Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Universal Adds Face Characters

Doc Brown has long been a staple at Universal Studios Orlando, as trained employees dressed as the kooky character have entertained park guests in the vicinity of the Back to the Future simulator ride for years. But after years of laboring alone, Doc will be reinforced by fresh troops. The first new arrival is the character of Marty McFly, who was successfully tested recently and will begin appearing regularly with Doc in the World Expo section of Universal Studios this summer.

But that won't be all. Seeking to capitalize on the fresh new blockbuster series of movies, numerous other Back to the Future characters will be featured on the streets of Universal Studios in the coming months. Later in the summer, after Marty's big debut, will come Mr. Strickland, Ma Peabody and Marvin Berry. At the end of the summer more new additions will consist of Babs, Milton Baines, and Sherman Peabody. And finally, in the fall, new faces will include Clocktower Woman, Scooter Kid #2, Bystander #1, and High-School Band Audition Judge.

"It's important to really market a hot new property like Back to the Future," said one Universal representative. "Seeing hugely popular, iconic characters like Clocktower Woman and Scooter Kid #2 literally come to life before their very eyes will create a new realm of immersive customer satisfaction and happy pleasure."

--JCK

Monday, May 29, 2006

Six Flags New England Much Improved

The mandate from Six Flags upper management this year has been to focus less on massive new thrill rides and to focus more on customer happiness, infrastructure improvements, beautification, and raising ticket prices by an exorbitant amount. ARN&R recently sent a team of secret investigators to spend a day at Six Flags New England this past weekend so as to determine what sort of improvements might have been made since last season. Would the park be cleaner? Would employees be less incompetent and aggressive? Would anything work? Would security be doing anything to control the hordes of young louts running loose? Let's take a look at some key statistics to find out; the comparison in these stats will be made between the recent sample day, placed alongside the park's three-year averages from 2003-2005.

  • Average Daily Line-Cutting Incidents

  • 2003-2005: 431,621
    5/28/06: 367,997

  • Average Daily Smoking-in-Line Incidents

  • 2003-2005: 237,786
    5/28/06: 234,101

  • Average Number of Times Security Guard or Ride Op Looked Directly at Line-Cutting or Smoking-in-Line Incident and Didn't Do Jack F*cking Shit About It

  • 2003-2005: 46,325
    5/28/06: 44,917

  • Average Restroom Square Footage Covered With Fresh Human Feces

  • 2003-2005: 100%
    5/28/06: 98.6%

  • Average IQ of Paying Customers

  • 2003-2005: 35
    5/28/06: 50

  • WHIP

  • 2003-2005: 1.94
    5/28/06: 1.67

    As can easily be seen, Six Flags New England has massively improved in several key areas of customer service, most notably in safety and cleanliness. Way to go, folks. Keep up the outstanding work!

    --JCK

    Sunday, May 28, 2006

    Meet Your Heroes

    Let there be excitement. ARN&R officially announces AbsolutelyReliableConeyCon II. After the incredible success of last year's AbsolutelyReliableConeyCon I, for which we may get around to having an actual trip report with pictures any century now, we couldn't pass up the chance to do it all over again. Here are the details:

    Date: Sunday, May 28th, 2006
    Time: About 3:15 PM until closing
    Where: Six Flags New England
    Who: Your much-beloved and really sexy ARN&R Co-Editors-in-Chief

    Okay, so it's not actually at Coney Island. And we just kind of decided to go to a park today at the last minute, so it might be a little taxing for those of you in California or Japan or Djibouti to make it. And frankly, we won't be easy to spot, because we discovered a while back that actually wearing a coaster shirt tends to encourage random enthusiasts to follow you around, talking too close and getting tangy body odors and barbecue sauces on you. But if you just happen to be at SFNE in, oh, a couple hours, and you can guess who we are, well hell, come say hi. We might or might not make fun of you in an article tomorrow.

    --JCK

    Saturday, May 27, 2006

    Batwing: "Who Keeps Farting?"

    Controversy has reigned of late at Six Flags America, as the Vekoma flying coaster Batwing has frequently accused its fellow coasters of copious farting. "And they aren't the loud, funny kinds," said the distressed Batwing. "We're talking Silent But Deadly. It smells like Satan took a big, fat burrito shit around her most of the time."

    Adding that it was "really immature and annoying to keep passing gas in public," Batwing stated that "certain coasters might want to lay off the deep-dish meat-lover's pizza and beer late at night."

    As one might expect, other rides at SFA dispute the claims Batwing has made about their allegedly revolting bodily emissions. "Well, it sure ain't me," said Two-Face, holding its hands up defensively. "I never fart. Um, it was probably my dog or something."

