Last week at your amusement park...July 25, 2011

A digest of amusement park news and rumors...and a couple of rants...with a sense of humor...

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 26, 2011 at 12:10 PM
Construction (California) Adventure - Over this past weekend (Friday) a backpack fell out of a California Screamin' roller coaster train at the top of the loop and fell onto the tracks, causing the coaster to go through an emergency stop and having the people mid ride evacuated from about 20 feet up. While there has been a certain amount of speculation saying that the backpack was wedged under the wheels and that is what caused the train to derail and stop, there is also a certain amount of speculation saying that a counter-terrorist cell is working from behind the eyes of all of the Mickey Mouse costumes on the resort, and a particularly worrying rumor that it was escaped monkeys from Magic Mountain’s ride design division that did it. Before we get ourselves into more of a snit, let’s just be clear here: no one was injured, the ride stopped safely, the people were off the ride within an hour, neither the ride nor the vehicles were damaged, and monkeys were not involved. The roller coaster did exactly what it should have done and stopped everything the moment it figured out there was a problem. As someone who has never been evacuated from a ride, I consider it a bonus to your amusement park day, and should elicit fond memories long after the monkeys have taken over the planet and made all of the humans their slaves.

Six Flags St. Louis - Definition of Lemon: 1. a small Asian evergreen tree, Citrus limon, widely cultivated in warm and tropical regions, having pale green glossy leaves and edible acidic, yellow fruit. 2. Slang, a person or thing considered to be useless or defective; see Windseeker & SkyScreamer; see Six Flags Ride Design Division; see Politician. At least Six Flags St. Louis (which I have never been able to understand because it is about 15 miles away from St. Louis) has an excuse now to ignore their Windseeker clone; in early morning testing, the ride suffered a malfunction that damaged not only the bottom of the ride but the top of it, too. Engineers from the manufacturer were reported to have been in the area muttering about C4 explosives and monkeys.

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom - In a case of hating something more than it was about a possible safety issue, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has closed down their SkyScreamer. Rumors suggest that there are now spray painted X’s on the tower itself suggesting where the major load bearing parts of the structure are.

Carowinds - After a screaming match with the corporate offices, Carowinds was able to get out of the standard Windseeker contract and move forward with what appears to be a Huss Giant Frisbee for next season. Hopefully Snoopy will be able to keep the teeth mark down to a minimum.

Kings Island - Kings Island over the weekend went to a new parking model where all cars are parked by uniformed staff who lovingly look over your car during the day. For an extra two dollars, every car is washed and waxed, the oil is changed, tires topped off with air, and each car is plugged into a computer diagnostic system to make absolute certain that your car is in perfect working order. During the hottest parts of the day, awnings are erected over all of the cars in order to keep them from heating up too much. ......What? What was that you said? They just jacked up the price without giving us anything new? Can they do that? Really? %^&$%!!!! %^&$%, %^&$%, %^&$%, %^&$%, %^&$%, %^&$%.....and shame on your greedy souls!!!!

Orlando - Apparently the Six Flags Designers are out looking for work. Someone has an absolutely brilliant idea of opening an aquarium within walking distance of SeaWorld Orlando. Apparently no one has looked at the attendance numbers that just came out a couple of months ago.....

Kentucky Kingdom - Ed Hart, the original creator of Kentucky Kingdom, who was able to get attendance levels over 1.2 million visitors before selling the park to Premier Rides/Six Flags who then had trouble getting 700 thousand people into the park (and I think secretly masquerading as Lance Hart who runs the Screamscape website), is getting close to finalizing a deal to get the lights turned back on. Based on Ed Hart’s business model, expect a new large ride every single year, if he can get the park reopened.

Six Flags America - While nothing is confirmed at this point, rumors persist in the thought that the Iron Wolf from Six Flags Great America is going to be moved to Six Flags America. Rumors also suggest that once it is moved, the theming will be changed to some kind of apocalypse theme, which to anyone who has ever ridden on the Iron Wolf, they would think it was quite a fitting theme. Either that or theme it to getting beaten up by Mike Tyson.

Universal Studios Hollywood - The teaser trailer for Transformers 3D is now out. Take a moment to take a look at it. I can wait...

According to Screamscape’s Ed Hart.....excuse me.....Lance Hart (see earlier comment), the blue car shown in the video is of a new character created for the ride called EVAC. Now before you get too excited, keep in the back of your mind how many times Universal Studios has burned down, and what a sense of irony it is that the main character that you ride on has a name of EVAC, or short for Evacuation, as in Emergency Evacuation, as in a sinister prediction of what may happen to the ride once the insurance premiums are paid up.

Hersheypark - The official announcement of the new Skyrush roller coaster is going to take place on August 2. But honestly, what do you plan on learning from their announcement? 212 feet high? Seen it. The exact layout of the coaster? Seen it. The theme? Seen it. While as an advertising tool, I total understand trying to do something viral and see if it can take off, but it has been a ton of work to advertise to 8 people who now know everything and are getting irritated about being pandered to. It is as if they don’t think we have spies at all of the council meetings that approve the plans to issue building permits....

Kings Island - Current rumors are that Son of Beast has seen its last rider. According to the source, the board has determined that it is not financially feasible to repair, rebuild, or remodel the Son of Beast. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Lance Hart.....excuse me.......Ed Hart bought the coaster and moved it three squares to the south into Kentucky Kingdom, while at the same time giving it the Iron Horse tracking system and putting the loop back in. That kind of gutsy move would have me at the very least keeping his name straight.

Thorpe Park - Construction has begun on their apocalypse themed ride. Hopefully this attraction doesn’t ride like the apocalypse on earth.

