The Blog Flume Filter for June 27, 2013

June 27, 2013, 12:02 PM · Trip Report: Kings Island – We normally lead this article with something from the Mouse, but this section just had to go first. Last week we posted a video of someone catching keys on a roller coaster and then put it to the vote with nearly a third of you saying that it was Photoshopped. On Monday I went to Kings Island and while I can't prove that the video is true or not, I proved that it is possible. We were going on our last ride of the day on Diamondback and right before the turnaround we hit an airtime hill and something hit me in the chest and then went flitting past my ear. A quick glance at the object made me think that it was my sunglasses, but I quickly remembered that they had been left with the baby boy in his stroller in the parent swap area. We then hit another airtime hill and this time I saw the person in front of me loose his cell phone. Almost in slow motion I saw it flipping in the air in front of me, leaned forward, and was able to nab it out of the air. Unfortunately, the response at saving his cell phone was less the overwhelming as he was much more concerned about losing his prescription glasses and being unable to see. But, it does prove that the video from last week is entirely possible. The picture below was taken by James Koehl and shows my wife, Evonne, excitedly pointing out whose cell phone I had caught.

Caught in the act?

Universal Orlando – It has been some time since Universal bought Wet 'n Wild, but they never owned the land that Wet 'n Wild was built on, merely leasing the land from the owners. This has been fixed and Universal is now in total control of the waterpark and the land it is sitting on. In addition to the land directly under the waterpark, Universal also bought several parcels of additional land that currently house some warehouses and others parcels nearby that are vacant. Could Universal be starting to get serious about expansion outside of its current borders?

Universal Studios Florida – This could be just Blue Sky dreaming, but we are starting to hear that the project after Harry Potter 2.0 opens might involve a change in occupants for the Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone. And that they might be little blue people. Maybe this is Universal's way of confusing consumers into thinking that instead of Avatar's tall blue people, what they really smurfing need is short blue people.

Walt Disney World – For those of you upset about me not leading off with something from Disney, I have a gift for you…although you might want to quickly go to the bathroom and grab a snack before starting this.

Disneyland – Since we did a huge program about Disney World, here is one about Disneyland.

Disney's California Adventure – We reported last week that a new Monstropolis area would receive a green light if the newest movie did well in the box office. At $82 million for its opening weekend, we are starting to see height check balloons already go up in the area. Consider this one to be started soon and the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire building to see the wrecking ball as the official start of construction approaches.

Epcot – We keep hearing rumors that refuse to die indicating that negotiations for a new country pavilion are ongoing at the moment. The country in question is Brazil. Please don't be excited about this until construction actually starts, since this dream has been hanging in the air for years. But if it does, can anyone think of something Brazilian that would easily equate into a show or (gasp) a ride that would fit into a pavilion? Feel free to post any ideas you have in the talkback below.

Disney's Hollywood Studios – Of course you know that the rumor mill is spinning faster than a jet engine since we broke the news that a major Star Wars expansion is going into the park as well as a Cars Land installation. So here is the latest: Instead of a full Cars Land like in California Adventure, the Studio would only get the Racers ride that would take over the Catastrophe Canyon area of the park. A newly circulating rumored expansion to Pixar would also go in taking over New York Street, Lights, Motor, Action, and Muppet Vision themed to Monstopolis, although the concept would probably be similar to the one going into Shanghai and California Adventure. Star Wars would then take over the Backlot Express restaurant with a Cantina themed restaurant, Sounds Dangerous would become new and much improved Jedi Academy show more integrated with theater style special effects, and the Great Movie Ride would come down for a new Star Wars E-ticket ride. The hat would also go to make way for a new icon for the park. But early rumors are might only be someone's dream…rest assured that Theme Park Insider will let you know when the facts slot into place and we see actual blueprints.

Tokyo DisneySea – The Mermaid Lagoon Show is going to close down for a yearlong rehab next April and it will return as a musical concert for King Triton. Here is what you are missing by not booking a trip right now over the pond to check this out.

Kentucky Kingdom – The Kentucky State Fair Board is finally ready to hand over the keys officially to Ed Hart and his group in order to reopen the park. Their plan is to spend $43.5 million in order to get the park reopened, which by Disney money standards is enough for a churro stand and a sign that says “come back later”.

