Hello again! We're scooting closer towards the middle of February, and I gotta say, this year is already off to such a bonkers start. A new ride opened last month, a new ride opens next month and then possibly the month after that and the month after that?!
It feels like we're living in the golden ages, a time our tiny babies will look back on and think, "Wow, they really had everything and it was brand new and yet... they still mourned Horizons on a daily basis? How strange."
Anywho, cherish these times, people, since it won't be long before Spider-Man is flying over our friggin' heads. From DIY Ferris wheels to larger-than-life food and a Disney beer list that reads more like a challenge, here's everything you might have missed this week in theme parks:
BRICK ME BABY ONE MORE TIME
As a human on the internet I know I should still be talking about Bong Joon Ho's unbreakable legacy or this incredible story about Kim Kardashian's Oscars dress or how Taika Waititi justified my forearm pain, but the only thing I can scream at you about right now are these teeny-tiny roller coaster rides!!!!
There's a new LEGO Masters show on Fox that I promptly made fun of in multiple group chats, only to stand here eating my words like LEGOLAND apple fries because, well, it's GOOD.
Granted, you'll have to power through hearing the word "brickmaster" more times than you probably ever thought you'd be able to handle, but the first episode is all about building a theme park.
A Dream Park theme park!
If you're one of those people who has slowed down by the toy monorail kits inside the Main Street, U.S.A. shops in Disney World and wondered, "Am I...the kind of person who will spend too much money on this?" then this show is for you.
Each contestant duo is given a patch of make-believe theme park land to create their own mini-world upon, which must be themed and include at least one ride that works and be completed during a 15-hour build.
This show is truly toy propaganda and YES it is pandering to me by attaching a tiny camera to the viewpoint of a tiny monorail (eek!!), but I don't care. I'm too busy with adulthood to spend my afternoons on Roller Coaster Tycoon attempting to stop my theme park guests from puking everywhere and this show's first episode is scratching my imaginary park itch, baby!
I naturally thought these builders would make some pretty dinky pirate ship rides and phone the rest in with ornate trees, but no. No, they knocked it out of the literal park.
There's a Fairyland with a crystal exchange (bonus points for knowing that theme parks are going the way of interactivity), a derivative dream-themed land with a teacup ride in the sky (COOL) and even a farm patch that has a chicken coop-themed egg drop ride, but you'll immediately find yourself unable to stop desperately daydreaming about some of the others going into real-life parks.
I don't mean to step on Joe Rohde's toes, but the tiny Timber Town's roller coaster that has a vertical lift and goes through a tree would be so exceptionally cool for Animal Kingdom. And then there's Spaceland, where a crashed UFO means aliens now co-mingle with guests around a fantastic working carousel that could easily be a Toy Story twist on Pixar Pier with Little Green Aliens at the helm. But, most of all, there's Sugar Hill with its oversized cherry-topped LEGO ice cream scoops, peppermint bumper cars and strawberry syrup pond that could immediately be a Wreck-It Ralph land. (Which, c'mon Disney, please make!!!)
Yeah yeah, it's all a pipe dream, but you should give it a watch nevertheless. These people have an unfathomably good grasp on theming for not being as deeply entrenched with this stuff as we are, and even if none of it is real, it's a delightful new medium to suck theme park content through.
The inflated high stakes are, alright, so dumb — they're trying to win a gold brick for immunity?? Sure, Will — but you'll get so many kicks out of the miniature monorail structure that who wins or loses won't even matter to you.
Which brings up another important point: HOW IS THERE STILL NO WRECK-IT RALPH LAND!? Sorry, I'm getting carried away with this, I just can't believe we could have an ice cream paradise covered in candy sprinkles fit perfectly inside a Disney park and it doesn't exist yet. The entire film plot is about a racing game, for goodness sake!!!!
Okay, fine, I'll calm down with this revelation: Is it weird that this shoved-together park is somewhat better than LEGOLAND (and all human parks) yet somehow looks almost exactly like it? Food for thought.
Anywho, check it out — you won't be disappointed (and thank you to my friend Zach who alerted me to this absolute glory!)
A SMALL BIT OF MARVEL NEWS
Tidbits of the forthcoming Avengers Campus land at Disney California Adventure are starting to eek out before its Summer 2020 debut, and The Orange County Register got some dirt on the new build last week. In an interview with the theme park's vice president, the SoCal paper learned that a Marvel character "rooftop stunt show" is for sure happening, so get those peepers ready. That Spider-Man we discussed in last week's column is going to... fly... over... our... heads!? OKAY!
We finally got a few specifics on the Spider-Man ride, too: You'll sling webs with hand gestures (no pull-string like Toy Story Mania!) and there's no height restriction so all the kids can come aboard. There was also confirmation that the Doctor Strange meet-and-greet will be an outdoor show with ~special effects~ to bring guests to his Sanctum Sanctorum, which is a wonderful relief, as the D23 Expo presentation wasn't exactly transparent on if that would still be the case.
The only key factor missing for the first phase's launch is Pym Test Kitchen's menu, the eatery that uses "Pym Particles" to shrink or expand food. I want them to serve food so big I can wear it! I want Christmastime to bring a gingerbread house I could live in! I want to swim laps and possibly drown in an XXXXXXXL Diet Coke!!!!! (Okay fine, I'll settle for very large chips or very tiny Lunchables nachos, just feed me all the tiny, huge food please please pretty please.)
More to come, and as always, we'll keep you in the know here at the Internet Theme Park Gazette.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
Cabel is undeniably too good for us goofy denizens haunting DisTwitter, and yet, he continues to add so much to the community. Take here, this stunning GIF of the new Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway neon sign that he whipped out mere seconds after the imagery first debuted.
This dude helped bring Untitled Goose Game to life — yes! That goose! — yet uses his brainpower to immediately let us bask in the digital glow of a new Hollywood Studios marquee until we can all embrace it in person. And for that, sir, we are grateful.
LINKS! LINKS! LINKS!
- If you're tired of working off those holiday party calories, the themed food at Knott's PEANUTS Celebration will do the trick. (Dilly Dilly Dog!!)
- If Universal's PEACOCK LIVE! event isn't your jam, the "Making of a Theme Park Attraction" panel might be.
- I'm not sure if this is news, but you should start budgeting your money regardless.
- Hit up your closest D23 magazine-receiving friend because the new issue looks absolutely stacked.
- You can now hire a Disney PhotoPass photographer for a private in-park session.
- It's official: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort is the best hotel in Orlando.
- That sound you heard was dozens of theme park reporters breathing a sigh of relief.
- Tired: A Disney website ripping off a bunch of Disney reporters.
- Wired: The debacle alerting me to a stolen story that is absolutely worth reading.
- Just gonna leave this new Disney Springs restaurant's beer list — nearly a hundred, all on tap — right here.
- I love these kinds of lifestyle stories.
- That Star Wars show at Disney's Hollywood Studios is, as expected, coming to a close.
- of Potatoland!