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The BLOGFlume—Opening Day is On the Way

A new show for the Magic Kingdom, and Six Flags and Cedar Point prepare to open their gates.

Written by Russell Meyer
Published: March 30, 2005 at 9:19 PM

More Celebrating
Mickey News 3/30/05

As if Expedition Everest, Soarin’, Lights, Motor, Action, and Stitch’s Great Escape weren’t enough, Disney has added another new attraction to the Walt Disney World lineup in celebration of Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary. Cinderellabration will be a new stage show located in front of, you guessed it, Cinerella’s Castle. The spectacle will not only tell the tale of the princess with the glass slippers and magical coach, but will also interweave the stories of Disney’s other princesses including: Snow White, Belle, Aurora, and Jasmine. This show is actually a “gift” from Tokyo Disneyland to the Magic Kingdom, as Cinderellabration was a special show crafted for the Japanese park’s 20th anniversary. Not only will the performance feature lavish costumes and spectacular dance numbers, but will also include some of Disney’s most recognizable hits from its illustrious film history. With the increasing popularity of Disney princesses, there’s no doubt this show will be incredibly popular, and crowds for Cinderellabration may equal those for the nightly parade and fireworks. The show is destined to be a hit at the Magic Kingdom, but I have to wonder if this addition may be unnecessary. With so many things to see and do in the park, this potentially incredibly popular show may do more to clog the park and create traffic jams than actually entertain guests. While the setting of the show right in front of the title character’s castle is more than appropriate, the castle’s location in the center of the park could potentially cause some problems and frustration with guests trying the negotiate the park, especially in the summer months.

Back Again
PR Newswire 3/24/05

Everyone’s favorite old bald guy is back pimping for everyone’s favorite regional theme park. Six Flags has filmed a number of new advertisements for its theme parks featuring Mr. Six. The ads will feature Kingda Ka, the soon-to-be tallest, fastest roller coaster in the world, the new Hurricane Harbor in Six Flags Great America, and the new dolphin interaction attraction at Six Flags Marine World. The ad is not quite as annoying as last year, as Mr. Six is actually given some character instead of just being a strange looking fellow dancing outside of turnstiles. The new ad signals the opening, or near opening of the company’s many seasonal regional parks to the masses, and heightens the anticipation for the numerous new attractions that await guests for the 2005 season. However, like many other park companies, most of Six Flags new attractions are not quite ready, and the many water park additions will open in May when most of the company’s water parks open with the warmer weather. In particular, the cornerstone of Six Flags 2005 capital improvements at Six Flags Great Adventure is more than a month away from being ready. Kingda Ka’s primary construction has been completed, and the trains have been placed on the storage track, but a crane is still on site, suggesting that a “pull-through” of the trains through the circuit has not yet occurred. Parts of the Golden Kingdom have been opened, and many of the adjacent shops and stands have been re-themed to blend with the Asian theme of the new land, but the new animal exhibits and new children’s ride area are not yet open. Despite a lot of enthusiasm in the off-season from park executives, the 2005 season is not starting off with the bang I think they were hoping for, and the projected problems anticipated by many industry watchers for Kingda Ka could bring disaster.

If You Lose a Record, Make Another
Point Buzz 3/30/05

Cedar Point is also getting ready for the start of its new season, but it is not slated to open for another month on Saturday, May 7, 2005. The park will be celebrating its 136th season, and 100th anniversary of the Hotel Breakers with a fireworks spectacular on opening night, weather permitting. Not only that, but Cedar Point’s new attraction, maXair, will be ready for guests on opening day, and will establish a new world record with the park’s 68th ride. The park will most likely lose its tallest, fastest roller coaster record when Kingda Ka makes its first circuit, and its coaster collection of 16 is still only tied with Magic Mountain. So what do you do when you lose a record? Come up with another one that you can boast about. There’s really not much else Cedar Point can boast about since its new attraction is very similar to in-state competitor park Paramount’s Kings Island’s Delirium. The massive theme park has lost ground to Kings Island, and Top Thrill Dragster, and its many problems in the 2003 season, has not brought the impact many Cedar Fair executives probably expected. Paramount is showing that bigger and faster are not necessarily better, and until Cedar Point realizes that how many rides or how fast they go is not the primary reason that people attend theme parks, Cedar Point will continue to play second fiddle to the steadily improving park just outside of Cincinnati.

Readers' Opinions

From Joe Lane on March 30, 2005 at 9:40 PM
Cinderellabration will be replacing the current show, Cinderella's Surprise Birthday Party Whatsis, so I don't think the crowds are going to be so much of an issue. They'll likely be the same number, clogging up the castle forecourt stage area on a regular basis throughout the day.

