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Why is there a nationwide lack of flat rides in the US?


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A question I've wondered myself, with much sadness.

 

I have no idea, I can take a logical guess and say it's been the increasing focus on coasters.

Even parks with a good number of flats, and good quality, like Hershey or CP, I get to 1 maybe 2 of them...because the focus is just on coasters so much. If I ever got a flash pass type thing, I'd probably just whore the coasters much as I can, though it would help.

 

So yeah, I won't even blame the parksentirely just the focus on coasters and marketing have made flats...not obsolete that's crazy but I don't have a better word right now. Ignored? I guess.

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^That's kinda what I was saying with SFMM.

 

Larry mentioned that parks NEEDED the flats when they opened. In the 1980's, and even the 90's, you did not have a bunch of parks with 10+ coasters in them; where as today, you do. Theme parks seem to be leaning more toward 'experiences' than one-off rides, which coasters, dark rides, and huge flats deliver.

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several mentions of the Gemini Midway, but no one brought up Knott's and what they did with the Perilous Plunge area?

 

yeah, they DID add a coaster, but a family Mouse, and then installed two flats to finish out the "boardwalk" themeing. From what I've seen, it appears to be a big hit.

 

Yep, another good example. If flats didnt generate any ROI we wouldnt be seeing things like this. The fact is, the addition wasnt a huge coaster or major investment, just a family coaster and a couple flats that added to the aesthetics of the area and made the park more appealing to a wider demographic. Did people drive hours specifically to see Knotts' new flats? No. But they'll make Knott's an annual trip when they can appreciate the variety the park offers on the visit that stems from whatever their real big draw is. Complementary additions can most certainly generate a return on investment, but like I said its just not as immediate as a large coaster.

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A question I've wondered myself, with much sadness.

 

I have no idea, I can take a logical guess and say it's been the increasing focus on coasters.

Even parks with a good number of flats, and good quality, like Hershey or CP, I get to 1 maybe 2 of them...because the focus is just on coasters so much. If I ever got a flash pass type thing, I'd probably just whore the coasters much as I can, though it would help.

 

So yeah, I won't even blame the parksentirely just the focus on coasters and marketing have made flats...not obsolete that's crazy but I don't have a better word right now. Ignored? I guess.

 

I noticed that your location is New Jersey, meaning Hershey and CP (the two parks you mentioned) arent that nearby. So of course when you go to these places youre going to make the most of your trip and hit the biggest rides. But think about how those that live closer to these parks spend their time...doing just roller coasters every visit each season would get old. More local visitors appreciate the flats, which in turn drives annual pass sales, a HUGE revenue-generator for parks.

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Flat rides come and go in trends just the same way certain models of coasters do. In recent years we've seen the boom in popularity of Star Flyers, Screamin' Swings and more recently the Air Race... Before then we had the years when HUSS were king, not so much now!

 

Also with the rise of the 4D coaster, and more coasters which aim to combine flat ride movements into a coaster design, some parks must see this as a more marketable and attractive option instead of just sticking in a new flat ride. When parks are adding flat rides though, they do seem to be acting more 'safe' these days, with a lot of duplicates, but this happens worldwide when everyone knows that a ride is reliable, can draw a crowd, doesn't break the bank to purchase... etc etc. It's a similar story with the US carnivals & fairs, if you look at KMG's Facebook page they post updates about what rides they are constructing regularly. It's interesting to notice how they are selling more single-trailer rides such as the Speed (Booster) to showmen instead of multi-trailer rides.

 

The flat ride market is full of choice right now... I think it's just the case of building up trust with manufacturers and parks becoming more able to market them to appeal towards the guests. Naturally though it tends to be taller thrill rides such as drop towers and swing towers which parks are choosing because they can market them with raw facts, 'tallest in...' etc!

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SFNE gets so boring after a few hours because they lost all of their flats. Buzzsaw and kontiki are OK but everything else sucks. The park lacks another "good" coaster. Bizarro is really the only stand out coaster. Mind Eraser, Batman and Goliath are all pretty fun but nothing special. Thunderbolt is OK as is pandemonium. If six flags invested more into filling in the holes that they made, the park would be awesome! But we lost: Time Warp, Double Trouble, Spider, Chaos, Rodeo, Nightwing, Colossus and catapult all in the corse of a few years! Flats really complete the park, the lost attractions of SFNE always remind me of that.

 

You're right about them losing too many flats but in their defense Houdini, Tomohawk and New England Sky Screamer are all great flats. That said removing Colossus is unforgivable.

 

Colossus was removed because the structure was failing. A routine inspection found severe cracks in the ride's supports. Keeping it running until it failed as horrifically as it could have would have been far more unforgivable.

 

Would have been nice for them to have replaced it, though.

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I think the biggest problem with most flat rides is they go around in circles in some way or another. It's not just that they're "lesser" rides, circular motion is less exciting and more sickening. I ride the bumper cars though.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I think the biggest problem with most flat rides is they go around in circles in some way or another. It's not just that they're "lesser" rides, circular motion is less exciting and more sickening. I ride the bumper cars though.
To add, it seems many new high-thrill flat rides adds several motions of spinning to another ride like it in the park. If a park has a Top Scan, they aren't going to go for a Top Scan that can also tilt. Nowadays, that's what I have been seeing when it comes to the wide-variety of flats. A booster is a flipping version of a breakdance, which spins more than a scrambler.
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^Wow I had no idea that some of those would go upside down. Now it would be even more interesting if these was no counter weight, the speed on the bottom would be ridiculous!

 

You pretty much will never see a lack of a counterweight on an inverting flat ride. Reason being the huge oscillations in forces repeated over and over will generate fatigue that will tear the ride apart extremely quickly, as opposed to a heavier, more evenly balanced ride.

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I miss some of the old rides. Chance falling stars and chaos come to mind. Both were amazingly fun rides. But both were always down and needed lots of work to keep running. Bring back a modern falling star and chaos. You reading chance?

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  • 3 months later...
Can someone please tell me what the current record holder for the tallest inverting flat ride is?

 

I couldn't find an official "Flat Ride" thread anywhere, and this seemed as good a place as any to ask.

Those Booster/Speed/Capriolo/SkyScraper/etc rides seem like they take this and run with it, with some getting to pretty outstanding heights; especially considering most are transportable! Mondial builds a Capriolo that seats 10 and swings 158 feet (48 meters) off of the ground, and they also build one called Turbine that seats 20 and swings 203 feet (62 meters) off of the ground!

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