Monday, November 30, 2009

Biggest "Turkey" of the Decade

Odds are you've had your fill of Thanksgiving.

But we'd like you to think about "turkey" for just a bit longer.

Now that we are ending the first decade of the new millennium, it's time to take a look back on the ups and downs of the amusement industry.

On our next show, we'd like to know what you think the decade's biggest amusement industry "turkey" has been.

Has it been a certain park? Maybe a particular attraction? Maybe it's been a new policy that a park has implemented?

To get your thoughts on the show, here are the different ways:

* Post your idea on Twitter
* Post your idea on our Facebook Fan Page.
* Visit this topic in the Fourms
* Call our voicemail line - 206-339-3360
* E-Mail Us (the address is to the right of this page)

We'll talk about all of your answers in our next show!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

David and his Grandma Ada

As we wrap up the Thanksgiving Holiday, John has sent in a picture of his Grandmother Ada who is is 103 years young!

Thanks John and thanks to Ada too!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kerri and Morgana Jade on Thanksgiving

Kerri wasn't with Grandma this Thanksgiving, but she was with her husband and one-year-old daughter Morgana Jade.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 #414 - Your Theme Park Treasures

On this week's show, we talk about the interesting theme park items that listeners own. We break down everything from complete roller coaster trains (right) to blueprints. We also talk about the type of things listeners would like to own someday.

We also talk about the recent trend to add advertising to roller coasters. Just as many cities have chosen to wrap their public buses in advertising, some theme park chains have done the same with their roller coasters. Is this a smart move or just a way to cheapen the park?

We also go "Off Topic" to discuss EB's rediscovery of Tetris and Mike's encounter with a "claw game" where the prizes were ALIVE!

Plus, we have a new challenge for listeners in The David Arquette Project!

Direct Podcast Link
Click here to subscribe through iTunes.
Click here for our podcast RSS Feed.

Or you can listen online by using the podcast player on the right hand side of this page.

Talk about this episode in the Forums.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The David Arquette Project Thanksgiving Special

When we started the new version of a few months ago, our goal was to kick things off with something special.

We decided that we would go on a non-stop quest to have a celebrity become the recorded announcer for the beginning of our show.

The one caveat was that the celebrity had to be a hardcore fan of theme parks.

So, we set our sights on film and television star David Arquette.

Our first step was asking loyal listeners to visit parks and take a picture holding the "Arquette Arithmetic" graphic.

So far, dozens of listeners have done it and the number is growing every week.

But now that the parks are closed, we're asking you guys to step up once again.

This Thursday night, while you're celebrating Thanksgiving with your family, we'd like you to invite David Arquette to dinner as well. (Well, not the actor, but the graphic.)

We'd like you to print out this graphic and take a picture of your Grandma holding it at the Thanksgiving dinner table. It doesn't just have to be your Grandma either. Gather the whole family around and have them take part in our project!

After you do that, send it to us at the e-mail address on the right and we'll Tweet it in real-time to the entire audience. We'll also post it on the blog later on as a tribute to your involvement in The David Arquette Project!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Real Life Version of the "Claw Game"

Last week, we showed you how you could own a home version of the "claw game" that is a fixture in most amusement parks.

This past weekend, I was out at a restaurant and saw a version of the classic game with a twist.

The "prizes" in this particular claw game were ALIVE!

The game is called "The Lobster Zone." For two dollars, you get 60-seconds to manipulate a crane directly over a tank full of live lobsters.

If you do everything correctly, the crane grabs the lobster, gently drops it down a shoot and the lobster is promptly brought to the kitchen where it is "prepared."

The game gives you a chance to win a $20-$30 dinner for two bucks.

I sat at a table right next to this machine and saw five different people put in a total of $26 dollars before anyone caught a lobster. So I'm guessing that the restaurant is making a mint on this device.

As you can imagine, groups like PETA aren't thrilled with the idea of this game. But the creators don't seem to mind the attention that the controversy brings. They also seem to embrace the "amusement park" feel of this game because they were even at IAPPA this year.

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about this game.

I guess once the lobsters are taken from the ocean, it's a certainty that they are going to be eaten sooner or later. Also, as our waitress said last night, at least this way the lobsters have a fighting chance.

But there was something disturbing about a game being made out of an animal's last moments. It seemed like something out of "The Running Man."

All I know is, I was rooting for the lobsters. After $26 dollars was inserted into that machine, I guess the restaurant owners are too!

Talk about this in the forums.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Theme Park Treasures Do You Own?

On this week's show, we asked you what unique amusement and theme park items you own (or would like to own).

For instance, do you own a piece of a roller coaster or maybe even a roller coaster train?

Do you own an attraction sign or other artwork from the park?

Maybe you own a piece of history from the Walt Disney Parks? You might even own a piece of memorbilia from the man himself! (In 2007, they held an auction for Walt Disney's actual passport).

On our next show, we want to talk about the neatest, craziest and most interesting things you own from the parks.

What do you have? How did you get it? Where do you display it in your house?

Or, if you don't happen to own a piece of the parks yet, what would you like to buy one day?

To get your thoughts on the show, here are the different ways:

* Post your idea on Twitter
* Post your idea on our Facebook Fan Page.
* Visit this topic in the Fourms
* Call our voicemail line - 206-339-3360
* E-Mail Us (the address is to the right of this page)

We'll talk about all of your answers in our next show!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide - The Secrets of Amusement Park Games Revealed!

If you're like me, no trip to the amusement park is complete without spending a few bucks on the midway games.

I'm always partial to Whack-A-Mole or even the Flying Frog game. But there are a ton of other games that seem to be popular too.

The thing is, the games are designed so that they are almost impossible to win.

Although it might look easy to throw a ring around a milk can... odds are, it's just going to bounce off.

It's been set up that way.

Just like in Las Vegas, you're at a disadvantage before you even step up to play.

But now, a man has come forward with a way to even the playing field.

In The Secrets of Amusement Park Games Revealed, Brian Richardson (an expert on amusement park, fair, and carnival games) sets out to make YOU into the master of the midway!

He provides trips and tricks to help you win everytime. He also gives helpful advice on which games are impossible to win and should be skipped altogether.

Included are chapters on: Milkcan Softball Toss, Golfball Roll Race Game, BB Gun Red Star Shootout, Curly Bar Ring Guide (Wacky Wire) and many more!

A book like this makes for great reading during the winter months. That way, when summer rolls around, you'll be ready to fill your home with gigantic stuffed gorillas and Spongebob Squarepant dolls.

Friday, November 20, 2009 #413 - Bringing the Park Home

This week, EB and Mike tackle H1N1 in the parks. Is the outbreak affecting the amusement industry? Or is it not turning out to be the panic inducing event everyone feared?

The guys also talk about having a piece of theme park history in your home. There are a ton of places to buy theme park artifacts.... everything from Disney resort shower curtains to full size attraction vehicles. But how much would you spend to take a part of the park home with you?

There's also discussion about possible contest ideas. Will the "Reel Design" Contest return?

EB and Mike also go "Off Topic" to talk about owning full-size arcade games and the introduction of Google Wave.

Plus, there's a possible lead in The David Arquette Project!

If you haven't subscribed to the podcast, now's the time to sign up!

Direct Podcast Link
Click here to subscribe through iTunes.
Click here for our podcast RSS Feed.

Or you can listen online by using the podcast player on the right hand side of this page.

Talk about this episode in the Forums.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kerri is at Kennedy Space Center

Now that most of the theme parks are closed for the winter, we've asked the listeners to be creative with the Arquette Arithmetic photos.

Kerri stepped up to the plate BIG TIME when she snapped this shot during Monday's Space Shuttle launch at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This photo proves that The David Arquette Project is really "taking off!!!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mystic Manor Comes to Hong Kong Disneyland

Over the past 10 years or so, some fans of Disney theme parks have said that there has been a noticible decline in the quality of new Disney attractions.

Sure, there have been huge critical successes like Expedition Everest and Toy Story Mania. But there have also been some less-popular rides like Stitch's Great Escape, Superstar Limo and Journey Into Your Imagination.

People who know the ins and outs of Walt Disney Imagineering say that the reason for the quality decline has been because attraction budgets were slashed. Perhaps execs at Disney were more concerned with the bottom line than pouring money into story development and special effects.

In this economy , it's hard to blame them.

But then I took at look at a story in the LA Times Funland Blog. Brady MacDonald has a scene-by-scene look at the new Mystic Manor that will debut at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2013.

Essentially, it will be that park's version of the Haunted Mansion, minus the 999 Happy Haunts.

According to the article, "Mystic Manor takes visitors on a circa-1908 tour of an ancient artifact collection belonging to a world-renowned adventurer and explorer. Inside the Victorian home on a remote jungle hilltop, Lord Henry Mystic’s museum comes alive when his mischievous monkey opens an enchanted music box."

When you look at the artwork and the possible special effects, it looks as rich and as detailed as many of the classic Disney theme park attractions that we have grown to love. The attraction has humor, thrills, unexpected moments and a wonderful story.

It's what we expect out of Walt Disney Imagineering.

The new artwork that is coming out of this park looks phenomenal. I only hope it (along with attractions like Expedition Everest and Toy Story Mania) are a sign of things to come from WDI.

Talk about this post in the Fourms.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Best Yard Sale Ever!

I was checking out Holiday World's excellent HoliBlog today and I noticed that they are having a yard sale!

Actually, on Saturday they are having a "surplus auction" where they are going to be offering dozens of used items to the highest bidder.

Most of the items are industrial... things like stainless steel sinks and cash registers.

But there are a few interesting items that a theme park fan might be interested in.

For instance, how would you like to own some surplus decorations from the station of "The Voyage?"

Or, maybe you'd like to have a bumper boat in your backyard?

Perhaps you once played in the Kid's Castle and you'd like to have a piece of it at your own home?

Anyway, it seems like a fun opportunity to own a former piece of the park.

Over the years, I've seen different online opportunities where parks were selling roller coaster trains, attraction vehicles, Skee Ball machines or even gigantic attraction signs.

Actually, this Disney Surplus site has many items like that. Who wouldn't want an original Horizons Attraction Vehicle!

Do you own any theme park surplus items? If not, what would you like to buy and have at your home?

Talk about it in the Forums!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tom is at X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain

Tom from Las Vegas took this photo right after riding what he says is "arguably the most popular coaster on the West Coast (excluding Disneyland and California Adventure Park, of course): X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain."

He adds:

"The restraints on the ride are quite snug - I could not get a full breath once I was secured, and I'm sure that would freak a lot of people out. I myself was quite uncomfortable with it."

We spoke about this ride a lot on last week's show. It's perfect timing for the inclusion into The David Arquette Project!

Thanks Tom!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide - Crane Game

The holidays will be here soon and I'm sure that you're starting to think about fun gift ideas for the theme park fan in your life.

Or, perhaps you're looking to drop a few hints about the types of gifts YOU want.

Either way, we're here for you.

Over the next few weeks, we're going to compile a list of park-related games, toys and gadgets that are available this holiday season.

The cool thing is that if you follow the links direct from this blog and purchase one of the gifts, you'll be supporting and the podcast.

So everyone wins!

The first gift we want to show you is the Tabletop Crane Game.

Every theme park arcade seems to have a version of this game where you can slowly move the hook around and try to position it so that it grabs a prize.

Now you can have a smaller version of this game right on your desk!

The game plays authentic arcade music as you use 3 joysticks to grab prizes inside. The music even speeds up when time is running out!

You can fill the game with candy, small toys or whatever you think will make it interesting.

The price isn't too bad. But if you have a lot of cash to burn, you can actually buy the full-scale game too!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Theme Park Syndicate Is Here!

There are thousands of theme park web sites out there. But it's not often when something new and genuinely helpful comes along.

This week, The Coaster Critic unveiled Theme Park Syndicate, the web’s first ever theme park news aggregator.

Theme park junkies can easily stay on top of the latest news and developments because the major headlines from all of the top theme park news sites, blogs, and podcasts are now in one place.

The site is broken down into various categories:
Theme Park News, Disney News, Enthusiasts Blogs, Official Park Blogs, Podcasts and Videos.

All I know is that EB and I will have an easier time prepping for each week's show thanks to this new site. Nice work!

Friday, November 13, 2009 Contests

During the first go-round of our show, we had a lot of success with the different contests we ran.

We had the weekly SoundWave contest, where we would play audio from a roller coaster and give the audience clues to help guess it.

We had the Sign Generator Contest, where listeners came up with creative phrases and photoshopped them on to things like church and restaurant signs.

One of the most popular contests we had was the 'Reel' Design Contest. A few weeks before the Academy Awards, we encouraged people to come up with their own ride concept based on a popular movie. We had some really creative entries.

So as we're working on this latest version of, we're looking for new contest ideas?

What would you like to see? What would be a good prize? Let us know what you think and we'll talk about it on our next episode.

To get your idea on the show, here are the different ways:

* Post your idea on Twitter
* Post your idea on our Facebook Fan Page.
* Visit this topic in the Fourms
* Call our voicemail line - 206-339-3360
* E-Mail Us (the address is to the right of this page)

We'll talk about all of your answers in our next show!

Thursday, November 12, 2009 #412 - A Queue Line Question

On this week's show, EB and Mike reveal the answers to two simple listener questions:

1) What attraction is so good, you'd wait as long at it takes to ride?

2) What attraction is so terrible, you wouldn't ride even it if it had no line at all?

You'll be surprised at some of the answers!

Plus, EB tries Holiday World's Voyage "Extreme" Brownies. Are they as intense as the 90 degree banked turns?

And don't forget about The David Arquette Project!

If you haven't subscribed to the podcast, now's the time to sign up!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Six Flags' Hope For The Holidays

On last week's show, EB and I talked about how you could have a "theme park experience" during the winter months, even though the parks were closed.

We quickly realized that most of the time, you'd have to settle for the next best thing... something like a motion simulator at an arcade.

But what if I told you that on a Friday in November, long after the seasonal parks have closed, you could ride the world's tallest, fastest roller coaster?

What if I added that all you'd have to do to gain admission is to make a donation to charity?

Well, on Friday, November 13th, Six Flags Great Adventure, the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots will work together to unite the community in the first annual Six Flags Friends Hope for the Holidays charity event.

The event runs from 5 - 7 p.m. and features exclusive rides on Kingda Ka, boardwalk style games and meet & greet opportunities with NHL Stanley Cup winner Jim Dowd and the Lakewood Blue Claws' official mascot - Buster. There will also be complimentary snacks and hot beverages.

Admission is free for anyone who makes a donation of winter clothing, blankets or shoes in good condition, a new unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item.

If you don't have any of those things to spare, you can still get in a ride on Kingda Ka by making a donation of five bucks.

And by the way, if for some reason Kingda Ka isn't operating due to inclement weather, the park is going to open up NITRO. You can't lose!

So wait, for five bucks I can have two hours of ride time on Kingda Ka? In mid-November? PLUS, I get to help out a deserving chairty?

Excellent! Nice work Six Flags Great Adventure!

Thursday, November 05, 2009 #411 - 67 Days of Smiles and Your Off-Season Fix

EB and Mike reveal what Coaster listeners do to get a theme park fix in the off-season. You'll be surprised at some of the answers!

The guys also welcome Kyle and Stacey, who just finished Orlando's "67 Days of Smiles." They talk to them about what it was like to experience 120 different attractions in 67 days.

Mike was jealous of course.

The guys also go "Off Topic" to talk about EB's experience with a loud man in church. Plus, Mike reviews the pilot episode of "V". He also laments the increase of 80's remakes with a little help from "The Karate Kid's" Ralph Macchio.

And don't forget about The David Arquette Project!

If you haven't subscribed to the podcast, now's the time to sign up!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Now What?

Unless you live in Florida or California, tonight marks the end of the Theme Park Season.

Sure, some parks open their gates for the Winter Holidays, but that's mostly for hot chocolate and lighting displays.

If you want a good thrill ride, you're gonna have to travel to warmer climates.

So for our next show, we want to hear about what you do to get a theme park fix during the off-season.

To get your idea on the show, here are the different ways:

* Post your idea on Twitter
* Post your idea on our Facebook Fan Page.
* Visit this topic in the Fourms
* Call our voicemail line - 206-339-3360
* E-Mail Us (the address is to the right of this page)

We'll talk about all of your answers in our next show!

All Original Content Copyright 2005-2016 - Lift Hill Media, LLC