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Greatest Amusement Industry Blunder of the Decade?


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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.

 

R.D.

 

Hmm--I think the jury is still out on this one. So far, Blackstone seems to be a good fit for the Busch parks, and they are putting in some major rides over the next couple of years. And in terms of operations at BGW, I don't see where anything has really changed.

 

I do agree that it was foolish for InBev to buy out Busch, and that the only one who really benefited was August Busch--and that InBev merely saw the parks as unwanted "assets."

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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.

 

R.D.

 

TBH I haven't notice anything change. They're certainly bringing on a new generation of thrill rides by introducing the launched coaster to Busch parks, but there's been no major difference. Nothing has really changed in my opinion.

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Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney comes to mind. I have friends that used to work at Disney and they would all go to PI after work. It never got rough or anything like that. Disney was able to monitor the empoyees and were making most of their money back. Now, everyone just goes to City Walk. I could have seen a few of the clubs closing but not the whole place. And then they kept the area open but with a bunch of abandoned buildings. Let's hope Hyperion Wharf doesn't suck.

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^ A lot of people complain about there not being free beer any more. Given the quality of Busch beer, I'd much rather pay for something that actually tastes good than free swill.

 

dt

 

Truer words were n'er spoke. At least you can buy actual Guinness at the Festhaus and Grogan's this year, as opposed to Busch's weak Bareknuckle Stout.

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Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney comes to mind. I have friends that used to work at Disney and they would all go to PI after work.

 

That was the problem with PI though, it was mostly employees that would go to the clubs and not spend money. I don't think PI was ever really too profitable, I thought that it was mostly losing money by the time they closed it. If you're a local in Orlando and you want to buy drinks, you go downtown where things are reasonably priced. Buying from the bars at Disney, if you're an employee, doesn't make much sense because it's really expensive and you could just pre-game instead.

 

I'm just happy they're finally doing something with the space.

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I'll toss in Paramount exiting the theme park business. Only to express interest in entering again, but in Asia. It's quite amazing that another media company could own a theme park chain, and have no clue how to exploit their intellectual properties properly. This, despite pretty clear examples from Disney and Universal.

 

Conceptually, I think the Disney strategy of incremental theme park builds - where the initial park is lackluster, only to be continually added to over the years, is deeply flawed. Saw something on the web that it has been Disney's strategy since the opening of the former MGM Studios at WDW. It's refelcted in Paris, Hong Kong, CA, FL, and so on. To me, I just don't get it beyond it's as a way to minimize risk.

 

But it is hard to top the non-construction / announced plans of the various theme parks of Dubai for greatest potential, but least results.

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I'll toss in Paramount exiting the theme park business. Only to express interest in entering again, but in Asia. It's quite amazing that another media company could own a theme park chain, and have no clue how to exploit their intellectual properties properly. This, despite pretty clear examples from Disney and Universal.

 

Conceptually, I think the Disney strategy of incremental theme park builds - where the initial park is lackluster, only to be continually added to over the years, is deeply flawed. Saw something on the web that it has been Disney's strategy since the opening of the former MGM Studios at WDW. It's refelcted in Paris, Hong Kong, CA, FL, and so on. To me, I just don't get it beyond it's as a way to minimize risk.

 

But it is hard to top the non-construction / announced plans of the various theme parks of Dubai for greatest potential, but least results.

 

 

Yeah but at least that allowed for CF to gain ownership of their former US parks.Paramount tried to run them as the "poor man's Universal" with less than positive results by taking their less popular films & marketing them as rides.

 

Finally someone agrees with me on how they messed up SFA,this of course happened as a result of SFI,under Burke developing the "we must spoil SFMM,SFGRADV & SFGRAM rotten at the expense of our other parks" mentality,we can also in large part blame the rather senseless "coaster wars" for fueling that mentality as nobody in the GP out in Socal is gonna care if a park in Sandusky Ohio adds one more coaster than their park currently has & vice versa.

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. If anything, the new changes seem more in line with a park that should be called "Disney's Hollywood Studios."

