This won't be your usual edition of the Rumor Rodeo. Instead of reporting on rumors we've heard from around the industry, I am going to dispel a rumor that's been going around.
Dorney Park to replace Stinger with Liseberg's Kanonen
This one's been going around like wildfire. I've hesitated reporting on it so far because I feel like at this time, the rumor should be taken with a grain of salt. People want to believe this rumor because of a coincidental series of events, rather than facts.
In a shocking move this offseason, Dorney Park announced the removal of their Inverted Boomerang "Stinger". Stinger was constructed in 2012 after being moved from sister park California's Great America. Frequent downtime and low ridership plagued the ride. While nothing has been announced regarding its replacement, the park has revealed that the space will be used "for future planning and development of the park".
Many fans of the park have speculated that a new roller coaster will be replacing the old one. Specifically, some believe that the recently removed Kanonen from Liseberg in Sweden is what Cedar Fair is choosing to go in Stinger's spot.
Kanonen is an Intamin Accelerator roller coaster with a compact layout that is close in footprint to Stinger. Liseberg removed the ride a year ago to replace it with a B&M Dive Coaster, "Valkyria", as they just had constructed another launch coaster "Helix".
Those who came up with the rumor that the ride has been purchased by Cedar Fair claim that it may have been picked up in the bulk buy of flat rides from Europe a couple of years ago. Along with that, Kanonen was deeply discounted upon its sale listing, making it a headliner ride for the park at a highly reduced price. An account ran by Liseberg on Instagram has also liked a post from an amusement blog that displayed this rumor.
These are plausible reasons, but it does not mean that Dorney is even looking to replace Stinger with a roller coaster addition, let alone Kanonen. Let's explore some reasons why:
Dorney's Size: Dorney remains one of the smaller parks in the chain, and it loses a lot of attendance to nearby parks that have more prestige. On the average summer day, it is not uncommon to find more of the park's visitors in the water park than on the dry side. IF Dorney is looking to add a coaster, they may go for something cheaper, and lower risk. By the time Kanonen is purchased, shipped, installed, and any necessary updates are made, it will be a mid-tier capital investment.
Maintenance Costs: I haven't heard a lot about Kanonen's downtime, and sources state that Kanonen was one of the more reliable Intamin Accelerator roller coasters. However, it still takes a lot of money to maintain a roller coaster with a launch system of this magnitude. Cedar Fair is very familiar with these costs as Top Thrill Dragster and Xcelerator are in the same chain. Dorney is a smaller park with lower attendance, and it may not be suitable to build a roller coaster with high maintenance costs, and not generate interest. Stinger suffered from this same issue. Maintenance budgets for this park will be lower than that of the flagship properties.
Hand-Me-Down Status: Yes, Cedar Fair has invested a lot in their used European flat ride fleet. But I cannot think of a roller coaster addition off the top of my head that was purchased outside of Cedar Fair. Executives of the company have been known to move coasters from park-to-park, but are wary of bringing outside machinery that they do not know the condition of. Just because it ran good at Liseberg does not mean that it will have the up-time that Dorney desires. The flat rides that were purchased were specifically chosen due to the chain's knowledge of their operational needs. Kanonen's systems are well known by Cedar Fair, but Intamin Accelerator roller coasters have been known to have issues.
Other Options: Cedar Fair has shown their willingness to try new concepts this year. For the first time, Cedar Fair is working with Rocky Mountain Construction, and has rekindled their relationship with Gerstlauer and GCI (with Mystic Timbers and Ghostrider's updates). A GCI wooden roller coaster along the lines of Prowler or Renegade, an RMC Raptor model, or a Gerstlauer roller coaster would all likely be cheaper installations than the final cost of installing Kanonen. This should be appealing for a park that hasn't spent a lot on additions over the past few seasons.
I will definitely be following this rumor going forwards into the 2018 season. I could be completely wrong, as nobody really knows for sure what will be added to Dorney besides Cedar Fair executives. If more signs of Kanonen show up, I will post updates, but for now, I will keep this under "pipe dream status".