Beyond CaliFlorida: Blowin' in the wind

April 16, 2014, 8:45 AM · Carowinds – The park is getting a new roller coaster for 2015. Here is what we know currently – it will be a B&M roller coaster around 300ft tall and just under a mile long, that will cross between North Carolina and South Carolina. Demolition on the Skycoaster and go-carts is already underway, and construction should start by the end of the month for it to open by this time next year. Here is what the rumor mill is circulating (i.e. the following may go from educated guess to wild speculation). The roller coaster will cross over the entrance plaza similar to what GateKeeper does at Cedar Point. The roller coaster will be named Centurion – Cedar Fair has filed for a trademark for this name. Since the roller coaster will be named Centurion (roughly the Roman equivalent of an officer in the military who, incidentally, wore a skirt into battle), it only makes sense that there will be tall statues of muscular Centurions in full regimental attire for the ladies to gawp at before they get on the roller coaster. This roller coaster was specifically purchased from B&M because of their track record of building silky smooth roller coasters, since most of the female riders will have a strained neck from looking up before getting anywhere near the loading station. With a height of 300 ft., we can guess that the roller coaster will hit somewhere around 92mph, which is fast enough to blow up a skirt, even one made of leather and chain.

Canada’s Wonderland – We finally have a teaser video that shows us what Wonder Mountain’s Guardian might be about. If I am allow to speculate wildly, the ride story is about you getting eaten by a Dragon and then you have to navigate all of the dragon’s inner working before you are released out the other end…and then something goes horribly wrong.

Las Vegas – The High Roller is now open. We’ve got some video to prove it. I just don’t see a minibar anywhere. It looks like you are going to have to take it with you…either previously imbibed or in a large backpack…like the kind used for hiking to the North Pole. And there is no bathroom either…and I know that is going to be an issue. If someone even claims that the bathroom is going to be closed for the next 10 minutes, even though there are bathrooms on the other side of the office, I suddenly have an emergency on my hands. No bathroom, no bar…this Ferris Wheel is really roughing it.

Walt Disney Studios Paris – Spiderman is going to show up in this park soon, a first for any of the Disney Parks and the first of any Marvel superheroes to show up in Paris. I mean, at least I think so. It’s not like I get out there every other day to check on these things. But I am pretty certain my information is good. Quite certain. With Spiderman in the park, it will make decorating for the Halloween event much easier. Not only can Spidey hang upside-down to reach those high, hard to reach areas, he can also precision place cobwebs anywhere you need them.

Nigloland (France) – Alpina Blitz just opened. It is interesting that Mack rides would install a roller coaster for someone so close to their home turf. I mean the coaster looks nice and all, but Colorado is where that thing should have been installed, not France. That is way, way too close. That is like letting your neighbor borrow your grill and your super-secret recipe for stuffed bacon-wrapped brauts. Maybe one, maybe the other, but not both at the same time. It’s just not done. Oh, yeah, sure, ask me the tough question about where in Colorado it should go. Like I have an answer for that question…even if the roller coaster was free.

Denver area amusement parks – I took a wrong turn when driving to a friend’s house a couple of days ago in the Denver area and found an amusement park I had never heard of nestled back into a hidden valley, complete with volcano, roller coasters, and parachute ride. I did some research and figured out what it was.

SeaWorld San Antonio – Over the last week, human remains were found on the property of SeaWorld, in a wooded area away from the rest of the park. Apparently the killer whales are getting much more subtle about retribution when things are not quite going their way. I have no idea how the killer whales were able to dispose of a body so far away from their tanks, but since the area looked too perfect to be completely undisturbed, it is nearly proof positive that they were the ones to blame. Although now that I think about it, those little evil sea otters are bad news as well, and certain have the ability to drag a body out to the back nine of the park. But, come to think about it, otters would have gone after the eyeballs. Hmm. Maybe the sea lions? That funny act is just a way to disarm you so you don’t see the hate brimming behind those evil eyes and lurid mustaches. Or maybe it was the human security staff trying make a very public statement about what happens to people who break into the park to take selfies and raid the Dippin' Dots storage trailer.

Movie Park (Germany) – It looks like this park is hard at work on a rip off of King Kong and Jurassic Park, called The Lost Temple. And, yes, I know that the pictures repeat after the first 30 seconds. It’s not like I made the video myself. But it is frankly ironic that the pictures repeat themselves just like the attraction they are creating in Germany is a repeat of other attractions that have already been made.

Thought of the week – You’re never too old to have fun.

Replies (7)

April 16, 2014 at 9:12 AM · As always, great article! I loved the video at the end! And I'm sorry I couldn't include Cartmanland in my article about the Theme Parks of Denver...are you sure you can't pull some strings and get me in the next time I visit Denver?

I thought I was so used to your humor that I was getting jaded, but this article had me laughing out loud. Great work!

April 16, 2014 at 9:35 AM · So I'm at working listening to an audiobook while I work. And it just hit me with the funniest thing that I have heard for a while...and kinda ties into this article.

"Most killer whales are just 4 tons of dufus dressed up like a police car."

Christopher Moore from the book "Fluke"

My co-workers think I am a little touched...

April 16, 2014 at 9:58 AM · "You're never too old to have fun."

The thought I painfully force into my head when I see dads fawning over Disney princesses.

April 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM · Jeff, this is the second time you've mentioned a Christopher Moore book in reference to this column.... It explains a lot :-). Is this your first time reading his stuff, or are you an old fan? Fluke is one of my favorites -- it's completely and totally odd... but in a good way!
April 16, 2014 at 12:15 PM · This is my first go round with Christopher Moore. He writes like I write, although I go with the grounded in reality or established myth/folklore while he just goes for the bizarre (but explains it pretty well). He is currently my favorite author.

Terry Patchett (read all but the last few), Chuck Palahniuk, Neil Gaiman, Carl Hiaasen, and Christopher Moore are currently on my read list, although I throw in some Stephen King and Dean Koontz whenever I need something a little darker.

It was funny when I noticed that Christopher Moore was using a technique I had used for comedic effect, namely old people talking vividly about things young people find uncomfortable.

My own first publishable novel is approaching 110,000 words (on the second draft) and going strong. I just hit the first major climax on the way to the major showdown at the end of the book.

If you have suggestions for which book(s) I should go for next, I'm all ears...

April 16, 2014 at 1:58 PM · Ooh, I hope I have the opportunity to read your book someday!

Definitely read Practical Demonkeeping, if you haven't already, and the Island of the Sequined Love Nun. And the vampire series is good, but be sure to read them in order -- Blood Sucking Fiends, You Suck, then detour to Dirty Jobs to pick-up some crossover characters, and Bite Me.

A few of Moore's books haven't done that much for me -- I read Coyote Blue once, but I've never been able to finish a re-read, which is unusual for me. And I haven't been able to finish Sacre Bleu at all. Fool was good, but a little tough to read. And while I'm looking forward to the Serpent of Venice, I hope the best thing about it isn't its title :-).

April 16, 2014 at 6:54 PM · I would like to imagine the Disneyland Paris Spiderman as snooty, with a cigarette in one hand and wearing a beret. What a great photo op that would be!

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