The Spring of the Small Park is Here
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The 2022 coaster season will be here very soon. If we are truly blessed, this season will be back to normal, and I am incredibly excited for it.
But maybe not for the reasons you may think. Yes, I know it should be an incredible year for coasters. But to be fair Iron Gwazi, Pantheon, and Emperor were supposed to open in 2020!!! Wonder Woman is a clone of Jersey Devil and Cliff Hanger; while interesting will probably not be in anybody's top ten.
No, my fellow thoosies, what has me excited are the coasters announced from the small parks.
Mattel Theme Park will open Hot Wheels Roller Coaster. Finally, another Chance Hyper GTX admittedly, this will be a much different experience than Lightning Run. But if this is close to being as good, this new park in Arizona will have a winner. And maybe the best new coaster out west.
Glenwood Caverns will open Defiance. The first of two announced Gerstlauer Infinity coasters opening in 2022. Although this ride is short, the views will be unparalleled, and it looks to be an excellent first thrill coaster for the park.
COTALAND is giving us the second Infinity coaster, and it looks intense, fun, and unique. An excellent start for a park trying to make a name for itself.
Finally, Fun Spot Atlanta's real shocker, having RMC build Aerie Force One, a potential top ten coaster. Yes, a Fun Spot might have a top ten coaster.
All of these coasters together basically cost as much as Orion. All of these coasters, I think, could be better than Orion. Let that sink in for a minute. These small, tight-budget parks are giving us world-class coasters. And I think that is outstanding.
For one thing, I would never consider visiting these parks until now. The same goes for most of you. But now, I plan on visiting all of these parks much sooner than later. And these parks are counting on it, and I hope that we do.plan a visit. Because I tell you if the attendance numbers are good, I bet it will not be too long before they build more.
I also bet some of the other small parks will be watching closely. And if these coasters are a big hit, they may consider giving Gerstlauer, Chance, and RMC a call. This brings me to another thought, Intamin built Kondaa for 15 million. Vekoma built Abyssus for 12.7 million. These are large-scale rides for significantly less than S&S, and half the price of a B&M or Mack.
In essence, every park has multiple options to build a world-class coaster. I don't know about you, but I find that really cool. And I hope other smaller parks take a chance and start building some coasters.
This brings me to the two leading regional chains in North America. Six Flags and Cedar Fair, far too many of their secondary parks, have been ignored for over a decade. THERE IS NO EXCUSE!!!!! Parks like Valleyfair and Six Flags America should. No, need a new roller coaster!!! And they really can not justify it anymore with budget friendly options.
Who knows, we may have ourselves another coaster war. And I think it was the small independent parks that fired the first shot. Your move Six Flags and Cedar Fair...