SeaWorld Orlando - In an effort to gain at least a little bit of interest in their park, SeaWorld Orlando has released some massive plans for updating their park including rumors of a Curse of DarKastle/Spiderman dark ride rip-off. Is this park even open? Hint to the executives: If you are going to rip off a ride concept why not try "Perry Hotter and the Outlawed Expedition". You could have people riding around on enchanted Shamus looking for a giant squid.

Knott’s Coaster Farm - Knott’s hasn’t grown berries on its "farm" in ages, hence the unofficial name change. Actual headline, "U.S. Navy Comes Ashore at Knott’s Berry Farm". Now before I go after the very obvious seamen jokes, let me point out the fact that I spent 5 years in the Marine Corps, and while the Marines are technically a part of the Department of the Navy, it is not something we like to be reminded of. Sure they gave us rides and medical treatment, but after that we would prefer not to be associated with them. On July 31st, this coming Sunday for all of you who can’t read a calendar, the Navy Parachute Demonstration Team called the Leap Frogs (by the Navy and Skeet Targets by the Marine Corps) will be dropping in on Knott’s Coaster Farm. While Marines like the idea of Navy personnel jumping out of airplanes, we do have problems with them being given parachutes beforehand.....and everyone knows that the cop and the construction worker were far more talented...

Cedar Point - On the same day, Knott’s has to deal with Seamen (yes, that is what they call themselves), Cedar Point is going to be trying to set two world records for the most beach balls in the air at the same time and the most people applying sunscreen at the same time. No offense, but what you should really be working on is the world record for the most roller coasters. Is it just me or are all of these world record attempts getting out of control. I think I should try to set a record for the longest run-on sentence written between 12:29 and 12:30 on Monday, July 25, 2011 in a three bedroom house on Main Street.

Darian Lake - There are some really odd numbers coming out of the arrests at concerts at Darian Lake. Motley Crue - 15 arrests, Lil’ Wayne - 44 arrests, Brad Paisley - 70 arrests. These numbers prove once and for all that people need to get drunk to put up with country music. It also shows that the sultry sounds of Motley Crue are oddly sobering. It also shows that Lil’ Wayne needs to try harder; why not go catch up on some old videos of Axl Rose, a dude who knew how to stir up a crowd into a riot.

Moron of the Week: "Disneyland [Paris] visitors were evacuated from the park for an hour this weekend after an unhappy customer told staff he was carrying a bomb. The 57-year-old man was queuing in the rain with his family at the theme park near Paris when he made the remark. A Disneyland source told Le Parisien that the man had become angry and "did not want to sit on the ride because the seats were wet"". Your next E-Ticket ride is the prison shower...

Leavesden Studios - On Sunday, August 14, there will be a sneak preview of the new Harry Potter Studio attraction at Leavesden Studios, along with special guests from the cast and crew.

Czech Republic - Actual news article: "A wild west theme park in the Czech Republic has teamed up with a local humanitarian organisation to buy goats for rural African families through its novel "rent-a-goat" attraction. Holiday makers visiting the park in Boskovice, southeast of the capital Prague, can have fun and do their bit to help others by renting goats to feed or romp around with for 10 Czech koruna (0.40 euros, 0.60 dollars) as part of a project called "Goats for Africa". "Last year we sent 214,000 koruna to buy 214 goats -- that's a decent number," said Lubos 'Jerry' Prochazka, the "sheriff" and founder of the popular theme park that draws 60,000 to 100,000 visitors a year". I’ll make some smart aleck comment as soon as the hiccups and tears go away, and I can crawl my way back into my hee....I wonder if the deep south knows about this program....

Create My Caption - In the discussion thread post your best caption for the following picture. This picture comes indirectly from the creators of Southpark, whose lawyers inform me that if I mention Southpark creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone's multiple Tony Award winning musical "The Book of Mormon", they will not sue me into oblivion.


If I have missed anything (and I have, so no worries there) please post below. If you have some inside information, more news, more rumors, first rides, please share with the rest of us.

Sources: Screamscape, Amusement Today, and whatever else I happened to read this week...

From Mike Gallagher
Posted July 25, 2011 at 1:36 PM
Maybe Stone and Parker will simply sue you for spelling "Mormon" incorrectly.

Caption: OH NO!! I woke up this morning with the name of my favorite roller coaster tattooed on my face!!!

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 25, 2011 at 1:41 PM write over 2,000 words only to goof that up.....I feel sheepish... is fixed now....

From Andy Milio
Posted July 26, 2011 at 7:03 AM
I actually liked the Transformers video :) Looks awesome

From Nick Markham
Posted July 26, 2011 at 9:39 AM
Robert has got to make this an article on the front page. Your writing is perfect, hilarious, and still informative!

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 26, 2011 at 3:45 PM
The edits just keep on coming....I think I wrote it a little fast this week.

I have been thinking about doing a stub for the front page that has three or four of the blurbs and a quick contents listing....with a link to the rest of the article.

Or should we see if Robert will give in to a vote?

What does anyone else think?

From Andy Milio
Posted July 26, 2011 at 3:46 PM
^That sounds really good, Jeff!

From Tony Duda
Posted July 26, 2011 at 3:47 PM
I think Mike got the winning caption this week...and I don't say that just because he's from Jersey and I want to be on his good side. Maybe.

From James Rao
Posted July 27, 2011 at 4:16 AM
Six Flags Eureka, though more appropriate, sounds even less interesting than Six Flags Saint Louis. And as for the downtime of the SkyScreamer... I hope the five people who actually cared about riding it aren't too disappointed.

Caption: "Ugh! I can't take it anymore! This animation flat out sucks!"

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