Beyond CaliFlorida: A post of ice and fire... and water, too

July 2, 2014, 11:00 AM · Independence Day (and no, not the movie) – Firstly, I would like to wish everyone in the States a happy Independence Day, and warn them that:

1. Fireworks are usually illegal in city limits,
2. Fire crackers held tightly in your fist will unhandedly make you a candidate for one of the lead roles in Peter Pan, and
3. Since it is going to be on a Friday, stay safe and away from the drunken drivers who will, like usual, try to undermine what should be a wonderful celebration of the birth of our nation.

Since we are on the subject, we need to understand that our country is quickly approaching 240 years old, and while she is a tough old bird, she is also quite delicate, needing the right kind of stewardship to help with the maintenance required to keep this country flying. It is determination, vision, and leadership that can help cultivate the seeds to allowing our nation to withstand the slings and arrows that would try to topple her. With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to nominate John Lasseter as the next President of the United States. I would also like to nominate Elsa of Arendelle for Vice President.

John Lasseter

With this combo, we will have prosperity like the country has never known before, and if anyone tries to mess with us, they will be suddenly wondering why they are stuck in a block of ice. Happy birthday USA! And be safe out there!

Europa Park – It is always a joy to see a park go all out on an immersive themed experience. Arthur / The Kingdom of the Invisibles does a wonderful job with an interesting vehicular system. Please go and enjoy this park once you are bored with how tame Ratatouille is.

Sochi Park (Russia) – The park is now open. Just in time for the…nope, never mind, it missed everything. We hear that both people who are still in the area love the park. If this is the “Disneyland of Russia”, y’all need to get out more…

Six Flags Great Adventure – Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom should be open for the public on July 4th, just in time to get shot at with fireworks.

Schlitterbahn Kansas City – Verruckt is still not quite open yet, in fact they are continuing to reprofile the drop and the hill. But here is a video of the current state of things. Hopefully, they will have it open in time for winter.

Six Flags New England – The park has confirmed that their Cyclone coaster will be closing down “forever” on July 20th. This strikes me as a little odd to shut down an attraction in the middle of the season. One would then have to assume that in doing so is to get a jump start on the attraction that replaces it. One could then assume that since Six Flags Great America had delays on their newest attraction, Six Flags New England would want to get a little bit of an earlier start. While I know everyone is screaming at their computer that Rocky Mountain Coasters is going to give the Cyclone the Iron Horse treatment, I only need to mildly point out that RMC can’t do all of the roller coasters that the rumor mill has them slated to fix up this year, which at last count is somewhere around 23 different coasters projects. It does, though, appear that Six Flags management doesn’t like classic wooden roller coasters and is doing the world a great disservice by converting them all into steel hybrids, robbing us of our nostalgic coaster heritage. Shame on you.

Knott’s Berry Farm – A welding accident is what started a fire a Knott’s Berry Farm. While I am completely in favor of burning down an arcade, and for legal reasons I can’t say the same thing about the Johnny Rockets that also sustain heavy fire damage, what I did want to point out was that the origin of the fire confirms that someone was doing some welding in the Beary Tales/Kingdom of the Dinosaurs building. What on earth could they be doing in there?

Disneyland – The All-American College Band (those who decided that paying to toil with a drum and bugle corps wasn’t nearly as good as getting paid to play in the Mouse’s original house) is currently snarling up the walkways all over the park. Feel free to bring one of your own instruments and show them how it is really done.

ValleyFair! – While Six Flags gets away with claiming to have a new ride by running one of their old rides backwards, ValleyFair! has taken that one step further and expanded the Thunder Canyon River Rapids ride to cover quite a bit of the park and parking lot.

Six Flags Great America – This should be a requirement of all inverted roller coasters…the “hair” cam.

Legoland – The chain has just signed an agreement to open a new Legoland park in Nagoya, Japan. I guess their kids are just as bored as our kids are.

Now Hiring – Walt Disney World has its shingle out to add 1,000 employees to their ranks. If you can’t figure out how to work the interwebs well enough to find the hiring page, then you’re probably underqualified for the job.

Lost Parks of Northern California – 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition – Kris Rowberry is back with another excellent episode of his Lost Parks series.

Star Wars – From Star Wars to Jedi – Sorry, we got a little behind…this should catch us up.

Replies (6)

July 2, 2014 at 11:58 AM · So on that Arthur ride, the ride vehicles go right over people's heads? Are German lawyers like American ones, or do they not feel the need to safety-proof everything?
July 2, 2014 at 12:04 PM · @James There is no hysterical suing culture in Europe like there is in the US. You are expected to use your brains and no one needs to make anything idiot proof. But there are nets at some places on the ride for if you missed them.
July 2, 2014 at 12:21 PM · I second the nomination of John Lasseter as President of the US... but if that gig falls through, I'll settle for President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company....

I rode the Cyclone at SFNE a couple years ago and a combination of retracking and over-ambitious braking made it bearable. However, that same retracking and over-braking absolutely kills the ride after a fun first drop. In all fairness, Cyclone is indeed a fine candidate for the Iron Horse treatment as its layout would provide some excellent thrills if the coaster was allowed to fly around at full speed.

July 2, 2014 at 4:31 PM · The Europa Park attraction sure is neato. It's better than 90% of the dark rides I've ever been on.
July 3, 2014 at 4:52 PM · SFNE still has the Thunderbolt, I think. That's about as old-timey and rickety as a wooden coaster can get (peeling paint, random rusty bolts scattered on the ground beneath it). And really, no modern day amusement park needs more than one, right? The only people who appreciate it are the old fogies like me (I'm only 47 LOL). I won't miss the Cyclone but I probably won't be riding its replacement either.
July 4, 2014 at 7:42 PM · Why so harsh on the Disneyland College Band. We love watching them every year (til we let the overly expensive passes go)?

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