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I really hate to see any park close. But I am generally OK with getting rid of older coasters for newer ones unless they're legitimate classics.

 

Basically, I feel like coasters can be replaced, and pretty much have to be unless the park can realistically maintain them. And even then, if you can afford incredible, effective maintenance, why not give people a modern coaster with a fresh track design that's new (again, unless its a legitimate classic)?

 

But parks are a different animal entirely. Its so hard to start a new park from the ground up. Major parks aren't ordinarily build overnight, they evolve over time, and usually have a historic aspect to them. If we're not seeing parks going up, and we're taking parks out, eventually through attrition we'll have fewer and fewer left. We can replace older, under-performing coasters, but generally removed parks aren't just naturally replenished.

 

Even small family parks stay open gives hope that there will be major investment to them and maybe someday they'll make the big time. I think that Elitch Gardens could potentially have become a major park with the growth of Denver and with how its becoming such a haven for young, educated professionals. And with the legal pot industry, I think that a lot of tourists would have liked the idea of smoking and getting "extra special" visits to the park. If a chain like Cedar Fair came in, I think that they could have made it great.

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At first I was bummed at this news. Elitch was a very uninspired park with weak rides, but the location was awesome and I always held out hope that it would be revitalized. I love how easy it is to hop on a train from the airport and be at Elitch in an hour or less (assuming you like a bit of walking like me). I had a lot of fun exploring Denver this summer, and Elitch was a highlight even if I was unimpressed in the rides. It was such a whimsical, fun addition to an amazing downtown area.

 

However, the more I think about it, the more I think this COULD be an amazing opportunity for Denver to finally get a decent park (no disrespect to Lakeside). Obviously a lot of flat rides will be transferred, but I imagine the third generation of Elitch will include a new headline roller coaster, presumably Mr. Twister the third. That's all Elitch really needed - a strong headliner, and more room to grow.

 

I just hope they don't drop the ball and let this opportunity slip through the cracks. Elitch seemed to be well attended even though the locals weren't that impressed either. They just need a decent location.

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At first I was bummed at this news. Elitch was a very uninspired park with weak rides, but the location was awesome and I always held out hope that it would be revitalized. I love how easy it is to hop on a train from the airport and be at Elitch in an hour or less (assuming you like a bit of walking like me). I had a lot of fun exploring Denver this summer, and Elitch was a highlight even if I was unimpressed in the rides. It was such a whimsical, fun addition to an amazing downtown area.

 

However, the more I think about it, the more I think this COULD be an amazing opportunity for Denver to finally get a decent park (no disrespect to Lakeside). Obviously a lot of flat rides will be transferred, but I imagine the third generation of Elitch will include a new headline roller coaster, presumably Mr. Twister the third. That's all Elitch really needed - a strong headliner, and more room to grow.

 

I just hope they don't drop the ball and let this opportunity slip through the cracks. Elitch seemed to be well attended even though the locals weren't that impressed either. They just need a decent location.

 

If they do find a new home for the park, then that's great. I think that the downtown location is ideal, but I'd rather there be a home for it rather than nothing. I don't really care at all about the crappy flat rides and pathetic coasters, I just care about keeping the continuity of the park and keeping the potential open for the park to make a run at something. As I was saying before, once a park is gone, its gone. And generally, you don't see start-up parks very often. Big time parks generally evolve from existing small, family parks. I think its just a business proposition that relies on a lot of start-up capital, strong word of mouth, and available space close enough to a city that isn't already being used for something.

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  • 3 months later...

I love this conversion

 

https://denverite.com/2019/04/12/take-a-trip-through-meow-wolfs-new-ride-kaleidoscape/

 

Take a trip through Meow Wolf’s new ride at Elitch Gardens

Denverite Kevin Beaty

 

The art collective remade an Elitch Gardens attraction to keep Denver satisfied until their big show opens in 2020, a move that will, hopefully, be mutually beneficial.

 

Elitch Gardens and the art collective Meow Wolf have joined forces to bring a weird new world to Denver’s center city amusement park: Kaleidoscape, a slow-moving tour of a trippy art space. The new attraction, a revamp of the Scooby-Doo-styled Ghost Blasters, is officially ready for Elitch’s first guests of the season.

 

Ghost Blasters’ track, cars and space are all still the same, but the environment has been dramatically changed into an odd, glowing universe befitting Meow Wolf’s flagship Santa Fe exhibit.

