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  1. #1

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    Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    ...what do we do about it to get it changed?
    Seriously, to whom and where do we send the letters that will have the most impact? And forget email, it has be good old fashioned post to get people's notice.

  2. #2

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    Knott's Berry Farm
    8039 Beach Boulevard.
    Buena Park, CA USA 90620

    I would probably just make it attn: to the new Park Manager, Raffi Karprelyan

    And while I fully agree about the music, the other changes Raffi has made since he's been on board have been nothing short of amazing. The difference between our visit in late December to our visit last weekend was staggering (in a good way).


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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    I'm glad that Knott's is doing more restoration and maintenance, but it still seems like they're going more for the Six Flags crowd. Go ahead and send a letter if you want to, but it sounds to me like Raffi's got his mind made up. This was a personal decision from him and, given his somewhat condescending tone in his interview ("I get it; you're a theme person.") I doubt it's going to change anytime soon.
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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    ^ Everything Raffi has done with the exception of the music has actually all been about theme.

    That's why the music thing just doesn't make any sense to me, it just doesn't match up.


  5. #5

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    It's disingenuous to promote themselves as "American's first theme park," and play Ace of Base in Ghost Town. If they don't want to bother with theme, then just abandon it altogether with no pretense and compete with Six Flags. If I'm the only one sending a letter then it won't make any difference. If a few dozen people do so then at least it will get his attention and perhaps mull his decision again. I'd like to send a letter to President Matt as well, to where should that be addressed?

  6. #6

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    Quote Originally Posted by indianajack View Post
    It's disingenuous to promote themselves as "American's first theme park," and play Ace of Base in Ghost Town. If they don't want to bother with theme, then just abandon it altogether with no pretense and compete with Six Flags. If I'm the only one sending a letter then it won't make any difference. If a few dozen people do so then at least it will get his attention and perhaps mull his decision again. I'd like to send a letter to President Matt as well, to where should that be addressed?
    It's extremely unfair to say that Knott's is abandoning theme when your sole example is the music in Ghost Town. Knott's is not Disneyland nor does it pretend to be, but all the changes that have recently been made have actually enhanced theme AND improve the general overall appeal of the park.

    This comment is far too harsh and tries to extrapolate one "controversial" element to prove a larger point that may be moot.

    ---------- Post added 02-26-2012 at 02:43 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    ^ Everything Raffi has done with the exception of the music has actually all been about theme.

    That's why the music thing just doesn't make any sense to me, it just doesn't match up.
    Bingo

    ---------- Post added 02-26-2012 at 02:48 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    I'm glad that Knott's is doing more restoration and maintenance, but it still seems like they're going more for the Six Flags crowd. Go ahead and send a letter if you want to, but it sounds to me like Raffi's got his mind made up. This was a personal decision from him and, given his somewhat condescending tone in his interview ("I get it; you're a theme person.") I doubt it's going to change anytime soon.
    There was nothing in that quote that implied condescension. He simply stated a fact, that the interview seemed to focus on theme more. Nothing wrong with that, simply a difference in opinion. Again, Knott's is not Disneyland but the direction they are going right now is very promising. The park is hybrid between Disney and SFMM. Where the balance rests is yet to be seen, but you'll continue to tear your hair out if your barometer is Disney (as it appears to be). The general barometer should be the following - is this park turning out a high-quality product. Based on the changes so far I would say they are going in the right direction very quickly. Is it perfect? No. Nothing is though. So far there's too much to be excited over to nit-pick over objectively mismatching music. It's admittedly weird, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    I believe you underestimate the importance of "background" music. As I said in my post above, just imagine a film like the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with the Ace of Base playing as audio accompaniment, and not Ennio Morricone's incredible score. Any good filmmaker or documentary producer will attest to the utmost importance of having appropriate backing music to setting the mood and emotional cues that will support the visual. Frankly I don't think I could go to Knott's with the music currently playing in Ghost Town. Not only is it not theme appropriate, the music is old, stale and been played ad nauseum since it debuted in the 80s and 90s.

    As for Raffi's quote, it did read like condescension, but we don't know how he delivered the line so I give it a pass. But it is peculiar that he dismisses theme in a park that advertises itself prominently as America's First Theme Park. Don't put yourself out there as a theme park if you don't take theme seriously. That's false advertising.

    As for the recent refurbishments and refreshments to the park, they are of course great. But Knott's has had an uncanny ability the last two decades to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They had a great park and then wrecked it. The management has closed one popular ride after another while adding iron rides. If the goal is to aim for the middle between Disney and SFMM then they're dead because they'll be treading water trying to please all people all of the time but actually pleasing very few. They have to find a third way (Legoland did and they're doing amazing business), or abandon theme and become a Cedar Fair iron park competing with Six Flags. I can conceptualize that third way for Knott's but this post is already long enough. Fixing the park to support Knotts's unique heritage and theme will take more than refurbishments and new paint. It will take a unique vision.

    In sum, this is not simply nit-picking music, as the issue strikes to the very core of a Knott's theme experience. The music is the latest straw that finally broke the camel theme's back. It is as if the theme baby was already halfway out of the bathtub on his own, and the music then drove him out all the way. Bringing back the music would at least show the powers that be get it so the baby returns to the water.
    Last edited by indianajack; 02-27-2012 at 04:52 AM.

