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Disappointed in Updates recently?

Kings Dominion: The I305 and Intimidator websites are both lacking the great updates that KI's Diamondback had, in my opinion.

From Eli Katzman
Posted February 14, 2010 at 9:01 PM
A year ago, I would constantly check the Diamondback website, just like the I305 and Intimidator websites today. DB's updates would come about every few days, like the pictures and blogs. Now adays, the 2 intimdators get updated every 3 weeks, or even month, if we're lucky.

I'm a little disappointed with this, so if anyone has an input or thoughts on this topic, or any idea why it's been slower, please give some insight for me. Thanks!


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Noah Meeteer
Posted February 16, 2010 at 10:50 AM
I also checked the Diamondback blog frequently for updates. I was suprised about how good they were about keeping it updated.

Now Indimdator... They definitely need to update that more. Like you said. It's weeks between the updates. I wonder why they can't take some time to update it more. Diamonback actually had construction updates telling their progress with the ride.

From Derek Potter
Posted February 16, 2010 at 2:12 PM
I think it's a little insight to the difference between parks and their management. For quite a while now, the Kings Island and Cedar Point marketing/PR departments have made it a point to embrace their fans by "letting them in" on new projects and news around the park, thus giving them a sort of ownership of it. ERT for passholders, construction tours, up to date web and facebook pages, HD videos of their coasters on the website...all of these things go a long way in creating a very loyal and passionate fanbase, and that's exactly what both of those parks have done because they've shown that they care about the fans. The product is good, and so is the marketing.

That's not to say that Carowinds and Kings Dominion have no fans or a bad PR department. In fact I think that they both have the capability to create legions of fans. Carowinds in particular is in a fairly isolated market. It's on a major highway on the outskirts of a growing city. The pieces are there, and all that's required is some big long term investment in the park on the attraction and marketing fronts. If they aren't being aggressive with promotion and marketing now, they should be.

From Eli Katzman
Posted February 16, 2010 at 3:26 PM
Yeah, Derek, I would totally agree. Do you think it's the management's fault at KD and Carowinds or do you think it has something to do with Cedar Fair being so much closer to KI? Just throwing something out there.

From Noah Meeteer
Posted February 16, 2010 at 4:40 PM
I agree with Derek's answer...It DOES seem like Cedar Point and Kings Island are always more in touch with their fans than other parks. Is it because of the location of both?

From Derek Potter
Posted February 17, 2010 at 7:46 AM
Kings Island had great marketing/PR before the Cedar Fair takeover. I don't think it's a Cedar Fair thing so much as it is an individual park thing. I think that a lot of it depends on two things, park management and budget. How much money are they willing to spend? How creative can they get with said money? Are they doing everything they can to stretch the money when it gets low? There are all kinds of things a marketing dept can do in these days of the internet and social media. The question is whether or not Carowinds and Kings Dominion's management are maximizing those opportunities.

I'll give you a couple of examples. When Kings Island was building the Italian Job (pre Cedar Fair), they invited members of their fan pages to come out and visit the construction site. A lot of people showed up in the freezing cold to see little more than a mud pit with some supports. Sounds insignificant, but it cost the park nothing, and the websites buzzed about it for days before and after. It gave the fans a sense of ownership and the fans (all ages) ate it up.

The Diamondback media day didn't just have the large news stations and papers, it had representatives from countless online news sources and tons of people from the "theme park web"...from the biggest sites to the smallest. PR reps gave time and access to everyone who wanted it, no matter who they were with, and showered everyone with food, drink, merchandise...etc. The bottom line is that they know exactly how to take care of their fans and how to court the media, which in turn creates more fans. Loyal and passionate fans do great things for a park's image...for free nonetheless.

From Derek Potter
Posted February 17, 2010 at 8:11 AM
In defense of Carowinds and Kings Dominion though, the tracks are built and the trains are testing. There's not much left for them to write about or take pictures of without being redundant. It looks like they had a lot of updates over the past couple months.

