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Coasters and how they got there: stories from a fly on the wall

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
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I realized lately I've done a few of these stories already, and figured we could have a separate thread for them.

Sometimes, parks make strange choices when it comes to new attractions. Either they're getting something really similar to what they have already, or something that seems completely out of left field, or otherwise defying our expectations of that park entirely. It's fun to sit down and imagine what happened behind the scenes when that coaster was ordered. To start off with an example, here's how I imagine it went when Dorney Park got their new wooden shuttle coaster (already posted in the relevant thread but slightly altered here):

(We're at Cedar Fair's annual board meeting. The top executives from all the parks are sitting around a big table, with the executive of Cedar Fair at the end. He's just about to wrap up the meeting by announcing a new investment)
Cedar Fair executive: "Okay, that's next year's pot of money distributed. And we're proud to announce a new wooden shuttle coaster for ... Cedar Point!"
(General polite applause around the room. Nobody looks surprised. Cedar Point always gets the new coasters)
Cedar Point executive: "Um, I think that would be too low capacity for us. We've got little space left to expand, and I don't think we can afford to use that much for such a low-capacity ride. I'm afraid we'll have to decline the offer."
(Dorney Park executive raises hand)
CF executive: "No problem, we'll give it to a different park instead. Kings Island, you're the go-to park for stuff we don't want at Cedar Point. You'll get it!"
Kings Island executive: "We're currently putting our marketing focus into Orion. We wouldn't be able to get any extra mileage out of a small wooden coaster like that. I'm sure it could be put to better use elsewhere."
(Dorney Park executive starts waving the raised hand)
CF executive: "Oh, no problem. We have plenty of deserving parks in our chain! Canada's Wonderland it is!"
Canada's Wonderland executive: "Actually, we're getting more visitors every year than Cedar Point. If it's too low capacity for them, it's too low for us as well. But the chain has other parks."
(Dorney Park executive keeps hand raised and waving, uses other hand to point at himself)
CF executive: "Oh, we do indeed. Knott's Berry Farm, you can squeeze it in somewhere, can't you?"
KBF executive: "Capacity might be an issue for us too. We're actually getting more visitors than CW again. And we have less space to work with than CP. We'll have to decline, but if you will take a moment to look at the Giga request I sent-"
(Dorney Park executive, hands still flailing, stares intensely at CF executive, trying to capture his gaze)
CF executive: "Giga what? I didn't hear you! Carowinds! You can have it!"
Carowinds executive: "A wooden coaster that looks like it might actually be somewhat good?!? Not in our park."
(Dorney Park executive clears throat)
CF executive: "King's Dominion, then! Take this thing, since we obviously don't have other parks to put it in!"
KD executive: "We're already working on that B&M Wing Coaster, remember? Can't you put the wooden shuttle in one of the smaller parks?"
(The entire room gasps and falls silent)
CF executive: "Insolence! That B&M coaster... You can forget it! We'll make it a... a... an S&S Free Spin instead! Off the shelf model! One of the leftover ones from Six Flags' bulk purchase! Now don't open that mouth again or I'll call my contacts in the UK and swap the Free Spin for a twenty-fourth hand Pinfari instead!"
Dorney Park executive: He might have a point, though! There are other parks in this chain, you know!
CF executive: "Only California's Great Adventure, to the extent of my knowledge. Will you have it?"
CGA executive: "We've got our hands full with the waterpark expansion. You must find somebody else."
(Dorney Park executive clears throat again)
CF executive: "Valleyfair?"
Secretary: "I think Valleyfair stopped attending these meetings seven years ago. Gave up, he said."
(Dorney Park executive stands up)
CF executive: "Michigan's Adventure?"
(MA executive looks up, as if in shock. This is the first time anybody has even remembered his presence in the annual meeting since Valleyfair left. As if in a dream, he hears his own, hoarse voice say: "Yes, grand boss?" and feels a faint spark of hope for the first time in ages)
CF executive: "By the way, we're giving you some money to move your smallest kiddie coaster to a different corner of your park. That ought to suffice as investment for you for the next ten years. Now, back to this wooden shuttle. Who can we give it to?"
(Dorney Park executive climbs onto his chair - not an easy feat, since he's waving one hand in the air while pointing at himself with the other simultaneously)
CF executive: "Worlds of Fun?"
(Everybody laughs. The Worlds of Fun executive says nothing. That's because he's just a scarecrow somebody fit into a suit. The real Worlds of Fun executive hasn't turned up to these meetings for years. Nobody ever cared enough to notice. Nobody notices this time either)
CF executive: "Okay, that only leaves us one choice. We'll put this thing up at Gilroy Gardens. It's sure to be a hit."
Secretary: "Umm, it looks like the representative for Gilroy Gardens chose to stay at home tending to a sick houseplant. He said nothing relevant ever happened to him on these meetings."
(Dorney Park executive mouths "Me! Me! Me!" while jumping up and down on his chair)
CF executive: "Can't fault him for that. No, we've gone through the entire chain and nobody seems to have the room, capacity, or desire to build this new coaster. We'll just have to sell it on, or move it straight to the graveyard for hopeless projects. The place coasters go to die in this chain. The last stop before the soup can factory. The place I keep forgetting that we even own. Every time I'm reminded of its existence, I vow to remove a coaster from that park. This one goes to ... :sigh: ... Dorney. Now scrap their newest coaster immediately! Tear down Stinger and put this thing in."
(Dorney Park executive falls off the chair in a fit of blissful giggling. Nobody takes any notice of him)
Secretary: "Um, you already tore down Stinger a couple of years ago. You said you rather wanted to turn it into nails than seeing it operate at Dorney, remember?"
CF executive: "Blast it. Well, take their second newest coaster, then! Pronto! I don't want anybody to think we actually care about that place. Meeting adjourned, I need a drink."
(Everyone steps on the Dorney Park executive as they walk out of the meeting room)


