I voted "would not go" because it truly is the coasters that get me through the gate and keep me coming back.
While I agree in theory that a theme park does not need a coaster, it's a fact that only one of the top 25 theme parks in the world, EPCOT, does not have a roller coaster.
Of the 68 parks that I visited in 2010, only EPCOT and Schlitterbahn, a waterpark, did not have a roller coaster.
Most parks can't afford Disney-quality theming for their rides and around their parks, so their dark rides and flats tend to be generic. But a good roller coaster can help a so-so park raise its profile.
I cannot imagine any theme park without the thrill and excitement of a roller coaster. Disney manages to put class and elegance into the thrill with its themed roller coasters and hides them very well.
It was stated that most parks don't have the Disney money to invest. I wonder if they would have it they put out a better product to begin with.
However the absolute truth is I probably wouldn't visit a Park that was composed of nothing but coasters but probably would visit one that had none at all.
So my vote went to coasters being non-essential.
I love a good roller coaster, but I grow tired of them at an iron park after so many visits. After two days at Cedar Point, my adrenaline fix is satisfied, but I don't get the emotional or (somewhat) intellectual stimuli that I do at a theme park.
However, while I enjoy being surrounded by the steel structures at an amusement park, I don't enjoy having a coaster on display in a theme park. I'd rather have the tracks mostly out of view. Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa is an example of an open structure I enjoy because it can't be seen or heard throughout the park, but portions of it can be seen from Egypt. Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is an example of a coaster I don't like in a theme park. It obscures the surrounding theming.
Well, it really depends on your target demographic when building a theme park...
Who's got more to spend....and what does that particular group like? If you're just targeting the general public, then maybe including at least one or two coasters in a park should be ok...You need something that will keep the coaster fans comming in too...so if you're investing in only two coasters they should be something that's gonna get the coaster junkies in through the door (In other words...something generic in style might get them there, but its not going to keep them comming back!)My personal choice in this poll was the "I wouldn't visit one without them" but of course it isn't essential...The truth of the matter though is that at my age (I'm 21) I kinda need some excitement if you're gonna get me riled up and through the door of a theme park....