From Eli Katzman
Posted February 17, 2010 at 1:14 PM
Yeah, Derek, most likely. But do you also think it has something to do with how Paramount treated its parks? I know the stuff on IJob was mainly KI, but you never know how they treat their parks. CF definitely cradles CP more than it's other parks, of course.

Yes, they've been updating it more, but more like every couple weeks. I'm just saying that DB was updated every few days. Also, if you go to DB's website (if it's still up), you see that they had pictures of the trains on the track and stuff. Both of the Int's sites don't, at all, just a few pics of them in rapping.

From Derek Potter
Posted February 17, 2010 at 3:38 PM
It stands to reason that the parks that pull in the most money would have the biggest budget. That being said, it's still the individual parks and their management that determine how much marketing they want to do. Corporate likely sets some guidelines, but the decisions on how to market and to what extent usually fall upon the "branch". You have to spend money to make money, but marketing also doesn't always require a lot of money. Here's a facebook statistic for you. These are the official facebook pages for each park...linked from their website. It's noted that there are unofficial pages with more fans, but these are the designated official pages.

Cedar Point- 282,085 fans
Kings Dominion- 2,593 friends
Carowinds- (no official link)- 55 fans

Cedar Point also has a fully stocked and frequently updated youtube channel, an updated twitter feed, and a blog on their website. They've created content for them, and have harnessed the power of social media to create excitement, hype, and a sense of belonging. All amusement and theme parks around the country should take note.

From Bob Miller
Posted February 24, 2010 at 8:58 AM
David, since Eugene jumped in and clipped off the other thread so I couldn't answer your question, hopefully you'll look under Elis' thread here, since I mentioned it in the other thread.

Yes, that's what happens in coal mining towns, they have their heads in the ground. lol !!!! Our junior high is in the same building as the senior high, and out front of it, it says Mount Carmel Jr - Sr High School, so I guess we're still in the stone age here in Pennsylvania because we're not the only town to do that.

I guess in this economy David, people are lucky to even have a job. It is nice to get a raise though huh? I know I didn't get one either. When I divorced my wife, we were still friend for the next 25 years unit she passed away last June. So it nice to see you and your wife still get along, at least for the childrens' sake.

Eli, sorry for jumping onto this thread, if you don't want me to, I'll start one myself. It helps to fill in some of the quiet time I have. I enjoy talking to you guys.

So, till you or David or someone else wants to chat, I'll log onto this thread every few days till I hear something one way or the other.

From Eli Katzman
Posted February 24, 2010 at 3:05 PM
Nah, it's fine. This thread is okay to jump on because I just wanted to see if anyone else was disappointed.

From Bob Miller
Posted February 25, 2010 at 3:02 PM
Thanks Eli, we're getting hit with another nasty storm, 10 to 18 inches with 50 mph winds. Zachary had another day off, he has to make up 2 days so far, how's your snow day count going?

David, what's up with you, looking forward to a 100 degree day yet? Can't wait till next August, that's when I plan on coming back down with Zachary.

From Russell Meyer
Posted February 25, 2010 at 4:38 PM
It definitely has to do with the hard core popularity of the parks. King's Island has a lot of hard core fans that crossover with Cedar Point fans. King's Dominion also has a couple of unofficial web presences that are keeping the hard core fans updated on the progress.

It really has to do with the type of people the park draws, and KD and Carrowinds really don't need to have a strong web presence to get their regular guests to come to the park.

From Bob Miller
Posted February 26, 2010 at 9:38 AM
Still snowing guys!!!! Can't really tell how much because of the drifting, but it's got to be at least 16 inches, with drifts 3-4 feet high.

Zachary got another day off, that makes 3, at this rate, he may be going to school in late June, bet he'll love that.

David, hope you find this thread, I like chatting with you guys.

From Eli Katzman
Posted February 27, 2010 at 10:15 PM
Yeah, Russell, that actually makes a lot of sense. Thanks. :D

Bob, WOW! That 50+ mph storm was insane! Not that much snow, but so much wind.

