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The Theme/Amusement Park Thread
#1

Since there's a tangent on this topic going on in the I Still DO Love Star Wars thread, I figured I'd bust it out into its own thread.  So we can spin our tales of whimsy and horror of those places where you can get away from all your troubles for $90 a person.



Living in Orlando, everything is shaped by the theme parks here.  Chances are good you either a) work at one of the Big Three (Disney, Universal or SeaWorld) or b) know someone who does.  If you're smart and local, you should really never have to pay for a theme park admission around here.  Granted, there's a lot more to Central Florida than theme parks, especially once you trek over to the east side of I-4, but since all those tourists keep us blissfully free of a state income tax, you'll not find me saying anything bad about them either.  There as good or as evil as both the people who run them AND the people who visit them.  They're not bad things in and of themselves.

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#2

I like bumper cars.



Tea cups can fuck right off though.

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#3
AAction Park.

That's all I have to say in this thread is Action Park.

It fascinates me to this day..
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#4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Codename View Post
 

I like bumper cars.



Tea cups can fuck right off though.



My wife LOVES the Tea Cups.  Whenever we go to Disney World (and we're there again in less than 2 weeks), it's tradition that we make the Tea Cups the first ride of the trip.



I'm indifferent on the ride.  As long as we don't turn the cup into a centrifuge and induce vomiting, I'm fine.

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#5

The only rides that I will actively avoid are ones where there are too many different directions to rotate.  If your car is spinning one way, the arm that your car is spinning on is spinning another way, and then the whole ride itself is spinning yet another way...yeah, no thanks.  I've watched rides like that where people literally fall out of the car and then the carnies have to wipe down the seats with windex and paper towels.  The Zipper is one that comes to mind for this:





The Octopus is another one:




I rode the Octopus once...ONCE.

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#6

Yeah, I'm not so good on spinning or going upside down anymore.  I get all nauseous and headache-y and cranky and the hour or so of feeling crappy just isn't worth the five minutes of fun.  I'm basically a free locker for my friends who are riding at this point.

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#7

Yeah, last time we went to a county fair, we rode the tilt-a-whirl and that was enough to ruin my night.  It was cool and had rained a little, so I spent the remainder of the night feeling exactly like I had the flu.



The questionable hotdog I took a bite out of immediately upon getting there didn't help either.

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#8

My scariest experience was on a Ferris Wheel once, though.  I can't remember where we were (some Six Flags or similar in the Kansas/Missouri area, I think), but a bunch of us got on a Ferris Wheel that, I'm pretty sure, needed an inspection.  As the ride started, we began to question the stability of the machinery at work; specifically, we were wondering if the single pin that appeared to be holding our car to the wheel itself was going to come out or not.  It looked like a door hinge was the only thing keeping us from falling to our deaths, and the thing was rattling and shaking like it desperately wanted to snap.  We all looked at each other and said 'we're going to die', and not in a joking way.  It was pure terror for all of us.



I haven't ridden on a Ferris Wheel since.

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#9
We have a theme park over here in the UK called Chessington's World Of Adventures and, in the later 80's, it hosted a ride I loved so much that I begged my father to take me back there two years in a row.


"The 5th Dimension" was, apparently, the first of its kind in the UK - a narrative-driven attraction where a train of visitors were recruited by a robot repairman and sent into different dimensions. Unusually for the time, the carriages would rotate toward whatever was happening around them - whether you'd been shrunk and were now being chased by giant insects, or alien beings were at war around you. I remember how the final dimension featured you having to fight a giant monster to save the robot repairman, by pressing a glowing button at the front of your carriage to "shoot" it with laser beams.


Man, that ride was awesome. Shame it's not around any more.


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#10
AThe Zipper and Octopus clips that were just shown brought back memories from 20 years ago.

Spinning, nope nope nope.

Had gone on the actual Zipper and the Gravitron in jr. High at the fair and felt miserable.

I am all about some high steel beam rollercoasters though.
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#11

Can't wait to hit Disney World in two weeks.  If the wife and I have our way, we're gonna do Toy Story Mania for a few hours straight on one of the evenings where the park is open late for people staying at the resorts.  That ride is incredibly fun:





It's insanely popular.  The good news is that they've reportedly added another track to it to help with the traffic flow.  I hope so, because...when it's busy...it can be a 2 hour wait to get on this thing.  Last time we were there to take advantage of the late hours, the wait was less than 5 minutes and we were able to do this about a dozen times.  So much fun.

