Summary: Amusement industry news with analysis and special guests
Reasonable injuries, Orlando gate prices, new ride delays, steep roller coasters, Cedar Fair and Q, Matt Ouimet named future chief for Cedar Fair, Pitt Fall, attendance, Disneyland grads, Zippin Pippin, Al Weiss.
Jeff, Carrie, Mike and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry. Ferris Wheel mania hits Las Vegas. What audience is Vegas after these days? SeaWorld attendance is up. Perhaps there's a halo effect from the Harry Potter stuff at Universal Orlando. New Jersey touts low injury rate, until girl fall to her death from Ferris wheel. No mechanical issues suspected at this point. Fatal mini train accident attributed to speed. Questions arise about who is at fault. Gonch relates the story to the responsibility issues around the accident in Wisconsin. Former Santa's Village becomes a zoo-like attraction. Mike says they went from competing with Six Flags to competing with two zoos. Q Funding loses a proxy fight with Cedar Fair, then asks for another special meeting but is denied. Cedar Fair says it has pissed away $3 million on stuff relating to the Q lawsuits and proxy votes. Cedar Point's Wildcat has a minor crash, this time at the final brakes. Universal Orlando is totally Comcastic! NBC-Universal buys up Blackstone's half of the resort. Six Flags America to retire Skull Mountain. Jeff recalls a story there. Despite some scary news stories over the years, the park's coaster package is somewhat underrated. Dorney Park snaps up some new land. That park has awesome walk-ons when it's hot and everyone is in the water park. Dallas beats Miami, Jeff launches into a Lebron slam. Cedar Fair's CFO quits. Jeff saw it as a retention problem, but Carrie suggests that perhaps he just didn't see any upward mobility without going elsewhere. Microsoft previews Kinect Disneyland Adventures for Xbox. Jeff doesn't quite get it, but Mike's princess girls totally do. Water parks: Small kids and their dads. Jeff took his family to Great Wolf Lodge in Washington, had a good time. It's a fairly solid value, though the food selections need help. Coasting For Kids 2011 is go at Cedar Fair parks! Help us raise money for Give Kids The World. Register or donate today! The Fall Affair at Holiday World will be September 17, 2011... save the date! Also, BooBuzz is Friday, October 7. You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook. CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.
Ferris wheels in Las Vegas, SeaWorld attendance, Jersey accidents, Q Funding denied, Wildcat crash, Universal Orlando and Comcast, Six Flags America, Dorney Park, Cedar Fair CFO, Kinect Disneyland, water parks, Great Wolf Lodge.
Jeff, Carrie, Mike and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry. It has been awhile. Not everyone is feeling it. Jeff says Q Funding and their lawsuits against Cedar Fair is like that guy who always complains at city council meetings about stuff that he has nothing to do with. Meanwhile, the testimony of Dick Kinzel and Jack Falfas shows that Falfas didn't resign, and wasn't fired. We find it unbelievable that adults act like this, in a public company, and that the board does nothing about it. Kentucky Kingdom next year? The mayor wants to issue bonds to help finance the reopening, but has anyone asked if the park even has a future? Comcast says it will decide if it wants to buy Blackstone's stake in Universal Orlando. Why would they not? Six Flags planning to split stock, and pay a dividend. Current market cap is over $2 billion. That seems a bit high. I-Walk trademark suit. Isn't that Steve Jobs' walk? It's a stupid name. American Eagle turns 30 at Six Flags Great America. Speaking of, a guy showed up at the park packing heat, and he was arrested because you can't conceal-carry in Illinois. Someone commented he was a thug. We could do a podcast about stupid people. Or politics. Blackpool doesn't allow outside food. Gasp! Stilly British press. Gonch enjoys perks, even warm tap water. American Express has a lounge at Universal Studios Florida. Who spends time in the airport "presidential club" stuff? Disney attendance is up, but room bookings down slightly. We're surprised, because they seemed to have always kept the price at right point to keep the rooms full. Mike is headed to Disneyland this summer. Jeff is going to wait until next year, when California Adventure is "done." Little Mermaid dark ride is regularly featured on the Disney Parks Blog. Gonch's secret to getting kids used to theme parks: Start taking them early and often. Universal Orlando CityWalk is building a mini-golf, and Jeff is excited. Please get your club memberships in right away for the June events! The Fall Affair at Holiday World will be September 17, 2011... save the date! You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook. CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.
Feel it, Q Funding crazies, Dick v. Jack, Kentucky Kingdom feasibility, Comcast on Universal Orlando, Six Flags split, I-Walk, American Eagle, packin' heat, politics, outside food, free stuff, Disney attendance and rooms, with kids.
