The blog of author Dennis Cooper

DC’s International Amusement Park Newsletter, Vol. 8: New and Paused and Cancelled and Coming Attractions

Now: NeuroGen (Walibi, Holland)
‘Recently, Walibi Holland opened its new “NeuroGen” VR experience, which is the first VR attraction developed by Dutch film company I-MOR. In “NeuroGen” guests are immersed into a neuro clinic, where they can have their brain capacity enlarged. After they have taken a seat (specially designed by Kraftwerk) and put on Samsung’s Gear VR headsets, the exciting and sometimes horrific experience begins.’


2019: Unnamed Jurassic Park Attraction (Universal Studios, Japan)
‘Screamscape sources have confirmed that the new Jurassic Park themed ride going into Universal Studios Japan for 2016 is better than we could have hoped… it will be a B&M Flyer. I don’t quite know how elaborate the themeing will be, but this sounds almost like a revival of the old cancelled plans once in place for Islands of Adventure that would have seen a B&M Flyer coaster built inside a giant Pteranodon Aviary structure.’


2018: Two Bit Circus (Los Angeles)
‘In early 2018, experiential entertainment company Two Bit Circus will open the country’s first micro-amusement park in downtown Los Angeles. The company’s founders Brent Bushnell and Eric Gradman will house the high-tech park (that will have an old school carnival feel) inside of a former power plant in Lincoln Heights. The entrepreneurial duo are hoping it will be the first in a chain of such parks that will use technology to bring people together to play. Two Bit’s CTO Gadman believes that the small-scale park will completely disrupt the entertainment industry. He says, “The world has nothing like this. There’s no place that takes advantage of smaller spaces like we intend to do. There’s no place that’s filled with content that’s constantly being rotated… there’s no place where new technologies can come and live and be showcased in a place that allows everyone to play with them, and when they get old and stale we replace them with newer, cooler stuff.” Bushnell, Two Bit’s CEO and son to the man who founded both Atari and Chuck-e-Cheese, talked about how IRL immersive experiences are the new “cool,” “People want new life experience you could think of their Instagram as kind of a new kind of currency rate and is not wearing the shirt that has the Porsche logo that says you’re cool, it’s what kind of cool new experiences you’re getting into, and so this is about a place for new life experience.” The company raised $15 million dollars in January to help bring their vision to life.’


2018: F.L.Y. (Phantasialand, Germany)
‘German theme park Phantasialand today announced plans to build the world’s longest and first launched flying coaster, to be named “Fly” (stylized F.L.Y.). An opening date wasn’t specified, but given the announcement date, 2018 seems likely — but I’m not ruling out 2019, especially considering Phantasialand’s standard of intricate, immersive theming. While exact length of Fly is unknown, to claim the “world’s longest” title, it will need to surpass the current record holder, Flying Dinosaur at Universal Studios Japan.’


Unknown: Shahre Ghese (Tehran, Iran)
‘The first ever theme park in Iran was originally due to open in 2016. Shahre Ghese (Story City) has been designed by Canada’s Forrec, and its backers claim that it will include rides supplied by major manufacturers including Intamin, Mack Rides and Zamperla – all based in Europe. Shahre Gheseh Theme Park is to occupy 38 hectares of land with 45 rides and 28 attractions developed into seven zones: Creation Courtyard, History Plaza, Silk Road, Adventure World, Land of Myths, Future Zone and City of Toys. It has been estimated that by the completion of phase 1 and 2, 9 million people will visit Shahre Gheseh annually, and it will rank in the Top 10 Amusement/Theme Parks worldwide in terms of number of attendees. Unfortunately, while construction work was started in 2015, photos appear to show that it has ground to a complete halt. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its location, very little is known about the status of the project and why work has stopped.’


Unknown: Spinning Interactive Dark Ride (Alterface, Belgium)
‘During Asian Attractions Expo (AAE), the international trade show for the attractions industry from 13 till 16 June 2017 in Singapore, Alterface will unveil a new and unique ride concept. The Spinning Interactive Dark Ride features the new Alterface proprietary IP Popcorn Revenge® as spectacular theming. Alterface rolled out its Rotating Theater in 2007, offering an interactive experience with immersive themed scenery within a limited footprint. The second generation now brings a tally new dimension into this concept in the form of a Spinning Interactive Dark Ride. The new Spinning Interactive Dark Ride is a creative and innovative solution combining an immersive five-minute attraction within a very small footprint, accommodating up to 600 people per hour. In blocks of 40 seconds, the platform rotates to move each group of 8 players through an immersive series of scenes. The theatre includes themed scenery, large integrated screens, custom media, projection mapping, sounds, dynamic lighting and special effects. These are all managed by Alterface Show control FX studio™. The system is compatible with all types of interactivity: shooting, drag and drop, 4D shooter™ and gesture recognition.’


