Wednesday, July 30, 2008

EB's Holiday World Television Project

Hi guys, I'm back from Europe and ready to start posting regular material again.

To kick things off, here is the television segment that EB produced about The Voyage at Holiday World for Indiana television.

Where In The World Is Mike Collins?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Disney Gardens?

As most of you have heard by now, Anheuser-Busch has agreed to accept a new cash offer from InBev to buy their company.

So far, there hasn't been any mention about the fate of the Busch Theme Parks (Busch Gardens, Sea World, Sesame Place).  But most analysts believe that InBev will most likely sell them off.

I consider Busch Gardens Europe to be my home park.  It's one of my favorite places to relax and have fun.  So I'm a little more than interested to find out who the new owners will be.

The Busch parks are some of the best run properties in the world.  They have set the standard for what a regional theme park should look and act like.  So any company that bought them would instantly be a major player in the industry.

Now, I know the odds are completely against it.... but what if the Walt Disney Company stepped up and bought the parks?

Let's use Busch Gardens Europe as an example.

It's been voted "Most Beautiful Park" for as long as I can remember.  So it would definitely fit the Disney standards for cleanliness and beauty.

Also, it wouldn't be very tough to add a little "Disney Magic" to the theming that already exists there.

What if they turned BGE into a Mid-Atlantic version of EPCOT?  The countries and related architecture are are already there.  All the Imagineers would have to do is to add some creative story overlays.

For instance....

Curse of DarKastle - Change the ride film, storyline and a few sets and you could have the first ever "Haunted Mansion" in 3D.

Roman Rapids - With a few animatronics, you could have a Hercules themed white water adventure.

Big Bad Wolf - The Bavarian village the coaster flies through during the first section of the ride could be themed to any number of classic Disney stories.  Add some on-ride audio and you could totally reinvent this classic roller coaster.

Loch Ness Monster - I don't think you'd necessarily have to re-theme this ride (which is celebrating it's 30th birthday this year).  However, Disney could design a killer monster animatronic to go in the cave that currently sits empty.  It worked with Expedition Everest, why not here?  (By the way, whomever owns the park needs to step up and put a monster in that cave.  Plus, they need to restore the fog and lighting effects!)

Globe Theater - There is already a perfect place towards the front of the park for one of the world famous Disney 4-D movies.

(I'm sure you guys could come up with some good ideas too...not just at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, but at the other parks too.  Give it a shot in the forums!)

Plus, let's not forget about Water Country USA and the Kingsmill Resort & Spa.  Add that in and you have a ready made Disney theme park resort.

Remember, Disney wanted to get into Virginia once before.  Yeah, I know, they wanted to get into the Washington, DC market.  But this might be close enough.

History tells us that Disney doesn't acquire parks, they build them.

But remember the rumor from a few years ago that Disney was thinking about buying Knotts Berry Farm in California and turning it into a west coast version of Disney's America?

Sure, this is all just a daydream.  I know it's not going to happen.  There are too many reasons why it wouldn't be feasible for Disney to take on this project.

But, maybe there are a few reasons why it would work?

Talk about this in the forums!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Do Parks Need a "Sonar Perimeter Fence"?

There's been a lot of talk this week about the horrible incident that happened at Six Flags Over Georgia.

A teenage kid and his buddy hopped over two six-foot tall security fences and entered the restricted area of "Batman: The Ride."

It's not entirely clear why they did this, but in the end it doesn't really matter. One of the kids paid for this mistake with his life.

It's been interesting to read the various reactions to this. In fact, there's a good conversation going on in the forums.

Most sane people blame the kid for an obvious lapse of judgement. He chose to ignore the signs warning him of the danger involved with trespassing in that area. It's not like he accidentally wandered into this obviously dangerous place.

But amazingly, some commentators (and lawyers) have said that Six Flags needed to do more to discourage people from entering this restricted zone. Somehow, they have shifted the blame for this onto the park itself!

The simple rule of theme parks is this: If a guest stays on the paths, behaves on the rides and follows the park rules, odds are they're going to survive the day.

But what does Six Flags have to do, invent a Sonar Perimeter Fence that the one we saw on "Lost?"

(Scratch that idea, the lawyers would definitely have a problem with that.)

When we're kids, we think we're invincible. We think we can outrun danger, dodge bullets and in this case, dodge a 50mph roller coaster.

This is a terrible situation, but it serves as a reminder to us all that even though we may feel invincible.... we need to follow the rules.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

EB On The Job At Holiday World

As many of you know, our own EB packed up his family and moved to Indiana a few weeks ago.

Being the excellent TV Producer he is, he immediately found a job.  And where did his first assignment take him?


Paula over at the HoliBlog posted about his day at the park.

From what I've heard, EB walked the track of The Voyage and even got to interview several of the staff members.

And EB reports that Paula remembered him from our 2006 Podcast at Holiday World!

EB always makes a good impression!

Talk about this in the forums!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form of Flattery

One of my favorite moments from when we produced the weekly version of happened when I was in line for a ride at one of my local parks.  Some people in front of me were talking about an "online radio show" about roller coasters.

They went on to describe some of the shows that we had produced in recent weeks.  It was a nice feeling to know that real people were out there enjoying the show.

So I had a nice laugh when I came across this clip on YouTube today.

This guy does a decent job of doing the "CoasterBoy" voice, but unfortunately, he is no E.B.

However, it goes to prove that....


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