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JOE TOURIST - All I Want For Christmas

It's an open letter to Santa. Joe Lane lists off what he's wants for Christmas for Disney and Universal.

Written by Joe Lane
Published: December 22, 2004 at 10:28 AM

JOE TOURIST - All I Want For Christmas
An Open Letter To Santa

My two front teeth, a BB gun, a hula hoop AND my own Mean Green Machine. But seriously, I do hope you folks sent your Christmas wish lists to Santa in plenty of time. It occured to me that, being the theme park fan that I am, perhaps Santa could see some changes happen in our Central Florida parks? Here's hoping.

Dear Santa,

This is Joe. I hope this letter finds you well and in plenty of time for Christmas Eve. I've been very well-behaved (aside from a speeding ticket, but that was under unfair circumstances--you know me). I cleaned my room, ate my vegetables and I always respect my parents (ask 'em, they'll vouch for me).

Anyways, as you've probably already guessed, this isn't a social call, but rather I'm sending you a wish list for this year. There's the usual haul I'm looking forward to: DVDs, CDs, video games and so on, but I have a few special requests to go on my list this year and I'm hoping you can deliver. You CAN deliver, right? You ARE Santa Claus, are you not?

First, I want my very own Incredible Hulk Coaster. Full size, please, that's very important.

Second, I'd like to see Michael Eisner slacken his iron grip on his finances and start pouring it into some worthwhile theme park projects. Eisner has stated he will resign in 2006 once his contract has ended, so I'm hoping, if the embattled CEO wishes to leave on a high note that he does so by buffing up the parks and making them shine.

Third, I want to see a worthwhile attraction planned for the old 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea area in Fantasyland. Now that Disney has successfully demolished and paved over the old lagoon, perhaps we can get something nice put in place--not some silly play area or Meet N' Greet area, but a truly remarkable dark ride--something that can rival the technology of Spiderman and is way more exciting than just another Dumbo clone (a Dumbo clone next to the original Dumbo--I wouldn't put it past them).

And while you're at it, Santa, could you have them change the film in PhilharMagic from the old celluloid to digital? In its current state, the picture has grown horribly blurry and the dirt on the projector is starting to interfere with the 3D effects. I've never seen such a sorry state for a 3D film--not even at the aging Muppet*Vision over at the Studios. It's sad, really.

Speaking of the Studios, for the fourth item on my wish list, I'd like to see some rides and shows replaced and installed throughout. I've heard the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Play It! show has been rumored to be on the chopping block, likely to be replaced with an action show. If you could, Santa, be sure the show will NOT be based on the Power Rangers. And since Kingdom Hearts has grown in popularity, perhaps we could have a show featuring those video game characters in the spirit of Terminator 2:3D? Just make sure they don't ruin the franchise for me. Thank you, sir.

And I'd also like my own Incredible Hulk Coaster. In green. Well, it's the only color, but I'm not picky, I just want a roller coaster, that's all.

Fifth, I'd like to see the Haunted Mansion Holiday finally make it out here to Orlando. I really love Nightmare Before Christmas (no offense to you, 'Sandy Claws') and if you can't get me the Jack Skellington lights or the candle holder or the snow globe, then I will settle for a theme park attraction overlay. See? I'm easy to please.

Sixth, I'd like to see Universal build a new ride at Islands of Adventure for 2005--or at least confirm something for next year. A grand E-ticket attraction, like the rumored Jurassic Park Jeep Adventure. Something fun and exciting and mind-blowing. I don't want to see another off-the-shelf attraction like Storm Force or the Flying Unicorn--and I don't care about the Sylvester McMonkey McBean's crazy-car-whatchamacallits anymore--I'm tired of waiting for those things to open.

Also, Santa, while you're at Universal, don't forget the Hulk Coaster.

I'd also like to see Universal bring back more of their streetmosphere performers. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the characters UO features now, but I'd like to see a lot of the movie stars return to the Studios, like Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Marilyn Monroe, Doc Brown, and so on and so forth.

And that Incredible Hulk Coaster? Just make sure we can put the loading platform in the kitchen. Riding that thing is like drinking ten cups of coffee in the morning--it's just what I need to wake up and get going.

I hope to hear from you soon, Mr. Claus. Thank you for your time and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sincerely,
- Joe Lane

P.S. Don't forget, it's spelled Hulk. H-U-L-K.

Readers' Opinions

From Derek Potter on December 22, 2004 at 4:59 PM
I would like my own little pick me up for the morning. Santa I would like a full sized, properly functioning Top Thrill Dragster. If the Hulk is like ten cups, than Dragster is like twenty....perfect for my all nighter studio sessions.
From Dru Kniskern on December 22, 2004 at 11:43 PM
I have pretty good sources that the former 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is going to be made into the 1000 acre woods from Pooh Bears fame.
From Joe Lane on December 23, 2004 at 9:07 AM
I've heard this also, along with the possibility that half of the area could also be turned into a Princess-themed play area and Meet 'n' Greet.

Somehow I'm not surprised: Pooh Bear and the Princesses are two of Disney's biggest selling points, it makes sense that they would build some areas that would cater solely to their younger audiences--I just hope they make it all look a litte imaginative

From Michael Patalano on December 24, 2004 at 9:45 PM
Those meet and greets (Winnie the Pooh, etc.) will just be temporary until they can decide on a new attraction. Personally, I want them to go big--big in size, budget, effects, etc.

-Michael

From kyle sussman on December 25, 2004 at 10:37 AM
I am jewish, but for Hannukah I would like a couch with a 60' inch plasma that could be a 4-D virtual roller coaster game with hundreds of rides to chose from. This game would actually make you fell like you are riding the rides.


-Kyle Sussman

From Joe Lane on December 25, 2004 at 4:37 PM
The thing that scares me with Disney is that a lot of temporary changes usually become permanent. Pooh is such a popular character--the response will be greatly positive from all the little kids who want to see their own Pooh characters in the 100 Acre Wood. All you do is plant some fake trees and schedule your characters in the area and you have an attraction that takes up space and pleases a target audience.

I sure would like to see Disney prove me wrong, though.

From Justin Cornwall on December 26, 2004 at 10:12 AM
Well, Christmas was yesterday but what I wanted was Back To The Future, The Ride at USH to explode, or just go out of commish. than have them make a Spider-Man ride or something Marvel themed seeing as they tore down the Marvel Cafe down for Panda Express....

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