Last Week At Your Amusement Park......September 12A digest of amusement park news and rumors...and a couple of rants...with a sense of humor...
From Jeff ElliottLas Vegas - It seems like there is a race on to be the first to build a gigantic Ferris wheel. LINQ, Skyvue, one near Mandalay Bay, the old Wet ‘n Wild site. I just can’t figure out the why... Actually, I think the real race here is to be the first to gripe about someone stealing their plans and building a giant Ferris wheel before them.
Posted September 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM
SeaWorld Orlando - Shamu Stadium is going to be closed for a couple of months starting in January to do some construction to the tank. Not that I have any idea how this works or the purpose of it (please let us know in the discussion threads below if you do), but they are installing a "false floor" in the bottom of the pool as a safety update.....whatever that means. Have they thought about getting some trainers that aren’t made out of stuff the killer whales like to eat? The good news about the construction is that no guests will be affected, and the two or three people who show up at the park would be just as happy with a mug of hot chocolate instead. What the heck is a false floor anyway? Is it one of those things that they hit a button and all of the water rushes out of the tank like a giant flush? Can I hit the button?
Dutch Wonderland - Apparently some 6 year old girl was denied a cotton candy and her tears flooded the park. I bet they could really use a rudder right now.
Knoebels - Apparently a toilet backed up and flooded the park, closing it down over the weekend.
Hersheypark - Even a theme park designed around chocolate couldn’t staunch the tears of fury and regret at getting dumped just before the homecoming dance causing 15 year-old Dana Stile’s tears to flood the park, closing it over the weekend.
Islands of Adventure - The Harry Potter ride has recently been tuned up to be a little more intense than it had originally been. Apparently maintenance costs are a little higher than expected and the ride is taking the opportunity to literally shake the change out of your pockets. At least they are willing to give your wallet back after the ride, unlike a certain rodent.
Six Flags Great America - The last ride has taken place and now the Iron Wolf is going to pack its bags and get on the road. So long, farewell, Auf Weidersehen, goodbye. I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeee. ...and good riddance.
Las Vegas - Luxor - In preparation of Halloween, the Luxor has revealed that there are cracks showing up and possible structural problems with the pyramid.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom - The Disney execs just received back a study that was commissioned several years ago asking what was the best way to get kids to insist that their parents buy them expensive souvenirs before leaving the park. Below is concept art of the currently in construction Gaston’s Pub, which contains the answer that the study delivered: get the kids drunk.
Cotswold Water Park - Actual news article: "A five-year-old schoolgirl discovered a rare 160 million-year-old fossil while digging beside a lake using a plastic spade. Delighted Emily Baldry found the Jurassic period rock at Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire while on her first archaeological dig with dad, Jon." Apparently it mentioned Marty Sklar, Betty White, Pat Koch, Dick Kinzel, and James Koehl by name.
Knotts Berry Farm - There are some interesting clearings going on at the park. Early thoughts are talking about moving the WindSeeker to a new location already or doing the initial prep work for next year’s ride, but the timing seems strange due to the massive construction effort currently underway for the haunt. I personally think that Dick Kinzel is taking his last opportunity to bury a couple of detractors before Ouimet completely takes over. I take my concrete boots in a size 10.
Warner Brothers Movie World - Completely under the radar, Movie World took delivery of a brand new roller coaster last week, a bright green S&S El Loco roller coaster. In other news, Indiana Beach managers got to the park last week and stated, "where in the @#$%&^ did the Steel Hawg go?"
Disneyland - Disney rolled out their new Fastpass system this week called Faster Than Fastpast(tm). The FTF(tm) system has been an extremely expensive one that they have been working on for years and ratcheted up a budget of more than a billion dollars. The new system is designed to give everyone front of the line access. "When someone joins the line for an attraction, they go into a special queue designed for everyone that allows everyone to have front of the line access right to the front of the line, right after all of the other people in the FTF(tm) line have gotten on the attraction. With this immediate access to the front of the line for everyone, we think our customer service scores are going to go right through the roof. The best part of all of this is that everyone in the park gets an unlimited amount of FTF’s(tm) for the entire day and free of charge." When asked how this differs from the regular entrance line, a spokesperson said, "Well, we are getting rid of the regular line, because visitors hated the fact that other visitors had more of a priority access to the attraction than others did. By getting rid of the regular line, the FTF(tm) line will move much faster."
California - Legoland and SeaWorld San Diego were both affected by a large scale power outage. At Legoland, many people were rescued as the rides came to a halt after the power went out. At SeaWorld, both guests were unaffected, since at the time of the outage they looking over the map and trying to figure out where to meet Mickey Mouse.
Kentucky Kingdom - For those of you who missed it, the following is a presentation put together by Ed Hart’s team showing how it prospered under his guidance and how it failed after he sold it. This should be required viewing by anyone who contemplates running an amusement park.
Theme Park Insider - Fix-It Competition - Be sure to check out the new game that I started. There are no continuous play requirements, so you can jump in and jump out as needed. Please give it a look...Introducing.....The Fix-It Competition. The first challange has been posted here: Fix-It Weekly Challenge – Houston’s Astrodome
Create My Caption - In the discussion thread below, post your best caption(s) for the following picture showing last week's flooding at Hersheypark.
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...
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Jeff ElliottCaption: "Hello, operator? Can you hear me? Yeah, I need you to connect me through to that ShamWOW guy..."
Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:46 PM
From Tim WI thought only Willy Wonka had a river of chocolate!
Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:42 PM
From Andy MilitoI loved the Cotsworld statement :P
Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:55 PM
From Jeff Elliott^ Yeah, I'm probably going to hear about that one.....
Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:59 PM
From James Koehl^Hear what? About the fact that you have a heart blacker than the Grinch had? About the fact that someday you, too, will have aches and pains in parts of your body that you didn't know had pain receptors? Jeff, you're lucky that you're 2000 miles away from me, or I'd power up my hoverround, drive over to your metrosexual apartment and hit you with my tennis-ball-tipped quad cane. Can you hear me now?
Posted September 12, 2011 at 3:00 PM
From Jeff Elliott^ Yep....I deserved that....
Posted September 12, 2011 at 3:17 PM
From Nick MarkhamThat FTF system sounds amazing and the perfect solution to the long lines! :D
Posted September 12, 2011 at 5:50 PM
From Carrie HoodThe "False-Floor" for Shamu Stadium is basically an elevator for the tank bottom. It's part of their project to get trainers back into the water.
Posted September 12, 2011 at 5:55 PM
In a nutshell, if anything happens again they'll be able to raise the "false tank floor" to surface level supposedly to eliminate drowning risks. Basically it's a giant strainer to pull up whales/trainers if needed.
From Jeff Elliott^ So instead of drowning, you get crushed by a 6 ton fish.....ahhh much better....
Posted September 12, 2011 at 6:48 PM
From Carrie Hood^ I never said it was a GOOD idea, just that's what they had in mind. I suppose it would work provided said heavy whale didn't land on you. I don't think they'd have the leverage to exactly sling one about like a rag-doll on slightly moist and shallow surfaces. Orlando Sentential had something about it a while back, to me it sounded like a giant pasta strainer. Which lead to the next conclusion of "Well sometimes noodles slip threw the holes in a strainer.. oh lovely. There goes an appendage".
Posted September 12, 2011 at 8:57 PM
From Jack CurleyIt's nice to see I'm not the only one who gets diarrhea from Hershey Park pizza.
Posted September 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM
From Mark Migliaccio^
Posted September 14, 2011 at 9:23 AM
♪ CHOCOLATE RAIN ♪....
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive