The Blog Flume Filter for March 21, 2013

March 21, 2013, 1:26 PM · Disneyland – Almost like a deadly virus, Starbucks is worming its way into just about every location on the planet. The disease has spread to Main Street USA in Disneyland, in place of the soon-to-close Disneyana, which is moving over to the bank, where it will be able to charge much more money for the same stuff. I’m sure all of the Disneyhead fanboys are going to throw a tantrum about this, but I think this is a pretty mild change. Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go down to my living room to buy a Grande Double Mocha Latte with extra Whip.

Starbucks menu at Disney California Adventure

Disney’s Hollywood Studios – We are getting wind about some extremely early rumors talking about expanding Star Wars out to a mini land of its own. [And Disneyland is now surveying annual passholders about whether they'd like to see a Star Wars land in Anaheim -- Robert.] The rumor mentioned knocking down the parade float building and expanding out in that direction. And maybe we are just getting wind.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg – This week we are all about the special offers. The prize at Busch Gardens is a brand new 2013 Mini Cooper Roadster, to celebrate the first birthday of Verbolten. You will need to log onto Busch Gardens' Facebook page and jump through whatever hoops they want you to in order to win their prize. It is probably something like donating three times the cost of the prize to charity, dating the owner’s daughter, or getting signatures for a petition that says that Mickey Mouse should be thrown out of office. Good luck!

Legoland Florida – Okay, I will be the first to admit that I really don’t understand any of what they are talking about in the below video. I think I picked up on something about a new ride opening up and something about Legos. But I think I am really getting too old to understand the rest of it. Maybe in a couple of years my son can explain it to me.

Thorpe Park – It is probably no secret (assuming that you regularly read this article) that Thorpe Park is doing something very interesting with its Swarm roller coaster that isn’t even a year old yet. It joined the bandwagon of all of the other parks this year and is running the last two rows of the coaster train backwards. With such a change, Thorpe Park wouldn’t be Thorpe Park without some kind of incomprehensible viral campaign making a 90-second roller coaster sound like a terminal illness. I think there is a game associated with it, if you can get your browser to actually display the page correctly, but frogged if I know which one will work. First prize is a lifetime pass for Thorpe Park, which means that after I pay several thousand dollars catching an airplane across an ocean, hotel rooms, local transportation, and meals, they will let me into the park for free. Feel free to play amongst yourselves, since I know that some of our readers know how to rig a whole bunch of unearned clicks. But do keep in mind that Thorpe Park is not in Orlando with all of the other good parks.

Six Flags Over Georgia – The lift chain on Ninja broke due to some of the guests in the park having too large of a breakfast before coming to the park. A replacement chain is on order, but it will be around the middle of May before the coaster is back in action.

The Moment – The USA Network (characters welcome) is currently working on a reality TV show named after a Kenny G smooth jazz album. The concept of the show is very simple, take someone whose goal in life has been derailed for one reason or another and give them a really good chance at landing their dream job. We received a message this week from someone involved in casting for the show asking if anyone that read Theme Park Insider was interested in applying to be on the show for the dream job of Theme Park Designer. I promptly answered for you all with a deep felt apology that no one here was interested, and that we hope for the best for the show. I mean, I really didn’t want you to have to waste all of the time and effort to put together an audition submission and figured that since I am the best candidate here, I could just submit mine in everyone’s name and expect to have all of your votes when the time comes. And free ice cream. And lower taxes. And all of that other stuff you want...consider it yours if you sit this one out. While I don’t want to make it easy on you, if you are really interested, the link for more information is under one of the following links (you only get one try). Curtain #1. Curtain #2. Curtain #3. The Box. The Envelope. The Cash.

Cedar Point – I wanted to point out that one of our own has been quoted in Wikipedia in regards to Cedar Point’s Luminosity show. As currently displaying it says (under Reception): “James Koehl from Theme Park Insider described it as "The kind of show that you can watch over and over from different vantage points and see a different show every time."” Who in the heck let that that guy have the microphone? Apparently they didn’t like my quote: “Jeff Elliott from Theme Park Insider complained that the female dancers were wearing too many clothes.” It kind of makes me mad. I have written probably a hundred thousand words about amusement parks and no one is quoting me on Wikipedia. Although a little bird did tell me that Mr. Koehl has been invited to have a meeting with the General Manager of Cedar Point, which is probably when Mr. Koehl will receive his fat payoff.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas – While not nearly as sexy as watching them weld together a roller coaster. This is still pretty sexy.

