Vote of the week: Do you love the old or the new?

March 29, 2013, 8:12 AM · When you're dreaming of your next theme park vacation, what is it that drives you to make those dreams reality?

Is it the promise of experiencing a new adventure -- perhaps a hot new attraction such as Disney's Radiator Springs Racers or Universal's Transformers, or maybe just visiting a theme park that you'd never visited before?

At Transformers

Or are you the type who gets excited to visit an old friend, such as Disney's Haunted Mansion or Space Mountain, and who prefers to spend your money on vacations you know you'll love?

Of course, these decisions aren't always exclusive. Plenty of theme park fans who seek new adventures also enjoy old favorites on their trips. And plenty of nostalgia buffs will try a new attraction once they've spent time with their favorites.

But for the purpose of today's vote, I'm pushing you to choose one or the other: The new or the old. Which is the one that most motivates you to get out your wallet and put your money where your dreams are?

Let's hear your thoughts about what compels you to visit a theme park, in the comments. And, as always, thank you for reading, commenting on and spreading the word about Theme Park Insider. Have a great weekend!

Replies (28)

March 29, 2013 at 8:32 AM ·
I believe it is the combination of Both. A new attraction like WWHP will get you to Universal but I equally enjoy the older attractions…. Hulk and Jurassic park are still pretty awesome.. And the Turkey legs!!!!
March 29, 2013 at 8:34 AM · This was a tough call. While I love going to a theme park to ride the good 'ol favorites, I thought back to my last few theme park trips. We went to Universal Studios Hollywood because we wanted to ride Transformers. We just booked a trip to Cedar Point because, while we love Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster among many others, we haven't ridden Maverick and are excited for their newest ride, Gatekeeper. So I had to go with the new.
March 29, 2013 at 8:34 AM · I voted new. Last year I had the time of my life when visiting a new park (California Adventure) and riding a new ride (Radiator Springs Racers). Disneyland was more of a deja vu; I love those classics, but the wonder of the new is missing.
March 29, 2013 at 8:37 AM · Both. The new is exciting, and technologically advanced. But there's a reason that old attractions survived the test of time.
However, I do plan my visits around the opening of new attractions, if at all possible.
March 29, 2013 at 8:47 AM · I love revisiting old favorites like The Haunted Mansion, Carousel of Progress, Spaceship Earth (even with the awful descent), and so much more. It saddens me when Disney closes something great and replaces it with something inferior.

That said, I chose new because there needs to be a balance. Disney isn't creating as many new attractions in Orlando, and it's noticeable when there aren't that many new things after a few years between visits. I hope this changes in the upcoming years so it's about more than nostalgia.

March 29, 2013 at 8:59 AM · Voted new, but will take both equally.
March 29, 2013 at 9:26 AM · There should be a third category as new attractions in themselves are not sufficient to draw me to a park. It's nice to have something new to do but what draws me is the established set-up as that creates the mood and background for my vacation. So I voted 'old' but would have preferred 'a bit of both'
March 29, 2013 at 10:25 AM · I voted for new, (but I enjoy both).

First time I went to Carsland, you could see the expressions of young (& old) fans who were completely giddy over RSR & the land.

Imagine if Disney just stopped with what was originally in Disneyland or the MK. No other parks, no new attractions, or lands.

I think new attractions are needed, because there are always new ideas, new generations, new inspirations, new techs, new things to discover & explore.

March 29, 2013 at 11:57 AM · Newer attractions motivate me to go. Older attractions make me stay.
March 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM · I love the old rides. There are some great classics, but there are also rides that outlived their welcome.
Anyway, for a themepark to getting my tourist dollars they also need to offer something new. Disney World, with it's 4 huge themeparks, huge visiting nyumbers and many overpriced hotels, should open a new mayer ride every year (that's every 4 years per park). I don't want to see a dumb card game and I don't get exited by a commercial stuck on a monorail but a real ride with an inovating ride system that wows me.
Unfortunately that is not happening so my money next year goes to Universal, Sea World and the KSC.
March 29, 2013 at 1:43 PM · I love the new stuff at parks where the old stuff is dated or just plain sucks because it shows the park is improving and moving forward. But at my favorite theme parks, nothing beats the sublime pleasure of revisiting those classic, old friends that are well maintained and tell a story that is as timeless as the attraction is fun.

