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Why coasters boost attendance at some parks but not at other


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After hearing rumours that the CGA expansion is delayed cause the RMC raptor didn't boost attendance like they hoped. Got me to wondering why some parks coasters draw people to the park but at other parks it fails to bring in many people.

 

I have heard that Kings Island didn't get much of a boost for Mystic Timbers or Banshee. Look at Cedar Point, they add in one of the best coasters in Steel Vengeance, and it didn't do much to draw people in.

 

Then you look at a park like Wonderland and Leviathan boosting attendance. Carowinds had a big boost after adding Fury 325.

 

Why is it that coasters draw at some parks but not at others?

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I would think that there is really one main reason and that is that some parks have built in "guaranteed" attendance. I know this sounds kinda strange but let me try to explain this. Cedar Point has a huge attendance to start with, so any gain in attendance is just going to show up as a small blip on overall attendance. people are going to attend Cedar Point with its current lineup one way or another. They could add a 500 foot tall 37 loop coaster and still just see a small gain in attendance. I think the "destination" parks would fall into this category. Another reason is that some parks in a large metro areas such Six Flags Great America already have a built in attendance simply due to the population base in the area.

 

I think a new large installation would benefit a "smaller" park such as the ones you mentioned more, simply because their attendance is lower to start with.

 

Last point to consider is that while enthusiasts may be overly excited for a new installation, it may just fall flat for the GP. Since enthusiasts are just a small percentage of the overall population, once again, it doesn't affect overall attendance much.

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I've started to type a response like 3 times, deleted it all 3 times and I've just decided that I don't know where to begin with this and I'm just not doing this today.

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Your second paragraph centers around Ohio. That area of the country is still losing factory jobs to automation and foreign countries, so the economy isn't as strong as other areas of the country.

 

As far as CGA, I live in So Cal and planned to visit one day on my CF Platinum Pass. Unfortunately, that one good ride hasn't convinced me to spend the money on travel if the rest of the part is substandard to Knott's or SFMM in So Cal. That park was neglected far too long when they were considering closing it.

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Keep in mind that the year Kings Island installed Banshee was also the same year that Kentucky Kingdom had its grand reopening, which drew over 600,000 visitors that season. Many of those guests in Louisville might have opted to go to Kings Island instead had Kentucky Kingdom not been a closer and more affordable option with a new coaster of their own, potentially being a contributing factor to the relatively flat year-over-year attendance at Kings Island that season. Not the whole story by any means, but just a theory I thought I would throw out there. As for Mystic Timbers, I think it is just really hard to successfully market a traditional gimicless wooden coaster in the modern age and create enough buzz.

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Last point to consider is that while enthusiasts may be overly excited for a new installation, it may just fall flat for the GP. Since enthusiasts are just a small percentage of the overall population, once again, it doesn't affect overall attendance much.

 

I see what you are saying. Valravn seemed to have been a bigger draw then Steel Vengeance is in its opening season. Maybe it's too intense for the GP

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I hate questions like these, because there are SO MANY variables involved. There's no way to directly answer it. Marketing, competition, local major events, local competition for entertainment dollars, pricing, ticket options, etc. ALL factor into how a park will do regardless of whether there is a new ride or not.

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Last point to consider is that while enthusiasts may be overly excited for a new installation, it may just fall flat for the GP. Since enthusiasts are just a small percentage of the overall population, once again, it doesn't affect overall attendance much.

 

I see what you are saying. Valravn seemed to have been a bigger draw then Steel Vengeance is in its opening season. Maybe it's too intense for the GP

 

Hasn't Steel Vengeance averaged like a 3 hour line? Valravn sure didnt

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After hearing rumours that the CGA expansion is delayed cause the RMC raptor didn't boost attendance like they hoped. Got me to wondering why some parks coasters draw people to the park but at other parks it fails to bring in many people.

 

I had a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass last year and went to CGA several times and it was the most people I'd ever seen there on all my visits there so I don't know what you're talking about. What are your stats that say that CGA or these other parks didn't see an increase in attendance?

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It may have seen an increase in attendance but maybe not as much as they hoped. As far as the other Parks go I based it off the TEA attendance figures they have put out.

 

I realize there are a lot of variables involved but adding a major coaster should give a big boost to attendance. The only reason I can think of is the that a lot of people aren't drawn by big thrills as much anymore and want a different experience.

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It may have seen an increase in attendance but maybe not as much as they hoped. As far as the other Parks go I based it off the TEA attendance figures they have put out.

 

I realize there are a lot of variables involved but adding a major coaster should give a big boost to attendance. The only reason I can think of is the that a lot of people aren't drawn by big thrills as much anymore and want a different experience.

