This week’s Season Pass Podcast interviews the CEO of the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company – Matt Ouimet. Matt discusses his beginnings in the amusement and themed entertainment industry with Disney, the Disney Cruise Line, becoming the President of the Disneyland Resort, leading the amazing team behind Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, to leaving Disney for Education, consulting (possibly retiring), to ultimately taking lead to the extremely popular amusement park chain responsible for many great parks including Cedar Point, Canada’s Wonderland, Kings Island and Knott’s Berry Farm. Matt also discusses the future focus for Cedar Fair (which we are all unbelievably excited about) and the Keynote he’s presenting at the TEA Summit on April 4th! Enjoy!

  • horizonsfan

    Doug, I’m really looking forward to hearing this podcast. Matt Ouimet is legendary in the recent history of the Disney company, and I can’t wait to hear what he has to say about it. I expect there are a lot of great things in the future for Cedar Fair.

  • AB Born

    As I said before, Matt needs to come back to Disneyland.

  • eicarr

    I’m so happy that Knott’s, Gilroy Gardens and Great America is in such great hands.

    He hints of a new possible dark ride in the Dinosaur/Knott’s Bear-y Tales location!!!! Great America badly needs a dark ride too. Great America’s removal of the cars, train, skyway, theater shows, signature triple ferris wheel, etc. left nothing for me(I’ve skipped Great America for the distant Gilroy Gardens the last few years).

    I’m not a Six Flags fan, but I’m starting to become one of Cedar’s Fair.

  • jcruise86

    That was excellent!
    Can you now interview George Kalogridis,
    Thomas Staggs,
    and the new Disneyland prez. Michael Kolgrazier?

    Please listen to the first minute of your podcast with your theme music, sounds & opening conversation with each other before Matt come on. Would you like this if you were hearing that? Really? I thought it fell short of the rest of your excellent show with an obnoxious, immature & third-rate attempt to sound hip. It was just bad. So please rethink the opening of your show. It can still be bizarre and exciting–just make it better.

    Still, if you keep it the same it wouldn’t stop me from listing to future podcasts, because the enthusiasm and knowledge you brought to the interview was outstanding! Interesting that Eisner did sign on for making Disneyland much better for the 50th as a long-term investment. I’m NOT optimistic that George Kalogridis will be able to do the same with Staggs & Iger at WDW. OR maybe Disney has deliberately let Disney World decline & suck for about 10 years to save $, and so (they might hope) have a similar renaissance for its 50th in 2021. That’s a Loooooooong way off. Universal will have made some large advances by then. Maybe 17 million a year at the Magic Kingdom will continue despite price increases and insufficient new attractions.

    If Matt were at WDW his ideas about not overthinking the parks
    and keeping the fun less stressful
    might not fit with Staggs $800,000,000 MyMagic+ Famcuff bracelets.

    I love Knott’s and look forward to returning to Cedar Point for my third time!

    • jcruise86

      Oops! That’s “Michael Colglazier” at Disneyland!

    • Thanks to everyone for the kind words. Matt Ouimet is an amazing leader and I believe that Cedar Fair has a very bright future.
      jcruise86, thank you for giving the podcast a listen and I really appreciate the feedback. As for the intro comments, I’m humbled by your honesty and disappointment. I have to admit after 100+ episodes with this specific opening I haven’t received a negative reaction, so it’s always a positive to hear that there are sagacious individuals who find the production as third rate. The last thing we want is to frustrate the audience. I am actually in the middle of creating a “shorter” opening piece, however I’m not sure if it will satisfy what you’re looking for, but it is an attempt to continue to improve the podcast. We take these community suggestions to heart and strive create a better listening experience for you and the thousands who continue to listen. So thanks again for the wonderful post and I hope to improve our quality down the road. It’s great to hear from you and Take Care My Friend.

      • jcruise86

        While the first minute did give me a gangsta Mickey shiver, I probably should have kept that to myself. The following words from the same post better reflect how much I enjoyed this podcast:

        “That was excellent!…the enthusiasm and knowledge you brought to the interview [were] outstanding!”

        Again, I’d love to hear you interview George Kalogridis or Michael Colgrazier!

  • Eric Davis

    What a great show! It was a terrific interview, and it was awesome listening to Matt describe his career choices. Simply brilliant!

  • Gregg Condon

    What a great podcast. I see so many great things for CF coming in the very near future. Interesting to Raffi is now heading up CGA. I think this is another great move.

    • Awesome Gregg and Eric! Thank you so much.

      I acutally spoke with Raffi at Knott’s this weekend, he loves CGA! I think some great things are going to happen over the next 5-7 years in Santa Clara. With the new leadership in Cedar Fair, we’re going to see more of the traditional “Theme Park” in the near future.

      Also, jcruise86, again, thank you my friend. I completely understand. I hope to get some of those interviews you requested. If you get a chance check out the Lee Cockrell interview (ep. 186). He worked wonders for WDW. 😉

  • TRONAlex

    I have seen Knott’s the past year and Matt has made a “Disney” touch to everything. I am glad he’s working for Knott’s because they need all the help they can get. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kingdom of the Dinosaurs.

  • Gregg Condon

    Kind of off-topic, are you guys planning on being at Full Throttle Media Day?

    • Man, I wish we could make it, but unfortunately no. We’re looking at covering the refresh of Timber Mountain in Knott’s and GoldStriker at CGA instead. There’s always a few media events we have to miss out on.