Still here. But mostly in 140 characters.
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Saturday, December 21, 2002
 
Welcome to Our Wacky Dutch Friends

In looking at our stats, we observed that we were getting a ton of hits from this Dutch theme park bulletin board. We tried translating it with one of those free translating tools, and, well, it's not the clearest translation ever ("Who is indeed too well-being ranch jah," "Very good well-being lark this!").

We think we're glad to be a good well-being lark. So:

Wij welkomstgroet u voor onze wel eens - spannend wereld van namaak nieuwtje zowat vertier warande. Wij veronderstellen u zal lach uw gezamenlijk reet vandoor.

Or, after being translated back into English:

We welcome you until ours ever thrilling worldwide with forgery novelty around amusement pleasure grounds. We suppose you will smile your total rear end run away.

Posted at 1:15 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Friday, December 20, 2002
 
ARN&R On Vacation? Um, Maybe.

We will be traveling the world, seeking out a new headquarters for the AbsolutelyReliableTowers.

Or maybe we'll just be with family.

Either way, we probably won't update the site quite as often as we have been.

Don't let that stop you from coming to visit, and certainly don't let that stop you from buying lots of stuff.

There's virtually no chance it'll be there in time for Christmas, but there's virtually no chance anyone actually wants to receive it for Christmas anyway, right?

Have a good holiday. Leave some gravy for everyone else.

Posted at 7:24 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Fansites of Third-Tier Parks Mix It Up

In a battle so intense that it evokes the debates over the relative merits of Magnum P.I. versus Simon & Simon, dedicated fans of The Great Escape in Lake George, New York, and Quassy Amusement Park in nearby Middlebury, Connecticut, have entered full-blown war on the web.

It all started when the operators of QuassyParkInfo.com started posting on TheGreatEscaperooni.com's forums, criticizing The Great Escape, a Six Flags property, for having derivative and boring coasters and being "under the thumb of the corporate pigs at Six Flags." They also started a thread on their own bulletin board mocking The Great Escape's new coaster, reported to be a mine train moved from a now-closed Indiana park, as "being so lame it wasn't even good enough for Old Indiana!"

TheGreatEscaperooni.com's tens of readers were not to take such an insult sitting down, however, except insofar as they were, in fact, sitting down, drinking a Big Gulp and finishing off a bag of Cheetos. In addition to noting that Quassy has only two "totally sucky" coasters of its own, the site's operators blocked access to their boards to all but four people, two of whom were the site's owners. "This site is for positive discussions of The Great Escape, and if we allow libelous statements like those made by the Quassy-heads to stand, we might not get all the inside news about the park," said the owners in a statement.

At press time, the dispute had consumed roughly forty hours of human time that will never be recovered.

Posted at 7:19 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Thursday, December 19, 2002
 
Maxim Announces “Babes of the Amusement Industry” Issue

Maxim magazine, famous throughout the world for its incisive articles, hip reviews, and, mostly, really hot pictures of Jessica Alba, has in recent months caused controversies with its features. Chief among these was a poll where readers ranked who they felt the sexiest female sports reporters were; CBS Sports’s intellectual giant Jill Arrington won the vote and appeared in a scantily-clad magazine spread.

Maxim was unswayed by feminist backlash, and has continued articles in the same vein. Next month will see its list of the “Top Babes of the Amusement Industry.” ARN&R’s staff has obtained a preview copy of the issue, and is happy to report that the winners of the online vote, conducted primarily at Thrillnetwork and at Maxim's website, included Six Flags Great America Staff Member Michelle Hoffman, Six Flags Great Adventure Staff Member Kristen Kocher, and That Funny Ride Op Chick Who Doesn't Wear a Bra at Funtown.

Early word has it that all the contest winners were severely insulted by the magazine’s contest and refused to be photographed or interviewed. For this reason, Maxim will only list the winning “Babes of the Amusement Industry,” and the photo spread will instead feature last year’s ACE Con participants frolicking naked in pork gravy.

