Running a theme park isn't easy. Just ask Disney (NYSE:DIS), Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD), and General Electric (NYSE:GE), as all three had to close their Florida parks early over the weekend as Hurricane Charley came roaring ashore.

Then you have the wreck that is Six Flags (NYSE:PKS). The regional park operator is suffering through another year of turnstile defections, and its debt-heavy balance sheet is quivering over the projection that the company isn't looking to generate free cash flow until at least 2006.

Consider Disney's humbling admission last week that attendance has been lower this summer at its California parks. No, you can't win them all, but mull over the fact that the company is blaming the traffic slump on high gas prices, terrorism fears, and a lack of discounts being offered to local residents. Bad management? You bet. Even a potty-trained toddler firing up his copy of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 can tell you that if fuel prices and safety concerns are keeping the out-of-towners away, then the last thing you want to do is dissuade the locals.

Dud sector? Not when you consider Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN). Fickle as this sector has been, this operator has managed to be consistently profitable. While Six Flags grew its chain too quickly and has now been forced to sell off some of its assets, Cedar Fair has acquired strategic pieces slowly and, ultimately, effectively.

Yes, the company is set up as a limited partnership, and its 6% yield may make the units more apropos for our Income Investor newsletter readers than to Hidden Gems subscribers. However, shouldn't the fact that the company has hiked its payout for 17 consecutive years also give investors some peace of mind when it comes to the company's consistent growth and its predictability?

It may seem ironic that the company operating the world's tallest roller coaster may also be its most down-to-earth when it comes to achieving simple fiscal tenets, but it's true. The company knows all about building the wildest thrill rides, but its units as an investing vehicle have also proved to be one smooth ride.

Have you ever been to Cedar Fair's flagship Cedar Point park? What's the wildest roller coaster that you have ever been on? Have you heard about the new scream machines being built at Paramount's King's Island or Busch Gardens Tampa next year? All this and more in the Rollercoaster Loving Fools discussion board. Only on

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has never been able to turn down a good coaster. Truth be told, he has never been able to turn down a bad coaster, too. He owns shares of Disney as well as units in Cedar Fair.