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#12
Quote:

Originally Posted by Call Me Roy View Post

The Zipper and Octopus clips that were just shown brought back memories from 20 years ago.

Spinning, nope nope nope.

Had gone on the actual Zipper and the Gravitron in jr. High at the fair and felt miserable.

I am all about some high steel beam rollercoasters though.


Oh God, the Gravitron.  I rode it once and nicknamed it the Vomitron.  Never again.

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#13

Remember as a kid if you turned your head the wrong direction on the Gravitron it was almost torture.  Good times.

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#14
AI almost died on the Judge Roy Scream once. I guess that's something..
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#15
Quote:

Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

Can't wait to hit Disney World in two weeks.  If the wife and I have our way, we're gonna do Toy Story Mania for a few hours straight on one of the evenings where the park is open late for people staying at the resorts.  That ride is incredibly fun:





It's insanely popular.  The good news is that they've reportedly added another track to it to help with the traffic flow.  I hope so, because...when it's busy...it can be a 2 hour wait to get on this thing.  Last time we were there to take advantage of the late hours, the wait was less than 5 minutes and we were able to do this about a dozen times.  So much fun.



Yes, they did add another track to increase the capacity.  That thing would hit 90 minutes within an hour of park open before.  The only problem is that with all the construction going on at Hollywood Studios, the stuff that's still open is proportionally more crowded, so I'm not sure how much the extra track will help during busy times.

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#16
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 


Yes, they did add another track to increase the capacity.  That thing would hit 90 minutes within an hour of park open before.  The only problem is that with all the construction going on at Hollywood Studios, the stuff that's still open is proportionally more crowded, so I'm not sure how much the extra track will help during busy times.



That's why we're already planning on taking advantage of the extended evening hours in the hopes of replicating what we did last time.

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#17

Can't wait to see the new King Kong ride at Universal.  Everything that I've read and seen about that ride looks fantastic.

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#18
Quote:

Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

Can't wait to see the new King Kong ride at Universal.  Everything that I've read and seen about that ride looks fantastic.



It's pretty spectacular.  I hear a lot of complaints along the lines of, "Oh, it's just another movie screen ride," but really, there's no way you could pull that attraction off to that level with traditional animatronics.



That's going to be the ongoing struggle with these high-end parks though: balancing the desire for the new and shiny with the nostalgic pull of the old and reliable.  Peter Pan is basically an overhead track ride through a bunch of puppets, but it's consistently one of the longest lines at the Magic Kingdom.

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#19
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 


Peter Pan is basically an overhead track ride through a bunch of puppets, but it's consistently one of the longest lines at the Magic Kingdom.



Not only is it a long line (which is baffling), but it's right across from the 'It's a Small World' ride which also has a long line (again, baffling), creating a huge, huge traffic bottleneck.  When the park is crowded, it's a giant mob scene there with park employees directing traffic flow.

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#20

Like I said, nostalgia is a hell of a thing.  It's something Disney has over every other park in the world.  I rode the Matterhorn at Disneyland last year and it was a rickety, jarring, boring ride that simply took you up and then spiraled you back down.  But damned if it wasn't one of the longest lines in the park because EVERYBODY has heard of it and it's been there virtually since the beginning.

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#21
AI was raving about the new Kong ride in the "Skull Island" thread. It's top shelf. The ride vehicle is trackless, so you actually feel like you're on a truck being driven by a person. And there are I think five different drivers; I lucked out and got a new one each of the three times I rode it.

Oh, and there's an island native scare-actor in the queue. He got me good.
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#22
A[quote name="Bradito" url="/community/t/156050/the-theme-amusement-park-thread#post_4173448"]
Oh, and there's an island native scare-actor in the queue. He got me good.[/quote]
Uhh, SPOILERS!
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#23
AI knew he was in there and he still scared me.
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#24
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

Since there's a tangent on this topic going on in the I Still DO Love Star Wars thread, I figured I'd bust it out into its own thread.  So we can spin our tales of whimsy and horror of those places where you can get away from all your troubles for $90 a person.



Living in Orlando, everything is shaped by the theme parks here.  Chances are good you either a) work at one of the Big Three (Disney, Universal or SeaWorld) or b) know someone who does.  If you're smart and local, you should really never have to pay for a theme park admission around here.  Granted, there's a lot more to Central Florida than theme parks, especially once you trek over to the east side of I-4, but since all those tourists keep us blissfully free of a state income tax, you'll not find me saying anything bad about them either.  There as good or as evil as both the people who run them AND the people who visit them.  They're not bad things in and of themselves.



