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jonlee

Expanding the park

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They won't spend money to fix the parking lot they have, so I highly doubt they'll build a new one. For expansion, there's a huge chunk of land that used to be the safari that can be developed.

If they have old safari land that is not being used, why couldn't they use that for parking and use the current parking lot to expand the park. That would separate the parking lot from the park again.

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Because the amount of potential land to develop in the safari is much larger than the current parking lot. And how is the parking not separated from the park? Because it isn't hidden in the woods?

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Because the amount of potential land to develop in the safari is much larger than the current parking lot. And how is the parking not separated from the park? Because it isn't hidden in the woods?

Because there are roller coasters in it. You pull into the parking lot and you are in the park. The whole park has just become a parking lot with rides in it. It's tacky, ugly, and destroys any resemblance of theming. When the park was a forest you saw nothing while parking your car except trees. You entered a forest and discovered rides and attractions on your journey.

 

With all the land they have it was never necessary to plow down every tree and build coasters in the parking lot. They just do not understand the difference between a theme park and a carnival. Great Adventure has become nothing more than a large scale carnival.

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Because there are roller coasters in it. You pull into the parking lot and you are in the park. The whole park has just become a parking lot with rides in it. It's tacky, ugly, and destroys any resemblance of theming. When the park was a forest you saw nothing while parking your car except trees. You entered a forest and discovered rides and attractions on your journey.With all the land they have it was never necessary to plow down every tree and build coasters in the parking lot. They just do not understand the difference between a theme park and a carnival. Great Adventure has become nothing more than a large scale carnival.

There are really only 3 "parking lot" coasters...Superman, GL and KK. They landscaped Superman nicely, and the parts you can actually see of KK from inside the park are nice. GL is really the only eyesore of the bunch.

 

I think you are being unrealistic to assume the park could or should be like the old days of seeing next to nothing as you pullup in the parking lot.

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Because there are roller coasters in it. You pull into the parking lot and you are in the park. The whole park has just become a parking lot with rides in it. It's tacky, ugly, and destroys any resemblance of theming. When the park was a forest you saw nothing while parking your car except trees. You entered a forest and discovered rides and attractions on your journey.With all the land they have it was never necessary to plow down every tree and build coasters in the parking lot. They just do not understand the difference between a theme park and a carnival. Great Adventure has become nothing more than a large scale carnival.

They haven't build a ride on the parking lot in ten years, why are you griping about it now? If you think GAdv's parking lot is "tacky", don't ever visit Magic Mountain. At least Great Adventure landscaped under their parking lot coasters.

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Magic Mountain is another Six Flags park, which pretty much proves my point. Every Six Flags park I have been to has built rides in the parking lot, except New England because their parking lot is across the street.

 

The fact that they did it a long time ago does not mean it was a good idea, and I'm "griping" about it now because we are discussing park expansion now.

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Yes they were built in the parking lot but they don't 'show' it. They're not sitting on asphalt and have something instead wether it is grass,pebbles etc. They covered it up some way or another and nobody would have any idea unless they knew about it. It's better then MM with scream legit on a parking lot.

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The gp most likely don't know these rides are built on former parking lot space anyway. It makes the skyline look good while also drawing people in. Not sure how it looks tacky. I even catch myself watching Superman as I'm walking towards the park.

Edited by joeyc98

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Six Flags New England is almost all built on the former parking lot (at least the east side). That's why the lot is across the street is they used most of it to expand the park.

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I just think it's unreasonable to criticize the park for building rides on the land they had available to them at the time. Now that they have plenty of land available to them in the old Safari grounds, we probably don't have to worry about any more "parking lot" coasters. Besides, the majority of park visitors probably don't know or care that those three rides were built on old parking lot.

Edited by gencx

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They have always had a lot of land, they just did not use it wisely. Just because some of the public does not realize the land the rides are on used to be the parking lot does not change the fact that they are in the parking lot. There is no difference between being in the parking lot and being in the park itself. They destroyed the forest, destroying the atmosphere of the park. If you are standing in the parking lot looking at rides in the Golden Kingdom, The Boardwalk, Adventure Alley and Movie Town all at the same time it ruins the whole point of having theming at all.

 

Do you really think it "draws people in" to see them from the parking lot? They do not see them unless they are already on their way in. It's not like they see them from the Turnpike and say "Hey look at that cool roller coaster, let's go ride it".

