The BLOGFlume—Everything Big and Small, or Vice Versa
Small parks making news and Disney news.
Written by Russell Meyer
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Morey’s Piers.com 2/11/05
Morey’s Piers, on the New Jersey Shore, is adding a new drop tower called AtmosFEAR. The tower will be 140 feet tall and actually launch riders downward (similar to the larger S&S thrust towers) accelerating to speeds up to 50 MPH before hitting the magnetic brakes, which will bring passengers smoothly back to earth. The attraction will also feature special lightning, fog, and sound effects that will enhance the riders’ experience. Morey’s Piers is recognized as the largest seaside amusement park in the western hemisphere, and is actually a collection of four piers stretching along five miles of the Jersey shore. I’ve never been a huge fan of the seaside amusement parks, but just the fact that someone has enough money to add a new attraction is surprising. Many of these once great bastions of family entertainment are falling faster than Grammy Award TV ratings.
Speaking of seaside parks falling by the wayside, Jubilee Park in Carolina Beach, North Carolina will be demolished and rezoned for a residential and retail complex. The park was just up the coast from Myrtle Beach, but is yet another beach amusement park that just was not able to survive. As inland theme parks become much more popular, and continue to draw people away from the sun and sand, more and more of these classic amusement parks will slowly disappear.
Speaking of disappearing, precious real estate just disappeared on the top of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas, Nevada, as Insanity was air lifted to the top of the massive tower. Insanity is a truly “insane” ride that will fling riders around in a circle face down over the edge of the 109-story tower. There was a one-week delay in airlifting the attraction to the top of the tower because of high winds, which will push the grand opening of the ride to March 10, 2005. Xscream pushed thrill rides to a new level, but Insanity looks to be one of the most thrilling and terrifying rides ever constructed.
It appears that leaked copies of the recently released DisneyWar by James B. Stewart have not made a huge dent on Robert Iger’s chances of becoming Disney’s next CEO. The Walt Disney Company made a plea to have the book held up because of the author's use of unnamed sources which paint many people in Disney's top ranks in a poor light including the heir apparent Robert Iger. The book repeatedly refers to Iger as insecure, arrogant, and weak. However, despite the biting criticism, preliminary reports from the annual meeting held last Friday in Minneapolis, Minnesota show that 92% of stockholders' votes were cast in favor of Michael Eisner remaining on the Walt Disney Board, and very little noise was heard from the Roy E. Disney/Stanley Gold camp. This latest vote appears to pave the way for Robert Iger to become CEO in 2006. In fact, Michael Eisner painted a very rosey picture for shareholders at the annual meeting citing strong rating this season for ABC, the lowest performing sector of the Disney empire, thanks to the huge hits Desperate Housewives and Lost. Michael Eisner seems unwavered from the latest attacks from James B. Stewart's DisneyWar, and almost seems to be taunting his most stauchest critics Disney and Gold as Disney is seeing a return to the success it saw in the early and mid 1990s.
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