Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Six Flags over Texas to open "The Switch"
Newly Themed Ride Will Open Mid-Summer in Dallas Park

In a press release issued today, Six Flags over Texas announced that its Mr. Freeze roller coaster will be closed until the summer so new theming can be added. The press release read, "Due to the rise in the number of executions in Texas the state turned to a marketing partner to share the expense." The park and the state have joined forces to mutually benefit from the LIM (linear induction motors) found on the launched coaster. The electromagnets will soon be used to do much more than just propel a coaster. Prisoners will be electrocuted at one end of the station while a trainload of screaming riders is launched out the other. The new theme evokes comparisons to Six Flags New England's Halloween event, "Kill a Guy." Six Flags sources indicate that the actual death of a human being proved to be so popular last fall that the company wished to find a way to expand it to a year-round event.

Spokesman Gregg Murray was excited about the joint venture. "Traditionally museums, zoos and aquariums have been the only venues that could provide 'edutainment' options. Now kids can learn that crime doesn't pay and enjoying a thrilling ride at the same time," he said. Department of Corrections Chairman Todd Livingston agreed. "With the sheer volume of people we are killing each year we just could not afford to waste all of this electricity. George W. Bush set quite a precedent and his successor has had a hard time keeping pace. Add in the fact that our 300th execution recently got pushed back because of some legal snafu and you can see the governor is working hard to keep those bodies smoking."

Amnesty International officials thought of sarcastically suggesting that the company add a set of gallows next to the Cliff Hanger freefall ride, but then realized Six Flags might carry out that plan too.

The new theming has led to several unique partnership-marketing opportunities. General Electric will be the ride's overall sponsor, while Mr. Clean and the Texas Bristle broom company were chosen as the chamber's official cleaning supplies.

In addition to the electric chair and execution chamber the park has added some extra soda machines charging $5 per-drink. Murray said, "It is going to be hot in that tunnel, especially when the juice gets flowing. We thought that this would be an easy way to raise our beverage per-caps. In addition, our art department created some clever theming depicting different ways Texas has killed people throughout the years. It really is quite heartwarming and will teach people that they should not, in fact, mess with Texas."

When asked if he was worried the new ride might not "fit" the park because of its unusual theming, Murray just laughed. "We have Bugs Bunny next to Batman next to the Confederacy. Accuracy really isn't foremost on our minds."

The Switch will thrill riders in mid-June and 12 executions are already planned for opening day. Park officials assured reporters that there will be "a lot of fireworks" to celebrate the ride's re-opening.

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