The Blog Flume Filter for May 2, 2013
Written by Jeff Elliott
Disneyland – Mickey & the Magical Map is set to open May 25th at the Fantasyland Theater. Okay, with the newsy bits completed, I have to say that this really impresses me. It is using newer technology to lipsync the character with the music, they are using what looks like live musicians, which means that it is possible that the voice is not prerecorded but done on the spot by someone talented and a puppeteer. Even the movement of King Louie is impressive as it looks like the performer seems to grasp the unique movements of the character. Having seen none of the rest of the performance, I think I would make it a point to see this show…and I rarely see shows, so that is saying a whole lot.
Epcot – The only reason I’m including this is because I know how many people were upset about the whole magic wand thing and Spaceship Earth. But I think this is cool, so just deal with it. I imagine on the ground looking up at this is just shy of spectacular. I would then have to wonder about what else in the future will be done utilizing this system. I mean, wouldn’t it be extremely expensive to go through all of this effort and then never use it again?
Tokyo Disneyland – Star Tours 2.0 has soft opened. Among the many special touches that this version has is a recruitment video for people to join the Empire complete with soft padding nearby for when you pass out after Darth Vader does the throat choking thing on you.
Disney Parks – There was a major, super huge announcement made this week. Disneyland, California Adventure, and Magic Kingdom will be opened for 24 hours from 6am to 6am starting May 24th. Yeah, well, this limited time magic is very, very limited. What is the point of going to the park on that day when you know that the entire world will be going to the parks on that day and it will take you 24 hours to accomplish what you could normally do in 5 hours. And let’s be clear here, this is a perk specifically designed for annual pass holders, because if you are just a regular guest, you will want to avoid this like rabid monkey flu unless you like 16 hour waits for a single ride.
Walt Disney World – You may want to ask the esteemed Mr. Niles about this because I don’t cover restaurants. But. The California Grill at the Contemporary Resort is getting an Iron Chef makeover with the kitchen on stage. Yawn. How about a ride? How about a ride where you order your meal on a touch screen while going up the lift hill and then in the final turn of the coaster, you zip past a window with your arm out and they do a 50 mph handoff of your lunch. Until then, let’s leave the culinary experiences to those who don’t think McDonald’s is an upgrade from the food they know how to cook themselves.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom – In order to be able to check the correct box and take the tax deduction for being an educational experience, Disney is now finally ready to unleash the fury of the Wilderness Explorers onto the park. I hate to point out that there will be no wilderness involved and certainly no wilderness exploring. In fact I would be surprised if there was any dirt involved in any of the missions and, from what I hear, wilderness seems to have a lot of dirt. I personally wouldn’t know since I live in a city and in the city they consider weeds growing between the cracks in the pavement to be “agriculture”, cockroaches are “wildlife”, and the stinking beasts that live in the city zoo which are called “captives”.
Once Upon A Time – For those of you who actually have time to watch TV, I have heard that Once Upon A Time is relatively popular even though it is on ABC. Since Disney owns ABC, they figured that what the park really needs is crossover appeal to all of those people who haven’t been off the couch for years and need to be made aware of the Disney Parks. While they’re at it, they could also do a TV show with the Cirque Du Soleil performers doing interesting tricks off of the catwalks of the still closed Space Mountain.
Star Wars – According to director JJ Abrams, John Williams is going to be on board to score the next movie. Apparently it was cheaper just to get John Williams than to pay him to license his Star Wars music again. Which, to me, is a bit of a bummer since I was hoping for Danny Elfman to go all Oingo Boingo with the canteen music. With Star Wars day on May (the) 4th I would have expected some bigger news, like Carrie Fisher getting a personal trainer or something like that.
Cedar Point – Earlier than they were planning on making the official announcement, demolition has started on the Blue Streak. Rumor has it that the coaster is coming down in order to put up an office for the court appointed return of COO Jack Falfas way far away from the rest of the staff.
Knott’s Berry Farm – Coast Rider is testing. This is a small wild mouse coaster. So the big question is: why do we care? The answer is: If we pretend like we care, then Knott’s will start doing the right thing with some of their other attractions, like refurbing their mine ride, giving Mystery Lodge a technology boost and refresh of the story, and actually getting around to building that theorized 500ft tall coaster they keep fertilizing the rumor mill with. You aren’t going to complete against your neighbor’s Cars Land without doing something really serious soon.
Kings Island – The park put up some construction barriers to make everyone think that there is construction going on behind the “construction barrier” in order to not have to explain to guests why they are still paying the same price for tickets when a major attraction was knocked down for marshmallow cookers. While there are rumors about Kings Island getting a replacement into that area by 2014, as of yet they have withheld any news even so remote and uninteresting as to be included here. At least we can guess that “big wooden roller coaster with loop” is out of the running.
Kennedy Space Center – One of the staffers, while trying to avoid the mad kids flocking to their inappropriate-at-a-museum Angry Birds exhibit stumbled across a large object covered in shrink wrap. When they pulled the corner a bit, they found that it was the Space Shuttle Atlantis, so they decided to pull the rest of the shrink wrap off and think about putting it on display. In other space related news, the Russian Space Agency finally figured out that if the US has no way of getting into space on their own, then they can charge any fee that they want to charge in order to ferry people to and from the International Space Station. It would have only cost N*Sync $20 million to take Lance Bass out to the space station and leave him there, but now the Russians want $70 million per person to act as the world’s space station taxi service.
Blue Collar Country Theme Park – Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, and Daniel Lawrence Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy, to those of you who consider a character to be a person) are putting together a theme park in Alabama. They have plans to build as many as 6 more parks if this one goes over well. I have to say that it will be interesting to go on rides that were put together with duct tape. At this point, they have a plot of land and a bunch of work to do, but they probably have deep enough pockets and connections to Git-R-Dun.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to come up with some ride ideas for the Blue Collar Theme Park…although a roller coaster with a beer tap on the train immediately comes to mind. They could take the Knights in White Satin ride from Hard Rock Park and change it slightly to make it an exploration Inside Larry’s Brain… Any other ideas?
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