 

On the way in, there’s a robot and video explainer that sets Kaleidoscape in the realm of some kind of (doughnut-shaped) quantum multiverse situation. There’s something about a “cosmic egg” and “q-particles” that you can shoot with laser guns – it’s enough to set the stage, but I’ll leave it up to you to determine what the story is, exactly.

 

Matt King, a Meow Wolf co-founder and co-lead on the ride’s development, said he and his colleagues have been wanting to make a “dark ride” for a long while. But while the look and feel fits well within their stylistic canon, he said the concept behind this attraction is new for them. The meandering car on the track was an opportunity to play in a new immersive medium.

 

“What we typically do is create environments that are free for exploration, so there are no maps, there’s no one telling you what to do, how to experience it,” he said. “A dark ride is the complete opposite. You’re in, and we have your attention to really take you through a linear story.”

 

Reanna Reynolds and her family won a chance to sneak-preview Kaleidoscape through Denver’s KS 107.5 FM, and got to ride it a couple times in a row. Everyone enjoyed the weird trip. She rated it a “12 out of 10.”

 

The 14-year-old said she’d heard of Meow Wolf before, but only knew a little bit about it. Her experience Friday sealed the deal: She likes what the art collective is all about, and now she’s pretty excited for their full-scale arrival in 2020.

 

Kaleidoscape, for sure, is a new canvas for the artists to fill. But King said young Reynold’s reaction also demonstrates one of this installation’s goals: suck more people into the Meow Wolf orbit. He hopes the ride will help amp people up for the Denver exhibit’s opening and lure them down to Santa Fe.

 

The ride’s novelty could be a draw for Elitch’s, too. Spokeswoman Jolie DuBois said the park’s stakeholders are hoping Meow Wolf’s presence will broaden their audience this summer, which usually hits about 1 million people per season but is mostly marketed toward families.

 

It’s already making some waves, she said. Folks at the park were proud that Kaleidoscape made the LA Times’ top 10 list of new attractions, recognized alongside massive rollercoasters and the likes of Star Wars and Mickey Mouse.

Edited by larrygator
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Oh man, I just saw the video attached to that article.

 

That is WAY better than a ride in a park like Elitch Gardens has any right to be. I hope that they can keep the effects running.

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Watched the video and I must say, I love it. I can see a lot of people walking out of the ride in a daze, not knowing what just happened. It looks too fun. Trippy and so far beyond what a park would normally ever think of doing. Looks like a winner.

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This makes the Dr. Strange Mirror Dimension look like child's play compared to this acid trip. This looks great!

 

Did they convert this into a non-shooter, but reuse the old Ghost Blasters cars? I thought I saw the guns briefly in one shot.

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This makes the Dr. Strange Mirror Dimension look like child's play compared to this acid trip. This looks great!

 

Did they convert this into a non-shooter, but reuse the old Ghost Blasters cars? I thought I saw the guns briefly in one shot.

 

From the article -

 

"On the way in, there’s a robot and video explainer that sets Kaleidoscape in the realm of some kind of (doughnut-shaped) quantum multiverse situation. There’s something about a “cosmic egg” and “q-particles” that you can shoot with laser guns – it’s enough to set the stage, but I’ll leave it up to you to determine what the story is, exactly."

 

Sounds like there's still a shooting element, though I don't really see one in the video.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So I was out in Denver last weekend to go see a concert at Red Rocks, and during some downtime on Saturday afternoon, I made a point of checking out the park, especially given the talk of that land being taken over for real estate development in the future. I was also hoping to check out Lakeside while I was out that way, but wouldn't you know it, I missed opening day by one week. Since I didn't have much time (was heading out to see a baseball game at Coors Field with a start time of 7:00), and the park appeared to be very much on the busy side thanks to a number of different school groups coming in and taking over, I made the quick decision to grab a fast pass wristband and limit myself to the coasters and the dark ride.

