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?
Now that Jeff has shown how little journalistic integrity he really has by reporting that Cedar Point is demolishing the Blue Streak without verifying his facts, here is the true story. A truck working on the new entrance plaza for Cedar Point was attempting to leave the area via a drive-thru that passes through the Blue Streak support structure. He forgot the lower his truck bed, and the truck did rather substantial damage to the coaster. Cedar Point is hoping to have the damage repaired in time for the May 11th opening day for 2013.
The present status of employment of the truck driver is unknown at this time.
Jeff, just because your local park, Elitch Gardens, doesn't have a coaster that can match Cedar Point's weakest coaster, please stop trying to tear ours down. It's the Blue Streak- stop showing your "Green Streak of Envy."
Jeff's cutesy rambling can be quite annoying at times...aside from that, my only comment is: what took so long for Star Tours 2.0 in Tokyo? Wasn't Tokyo an early partner in the development of the new version? Isn't it pretty much the same as the stateside versions?
I had buried two news stories into one post. The old COO of Cedar Fair was reappointed to his position by a court. But since he is coming back under not so happy circumstances, it would be for the best if his office was nowhere near the other offices. Since they were trying to knock down the Blue Streak, I combined the stories...
Jeff,I had not heard about the old COO being reinstated by court order to CF. I have about as much interest in corporate bureaucracy as you have in themed restaurants- a vague awareness of their existence but nothing that I will plan my park visit around. If you really want to tear down a Cedar Point coaster AND provide office space for the COO, take down Mean Streak and build his new office on that spot. It is much farther away from the CF offices than the Blue Streak location and would remove the most dangerous ride at Cedar Point.
They can't say Redneck??? It can be racist. Better not have any Confederate flags or someone will sue.
Oh well. Good idea while it lasted.
The idea of a country western music park with plenty of beer and Hooters comes to mind.
Rides: Beer Scrambler - Drink 2 beers. Try to stay on without throwing up.
Mule Coaster with mule shaped coaster cars and country music piped into the seatbacks.
Published: May 3, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Blue Collar Test Track
You hop into your obnoxiously loud truck with a shotgun strapped to the back, both side windows broken out and spilled beer updated hourly. You ride simulating how it would feel driving after a 6 pack of Bud (though this would feel too normal for many of the guests). During the ride, you pull out your shotgun (light emitting, not bullet emitting unless you get the lucky truck) and shoot at badly animated stuffed game. Mid-ride, there is a 3 minute stop in a simulated deer stand while the 3 rednecks tell really bad redneck jokes on a 3D iMax video display (Low res to save money). Of course, no 3D glasses handed out (though this would feel too normal for many of the guests). Finally you finish the ride with a speed run with a broken tailpipe dragged behind you (though this would feel too normal for many of the guests). At the end of the ride, you get a free sample cup of Bud (Bud Light Light for the kids) served in a brown paper bag.
Outside the ride, two adjacent restaurants - One Hooters and the other an Alabama truck stop (though this would feel too normal for many of the guests). And a gift shop where you can buy a bloody life size plush animal celebrating your best kill.
Published: May 4, 2013 at 9:52 AM
For some reason I thought about Jeff Foxworthy's famous "You Might Be a Redneck" jokes and how it would be cool to have that in a ride with the same ride system as Cat in the Hat at Islands of Adventure or Winnie the Pooh at Magic Kingdom. As you go through the ride, you twist and turn through several rooms just like the previously mentioned rides only each room is themed to a specific "You Might Be a Redneck" joke.
Examples: If your wife's hairdo was ever damaged by a ceiling fan... If you ever mowed your lawn and found a car... If your grandma has ever started a fight at a local sporting event... If you think God looks a lot like Hank Williams, Jr... If directions to your house involve "turn off the paved road"... If your car has no wheels, but your house does... If you have ever been too drunk to fish...
Just imagine all of those in animatronic form and you have "You Might Be a Redneck: the Ride."
That above comment was funny. If you need more capacity for the ride, use the Doom Buggy system with all the cars decorated like junk cars, bathtubs, etc. Plus end the ride in the bathroom with the phrase "If you ever heard your wife say "Honey, could you get the transmission out of the tub, I want to take a bath," you might ...
Published: May 6, 2013 at 2:35 PM
The last thing Knott's needs is a 500 ft. tall iron ride, adding yet another eyesore to the farm's already crowded skyline. They need to put their focus on bringing in another family dark ride... the old show building to Kingdom of the Dinosaurs is screaming for some attention. That and continue to enrich their themed environments. They are on the right track with the new area for the Boardwalk, and they're done a amazing job in the recent refurbishments to Ghost Town. Let's hope they continue moving in that direction.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.