    Joker's Jinx was more succinct. "He who smelt it, dealt it," it commented. "Batwing is the one whose paint has been blistering the most lately, if you catch my drift."

    A SFA spokesman issued a statement that none of the park's coasters were under management suspicion of farting, despite any unsupported claims by Batwing, and that the foul sulfurous odors were just the "usual pleasantly tangy scents of raw human excrement bubbling out of the restrooms, just like they have been for the past couple decades."

    --JCK

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Disney Opens New Version of Mission:Space

    Since its opening several years ago, Mission: Space, a thrill ride located at Disney's Epcot theme park, has been the target of more complaints than any other ride at any of the corporate giant's properties, with the exception of It's a Small World. But while Small World generates customer anger solely because the endless rooms of hideous demon-spawned children singing their asinine, treacly, eardrum-rupturing little song leads over 93% of guests to seek mental health counseling, Mission: Space goes straight for the gut. The gut of riders, that is; a frequent criticism of the attraction is that it is too intense and causes nausea.

    Complaints of this nature are expected to be dramatically reduced over the next few weeks, following the recent opening of a new, tamer version of Mission: Space. Passengers will now be given a choice of joining the Orange Team or the Green Team. The Orange team will board vehicles that feature the original, intense experience that will cause the massive vomiting and sudden explosive voiding of the bowels enjoyed by hardcore thrill-seekers.

    Green Team members will enjoy a toned-down version of the attraction. Unlike Orange Team members, these passengers need not fear the queasiness, the eruption of bile, or the discharge of various bodily liquids and solids from every orifice. Green Teamers will be in no danger of vomiting, but instead, the relaxing ride will merely cause them to, in the words of a Disney representative, "toss their cookies," "waste their groceries," "talk to George on the Big White Phone," or "bow before their porcelain master." Additionally, these passengers will not face those pesky voided bowels like the Orange team; instead, on this tame version of the ride, they will merely "have a chocolate surprise," "involuntarily download some brownware," or "shit their pants."

    "Why, I might just have to try that ride again if it's less intense," said local spinster Bernice Freishutz, 83. "I was very dizzy and quite sick to my stomach the last time I rode Mission: Space, but I'd sure enjoy yodeling in Technicolor and accidentally filling my pants with brownie batter much better!"

    --JCK

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Investigative Report: Why Hollywood B-Listers at Tatsu?

    In a shocking -- shocking, we tell you! -- turn of events, Six Flags Magic Mountain premiered their lastest coaster to Hollywood B-listers as opposed to the usual bunch of enthusiasts.

    Why? Why? For the love of all handouts, why? We could think of only a few reasons...

    • They avoid paparazzi from real press; no need to invent 'press credentials' of their own
    • Names are at least recognizable to a few folks, occasionally even both parents
    • Velvet ropes more elegant than barbed wire needed to corral enthusiast herds
    • Most of them actually fit in ride restraints
    • They can 'act' like they're having a good time
    • Actually prefer rideops don't talk to them
    • No ponderous trip reports involving potty breaks and bodily emisisons six days before their visit
    • Two words: Back hair
    • Less likely to stuff free food in back pockets and/or cheek pouches, while simultaneously bitching about its quantity
    • Prefer zombielike actors to drooling Coaster Zombies
    • Paris Hilton can't even spell 'trim brake'



    --CO
    Love the Coasters, But Please Don't Love the Coasters

    In a recent and perplexing announcement, a coaster enthusiast wrote an open letter in which he announced that he was leaving his longtime "darling" Raven for a new, upgraded model called The Voyage. "It's just like all those celebrities," said relationship expert Dr. Martin Van Buren IX. "They have these wives who stayed with them all those years of hardship and financial desperation, supporting them and caring for them no matter what, and then the instant they get famous, the loyal spouse gets bagged for some filthy succubus like Angelina Jolie or a science experiment gone horribly awry, like Pamela Anderson. It appears to be a similar situation with these Holiday World rides. Except, um, creepier."

    "Way creepier," he added. "And kinda gross."

    The "creepiness" component comes from the intimate, sometimes sexually charged way in which the enthusiast refers to an inanimate hunk of wood. Within the letter, the enthusiast utters such proclamations as "Our wonderful days together, our wild nights - what we have had was special, and I always thought it would last forever," "I'm sorry, my dear, but you no longer excite me as once you did," and "I hope that we can still be friends, and that I can stop by and visit sometimes, but in all other ways, our ship has sailed."

