The BLOGFlume—Greetings From Texas
Celebrate Enterprise, Six Flags gears up, and California theme park safety.
Written by Russell Meyer
I’m writing to everyone from what many people around here seem to think is the greatest state in the universe, Texas, San Antonio, Texas to be exact. My wife and I planned a nice 5-day weekend vacation to celebrate having her sister married off, and all of the nonsense and drama that accompanied the weeding and planning. Yes, in addition to Space Center Houston, Austin, Natural Bridge Caverns, and the Mission Trail, We managed to fit in two of the Texas theme parks into our vacation (naturally), Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Sea World San Antonio. I will assemble a more formal trip report on the two surprisingly nice theme parks later this week, but now, it’s off to the weekend’s news…Tweet
Celebrate in Star Trek Style
While Paramount probably isn’t in the mood to celebrate its lowest rated Star Trek series, Paramount Parks, through the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton, is offering special packages to give Enterprise its final sendoff. The hotel/casino will be offering a number of “Salute to Enterprise” experiences that range in cost from $20 to $75. That includes admissions to the Star Trek Experience and Borg Invasion 4-D and a free drink for the lower end package, and the aforementioned included with a hors’douevres on the bridge, a special gift pack, and a show of the series finale in the Borg theater for those willing to spend a little more. Supplies are limited to 80 people for the lower end package and 48 for the deluxe package. So, the other 15 or so viewers of Enterprise may have to miss out on this special experience. Actually, $20 for admission to the two attractions is a pretty good price, but having to share the space with probably some of the craziest Trekkers on the planet will keep all but the die-hards away. Rick Berman, the current mastermind behind the Trek franchise actually doesn’t have anything on the drawing board, so the TV and movie world may be Trek-free for the first time in almost 18 years. I know most people out there could care less, but for me, the Star Trek franchise, up until Voyager, was some of the most innovative television you could get. However, with the diversification of cable channels, and the increasing popularity of Sci-Fi Channel series, particularly Battlestar Galactica (I can’t believe they shot Adama), and the repetitive Trek storylines, sci-fi-geeks began losing interest, and that Friday 8 PM time slot didn’t help much either. So here’s to the end of Enterprise, may she come out on DVD soon, her syndication deal be sweet, and her characters show up in a Paramount Park near you soon!
Miscellaneous Six Flags News
Six Flags New England, like many of the other non-year round Six Flags parks are getting cranked up for the 2005 season. However, the park will be opening without one of its announced new attractions. The park had announced that it would be opening a new up-charge attraction called Slingshot, but has decided not to add the attraction to the Crackaxle Canyon section of the park. The park will introduce two new rides for 2005 including Mr. Six Pandemonium, a spinning wild-mouse coaster, and Typhoon, a Master Blaster-style water coaster for its water park.
In other Six Flags news, Kingda Ka has reportedly begun testing, and rumors are that it may be ready for guests sometime in the middle of May. I’ll believe it when I see it running. The Golden Kingdom section of the park is still not complete, but the coaster section of the new Asian Jungle themed section of the park does appear to be near completion. The biggest question will be if the coaster will be able to perform consistently under full loads, and keep from extended period of down-time that has plagued just about every Intamin rocket-coaster in its first official month of operation.
Disney Against Stricter Safety Standards
Disney is seeking to overturn a ruling in California that would apply similar safety laws that apply to buses and trains to roller coaster and amusement park attractions. Other operators in California are also standing beside Disney in opposition to this new ruling, and feel that theme park attractions should be held to the “reasonable care” standard instead of the “utmost care and diligence” standard. This ruling could create a field day with lawyers that could severely hurt theme park’s ability to operate many attractions. The new “utmost care and diligence” standard would put the pressure on theme park owner to be prove that EVERYTHING possible was done to keep an attraction safe, and any well-trained lawyer could poke giant holes into just about any defense a theme park would put forward against an injury lawsuit. While I think theme parks should do everything they can to keep their attractions as safe as possible, many of us know that frequently injuries occur because of rider error. This new standard would put all of the pressure on the park to ensure that guests are following the rules, and if a guest is injured because they did not follow the rules, it’s the park’s fault for not making them follow the rules. Hopefully the California parks are able to get this ruling overturned, or we will see a flurry of lawsuits that could cripple the theme park industry.
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