Theme Park Advent Calendar
Recently, I've found myself quietly grumbling a lot as I scroll through theme park news. I'm growing weary of the blockbuster action IP + high-tech ride system formula.
Not that I won't be in line for that Stormtrooper Battle Escape ride as soon as I can - but I've honestly found myself more hyped for the left-field choices of late. Europa Park floating the idea of a Moulin Rouge ride. Alton Towers building a family coaster themed (honest-to-God, here) to The Wicker Man. An entire theme park in tribute to Tayto, Ireland's most popular potato chip brand.
So rather than just tut and moan, I've decided to commit to 25 days of coming up with unexpected ideas that I would find genuinely delightful. Not just for rides, but parks, hotels, operations… whatever inspires. And thought I would post here a) so I can't just forget about it, and b) in case others fancy joining in.
I'm not necessarily attempting to keep to the laws of physics, economics or intellectual property. But nothing truly fantastical. My only two rules are:
1. It must be something I would genuinely want to experience, rather than a pun or joke of an idea. (One-liners a la "The Trump Train" or whatever aren't the point here.)
2. It must be expressed succinctly - approximately the length of a tweet or less. (Definitely no TPA-length explanations!)
In advent calendar convention, it'll be one-a-day until Christmas. (I'm writing this on Dec 2nd, so will start with my first choice here, and a second straightaway in the comments below.) So I hope to see you in the comments below if you're similarly inspired! Apologies for spamming the discussion forum for the next month if not.
The Grand Budapest Hotel dark ride. Ideally created with creaky, old-school track tech (Mr Toad!) and animatronics.
Oh, and h/t to theatre director
Nice one David. Combine it with some kind of cathedral rooftop experience for Hunchback, and there's a legit Hugo land there.
December 6th - Cinnamon Sugar flavored cotton candy with a Churro as the stick.
A tame boat ride inspired by "The Little Prince"/"Le Petit Prince", the classic French children's book. Netflix distributed a beautifully-animated version of story a while ago (it's still available). I originally thought it would work great in the France pavilion at Epcot but that's pretty obviously not a possibility. I think it's great material for a children's ride of some type in some park somewhere.
Ryan - I've thought the same thing before! And I think it falls into the public domain next year actually (in Europe at least) so fingers crossed.
Honestly not a fan of Jimmy Fallon, so today I propose the natural replacement...
A Grimm Brothers dark ride in Germany at Epcot. Title it "Gruselmärchen" translated Scary Fairytales in German, A slightly scary attraction intended for mature audiences. No screens,just animatronics. You could include some classic Disney characters such as The Evil Queen/Witch. She was rather scary in Snow White's Scary Adventures. However, so many good stories to combine; Snow White, Hansel and Grettle, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Puss in Boots, The Ugly Duckling, etc. The last two might be a stretch to make scary but its a start.
Inspired by these solid traditional dark ride concepts...
Ben - can the last car of each train on the Werner Herzog coaster be the figure of a giant chicken? The chicken should have its head slightly cocked so it seems to be staring coldly at the entire train ahead of it. It's beak should be ever so slightly opened and there out to be what appears to be blood smeared across one side of its face and on its talons. I'd also like it if the tail of the chicken is made of huge ostrage feathers that will flutter in the wind as the train makes its way around the track. These feathers will need to be replaced frequently, but that is a small price to pay for that visual.