Tiffany~ºoº ~ D23 member
Sufferer of Disney Vacation Depression
97'~French Quarter, 99'~CBR, 01'~Movies, 03'~Music/PORriverside/DCL, 05'~POP, 06'~Movies, 08'~Movies, 09'~Disneyland/ Embassy Suites Irvine/ 10'~Music, 12'~LBV Best Western Disney View
I don't know what's going to happen with BGW or BGT, and honestly, I can't even begin to speculate. It would be nice to see Disney parks in more places in the U.S. than Florida and California. But like it was earlier mentioned, there is already so much more space to expand down here, which Disney already owns. I just seems unlikely in my opinion that they would buy up someone else's park, especially when they would most certainly do a lot of taking apart and tearing down before they built it back up.
And that's another reason I am hesitant to root for Disney in this case. We all pretty much agree that Disney would give a pretty extensive facelift to the place. Well believe it or not, there are a handful of non-Disney theme (or amusement) parks that I would like to see, and BGW was definitely one of the ones on that list. Now I may not get to see it before A-B turns over operation of the park to someone else, but I hope that whoever does end up running it can keep it pretty much as it is... at least until I can get a chance to check it out and form an educated opinion. Right now all I have to go off of is the television commercials I have seen for the place, which in all honesty look really good. But then again, that's the intent of commercial advertisement, isn't it?
Maybe it would benefit from a Disney facelift. Maybe it wouldn't. Maybe Disney's hand in it would just morph it into an entirely different place. Many will probably like that. Many probably will not. I just don't know where exactly I stand on it.
On another note, I haven't seen too much discussion of this in the last handful of posts, but earlier in the thread it sounded like the general presumption as to the 'what makes a theme park vs. an amusement park' question was that theme parks cater towards a more family audience, while amusement parks are more about the rides. I have to disagree with that statement strongly, as I think what defines a theme park is not its target audience or its attractions, or even the quality of the park. Instead, just as the name suggests... it's a common theme.
I don't think anyone on this forum would debate with me if I said that Walter E. Disney invented the theme park. I think that's pretty much a proven fact by this point. And let's look at what he started us off with. Disneyland is not so much a single theme, as a series of themes (jungle exploration, space travel, storybook fantasy) isolated in its own section of a park that ties them all together with the common idea that these are the kinds of adventures and stories we all fantasized about, and now thanks to Walt, we had a place to go to live out and immerse ourselves in our dreams and fantasies. You decide you've had enough of rockets and shooting stars? No problem, head across the park and try out another childhood fancy.
Then the Florida Project came along, and Magic Kingdom was built. It was pretty much a second shot at Disneyland, with more space and a handful of changes... but the theme concept remained more or less intact. It wasn't until EPCOT that we saw something new... a sort of permanent World's Fair theme. Disney-MGM Studios was/is about the movies, and Disney's Animal Kingdom is about wildlife. Each Disney park has a common theme that helps tell its stories and bind it together. And that is what makes it a theme park rather than an amusement park. Not the guests it brings in or how well it is run.
I worked for four years at Lake Compounce up in Connecticut. I loved that park. For those of you not familiar, it's a charming little park situated at the base of a mountain and wraps around a small lake. It has changed ownership several times over the past decade or so, and while some have not taken good care of it, others have done well with it.
The reason I bring this place up is because Lake Compounce currently calls itself "New England's Family Theme Park." I think this statement may be simply an attempt to draw in a bigger family audience based on the same presumption many of you were making earlier, that theme parks mean family entertainment. But in my opinion, Lake Compounce is NOT a theme park. In recent years they have gone the way of more permanent attractions in place of some of their older carnival-style rides which makes it more theme-park-like, and some of the rides and shows and such do actually have themes. But the vast majority do not, and there is certainly no collective theme to any particular sections of the park, nor to the park as a whole. Nope... in my opinion, New England's Family Theme Park is actually an amusement park. And yet, Lake Compounce (at least while I was working there anyway) is a beautifully maintained, very clean, well-run, very much family-friendly amusement park with guest-service at the top of its list of priorities. We really did try to offer Disney-quality service and cleanliness to our guests every day. Our closest rival up there was Six Flags New England, but as SFNE really was a thrill-ride haven that soaked up bulk of the local thrill junkies, it's lacking guest service and family atmosphere is what drove the family audience to us, with our broader attraction types and better atmosphere, attention to detail, etc.
"Amusement park" does not necessarily mean thrill rides over family entertainment. "Theme park" does not necessarily mean exceptional guest service. In the end, it all boils down to how the place is run, what it's points of focus are on, and how the guests feel about it at the end of the day. Disney runs great family-friendly theme parks. Lake Compounce is a great family-friendly amusement park. Both are great ways to spend a day, family or not. The only thing that differentiates them is a common theme, which may or may not be what makes the park. Please don't make the presumption that just because a park is not up to what we know to be "Disney quality" that it therefore cannot be a theme park. And please don't assume that if a place is billed as an amusement park that it is not going to live up to your expectations. You never know until you've tried it. And frankly... there are a lot of places, theme parks and amusement parks alike, that are on my list of those I would love to check out. And BGW, theme park or not, is pretty high on my list.
-Don-Your heart can just take wing,You can live out all your dreams......it's time to Remember the Magic!Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pilot's Life for Me...
Haven't seen BGW, but have visited BGT and absolutely loved Katonga, one of their shows there. Think of it is an off beat version of the broadway style Lion King. Over at Sea World, they have Odyssea (sp) which is very similar to cirque du soliel if they did an aquatic animal themed version show that ran about 30 minutes, also very fun to watch.
I've never been to Busch Gardens, but I know that it is probably some people's favorite vacation destination. I know if someone came into WDW, bought it out and changed it, I would be angry. I think it could be good for Busch Gardens if Disney bought it, but they shouldn't change it. It's such a classic park, and it is well beloved - they should keep the park's integrity.
Oh it is a great vacation destination! The park has something for everyone! The shows, animals, rides and restaurants are great, I recommend going, I loved it!
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