 

I do not believe it is "unrealistic" for the park to have a pleasant atmosphere. It was built in a huge forest for a reason, to use that forest for a unique and amazing atmosphere. There was plenty of forest to expand the park while maintaining that atmosphere, but Six Flags made very poor choices and permanently destroyed the park's atmosphere.

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They have always had a lot of land, they just did not use it wisely. Just because some of the public does not realize the land the rides are on used to be the parking lot does not change the fact that they are in the parking lot. There is no difference between being in the parking lot and being in the park itself. They destroyed the forest, destroying the atmosphere of the park. If you are standing in the parking lot looking at rides in the Golden Kingdom, The Boardwalk, Adventure Alley and Movie Town all at the same time it ruins the whole point of having theming at all.Do you really think it "draws people in" to see them from the parking lot? They do not see them unless they are already on their way in. It's not like they see them from the Turnpike and say "Hey look at that cool roller coaster, let's go ride it".I do not believe it is "unrealistic" for the park to have a pleasant atmosphere. It was built in a huge forest for a reason, to use that forest for a unique and amazing atmosphere. There was plenty of forest to expand the park while maintaining that atmosphere, but Six Flags made very poor choices and permanently destroyed the park's atmosphere.

I agree SF has made some poor choices, but I disagree the coasters ruin the theming. You are greeted by Apollo's Chariot and Montu towering above the Busch parks as you pull up in the parking lot, with the other major coasters visible off in the distance. The Hulk and Dr Doom can be seen from the highways, but IoA is still arguably the best theme park in the country.

 

What killed the park's theming was the lack of investment and attention to grow and maintain the theming elements...NOT the coasters. Our park has one of the best skylines in the world with coasters poking out of the trees from every angle. Not many views can scream "A Great Adventure awaits" like that does.

 

As for the atmosphere, yes, long gone are the days of the '70's and '80's. We are a flagship park and one of the biggest money-makers in the world. You will not see quaint, Holiday World-style atmosphere at our park. That just wouldn't make sense in terms of business. However, we can all agree they can do better, and I do not believe they are past the point of no return.

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I did not say that coasters ruin the theming. I said that building rides in the parking lot and cutting down every tree so you can see through the whole park from the parking lot ruins the theming. If the coasters were "poking out of the trees" it would be great. That is not what is happening at Great Adventure. The trees have been cut down and the coasters have been built in the parking lot. You do not pull into the parking lot and see coasters "poking out of the trees". You pull into the parking lot and park right next to coasters. There are no trees for them to poke out of, they have all been cut down, and it was not necessary. Coasters were built in the parking lot before Nitro was built. Nitro was built in the woods in the back of the park, so obviously the parking lot was not the only land left to build in.

 

Great Adventure does not have a good skyline. It looks like Wally World from National Lampoons Vacation. They made Wally World as an exaggerated, tacky, joke of a theme park and Six Flags seems to think it was a goal to try to achieve. Seeing every ride in the park from the parking lot does not make a great skyline, it makes a tacky one. It ruins the theming when they all blend together into one massive mess. It is not a carnival, it is a theme park, or at least it should be.

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I did not say that coasters ruin the theming. I said that building rides in the parking lot and cutting down every tree so you can see through the whole park from the parking lot ruins the theming. If the coasters were "poking out of the trees" it would be great. That is not what is happening at Great Adventure. The trees have been cut down and the coasters have been built in the parking lot. You do not pull into the parking lot and see coasters "poking out of the trees". You pull into the parking lot and park right next to coasters. There are no trees for them to poke out of, they have all been cut down, and it was not necessary. Coasters were built in the parking lot before Nitro was built. Nitro was built in the woods in the back of the park, so obviously the parking lot was not the only land left to build in.

 

Great Adventure does not have a good skyline. It looks like Wally World from National Lampoons Vacation. They made Wally World as an exaggerated, tacky, joke of a theme park and Six Flags seems to think it was a goal to try to achieve. Seeing every ride in the park from the parking lot does not make a great skyline, it makes a tacky one. It ruins the theming when they all blend together into one massive mess. It is not a carnival, it is a theme park, or at least it should be.

Robert, I couldn't agree more. Great Adventure was NEVER intended to be a park that could be seen from the road OR the parking lot. LeRoy intended those trees and that forest to play a major role in creating the perception in the guests' mind that they were leaving the everyday world behind and escaping to another world where they'd experience a great adventure.

 

Clearly, coasters in and of themselves, don't create a tacky, carnival-like atmosphere (what we now have at GA), but haphazardly throwing coasters wherever they can be placed at the lowest cost, with no (or completely different) themeing than that of the park, overall, or the themed area in which it has been placed, certainly does. There is nothing attractive or enticing about a roller coaster thrown on a piece of asphalt with little or no effort made to help it "blend in."

