Since Great Adventure is a flagship park, they're gonna get all the big projects before any of the smaller parks do. That seems to be the way Shapiro is working everything out right now.
With the huge anniversary coming up, I'm pretty sure GAdv's gonna get something really big. At this point i see...
- major flat ride
- splash battle
- compact roller coaster with huge thrill (Eurofghter)
Something with a huge licensing deal like Terminator...
I'm honestly expecting the exact opposite.
Really, the only reason a lot of us are expecting big rides to go to flagship parks like SFGAdv and SFMM is because they've gotten so much before...who says it might not be the smaller parks to get the most attention for a while?
What makes you say that's how Shapiro is working things out right now? If anything, Shapiro is trying to do the opposite...and balance out the smaller parks.
That said, I'm not expecting anything huge, anywhere, in 2011. SFGAdv and SFMM will hopefully get a flat ride (or if we're lucky, a flat ride package), small improvements/attractions at other parks, and I'm assuming at least one GCI or spinning coaster. I really think Texas Giant and Chang will be the biggest projects of the year. Anything else is just unrealistic.
Looking back at what SF has done with the flagship parks compared to the smaller parks, the flagship parks seem to have gotten a lot of the big projects in recent years first.
- SFMM had the first major ride upgrade with X2
- Two of the three Dark Knight coasters went to SFGAm and SFGAdv
- IIRC Thomas Town was first at MM and Wiggles World came to SFGAm and SFGAdv first or at least these parks were among the first to get these projects. (correct me if I'm wrong)
- Buccaneer Battle came to Great America before anybody else.
- Not sure about the parades/water park expansions though... It seems that SF is treating all SF parks equally with this.
So basically aside from the new GCIs, the Tony Hawk rides, and the SLC/B&M relocation, the flagship parks seem to be the testing site for a lot of SF's latest projects. Since the flagship parks draw a larger crowd compared to the secondary parks, it would be easier for SF to test new ride concepts or new plans at the flagships over the secondary parks. And because they draw larger crowds, the flagship parks still have huge rides to keep people coming back, even if the project fails.
Now Shapiro stated in his interview that he is planning on investing in new prototype projects. Since that can mean just about anything, I wouldn't be surprised to see something nice coming to the flagships as the smaller parks receive investments as well (like new ride upgrades, major water park expansions, a possible new coaster, flat rides, etc).
So let's go back to why I suggested the three concepts that I did...
- Major flat ride
Since GAdv has been criticized for having too few flats, it's a good possibility that a new flat ride can be installed. Large flat rides aren't the most expensive things to build and they don't take up a lot of space whatsoever. And SF advertises this as a new ride, so it brings crowds through the gate. If they want to draw a family-friendly audience, there are plenty of options to choose from. It doesn't have to be a 9000 ft drop tower to be able to draw in audiences.
- Splash Battle
A perfect family ride... SF seems to have done a good job with BB and it totally fits in with the family-friendly image SF is trying to pull. Since splash battles are becoming increasingly popular and it works well as a family attraction, I wouldn't be surprised if SF decided to build a large, nicely themed splash battle somewhere. If they want to push the envelope a little, they can go for "largest splash battle" or something similar.
- Small (but thrilling) coaster
Since Terminator and EK have been pretty successful, I wouldn't be surprised to see one of these pop up. Eurofighters, El Locos, etc... aren't that big, aren't that expensive, and still draw a crowd because of the unique elements provided. According to RCDB Mumbo Jumbo costs 4 million pounds (6 million USD) and Rock Bottom Plunge cost around 3 million dollars, and Evel Knievel costs around 7 million dollars, which doesn't really seem like much compared to a large B&M or Intamin coaster. A GCI can be enjoyed by the whole family and attract thrillseekers while being cheap. Eurofighters will bring thrillseekers through the gate, but then again, they don't cost much, are compact, and are very inexpensive compared to a larger project.
So for the chain as a whole, I predict the flagship parks will get something nice (it doesn't necessarily have to be a big coaster) while the smaller parks will catch up with ride upgrades, water park expansions, a GCI or a thrilling coaster mixed in for both anniversary years (IIRC they're spreading out the anniversary over two years to keep costs low). And then the smaller parks will eventually see some of the bigger projects to balance things out...
Edited by netdvn, 14 April 2010 - 10:05 AM.