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Tuesday, July 27, 2004
The Deadest Place on Earth
My interest in theme parks exceeds even Japanese arcade games. The prior obsession comes from being raised in a household that regarded southern California as a sort of holy land, with Disneyland being the equivalent of the Temple Mount. While I've since renounced my "faith," I still keep tabs on Orange County’s countless parks through sites like Mouse Planet.
Possible the biggest piece of SoCal theme park news this year has been Disney efforts to give visitors something to do in their fledgling California Adventure (compared to a prison in an episode of The Simpsons last year) In May they opened The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, based on the attraction at their east-coast MGM Studios. Based on the old television show, riders are catapulted around an elevator shaft in an "abandoned" hotel as their assaulted by CGI ghosts and a Rod Serling impersonator. Etixland posted a lengthy write-up on the ride, with pics, that can be found here. If you're headed that way, you should also check out this.
But has Universal Studios come up with a better ride based on the undead? A few weeks later, their Hollywood theme park opened the doors to Revenge of the Mummy. This ride, which now fills a space once occupied by an ET attraction, is in-house roller coaster along the lines of Disney's Indiana Jones: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. After making the mistake of disrupting the mummy's tomb, riders are assaulted by robotic Egyptian zombies that fall from the ceiling, beetles that "attack" them (really droplets of water) and a chamber that bursts into flames.
Magic Mountain has yet to open an undead-based thrill ride but, as this Popular Mechanics article points out, do they really need to?