 

Many of this forum's members are also fooling themselves if they believe that GA has benefited from the complete lack of planning and maintenance that the park has been exposed to for, at the very least, the last fifteen years, if not longer. GA hasn't seen attendance consistently near or above the 3 million mark in quite some time. And, claiming the place of "worlds largest theme park," means nothing when you now have more structures, venues, and other real estate with far fewer paying guests to maintain those attractions. The management of this company (both corporate and locally), have failed miserably in growing the park into the place that it was envisioned to be. It is obvious (just considering the attendance levels that were once above those of many year-round theme parks save Disney) that the past combination of rides, shows, and attractions that GA offered appealed to a greater percentage of the population than does the current slab of concrete (and, some tacky "black top" thrown in for good measure) and metal, empty show venues, and failing infrastructure that is only a great adventure in name.

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I did not say that coasters ruin the theming. I said that building rides in the parking lot and cutting down every tree so you can see through the whole park from the parking lot ruins the theming. If the coasters were "poking out of the trees" it would be great. That is not what is happening at Great Adventure. The trees have been cut down and the coasters have been built in the parking lot. You do not pull into the parking lot and see coasters "poking out of the trees". You pull into the parking lot and park right next to coasters. There are no trees for them to poke out of, they have all been cut down, and it was not necessary. Coasters were built in the parking lot before Nitro was built. Nitro was built in the woods in the back of the park, so obviously the parking lot was not the only land left to build in.Great Adventure does not have a good skyline. It looks like Wally World from National Lampoons Vacation. They made Wally World as an exaggerated, tacky, joke of a theme park and Six Flags seems to think it was a goal to try to achieve. Seeing every ride in the park from the parking lot does not make a great skyline, it makes a tacky one. It ruins the theming when they all blend together into one massive mess. It is not a carnival, it is a theme park, or at least it should be.

Yes, trees have been cut down inside the park as well, but it doesn't make all the coasters "parking lot" coasters, and GAdv still has more trees than many SF and CF parks. From those 2 chains I've personally been to CP, Dorney, KD, SFGAm, SFNE and SFWoA (pre-closing), and only SFGAm has close to as many trees as we do.

 

And the only coasters you pull right next to are S:UF, GL and KK. Just because there isn't a full forest between the car and coasters like Batman and Bizzaro doesn't mean there aren't trees or they are parking lot coasters.

 

I don't know how many parks you have visited, but you should really curb your expectations if you expect the park to assume Leroy's vision and be the northeast Disney. I compare us to other regional parks, and in my travels I realize we are one of the better ones out there. Not perfect, but compared to most of the SF and CF parks we have kept a lot of trees and ambiance, have one of the best coaster lineups in the world, finally expanding our flat ride offerings, have a unique safari attraction, a waterpark, and have one or two of the best themed sections in all of the SF or CF parks.

 

We may not be Universal or Disney, but we are also not neglected, run down or a carnival. However, if you expect small park charm or theming, you will be disappointed.

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Think Ill add my two cents here. In the beginning were Superman sits was forrest. the only built sturture was the Admin. tent. When we reported to work there was a employee lot about 75 feet back from the tent and the enployee parking lot.. then more trees before the general guest lot. Bring in 1975, land clear and retain trees for Fun Fair expansion. as well as Moon Flume, Balloonland placed behind Moon Flume, Fourtain Festival. Leaving again trees around the back of it to the gate area. Large expansions to the park but still retainning as much of the nature as possable. 1976 fisrt full year of Six Flags take over. Expansion again with the new entertrance, Still trees behind the buildings between games. Kiddie Kingdom moved to old tram area. still not visable from parking lot. You see were this is going. Lots of expansion taking place and nature being left to do its thing. Plaza de Carnival built for Rolling Thunder..still good expansion and trees left alone to create natural barriers between themed areas. Old Country installed behind. Main enterance, still treees between it and Old country, and there and Fun Fair. But you all gett the idea. River Adventures, Installed along Gongo, Lightin Loops still in the forrest. The parking lot build up started with Bobsleds, Parachutes, Scream Machine. And thus begain the trend of Parking lot build. For the life of me I dont get why KK hand to be built were it is..There is land and lots of it beyond the Flume for KK and the off Road Adventure,and Eltoro. Superman should have gone in Movietown, Parachute is the only parking lot ride that makes the cut for me. after its the boardwalk, and wellas the go carts. these belong there. But I do agree there was lots of very bad chioces of ride placments. Whish have little to no bearing on the area of placement.

