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What caused Cedar Fair to stray away from Intamin?

Discussion in 'Q&A' started by Matt N, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys. Sorry if there is already a thread like this, but I was just wondering; why did Cedar Fair suddenly stray away from Intamin after years of working with them? If you're wondering what I mean, it seems like Cedar Point/Cedar Fair had a pretty good relationship with Intamin in the late 1990s/early 2000s, because that is when the vast majority of Intamin coasters were built for Cedar Fair. But suddenly, they just sort of... stopped buying from them. I can't really gather much from the internet other than about the problems that I305 had in its initial year of operation. I also read somewhere about a huge court case between Cedar Fair and Intamin. Other than that, I couldn't really find a lot out, so I wondered whether you guys could shed some light on it.
     
  2. Pokemaniac

    Pokemaniac Mountain monkey Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team

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    From what I've heard, Top Thrill Dragster was so troubled by problems that the park CEO regretted ever ordering it. Then later came Maverick, and it too had problems that required excessive rebuilding (the removal of an inversion the park probably had specified in the design tender to begin with - they ordered and paid for a three-inversion coaster and got a two-inversion coaster) and a delayed opening. I suppose Intamin put up a tempting tender for I305 and was given a third chance with it, but when that one also broke the expectations (and not in a positive way), ties were cut for good. Or at least the foreseeable future.

    Not that I've heard or can remember all the details. I'd imagine @Hyde and @GuyWithAStick know a lot more about it than me.
     
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  3. GuyWithAStick

    GuyWithAStick Captain Basic Staff Member Moderator Social Media Team

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    I'm not the complete expert, but from what I remember, since Millennium Force(?) was so troubled when it opened, Intamin gave Cedar Fair some nice discounts on future projects. Since the future rides were still problematic, the discounts continued. Once Ouimet came around, they just cut all ties(for the most part).

    Again, @Hyde would be the guy to speak to on this topic.
     
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  4. Snoo

    Snoo Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much what both of you said. While Hyde tends to be the authority, the writing is on the wall if you just look at the rides they've created for CF over the last two decades. Now that Ouimet is out, that philosophy may change, but with new designers coming out with better rides then Intamin has in their book, we may not see a major Intamin addition for some time.
     
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  5. Hyde

    Hyde I Lied About My Age! Staff Member Moderator Social Media Team

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    Because the last coaster they built for Cedar Fair without any issues was Jr. Gemini. :p

    It boiled down to reliability and safety concerns. A number of roller coasters required alterations after construction to account for higher-than-expected forces or clearance issues (Maverick, I305, MF) with more experiencing prolonged downtime at opening. Pulling up Intamin's Wikipedia page, there is a whole section on Ride Incidents - notice how not many other manufacturers have the same callout.

    For Cedar Fair, the last straw was Shoot the Rapids. Never operating at full capacity and plagued with downtime that culminated in a boat not engaging with the anti-roll back device and sliding down the first lift hill; these are fundamental issues that you simply do not see with other manufacturers.
     
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  6. Matt N

    Matt N Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't Shoot the Rapids the log flume they removed in 2016 after something like only 6 years in operation?
     
  7. Hyde

    Hyde I Lied About My Age! Staff Member Moderator Social Media Team

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    Indeed. It had a lot of problems with the lift hill design and the boat properly engaging with the lift chain, which led to prolonged downtime throughout it's entire life. The park eventually landed on a solution to front-load the boats, leaving the back row empty; a lost capacity opportunity. In 2013, a boat disengaged from the lift chain and did not properly engage with the anti-roll back device, causing the boat to roll down the lift and flip over. The ride remained closed for the rest of that season.

    The ride saw other modifications too during it's short life span. Misters in the opening tunnel caused riders to have reaction to chlorinated water, which were eventually turned off (same misters from Maverick's launch tunnel, which are now featured at Rougarou), and the final splashdown featured some vicious water jets that blasted riders, which were eventually tuned down.

    In general, it's tough to find an Intamin ride that worked perfectly right out of the box for Cedar Fair. At a certain point, it simply reflects poor planning and design; amusement parks do need a safe, reliable product at the end of the day.
     
