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Saturday, September 20, 2003
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Enters Betty Ford Clinic
According to rival hard amusement park news site Screamscape, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney Studios Theme Park is entering a rehab program. Although Disney officials had been trying to keep this news hidden, for fear it would hurt the image of the long-popular attraction, the paparazzi caught the Tower entering the Betty Ford clinic today. Photographs of a visibly distraught ride appeared in the muckraking tabloids Star, the Weekly World News, and Amusement Today.
"The difficulties of the Tower of Terror are its own business," said Disney rep Margot Ratigan. "We ask that the media and the scum of the general public please leave this ride alone and allow it to focus on recovery and being with its family in its time of need."
"I never saw this one coming," said Tower colleague and friend Rock 'n' Roller Coaster. "I thought he'd learn from my example, but it didn't happen. I mean, after spending my whole life hanging around with Aerosmith, I was loaded with coke, booze, crystal meth, heroin, and p%ssy 24 hours a day. I needed help and I fought my way through my Disney rehab. I thought Tower would see what pain I caused myself and others and make certain not to follow in my tracks, so to speak. I guess I wasn't forceful enough in trying to warn Tower, and now he's suffering just like I did. I blame myself."
"You always think you're immune," said the Magic Kingdom's 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea from its padded room. "But anyone can become addicted, and not everyone ever gets out. I kept denying I had a problem, and then Disney shut me down for my rehab. Well, instead of fixing myself up, I kept going back to my old pattern, and then I'd be in and out of rehab programs and the county jail, and eventually they just gave up on me and left me to rot. I hope Tower is reading this, and I hope he sticks with the rehab program and changes his life. It's too late for me, but he can still survive and be a better ride."
Representatives of the Betty Ford clinic refused to confirm whether Twilight Zone Tower of Terror would be staying at the Metallica suite, the Aerosmith cottage, or the Charlie Sheen wing of the property.
Friday, September 19, 2003
Hurricane Moves Inland
After battering the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia Thursday, Hurricane Isabel moved inland, heading through the interior toward Pennsylvania overnight. This news was extremely troubling to some coaster enthusiasts.
"I had no idea that ride was going to be moved," said Ohio American Coaster Enthusiast member Hugh Jazz, 45. "I was doing my usual thing, skipping my shower to eat another deep-fried turkey while downloading porn and looking at Top Thrill Dragster videos simultaneously, when I flipped on the TV and saw all this Weather Channel crap about the Hurricane travelling northwest.
"First of all, I'm surprised...I thought this coaster was pretty highly regarded, seeing as it's the most popular ride at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion. But I know that park is moving to a new location in a couple years, so maybe they couldn't afford to keep Hurricane when they moved, so they went ahead and sold it now. I just wonder what park it'll be going to. They were saying on the broadcast how it was headed through Virginia and the Great Lakes region, and might end up in Canada. Maybe Paramount's Canada's Wonderland won't be adding some chump kiddie ride for next year after all."
Jazz noted that he was "kinda confused why Weather Channel would be the ones to break this story," but that he was "glad at least one station cared about important world events."
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Gemini Predicts Single-Day Capacity Record in Call to Hulk
Gemini, the brash elder statesman of coasters at Cedar Point, reportedly predicted that he would break the single-day capacity record this coming Saturday. The prediction came in a trash-talking phone call with his close friend Hulk at Islands of Adventure.
"I couldn't believe it," said Hulk. "Here's this old punk coaster calling me up talkin' trash, and he thinks that's not going to get me and my team motivated? We're gonna kick some serious Gemini ass this weekend, baby."
Analysts suggest Hulk's job may be tougher than he thinks. "Gemini is wily but also full of power," said USA Today coaster columnist Lon Pascalelliellily. "He can instantly tell if it's time to send out a half-empty train or if it's going to be worth it to wait to fill it up. He's really got a great vision of the whole course and of the crowds around his station and makes great decisions. And the other coasters and rides nearby are all great team players, randomly shutting down if they notice his line is getting short, trying to funnel more riders to Gemini."
Hulk is unconcerned. "We're Islands of f**king Adventure, man! Cedar Point was great back in the day, but now they're just pathetic."
Gemini has refused to comment, saying only that "We'll see what happens on Saturday, and we'll see who's still talking afterwards, and who has the single-day capacity record."
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Vekoma to Announce Seatless Floorless Coaster
Responding to the growing popularity of coasters with "less" -- no floors, no over-the-shoulder restraints, and so on -- Vekoma is set to announce a seatless and floorless coaster, ARN&R can exclusively report.
"We know our rides are beloved throughout America for their smoothness, reliability, and comfort," said a spokesman for the Dutch company. "So we have taken the genius engineering skills developed through making SLCs and Boomerangs and put it towards developing this outstanding ride."
Sketches obtained from a confidential source indicate that riders will walk onto a platform not unlike those used for B&M inverted coasters. After standing in their assigned locations (marked with large circles on the platform), a vise-like apparatus will drop from above. Four sharp points ("with a layer of soft rubber for comfort!" notes Vekoma's spokesman) will be gently but firmly pressed into each rider's head to hold them in place.
"And that's it! That's all the restraints!" exclaimed the spokesman. "The platform will drop from under them, and the riders will enjoy 3,850 feet of fun hanging from their heads!" The course is expected to include a vertical loop, two inline twists, and a new element known only as the "vertebrae-cracker."
For safety purposes, an additional restraint will consist of a metal chain power-stapled to each rider's abdomen.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Bob's Space Racers Announce New Game for a New Age
Daytona Beach, FL -- Bob's Space Racers, the popular amusement manufacturer that shot to fame with their "Whac a Mole" game, has announced a new concession.