Edited by FlumeOp1974

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Yes, trees have been cut down inside the park as well, but it doesn't make all the coasters "parking lot" coasters, and GAdv still has more trees than many SF and CF parks. From those 2 chains I've personally been to CP, Dorney, KD, SFGAm, SFNE and SFWoA (pre-closing), and only SFGAm has close to as many trees as we do.

 

And the only coasters you pull right next to are S:UF, GL and KK. Just because there isn't a full forest between the car and coasters like Batman and Bizzaro doesn't mean there aren't trees or they are parking lot coasters.

 

I don't know how many parks you have visited, but you should really curb your expectations if you expect the park to assume Leroy's vision and be the northeast Disney. I compare us to other regional parks, and in my travels I realize we are one of the better ones out there. Not perfect, but compared to most of the SF and CF parks we have kept a lot of trees and ambiance, have one of the best coaster lineups in the world, finally expanding our flat ride offerings, have a unique safari attraction, a waterpark, and have one or two of the best themed sections in all of the SF or CF parks.

 

We may not be Universal or Disney, but we are also not neglected, run down or a carnival. However, if you expect small park charm or theming, you will be disappointed.

I did not say that ALL the roller coasters at Great Adventure are in the parking lot. I pointed out how other coasters were built in the back of the park, which showed that it was unnecessary to build in the parking lot.

 

I have been to, and worked at, many theme parks in the country, and most of them are better than Six Flags. Pointing out that other Six Flags parks are worse than GA does not help your argument. All Six Flags parks are tacky. The company does not know how to operate a theme park.

 

I do not expect GA to be a small, quaint park. It is not a small park. The fact that it is so huge, however, all the more makes people expect something better than a bunch of rides thrown on a slab of cement.

 

Very few parks have had the luxury of being built in a forest with lots of room for expansion like Great Adventure. Six Flags has wasted that advantage and ruined the greatest asset they had which was the forest it was built in.

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^The problem with expansion is that the park is kind of landlocked. They do have a ton of land but they cannot build on majority of it.

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The park does have room to expand. It just costs more money to expand than to build on currently developed land. Six Flags just did not understand how they were damaging the park by building in the parking lot and cutting down the trees. Apparently the people responsible for park design decided the park should resemble a boardwalk amusement pier instead of a theme park. I do not know if it was because they really like the atmosphere of an amusement pier or if it was just a lot cheaper. Either way it was a stupid thing to do and permanently destroyed the forest and the atmosphere of the park.

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I did not say that ALL the roller coasters at Great Adventure are in the parking lot. I pointed out how other coasters were built in the back of the park, which showed that it was unnecessary to build in the parking lot.I have been to, and worked at, many theme parks in the country, and most of them are better than Six Flags. Pointing out that other Six Flags parks are worse than GA does not help your argument. All Six Flags parks are tacky. The company does not know how to operate a theme park.I do not expect GA to be a small, quaint park. It is not a small park. The fact that it is so huge, however, all the more makes people expect something better than a bunch of rides thrown on a slab of cement.Very few parks have had the luxury of being built in a forest with lots of room for expansion like Great Adventure. Six Flags has wasted that advantage and ruined the greatest asset they had which was the forest it was built in.

My point was that only 3 coasters are built on the parking lot, and that isn't a hugely asinine number compared to the 9-10 other coasters that are built within the confines of the park. I think S:UF looks great in its location, and KK is right in your face as you pull towards the parking lot which is done effectively to give an intimidation first impression. GL is the only coaster that, to me, looks tacky in its location.

 

And bringing up other SF parks, as well as CF parks is valid and significant because that is our competition. It is unfair to compare us to Disney or Universal, and small, family-owned parks are an apples and oranges comparison. I'd also lump Busch/Sea World in with Disney/Universal as a destination park chain as opposed to a regional park like GAdv, which makes those comparisons invalid.

 

If the old regime had an opportunity to complete their plan that started with KK/Golden Kingdom/Toro/PDC, and would have saw us get a on-site hotel and all areas of the park revamped, then I could see the validity in comparing us to those other parks. But, as it is, even Hershey is kind of a stretch when it comes to comparisons.