 

Sometimes it takes a full year before you notice the attendance boost, Steel Vengeance just opened last year and not everyone has had a chance to ride it yet. I didn't see any TEA figures on CGA, just the top 20 US parks, so I don't know where you're getting your figures for CGA. And I don't know where you're are getting your info that CGA canceled its expansion. They are expanding their included Boomerang Bay water park next year and they just bought the land they sit on from the city of Santa Clara which they have been leasing since 1989.

 

www.mercurynews.com/2019/03/28/great-america-amusement-park-buys-city-land-for-150-million/

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I never said they were cancelling the expansion but it seems they are delaying the rumoured hyper coaster. If the RMC Raptor had a big impact in boosting attendance then Cedar Fair would have announced it.

 

Look at Wonderland so far this year since adding Yukon Striker. The last few Fridays the lines to get in the park have almost to the parking lot. Last year I don't remember seeing any days like that.

 

When I see that, it made me wonder why other Parks don't see attendance boosts like Wonderland having when adding a big coaster.

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I never said they were cancelling the expansion but it seems they are delaying the rumoured hyper coaster.

...This seems pulled out of nowhere. What evidence can be presented to claim that Cedar Fair is delaying a rollercoaster?

If the RMC Raptor had a big impact in boosting attendance then Cedar Fair would have announced it.

From what I understand Cedar Fair doesn’t do that on a park to park basis (I think...)

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I never said they were cancelling the expansion but it seems they are delaying the rumoured hyper coaster. If the RMC Raptor had a big impact in boosting attendance then Cedar Fair would have announced it.

 

Look at Wonderland so far this year since adding Yukon Striker. The last few Fridays the lines to get in the park have almost to the parking lot. Last year I don't remember seeing any days like that.

 

When I see that, it made me wonder why other Parks don't see attendance boosts like Wonderland having when adding a big coaster.

 

Canada's Wonderland is also the only major theme park in the Toronto metropolitan area.

 

You are basing your whole analysis on a RUMOR. That seems silly.

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I never said they were cancelling the expansion but it seems they are delaying the rumoured hyper coaster.

It's hard to cancel a rumor. I wouldn't consider something canceled until it's been announced and then canceled.

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Canada's Wonderland is also the only major theme park in the Toronto metropolitan area.

 

You are basing your whole analysis on a RUMOR. That seems silly.

 

Take CGA out of the analysis then. It still applies to Kings Island and Cedar Point. The last 2 coaster additions did little to spike attendance compared to what Levaithan did for Wonderland.

 

Aa far as Cedar Point goes, Gatekeeper and Valravn had a bigger spike in attendance then Steel Vengeance did. I am getting these numbers from TEA.

 

The whole point of this thread was asking why that happens?

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Last point to consider is that while enthusiasts may be overly excited for a new installation, it may just fall flat for the GP. Since enthusiasts are just a small percentage of the overall population, once again, it doesn't affect overall attendance much.

 

I see what you are saying. Valravn seemed to have been a bigger draw then Steel Vengeance is in its opening season. Maybe it's too intense for the GP

 

Hasn't Steel Vengeance averaged like a 3 hour line? Valravn sure didnt

 

To be fair, lines don't necessarily indicate ridership (and in this case, it most certainly does not), considering Valravn was number #2 for ridership last year. Both hold 24 per train, but dispatch times for SV are...NOT very good (or so I've read). I wouldn't know since it was closed all day last I visited and have yet to ride it. Valravn's dispatch times are much, much better...

 

Firehawk almost always had longer lines than Diamondback, Beast, Mystic Timbers, in its last year, but it obviously wasn't more popular or more ridden than those.

 

All that having said, most every GP member I've met says they "love" SV, but almost everyone one of them say they love Valravn too. I don't think I've heard anyone describe SV as too intense for them, but I would certainly bet for some it is.

 

I have heard that Kings Island didn't get much of a boost for Mystic Timbers or Banshee.

 

Supposedly, 2017 was actually the most attended year at KI since 1998 but that's if....

 

you include Winterfest, which returned for the first time since 2005. The question would be how much of the increase can be attributed simply to having more operating days and how much of it was due to Mystic Timbers...

 

As for Banshee. I'm glad someone pointed this out, but 2014 did coincide with re-opening of KK, which I think definitely played a major role in siphoning off what-would have been KI goers.

 

For 2015, there was a ~3 % increase in attendance per TEA, and all they had added that year was a set of Scooters, and a kiddie ride. I would imagine a lot of guests came back that year to ride Banshee for the first time.

