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Golden Age Theme Park


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Ok, here's the scenario for this off-season topic: Mr. Moneybags comes to you and says, "I have a wad of cash burning a hole in my pocket and I want to build an amusement park. The thing is, I don't know much about what attractions would be popular, so I need an enthusiast like yourself to help me design the park. I want it to be themed as a traditional amusement park from the golden age - basically the '20s and '30s, which means I want the roller coasters and other attractions to be reproductions of actual rides that existed in that era (with modern safety features, of course).

 

So, the questions for discussion are:

 

1. What are the top 5 coasters from the '20s and '30s you would most want featured in the park?

2. Which manufacturer(s) and rolling stock would you use for each coaster?

3. What non-coaster attractions would you include?

4. Would this park be viable?

5. What would be the best location for this park?

6. Are there other coasters that should be considered for novelty/nostalgia sake even though they may not be the best of the best?

 

 

My top 5 coasters are:

1. Bobs - Riverview Park - I would want this one built by GCI and using Millennium Flyers

Source: http://chuckmancollectionvolume13.blogspot.com/2011/03/postcard-chicago-riverview-amusement.html

 

2.Cyclone Racer - The Pike at Long Beach - Perhaps Intamin could take this on with Timberliners

Source: http://rcdb.com/1945.htm?p=6728

 

3. Airplane/Aeroplane Coaster - Rye Playland - I'm thinking Gravity Group with Timberliners or Millennium Flyers

Source: http://www.myspace.com/rye_playland/photos/13373090#{%22ImageId%22%3A13373090}

 

4. Atom Smasher - Rockaway's Playland - I'd give this to Gravity Group and maybe see if Gerstlauer could replicate the NAD trains

Source: http://www.worldsfaircommunity.org/topic/5028-original-cinerama-camera/

 

5. Cyclone - Crystal Beach - RMC would be my choice for this with Millennium Flyers

Source: http://home.cogeco.ca/~1tamed/beach_house/history/history.htm

 

There are a number of enticing non-coaster rides, but an iconic ride I would definitely want to rebuild is the Coney Island Parachute Jump.

 

So what would you build? Thanks in advance for your responses!

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The reason I posted this topic is that, though I love today's theme parks with all the latest and greatest new rides, I have always been fascinated/charmed by the great old amusement parks such as Luna, Steeplechase, and Dreamland at Coney Island as well as Riverview Park in Chicago, Coney Island Cincinnati, Revere Beach, Euclid Beach, and a myriad of other parks that flourished in that era. And while we can certainly catch glimpses of these great parks and their legendary rides at a handful of parks around the country, like Kennywood, Lakeside Park, Knoebel's, Rye Playland, etc., I have always dreamed that someday a park could be built that would resurrect the best of the coasters and other rides and attractions from the past and, perhaps, capture the fun, excitement, and nostalgia they offer, so that we could experience it for ourselves.

 

So, given that, I am genuinely interested to know if you would want to visit a park like this and what you would want to see there or if you really don't like/don't care about the concept.

 

Thanks for your response!

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I may be against the rule here as i assume quite a lot of member have a certain nostalgia for the years gone by theme parks.

But i believe such a concept wouldn't be a viable idea as the market in theme parks has changed. Back in the 20's-30's the rides and roller coaster

were state of the art but today most people have been on or see them before. We live in an age of technology and the general population

are always looking for the newest best thing.

While i think such a park will have a market i don't think the market would be strong enough to reimburse the start up cost and keep the park going.

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Well, one park themed to the 1920s comes to mind. Even a great woodie didn't save this park:

 

Thank you for bringing that up! I do so miss the Ozark Wildcat! Unfortunately, Celebration City was a mistake in the Branson market, in my opinion. There were a couple of major things that worked against its success. First, it was completely overshadowed by Silver Dollar City just a few miles down the road, and the average visitor given the choice between the two, would tend to spend their money and time to visit SDC over CC.

 

The second issue is that CC was not a full theme park like SDC, but rather a theme park "lite" and it was generally not open all day, only in the late afternoons and evenings. Aside from the awesomeness that was Ozark Wildcat, the ride selection was minimal and not very interesting. There was just not much to do there. So, even though the tickets were half the cost of SDC, what you got for that price was not a very good value. Not only that, but because there are so many other things to do in Branson, shows, museums, etc., all of which are expensive, the average tourist may want to visit SDC, but then brush past CC because they have already been to a park and want to do other things.

 

I believe that CC could thrive in a different market that is under-served by parks or other attractions and it would probably do better as a pay-per-ride park with pay-one-price bracelets available on certain days.

 

That said, I would love to see them reopen Ozark Wildcat as a standalone attraction rather than just letting it rot there. Maybe they could put a few other unique attractions on the grounds to draw people in.

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^ All that is assuming that HFE, who still own the property, want a successful theme park there at all. Personally, I'm of the opinion that they mainly bought Branson USA to eliminate the competition. It actually had quite a number of visitors, and did operate on a pay-per-ride model. Branson is kind of a discount vacation spot, after all, so Branson USA got a fair share of budget-minded families who maybe didn't want to pay $60 for a day at Silver Dollar City.

 

The Herschends know business, and when they saw competition, they squashed it. But since they went to all that expense to buy their competition, why not see if they could make a profit? Problem is, this park succeeded as a low-cost alternative to SDC, but HFE was marketing it as an add-on to SDC, with three-park passes, and later hours at CC. They drove off Branson USA's main patronage.

 

Like I said, though, that isn't a problem for them. They're pretty happy to sit on the land, which is in a prime spot at MO-76 and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, and ensure there isn't another amusement park in town. Don't underestimate HFE's political power in Branson; they practically built the town. Marvel Cave was being marketed as an attraction before any of the theatres were built, and the park grew up from the success of the cave tours. A town doesn't ignore its largest employer, especially when that employer brings in so much tax revenue the city could never hope to have without them.

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