Thursday, November 30, 2006

Six Flags To Re-Theme Magic Mountain’s Scream

Six Flags officials announced this week that they would be revamping the area surrounding Scream!, the park’s Bolliger and Mabillard floorless coaster. Since its installation over an unsightly parking lot in 2003, the coaster has been the target of numerous complaints and countless internet forum topics. After reading scores of pleas to fill the area below the popular coaster with gravel, landscaping, or even cases of unsold Mr. Six merchandise, Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro finally decided to take action.

After thanking a small contingent of media brave enough to enter the hellish environment of Magic Mountain’s entrance plaza, Shapiro outlined his plan. “We felt that we needed to do something special for our guests since Magic Mountain’s X will be non-operational for an undetermined amount of time, a situation completely out of our control, by the way,” Shapiro said, pausing as if waiting for a challenge to his statement.

Shapiro plans to re-brand the coaster “Superman: Kryptonite Island” in time for the summer 2007 season. Conceptual drawings, apparently done by on poster board by fourth-graders in a hurry, show a new red, blue, and yellow color scheme and coaster trains dotted with paper Superman stickers. But the themed area surrounding the coaster is what Shapiro is most proud of.

“Drawing on inspiration from the latest theatrical release Superman Returns, the entire coaster will take place over a detailed recreation of the jagged landmass that the evil Lex Luthor creates in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean,” Shapiro said. “Guests will swoop through rock canyons and around dangerous jagged obstacles in their attempt to escape the clutches of the villainous Luthor.

“It’ll be just like riding the movie. Universal Studios doesn’t use that phrase anymore, right?” he said, looking back at one of his aides for assurance.

When asked by an ARN&R reporter if he was just planning on haphazardly tearing up the parking lot’s asphalt as a cheap substitute for the “detailed recreation of the jagged landmass”, Shapiro looked visible distressed, complete with several involuntary bobs of his Adam’s apple. He called the claim “preposterous,” and said that anything that appeared to be remnants of yellow paint from parking spaces was just “traces of yellow Kryptonite”.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Study: Majority Of SFGAmWorld Forum Posts Written At Second Grade Reading Level Or Below

After conducting his latest study of various amusement park fan site forums, noted psychologist Don Petersen announced this week that 79% of the posts in the SFGAmWorld forums are written at or near a second grade level of comprehension. The site eclipses the previous benchmark held by the forums at Theme Park Critic by a full three grade levels.

“SFGAmWorld’s forums are a wasteland of poor grammar and atrocious spelling,” said Petersen in a phone interview with ARN&R, “and repeat offenders are commonplace. The boards are populated by enthusiasts who misspell “enthusiast” in their signatures, overly smug moderators with a deity complex, and people who engage in discussion about Tom Cruise-themed attractions.”

Normally, Petersen’s conclusions are primarily based on the Flesch Kincaid Readability Test, but in this particular case, special conditions were factored in.

“Most park forums are littered with hebetudinous gibberish, and one should almost expect subpar fundaments.” said Petersen. “But in this case, the absurd subjects of most of the forum topics were taken into consideration. Multiple examples of idiocy can be easily found, such as topics discussing Mr. Six merchandise being marked down, fantasy musings about if Marriott still owned the park, and a thread about an insecure poster desperately yearning for attention.”

Petersen is currently planning a 2007 Fright Fest trip to the Gurnee, IL park for his University of Iowa psychology doctoral students. “It’ll be a fascinating experience, getting to see some of these forum members in the wild, so to speak.” Petersen said. “I’m sure I’ll be reading many dissertations about how much smarter they are than the general public and their unhealthy obsession with park performers.”

--CMV (Hey! Look! Send the hate mail directly to the author!)
Enthusiast Disappointed With Halloween Experience

A Georgia coaster enthusiast is considering giving up on Halloween after this year’s costume choice failed to go over like gangbusters. 27-year old Locust Grove native Nick Selack explained his disenchantment in an exclusive interview with ARN&R.

“I just got so sick of seeing people dressed up in stupid costumes,” said a despondent Selack. “Every year, there’s like a thousand pirates or ghosts. Nobody’s got any originality. So this year, I decided to try something cool.”

After spending countless hours scrutinizing Discovery Channel coaster specials, Selack dressed up as Park World editor Paul Reuben, complete with grey wig, glasses, and a custom-created copy of Reuben’s pseudo-magazine Park World. Selack headed out to a costume contest at a local bar with high hopes for an evening of admiration -- hopes which were dashed quickly.

“Nobody understood who I was supposed to be,” said Selack. “Most of the people thought I was dressed up as Dick Cheney, and some thought I was former Illinois governor George Ryan. I kept holding up the magazine, and saying ‘Park World! Park World! Don’t you get it?’ And then they kicked me out for causing a disturbance.”

Things didn’t get better for Selack after knocking on a few doors in his neighborhood. “Man, you’d think nobody ever watched a coaster special before! I even tried to drop a few subtle hints, telling people that their front door had the best themeing I’d ever seen, or that walking up their sidewalk was an exhilarating experience like none other in the world. Nothing worked. What a bunch of rubes.”

Susan Callahan, who lives four doors down from Selack, chimed in on the confusion. “He seems like an okay guy, but he got the Paul Reuben costume all wrong,” she said. “For one, he wasn’t wearing the grey suit with the red bow tie. And he just glared at me when I asked him what the word of the day was. I was about to ask if he still kept in touch with Laurence Fishburne, or if he’d punched his clown in a movie theatre recently, but he’d already stalked off by that point.”