--JCK

[Editor's Note: Are you preparing pork gravy for frolicking? Avoid the mess like last year, where you got it stuck in your chest hair. Wear an apron!]

Posted at 7:39 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Wednesday, December 18, 2002
 
Disneyland Fans Protest Replacement Of Tomorrowland Trash Receptacles

Disney theme park fans are a picky bunch, and that has never been proven more than during the past week, when Disneyland in Anaheim, California quietly began the task replacing Tomorrowland’s trash receptacles after the park closes to the public each night. Naturally, readers of the Disneyland fan site, MouseFetish.com, are in an uproar, and are pulling no punches when it comes to making their displeasure known

“This is ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous,” said Mark Delhorn, webmaster of the site, which is one of the most visited unofficial Disneyland sites on the internet. “This is just typical, modern-day Disney thinking to remove pieces of a park’s history with no warning and replace them without apparent reason.” Delhorn knows his Disney historical facts -- the Tomorrowland receptacles, with their lids with hinged doors, thick steel construction and hand painted Disney logos -- date back to the mid-seventies, but are even more historically significant due to the fact that they are based upon a design from the early fifties, which was when the Magic Kingdom first opened its gates. “These artifacts are one of the last connections we have in the new millennium to Disneyland’s early years,” Delhorn added.

The receptacles are being replaced with units that seem to be quite similar to the outgoing models, but are quite different when inspected more closely. “The steel is thinner and more susceptible to dents and dings from out-of-control strollers, the logos are cheap adhesive labels, and worst of all, there are no hinged doors on the lids,” Delhorn elaborated. I’m not comfortable putting my trash in those things. Would you?”

Longtime Disney enthusiast “PoohBear”, whose weekly editorial can be found each Friday in the website’s “Disney Chat” section, offered a little insight to the whole trash can replacement fiasco. “For the past year, many of us fans have been on [resigned Theme Parks president Paul] Pressler’s case to repaint those old bins, since those things tend to rust out if not given a fresh coat every few years. Well, he didn’t heed our advice, and they rusted away and became too far gone, so they had no choice but to replace them. It was a shame, because it could have turned out differently.”

As the days go on and the last few are replaced, Delhorn’s aggravation has become more and more severe. “I still can’t believe this is happening, it’s like a terrible dream. I haven’t been this upset since Disney changed the colors inside the shops on Main Street. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve sat in Tomorrowland, admiring the way the light reflects off of those old cans with the splendor of Space Mountain in the background,” Delhorn continued as his eyes got watery and his voice just a little higher.

A group of MouseFetish.com readers, calling themselves the TTCC (short for Tomorrowland Trash Can Coalition) are warning of a protest of Disneyland to begin this Friday. If the old receptacles are not reinstalled, the group will boycott the Magic Kingdom for three consecutive days as they hand out flyers to guests about Disney’s misdeeds.

--RMA

Posted at 9:29 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Tuesday, December 17, 2002
 
Busch Doll Hugely Popular

A Busch Garden doll that says "We're working hard to put thrills into your family's heart," and "Make no mistake, this park will be fun," has turned into a huge hit for a small company. The 12.5-inch-tall likeness, which features clips from Busch Garden's speeches, sold out a first shipment of 1,200,000 this week. A second shipment of the $29.99 thrill doll won't arrive until after Christmas.

``We anticipated it being a very popular item but we just didn't think it was going to take off that quick,'' said James Westinghouseling, co-founder of Irving-based TalkingThemeParks.com Inc.

Most of the 17 sound clips are straightforward quotes about the Theme Park attractions and other theme park industry topics - such as "Thrill regulations against our nation will not stand" - although the doll does utter some of Busch's malapropisms. "There's nothing derogatory, everything is complimentary, there's nothing to make fun of it ... (but) the doll is a good representation of the Theme Park giant, there are two or three of their Buschisms,'' Westinghouseling said.

It's unclear what Busch the Theme Park giant thinks of Busch the doll - the company's press office did not immediately return a call for comment.

