I'm not sure I like the trend that seems to be developing around the theme park world. Unless I am jumping the gun and reaching some conclusions too quickly, theme park companies around the country are building the same attractions at their various parks. I am of course most heavily referencing Cedar Fair and Six Flags. As of this writing, the "Sky Screamer" attraction is located at Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and is also being constructed at Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Six Flags Great Adventure. Among Cedar Fair parks, and there are 11 of them, the "Windseeker" attraction is arriving at virtually every park on their roster, some of which are only a couple of hours away from the other. Adding to this pattern is a recent announcement that Cedar Point will be opening a "Dinosaurs Alive" section to there park presumably identical to the King's Island attraction that opened earlier this year (and that RATB attended the grand opening celebration of).
I suppose I am old school enough to relish the idea that every park has its own special, unique flavor about it. I like that you can't ride the same rides and have the same experience at King's Island and Cedar Point, but if this trend continues, it will become more and more feasible to experience much of the same thrill regardless of what park you attend. Now, I am referencing big time attractions. We are all familiar with things like the Scrambler or the Spider that are amusement type rides and can be found in many parks. But what fun would it be for 4 or 5 different parks to all have the same roller coaster? Well, many of them do, perhaps the "Boomerang" being the most famous coaster that is found in many different parks. And now we are seeing that concept extend into other big time thrill rides, such as the Windseeker or Sky Screamer.
I wonder if part of the reason is because corporate is able to receive huge discounted prices if they construct multiple attractions from the same company. In that way, they are able to announce a "big new ride" at multiple parks for a fraction of the price of what it would take to construct 5 completely unique attractions. Just a thought.
Hopefully this is a fad (ala Spinal Tap) and I am being overly cautious about losing the dynamic of individual parks. We will keep an eye on it.