Who I am is not important. What I have to say, IS important.
First I apologize for using this newsgroup for a topic that is not
related to roller coasters, but it is indeed related to a deep
concern that is of issue with roller coaster enthusiasts which is
a group that I am a part of.
I hope you can excuse my anonymous posting. I am known to some people
here. I am not affiliated with any park nor do my interests lie in
an attempt to undermine any particular park operation. I simply call
this as I see it.
I live in the greater Cleveland Ohio area. I have passes to Geauga
Lake and Cedar Point. I have had passes to these parks for many years.
I have compared operation and philosophy of both parks.
One of the best times of the year has existed at Geauga Lake park, at
this time of year. The event USED to be called Hallow Scream.......
but that was changed.....and the changes didnt stop there.
I have spoken to people at the local level....that is....Geauga Lake
itself. The changes didnt originate there. They were all set for
Hallow Scream....as usual.
The changes came from a higher level.....Six Flags.
Now Six Flags is owned by Premere Parks. The Hallow Scream event has
existed under the helm of Premiere parks for three years now. Until
this year, Geauga Lake has done an exemplary job in creating an event
that has set a new president for parks in this area.....which were
usually closed shortly after labor day. The Hallow Scream event was
actually one of the nicest times in the park. I wrote a letter 2 years
ago, complimenting the park on its superb efforts in creating a great
look for the occasion, as well as providing a nice variety of
attractions, including a haunted house, an excellent magic show, a
stage show, a couple of other smaller haunted attractions, a hay ride
type attraction. The park was decked out with a great fall/halloween
look, including lots of hay, spooky atractions throughout the park.
Renamed food stands like Frank Stein, Pizza Haunt, I Scream Parlor
etc. All of this was accomplished by Geauga Lake park itself.It was
creative imaginative and all was included with the price of admission.
The Haunted House was actually one of the best I have been in. It was
dark, disorienting, and full of frightful surprizes.
The event was obviously successful enough that Cedar Point actually
started doing a similar event, to compete. Obviously Cedar point has
more resources but the Geauga Lake Hallow Scream event, was still
an exemplary attraction for a park this size.
Now one might think that with the backing of Six Flags parks, things
could only get better.........right?????
What happens when a theme park throws a cookie cutter operation
together and gives it a name? One gets mass produced cookies
which are seldom as good as home made.
Of course you can market it with a name brand but that dosnt make
This year Hallow Scream is called Fright Fest. The Haunted house has
a name too........
Alice Coopers Brutal Planet. There are indeed brutal things to be
seen at Geauga lake this year. The mere wait in the line to see this
thing is brutal. Its brutal on ones patience and ones bladder. In order
to eliminate complete boredom, the que line has a show during the
excruciating wait. Its a tough call to say which is more excruciating
to experiance, the show or the wait itself. The show consists of a
dance act, and an endless wait for a mock ***. The *** is
something that might normally be considered a part of a magic show
or an illusion. In this case it is a totally amature attempt which
scares or mystifies no one. Even kids laughed at this feeble mess......
..........The line slowly progresses.
When you finally make it to the Brutal Planet you may scarcely
remember the description of what lies befor you.
Quote From Geauga lake flier
Our spooktacular haunted extraviganza, Brutal Planet - a production
unlike you have experienced befor. The bad grammar is and word
omission is theirs, not mine
You will be transproted beyond your wildest imagination into a world
of high tech tantalizing terror
Well the doors are pneumatic......which they have not been in the
past.....so I guess that is High Tech. Perhaps the poorly made
animatronic characters that seem to replace the live actors might be
considered hight tech would it not be for the fact that most fun
houses and dark rides that have existed in parks since the dawn of
such attractions, have contained things of equal or better quality.
You will have no problem identifying these poorly made atrocities,
in the rather brightly lit rooms. The characters that are supposed
to pop out or scare you have little place to hide with the lack of
darkness. One of the characters was frightened when she encountered
me. Im really not THAT scary. The areas are wide and expansive,
and one has little problem seeing other groups that have already
entered the attraction.