    "So he's basically a slut," said ACE member Dustin McCracken, 33. "He freely announces to the world that he ditched a lover and shacked up with another one. If I were an unfaithful slattern, and I'm not, you better believe I'd go slink off into a corner and pray for forgiveness instead of blogging about it and showing off my whore-ness to untold millions. Well, dozens, anyway. And what if Raven decides to respond and make fun of him as revenge for airing their private intimacies in a public forum? What filthy, dirty secrets will be revealed about this enthusiast, I wonder?"

    McCracken ended the interview by mentioning that he was available any time Raven needed him for sympathy, a shoulder to cry on, or a "good mercy f*ck," at which point this reporter called the police.

    "It's a pretty disturbing letter," said noted psychological researcher Dr. Dikembe Billy-Bob Rittenhouse Arjumand Ktulu-Lieberman Svenson III. "First of all, does this man think anyone is concerned with his infidelities?" asked Ktulu-Lieberman Svenson III. "Bragging about his new conquests is certainly not going to gain him respect, and in fact may inspire thoughts of hatred and vengeance from the spurned lover instead of enabling him to end an intense sexual association somewhat amicably. He should have just broken things off privately and calmly instead of bringing in all this drama."

    "Of course," said the doctor, "this all obscures something even more disturbed and twisted in this enthusiast's mind: he obviously thinks that these two inanimate wooden structures are capable of communicating with him, hearing his words, and reading his letters on a computer. Indeed, he thinks each of the rides is a woman with whom he has had sexual congress; it is quite likely he believes that each has reciprocated his feelings, has derived pleasure from having his warm ass upon them thousands of times, and that one might be jealous of the attentions another pile of lumber may or may not receive. My official, clinical diagnosis is that this man is a gibbering wackaloon."

    Ktulu-Lieberman Svenson III added that all the seats on the trains for both rides could do with a "good mopping, just in case," but admitted this was more of a housekeeping tip than an official medical statement.

    According to some reports, the enthusiast's open letter caused a number of readers become physically ill, resulting in the loss of at least one computer keyboard due to vomit damage. Additionally, the discussion thread was named the ARN&R Site O' the Weak.

    --JCK

    Sunday, May 14, 2006

    Signature Move Stolen

    We've heard of musical artists being derivative, but this is ridiculous. Check out R&B artist T-PAIN, of "I'm in Love with a Stripper" fame, as he steals the infamous Signature Move popularized (and displayed for each and every photograph taken) by a coaster enthusiast during the ACE-ECC Japan Tour last year.



    For shame, T-PAIN. For shame.

    --CSB

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    It Is Indeed All Downhill From Here

    Today, we most happily link you to one of our favorite on-ride photos ever. Apparently, the passengers are making the number 100 with their hands to symbolize one enthusiast's hundredth ride on The Voyage, a stunning number considering the length of time the new coaster has actually been open. We thought the picture would be even better if it had an informative caption. Here are a few we came up with:

    -By coincidence, that 100 is the same percentage we are happy not to be on that ride with them.

    -Oh, I thought they were doing zeros, as in the odds of any of them ever having a normal conversation with another human being

    -"Our hands get a LOT of exercise moving in this shape...oh, wait."

    --GP

    Sunday, May 07, 2006

    Coming Soon to a TV Near You

    Microphone from RadioShack (batteries not included): $9.87

    2 AA Batteries found in Dad's toolchest: $0.25 (Dad's an asshole)

    Sticker made from home inkjet printer: $0.55

    Look of suicidal desperation on Cedar Fair marketing executive's face (third down) when she realizes she has to pretend you're a "serious member of the press" as part of her job: Priceless (for ARN&R)

    --MOS

    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Manhattan Express to Receive New Trains

    Wild speculation has run rampant on the internet that the horrifically rough TOGO looper Manhattan Express, located on top of and around the New York, New York casino in Las Vegas, might soon be receiving new trains. ARN&R is happy to confirm these rumors as true, following a discussion with a completely untrustworthy source.

    Manhattan Express will run as normal until this July 12th; at that point the coaster will be shut down for a period of approximately two weeks as the maintenance staff tests the new vehicles.

    "Everyone thinks the Manhattan Express is a great ride with a great layout," said the source. "And its height and the interaction with the building make it a notable landmark on the Vegas skyline. However, the one complaint often made is that the trains are very rough and brutal, of the type that some call "headbangers" or "pieces of shit." New York, New York has listened to those complaints and will be introducing spectacular, far more comfortable trains very soon."

    The chief problem with the current trains is with the restraint system, which tends to both compress the spine and box the ears of riders. No more with the soon-to-be-delivered trains. Instead of the unwieldy lapbars and shoulder restraints currently in use, the new vehicles will feature a space-age, ingenious new system. Passengers will be held in place by thick, unlubricated, fourteen-inch-long splintered wood poles thrust into their anuses, rusty fishhooks gigged through their ears, electrified clamps attached to their nipples, and rabid, starving Dobermans chomping on their wrists, legs, and testicles (where applicable).

