Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Thorpe Park Turns to Alternative Blessers

Disgusted with their new Intamin coaster Stealth, Thorpe Park today released a public statement indicating that "having the local Vicar officially bless the ride before its inaugural launch" was a terrible mistake, one that the park would not make in the future.

"Next time, we're going to have a Satanist bless a new ride," said park rep Chauncy Kefauver. "The Vicar guy obviously doesn't know what he's doing if the ride broke down this bad and this soon."

"Next coaster, we'll have some chanting by devil-worshipping priests in black hoods, and maybe they'll anoint the chassis of the first ride vehicle with the blood of sacrificed virgins or something. Or maybe they'll dance naked in circles and offer prayers to the Antichrist," said Kefauver. "Whatever assures us that the f*cking ride doesn't shut down after a couple weeks."

"Hail Satan!" he added.

--JCK

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Six Flags Sucks Balls

You knew this was coming, right? If you were remotely forward-thinking a few years back, you were deeply concerned that Six Flags was buying every park on the planet and then rampantly spending itself into massive debt throwing up tons of new rides everywhere there was a foot of gravel free. Oh, sure, it's not like it was all bad...we got ourselves a few of those nice Superman rides because of all the dough SF was slinging around, and we got a lot of enjoyment out of that. But we knew it couldn't last; down the line, that spending spree was going to bite Six Flags, and by means of the "shit rolling downhill" mechanism, its customers, in their respective asses.

We'd been uneasy about this for years, but then the signs grew more alarming this offseason, as new CEO Mark Shapiro toured each park and listed the ways each sucked and/or wasn't drawing enough cash in. Did you think all that would happen was that your admission ticket prices and parking would get jacked through the roof? Silly wabbits. Each park was being cased to determine how much money it would make if it were unloaded. The sudden closing of Astroworld and the sale (as of the end of 2006) of the Wyandot Lake and Frontier City properties were not so much a warning shot across the bow as a big, fat, steel-gloved cockpunch for customers across the world.

If you had half a brain, you just knew that Six Flags was, any second now, going to dump half its properties in a massive fire sale, leaving classic rides to the wrecking ball and stranding local customers without beloved summer amusements they might have been experiencing for years or even decades. And okay, coaster enthusiasts would be deprived of credits to notch. We won't pretend part of our interest isn't selfish.

Or did you really not expect this? Boy, you're stupid, no offense. Well, here it is. The fire sale, that is. Six Flags is actively taking bids from anyone and everyone in order to rid itself of Six Flags Darien Lake, Six Flags Waterworld, Six Flags Elitch Gardens, Wild Waves and Enchanted Village, Six Flags Splashtown, and Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor. Enjoy 'em while they last, kids. The official Six Flags announcement is clear that the chain does not give the slightest shit what anyone does with the properties, meaning these parks are almost all as good as dead. Six Flags might save some of the rides and distribute them elsewhere, some of the parks could be bought by others who want to run them as they are or in reduced form, or real estate developers could just take properties wholesale and bulldoze them so rich assholes can have a lakeside view and a tax credit.

Here's what we think is going to happen. We honestly think Magic Mountain is too big of a draw in the L.A. market to get pulverized. Not that it couldn't get plowed into the stone age, and not that we'll be completely shocked if it does, but our gut feeling is that someone will try to purchase the place and run it roughly as is. The rest? See ya. It was already appalling that Astroworld got the axe with almost no warning; now picture the worst-case scenario in this big sale and imagine the lines of strip malls in place of Superman: The Ride of Steel and the beautiful lakeside paths at Darien Lake Park. Or a wrecking ball bashing in the side of Timberhawk in anticipation of a new, exclusive, gated community.

Yeah, some of the rides from these parks might survive, but remember what happened with Astroworld? Easily transportable, cost-effective rides were saved and stored, while the others were demolished without a second thought. Hello, Batman: the Escape, a terrible but easily shipped and reassembled stand-up. Buh-bye, Texas Cyclone, unique (if no longer world-class) wood coaster that would have cost anything to save. You might get Darien Lake's Superman at another park next season. Then again, it might be smelted into girders for that mini-mall. And don't think the fact that you love it makes a shit's worth of difference to Six Flags.

If this wasn't already obvious, the Six Flags announcement is our Site O' the Weak, and a more deserving SOW there never was. Screw you, Six Flags.