Jeff and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry. Coaster season is officially upon us. Intimidator 305 opens with a reprofiled first turn. Gonch and Jeff discuss the ups and downs of the love child of Millennium Force and Maverick. Cedar Fair drama continues with Q, and one side or the other has to be lying about the circumstances of Jack Falfas' departure. Aside: Comcast, you suck. Try delivering the bandwidth Jeff pays for. Merlin Entertainments has a good year, and expects another. The Tokyo Disney parks reopen after the earthquake, with some debate about how important that is. Vancouver's Playland has a Star Flyer in its future. Disney World monorail accident lawsuit is settled. MouseZoom soft-launches for fans of Walt Disney World. The site features full-screen, detailed photographs, and a new forum. Go check it out! Tilikum returns to performing at SeaWorld Orlando. The reaction generally falls into one of three categories. Merchandise sales push up to 20% of revenue, helped by new rides. SeaWorld Parks being sued for allegedly ripping off park designs. We don't buy it. PointBuzz has some construction photos of Windseeker. Check them out! Disney breaks ground on Shanghai park, opening in 2014. Isner says it'll be the best of Disney and China, implying that they'll get the culture this time. Kentucky Kingdom denied funding by city, now asking for substantially less. Dorney gets approval for another recycled ride, but so what? It's a nice park, and the water park is the focus. We love Talon. Cedar Fair is doing a series of events with Guinness World Record organization. New rides to watch this year: Texas Giant and Cheetah Hunt. Jeff says the latter will be the surprise hit of the year. The Fall Affair at Holiday World will be September 17, 2011... save the date! You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook. CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.
Intimidator 305, Cedar Fair drama and records, Tokyo Disney recovery, monorail accident, Tilikum, merchandise sales, Windseekers, Kentucky Kingdom, Dorney lovin', rides to watch.
Jeff and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry. We sadly say goodbye to a very well-known roller coaster enthusiast. You can remember Moosh by giving to the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Another bust in Orlando for second hand theme park tickets. In theory they don't work because of biometrics associated with the tickets, but how can there even be a secondary market? Burke and Story can't wait to run a park again. Get the popcorn, we're ready to watch! The jokes around "Festival Tennessee" start coming almost as soon as it was announced. Gonch gives the project no chance of becoming a reality. Playland needs a new future. Jeff gets on his soapbox about the dogmatic assertion that government shouldn't be in the business. Plans approved for a giant Ferris Wheel in Las Vegas. The whole city is in a weird state right now, with half-finished stuff. Meanwhile, the Sahara is going to close in May, apparently without buyers or hope. No word on what happens to Speed. Jeff wonders if he can find the time to visit Adventure Dome next month when he's in town, for the credit. The Dells worker who dropped a girl 100 feet is convicted of a felony, but we're generally of the opinion that it's problematic for it to be a crime to do your minimum wage job wrong. It was a tragedy, but that's a different issue from whether or not there was a crime. We still think it's a problem with the ride design. MouseZoom soft-launches for fans of Walt Disney World. The site features full-screen, detailed photographs, and a new forum. Go check it out! Disney's CFO says high gas prices are not going to seriously impact its theme park business. Tokyo Disney properties closed following tragic quake and tsunami off the coast of Japan. Some guests were stranded at the park for awhile. Another maintenance worker dies at Animal Kingdom working on Primeval Whirl. We still can't understand how these accidents happen. Blackstone wants to sell its stake in Universal Orlando. Analysts are down on NBC-Universal Comcast buying it, but why wouldn't they? Q Funding is suing Cedar Fair again. Yawn. The Fall Affair at Holiday World will be September 17, 2011... save the date! You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook. CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.
Orlando theme park ticket bust, failed executives, failed developers, failed casinos, Las Vegas attractions, crime on the job, Walt Disney World site, gas prices, Japan disaster, accident at Animal Kingdom, Blackstone and Universal Orlando.
Jeff, Carrie and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry. We're a little out of practice. KP Connection posts off-season photos from Kennywood. Gonch reviews a bit about the new roller coaster there. Jeff wishes there were more local fan sites for amusement parks. The Disney Dream is like a theme park. Carrie talks about cruises as disease infested capsules. Gonch wants a Fastpass off the boat. Disney worker arrested for allegedly luring a woman to the resort and raping her. The story doesn't add up very well according to what has been reported. Cedar Fair gets some credit lubrication. Lubrication is what makes business go. SeaWorld ready to put trainers back in the water. It has been a year, but Jeff wants to hear more about the safeguards. It will always be dangerous, that's part of the job. Six Flags America gets a "Survivor" live show. Really? Who actually watches anything on CBS? Ferrari World pats itself on the back for 100 days of operation. Take that, Freestyle! Six Flags has a very profitable 2010. We think Shapiro really laid the groundwork for that success. And by the way, Gonch thinks that Six Flags America has a nice coaster lineup. Jeff wonders if he ever mentioned that he was on Superman when the chain broke. Battlestar Galactica dueling roller coaster finally reopens at Universal Singapore. Eleven months seems like a long time to fix a problem. Aside: Remember ragging on Vekoma? Las Vegas entertains the idea of a new amusement park. Jeff can't stand cab drivers that take you stupid ways. Cheetah Chase is looking like "the" ride for the year. It's like a long Maverick, sort of. Dorney is getting another hand-me-down ride, this time from California's Great America. Disney is spending a billion dollars on tech to make your day more efficient and more action packed. What's with people who are worried about doing every last thing when they go to Disney World? Some people suck at vacations. Lo-Q has a more profitable year. Funny how everything other than the unemployment rate implies that the economy is improving. Cedar Fair charges a buck an inch for a crappy sub. And they're surprised that their per cap is down? Universal Orlando's grand achievement, in the form of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, has amazing results for the year. No shocker there. Stay tuned... we're announcing something new very soon. The Fall Affair at Holiday World will be September 17, 2011... save the date! You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook. CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.