"It's a new game for a new age," said Bob Cassata, the founder of the company. "I call it Whac a Debt. With the amount of credit most Americans have, and the cost of entering most big parks, this is something all guests should be able to relate to!"
The midway game will cost $500 to play. "Some people have balked at that," said Cassata, "but no one would bother wiping out a measly $3 debt. The stakes are high, but so is the satisfaction when you win!"
The object is similar to BSR's most popular game: you have a judge's gavel and small figures of evil-looking accountants begin popping out of small briefcases. You have to smash each one on the head before they disappear. Each time you score a hit, $5 of your debt is reduced. If you score 100 hits in thirty seconds, you get $495 back, plus a ten cent plush toy.
"Our innovation," Cassata continued, "is to factor in interest, just like a real bank. For each second that passes without a hit, your debt goes up by nineteen percent. That should give our game the best profit margin for a park without providing the customer any actual value since the Q-Bot."
When asked whether guests would be willing to spend that much on a game, Cassata replied, "Heck, people spend that much a month on their cell phone bill! I think people will really enjoy smashing bill collectors into a figurative pulp. That's the kind of satisfaction you just can't put a price on."
Cassata also mentioned that BSR is working on yet another variation for frustrated middle managers, "Whac a Wonk."
Monday, September 15, 2003
New Site o' the Weak
We are thrilled to award our prestigious Site o' the Weak honors to the G Force Coaster Page, presented for your cross-eyed horror in black and blue font over an optically-violating teal. Among the things we love about the opening page are the fact that it has "photo's [sic]," as well as the very creative use of tenses and possesives, a common trait of our Sites o' the Weak. Of course, there are many awful coaster websites out there that have an abysmal design and are unable to use functional English, but it's a very, very, very special one that tells you "[a]fter exiting the train, you stumble away as if you were imbibed from alcohol." We have no idea what this means, but it sounds quite painful indeed.
Once you've puzzled over the Dali-like implications of how one could possibly be "imbibed by alcohol," head on over to the lovely "photo's" of the ever-popular Black Widow, and be educated by the exquisitely detailed investigative report about roller coaster accidents. Additionally, the website operator modestly assures us that he is "truly a master of the music trade."
Attention lawyers! Wanna make some dough? (Of course you do. Don't lie.) One of our clever and well-read correspondents alerts us to the fact that several pictures at the G Force Roller Coaster Site, including this one of the Lightning Loops, are taken from an issue of Popular Mechanics without permission or acknowledgement. (In other words, they are stolen.) Classy.
Sunday, September 14, 2003
Blue Streak Rededicated as ACE Coaster Classic
At a major ceremony yesterday, the Blue Streak roller coaster at Cedar Point was rededicated as an ACE Coaster Classic, a rare honor given to wood rides which the meet exacting standards of proper and historic operation set forth by ACE (American Carcas-Rending Jackals and Hyenas).
"We are mighty proud of this great honor," said park rep Ima Hogg. "Very few rides are operated in a manner consistent with the ACE Coaster Classic status, and Blue Streak is now celebrating 35 years as a ride of this type. We love having all these enthusiast types here to laud us for running our classic wood coaster the way it should be run."
According to the group's charter, ACE rewards roller coasters run in the time-tested and proper way with a plaque announcing the woodie as an ACE Coaster Classic. The rare coasters to receive this honor must not have ratcheting lap bars, headrests, assigned seats, seat dividers, or anal probes. Cedar Point has a sign prominently displayed in front of the Blue Streak detailing how the woodie is an ACE Coaster Classic. "If you own a special ride and run it properly, you want to brag about it with a big fu%$ing sign," said Hogg.
Standing outside in a light drizzle, ACE Preservation Guru Matt Crowther announced, "ACE is pleased to rededicate this ride as an ACE Coaster Classic. The sign in front of the ride clearly announces that we've said this ride is a Coaster Classic, even though Cedar Point slapped plastic seats, ratchets, and big damn headrests all over the trains a number of years ago. But heck, I like Cedar Point, so we figured we'd just call the little fu%&er a Coaster Classic anyway and give them a nice new plaque. We're good that way."
A few naysayers disputed the designation. "What the hell?" said enthusiast Dick Hardwoods. "This ride doesn't qualify as a Coaster Classic at all! Why are we allowing them to milk the recognition of this honor by telling bald-faced lies that the ride is a Classic? Those damn trains feature three disqualifications, but that stupid sign is still sitting out front there. The ACE Executive Junta is obviously chicken-s%it to ask Cedar Point to remove the designation. What a bunch of pus*ies."
"We will not tolerate such statements from surly members," said American Coaster Enthusiast Gold Glove Pugilist, Iron Chef Chilidog, and President Baghwan Sri Carole Sanderson. "We have no patience for members with any concern for stupid crap like what makes a ride a Coaster Classic. Our members are to be concerned only with stuffing their faces, making unreasonable rude demands of parks, and getting ERT. Criticizing any park is forbidden by the ACE Code of Conduct, so we can't ask them to take that filthy, lying sign down. Also, we are completely spineless, so we wouldn't even think of making our Classic designation mean anything by asking parks to take down signs claiming a ride has our endorsement when it does not. We need to be sure Cedar Point gives us extra truckloads of gristly meats on sticks and piles of chocolate treats at the Con next year, too."
Crowther announced that Cedar Fair rides Mean Streak, Thunderhawk, and, heck, even Iron Dragon, would be given the ACE Coaster Classic designation next season and will also be allowed to have bulls*it signs out in front of them claiming they are still ACE Coaster Classics.
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