--JCK

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Denver Ride Remains a Huge Hit

The Flying Coaster, a Zamperla Volare model of laydown roller coaster, remains a massive success at Six Flags Elitch Gardens, where it is now operating for its fourth season. Although the ride is not popular with everyone, it is still getting rave reviews from its target audience, marking it as a major destination attraction.

"Flying Coaster is still getting absolutely huge marks of approval from our target Fourteen Year Old Females With a Korean Father and Caucasian Mother Who Live in Boulder and Visit Elitch Gardens on June 20, 2006, Along With Three Friends Named Tammy, Jennifer, and Kate, Whose Favorite TV Show is Gilmore Girls, Whose Favorite Food is Lasagna, Whose Birman is Named Hermione, Whose Parents Drive Her and Her Friends to the Park in a Silver Chrysler Town & Country With 30,213 Miles and a Red Kool-Aid Stain On the Middle Seat, Who Has a Huge Crush on This Classmate Named Jimmy Who Plays the Bassoon, and Who Comments at Exactly 3:13 PM How Gross it is That Twister II Has a Sticky Seat audience," an elated Six Flags Elitch Gardens manager Harry Cox told ARN&R.

Indeed, the popularity of the ride with that all-important target audience was not overstated by Cox. When interviewed, Angela Kim, a fourteen year old Boulder native with a Korean father, Caucasian mother, whose favorite things include lasagna, Gilmore Girls, her cuddly cat Hermione, and a young bassoonist named Jimmy, and who was taken in a Chrysler minivan with 30,213 miles and a red stain on a seat for a day at Six Flags with her pals Tammy, Kate, and Jennifer yesterday, and who noticed that Twister II had a really icky seat, told us that "Flying Coaster is my favorite roller coaster" and that it is "the coolest ride ever made anywhere."

When questioned, Cox did reluctantly admit that other, less important, demographic groups all concur that Flying Coaster "pretty much sucks."

--JCK

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Prankster Valleyfair Maintenance Staff Spray Red Paint Markings "Everywhere"

In an ARN&R exclusive and of course, absolutely reliable rumor, Valleyfair maintenance staff revealed the true purpose of the stakes and markings in the vicinity of the General Store and Sports Bar.

"So, ya see...we had a lil' time off, checklists done an hour ahead of schedule, ya know?" snorted Lurvy McCracklin, lubrication technician. "We just wanted to play a frickin' game of horseshoes in the knoll and the minute we set up the stakes, what happens? Some fat bastard in a greasy shirt snaps three billion photos, squealing 'Rollycoaster! Rollycoaster!' We tol' the dipshit better, but ya'd think he had a fried cheese stick in his ear."

"Nahhhh. Pronto Pup. Prolly saving it for later," chimed in physical plant custodian Tennessee McCoy. "But the next night, I was done touching up paint on some rides early? And we decided to have us a lil' fun."

"Oh yeah. Oh yeah. First we thought we'd just spray 'construction' marks at random 'round spots that make no damned sense. But once Tennessee painted a trail of pavement spots that led to the Sports Bar bathroom--like ooh, what a clue, now go change your undies--the battle to top each other was on."

"So Lurvy starts in with these stakes surrounded by pylons, right?" guffaws Tennessee, scarcely able to breathe. "And starts puttin' 'em EVERY damn where. All along the Lazy River, then right next to the big family tube slide, all up in the waterslide exit zones like whooooooo, you're gonna be looping all over the park. Right. Listen up, ya pathetic, snack-chompin' lardasses! Put down the camera--"

"And the fried-up Twinkie bars!"

"--yeah, that too--and Get. A. Mo-Freakin' LIFE! At least there's some actual ass in the waterpark that isn't on DVD! Leathery as an old shoe, smoking a Marlboro and high-mileage droopy? Yeah, maybe. Okay, more than likely. But hell, it's a start."

"An act of mercy, sure. That's it," fired back Lurvy. "I'm a regular Mutha Theresa."

"But after they trip over a low-lying chain or two following these trails, at least they can ask someone who'd really know what we're building next year."

"Another Camp Snoopy, bitches!" chided Lurvy. "Dammit! I said that out loud!"

--CO

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New Sponsor Announced for Spaceship Earth

Only a few months after Siemens signed on for a major sponsorship deal involving the landmark Spaceship Earth attraction at Disney's EPCOT theme park, the company has unexpectedly pulled out. However, the attraction, previously sponsored by AT&T, was not long without a corporate partner.