 

I hadn't had any experience with Meow Wolf prior to this, but I had only heard good things. So that ended up being stop number one. Ended up being slightly tricked when it came to the length of the line; while it looked as if there may have only been about a dozen people in line, it turns out that the queue line goes through a door to outside, where it continues around. It ended up being about a fifty minute wait, due to no fast pass access, each car only seating 4 people, and what appeared to be a number of technical issues constantly causing the ride to stop. Once on board, I settled in for a crazy psychedelic trip, and was sufficiently overwhelmed with visuals. The first room was an 80's retro overload, with mountains made out of pink vector graphics and glowing neon structures, giving the whole thing a total outrun sort of vibe. The next room started off with the vectors being engulfed in fire, before giving way to a vibrant Lisa Frank jungle nightmare scene. Then the entire thing got progressively weirder as all the creatures started mutating in the next room, and a chair made a slow motion freeze frame trip across the room only to find itself drawn and quartered by some creepy TV-headed man. Followed it up with one of the coolest effects in the entire ride, a very effective hyperspace tunnel with projections and LEDs. It all concluded in a dark room with a single light shining on an egg, but I think at this point it must have malfunctioned again because nothing was happening. I mean, though, it was pretty hard to understand what was supposed to be happening for the entire ride. That's the price of "art", I guess. One disappointing thing was that it was supposed to be a shooting dark ride, but nothing much seemed to happen or change depending upon whether you were or weren't shooting. Overall, it was a really unique experience that I'm glad I got a chance to see in person, but I wouldn't wait more than 15 minutes for it a second time.

 

As far as the coasters went, both the Boomerang and Mind Eraser models were pretty much stock off the shelf, yet neither one of them ended up being super rough or painful to ride. You know the park was packed when both of these rides had a full queue, I'm guessing at least 60-90 minutes per wait. At $40, the wristband was definitely worth the price of purchase to skip these lines. Their Half Pipe was actually the first one of those models I've ever been on, and it was super disorienting in all the best possible ways. If I find myself laughing hysterically mid-ride, I can't help but give it a thumbs up.

 

I ended up making my way back to Twister II for my next ride. Having had many a good experience with Knoebels' Twister, I was looking forward to checking out its' Coloradan cousin. I enjoyed myself (short of its first turn after the drop, which sent me slamming my ribs into the side of the car), and it was definitely worth riding, but I still rate the one at Knoebels much higher. Then, my last ride of the day was on Sidewinder, which brought back some serious nostalgia for me, having grown up with the Lightnin' Loops out at Great Adventure. Again, it was fun enough as a quick one-time hit, but it's kind of weird to look back and see how far coasters have come since this ride was the big bad thrill to beat all others, and now it's just kind of tame. That backwards airtime though! Always a pleasant surprise.

 

Overall, I was glad to have visited, but I don't really have any overwhelming urge to go back and visit, even if I find myself out Rocky Mountain way again in the future. I hope if they do end up moving the park to another location, they're able to invest more and modernize.

 

Some pics!

 

IMG_0603.thumb.JPG.1a3d6120ba5626ca6f73ea700c53fc5b.JPG

I can't think of many places that actually have you ENTER through the gift shop.

IMG_0613.thumb.jpg.32aa54df41b18ae59398e6a25f2e4486.jpg

Just because you keep repeating something doesn't necessarily make it true.

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If the font and color choices didn't give away the weirdness in store...

IMG_0628.thumb.jpg.efc417d6d4efbda3079eb1cd36e99ade.jpg

...then this mural on the back of the building definitely should.

IMG_0647.thumb.JPG.03d713821bee8dce47685fce1adb8973.JPG

Or this sign. What's QDOT? "Quantum Department of Transportation", apparently.

IMG_0658.thumb.jpg.ffd9dba3aba28dc6b8ad42df3482c660.jpg

They may not be the best rides out there, but they're undoubtedly photogenic.

IMG_0681.thumb.jpg.b231bc562e682dcde49a6eee3a3705fd.jpg

Built wilder the second time around? You mean at Knoebels?

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Still, it's cool to see a coaster with an NFL stadium as its backdrop.

IMG_0703.thumb.JPG.88a294427fc8c53bb65dee45eb37ead1.JPG

Ride the lightning!

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I was underprepared for how awesome this little thing ended up being. Surprise sleeper hit of the trip!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey all,

I'll be in Denver on a business trip next month and might try to sneak in a few hours at Elitch Gardens. Their pricing for day tickets already isn't that bad, but are there any places to find discounted tickets? I checked Tickets At Work, but they don't sell Elitch tickets.

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Hey all,

I'll be in Denver on a business trip next month and might try to sneak in a few hours at Elitch Gardens. Their pricing for day tickets already isn't that bad, but are there any places to find discounted tickets? I checked Tickets At Work, but they don't sell Elitch tickets.

