Monday, January 22, 2007

Magic Mountain Ideas

Lance Hart of Screamscape has a number of good ideas for revitalizing Magic Mountain (the comments are good, too). Their problem is that they've been essentially marketing the park strictly to thrill-seeking teenagers and young adults, when with a few fixes, they could have a park that appeals to a much broader demographic. They've been spending all of their money on big new coasters (which are great, I must add) but they've skimped on everything else that contributes to the overall park experience: ride maintenance, park maintenance, theming, customer service, food, family rides, transport rides around the park, etc.

After a lifetime of multiple visits to the Southern California amusement parks, over the past few years I've started visiting parks in other areas, which has given me an interesting new perspective on things. Last summer I visited Holiday World, in rural southwest Indiana, and had a great time despite there being only three coasters in the park. Admission was reasonable (granted, it's not like real estate is pricey there), parking was free, unlimited Pepsi products were free, the rides were all running and well-maintained, the three coasters they did have were well-chosen and are perennially top-ranked, but even beyond that, overall park management was definitely aimed toward customer satisfaction. It was kept as clean as Disneyland, if not cleaner, and the staff were extra-friendly and helpful. You know how some parks will have cubbyholes at the stations to but your bags in while you're on the coasters? At Holiday World, they'll actually collect your bags for you when you're next in line. It's just a great, fun place.

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