So, do you have any fly-on-the-wall stories from your parks?
 
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Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
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Double post, but I might as well put the "how Hersheypark got Candymonium" story here too:

(Hersheypark corporate offices, 2018)
Herhseypark Boss: "So, how are you liking your first day of internship? And have you sent out the design tender for our new coaster?"
Intern: "Yes, sir! I did just as you said. I found the file on the shelf on the left, made copies, and sent it to all the usual manufacturers."
Boss: "Shelf on the left? It was supposed to be the shelf on the right! The left shelf is our archive! It's where we keep copies of the old design tender documents. Tell me ... what did the documents you mailed out say?"
Intern: "Hersheypark seeks bids for the design and manufacturing of a steel coaster with no inversions and four-abreast seating, at a minimum height of 200 feet and a length of 3500-5000 feet. The layout should include a steep first drop and primarily be focused on airtime."
Boss: You dolt! You've mailed out the specs for Skyrush!
Intern: "That explains why it had the wrong date on it. I thought it was strange that it was labeled 'project 2012'."
Boss: "And now there's no time to make a correction either. Oh well, we'll have to shelf the multi-launch looper project for 2020. It'll be nice to have a spare Skyrush in case the first one breaks down, I suppose."
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
How BonBon-Land rebranded and gave a VR addition to their most recent coaster:

(We're in the office of Parques Reunidos' CEO, circa 2017. He sits leaned back in his big, genuine-leather chair behind a huge mahogany desk, smoking a Cuban cigar he just lit with a silver lighter. The desk is strewn with wads of cash and sales brochures from Ferrari. A knock on the door, and a timid-looking man enters the office, carrying a bag of cash)
CEO: "Ah, you must be the guy running Bonbon-Land, coming to us with the yearly profits! I see it's a little smaller than last year's."
BonBon-Land manager: "Actually, it is. Our attendance has been dropping for a few years in a row now. We're not making as much money as before."
CEO: "What's the problem? Raise prices, charge more for parking, fire all non-essential staff and quit all that nonsense 'general upkeep' thing I keep seeing in your budgets."
Manager: "Um, sir, we have. The park hasn't seen a lick of paint since 2010, we're severely understaffed, and charging guests through the nose. But it's not helping. We can't make as much money as you demand."
CEO: "Hm, this sounds serious. Take that chair and sit down" (Manager sits down) "You now owe me five grand for wear and tear on the chair, it's genuine Swedish design."
Manager: "I could tell, it still has the IKEA tag on it. IVAR, what a lovely model, you almost don't notice it's made of cardboard. Anyway, I ... think we need to build another attraction, to attract new guests."
CEO: "Listen. Firstly, they're not 'guests', they are customers. Secondly, we bought your park because it already had a full lineup of attractions. The asset was already completed. Finished. Making money. There was no need to do anything more to it, except ripping out the attractions that cost to much to keep running and sacking the staff we didn't need. Bonbon-Land is a fully developed and completed product."
Manager: "Thing is, our attractions are getting older, and people are noticing. Besides, our competitors develop their parks continuously, so gu-, I mean, customers, prefer their parks to ours. The Danish theme park industry is on the rise, but we are falling behind."
CEO (packing as much contempt as possible into every syllable): "Pah, competitors. I hate 'em. Think they know how to develop assets better than us, and make our strategy less profitable. If I had realized there were so many parks in Denmark, I never would have bought into your market. Why can't you be more like Norway, with only one big park so customers have no alternative to us? Yeah, that's a good idea. Go be like Norway."
Manager: "With all due respect, sir, pretending that the competition doesn't exist is what brought us here in the first place. The last time we built a notable ride was in 2009!"
CEO: "And it was a bloody expensive one too."
Manager: "It was a second-hand Zierer that had run for sixteen years in a defunct park in Germany and stood abandoned for a full year. We paid next to nothing for it, and its age was showing already when we got it."
COE: "But we did pay for it, which goes against all my economic principles."
Manager: "Do you think one can run an amusement park without ever spending any money?"
CEO: "That's the principle this entire company is founded upon. I don't see the problem."
Manager: "We need to build something new to attract more guests. That will cost money. Can you at least give us a budget?"
CEO: "Fair enough. Will fifty suffice?"
Manager: "Fifty ... million Euros? Yes, I think that would help a lot! Thank-"
CEO: "I was more thinking fifty Danish Kroner. When I'm talking to you, it's always Danish Kroner."
Manager: "Fifty Danish kroner, that's seven Euros."
CEO: "... and? Find some kids and let them give the new star attraction a lick of paint and some decorative pieces."
Manager: "That's not enough. At all. Do you have any concept of how much money it costs just to paint a coaster?"
CEO: "In Rollercoaster Tycoon, it's free."
Manager: "Why do I get the feeling you're the kind of player who only plays on pre-made parks and just sit there watching money pour in without ever touching the build menus?"
CEO: "It's the only fun way to play. But if you're so dang insistent, you can have fifty thousand. It goes out of your wages, of course. I expect the new attraction to be up and running by next year."
Manager: "A new attraction for fifty thousand kroner?"
CEO: "Take that brand new coaster of yours-"
Manager: "We've had it for eight years."
CEO: "-and find some students to code a VR thingy for it in return for free- ... er, discounted seasonal passes. VR is the new big thing, I'm told everyone loves that. Buy a few headsets, and it's a completely new attraction."
Manager: "I ... will see what I can do. Thanks for your time."
CEO: "Oh, no problem. I always have time for my managers. That is, I charge for consultation by the minute. You'll receive my invoice by mail. And of course you'll also have to pay me for the time I could have spent doing other stuff instead of talking to you. And for general wear and tear, and insolence, and extra load on the ventilation system, and for your park not being as profitable as I want it to be. Your total bill for this meeting will probably add up to ... let's say, fifty?"
Manager: "... Danish Kroner?"
CEO: "Million Euros. When we're talking about me, it's always million Euros. You can pay what you have and owe me the rest. And of course, now that your park has a new attraction, we will have to remove something to keep the running costs the same. Sack a few staff too, and increase the entrance price. And remember, any money you spend, you owe us back five times!"
Manager: "OK, I'll ... get back to Denmark now. It's a long drive, at least I wish you could let me book a hotel room ..."
CEO: "Don't forget to pay for parking on company property on the way out!"
 

ECG

East Coast(er) General
Staff member
Administrator
Someone obviously has too much free time on there hands and nothing to do due to COVID-19 restrictions. :p
 

HeartlineCoaster

Active Member
Just wanted to show some appreciation for these - great imagination and very well written.
They belong somewhere better than forum fun and I would love to see more.
 
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