 

I want to say Pepsi cans have discounts. You could also check King Soopers as well. None of the commercials here have been clueing in on discounts yet. If I see something I'll let you know.

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Hey all,

I'll be in Denver on a business trip next month and might try to sneak in a few hours at Elitch Gardens. Their pricing for day tickets already isn't that bad, but are there any places to find discounted tickets? I checked Tickets At Work, but they don't sell Elitch tickets.

 

I want to say Pepsi cans have discounts. You could also check King Soopers as well. None of the commercials here have been clueing in on discounts yet. If I see something I'll let you know.

Thanks, man! I'm not really a soda drinker, but I'll tolerate a Pepsi if it means cheaper EG tickets.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am flying to Denver for a day to visit Elitch Gardens and lakeside. I should be fine going to the parks alone without trouble right. Lakeside just looks so shady in the pictures lol. I will be ubering from the airport to both parks and back.

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I am flying to Denver for a day to visit Elitch Gardens and lakeside. I should be fine going to the parks alone without trouble right. Lakeside just looks so shady in the pictures lol. I will be ubering from the airport to both parks and back.

 

I haven't noticed gang problems or violence at Lakeside. It is just a little run down and spooky in a Silent Hill or Final Destination kind of way. I would definitely not plan on eating or drinking anything at Lakeside though. Elitch is actually a nice walk from the light rail station that runs from the airport to downtown. It is worth taking for one of the legs.

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I am flying to Denver for a day to visit Elitch Gardens and lakeside. I should be fine going to the parks alone without trouble right. Lakeside just looks so shady in the pictures lol. I will be ubering from the airport to both parks and back.

 

I haven't noticed gang problems or violence at Lakeside. It is just a little run down and spooky in a Silent Hill or Final Destination kind of way. I would definitely not plan on eating or drinking anything at Lakeside though. Elitch is actually a nice walk from the light rail station that runs from the airport to downtown. It is worth taking for one of the legs.

 

Dido on taking the train to downtown. It's $9 and depending on the time of day, faster. And yes, Lakeside isn't really in a bad part of town. That honor usually belongs to Colfax.

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I am flying to Denver for a day to visit Elitch Gardens and lakeside. I should be fine going to the parks alone without trouble right. Lakeside just looks so shady in the pictures lol. I will be ubering from the airport to both parks and back.

 

 

Don't get your hopes up too high, Elitch is very meh and Lakeside is a straight up dump. I would highly recommend buying the Elitch rapid ride plus pass as that lets you skip the lines on all the big rides and it includes one ride on each of the upcharge attractions (Slingshot and XLR8R). IMO, the two upcharge attractions are the best rides in the park. It's like $55 if you purchase them individually or you get the rapid ride plus pass for $60 and it includes both of them.

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I visited Lakeside last week and I wouldn't say it's a dump. I desperately wish they would invest $500k into ensuring that all of the rides operate (and at full capacity, some are missing vehicles). But what they do have is perfectly nice and the lights at night really are cool. We ended up having a really good time there, just had an odd mixture of feelings about the whole thing. Was sad to see some of the bad knowing how much potential the place has (literally unlimited). They seem to get decent crowds, so I don't know what to make of their financial situation. Just know it has been the same ownership for like 80 years, which in one respect has been good (they haven't veered from the retro vibe), but they seem to have become very complicit and lazy. Level your expectations and go at night and you'll have a nice enough time for the cost. Also, food is ridiculously cheap. $5 giant funnel cakes and $1-2 Icees.

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I am flying to Denver for a day to visit Elitch Gardens and lakeside. I should be fine going to the parks alone without trouble right. Lakeside just looks so shady in the pictures lol. I will be ubering from the airport to both parks and back.

 

Lakeside is depressing more than anything. It's definitely seen better days (prices are stupidly cheap as well). You've probably already looked into this, but Lakeside's hours can be pretty weird, and its rides open slowly, so you might want to double check the calendar.

 

A bit off topic, and I don't know whether this is something that you have considered, but I feel like Waterworld might be a better option than the local amusement parks. Some of the raft rides there are really something special.

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Thank you. This is making me feel better. The second I heard Elitch was gonna close I knew I had to plan a trip. With Lakeside being so close I figure I should visit. Wild Chipmunk looks so bad that its good

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