do soon enough. Having the Santa Clara City Council bully the park into oblivion, to where CedarFair won't invest hard money into it, and the short-sightedness of the SCCC to realize that the park generates a TON of tax money, not to mention the hundreds of jobs seasonally in a part of California particularly hard hit by the Great Recession. I particularly will miss this- as it's very close to my home. One of the few parks in the country that has rapid-transit access, as well as connections to the CalTrain system, and for that matter to BART, and yet, nobody realizes that with support from SCCC, and investment from CF, it could be a hefty profit (and for that matter Taxes) maker for the South Bay area. A true opportunity being lost... and quickly.


Joyland in Wichita, Kansas: I'm surprised this hasn't popped up yet: A classic all-american park was led to decay and ruin, and the sad loss of a great wooden coaster there. Sadly, this is what happens when times change, and populations move and leave.


Bell's Amusement Park: Same as above, as well as same as CGA: Bullied around by the city- and ended up leaving. Another good classic coaster lost for history.


Overall, the decade now past had some real winners... but I think in the end, we lost more than we gained. Hopefully, the new decade will provide us with a better run of luck.



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B&M designing in house, instead of using Stengel. The quality of their products seemed to turn to mediocre


Are you kidding? Sure, there is a sort of lack of originality (IMO) with every flying coaster except two having a pretzel loop, but I think their designs have gotten better over the years.

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