 

However, compared to other regional parks, there are very few that are better than GAdv. Enthusiasts like to poo-poo the notion that coasters matter, but we have truly have one of the greatest lineups in the world, which means a lot as they are what primarily draws people (including those same enthusiasts)to regional parks. We have finally started building up our flat ride selections, a decent waterpark, terrific and unique safari attraction, and do have some of the better themed areas across the SF and CF chains, as well as location. Yes, the park does have major issues, but we are very lucky we have what we got.

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^^^^ How do you figure S:UF looks great and GL looks tacky? They are both right next to each other. They are both in the parking lot. They BOTH look tacky. And KK being "right in your face as you pull towards the parking lot" is horrible. Seeing the whole park from the parking lot destroys the whole experience of discovering the adventure as you explore the park. "In your face" is not pleasant. That is why the only people who like Six Flags are coaster enthusiasts. It is a huge turn-off to everyone else. I myself love coasters, but I much prefer a coaster that dives through trees than one that's thrown on a slab of cement or a field of grass.

 

If the park has no room for expansion, where does everyone think they are going to build a hotel?

 

Since Great Adventure is the largest theme park in the country there is no reason it cannot compare to a Busch park or any other park outside Disney and Universal.

 

It is a very sad state when everyone keeps admitting the park has "major issues" and yet claim that "we are very lucky we have what we got". Everyone is so used to Six Flags being crap that they have accepted it as normal. It is not normal and we are not lucky.

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^The thing is though, few other people can access such a great lineup close by. I think that's the positive, and our issues are the negative. Is it worth it? That depends on your perspective; The enthusiast might be ok with a world-class lineup and mediocre environment, but the GP probably won't.

 

I think GL and Superman were placed badly, but their main attraction being right in the front is actually a good idea. It makes you think "I can't wait to get in the park" and enter in a rush, at least it does for me. But I do agree that it would be better if the rides were hidden in the trees; For example, from the parking lot Nitro looks really cool as you can't see the pullup of the first drop. Only the beautiful force based curved drop shaping in the crest, and the pretty parabolic tops of the airtime hills. It looks so much better hidden in the trees, as it gives a sense of intimidation for a new rider, they don't know what's waiting for them.

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I'm sorry but The Golden Kingdom is one of the most immersive areas of the park. No one has a clue it was built on a former parking lot and seeing the skyline from the parking lot is a crowd drawer. So unless Great Adventure's attendance falls to nearly nothing like it did back before Great American Scream Machine, then the park is doing something right and you cannot deny that. The amusement industry in a business. Deal with it.

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I have to agree the Golden Kingdom was a great change for the park, it has some of the best theming in the whole SF chain and for what it's worth the experience of Ka's launch can't be felt on any other ride I've been on.

 

For the park as it is today, I won't claim that it has no weaknesses but we do have a lot of great things, and the park has shown signs of improvement on some of the weaknesses based on the small changes made in the past couple of years and this year. To expect the park's environment to be how it was when it first opened given changing times and ownership is unrealistic.

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No one expects the park to be the same as it was when it opened. No one wants it to be. But it is not unrealistic to expect it to have a decent atmosphere. It was built in a forest and had plenty of land to expand without cutting down every tree in the park and building in the parking lot.

 

The idea that seeing the whole park from the parking lot "draws people in" is ridiculous. They're in the parking lot. THEY'RE ALREADY ON THEIR WAY IN! Do you think they would just sit in their cars in the parking lot if they don't have roller coasters in their face? They have no idea there are coasters in the park unless they can see them all from the parking lot? You can make the same silly argument that they have no reason to go into the park because they have already seen it all from the parking lot. If they are in the parking lot they are going in the park. You do not need to "draw them in".

 

What you may think "draws people in" to the park actually scares a large number of people away. The overpowering in-your-face atmosphere is unpleasant to the majority of the general public. Only coaster enthusiasts find it exciting, and even a lot of them would rather ride coasters that have creative theming that are in the woods instead of a coaster in the parking lot with a plywood cutout of a superhero slapped on the side of it.

 

Yes the park is a business, however the in-your-face atmosphere does not appeal to enough people to sustain the business. You need to have a well-rounded park that appeals to all demographics in order to be successful. You can have exciting roller coasters that fit the park theming and blend with their surroundings. The park atmosphere itself can be appealing to adults while still having the coasters and thrill rides that appeal to thrill seekers.

 

The park's main mistake is believing they can sustain the business on coaster enthusiasts alone and that all coaster enthusiasts don't care about environment or theming. They need to combine a pleasant atmosphere, entertainment, unique dining options, AND thrill rides in order to attract all demographics and be a successful business.

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