Holiday World Announces World’s Longest Water Coaster for 2012 As Some Coaster Fans Groan
Today, Holiday World announced Mammoth their largest single ride investment with a price tag of $9 million. Like the park’s Wildebeest, Mammoth will feature both down hill and up hill sections made possible via linear induction motors that will propel the ride boats. Unlike Wildebeest, the much larger Mammoth will feature boats where six riders face each other.
The Santa Claus, Indiana theme park has a track record of being an early adopter of new Web and social media technology. Today’s announcement was no different as it was made live via the Holiday World’s U Stream channel.
Families vs. Roller Coaster Fans – The Debate Rages On…
As soon as the first details of the ride were announced, I noticed that the number of viewers watching the presentation on U Stream started to decrease. I’m sure many were expecting or hoping for a roller coaster. I followed some of the live reactions in the streaming chat area beside the video and I could tell that some were dissapointed. Others argued that Mammoth might help bring more money to Holiday World than a roller coaster could.
My Take – Holiday World Knows What They’re Doing
While I was hoping for another roller coaster (especially a steel coaster), adding another water park attraction must be in the park’s best interest. For the 144th time, families spend more money at theme parks than roller coaster enthusiasts. Therefore, if Holiday World wants to keep growing they’d best continue to attract the crowd that generates the most revenue for them. Taking that fun experience of the water coaster and making it even more of a group (family) experience is smart. Believe it or not, Mammoth may generate more money for the park than a Gerstlauer Eurofighter like Dare Devil Dive or Untamed would.
The Minivan Effect
As both a coaster enthusiast and a family man, I can see both perspectives. But what disappointed coaster fans may be dealing with is something that I call the “Minivan Effect”. If you’re not a parent, and especially if you’re young, there’s no way you can see the appeal of a minivan. I used to loathe them. I hated driving behind them and couldn’t get over just how uncool they looked.
When you’re a parent, your priorities change. You drive slower and utility far outweighs coolness. I couldn’t see that as a single 23 year-old in a brand new, speedy Sentra SE-R. And many (not all) thrill-loving coaster enthusiasts can’t see the appeal in a family attraction like Mammoth. It’s all about perspective.