Every theme park has a finite amount of space and so when a new ride is planned the development will often involve the demolition of an old attraction. Whilst some are well past their sell by date by the time they are pulled down, others are victims of a premature demise. There are some rides whose passing I have seriously mourned and the situation is particularly provoking when the replacement ride simply doesn’t live up to expectations.
I don’t think anyone was in floods of tears over the closing of Thorpe Park’s Fungal Safari which was frankly awful and Disaster Transport at Cedar Point will be mourned by few despite the replacement being a wing rider that the world could quite possibly live without. I was, however, rather vexed at the removal of Deja Vu from Six Flags Magic Mountain. It might not have been the best ride on the planet but I found it both thrilling and hilarious at the same time and my overall experience at the park was not as good without it. I completely understand that the thing had a terrible throughput as the loading and offloading procedure was so lengthy but I thought the ride was worth the resulting queue.
On a happier note the demolition of Psyclone in favour of Apocalypse was a great move on the part of Magic Mountain. The old coaster was an exercise in agony that was best avoided. I know that hardened coaster fans love the raw nature of a wooden coaster and dislike the new GCI woodies but there are limits to anyone’s endurance and Psyclone went beyond those and then some. I feared a spinal injury, several cracked ribs and a ruptured spleen after my one adventure on that ride.
The Future Has Arrived
When all is said and done the ride which I miss the most is Back to The Future. I loved everything about the ride from the preshow to the end. There was something extraordinary about climbing into the DeLorean and I thought the attraction had a brilliant story line which was engaging even for those who were not great fans of the film. I know that the futuristic tale included references to 2015 which was about to become the present rather than the future but this was surely not an insurmountable problem. I will treasure the memories of the day I rode the DeLorean with a group of Americans all sporting the most amazing costumes. It must have been quite a sight to behold!
The situation was made all the worse by the replacement Simpsons themed ride being infinitely inferior for me. OK I am not a fan of the cartoon which didn’t help but the whole thing just didn’t work as well with that theme. I am sure that anyone who didn’t ride the original would think it was a pretty decent ride but I spent my entire time in the building wishing I could go back in time myself.
I am sure that there will be other rides and attractions which bite the dust in the coming years and I only hope that my favourites are left alone. If you are not going to build an improvement then don’t bother wasting the money!
Article by Sally Stacey