Since I am long time fan of classic, old, venerable rides like Disneyland's Pirates, Universal's Spider-Man, and Silver Dollar City's Fire In The Hole, I had to go with "Old Stuff" based on the strict criteria of this vote.

March 29, 2013 at 4:20 PM · Well maintained old attractions for me. Although it depends on how easy it is for me to get to the park. With my local Aussie parks, new stuff drives my interest. Come for the new, stay for the old. For overseas parks I want the classic experience. I don't mind updates but I want nostalgia more than anything. It's difficult to balance both those concerns for somewhere like DL which has high local visitation and lots of overseas visitors.
March 29, 2013 at 5:12 PM · I went with Old Stuff, because well...I go to Disney World all the time and quite frankly, it's pretty much all "old".

What's "new" there? Do you count refurbishments as "new", such as Star Tours and Test Track? Or are those still considered "old". I call them old.

I really can't think of anything new... at all. Toy Story Mania is almost 5 years old, Expedition Everest is almost 7 years old, and Soarin is coming up on 8. I'll definitely ride the 7 Dwarfs' Mine Ride when it opens, but that is still a year+ away.

Disney World is fun and innovative, but they're not where I'd go to experience the newest and coolest attractions. Personally, I go back again and again for the FOOD! I've already hit up Flower & Garden 4 times because of the food kiosks/stands that make Food & Wine such a hit! I'm not a fan of the word "grits", but the Shrimp & Grits at the Florida stand....outstanding!!

I generally go for the food, but if I hit up Rockin Roller Coaster before eating at the 50s Diner, I won't mind. :) If I do Soarin' before eating at LeCellier, I can't complain. And if I ride the Haunted Mansion prior to chowing down at Liberty Tree Tavern, I'm a happy camper (in a DoomBuggy!).

March 29, 2013 at 5:24 PM · Isn't there something to be said about which park you are visiting. Walt Disney World' Magic ingdom is an institution. Attractions like the Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, the Pirates of the Carribean and (of course most of all) the Jungle Cruise are the main draws. At other parks (suc as the Universal Orlando parks) the newer, innovative productions create different expectations.

And again ... Most of all the Jungle Cruise.

And thank you.

March 29, 2013 at 7:00 PM · Had to pass on this one since I'm equally motivated by both new and old!
March 30, 2013 at 9:40 AM · James Rao, my old friend, how about "classic, old, venerable" rides like the Scrambler, the Tilt-A-Whirl, the Rotor, the Octopus? You know, the classic, old venerable flat carnival rides that formed the vast majority of midways for decades? Just wondering your thoughts. And jerking your chain a bit ;+)
March 30, 2013 at 10:12 AM · ^^Mmmmmm....Rotor.
March 30, 2013 at 2:05 PM · While I love new attractions/ rides, I'm a fan of ones that we can all repeat over and over again. To me that's what makes for a great attraction/ ride.
March 30, 2013 at 5:06 PM · Ah, Mr. Koehl, the keeper of my name, those grocery store spinner rides only fit one of the three categories I provided, and that one is not "classic" or "venerable". Nor are they even what I would consider amusements - they are junkite - the stuff lesser park operators put in their "thrill" parks just to say they added something new when the budget is very, very, VERY tight. Moreover, they are, as my older cousin once called them when he was trying to be sensitive to my virgin ears, "kitten crap". I regard the "classic" midway rides you mentioned with the same type of scorn sensible film critics reserve for torture porn flicks like Saw or Hostel. In fact, I would rather sit alone in a starkly upholstered prison cell watching Human Centipede 1 & 2 back-to-back than take one more spin on an Eli Bridge Scrambler.

