Published: February 18, 2014 at 2:19 AMGreat story! I love most of the log flume style rides. I wish we'd see some new ones being built. It seems like a lot of them getting torn down. Flumes for 2016!
Published: February 18, 2014 at 11:42 AMThis is really interesting! Water and amusement parks go hand in hand but I didn't realize how much so. I love log flume rides during those hot summer days. I think it's great that we can appropriate functional, useful things into fun and exciting pastimes.
Published: February 18, 2014 at 6:01 PM
Published: February 18, 2014 at 11:00 PMUser 18.104.22.168 had a great question. Maybe you could do a story on what costs more to build and which causes the biggest return on investment? Maybe you can do a Splash Mountain Vs. Space Mountain costs and return on investment article or something similar!
Published: February 19, 2014 at 11:04 AMI concur with 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, please do this, I would love to read it!
I would love to see an article on the economics of theme parks, you could have a whole series! ;)
.Overall economics of ride design- water vs not, enclosed vs not etc
.Economics driving a design- interview a designer about a design, and how budget impacted it (what was removed/improved/modified would be fascinating)
.Economy of spaces- optimising design of spaces for people flow/ride flow
Published: February 19, 2014 at 2:58 PMComparing attraction costs can be extremely difficult to do because companies are not forthcoming with specific costs of attractions. Some give out numbers, but it can be difficult to tell how much of that is real cost to design, build, and construct and how much of that is just marketing. Additionally, with parks like Disney and Universal, they have on-staff engineers that are always working on new designs and ideas (R&D) that are rarely disclosed when they talk about the cost of a ride. Also, the maintenance costs are never discussed when theme parks talk about the cost of an attraction. Having never worked in park maintenance, I have no clue how much more effort is required to maintain a water ride versus something else. Like many attractions, once it's "broken" it, and has a dedicated maintenance staff, the costs would gradually decrease over time aside from major part replacements and refurbishment.
So while it would probably be a pretty interesting column, it would be insanely difficult to pry this type of information out of a theme park. I had tried late last year to get some information from some local parks about ride evacuation procedures, and they were very hesitant to provide that, and I would expect similar hesitancy when it comes to line item operational costs.
Published: February 20, 2014 at 9:33 AMThanks for the input Russell, it was by no means a critique of your excellent article. :)
Maybe something along the lines of a historical article about a ride built decades ago might be more feasible to tackle from the cost/benefit/design changes angle.
I come to this site for the high quality content here, and look forward to more excellent work from Russell (and everyone else)!
Published: February 20, 2014 at 10:27 PMRussell, do you know more about the story behind Bud Hurlbut's involvement with Arrow Development on the creation of the log flume? In the book Knott's Preserved, Hurlbut is credited, along with Arrow, for the creation of the log flume concept. According to the story, Walter Knott was nervous about the safety of the brand new ride system being introduced to his guests, which is why the Knott's ride wasn't built until Arrow had successfully constructed log flumes for other parks. Have you seen that story mentioned in any other books or articles?