Do you like coasters? Of course you do. Otherwise you probably wouldn't be reading this right now. How about RMC's do you like them? GCI's? Intamin? B&M? Mack? Sure, there are probably some coasters you like better, some manufacturers that you think make better rides. But that doesn't necessarily mean rides by the "other guys" are inherently bad. Or does it?
There's enough room in the amusement industry for all these guys, variety, it's the spice of life. Last year I wrote an article about "not limiting yourself" to one theme park chain, well this year, it's coasters.
Written by Gregg Condon
Last night Kings Island announced their all new coaster Mystic Timbers, coming in 2017. It's a GCI wooden coaster with some surprise elements we haven't even seen yet. And the crowd that showed up to see the unveiling was pretty big.
But before the ceremony even started a chant of "RMC, RMC, RMC, RMC" started in the crowd. Even though many recognized members of GCI there and it was pretty obvious what was coming.
Look, I get it, RMC has taken the coaster world by storm. They have a LOT of fans, myself included. But would you REALLY want every coaster to be an RMC? Isn't there a place for the traditional wooden coaster along with RMC's?
And if it had actually turned out to be an RMC, there would have also been an equal amount of gnashing teeth on the other side. This isn't just a one-sided thing, it's not an us vs them thing, it's an us vs us.
As long as there have been coaster manufacturers there have been people who were fans of different ones. And that's great. There are some that I like better than others as well.
But the most important thing a coaster manufacturer does is create FUN. Not everything has to be the biggest, tallest, fastest, loopiest, spinnyest, throwingupinest ride in the world. I'm sure many of you reading this have a #1 wooden coaster that is NONE of these things. I know, it's my #1 wooden coaster too.
So sure, while there may be some disappointment in "another GCI" or "the video doesn't look very good" ... the ride looks FUN!! Nobody thought much of Gold Striker at California's Great America when it was announced, and that's one of the best GCI coasters of the last decade.
We are now just at the beginning of "Ride Announcement" season. Different chains do it different ways. There will be more announcements coming out of Cedar Fair in the coming weeks. Heck, Kings Island even said there was going to be another announcement in a few weeks.
Six Flags will be making their announcements towards the end of August, and already there has been the gnashing of teeth regarding some of the leaks, never mind that we don't actually have any details yet.
Lets, as a community, take a step back, realize that we are here for fun, rides exist to be fun.
So (insert ride manufacturer here) isn't making a ride at your favorite park next year. Get out, travel, see the country/world and visit that park that has a coaster from your favorite manufacturer. Realize that business decisions aren't made at the park level, they are made at the corporate level, and that decision is made to get the most amount of people to show up at (insert park here).
So I don't like rides from (insert ride manufacturer here) and my favorite park is making (insert monstrosity here). Skip the ride, but look at the faces of those coming off the ride. Are they happy faces? Are there A LOT of them? Are they spending money? Guess what, that gives (insert park here) more revenue to do MORE things.
So (insert park chain here) is making ANOTHER of (insert ride I don't like here). This is a common practice, one that many parks do (yes, even Disney). It's a nature of the business. Yes, theme parks are a business. They are in the business of making money. Sometimes chains realize they've gone too far too late but that's for them to figure out.
And sure, while certain parks have great social media, amazing park managers and staff that love to host coaster enthusiasts, at the corporate level, these rides aren't built for us.
While it's fun to speculate and have fun with "what we would do with (insert park here)" at the end of the day, most of the things we'd like to do to parks would end up bankrupting them.
Keeping that in mind, let's remember to have fun, remember that there are those future coaster enthusiasts that are going to LOVE a ride like Mystic Timbers. Remember that there are families that can ride this together. Remember that there are those little pops of air found on GCI's that make them great. Remember that there is a place for all different types of rides. Remember that innovation is a great thing and that no park we visit is a museum.
Happy riding ...
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