Friday, September 13, 2002

Another Beautiful Afternoon Wasted Reading Rumor Sites

James Bardi, a coaster enthusiast in suburban Washington, D.C., wasted another beautiful afternoon constantly surfing through the dozen coaster rumor sites he checks obsessively. "Someone's gotta have new pictures of the vertical construction at Cedar Point!" Bardi muttered on his seventeenth visit to CoasterBuzz. During the four hours he spent in his windowless office, the average temperature outside was 79, the sun was shining, and a light breeze was blowing.

Bardi has previously ruined Thanksgiving with his family when looking for news about Six Flags Magic Mountain's progress on "X," and caused the breakup of a promising relationship when he interrupted a Valentine's Day dinner to check his e-mail four times on his Palm VII, hoping for an update on a rumored new coaster at Paramount's Kings Dominion, Bardi's home park.
Six Flags Working On Prototype "Parking Lot" Themed Coaster

More and more, amusement parks are considering the surroundings of roller coasters as critical to their long-term success. From Lake Compounce's Boulder Dash to the proposed Ravine Flyer II at Waldameer Park to the Beast at Paramount's Kings Island, the focus thus far has been putting coasters in close proximity to nature.

ARN&R can exclusively report that Six Flags is working on a new ride concept, though it might more accurately be described a reworking of an old concept: dropping a coaster into a corner of a parking lot, throwing a haphazard chainlink fence up around it, and making no effort to landscape or make the area look like anything other than a converted parking lot. But now, the generic name for this concept will be "Urban Chic: The Coaster."

Initial reports indicate that this project explains the park chain's recent announcement that Shockwave at Six Flags Great America would be shut down. Rather than being removed, Shockwave will in fact be renamed "Abandoned Lot: The Concrete Coaster" for the 2003 season. To add to the ambience, Six Flags intends to place abandoned cars, a check-cashing facility, and a methadone clinic in the parking lot below the coaster, and -- in yet another innovation -- add the overpowering odor of urine to the entire queue line.