Oh .......the exit doors are pneumatic too.
Now comparing this to G.L.s previous haunted attractions is like
comparing Geauga Lake the lake itself, to a water puddle.
And to think......this year it actually costs 3.00 extra for something
that used to be included in the price of admission.
For those who dont care to, or are unable to, see this attraction,
are now a few less diversions than have existed in the past. With
the exceptions of the magic show, there are few other haunted
attractions this year. I have not seen the magic show yet, so I can
not comment on the show this year. In the past they have been quite
good. But does this really make up for what we have lost this year.
Frankly the most horrifying thing in the park is not even an
attraction yet I have seen it strike terror in the hearts of many
young visitors as well as some *** ones too.
While passing by the area facing the lake, one cant help but be
horrified, at the pile of broken concrete and twisted rebar metal,
that USED TO be The Wave. It more like a pile of broken memories
of a dearly departed freind who unfortunately was put to an
untimely death, for simply not fitting into the current plans.
Some say it was obsolete. Try explaining that to the thousands of
kids who enjoyed it on hot summer days. They plan to replace it with
a smaller more efficient pool. If this new High Tech wave is
anything like the high tech haunted house, perhaps it should be
called the ripple or the splash
For those readers who are not familiar with Geauga Lake or The Wave,
it was a rather large wave pool that generated rather awsome wave at
somewhat irregual intervals. They just kind of snuck up on you. It
was one of the most favorite water attractions and was a main attraction
of the park
If the destruction of the wave is not horrifying enough, one need only
look around the park for signs of the destruction of The American
Classic which is what Geauga Lake has been called The fate of the
old arcade seems doomed. The only historic building which may remain
will probably be the old Ballroom and probably the building housing
the Big Dipper Roller Coaster. Most of the other historic buildings
have already been remodeled to the point where they are not much like
their former selves. I know this is progress.......
but what does progress bring to us? If this years Fright Fest is an
example, I much prefer to stack with tradition. From rumors I have heard,
even the name Geauga Lake may be changed.
So much for an American Classic.
What makes this all so shocking is the fact that since a major theme
park is now calling the shots as well as funding all of this, one has
the right to expect something better. This is especially true when
they are competing with 2 other major amu***t parks in Ohio.
It has been rumored that Premiere is pumping 48Million dollars into
the park this next year. Why was so little attention given to this
Geauga Lake traditionally has delivered a far more eventful Hallow
Scream with far fewer resources. There is NO excuse for this years
meager offerings......or IS there?
The General Public sometimes dosnt understand why traditional park
enthusiasts dont like theme parks very much. It simply becomes a
mass produced type of cookie cutter formula. Individuality and
creativity of the traditional park are basicly thrown out, in favor
of something that tries to capitalize on popular themes and fads.
In talking with G.L. employees, they have little to do with the
process of making decisions or creating things at a local level.
Many of them truely understand the traditional aspects of the park.
We have already lost a beloved tradional park, when Euclid Beach
closed in 1968. Although Geauga Lake is not closing, it is losing
much of its tradition.....its heart.....its soul.
No matter how much theme park money is pumped into it, it cant
replace tradition, heart or soul.
The above is a reflection of MY thoughts and opinions. I know there
are those who agree with me. Im sure there are those who dont. I
shall remail anonymous here in the group. I dint wish to debate this
issue in email or here the group. I have only come to state my opinion
here. For those who may run into me in person at the park, it could
happen I will be happy to discuss my feelings in person. That is
assuming you identify me and ask me the right questions. I have been
a member of various amu***t park and roller coaster related clubs.
Although Im not currently a member, my heart is still very much in
tune and connected with the parks and the attractions and with
tradition as well.
I would envite anyone who may feel as I do to write Gerauga Lake
and express their feelings. That is what I plan to do. I understand
and sympathize with those at the local level who have little control
over these matters. They can only pass on what we say to the higher
powers. As to whether or not the higher powers care, is yet to be ...
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