Yesterday Aquatica released a short video teaser for their new attraction set to open in 2014 and today I’ve been working on gathering information for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley! Not the most interesting start to a post but what it did do was got me thinking about Roller Coasters…
The last proper Roller Coaster I can think of that was launched in Florida was Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens in 2011 and before that Manta at SeaWorld Orlando in 2009. Taking a look at 2014 releases I can’t find many confirmation of any new Coasters on the horizon. Although Disney have The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom scheduled for release it looks pretty tame as this video shows.
I’ve still got my fingers crossed that the new Harry Potter expansion will include a Gringotts Coaster in its truest sense but looking at the trends lately motion simulators seem to be the new norm.
So why aren’t Theme Parks building more Coasters?
People don’t want them!? Surely thats not the case, for me when I picture a Theme Park I picture a massive Roller Coaster like The Incredible Hulk Coaster not a 3D ride like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
Roller Coasters are expensive to build! Well Cheetah Hunt cost $20 Million to build and Universal Studios Transformers the Ride 3D cost $100 Million even taking in to consideration inflation, you still get 4 or 5 Cheetah Hunts for the cost of one Transformers Ride.
Space!? This could definitely be a reason. Although some parks like Universal have spare land not all of them do. Using the example above Cheetah Hunt spans 4,429 ft. Transformers takes up just 2,000 ft. So for ever 1 Cheetah Hunt you could fit 2 Transformer Rides.
Technology! Its very true to say that theme park technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade especially in the 3D arena and parks like to show off how advanced they are. Coaster technology has had its issues as Rip Ride Rockit proved this month.
Lack of ideas? A lot of the new attractions are being based on movies or books. Transformers, Harry Potter, Avatar Land… Although this has helped bring a lot of attention to the parks is it stifling creation? Being able to simply recreate well known moments from a film is more suited to 3D rides.
For me and a lot of customers I speak too, we go too Theme Park’s to ride coasters and I really hope that those who make the decisions remember this.
Why do you think theme parks aren’t making as many Coasters as before?