I've always been interested in the little differences between the parks.  For example, I've heard that Orlando Disneyworld doesn't have the Indiana Jones ride.  Is this true?

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#25
Quote:

Originally Posted by Overlord View Post
 


I've always been interested in the little differences between the parks.  For example, I've heard that Orlando Disneyworld doesn't have the Indiana Jones ride.  Is this true?



Hollywood Studios has an Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, but that's it.  There's nothing IJ related in the other parks.

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#26
AThe Magic Kingdom (basically Orlando's version of Disneyland) doesn't have the Matterhorn, either. But Animal Kingdom has Expedition Everest. I heard that ride was really something before the yeti broke.
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#27

Expedition Everest is the shit.  Just awesome.  The wife doesn't care for it so I usually take the single rider line and bang it out a few times while she does some shopping.  What's this about the yeti breaking?



And speaking of Animal Kingdom: that's a park that we usually bang out in half a day.  Expedition Everest and the safari are really the only things to do that are worth a damn.  The Dinosaur ride is weak, and I don't like the Kalahari Rapids (I hate walking around a park wet).  How to Be a Bug is ok but no big deal.  I'll be interested in seeing the new evening light show that is supposed to be going on, but otherwise the park's a really quick side-trip on a larger vacation to Disney World.  I can spend days upon days at EPCOT, for example.

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#28
AFrom what I've read, the yeti animatronic originally moved and attacked the ride vehicle, but it broke. Imagineering's unable to repair it without completely shutting down the ride for who knows how long; it's attached to the track or something. So, they put in a strobe light to give it the illusion of movement.

People call it "Disco Yeti."
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#29

I rode Expedition Everest while the yeti was still working and he was goddamn impressive ... and it's totally understandable why it broke and never worked right again.  The way that thing moved all over the place, it was only a matter of time before it cracked.



And yeah, they've been trying to get Animal Kingdom into a full day park almost from the beginning.  Part of the problem is the marquee attraction -- the safari ride -- often features long stretches of empty field because most of the animals sleep during the day, especially in the heat of the deep Florida summer.  If you can catch it first thing in the morning it's worth it, but once you're past 10 or so, a lot of the animals go off in search of shade and that's that.



Part of the reason AK is so sparse is they kind of ran out of time and money.  If you look at the park logo, you'll see a dragon on it.  Because there was supposed to be an entire additional land devoted to mythical creatures that got axed.  Rumor has it Dragon's Challenge at Islands of Adventure -- formerly Dueling Dragons -- was part of the plan for that land that got brought to Universal when the designers got cut loose from Disney.

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#30
AI rode Dueling Dragons back when it was called Dueling Dragons. And they actually duelled.

When I was in Orlando last month, I didn't get around to riding Dragon Challenge. But I did the refurbed Hulk ride and Rip Ride Rock-It.

Holy Jesus, the vertical lift hill on Rip Ride Rock-It was daunting.
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#31
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post


And yeah, they've been trying to get Animal Kingdom into a full day park almost from the beginning.  Part of the problem is the marquee attraction -- the safari ride -- often features long stretches of empty field because most of the animals sleep during the day, especially in the heat of the deep Florida summer.




Can't they rig 'em up with shock collars or something to make them move?

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#32
AThe safari ride should just be cast members dressed as animals.
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#33

As for the differences between the two parks, I want to say the bulk of the differences are things Disneyland has that Magic Kingdom doesn't.  In fact, the only unique rides I can think of at MK are the Hall of Presidents, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (which is one of the most eerily quiet roller coasters I have ever seen).  And even the shared attractions have some major differences:  DL's Haunted Mansion is very much a bayou-style mansion (which makes sense given its location in the park) whereas MK's version is your standard Gothic house,  and the DL Pirates ride is MUCH longer than its Florida counterpart.



Of course, you can fit Disneyland in the Magic Kingdom's parking lot...

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#34
AThe castle in DL is so small. Whenever I go, I'm always like, "That's it?"
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#35
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bradito View Post

The castle in DL is so small. Whenever I go, I'm always like, "That's it?"


That was my reaction when I first saw it!  Especially growing up with the much larger version here.



That was the weirdest thing about visiting Disneyland for the first time.  Things felt familiar but just a little off.  Like shops that are on one side of Main Street here are on the other side there.  It's all comfortingly disorienting.

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