Do attractions become more beloved after closure?

JM-BENT

Rookie
Jun 16, 2017
254
Clermont, FL
I've noticed this trend quite a bit throughout my time here in this community. Whether it be Maelstrom, Curse of Darkastle, GMR, Twister, etc., it seems like once a theme park attraction meets its end everyone comes out of the woodwork to sing its praises and to remember how great of an attraction it was.

This certainly doesn't happen after every closure. I hardly see anyone mourning over the loss of the Sinbad show at IoA. But I can't help but think that if rides that currently get very little positive discussion such as Dinosaur/Countdown to Extinction, Tomorrowland Speedway, or Journey to Atlantis were to meet their end today would the general consensus among the theme park community stay the same or become more positive about them overall?

I hope I've illustrated the idea of this topic enough because I feel like it is an interesting discussion to have. Do you guys think that these rides were always as good as people say or is it just that once a ride is gone people simply want to remember the peak times or positive aspects of an attraction rather than needlessly dance on its grave? How large a part does nostalgia play? I'm very curious as to what you all think.
 

VolcanoAye

Rookie
Sep 15, 2019
434
For what it’s worth, Atlantis was my first thrillish ride as a kid so I’d be sad to see it go, but I think the answer is yes. Nostalgia can be found in even okish attractions, and any attraction can make fun memories.
 

jrn14

Veteran Member
Dec 21, 2016
1,312
I love Dinosaur... it better not go, it's in my top 5.... I also loved JAWS and Disaster. I thought Great Movie Ride was a great attraction, but I would have told you all of this when they were open. I also would have told you others ranged from fun/pleasant/cute to not so good.

Absence does make the heart grow fonder because every time I would revisit Twister it would remind me that it really wasn't that great of an attraction lol but then after not doing it for a long while I would feel myself wanting to experience it again.
 

Magic Feather

Rookie
Apr 19, 2019
120
I have heard heaps of positive things about Dinosaur and JTA. Regardless, it is true. Maelstrom’s waits spiked once it’s closure was announced (that said, I was always a Maelstrom fan, likely due to my heritage).
 

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,500
Orlando
Yes! Everyone LOVED the rides that have been removed, but in many cases (especially with coasters), people stopped riding them or they wouldn't have been removed. I still remember the wailing and crying about Six Flags Great Adventure removing Great American Scream Machine, and how it was everyone's FAVORITE coaster. Ridership numbers told a completely different story.

I was at Great Adventure when it opened in 1989, and it was a great ride. By the time it closed in 2010 it was completely un-ridable, yet still people say they can't believe it was removed and it was the best. Not only that, but they're filled with hatred for the B&M standup coaster that replaced it (even though it is a much better ride).
 

SeventyOne

Veteran Member
Jul 1, 2010
2,603
Orlando
I alluded to this in the HHN thread, as to why I only rank the event 10 years back or so. If you ask me my favorite house of all time, I reflexively answer Demon Cantina in 2005. It's been a decade and a half since anyone walked thru that house--if they brought it back as an exact duplicate next year, I honestly don't know that it would still crack my top 10 given the epic haunts we've seen lately. But in my head ... it's was the greatest HHN house of all time. Nostalgia does that.

That said, there's a certain fan community "street cred" that comes from liking old attractions as well. I see kids on Twitter all the time mourn the loss of Horizons, which closed before they were born. I remember the opening day of Grog Grotto there were CMs behind me planning to order a Kungaloosh as their first drink--even tho they were probably tweens the Adventurers Club's last day of operation. I think the desire to look cool as a superfan also plays a role.
 

belloq87

Veteran Member
Dec 7, 2009
3,470
Universal Exports
In general, of course they become more beloved once they're gone.

It's easy to take an attraction for granted, even one you really like, when you walk by it every time you're in the park. Once it's gone, and you know you'll never get to experience it again, it makes a lot of sense that you'd feel increased fondness for it.

Especially if whatever replaced it doesn't appeal to you as much.
 

SkiBum

Veteran Member
Dec 14, 2012
1,186
Cincinnati, OH
Not always, though. Son of Beast and Mean Streak aren't missed by anyone except the chiropractors whose patients didn't have to come as frequently. I think that coasters can outlast their popularity a little more easily due to ride performance as well as newer coasters being the latest greatest.

For dark rides, it is different. For instance, I still miss Snow White's Scary Adventures and know that it wasn't a masterpiece of a dark ride. People miss Jaws but I much prefer Diagon Alley and Gringotts.
 
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jrn14

Veteran Member
Dec 21, 2016
1,312
I lost all my theme park street cred when I proclaimed to prefer The Tiki Room Under New Management to the current/original version... I stand by it! Bring back Iago and Zazu!!!!!
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
11,147
Pittsburgh, PA
I lost all my theme park street cred when I proclaimed to prefer The Tiki Room Under New Management to the current/original version... I stand by it! Bring back Iago and Zazu!!!!!
Everyone is valid in opinions of what they like... doesn't mean it actually holds in terms of taste, show quality, or overall experience. I mean people loved the Sorcerer Mickey hat too and we're better off without it. ;)

This basically explains Horizons and all of Epcot
That's... complicated. In a nutshell, yes. But also Horizons closed and its replacement attraction opened right around the time media documentation online was starting. It's also one of the first attractions who's closing was telegraphed, most rides would just *close* or go seasonal and never return.
 

belloq87

Veteran Member
Dec 7, 2009
3,470
Universal Exports
I think this plays a lot in the fawning over Kongfrontation. If it were still around today, the Kong AA would be eviscerated online.
I mean, it's really easy to say that because it's impossible to prove or disprove.

For 1990, Kongfrontation was an incredibly impressive and massive attraction. We'll probably never see something built "for real" on that scale ever again, which is a shame. If I had to pick the single experience that made me a Universal fan in 1993 at age 6, it would be Kongfrontation.