Tripsdrill – Karacho is doing testing and while it is no Smiler, it does appear to be a really nice Gerstlauer coaster at a wonderfully odd park, or, excuse me, Karacho ist testen durchführen und es ist zwar kein Smiler, es sieht aber so aus, als ob ein sehr schönes achterbahn auf einem wunderbar komisch. Sorry…German park gets a German update, not a good German update, but it has been a while since those classes in middle school.

Six Flags Great America – Viper is now running backwards. WooHoo! New Coaster!


Kings Island – We led with Kings Island this week, and we'll wrap this up with the same park. Before I had taken the opportunity to play wide receiver on Diamondback, we decided to get a little nosey about the progress of Banshee and as you can see by the picture above, they are already starting to pour foundations. Funny enough, no one at Kings Island had any idea what the new coaster was all about and I had to let several different cast members know the name and specs of their new ride. Although the newest rumors have changed the model of B&M coaster to a simple inverted…which goes to show that we really have no idea at this point other than just the name.

Replies (17)

June 27, 2013 at 12:25 PM · For a ride in Brazil, in Epcot. I believe they should create a ride similar to Maelstorm. Altho it would be based in a rainforest setting with more drops and dips then Maelstorm. Just an idea but everyone seems to love Maelstorm, so why not make it similar. Plus it will fit into a smaller area. Just an idea.
June 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM · I'll vouch for Jeff's phone-catching adventure. He was just about jumping up-and-down when he got off Diamondback, and I heard the guy thank him for catching his phone.
June 27, 2013 at 2:01 PM · As much as I loved the Barney show back in the day, it's past the point where it resonates with kids and should be replaced. Same for Woody Woodpecker, and even, perhaps ET (which was a movie I HATED, FWIW). But I have zero interest in The Smurfs. I didn't see the latest reboot movie, though -- did I miss something?
June 27, 2013 at 2:21 PM · Robert, the only thing you missed by not seeing the Smurf movie is the loss of about 14% of your brain's gray matter. I saw it once with my kids- I'm still in therapy.
June 27, 2013 at 2:40 PM · I'm not sure, but I think I'd be pretty disappointed if only the Radiator Springs Racers ride was installed in Hollywood Studios. The ride is not what I love about it at California Adventure, but rather the incredible landscaping/hardscaping. It's such an immersive land, that to do only a small portion really defeats the purpose.

I feel like that's what they're doing at Universal Hollywood by just adding Hogwarts castle, and not the rest of the land. Obviously at both parks, space is limited and at a premium, but I'm not really in love with this latest rumor.

Spend the money to develop parking garages where the Television lot currently is, and reroute the second entrance. A pain yes. But from Google Maps, you can clearly see there is a LOT of space they are not using between Buena Vista Dr and Osceola Parkway.

June 27, 2013 at 3:43 PM · Wow Robert! Why did you hate E.T.? It's one of Spielberg's best movies.

A Brazilian pavilion would be tricky; any show would need topless girls dancing samba. Same goes with a movie. A boat ride through the Amazon would be the best option.

June 27, 2013 at 4:38 PM · I know they've already used it, but Despicable Me seems like it would be a much better theme for USF's kids area than the Smurfs. A lot of people liked the first Despicable Me film, and the second seems to be getting close to the same level of acclaim. On the other hand, I know very few people who cared for the Smurfs, and nobody who is excited about the sequel.

Star Wars Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios? Awesome. Assuming the area contains a unique E-ticket attraction, this would get me to plan a trip to Florida immediately, something even Harry Potter has not been able to do. Cars Land? Thumbs down, as I live next to DCA and don't want one of their two unique E-tickets cloned at another park. This wouldn't convince me to visit Florida at all (for the record, I've never been to Florida and do want to visit, but I'm waiting until the timing is right due to the expense involved).

Finally, I've heard that DCA may be fast-tracking Monstropolis and could have the area done as early as 2015 for the resort's 60th anniversary instead of New Tomorrowland at Disneyland (which would be pushed to around 2017/2018 and include the Tron Lightcycle Coaster, a mini Star Wars Land, and a Marvel E-Ticket attraction replacing Innoventions).