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N Well-Known Member

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    Intamin strike me as quite an inconsistent company, who when they get a project right, they get it really right, but if they get it wrong, they get it really wrong. When compared to a company like B&M, where you can virtually guarantee that a ride will be reliable and incident-free for most of its life, Intamin are almost quite a risky company to work with, because even though they innovate a bit more than B&M do, you can't guarantee that your ride won't have major problems.

    Granted, while many of Intamin's rides do look fantastic, such as Maverick, Taron and Skyrush, I'm not personally a fan of the Intamin thrill coasters I've ridden other than Stealth, which is my #11. Intamin does make good family coasters, like Thirteen and Gringotts, but some of their thrill coasters I've ridden are awful. Rita at Alton Towers is really rough, with its only saving grace being the launch. Colossus at Thorpe Park is just horribly, horribly rough. Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa was OK, but it rattled quite badly and its 1 or 2 moments of airtime were ruined by those awful OTSRs. Give me a nice B&M coaster any day. Falcon's Fury, on the other hand, is just fantastic in a horrendous sort of way. It's quite terrifying, but it's just so great. That ride is an example of where Intamin really got it right.
     
  9. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, if you are only looking at Rita, Stealth, Colossus and Cheetah Hunt to evaluate Intamin then of course you'll have a bad opinion of them. They are some of their worst installs!
    It's the same as looking at B&M by only focusing on Vortex(Carowinds), Raging Bull and Daemonen...

    I'd suggest riding a couple of their good thrill coasters before bashing mate.
     
  10. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    ^Kingda Ka, for example. ;)
     
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  11. Matt N

    Matt N Well-Known Member

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    That's why I said I wasn't a fan of the ones that I've ridden. Many of Intamin's coasters look fantastic!
     
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  12. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    I love me a bit of Intamin action. They can be a bit hit and miss, sure, but they have produced some of the wildest rides on the planet. They're clearly a company not afraid to take risks and for all their faults, I wouldn't wanna live in a world without them.
    @Matt N - when you do get to ride a proper Intamin, man, you're gonna sh*t. They can be sooooo good.
     
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  13. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

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    Lol, missed this hilarious post.
    Ka isn't as bad as everyone says, front row(at night) is pretty fab, still not a patch on TTD, but still fab.
     
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  14. Sandman

    Sandman Well-Known Member

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    Surely Taron nullifies all of Intamins wrongdoings? ;)
     
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  15. Matt N

    Matt N Well-Known Member

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    Some of Intamin's rides look absolutely breathtaking. I only need watch a POV of rides like Taron, Maverick, I305, Skyrush and Superman the Ride, amongst others, to know that Intamin are capable of wonderful things. I've actually already ridden a wonderful flat ride from Intamin; Falcon's Fury was absolutely fantastic, even though I was very nervous queueing for it! Has got to be my favourite drop tower! When I ride a proper Intamin, as you call it, I hope I am just as blown away as I was by Falcon's Fury! Thirteen is also a great family coaster, with a really good bit of airtime over the drop in the back row!

    Out of interest, would you say there are any good Intamins in the British Isles or in the state of Florida @Howie? Because that's the closest I'll probably get as long as I'm still living with my parents.
     
  16. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    ^Stealth is probably the best of the UK lot (and a bloomin good ride to be fair, but not really a true demo of Intamin at their best) and I think Cheetah Hunt might be the only Intamin (coaster) in Florida, so sadly, no.
    Those ones that you've mentioned - Taron, Skyrush, I305, TTD, El Toro - they're the ones that are gonna knock yer socks off!
    Reckon you've either got to work on those pesky parents and get them to consider somewhere less conventional, or just start saving for the time when you can go on your own (or with a bunch of goons!) :)
     
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  17. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

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    Most of the really good Intamins are stateside, your best chance is Taron, cheap flight, short drive, in a European city that's worth exploring.
    The only other potentially possible one would be El Toro, IF your parents decide to go to NYC, it's not a ridiculous drive to SFGAdv imo.
     
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  18. Matt N

    Matt N Well-Known Member

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    Those are good ideas, actually, but if my parents ever did go to Cologne or New York, they probably wouldn't take me or my sister.
     

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