There's no doubt about it: Disney makes big money selling its Princesses. But in pushing this part of the Disney, urm, "franchise" to the forefront, is the company ignoring the young male demographic? I'm not sure what Cinderellabration holds in store for us, but if it's solely a Princess-focus, it might be tough to keep the attention of the Buzz/Aladdin/Adventurers/Power Ranger fans? Not to say that Power Rangers is an incredibly imaginative franchise, it's actually rather dull, but, hey, that's demographics for ya.

I remember when the old Yankee Trader store next to the Haunted Mansion, which featured HM, NMBC and Villains merchandise was transformed into a store specializing in Princess stuff. Why, oh why? And I sigh...

From Derek Potter on March 30, 2005 at 10:14 PM
I kinda liked the new Six Flags commercial. Not a bad way to start off the season. I really hope that they can at least start to pull it all together this year. Kingda Ka will be an unbelievable experience for those who haven't ridden Top Thrill Dragster, but given TTD's highly checkered maintenance history, Kingda Ka seems like much more of a risk than it's worth for Six Flags. They really can't afford to have another X or Deja Vu situation.

When it comes to Cedar Point and Kings Island, I'm not going to choose a side for one reason. Kings Island isn't necessarily better than Cedar Point, and vice versa. They are just different, and the difference between the two park in terms of attraction selection and theming is ever widening. However, in terms of customer service, cleanliness, attraction quality, food, employees, and management, the parks are in my opinion, dead even. The difference between the two is the market that they are appealing to. Cedar Point is the best in the world for those who are thrillseekers, and Paramount's Kings Island is becoming the best theme park, at least for 1300 or so miles in any direction. To say that either park is second fiddle to the other is really a matter of preference. It's fair to say that Kings Island's new family oriented approach has a broader appeal, and more potential for growth in terms of earnings and attendance. Cedar Point's attendance number probably can't get much higher than it has been, so that's why they have put a ton of money into an indoor waterpark and also hotels...something that Kings Island has not done. There's still a lot of bank to be made in Sandusky.

I don't know what it is with parks and records. Cedar Point has always tooted their horn about their records. They have always blown the loudest about the coaster records, but they have always mentioned the attraction number too. Kings Island isn't guiltless either. They really like to play up The Beast and Son of Beast, and the tallest gyro drop tower. Bragging rights are good marketing tools I guess, especially when there are no media giants behind Cedar Fair or Six Flags.

My advice...if you are traveling to Ohio to visit one of the parks, visit the other one as well if possible. I've said before that they really compliment each other well, despite the fact that they are two different companies. Folks in the middle of Ohio like myself are loving it, because we now have the best of both worlds.

From Paul Jeffs on March 31, 2005 at 1:21 AM
Word on the (Main) Street is that Cinderellabration is only so-so.
For those who have seen the Tokyo version it is supposedly very inferior.
The US version takes place during daylight (so the lighting and fireworks are anything but magical in the Florida sun.)
The Villains element has been removed, so it's just one long party with no drama or conflict.
I think crowds will probably remain the same, along with the guest satisfaction levels...
From Jason Moore on March 31, 2005 at 9:30 AM
Yeah, I've seen a video of the Cinderellabration show and I thought it to be extremely underwhelming. Based on reading reports from other sites I'd love to see the Tokyo version as i hear it is much better. The Orlando version apparently has less characters, less elaborate costumes, less everything. (typical Disney) It's only appeal as far as I can tell is going to be with the princess crowd, so I doubt it's going to effect much else at the park.
From kyle sussman on March 31, 2005 at 9:44 AM
There are some great pictures for cinderellabration on wdwmagic.com. They give you some info on the construction on all the new disneyworld rides aswell.
From Kevin Baxter on March 31, 2005 at 6:21 PM
From what I heard, Cinderellabration was kind of a princess-centered Fantasmic Lite. Villains were involved, and more fireworks, but basically it was still little more than a princess parade. The Japanese are far more show-oriented than we are (one reason you see so many Japanese tourists at USH) so stuff like this appeals to a far broader spectrum over there than it does here. This thing would crash and burn in Disneyland, but WDW audiences are a little more forgiving. Exhibit A: Beauty & the Beast.
From Michael Patalano on March 31, 2005 at 11:11 PM
Also, you have to remember that Cinderellabration was TDL's Fantasmic. It was their showstopping nighttime entertainment. At WDW we have Wishes, Specto, RoE, and Fantasmic! We don't need another nighttime show.
From Joe Lane on April 1, 2005 at 8:40 AM
Won't be playing at night. It's replacing the daytime Cinderella Surprise Celebration and plays several times throughout the day.

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