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
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.
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
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.
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