From Bob Miller
Posted February 28, 2010 at 8:26 AM
Eli, it's still snowing everyday, an inch or two, just enough to make it miserable. I lost count on how much snow we've had, but it's got to be over 60 inches, no wonder my back aches!! lol With all this snow, I'm glad February is over, just think, Spring is just 21 days away!!!!!!!

Talking about Cedar Point, have you ever been there? It's been maybe eight years since I was there, the last time was with my daughter. I'd like to take Zachary, and ride all the coasters I've missed in those years. With age catching up with me, I'd like to ride them before I'm to old and maybe hurt myself.

From Eli Katzman
Posted March 2, 2010 at 6:25 PM
Yeah, it hasn't snowed everyday here, but as I walked outside earlier this evening, I noticed it was snowing! Wth?

No, I sadly haven't been to CP... but if I go visit my friend in Cinci this summer, we'll go to KI and probably take the 6 hour ride to CP ;)

From Bob Miller
Posted March 5, 2010 at 6:08 AM
Well, I finally got my DSL so Zachary can play online when he's here. Did you get knocked off PSN the other day? Zachary wasn't able to log on Monday I think because of a bug on PSN, but it's ok now.

I guess I've been to CP with my daughter about 10 times over the years, but I want to take Zachary one of these days. Cedar Point is nice, especially the coasters, but I'd like to see what it looks like now. Hope you can check it out someday.

From Mark Newman
Posted March 5, 2010 at 12:04 PM
A good friend works for Cedar Fair. He stated the winter storms at both parks have had some impact on construction. However, Carowinds is ahead of schedule and their coaster will open on time. KD was supposed to start testing this week, and that hasn't happened coz of issues with the pull through. If testing does not start by next week, the April 2 opening will be in jeopardy and may be pushed back until April 17.

From Eli Katzman
Posted March 6, 2010 at 3:22 PM
Yeah, Bob, the earliest ps3s were messed up for most of that day, but only the oldest. Doesn't he have a slim?

From Mike Gallagher
Posted March 6, 2010 at 3:42 PM
Mark, that's interesting, because April 17th is the day I expect to be at KD! I've never been to a park on OPENING DAY of a new coaster.

Mike

From Bob Miller
Posted March 7, 2010 at 4:50 PM
No,as you said Eli, he has one of the older ones, I have the newer kind, but I wasn't online yet. In fact, my daughter payed $800 on Ebay, because it was the first year it was out.

And Mike, just because you'll be there for opening day of a new coaster, doesn't mean you will get to ride it. I've been to enough new coasters to know how things can go wrong, ask Universal. I forget what park it was a number of years back, but the wait time was an unbelievable 8 hours. And no, I did not get in line. Another time at a different park, the wait time was 6 hours, and again, I did not get in line, but good luck if you choose to ride a new coaster.

From Mark Newman
Posted March 8, 2010 at 3:05 PM
Just an update to my earlier post. In addition to the problem with the pull through, there is a problem with Intimidator 305's lift motor. Two parts are on order, but one had to be refabricated. One part is expected in this week, the other not until next week at the earliest. Even if both parts arrive on time, they need at least 3 weeks to ensure proper testing of both trains. They are waiting for the parts to arrive to make sure the lift motor is fixed before they announce a new opening date for the ride. But now it looks like they might push it back to May 1 just to be safe!

From Mark Newman
Posted March 17, 2010 at 1:01 PM
Good news! The parts were received and testing has finally started! Testing is going on 12 - 14 hours a day to simulate ride operations.

As of this writing the coaster is a go for the April 2 opening, barring any unforeseen issues!

Less than 16 days left!

From Mark Newman
Posted March 29, 2010 at 12:23 PM
Intimidator 305 is set to open this Friday April 2. I was lucky enough to get a preview ride on the coaster yesterday with Intamin and KD VIPs and let me tell you it is one wild ride. The ride is really fast, and the transitions and airtime are awesome! IMHO, it is better than Millenium Force, but you did hear that from me. You should plan on making your way to KD to ride Intimidator 305 in 2010!

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