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    [QUOTE=indianajack;1056713860]
    I believe you underestimate the importance of "background" music. As I said in my post above, just imagine a film like the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with the Ace of Base playing as audio accompaniment, and not Ennio Morricone's incredible score. Any good filmmaker or documentary producer will attest to the utmost importance of having appropriate backing music to setting the mood and emotional cues that will support the visual. Frankly I don't think I could go to Knott's with the music currently playing in Ghost Town. Not only is it not theme appropriate, the music is old, stale and been played ad nauseum since it debuted in the 80s and 90s.
    I think your point that Ace of Base is stale is probably more valid than the "doesn't match theme" argument. I agree. If you're going to play upbeat music that doesn't match theme you probably need to try for songs everybody knows or newer stuff. I was actually listening to Ace of Base a few months ago and a friend of mine that's 21 (I'm 29 tomorrow) asked "is that one of your old people groups?" BUT the general idea of picking upbeat songs isn't necessarily an awful idea.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I do think you're being way too harsh if you won't go visit Knott's, a historical and lovely park with so much to offer, just because of music. Maybe your problem is with Ace of Base?lol

    A
    s for Raffi's quote, it did read like condescension, but we don't know how he delivered the line so I give it a pass. But it is peculiar that he dismisses theme in a park that advertises itself prominently as America's First Theme Park. Don't put yourself out there as a theme park if you don't take theme seriously. That's false advertising.
    Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I have heard great things about Knott's management and don't have too much reason to believe Raffi would be condescending. The quote came off as a stern way of saying "look, I get what you're saying but we're never going to agree so we need to move on." There's nothing wrong with this. He needed to move on to another topic. In fact I think the interviewer stuck on the topic too long but that's just me. Both interviewer and interviewee had the right to act the way they did. No one went over a line and appeared professional in the report.
    As for the recent refurbishments and refreshments to the park, they are of course great. But Knott's has had an uncanny ability the last two decades to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They had a great park and then wrecked it. The management has closed one popular ride after another while adding iron rides. If the goal is to aim for the middle between Disney and SFMM then they're dead because they'll be treading water trying to please all people all of the time but actually pleasing very few. They have to find a third way (Legoland did and they're doing amazing business), or abandon theme and become a Cedar Fair iron park competing with Six Flags. I can conceptualize that third way for Knott's but this post is already long enough. Fixing the park to support Knotts's unique heritage and theme will take more than refurbishments and new paint. It will take a unique vision.
    Well the Disney/SFMM hybrid statement is the only way I can articulate what Knott's is. I am admittedly not as learned in the theme park business as many of you are. Maybe there's another way to articulate what Knott's is but I'm not sure.

    I also would not knock Knott's management right now since they have what's-his-face (the former Disney guy) who is widely praised not only here but on other forums as well. Sorry, his name slips my mind at the moment. I'm liking what I'm seeing in the improved quality of the park and, for the first time in nearly 10 years I'm contemplating going during a non-Haunt event and even purchasing annual passes!

    In sum, this is not simply nit-picking music, as the issue strikes to the very core of a Knott's theme experience. The music is the latest straw that finally broke the camel theme's back. It is as if the theme baby was already halfway out of the bathtub on his own, and the music then drove him out all the way. Bringing back the music would at least show the powers that be get it so the baby returns to the water.
    With everything they're attempting to do to improve the park it is nit-picking. Who knows...maybe they'll change the music. Remember that they have new management. This means that a lot of things will be tested and be in flux in the near future. But not going because of Ace of Base? C'mon.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    I just renewed my season pass after 3 months and went inside the Park yesterday, 3/2, to check everything out. On the whole, I'm completely thrilled and amazed at all the improvements Knott's is making...it looks awesome! I believe the Park is (finally) going in the right direction!

    However, I agree that the music choice for Ghost Town is totally off and needs to change right away to something more accurate for that area. I don't care what Raffi says, he's wrong in his way of thinking. I believe with enough "power of the people" this can be changed. Go to City Hall and complain, write letters, send emails, whatever it takes. Eventually it'll change.

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    I went earlier today and heard the music. It really, REALLY didn't bother me at all. I actually agree with the choice. I found the music to be uplifting and put me in a good mood. This does not mean critics are wrong to criticize the choice. I'm simply saying that if there's a lot of other people out there like me (and the group I was with enjoyed it too), then management is probably doing the right thing to bring in the crowds and improve the overall feel of the park. It gets a thumbs up from me.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by indianajack View Post
    I believe you underestimate the importance of "background" music. As I said in my post above, just imagine a film like the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with. . .
    Good post, IndianaJack! I'm grateful that Raffi K. isn't running Disneyland. He'd seriously damage Main Street, Adventureland and the rest of the park with his upbeat contemporary music. Knott's Ghost Town is the most Disney-like part of the park and is worthy of Main Street-caliber music.

