By Russell Meyer
Posted via 22.214.171.124 on November 28, 2004 at 8:15 PM (MST)
Statements below are the work of their authors and not necessarily the opinion of Theme Park Insider.
It’s clear that I wasn’t the only one who ate too much turkey this weekend. It seems that just about every news site is taking a vacation this weekend, so there’s only a little bit to report to you this week from the world of theme parks.
Preparing for the 50th
Mice Age 11/24/04
Transformations are becoming more rapid as Disneyland prepares for its 50th anniversary celebration. The exterior of Buzz Lightyear appears to be almost complete with a fancy 50th anniversary sign. Mice Age’s Al Lutz also details some of the other changes being made to Disneyland for its 50th anniversary including a new Matterhorn queue, menu updates, and renovations to The Enchanted Tiki Room. I know everyone is so excited to visit Disneyland next year that they cannot wait to buy their annual pass. Unfortunately for Disney, no one is lining up in droves to get 2005 annual passes. Will Disneyland be able to do anything to make its 50th anniversary an event to remember? From what has been presented so far, unless Space Mountain 2.0 blows people away, Disney may not have anything more than the novelty of being 50 years old to drag people to Disneyland in 2005.
Knoebels Preparing for 2005
Knoebels is a very small park in northeastern Pennsylvania, and they recently posted some of their planned additions for 2005. They will be adding an inverted frisbee ride named Sidewinder and a kiddie ride named Flying Tigers 8. For a park that prides itself in being a wholesome family destination, these are 2 perfect additions. Knoebels will not wow thrill seekers with amazing coasters or high G flat rides, but it does contain two very highly regarded wooden coasters, Phoenix and Twister, and a number of decent flat rides. The park also has a large collection of historic carousels and a timeless haunted house dark ride. The park still uses a pay-per-ride concept and has some of the best down-home food in the amusement industry. Any amusement park fan should spend at least one day at this charming little park. You won’t be disappointed.
Kennywood Park, located just outside of Pittsburgh, PA, has ended a long time tradition with the elimination of their pay-per-ride admission policy. The POP(Pay One Price) was the preferred way of attending the classic park, but pay-per-ride was a great option for those who just wanted to stop in and take a couple of spins on the Phantom. The park will still offer reduced evening admission along with senior and youth admissions, but the end of the pay-per-ride will signal the end of Kennywood’s claim as America’s Finest “Traditional” Amusement Park.
Disney Tops Again
The pitifully reviewed National Treasure just keeps chugging along and has captured the holiday weekend box office with another $33.1 million (estimated). Disney also took the #2 slot with The Incredibles, as the Pixar creation passes the $200 million mark. Alexander, Oliver Stone’s recent attempt create a film equivalent of paint drying (see JFK) could not even crack the top 5 with a meager $13.4. The 1-2 punch of Incredibles and National Treasure has really put a positive spin on what was shaping up to be an incredibly disappointing one for Disney at the movies. Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney may very well have formed a strong combination, or perhaps this second pairing just hasn’t felt any sting from some actual competition. With next week offering no significant wide release competition, it is possible for Treasure and Incredibles to keep Disney at the top for 5 straight weeks. I don’t know if the success of National Treasure is a reflection of the Disney/Bruckheiemer coupling or just the lack of quality offerings during the holiday season this year.
From Robert OGrosky
I saw Alexander and it is a very medicore movie to say the least. Way too long/boring and the few battle scenes they had were also subpar, not worth the money IMHO. National Treasure ofered more bang for the movie buck.
Posted via 126.96.36.199 on November 28, 2004 at 10:13 PM (MST)
From Derek Potter
Knoebels is another one of those small family owned parks that continues to charm whoever goes through the gates. It gets a limited amount of attention due to it's size, but they get high marks for customer service, food, and scenery...not to mention two of the best wooden coasters around. It really is a charming place, an nice change from the large scale, more expensive corporate parks.
Posted via 188.8.131.52 on November 28, 2004 at 11:17 PM (MST)
Kennywood is a park similar to Knoebels in that it's a classic, family park with the old world charm. Pay per ride has been a long tradition there, and I'm sure that there are some unhappy people. Perhaps this was to reduce crowd size, but part of Kennywood's allure is that it's always been run the old way. This move makes me wonder about the future of Kennywood. They really tarnished their tradidional image by revamping the long running Olde Mill dark ride with a Garfield theme. Getting rid of pay per ride just takes a little more of that charm away.
From K Treye
Good work on the shout out to Knoebels!! I grew up in NE PA and have been going to Knoebels all my life. It has such a rich history of family entertainment and it celebrates that history with an on-site museum showcasing the local culture and the park itself. Definaly a must-see for history buffs and park enthuasiasts alike.
Posted via 184.108.40.206 on December 1, 2004 at 8:21 AM (MST)