Tag: Planet Theme Park

Orlando Memories

Contemplating and celebrating the world of travel

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For Sale: Dinosaur Adventure Land

Theme park down: Dinosaur Adventure Land, a creationist theme park in Pensacola, Florida, has been seized by the government to satisfy nearly half a million dollars owed by its owners to the IRS. The site will be divided up into its nine constituent properties and sold in pieces until the debt is paid—so if you’ve dreamed of owning a fraction of a defunct religious tourist attraction, now’s your chance. (Via Gawker)

Does the Taj Mahal Need a Ferris Wheel?

Does the Taj Mahal Need a Ferris Wheel? Photo by Koshyk via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by Koshyk via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Telegraph’s Michael Kerr doesn’t think so. Kerr is unimpressed by the news that the Agra Development Authority is contemplating the addition of ropewalks, cable cars and a Ferris Wheel at the most famous mausoleum in the world, all in the name of “enhancing the visitor experience.” He writes: “The Taj Mahal, has, of course, long been a tourist trap, one of those sights that we can take in only as part of a swarm of camera-clicking visitors. Nearly three million people a year are drawn to visit it. Somehow, 360 years on, it is still surviving the swarm. The threat to it now has less to do with improvement than with greed, a greed that infantilises rather than enhances experience.”

Coney Island: ‘It’s Not Dead Yet’

The New York Times thinks it’s about time for City Council “to stop the long, slow, perpetual dying of Coney Island”—and, as noted in this editorial, there’s a proposal in the works that could do just that. Hear, hear.

Coming Soon: Neverland China

If you can’t make it to Neverland Ranch to pay your respects to Michael Jackson, don’t fret: There’s a Chinese replica in the works near Shanghai. (Via @KelseyTimmerman)

Six Flags Declares Bankruptcy

Cue the “end of the ride” references.

China’s Sex Theme Park That Wasn’t

Maybe it was the red thong. Officials in Chongqing, China, ordered the country’s first-ever sex theme park—set to open this fall—demolished over the weekend after news of its opening drew global media coverage and embarrassment among locals.

The park—dubbed “Love Land”—promised the chance to see giant replicas of genitals and exhibits on sexual history, with the goal of improving sex education in a country where open discussion of the topic has traditionally been taboo.

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‘Adventureland’: Hooked by Travel Writing and the Adventure of Summer Jobs

‘Adventureland’: Hooked by Travel Writing and the Adventure of Summer Jobs Publicity still via IGN
Publicity still via IGN

I can tell you the exact moment I came off the fence and really fell for Adventureland, the theme park-set comedy romance that hit theaters last weekend.

Early on, not long after starting his grim summer job as a games operator at the local amusement park, protagonist James tells love interest Em what his earnings are for: he wants to move to New York City, complete a master’s in journalism at Columbia University and become a travel writer. But, he’s quick to add, he wants to write travel stories about “real life,” like Charles Dickens.

I’m not far removed from my own dreamy undergraduate perusals of the Columbia website, and I love a good real-life travel story, too—so naturally, I was hooked.

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‘Survivor’: Coming to a Theme Park Near You

Move over, American Idol: “Survivor” is the latest reality TV phenomenon to get the theme-park treatment—and no, sadly, I don’t mean that the next season will force young parents to survive 40 days in the Magic Kingdom. (Now that, I would watch.)

Instead, CBS has created “Survivor: Live,” a free stage show that will visit three U.S. theme parks this summer, with plans for an expanded touring schedule next summer. Variety reports: “The half-hour ‘Survivor: Live’ will use clips from the TV series—as well as actors portraying previous contestants—and divide the audience into four ‘tribes.’ Volunteers from the crowd will go through a series of four challenges, leading eventually to a sole winner.” Weight loss from The Survivor Diet not included. (Via The Remote Island)

Morning Links: Bible Park, Pizza Vending Machines and More

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Disney Aims to Go Green

The Walt Disney company aims to cut its emissions by 50 percent by 2013 and to use more recycled material to decrease the amount of trash it sends to landfills, Environmental Leader reports.

Disneyland Resort is already using recycled cooking oil in its Disneyland Railroad steam trains—a move that could help save some 200,000 gallons of petroleum diesel per year. Some Disneyland rides also use biodiesel instead of gasoline, though customers have inexplicably complained about the “french-fry smell” emitted by the biodiesel when burned.

Morning Links: Holidays in Banda Aceh, ‘Slavery Theme Park’ and More

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‘American Idol’ and Disney World, Together at Last

disney Photo by d4rr3ll via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by d4rr3ll via Flickr (Creative Commons)

We’ve had movies inspired by theme park rides, and roller coasters inspired by rock anthems, so isn’t it about time we had a theme park attraction inspired by the “reality” television craze? (I’m a little far removed from my college philosophy classes to say for sure, but I suspect there’s a meta-something at work here.) Yes, the American Idol Experience opened at DisneyWorld this weekend. Here’s how it works: visitors can choose to perform on a re-created “Idol” stage, or to sit in the audience and vote. At the end of each day, the lucky hopeful who receives the most audience votes lands a Dream Ticket to an actual “American Idol” audition.

There is no option for visitors to sit at the judging table and hurl abuse at the contestants; still, I suspect the new attraction will be a hit. The Traveling Mamas have posted a (snark-free) review, and there’s a clip previewing the American Idol Experience after the jump:

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Morning Links: Disney’s Small World, Travel Writers Worth Following and More

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The Songlines of Key West: Doing the Duval Crawl

Duval Street, Key West Photo by Michelle Thatcher.

In a three-part series, Bill Belleville burrows deep into the spirit of the mythic island.

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Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse and ‘Steamboat Willie’

Eighty years ago today, Disney’s world-conquering mouse made his big-screen debut—traveling onboard an old-fashioned riverboat. Here’s the seven-minute clip that eventually spawned a global theme park empire, “Steamboat Willie”:

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A Clash of Civilizations Over Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World’

Disneyland fans are abuzz—and many are up in arms—over news that changes are coming to the classic boat ride “It’s a Small World.” The attraction was inspired by a conference Walt Disney attended in 1956, at the invitation of President Eisenhower, aimed at promoting “world peace through international civilian travel,” according to Wikipedia. Slow-moving boats pass scenes depicting various countries and cultures, all set to music. (See this YouTube video.)


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The (Full Moon) Party’s Over

Koh phangan Photo by Peter Delevett.

Peter Delevett visited Thailand's Koh Phangan with his girlfriend in 1994, discovering a boho backpacker Eden. He recently returned -- older, married and with a mortgage -- just in time for the island's signature bash.

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Interview with George Saunders: Loose in the Real World

Frank Bures talks with the author about Dubai, Nepal's Buddha Boy and what he learned about travel from a mob of rock-hauling, 70-year-old women in Singapore

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Out: Mile-High Club. In: Mile-Below Club.

The Mile-High Club may be dead, but amorous, thrill-seeking travelers have a new frontier: 5,280 feet underwater. According to a London Times report, mini-submarines are the new airplane bathrooms. Tony Allen-Mills writes: “Manufacturers of some of the world’s most exclusive underwater conveyances are boasting of the sexual possibilities of submersible cabins equipped with ‘large panoramic viewports’ that allow exhibitionists to indulge their fantasies in front of an audience of dolphins and lobsters.”

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