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Celebrating at Disneyland; not so much at Freestyle Music Park

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Published: June 18, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Since I was at Universal today for its event, particle physics and medical science prevented me from also being down at Disneyland for today's Lakers/Kobe Bryant victory parade. But Disney's PR team dutifully sent along a photo:

Kobe went to Disneyland

Disneyland also picked from the crowd a father and son wearing Kobe jerseys to ride the Matterhorn with the Lakers' star. No one with a daughter selected, though. Go figure. /snark

BTW, does anyone have a photo of Disney World president Meg Crofton in her Lakers-themed Mickey ears, following the bet?

In more depressing (unless you're an Orlando Magic fan) but not unexpected news, attendance is not meeting the new owners' forecasts at the renamed Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach, S.C. A first-year attendance figure under 1 million helped doom the former Hard Rock Park to bankruptcy, and it appears that the new owners aren't doing much better in attracting people to this park.

Readers' Opinions

From Joshua Counsil on June 18, 2009 at 5:22 PM
I'm surprised Disney even let Kobe in after his Twitter post to Shaq. Hilarious, but very un-Disney.

Sucks to hear about Hard Rock Park. Really was hoping to see that place booming.

From TH Creative on June 18, 2009 at 6:18 PM
Wanted to drop a quick note to Robert Niles from his boy THC ... who lives in ORLANDO ... Home of the MAGIC.

I HATE YOU ... I HATE YOU ... I HATE YOU!

Thanks for your kind attention.

From steve lee on June 18, 2009 at 6:33 PM
If you go to Freestyle Music Park in the middle of the day, you're going to see an empty park. What that article isn't mentioning, however, is the spike in attendance that the park gets after 5pm. The "twilight" ticket seems to have been a brilliant idea. People spend the day at the beach, then head over to Freestyle with five hours to ride coasters, see the shows, and check out the fireworks.

When I was there on Saturday, I noticed that most of the shows had 1 presentation in the afternoon, but 2 presentations in the evening. Management seems to see what's going on and have adjusted accordingly.

They've also kicked off an aggressive new marketing campaign, including a full page ad in the weekend section of the Columbia newspaper. There was a coupon for $10 off admission as well as information about the "bring dad for free on Father's Day" promotion.

From Anthony Murphy on June 18, 2009 at 8:23 PM
Finally something for the boys!
From Derek Potter on June 18, 2009 at 10:41 PM
I believe I said this in an earlier post, but I have 1 word to sum up Orlando in the NBA finals...

CLANK!!

As for Freestyle, Steve does have a very good point about Myrtle Beach. The trend for many who visit MB is to go to the beach until about 3 pm, and then hit the town. That makes me curious to see a breakdown of their attendance. Also, the rebranded park has only been open for 2 weeks and the summer crowds are just now starting to arrive. Hotel rates go way up around the end of June until the end of August.

From 68.193.114.43 on June 19, 2009 at 8:26 AM
I think once school closes attendance should pick up. However, people that have gone at night said that it is pretty busy. Also, it is said to be busy on weekends.

As for attendance numbers, I heard somewhere that FSMP's goal for this season's attendance this year was only 600,000, compared to HRP's 2 or 3 million.

From 67.212.59.38 on June 20, 2009 at 7:34 PM
I got a season pass to Freestyle Music Park this weekend. I love it there. It's clean, has an awesome B&M Coaster and when my friends come to town they can get in for $25 after 5:00. Sure you can go to family kingdom for the same price but have you been there lately? It's like the ghetto and I know I wouldn't take my kids there after dark! Freestyle also has quality shows and live entertainment. Where else can you get all that for less than $25 bucks????
From 67.197.151.200 on June 21, 2009 at 9:30 AM
Freestyle Music Park is at best an OK amusement park. It has one good (not great) ride and lacks much in terms of a theme. (For the record, paint and interesting names do not account for an immersive experience.)

The park lacks must-do attractions, is in a poor location and lacks a soul. The best that can be said about the park is that it is close and cheap. Close and cheap do not make for a memorable park experience.

If a Disney, Universal, Busch, Cedar Fair or Six Flags park was in Myrtle Beach, Freestyle Music Park would be even more of a ghost town than it is now!

Attendance estimates are anywhere from 200 to 700 people IN TOTAL per day. That INCLUDES free admission. How on earth can a park survive when you have more employees than customers?

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