Coney Island – Luna Park – There are some early rumors that with the new popularity of Coney Island (which is what happens when you sparkle it up and add some new rides) there is some early talk about rebuilding the Thunder Bolt roller coaster. If it was up to me, I think I would kill this idea and place a call to Rocky Mountain Coasters.

Las Vegas – I really appreciate all of the money that was spent last week to meet the ransom demands. To those of you that gave generously to my captives, many thanks! The rest of the trip was pretty tame after that, even though my basketball teams lost well before they were supposed to. The night before we were knocked out of the tournament, I managed to sneak away from the group I was with and catch up with Penn & Teller’s show at the Rio.

With Penn With Teller

If you are interested in a review, please let me know, it was a really good show! In other Vegas news, I saw the roller coaster track that was formerly called Speed: The Ride sitting in a field across from Mandalay Bay and the work that they are doing on putting up a Ferris Wheel at the Quad. The middle pivot of the Ferris wheel is up with the support beams being worked on, and to tell the truth, the thing is huge, but sitting next to really big buildings, so it looks a little small. I don’t know who chose the placement, but half of the ride is going to be hidden behind buildings.

Replies (21)

March 21, 2013 at 2:00 PM · Jeff, I must say that I had dismissed the rumors of you selling your soul to the devil to get a weekly column in TPI, but now that I've seen the pics of you with Penn and Teller, and saw the evil red glow from your eyes, I'm not so sure. Your weekly column certainly isn't based on your writing ability.

As far as the meeting with the CP General Manager and the payoff, how else do you think I can afford a trip this summer to the Rocky Mountain Coaster Capital, also known as Elitch Gardens? I can't wait to see for myself that magnificent amusement park that you have in Denver, the one you insist on bad-mouthing for the sole purpose of keeping the crowds down and shortening your wait time for front seat on the coasters.
March 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM · Hey Jeff,

Have you been on the coasters at NY NY & Adventuredome? (I recall one time my class took a field trip to Adventuredome to do math problems after riding the rides....oh the memories)

And cool news about DLR asking AP's about star wars!

Finally in terms of Starbucks......I don't think it's a big deal. It's like Dreyer's ice cream that's served on main street or Dole (of the famous dole whip).

March 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM · Jeff, I do think you have good taste in shirts. Did your wife chose that shirt for you?
March 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM · In your photo with Penn, I thought both of you were characters from Star Trek.
March 21, 2013 at 5:09 PM · I have been on the coaster in the Adventure Dome (The Canyon Blaster?) and I was able to ride the roller coaster on New York New York the day before the Penn & Teller show. I chose to skip over the Adventure Dome this year because they are putting a new roller coaster there. I rode the twin of the new coaster going up at Indiana Beach and it is quite a good coaster.

Just for the record, I usually wear roller coaster t-shirts unless I am at work. The lucky shirt just happened to be Cedar Point that day.

March 21, 2013 at 6:12 PM · No joke, but Starbucks is way cheaper than the coffee Disney serves. And from the photo, they even give you multiple options for sizes! Big upgrade, AND I don't even like Starbucks' coffee.

Please let ANY rumor for DHS come to fruition. That park is sooooooo small!!! Fingers crossed.

@ LegolandFL.....What?!?!

