Written by Joe Lane
Published: December 22, 2004 at 10:28 AM
My two front teeth, a BB gun, a hula hoop AND my own Mean Green Machine. But seriously, I do hope you folks sent your Christmas wish lists to Santa in plenty of time. It occured to me that, being the theme park fan that I am, perhaps Santa could see some changes happen in our Central Florida parks? Here's hoping.
This is Joe. I hope this letter finds you well and in plenty of time for Christmas Eve. I've been very well-behaved (aside from a speeding ticket, but that was under unfair circumstances--you know me). I cleaned my room, ate my vegetables and I always respect my parents (ask 'em, they'll vouch for me).
Anyways, as you've probably already guessed, this isn't a social call, but rather I'm sending you a wish list for this year. There's the usual haul I'm looking forward to: DVDs, CDs, video games and so on, but I have a few special requests to go on my list this year and I'm hoping you can deliver. You CAN deliver, right? You ARE Santa Claus, are you not?
First, I want my very own Incredible Hulk Coaster. Full size, please, that's very important.
Second, I'd like to see Michael Eisner slacken his iron grip on his finances and start pouring it into some worthwhile theme park projects. Eisner has stated he will resign in 2006 once his contract has ended, so I'm hoping, if the embattled CEO wishes to leave on a high note that he does so by buffing up the parks and making them shine.
Third, I want to see a worthwhile attraction planned for the old 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea area in Fantasyland. Now that Disney has successfully demolished and paved over the old lagoon, perhaps we can get something nice put in place--not some silly play area or Meet N' Greet area, but a truly remarkable dark ride--something that can rival the technology of Spiderman and is way more exciting than just another Dumbo clone (a Dumbo clone next to the original Dumbo--I wouldn't put it past them).
And while you're at it, Santa, could you have them change the film in PhilharMagic from the old celluloid to digital? In its current state, the picture has grown horribly blurry and the dirt on the projector is starting to interfere with the 3D effects. I've never seen such a sorry state for a 3D film--not even at the aging Muppet*Vision over at the Studios. It's sad, really.
Speaking of the Studios, for the fourth item on my wish list, I'd like to see some rides and shows replaced and installed throughout. I've heard the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Play It! show has been rumored to be on the chopping block, likely to be replaced with an action show. If you could, Santa, be sure the show will NOT be based on the Power Rangers. And since Kingdom Hearts has grown in popularity, perhaps we could have a show featuring those video game characters in the spirit of Terminator 2:3D? Just make sure they don't ruin the franchise for me. Thank you, sir.
And I'd also like my own Incredible Hulk Coaster. In green. Well, it's the only color, but I'm not picky, I just want a roller coaster, that's all.
Fifth, I'd like to see the Haunted Mansion Holiday finally make it out here to Orlando. I really love Nightmare Before Christmas (no offense to you, 'Sandy Claws') and if you can't get me the Jack Skellington lights or the candle holder or the snow globe, then I will settle for a theme park attraction overlay. See? I'm easy to please.
Sixth, I'd like to see Universal build a new ride at Islands of Adventure for 2005--or at least confirm something for next year. A grand E-ticket attraction, like the rumored Jurassic Park Jeep Adventure. Something fun and exciting and mind-blowing. I don't want to see another off-the-shelf attraction like Storm Force or the Flying Unicorn--and I don't care about the Sylvester McMonkey McBean's crazy-car-whatchamacallits anymore--I'm tired of waiting for those things to open.
Also, Santa, while you're at Universal, don't forget the Hulk Coaster.
I'd also like to see Universal bring back more of their streetmosphere performers. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the characters UO features now, but I'd like to see a lot of the movie stars return to the Studios, like Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Marilyn Monroe, Doc Brown, and so on and so forth.
And that Incredible Hulk Coaster? Just make sure we can put the loading platform in the kitchen. Riding that thing is like drinking ten cups of coffee in the morning--it's just what I need to wake up and get going.
I hope to hear from you soon, Mr. Claus. Thank you for your time and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
- Joe Lane
P.S. Don't forget, it's spelled Hulk. H-U-L-K.