 

--Robb

 

 

News from the future- In 2014 DCA is renamed Disney California Studios (and it's still better than the original DCA even though it's no WestCot or DisneySeas) .

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Finally someone agrees with me on how they messed up SFA,this of course happened as a result of SFI,under Burke developing the "we must spoil SFMM,SFGRADV & SFGRAM rotten at the expense of our other parks" mentality,we can also in large part blame the rather senseless "coaster wars" for fueling that mentality as nobody in the GP out in Socal is gonna care if a park in Sandusky Ohio adds one more coaster than their park currently has & vice versa.

 

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I dont know if it has been mentioned, but Vertigo @ Walibi Belgium was a big mess.

 

http://rcdb.com/3457.htm

 

The Vertigo was intended to be a new attraction for the 2006 season. Technical problems prevented it from opening to the public until June 14th, 2007. It operated for just a short time and technical problems forced it to close for the remainder of the season. During the 2007/2008 off-season, the track was taken down and reworked by the manufacturer. On May 8th, 2008 the Vertigo had its official opening with lots of media and an appearance by Jean-Claude Van Damme. Unfortunately, more technical problems were encountered and on May 19th, 2008 the Vertigo closed once again. In December of 2008, the removal of the Vertigo was started.

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  • 4 months later...

Cobra @ Tivoli Friheden, Denmark. Derailed after a few days of operating. Guess we'll never hear from Ride Tek Engineering again...

 

The Zamperla Volare - took roughness to new levels (even a SLC seems smooth when comparing)...

 

Screaming Squirrel - The mother of crap. Totally meaningless!

 

HRP - what a waste of money. What happened?

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This park (Disney CA Adventure) is finally coming together. (I love the transformation/ minus the endless construction walls) With new attractions and various changes, it will be worthy of the 'Disney' name.

 

Personally, I would welcome a change from DCA, to (What larrygator suggested) Disney CA Studios.(It makes more sense) But that isn't likely to happen, (Disney wouldn't want to admit it made any kind of mistake) so DCA it is! (plus were use to DCA, I guess...)

 

Once Cars Land is a hugh success, (Which I belive it will be) They will invest even more capital towards the improvement towards the rest of this Disney park.

 

The future for the West Coast Disney Parks is bright, though I don't know if it will truly compare to their amazing east coast cousins. I can only hope!

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-Hard Rock Park had such potential but there were too many options for errors and they hit each one of those errors.

 

-Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit...while the ride is doing decent now, it started off with many problems and there is potential for further issues down the road.

 

-Stitch's Great Escape

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Even though I've always liked the park, I have to agree with Robb and go with DCA.

 

The park has been a failure in theme since day one, and until Disney get's their head out of their asses and actually changes the name of the park, it's going to continue to do so. Little Mermaid, CarsLand, WOC, etc have NOTHING to do with "California". They have totally ditched the theme and for them to think people are going to think "Oh, it's just an Adventure IN California" is ridiculous.

 

They have already admitted the original park was a dud by spending more to "fix" it than the park cost originally. I'm not sure why they are so unwilling to admit the name is a bust and just rename it Disney's Hollywood Studios.

 

As it stands right now, the only three rides in the park that don't have a specific movie/TV show/character tie-in are Soarin', Grizzly and CA Screamin'.

 

Grizzly and Screamin' are easy to associate to some kind of movie/entertainment theme. True life Adventures/DisneyNature for Grizzly, and the long-rumored Villains theme for CA Screamin'.

 

Soarin' is another issue, but honestly does it really matter?

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This park (Disney CA Adventure) is finally coming together. (I love the transformation/ minus the endless construction walls) With new attractions and various changes, it will be worthy of the 'Disney' name.

 

Personally, I would welcome a change from DCA, to (What larrygator suggested) Disney CA Studios.(It makes more sense) But that isn't likely to happen, (Disney wouldn't want to admit it made any kind of mistake) so DCA it is! (plus were use to DCA, I guess...)

 

Once Cars Land is a hugh success, (Which I belive it will be) They will invest even more capital towards the improvement towards the rest of this Disney park.

 

The future for the West Coast Disney Parks is bright, though I don't know if it will truly compare to their amazing east coast cousins. I can only hope!

 

California Adventure was kind of a bad concept for a theme park (a park based on the state in which it resides). It seems that the only way to save the park is to abandon the concept. For instance how do Cars and A Bugs Life even directly relate to California, I wonder. I think they are gradually abandoning the California theme and should continue to do so into the future.

 

As has been suggested here I think it could change into a theme of movies, like Disneys Hollywood Studios. I think that the California theme could still loosely apply. For instance Tower of Terror and Rock n Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios do not directly involve movies. Similarly, California relates to the Hollywood theme....so it could be a park themed both around Hollywood more specifically and California in general, at the same time. But I think the Hollywood theme should probably be the main one and the California theme secondary.

 

 

-Stitch's Great Escape

 

Yes x 1000. Does anyone actually like this attraction...I doubt it. I am not sure if kids even like it

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DCA over and over again, this place tried being the "grown folks" theme park and has failed in spades...Thank the maker The Mouse has started to clear up the mess and build out an actual second gate for people who visit with the Pixar license.

 

Also, i'll throw in the Six Flags Parks recent move to pull their licensing from various attractions, all the while increasing in-park advertising. Frankly, it made the chain look..well...cheap. Id expect something like that out of a smaller chain of parks, but not SF.

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While DCA was a blunder, from what I've seen, the park didn't do as well because there was a better, more charming theme park next door and it basically fell short of everyone's expectations.

 

California Adventure was kind of a bad concept for a theme park (a park based on the state in which it resides)
I disagree.... Plenty of theme parks in the country were based off of the state they were located in, but they succeeded (SFOT, SFOG, SFStL), plus you have KD (which had Virginia-themed rides), and both Great America parks which were themed after the different regions of America. To an extent, you can also throw in Dollywood and Silver Dollar City.

 

Cars actually does have something to do with California. The fact that Route 66 goes through and ends in California and Route 66 is one of America's most famous roads makes Carsland a pretty good fit for the park (and Cars does take place around Route 66 or a Route 66-based road), despite being based off of a Pixar movie. Granted the movie takes place in Arizona (IIRC), the overall theme is still there.

 

Little Mermaid and WOC are just there to draw the crowds back.

 

Despite all the non-California themed attractions, the park still has elements of California (classic seaside piers, Hollywood studios, Route 66 and that huge desert between Arizona and Palm Springs, and mountains). I don't think Disney should completely abandon the California motif for yet another movie studio incarnation.

 

- I'm totally going out on a limb by saying this.

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Six Flags fall and HRP are both home to 2 different chapters in my buisness management book. I was amazed when i saw it.

 

It has a comparison of Six Flags vs Walmart on the buiseness scale. Walmarts buisness plan requires it to expand, and six flags tried it, and failed.

 

Hard Rock Park is in the book on the importance of marketing.

 

Based on those becoming main stream failures in textbooks, id go with those.

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Hard Rock Park really seems like the complete blunder Winner of the last decade in my opinion.

 

Stitches Great Escape? Why must you always remind me of the death of the BEST attraction at WDW? Rest in Peace Alien Encounter.

So yes, this is by far WDW's biggest blunder for the decade. However the decision to remove Snow White is also very high up on that list side by side with WDW asking for the Dumbo car back from the Smithsonian. Plus we can't forgot two little words when talking about WDW blunders "Disco Yeti".. Way to Go, Disney!

 

I don't see how anyone didn't spot the worlds "DISASTER" written all over Six Flags went they want on the park shopping spree. I remember looking at my husband going "This isn't going to end well.. mark my words". There was also their little mistake with "X" which was also the cause of the Arrow bankruptcy, so those two are tied up in a nice little package for our displeasure.

 

Well those are mine!

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  • 4 weeks later...

It would definitely be Hard Rock Park. What were they thinking?! It reminds me of those movies that are so bad they don't even make it to the theater and make you ask why they were ever made in the first place.

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