March 21, 2013 at 10:56 PM · The bandwagon? Thorpe announced this before the other B&Ms that are now going to run backwards. Also B&M probably shopped this around to all their clients at the same time. Merlin's marketing techniques are hilarious, but this site really does seem to HATE this theme park for no major reason apart from it's location in England.
March 22, 2013 at 2:29 AM · You rode Roller Coaster (such an imaginative name) the day before the Penn and Teller show? No wonder your eyes are red. The real question is how are you able to stand?
March 22, 2013 at 3:52 AM · @Jeff Are we really rickrolling? In 2013?
March 22, 2013 at 5:31 AM · Fully agree with Jeff that Penn and Teller are excellent at the Rio! (V nice men too)
Jeff if you ever get to see them 'in conversation' then grab the chance. They did this in London a few years ago and they were completely engaging and had amazing stories to tell!
March 22, 2013 at 6:34 AM · I think the Verbolten contest is overkill, but for a park that is adding nothing new this season, it allows them to remarket an attraction to get extra bang for their investment buck. I hadn't realized it, but Busch Gardens noted that the new coaster had already carried nearly 1 million guests in its first season. Considering how much downtime it had and technical malfunctions, that's pretty amazing with an average of about 700 people per hour over the 2012 season.
March 22, 2013 at 7:07 AM · Maybe some of us think Starbucks is a good thing…
March 22, 2013 at 8:06 AM · Please don't get me wrong...I LOVE Thorpe Park. They have what I would consider to be the right attitude for promoting their park to the right demographic in the right way.

The unfortunate part is that it makes them really easy to pick on...and since I write a humor article with news as its foundation, they are a target that is easy to roll with, since there is always something funny to say about them.

Parks that I don't like typically don't get mentioned in this article at all (except for Elitches, which is my local park and my own to abuse).

March 22, 2013 at 8:25 AM · After each show at the Rio, Penn & Teller go out to the lobby and do meet and greets with everyone in the audience.

You don’t see Celine Dion or David Copperfield doing that…

Also I heard that Penn & Teller are working on a new TV show back along the lines of their Showtime series BS. I keep forgetting the name of the new show for some reason, but I know that they filmed the pilot about two months ago, but it has yet to be signed by a network.

March 22, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Anything that replaces the awful Necafe "coffee" is ok by me. And while I often try to patronize small, local cafes, there is something good about knowing what I will get from Starbucks.

RE: Elitchs. If you are looking for the *great* Elitchs, you are about 20 years too late. That was the old park. The current one is awful. Yeah, it has some bigger steel coasters, but the place is absolutely souless; the old Elitch's was beautiful. And I also miss the Old Mister Twister, and the Wildcat.

Not to mention the whole reason for moving the park to the Platte River Valley was having enough space for expansion (not possible in old location). Yet Elitch's didn't buy up enough land at that time (when there was nothing else there), and let it get infilled all around it. So it is in the same bind as the old - and much nicer - park. Then they sold it to Six Flags and it really went downhill. It has been well over 10 years since I have bothered b/c it is such a rotten park.

March 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM · Disney World's coffee was terrible with very little variety, value or standards. And it's not like they're actually building "Starbucks Stores" just adding them to the menu like Coke products.
March 22, 2013 at 2:04 PM · Anonymous ^, I understand the Elitch's situation. I just like to jerk Jeff's chain a little bit. I am going there this summer for the first time, and Jeff has often warned me that there is no comparison between Elitch's and my home park, Cedar Point. I just keep asking him to let me make up my own opinion about Elitch's, to no avail.

I hope that everyone in here understands that Jeff and I are really good friends. We became friends while competing against each other in several of the Theme Park
Apprentice competitions. He slaughtered me in TPA3, I beat him in TPA: Tournament of Champions, and we've been friends ever since. Jeff is probably one of the smartest guys I've ever met, with the most twisted sense of humor I have ever come across.

March 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM · It's all true.

And, yes, I am paying James to say all of that...

March 22, 2013 at 3:13 PM · Of course he still owes me for the last nice thing I said about him, which was....uh...was...give me a minute.....uh...... . . . . .
March 24, 2013 at 6:14 AM · Anon here, and the friendship and joking is very evident. But I do find it good to inform people of how bad Elitchs is. Although more b/c I fondly remember the old Elitchs. And it is sad, since the next closest park is probably Worlds of Fun.
In Denver, you are better off hitting Red Rocks, a baseball game, and touring all the breweries in and around Denver. :)

Oh, and tying it back to one of the stories, Denver has quite a few excellent independent coffee houses.

March 25, 2013 at 1:10 PM · During my two weeks vacation there, we are planing on going to a Rockies game, sightseeing around the Red Rocks area, hitting some of the breweries, and possibly a coffee shop or two (among about a hundred things that Jeff wants to cram into my visit)! I don't think I'll get bored- exhaused maybe, but not bored. I'm really looking forward to it, but most especially to my visit to Elitch's!

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