A picture of the Busch Gardens doll appeared on the Drudge Report Web site last week, and the company got 6,000,000 web hits in a single day and media calls from around the world. It took its phone number off the Web site and posted a message cautioning that no more dolls were immediately available.

The next group of 1,200,000 should ship from Hong Kong on Dec. 30 with a third shipment on its heels, but that won't satisfy disappointed Christmas shoppers.

The Paramount Entertainment Library & Birthplace ordered two cases but sold them out within days, said spokesperson Adrian Barr. ``It's so out of control,'' she said.

The fledgling company isn't planning to stop with Busch. A talking King's Dominion Doll is in the works for the spring, with "Hypersonic will be open soon!" expected to be the biggest hit of the quotes. After that, Westinghouseling plans to manufacture talking Walt Disneys, Six Flagsers, Cedar Fairs and Busch's Sea Worlds.

--RAS

Posted at 10:21 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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Monday, December 16, 2002
 
Did you know?

You can buy cheaply-made stuff from us. Click here.

Be the life of the next event you attend! Easily escape as multitudes of lumbering offended enthusiasts chase you angrily, panting from lack of exercise, to lamely slap you with park brochures, because you intimated that they might either (a) overstate their importance, (b) enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffets a bit much, or (c) be a bit too much into amusement park-themed patches.

Never realized you needed a coaster news satire website license plate frame, did you? Well, now you know.

You're welcome.

Posted at 5:54 PM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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2003 to Bring Variety of New Rules at Six Flags Parks

Although few park patrons are aware of it, one of the amusement industry’s most important events took place this past weekend, when Six Flags corporate held its annual winter meetings. Aside from discussing corporate policy and logistics, and engaging in much rolling about in piles of filthy lucre, the executives of the park chain and its member parks held a series of meetings designed to create a new set of rules and regulations for park guests this coming season. ARN&R has obtained transcripts of the meetings, and is pleased to break the exclusive new rules and regulations to our readers.

- Six Flags Over Georgia will ban single riders on all its coasters, except for each Tuesday two weeks after a lunar eclipse during non-Leap Years from 1PM until 2:29PM, when single riders will be allowed only in the very back seat of the Georgia Cyclone, facing backward.

- Six Flags Astroworld will reinstate the coffinlike shrouds on the Texas Cyclone’s Morgan trains, and will additionally require all passengers on the ride to wear straitjackets filled with furious hornets, while simultaneously undergoing a non-Novocained cavity drilling.

- Six Flags Magic Mountain will allow one rider per train on X, which will be open for 20 minutes weekly, in order to maintain the record-setting lines for publicity purposes.

- Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom will require all visitors to “squeal like a pig” before boarding each coaster. Any visitor who refuses to perform the requirement, or who does not perform the requirement adequately, will be taken into the woods by security and “done up Deliverance style.”

- Six Flags America will require Superman passengers to negotiate a narrow path between fully armed Crips and Bloods engaged in a bloody gang war. Additionally, all visitors to the park will be required to spend 6 hours in line for Batwing without actually riding it even once.

- Six Flags Worlds of Adventure will allow passengers on a randomly rotating total of 8 seats on each train of each coaster all day. Passengers who choose the correct seats will be permitted to ride. Passengers who choose incorrect seats will be ejected from the park without refund.

- Six Flags Saint Louis will enforce its “no complaining” policy by having personnel hawk massive loogies right in the faces of anyone approaching the customer service window.

- Six Flags New England will continue to run single trains on every ride, close rides for long periods without cause, assign seats on three coasters, and close off 90% of the seats on Poison Ivy, and will also institute a new policy of having park employees use fire hoses to blast pressurized raw human waste at patrons in line for the coasters. Ride managers will be given discretion as to how many times per minute the hosings should occur for their individual rides.

The transcript also notes that none of the rules will be posted or advertised, as per standard Six Flags policy. “It’s more fun for people to find out by surprise, when a ride op screams at them in front of everyone, or perhaps hoses them down with excrement,” stated one park vice president. Cedar Fair is expected to follow suit within days.

--JCK

Posted at 7:09 AM | Link | 0 comment(s)

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