After visiting Holiday World, I felt a bit cheated when I visited Kings Island and Cedar Point on my recent trips to the Midwest. There's just too much nickel-and-diming at the Cedar Fair parks. And as for the flagship (jn terms of attendance) Knott's Berry Farm? I visited that park with my son a few weeks ago and have yet to write about it, because I just couldn't think of anything to say. Underwhelming is not good in this business.
Ouimet's not going to have the capital he had at Disney. I hope he doesn't end up like Mark Shapiro did at Six Flags, chasing the Disney family market without the capital to rebuild his parks in that mold. Instead, I hope he looks more toward Holiday World and the Herschend parks, and finds ways to provide high quality and good value within the context of a regional amusement park.
As for ride selection, unless Ouimet has the budget to start a team of in-house Imagineers, Cedar Fair needs to keep its focus on coasters and thrill rides. Sadly, they just aren't that good at anything else, probably because they don't have the funds to "go all out."
As I said, I do think there will be more narrative details going forward, and most everything will probably require a story of some sort (known only to designers, sadly), so they days of random ride placement might be over. And perhaps the food offerings will improve to the point of being edible, at least. All good things.
I especially hope Ouiment looks to the Midwest and Worlds of Fun, cause that park definitely needs a lot of work. More coasters, updated flats, more whole-family (not kiddie) attractions, and dare I say it, a dark ride or two (at least a shooter would be nice). And maybe a show that is more entertaining than embarrassing for performers and audience members alike!
Incidentally, I wonder what good old Jake Rivers will say when he finds out a former Disney exec is running the show at his favorite iron ride park? Probably the same thing he's been saying since he was first incarcerated: "No, I will not pick up that bar of soap!" ;)