Midway clunkers, bah humbug! =)

March 30, 2013 at 7:45 PM · ^James, whose last name is probably mispronounced as often as mine is, I wish you wouldn't hold back so much on your opinions! ;+) I understand your distaste for the flat carnival rides, perhaps not the intensity of it, but one thing must be considered. There are few parks that can afford to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars that the CaliFlorida year-round parks have to spend on lavisly themed attractions. Cedar Point is open just 138 days in 2013(if I added right)and it just doesn't have the deep pockets to create such masterpieces as Spiderman, Harry Potter,etc., nor does it have the franchise names to pull from. I applaud those amazing attractions and am grateful that I have been able to take my children there and share those experiences with them. However, I am also grateful that I have spent many happy hours at Cedar Point, riding the Tilt-a-Whirl, Scrambler, Balloon Race and other flat carnival rides with my children. There is not a limit on how much fun a person can have- riding the Scrambler with my kids over-and-over and watching them scream with laughter as they slam into me (and as I overact in pain and agony) is a memory that I will long treasure, and one that does not diminish the memories of them riding one of the classic CaliFlorida park rides. They can coexist in this world- banning them from parks would just leave a hole that few parks could afford to fill.

Disney attractions can be considered the Godiva Chocolate of the theme park world, elegant and expensive. Cedar Point (ok, and HersheyPark)can be considered the Hershey Chocolate of the theme park world, tasty and affordable. I love Godiva Chocolate, but can't afford it all the time. I love a good Hershey Bar, also, and can afford one more often.

March 31, 2013 at 3:42 AM · Actually, I think Disney parks nowadays would have to be considered the Ghiradelli chococlate.

I voted old because I've got a Disney pass and that's about all I can afford to go to right now. Maybe if Big Thunder was done by now...naw, that'd still be "old".

March 31, 2013 at 5:04 AM · @James, as you know, my response was very tongue-in-cheek (in all truth I would much rather spend a day at a midway mecca like Worlds of Fun riding carnival spinners than ever let my eyes rest on trash like Human Centipede 1 or 2). Furthermore, I too have some fond memories of those flat rides from the formative years of my theme park youth - one of the fondest being the time my older cousin called them all "kitten crap" - of course! However, those fond memories stem from the family and friends with whom I was riding, not the rides themselves. When it came to the rides, even in my youth I was always a bit of a snob, and I guess I can't change who I am. That's why when Cedar Point claims they have over 100 rides, and 75% of them are standard carnival flats, I am not overly impressed. However, if I was at the Point with James K. and his best bud Jeff E., I am POSITIVE I would have a swell time riding those midway flats, because it is the company one keeps not the carnival clunkers an aging amusement park keeps, that makes the adventure great!
March 31, 2013 at 5:02 AM · Mark, good catch on the Ghiradelli Chocolate! Do they have that at WDW? I've only ever been there- never made it to Disneyland yet.
March 31, 2013 at 10:36 AM · James, I was thinking the sames thing about getting to the Point with you and Jeff. Perhaps in a few years, when Jeff makes his pilgrimage to Sandusky, we can set up a TPI North Coast Convention. And sometime I want to get to SDC and the other parks near you that you have reported on so favorably. Never been there, can't wait to get there!
March 31, 2013 at 7:42 PM · Okay... but I only say good things about Silver Dollar City. Don't blame me for your lousy day at Worlds of Stink or Six Flags Stink Louis. ;)
April 1, 2013 at 3:54 AM · James, I don't think anyone ever wonders what your opinion is on anything. You always express it clearly, with just enough biting sarcasm to keep it entertaining. I suspect a day at a park, any park, with you and Jeff E. would be memorable, although some of the attractions might burst into flames from the scathing comments! Sounds like fun!
April 1, 2013 at 8:13 AM · :D Yeah, I have never been lauded for my subtlety.
April 1, 2013 at 9:14 AM · I love all the old rides, but my family plans trips around a new attraction. I probably wouldn't have made the trip as soon as I did to Florida if WWHP wasn't there. But since we are Harry Potter buffs, we HAD to make the trip!

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