    Preliminary estimates by the casino suggest that the new, improved trains will result in a 55% reduction in complaints and a 34% increase in rerides compared to the old, more uncomfortable ones.

    --JCK

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Moron Can't Wait for IOA Ride to Open

    Many fans of Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park have been overjoyed by news that the park's long-delayed Sylvester McMonkey McBean's Very Unusual Driving Machines family attraction will finally soon be opened to the public. However, few could possibly be as thrilled as area moron George Burnsides, 14, a junior high school student who enjoys spitting on people from elevated locations.

    The Driving Machines, announced as one of the park's original Seuss Landing rides and constructed in time for IOA's grand opening, never took on passengers and remained unused for the past several years. In recent weeks, word has leaked that a new transportation system and vehicles had been designed for the attraction, which would open shortly as the High-In-The-Sky Seuss-Trolley-Train-Ride.

    The ride may have changed names, it may have changed vehicle designs, and the track may now be constructed differently from how it was originally envisioned, but one thing hasn't changed: the fact that the ride is an excellent platform from which idiots can spit or discharge other bodily wastes on unsuspecting park guests below them. People like area moron George Burnsides, for example.

    "I can't wait," said Burnsides, fairly vibrating with pleasure at the thought of spitting on people's heads and making a thorough jackass of himself. "There's nothing more fun than hocking a good loogie on someone, especially if you're high enough up that it achieves terminal velocity and makes that awesome splattering sound when it smacks into their head," he said, using sentence structure and words highly unlikely for a fourteen-year-old moron.

    Burnsides added that he had been spitting at people for years, usually off bridges and out of balconies, occasionally off a coaster lift hill here and there, but that the new IOA ride would offer "incredible opportunities" for him to be a complete prick and douse people with his saliva, not to mention provide a relaxing and fun tour of most of Suess Landing. The moron noted that it would be "the best day of [his] life" if he were to discover that the ride traveled near any restaurants or food stands, since he could soil patrons' meals with his expectorate.

    "It will be an immersive experience for everyone," he added. "I will be immersed in spectacular whimsical delights in the form of intense Sneech theming, while other guests will be immersed in my filthy and unsanitary bodily fluids."

    --JCK

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    We're Not Dead Yet

    As you may have noticed, we actually put an article up yesterday, and there will be more to come, at least until the next week like last one, where we are at work from 7:30AM to midnight every day. But at least we had you. In our time of annoyance and exhaustion, all your letters and cards of warm support and concern were the only thing that kept us going.

    Wait a minute. There were no letters or cards of support or concern. In fact, there were no messages of any sort, not even an amusing, grammatically-suspect bit of hate mail. You uncaring pricks.

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Fake French Protest PKI Opening

    The changeable spring weather was notably calm for the start of the 2006 season at Ohio's largest (themed) amusement park - but the rhetoric was volatile. Over ten fake French natives turned out to protest last season's closure of "Le Patisserie Français."

    Chants of "Starbuck doit disparaître!" and "Le goût de café comme la pisse de rat!" echoed from the fake Eiffel Tower as the protest's leader, Etienne Âne d'Grenouille, rasied a megaphone to address the sparse and puzzled crowd.

    "Mesdames et messieurs, eet ees verr' sad day today for fake France!", exclaimed Âne d'Grenouille. "My fazzer, 'e 'elp beeld le fake Eiffel Tower. 'E raaaise us, 'ees cheeldren, to be tres bon fake French - and now, what ess 'appen? Zey close ze last 'ome of nateeve fake French culture, right een ze shadow of zis towairrr!"

    M. Âne d'Grenouille then bemoaned the loss of traditional fake French foods, such as doughnuts labelled 'eclairs' and "le elephant ear". In a later interview, he reviewed the history of gradual deportation of fake Mexicans and fake Germans from International Street, and eventually the park, without protest from the patrons. He believes it is part of a pattern of homogenization driven by powerful multinational corporations at the expense of native culture. "Eff we do not now put down ourr feet wiz a shout of Non!, soon zis corporate octopus crush us all een hees - 'ow you say - testicles," he said.

    Hikaru "Bull" Smythe, Paramount's King's Island's PR Chief disagrees. "Cheese-eatin' froggy talk like that'll get y'all a visit from homeland security, know what I mean?" he grumbled, petting his revolver. "They just got no idea of progress. When King's Island was opened in 1972, International Street had all kinds of European stuff - food, clothes, toys, whatever. Now in 2006, there's a bunch of Chinese stuff with American brands and a Starbucks - now, if that ain't just like Europe, I don't know what is!"

    --PJS