airforcekid wrote:Shockwave was the first to have double loops right?
No the arrow Double Loop at Geauga Lake was the first coaster to have back to back vertical loops. It opened in 1977. The Shockwave at Six Flags over Texas, although a much better ride IMHO, opened in 1978.
Were parks really better quality back in the 80s? I wonder what happened to make today's parks less charming then. Where the people back then really smiling all the time and didn't have to worry about people swearing in front of their kids or lazy park employees, or are these brochures really just "glamorizing" their park? Anyways, judging from all these pictures, the parks seemed more colorful back then.
The parks back then really put an emphasis on themes. For instance when Worlds of Fun opened their steel coaster back in 1980, it was located in the Orient section of the park and was cleverly and appropriately named "Orient Express".
That seems to be some of the magic that is lost, today it is just a free-for-all. Ninja in the cotton states section of Six Flags Atlanta, Flight of Fear and Italian Job in the Congo Section of Kings Dominion, Top Gun in New Orleans at Great America and worse of all Superman and Batman rides anywhere they can fit them into the park, no regard for the theme sections.
Also back then there was more of an emphasis on overal experience. Unique dinning, shopping and entertainment. Now you can eat at Subway, pizza hut and buy the same kind of merchandise inside the park that you can outside. How is that supposed to take you away from everyday life?
I personally put most of the responsibility for the demise in parks on us. As customers we stopped wanting to go to little parks because the big ones had more rides. The employees are rude, because we don't want to pay more for tickets unless the park has just put something new in. We can't understand when parks charge more when they haven't added anything in awhile. Every year we want every park to put in a new coaster. Well we got this ride, but I was hoping for a B&M hyper this year, well maybe next year. Our attitudes toward parks have not changed since the 80's and in fact have gotten worse. We continue to let small parks dissapear and some, not all, heap praise on to the CF chain when all they do is give us several cookie cutter ideas of the same park. If you want the old fashioned quality then start visiting your old fashionshed parks, instead of visiting SF 16 times a season then complaining about it 15 times. Load up in your car and visit some new places, and if not be prepeared for more of the same in the future as you read Shane's great post and say "I wish it was like that now" or "If we had parks like that today I would definately go". We do have parks like that today, but lots of people don't go.
These are all traditional parks that have a feeling similar to GL before SF "ruined it". I am sure all these parks would be very happy if you spent some of your money there as opposed to trying to ride (place coaster name here) 300 times a year at your local chain park.
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