    But even Disney used upbeat, out-of-place music from Brother Bear on Main Street when it opened the park each day around 2006, and after I saw Brother Bear I didn't even mind it, so long as it was restricted to the opening ceremonial ride dash. (Well- I also wouldn't mind hearing "When You Wish Upon a Star" as I left the park at night, but light rock would kill the magic.)

    The Ghost Town music doesn't make Knott's unbearable to me, but if Raffi were working for me, I'd make him change this. But thanks, Mr. Karprelyan, for the other improvements you're adding.

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyFunGuy View Post
    . . . However, I agree that the music choice for Ghost Town is totally off and needs to change right away to something more accurate for that area. I don't care what Raffi says, he's wrong in his way of thinking. I believe with enough "power of the people" this can be changed. Go to City Hall and complain, write letters, send emails, whatever it takes. Eventually it'll change.
    Not necessarily. There are
    still large, ugly, crowd-obstructing rock-like things at the entrance to Disneyland's Tomorrowland, and a conspicuous, abandoned Peoplemover track running through T.land. Disneyland has too much that is wonderful to boycott the park over things like that, and we just had a GREAT year with about ten visits to Knott's with our inexpensive APs. As long as we keep paying admission to enjoy what works, they won't care that some of us have some relatively minor objections. The music selection is weak, in my opinion, but it wouldn't keep me away from one of my favorite theme parks: Knott's.

    I guess Raffi is sort of a Jay Leno--condescending and capable of more, probably not offering what he himself would find most entertaining, but enthusiastically driven to please the masses, though he underestimates them.
    Raffi strives to be Target/Six Flags (
    well, maybe an improved Six Flags)/Leno,
    not
    Trader Joe's/Disneyland/Jon Stewart. (Fill in the comedian who makes you laugh the most.)

    Walt was a theme guy, Walter Knott probably was one too. Raffi's boss Matt O. was one when he ran Disneyland so well.

    Maybe Raffi will play "Achy Breaky Heart" all day one day, poll guests, then declare that they don't want western music.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 04-20-2012 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Embarrassing typos

  12. #12

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    I work in Ghost Town and although I agree that the music is out of place and annoying and I would love to see it be theme-appropriate, I must admit that every day, I do notice people literally dancing as they walk around. Raffi is right that familiar, upbeat music puts people in a good mood. I just hate hearing it in the Ghost Town setting.

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    Sometimes you gotta hand it to Knott's. It really takes a hard head to not get why playing C+C Music Factory in Ghost Town completely ruins the theme.

    But maybe Raffi knows something I don't know. Maybe bad dance music from the 90's and an old western town is a theme I'm just unaware of. Maybe there's a large demographic out there that says, "Yeah, I really enjoy Panning for Gold, but it would just be so much better if I could do it to Wilson Phillips instead."

    Last I drove by Knotts (since that's the closest I'm getting to the entrance...since I'm not renewing our passes...since I'm not the biggest fan of Sarah McGlachlan or Ace of Bass) I'm pretty sure they still had "America's 1st Theme Park" painted in bold purple. Maybe they should use some of the paint they've done such a good job of cleaning up the park with and just paint over it until they understand exactly what a 'theme park' is.

    Pop music in ghost town...pshhh. What an insult.
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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    This is twisted and I probably shouldn't admit it, but every time I read this thread, I imagine Raffi patting us all on our collective heads and saying, "You theme people are so cute!"

    That said, this reinforces further my belief that more and more nowadays, "theme" is synonymous w/ "decoration." It reminds me of a kid's birthday party: if the cups, plates, napkins, and party favors all have, say, Mickey on them, then people say the kid had a Mickey themed birthday party. Hmm, maybe I've created a new MC phrase. "Is it real theming or is it birthday party theming?"
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  15. #15

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    Re: Everyone Is Talking About the Pop Music in Ghost Town But...

    Quote Originally Posted by manifest View Post
    Sometimes you gotta hand it to Knott's. It really takes a hard head to not get why playing C+C Music Factory in Ghost Town completely ruins the theme.

    But maybe Raffi knows something I don't know. Maybe bad dance music from the 90's and an old western town is a theme I'm just unaware of. Maybe there's a large demographic out there that says, "Yeah, I really enjoy Panning for Gold, but it would just be so much better if I could do it to Wilson Phillips instead." . . .
    Funny!
    Then a little sad.

    Knott's is still a very good park with lots going for it,
    including Mystery Lodge, boysenberry pie, the Scary Farm event, three coasters I really like, gifted & hard working stunt men, a delightful Christmas-time atmosphere with some worthwhile Christmas plays in the little Birdcage Theater, a stagecoach ride pulled by strong and (at times) trotting horses, a train that gets robbed by funny bandits, many nice employees, interesting old log and mine car rides, Windseeker, lots of beautiful gardening,
    can-can dancers in the saloon show in the summer, the extreme wheels show in the summer, some good & some very good Snoopy-on-ice shows, a replica of Independence Hall, a park for three hours for free parking lot near the entrance, underpriced Season Passes, and bumper cars designed for fun-loving ten year olds instead of wimpy five year olds riding next to potentially litigious parents.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 05-04-2012 at 11:47 AM.

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