When I first planned to write this blog post, I was simply intending to focus on The New Hampshire Explorer River Rapids ride - how it went from "new for 2017" to "not happening in 2017 or possibly ever" before it was even officially announced and how that led me to make a Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 creation of the ride on my computer and share with you all (which can be viewed here). After throwing about ideas in my head, I changed my mindset to why Canobie decides on new rides for the park and more importantly, why Canobie removes or decides against installing rides in the park. Before anyone gets too defensive - I do know that Canobie offers many exciting activities aside from their rides but, this post is focused mainly on rides.
To begin with the first thought; Why does Canobie decide to install new rides at the park? The answer is simple right? New rides mean new thrills and more fun. There is much more benefit from a new ride however. More rides add more capacity to Canobie overall meaning that more visitors spend time on rides instead of waiting in line. New rides that are unique to the area offer guests experiences they have never had before. Adding a variety of rides (water, chidren's, family, thrill etc.) attracts a diverse group of visitors to the park. At the end of the day, new rides create more visitors for the park and happy visitors at that. The more visitors Canobie attracts, the more money the park makes to pay for that new ride and more. So why on earth is the newest standing ride at Canobie nearly 6 years old? Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.
Let's begin by going back to the year 2012. Near the end of the season, Canobie installed a stunning brand new ride. I'm talking awesome lighting effects, state of the art sound systems, fog and an intense ride experience. This happened just one season after installing their first new roller coaster in over 20 years! It seemed Canobie was on a roll with adding exciting new attractions. But then, disappointment happened. Almost every day for the next two seasons Equinox (the amazing new ride) was closed. If visitors were lucky, they got to see the ride testing but very few had the opportunity to actually ride. Ultimately, it turned out the ride would not function mechanically at the levels Canobie wanted it to. In fact, the ride closed permanently in 2014 and was removed from the premises by the next year. Surely Canobie put thousands of hours into trying to make this ride function as they had hoped. This also means they likely spent hundreds of thousands of dollars between labor and parts. To see Equinox go must have been just as devastating for Canobie as it was to its guests. In the two years after, a few rumors flew around about possible new rides. Stakes were even laid out near the Corkscrew leaving guests to believe another new roller coaster may have been in the works. No new ride was ever announced however. Our hopes were raised again when actual plans for a new water attraction were released to the town of Salem near the end of the 2016 season. Even Canobie had finally decided on a new ride. But then, a similar attraction at a different park on a different continent killed 4 people. That was enough to scare Canobie out of this new deal. Would our river rapids ride have been much more modern with the latest safety devices and made by a different manufacturer? Yes. But, I still think it is understandable why Canobie did not want the slightest risk to the safety of their guests with the river rapids ride.
If it takes Canobie so long to get new rides why do they ever remove rides? Most recently we have seen the Tiki Maze, Vertigo Theater and Matternhorn say their farewells. None of these rides have yet been replaced by another attraction (although the Kiddie Ride the Autobahn was moved to the Veritigo Theater location to make way for Wave Blaster). The answer typically comes down to maintenance. There comes a time in almost any ride's life that the cost to upkeep the ride simply outweighs the benefit of having it in the park. Sometimes rides are replaced with newer models (Round Up -> Zero Gravity, Ocean Trip -> Boston Harbor Patrol) while other times they turn into hot dog stands or empty concrete pads.
It is my belief that Canobie truly wants to add new attractions to the park. Sometimes it just takes longer than expected for the right opportunity to arise. Sometimes the greatest idea to date is proposed and for safety or other reasons is shot back down. Here's to hoping that some ride - any ride has the chance to be added in 2017. If not this season, let's hope for another expansion as massive as the New Hampshire Explorer River Rapids area in 2018! Cheers to years of fun - new rides or old - it's just for fun!
These are stories from some of the most loyal Canobie fans. Our passion for the park shines through in our descriptions & words. These are our stories. Enjoy...