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A lot of people have said I305 didn't draw the crowds because it doesn't get long lines etc., I think its big effect lasted 7 years, and on. I see KD at times of minimum crowds, and 2009 was really dead a lot. 2010 brought the gigacoaster and not a huge jump, but was followed by several years of increase during a run of non-coaster improvements and no I don't think it was just those things, the new coaster was the base. 2017 was weak and then they did TTimbers.

 

When a park is already successful, it might be enough to just keep that going and not let it slip away.

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Looking at the top five for Cedar Point in 2018, I was surprised to see Magnum at #4 considering it averages maybe a 10 minute wait and it generally runs only two trains (but each train carries 36 riders).

 

CP having a ride with over 1.5 million riders is impressive considering CP only operates about 140 days per season, give or take a few

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Canada's Wonderland is also the only major theme park in the Toronto metropolitan area.

 

You are basing your whole analysis on a RUMOR. That seems silly.

 

Take CGA out of the analysis then. It still applies to Kings Island and Cedar Point. The last 2 coaster additions did little to spike attendance compared to what Levaithan did for Wonderland.

 

Aa far as Cedar Point goes, Gatekeeper and Valravn had a bigger spike in attendance then Steel Vengeance did. I am getting these numbers from TEA.

 

The whole point of this thread was asking why that happens?

 

Did you miss the part where I said Canada's Wonderland is the only major theme park in the Toronto Metropolitan area?

 

Cleveland and Cincinnati combined don't have the population of Toronto.

 

There is no magic formula that says new coaster=massive attendance spike. There are far too many variables for each park.

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Canada's Wonderland is also the only major theme park in the Toronto metropolitan area.

 

You are basing your whole analysis on a RUMOR. That seems silly.

 

Take CGA out of the analysis then. It still applies to Kings Island and Cedar Point. The last 2 coaster additions did little to spike attendance compared to what Levaithan did for Wonderland.

 

Aa far as Cedar Point goes, Gatekeeper and Valravn had a bigger spike in attendance then Steel Vengeance did. I am getting these numbers from TEA.

 

The whole point of this thread was asking why that happens?

 

Did you miss the part where I said Canada's Wonderland is the only major theme park in the Toronto Metropolitan area?

 

Cleveland and Cincinnati combined don't have the population of Toronto.

 

I didn't miss that part cause size of population has nothing to do with a new coaster giving an increase in attendance. Look at Cedar Point, they saw a bigger increase in attendance with Gatekeeper and Valravn then they did with Steel Vengeance. None of that has to do with size of population.

 

If you go by TEA Kings Island didn't see much increase in attendance with their last 2 coasters added. Again nothing to do with size of population.

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I went to Cedar Point once and on that day, TTD was a walk on, but Gemini, Iron Dragon, and Corkscrew had longer waits. I think Magnum is still very popular but I think it's something people don't rush to. It's not large crowds entering the ride at one and when people do go to the queue of Magnum, it's already clearing up the people in the station waiting to ride.

 

At California's Great America, my current home park, you'll often see Grizzly really popular, even when it's only running two or three trains. Meanwhile, there are times when Flight Desk and Patriot will be a walk on, like 15 minutes minutes for a front row seat. The Demon has two row seating, but never is as popular as The Grizzly. I think this might be because kids love The Grizzly, it's the icon for them in the park. Especially since a lot of kids have to grow into Demon to be cool with going upside down, and with Grizzly, they don't worry about that. Flight Deck and Patriot are lucky to have seating that takes in so many people, so that's my theory on why those are usually walk ons.

 

Kings Dominion used to be one of the parks that I'd go to a lot when I was living on the East Coast. Dominator, Volcano, Shockwave, Backlot Stunt Coaster, and Flight of Fear would get these large waits but Intimidator 305 would never ever be crowded. I think the GP have rides that they feel are too scary. I feel they look at I305 like a housewife looks at scientology after watching a documentary on it, it terrifies them. But also BLSC, Volcano, Shockwave and FOF all have low capacity.

 

I've noticed at Busch Gardens Williamsburg that you'll often see Alpengeist as a walk on and that baffles me. It's like people forget it's there, but it's always such a fun ride. Nessie, Apollo's Charriot, and Verbolten are always more popular. Even when BBW was there, I'd remember it having longer waits than Alpengeist. I don't really know why this happens, it could be because Alpengeist's entrance isn't as easy to find? It also does have good capacity.

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In regard to Fury/Carowinds, I think Charlotte's overall growth may have a lot to do with an attendance bump...

 

"Charlotte is currently the third fastest-growing major U.S. city. If its population growth continues, Charlotte's population is set to surge by 47% from 2010 to 2030, growing from 1.87 million to about 2.74 million in just twenty years."

 

Charlotte Stats

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