Kennywood, Disney cruises, come get in free, lubrication, SeaWorld, Six Flags Survivor, Ferrari World, Battlestar Galactica roller coaster, Las Vegas amusements, Busch Gardens Tampa, Lo-Q perks, great results with Harry Potter.
Low expectations, big starts, 11 years of CoasterBuzz, focusing on the wrong things, Disney site?, Richard rides Formula Rossa, Jeff at Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Cedar Fair shake up, Universal attendance, hotel bar, northwest passage.
Jeff, Richard and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry. The 200th episode is coincidentally released on the 11th anniversary of the launch of CoasterBuzz. We didn't have any real expectations for starting the show, and yet here we are more than five years later, still doing. Gonch got his start by being active in the old games site. The live podcasts, where we met in person, are still some of the best. CoasterBuzz has only existed in four flavors since it launched. Would like to revise it again before the end of this year. Jeff worried about all of the wrong things back when CoasterBuzz started. A Disney-focused site next? It could happen... Richard calls in from early morning in Dublin. He's been on Formula Rossa at Ferrari World, and he suggests that it probably pushes the limits of what's comfortable to ride. He also wonders what the long-term prognosis of the park is, because it was virtually empty. Eye protection is required on Rossa (he's looking at you, Knott's Berry Farm). Jeff got his Wizarding World of Harry Potter on at Universal's Islands of Adventure. Verdict: Awesome. Best times to visit Universal Orlando? Check the on-site hotel rates and operating hours. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is an amazing achievement end to end, queue to ride system. Aside: Screen actors on the stage. Unit holders force split from CEO and chair at Cedar Fair. Another board member fills the spot. What's next? Hard to say. The real story comes from the selection of a new CEO to replace Kinzel next year. Universal kills it with rise in attendance. Jeff learns that Islands of Adventure is all based in literary themes. Mt. Olympus owner buys up hotels for rehab. Good for the area? The bar isn't very high to begin with. Jeff takes a moment to complain about how there aren't many roller coasters to ride in the northwest (again). You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook. CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.
WP7, Carrie at Dollywood, Holy Land, Cedar Fair vs. Q, Disney queue management, hate to wait, Dudley, Fun Spot, Block Party, Coney Island, ticket prices, Conneaut Lake fail again, attendance, lifetime passes.
Jeff, Carrie, Mike and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry. CoasterBuzz has a Windows Phone 7 app. Check it out. Carrie went to Tennessee for the New Year. Did the Dollywood holiday thing, found Thunderhead to be just OK. Doesn't mind saying that she's not that interested in riding in bad weather. Holy Land in Orlando comes off as completely strange to many. The Cedar Fair vs. Q Investments saga continues, with mudslinging worthy of a political campaign. Jeff asks who is lying about the Falfas situation: termination or resignation? Experts say Freestyle Music Park won't reopen. Really? Disney's queue management isn't just Fastpass, it's getting the crowds to go where there's excess capacity, even if that means parades. Disneyland and DCA close on two days because of crazy attendance. Knott's sells "Hate to Wait" passes, as the premium virtual queue comes to a Cedar Fair park. Doesn't seem like a particularly good deal to us. Dudley Doo-Right catches fire at Islands of Adventure. It's a water ride. Fun Spot expands on International Drive. Mike thinks the karts look cool. Jeff says try the electric carts if they exist near you. Block Party Bash retired at Disney Hollywood Studios. Zamperla gets fined for tearing down Shoot The Freak. So goes the Coney Island "character." If you get photographed at a park, deal with it. You pretty much have no rights in said public place. Disney prices go up on both coasts for the locals. Gonch says they apparently stayed the same in Orlando for the better part of a decade. Conneaut Lake Park begs for more money from Pepsi. We all say "I told you so." Just let the place die peacefully. Cedar Fair attendance up significantly, we suspect it has a lot to do with the Halloween events, combined with the big cap ex in the southern parks. Legoland Florida is selling a lifetime pass. Only $2,500! Mike saw Tron. He thought it was cool. You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook. CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.