June 27, 2013 at 4:52 PM · If Disney adds a new Monsters ride, would it constitute a Monstropolis land or something similar to the Springfield/World Expo confusion that exists at USF?
June 27, 2013 at 5:07 PM · Daniel, I hated the idea that people working for NASA would be gun-toting bad guys. It just seemed like a cheap, lazy excuse for creating a villain and put me off for the rest of the movie. Throw in the Reese's Pieces crap (the first widely publicized example of product placement in the movies), and I came away thinking the whole picture was just one cynical exercise.
June 28, 2013 at 6:17 AM · I would much rather see India then Brazil...imagine a small-scale replica of the Taj Mahal...the exotic scent of Indian spices...aaaah. The interesting thing with Brazil is you celebrate Rio or the Amazon? A mix of both? Do you make the bold move of putting in a small-scale replica of Cristos Redentor, easily the most iconic structure in the country...really can't see that getting past the board, but it is an image that most automatically associate with Brazil? A Rio Carnival show would definitely be a major draw...though I'm sure Disney would tone down by showing less if you get my drift.
June 28, 2013 at 6:28 AM · Brazil ride - trackless dark ride where you encounter and try to avoid large, loud Brazillian tour groups while at a major theme park. IT could be a major thrill. You start off at your value resort and are awakened by the sounds of a large number of teens running and chanting through the resort. The car takes you to the park where you must weave in and out of several groups of kids wearing their matching shirts. The car speeds up to Toy Story Mania. You're getting fast passes!!! What's this? There's a chapereone feeding 60 plus cards into the fast past machine. Next scene is parade. Your car settles into a nice spot for viewing until it's suddenly jarred by a tour group trying to move you out of your spot. On to the fireworks. You start out with a great view until a group of 80 crams in front of you. The chanting starts and you can't hear the music. Back to your resort where you find the quick service area is overrun, the condiments are empty, and the tables are all a mess. More chanting. Fade to black.
June 28, 2013 at 6:54 AM · HA!! Joe, you are so dead-on, my friend. That would be the most terrifying...and infuriating...ride in all of Orlando :D
June 28, 2013 at 8:06 AM · I´m a brazilian. Read all the coments about Brazilian pavillions. Could agreed with some, and laughed with others (specially about the Tour group ride).
But saying about the pavillion, it will be dificult to determine what it could be - specially that we are a country with continental dimensions (like USA), and with a wide variety of history.
Probably it would be something about Amazon rainforest (I now live at Amazonas state, and it is completely different from what people expect to be), soccer or Carnival. I would prefer to be like a show inspired in Carnival festivities, or about some cultural traditions that we have.
And The decoration of the pavillion would it be at city of Rio (but if you have opportunity, you try to come to Brasil and see in person - forget the social problems tat we have, but really worth it. I have many foreign friends who have returned many times.
June 28, 2013 at 9:25 AM · I too would rather see something else - India would be very cool. I also cannot see any other ride other than an Amazon boat ride type.

Regardless, I look forward to the caipirinhas!

June 28, 2013 at 6:19 PM · There is no way in the world the Great Movie Ride will be coming down for star wars (this is coming from a huge fan of both)

The Great Movie Ride is in need of a HUGE overhaul...but to take it out would be like ripping the heart mickey mouse and showing it to him as he dies a slow and painful death.

American Idol will only last so long...same goes with Doc Jones Epic stunts of the 80s.

June 29, 2013 at 9:04 AM · "Sounds Dangerous would become new and much improved Jedi Academy show more integrated with theater style special effects"
I would love to see to get that property get a new life. In a small park as DHS the closing of an attraction not being replaced is beyond me.
Now for the Jedi Academy, yes it's cute and all but I hope the theatre will get an live action show with amazing effects and stunts. In the downtime this can handle the Jedi Academy thing nicely.
For the great movie ride, as long as they keep the exterior it's fine by me. I love movies but the way they are represented over there are so 80's and boring. It needs a mayor update or something new.
June 29, 2013 at 4:03 PM · If you change the exterior of the Great Movie Ride, wouldn't that necessitate changing the entire Hollywood Boulevard to Star Wars to create a consistent visual upon entering the park? As much as Disney's had its misses over the years, it's never messed up the visuals upon a park entry like that.

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