In a hastily-assembled press conference, the new sponsor was introduced to the public. That sponsor is Semen.

"It was a natural move for us to mate Disney with Semen," said park representative Julius McFadden stiffly. "We were certain that Semen had the know-how to come up with a climactic ending for this ride that it has been lacking in recent years. Of course, it also has a similar name to our last sponsor, negating the need for extensive sign renovations. We can probably make do with a little spackle and a black Sharpie, which will save a load of money."

Standing erect at the podium, Semen outlined its plans for Spaceship Earth. "We will immediately begin a massive overall of this structure," it said. "Only creating one huge ball was a colossal boner made by the original park planners. In keeping with the Semen name, we will create a second giant Spaceship Earth of equal dimensions right next to the first one, and then add a massive steel obelisk between them to form a new beacon by which EPCOT will be known."

When questioned by journalists as to the realistic ability of Disney to create a structure incorporating two massive metal balls and a towering, rigid metal shaft thrusting toward the heavens, Semen assured all present that it was "no cock and bull story."

--JCK

Friday, June 09, 2006

Six Flags Enacts New Restroom Policy

On a recent visit to Six Flags New England, we noticed that the park has begun putting these signs in each bathroom stall:



ARN&R applauds both Six Flags New England's "green-friendly" assist to our planet and its continued ability to formulate new cost-cutting methods that will assist in relieving the Six Flags chain's crushing debt.

--JCK

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Busch Gardens to Open New Parks

Shortly after enacting name changes for its two popular theme parks, from Busch Gardens Williamsburg to Busch Gardens Europe and Busch Gardens Tampa to Busch Gardens Africa, the Busch company today announced that it would be opening an entire series of new theme parks. By the year 2010, there will be a Busch Gardens themed to each and every continent.

"Naturally, there will be a Busch Gardens South America, a Busch Gardens Asia, and a Busch Gardens Australia," said Busch representative Denny R. Rammerstein. "And we are sure that Americans will be eager to experience the exotic splendors of the unknown and mysterious when they step through the gates of Busch Gardens North America. But the jewel in our crown will be Busch Gardens Antarctica."

Expected to open in 2009, Busch Gardens Antarctica will use cutting-edge technology and special effects to give visitors a true taste of what life at the South Pole is really like. The entire park will be chilled to temperatures of -65 degrees Fahrenheit, with blinding snowstorms every ten minutes, along with near-constant, howling, 80mph wind gusts.

Details about most rides, attractions, and amenities are being tightly guarded, but Rammerstein did acknowledge a few details, such as the fact that there would naturally be a Festhaus serving authentic Antarctican corned beef sandwiches and pizza, as well as several thrill rides. However, he noted that "our roller coasters will likely be off-the-shelf Vekoma and Pinfari rides rather than signature attractions like Aplengeist or Shakira, since 99.5 percent of all guests will succumb to the elements before they even get past the annoying employees requesting that they pose for keyhole pictures."

--JCK

Friday, June 02, 2006

It's a Small World Celebrates Forty Years of Annoying the Shit Out of People

This past Sunday officially marked fortieth anniversary of It's a Small World, the legendary and highly irritating family ride located at Disney parks throughout the world. Originally opening at the 1964 World's Fair, the first of the mind-destroying attractions was later moved to Disneyland, and others unfortunately followed at other Disney properties.

"It's a Small World was designed specifically to annoy the ever-loving shit out of all humans with a modicum of sense and taste," said Disney representative Beth Purdy-Slutz. "And boy, has it ever succeeded in that regard. That shrill, soul-crushing song will absolutely rape your eardrums. Unless you're a huge fan of heinously awful music, the piercing sound of tuneless shrieking children, or bucketloads of treacle, this ride will make you want to ram your face into a brick wall."

"Other rides are annoying," added Purdy-Slutz. "Some, primarily those made by Vekoma and Gerstlauer, suck balls. But It's a Small World has been unchallenged in the category of pissing the hell out of people for forty years. Forty years! It's simply unbeatable, and for that we are incredibly proud."

Although a recent industry poll showed that 99.9999999% of all humans exposed even briefly to the Small World ride and/or song instantaneously feel a powerful urge to maim and destroy, the ride does have at least one masochistic supporter who apparently doesn't mind being viciously antagonized by a appalling piece of music "6 or 7 times every visit to Disney."

--JCK