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Jeff Elliott
Writer

The Blog Flume Filter: The Return of the Flume

Published: March 5, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Islands of Adventure – King Kong – While this should still be classified as a rumor, it looks like they are going to start digging behind the Thunder Falls restaurant any day now. As of a couple of days ago, trees have been marked, presumably deciding which ones will go and which ones will stay. There have also been trees marked around the Triceratops Encounter.

Disney’s California Adventure – The line for Soarin’ are going to act twice as long for the near term. They have one of the two theaters closed for rehab.

In other news, this park just turned 13 and managed to not burn down or have some kind of weird tragedy happen to it. I’m sure some of you are amazed that it wasn’t turned back into a parking lot after the first ten years, but it looks like Universal has learned from Disney.



Universal Studios Japan – This video is a couple of months old, but it shows the progress that they are making on Harry Potter Land



Epcot – According to the latest rumors (as in we won’t know if this is anywhere close to the truth until we see shovels in the ground) Imagineering has been working on some idea that would bring Frozen to the Norway Pavilion, with the intention of replacing Maelstrom. Just Blue Sky designs at this point…but it is nice to see them thinking about it. Disney was very quick to react to how popular Frozen has been. The characters from Frozen have seen crazy long lines since their first appearances at the parks.

Disneyland – I know this is old news, but I fear that if it is not mentioned here, it doesn’t exist. Thor: Treasures of Asgard opened up right next to the Iron Man exhibit in Innoventions.



Captain America – This Innoventions exhibit should open on March 7th in the general area of Thor and Iron Man.

Big Thunder Mountain is getting ready to open back up after a 6 month rehab that actually lasted 14 months. Cast Members should be performing on-ride testing by March 7th and it should open up to the rest of us by the end of March.

Tomorrowland Star Wars – Chalk this one up to a rumor, but there is talk about knocking out the Autotopia and Subs to put in a large Star Wars Land with a Speeder Bike attraction on the spot that Autotopia currently occupies.

Here is another installment in the Every Role is a Starring Role series:



Disney’s Magic Kingdom – Seven Dwarves - It looks like they only have a few final finishing touches to put on this ride. So it will open in time for Christmas.



Universal Studios Hollywood – Apparently the Terminator 2 building had enough room in it that the Despicable Me attraction will have two different pre-show areas and two different theaters. After the show, both theaters will dump out into the same Minion Dance Party and then into Super Silly Funland.

Here’s a Harry Potter Update for the West Coast:



Star Wars Weekend @ Disney’s Hollywood Studios – There has been a plus and a cut. The good news is that it will run for an extra week, from May 16th to June 15th on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The bad news is that the Hyperspace Hoopla has been cancelled. We have not forgotten you Hoopla!!









Busch Gardens Tampa – Falcon’s Fury – We have new video and a rare look inside of a drop tower.



Six Flags Great America – We have new videos for the new Goliath coaster from Rocky Mountain Coasters





Kings Island – Banshee has coaster cars on the track and the retheming of Flight Deck to The Bat is progressing well. If the public likes this change, then you can expect the names all of the rides in the park to change every few years.

Knoebels – This park has already announced what they are installing for the 2015 season, and steel is making a comeback. The new attraction will be called Impulse, a steel looping Zierer Tower Coaster.

Jazzland – In a prime candidate for the news of the unfathomable, a new proposal has been submitted to turn the former Six Flags New Orleans site back into Jazzland. Consider me very skeptical at this point. Considering how much Six Flags hated being there and how quickly they hit the door, I wouldn’t consider this proposal anything other than a wild dream until the shovels are in the sand.

Sochi Park – Showing a remarkable burst of speed right when it counted, Sochi Park at the Olympic Village in Russia just barely - crap we missed it…



Dollywood – Firechaser Express should start testing soon.



Lost Parks of Northern California – Santa’s Village – This is the ongoing history series by ACE of Northern California.



Star Wars Universe – It looks like we’ve gained access to some of the first footage from the new JJ Abrams Star Wars movie.



Ride of the Week – I have never seen a full video post of this ride, so it is going to get the first Ride of the Week for 2014: Sum of All Thrills at Epcot

Replies (9)

James Trexen

Published: March 5, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Great to finally see you back, Jeff. I hope those months off gave you fresh material. However, if you don't mind my asking, did you decide to cut back on some of the snark you're famous for?
Daniel Etcheberry
Writer

Published: March 5, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Falcon Fury's comment about being able to see Miami on a clear day is a hyperbole.
Anon Mouse

Published: March 5, 2014 at 7:35 PM

The Star Wars parodies must end. They were fun, but they appear disrespectful to the source material.

I think you have it backwards. Disney learned from Universal where fires are concerned.

Annette Forrest

Published: March 6, 2014 at 2:07 AM

Count me as someone who doesn't understand the appeal of Jeff's "humor". I have no idea what this paragraph is even supposed to mean: "In other news, this park just turned 13 and managed to not burn down or have some kind of weird tragedy happen to it. I’m sure some of you are amazed that it wasn’t turned back into a parking lot after the first ten years, but it looks like Universal has learned from Disney."

