Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's Skype-tastic!

This week, I continue my world tour of appearing on podcasts other than Coaster

This time around, I'm a guest on Doug Barnes' The Season Pass. If you remember, we talked about them a few weeks ago on this blog.

I was joined by Ricky Brigante from Inside the Magic and Nick Hutson from Musical Talk.

We spent close to two hours talking about the world's #1 vacation destination...Orlando, FL.

It's a pretty good conversation even though the participants were in Florida, California, DC and the UK respectively. You've gotta love Skype!

Take a listen here.

So now I've been a guest on The Season Pass, Inside the Magic, Musical Talk and In The Loop... when do I get to guest on the CoasterBuzz Podcast?

Talk about this in the Forums.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Terminator: The Coaster

Today, Six Flags Magic Mountain announced a $10 million coaster, engineered exclusively for the Valencia theme park by Great Coasters International Inc.

TERMINATOR: THE COASTER will feature a loading station "fly-thru," a state-of-the-art sight and sound package, and unique queue line and on-board entertainment elements. The GCII-designed Millennium Flyer coaster trains will zip through five belly-flopping hills and six high speed banked turns over 2,850 feet of track to create a ride that delivers the acrobatic thrills of a modern roller coaster while retaining the nostalgic look and feel of a classic "woodie."

The last thing I expected when I heard about a "Terminator" themed ride was a wooden coaster. After all, when you think of a Terminator, you think of the cool liquid metal that was used in T2 and T3. What does wooden coaster have to do with the franchise?

I really wish we were still doing the podcast. If we were, you know we would have broken out our cheesy Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions to discuss this ride.

Speaking of Terminator, I'm really curious how the new movie is going to be received. I think the new TV show is pretty cool. So far, it's been pretty creative. Let's hope the ride isn't a letdown thematically.

Talk about this in the CR Forums.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tales from Orlando - A Mother Worse Than the Yeti!

Here's a story from when Greg and I were standing in line for Expedition Everest at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This is one of the best queue lines in the world, second only to Dueling Dragons at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.

Anyway, as we walked by the authentic Mandir and through the Yeti Museum, we heard the wails of a seven year old boy behind us. Obviously, he had no intention of getting on the roller coaster. He was terrified. I'm not sure what scared him more, the 80 foot drop or a possible encounter with the Yeti. Maybe he was scared of the hour long wait without a FastPass...who knows?

It didn't matter through, because his witch of a mother had no sympathy for him. She was literally dragging him through the line as he wailed, kicked and screamed.

She even had the audacity to yell..."YOU ARE NOT GOING TO RUIN MY RIDE!!!"

It's at this moment that I realized that each theme park should have its own version of Child Protective Services. Shouldn't there be someone who can intercede on behalf of these poor kids?

I'm usually someone who minds his own business, especially when it comes to other people's kids. I don't get involved when a person is parenting their child, no matter how strange or outrageous they are.

But it's not like this crazy woman was making her kid eat his vegetables, she was making him ride an intense thrill ride! There's a clear, an unmistakable difference between making a child do something for his own good and making him do something for the selfish reasons of the parent.

When I was young, I was terrified of roller coasters. My mom and dad tried to talk me on them, but they never forced me to ride against my will. Now look at me, I'm friggin' Mike Collins from! I'd say 'ole Mom and Dad did a pretty good job!

These days, it seems like there are more and more screwed up kids running around. I for one don't put the blame on them. I blame parents like the one I saw in line for Expedition Everest. Yes, I blame the woman who put "her ride" ahead of the well-being of her son.

I hope the Yeti was on the B-Show mode when she rode through! She deserves it.

Talk about this in the CR Forums.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Trip Reports That Never Were

Well, I had this grand vision of shooting pictures in the Walt Disney World parks and uploading them in real-time. I had plans to write daily trip reports filled with intricate details from all across Orlando.

But, as you know, that never happened.

But, I'll make it up to you.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting several tidbits from the WDW trip...including some really interesting stories.

So stay tuned!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Live from Walt Disney World - Day 1

I've been working pretty hard lately, so I decided to become Clark W. Grizwald and take the "whole tribe across country" for a little Walt Disney World vacation.

It's past 1am here in Orlando and we just finished a FULL day where we visited three parks.

We started off at Disney's Hollywood studios where we tried out the new Toy Story Mania. This is by far the best Disney "shooter" ride. It blows away Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. Eating at the 50's Sci-Fi Drive in Theater was a blast too.

We then moved on to Disney's Animal Kingdom, where we took a spin on Expedition Everest. Sadly, I can report that the Yeti was not functioning, so I did not get to yell "It's HUGE! It's HUGE!" Bummer, man.

After that, we moved on to Magic Kingdom where we rode Pirates and Haunted Mansion. The new effects on both attractions are stunning. Speaking of stunning, the Wishes fireworks show was really amazing.

On the way back to our car, we got to ride with the driver on Monorail Red. I even got to take a picture of me in the pilot's seat. Very cool stuff.

Over the next few days, I'll update the blog with photos "as they happen". So you can see what the Collins Clan is seeing.

If you have any specific things you want to see pictures of, let me know by commenting in the forum.

OK, I'm beat! I'm off to bed.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Oh Pioneers?

Back when I was producing the podcast, there would be some weeks where I would have trouble coming up with new content.

Most times, I would design a new contest or find a guest that normally wouldn't be on a theme park show.

I guess the guys at the Season Pass Podcast had a similar problem this week. But to fill time, they decided to talk about us.

They were kind enough to say that was a pioneering podcast for the theme park industry. They even went so far to call me a "podcast celebrity". (For the record, I don't believe that at all.)

In this episode, you hear them talk about their favorite moments from the show and for some reason, Nick Hutson is there playing live selections from the CoasterBoy Musical. Anything to fill time, right?


Talk about this in the Forums.

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