A Look at Silly Roller Coaster Records and Weak Distinctions
To wrap up “Record Breaking Roller Coasters Week”, I wanted to discuss marketing hype with regards to records. Theme Parks looking to make a splash with a new attraction love to tout that their new ride has a distinction tied to some record. For example, over the past few years we’ve had: The Steepest Roller Coaster in the World, The Roller Coaster with the Largest Vertical Loop in the World, & Canada’s Largest, Tallest, & Fastest Roller Coaster. But, some records or titles aren’t World records or even country records. Some distinctions are regional or even downright local!
Does it Really Matter?
Does the general public really get more excited by basically any superlative no matter how weak it is? Maybe they do. From the nonsense I’ve heard in queues over the years I’d bet that many people just retain the “tallest” or “fastest” from the marketing language and not the specifics like: “Third Tallest” or “Tallest in Utah” or “Fastest in the Mid-Atlantic”. As a former marketer, I can’t blame amusement parks for hyping up their new roller coasters. It is an easy way to convey something impactful about a new ride in just a few words. And I did just launch “The Web’s First Theme Park News Aggregator”, so I’m as guilty as the parks in touting distinctions.
Records = Big Deal for Smaller Parks
Also, records can be a great vehicle for smaller parks trying to put themselves on the map. Check out this video of Mumbo Jumbo’s opening at Flamingo Land in the United Kingdom. It set a World record for the steepest roller coaster earlier this year:
As you can see, even the Guinness World Records representative was there. I’d literally never heard of the park until I heard about Mumbo Jumbo. But again, if you’re an enthusiast, you’re not as impressed by some of these weaker distinctions and at times it can be a bit amusing. Not that I favor true record holders or the tallest, fastest of any ride, I’m just noting a trend.
What’s Your Take?
What do you think of the faux roller coaster records and weak distinctions? Leave a comment below.