Jeff's writing comes off as very hateful and angry to me. It's just not funny at all. I don't see why it was necessary to note that DCA hasn't burned down or "had some kind of weird tragedy". The imagery that Jeff favors is just so disturbing to me.

And I don't have any idea what he was trying to communicate here. It's like a bad riddle. What has "Universal learned from Disney"?

I read the "Blog Flume" columns because I want to get the information that's in them. I wish Jeff would stick to opinion articles I can skip if I don't like his humor (which I don't), but when he writes the "Flume" I feel I have to read it or risk missing some hot news. I just wish I didn't have to be subjected to the way he phrases things.

Not a fan of this guy's writing but I know others enjoy it. Just not my cup of tea.

Tim Hillman

Published: March 6, 2014 at 6:17 AM

Welcome back, Jeff! I missed the "tongue in cheek" commentary on theme park news.

Hang in there, Annette. I've noticed that you've been gradually changing your attitude about Disney and Universal, so there is hope that one day you'll be able to appreciate Jeff's style of commentary.

Maybe if Jeff renamed his column "Bog Fumes Filter" the more gentle-natured amongst the readers would be forewarned about the content. ;>)

Rob Pastor

Published: March 6, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Great to see you back. Love that tongue in cheek humor. It's good to have some diversity in writing style.
Jeff Elliott
Writer

Published: March 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Since there was so much news to get caught back up on, I thought I was taking it easy on the sarcasm, but I got a complaint, so I guess there was some in there.

This brings up a good point that I can’t please everyone, even when I think I am taking it easy, so I don’t think I’m going to try for diplomacy in the future.

I took a break because the news had tapered off, pep-band season was going full swing, and to concentrate on finishing the novel I am writing. The novel is currently at 99,000 words and about 2/3 completed although it does need a couple more passes before I will be ready to have anyone read it (maybe in a 3-6 months if anyone is interested in helping me proof it and look for story holes). It is not about a theme park, although it does have one in it late in the book (hey, write about what you know).

Anon Mouse has it right that they are cutting back on the Star Wars parodies, so the Hoopla was the first to go. What is really miserable is that they have two full seasons of a Star Wars based comedy show by Seth Green (Robot Chicken) that will probably never be seen because of this. JJ Abrams & Kathleen Kennedy want people to start taking Star Wars very seriously again….so there are casualties…

In regards to the comment about California Adventure and it turning 13. Well, 13 is an unlucky number, to the point that many hotels don’t have a 13th floor. And for a while CA was so low on attractions that it would have been better off as a parking lot than staying a half day park. Cars Land, World of Color, Little Mermaid, and others are starting to turn this park around in a big kind of way. Universal Studios Hollywood is also low on the attractions count (particularly now with all of the construction going on), and learned that to get people into the park, there needs to be stuff to do. That is one of the reasons Universal is spending so much money on attractions….it doesn’t hurt that Universal owns the hottest theme park IP currently, although Frozen might give Mr Potter a run for his money if Disney doesn’t screw it up by creating a lame attraction, waiting too long, or botching a sequel. Maybe not enough of that was conveyed into the comment…when the article runs long, comments get shortened and sometimes lose the impact of the initial thought….

Thanks for the comments! It's nice to be back...

Tony Duda

Published: March 6, 2014 at 1:41 PM

As someone who saw the original Star Wars movies in the theaters (and knows Han fired first and is certain he did the right thing), I am very happy that Hyperspace Hoopla is gone. I never liked it even though I can see the appeal as spectacle. It has only been performed for 4 years, so it's not like it is a cherished childhood memory. I did like seeing Slave Leia and ripped shirt Padme dirty dancing with Lando last year, weird mother-daughter imagery.
James Koehl
Writer

Published: March 7, 2014 at 5:41 AM

Count me as someone who doesn't understand the visceral dislike that Annette Forrest has for Jeff's "humor". I had no trouble understanding Jeff's comments about DCA and its long history of problems over its first thirteen years. Annette's constant complaints about Jeff's writing comes off as very hateful and angry to me. It's just not productive at all. Her constant complaints about all-things-Jeff is just so disturbing to me.

And I don't have any idea what she was trying to communicate here, other than her well-known personal dislike for him. As a friend, it is becoming a subject of concern for his safety. It is starting to remind me of the film "Fatal Attraction"- why is she so insistent with letting everyone know of her nearly obsessive focus on Jeff's writing style? It's like a bad riddle. What has Jeff done to her personally to warrant these attacks?

I read the "Blog Flume" columns because I want to get the information that's in them. I can also get the information he gleans from the multiple sites he studies weekly, but I appreciate the work that Jeff has done and will hopefully continue to do and the service he provides to TPI readers. This information is available to all if she wishes to do her own research and not have to be subjected to Jeff's opinions. I wish that Annette would stick to the information she claims she wants and wouldn't have to subject us to her obsession, fatal or otherwise, about the way Jeff phrases things.

Not a fan of her personal attacks and obsessive need to denigrate a member of Team TPI. She does have the right to her opinions and considering how often she posts her personal attacks on Jeff I suppose that she does enjoy these angry feelings and sharing them with others. Just not my cup of tea.

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