Now: The Viking Voyage (Tayto Park, Ireland)
‘We are delighted to announce our new and exciting attraction “The Viking Voyage at the Park”. We are dedicated to bringing cutting-edge attractions to Tayto Park and this particular ride is one of a kind. We are very excited to unveil it to the public in the coming months. With 1.7 million litres of water, a viking village, 5 replica viking ships and 20 life size Vikings, families can expect to feel the splash on the latest addition to Ireland’s favourite theme park and zoo. Over 10,000 tonnes of concrete and 500 tonnes of steel have gone into the construction of the ride so far, with staff learning and using building methods from the viking age to create a truly authentic experience.’


2018: Infinity Rapids (SeaWorld, Orlando)
‘During a scheduled press event this morning, SeaWorld Orlando announced an all-new river rapids ride coming to the park in 2018. Infinity Falls will take passengers on a ride through a lost jungle river, winding around waterfalls, fountains, and the remains of an ancient civilization. To get your adrenaline pumping, the ride will send you flying through chutes before a 40-foot plunge down the tallest drop of its kind. After landing in the churning whitewater below, the ride takes you through Harmony Village to end on a message of inspiration and illustrate the connection to the world’s rivers.’


2018: Electric Eel (SeaWorld, San Diego)
‘The roller coaster, which the marine park hopes to open by early summer 2018, proposes a combination of loops, twists and a nearly 150-foot-high ascent followed by an inverted roll designed to give riders an upside-down view of Mission Bay. Both the design and feel of the coaster are inspired by eels, which are known for their unique hunting abilities, moving easily in and out of crevices, tying themselves in knots and, among some species, generating electricity to attack their prey. SeaWorld designers are working on a way to mimic the behavior of electric eels at the start of the ride. As the individual vehicles prepare to launch, riders will sense the generation of electricity via lighting and sound techniques, and people in the ride plaza will also experience that with the help of LED lights and strobes, according to Brian Morrow, vice president of theme park design for SeaWorld.’


Never: Secret Life of Pets Dark Ride (Universal Studios, Hollywood & Orlando)
‘It was rumored for months that a trackless dark ride featuring many of audio animatronic figures themed around Universal’s new movie, “The Secret Life Of Pets”, would be coming to Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood in the near future. The Hollywood ride was rumored to open in 2018 and the Orlando version would of opened a year or two later. Although the ride was never officially announced by any of the Universal parks, months ago NBC Universal executive Steve Burke confirmed that Secret Life Of Pets attractions were in development. It appeared that construction at Universal Studios Hollywood had started for the attraction, but then it unexpectedly came to a halt. Sources say the reason is the movie’s underperformance to Universal’s standards. It made $873.6 million at the box office, which is more than Despicable Me’s 2010 box office earnings of $543.1 million, but less than Minions(2015) $1.159 billion.’


Now: Ghost – The Haunted House (Legoland, Denmark)
‘Take a deep breath and sneak inside The Haunted House, crawling with vampires, ghosts, monsters and all sorts of creepy-crawlies. On your way through the scary house, you can chase ghosts in the enchanted mirror maze, but be careful not to get lost or die laughing on your way. You can also look forward to meeting The Crazy Scientist and his mad experiment that will send you and your brave family floating and perhaps even drop youuuuu….! You must be at least 130 cm tall to ride alone. Children between 110 cm and 130 cm tall may go on this ride accompanied by a responsible person. Don’t forget to buy a memory of your drop in the Ghost – The Haunted House – your proof that you survived the 8 m free fall.’


2019: PolerCoaster (Atlantic City)
‘A state agency Thursday offered financial support to a proposed $138 million attraction that would feature a vertical rollercoaster near Atlantic City’s Boardwalk. The Economic Development Authority approved a $38.4 million grant to help fund the PolerCoaster, which would drop riders about 350 feet while they spiral around a tower. The PolerCoaster – expected to be the only one in the Northeast – would rise on about 1.3 acres of vacant land off the boardwalk at Martin Luther King Boulevard, the EDA said. The site is part of a cleared area that once held the Sands Casino Hotel, according to tax records. The ride would be part of a 110,000-square-foot entertainment complex that also would include a skydive simulator and “extreme” climbing, ropes and ninja attractions. Construction is expected to begin in May for completion before Memorial Day 2019.’


Now: Bollywood Parks Dubai
‘The world’s first Bollywood theme park is now open to the public, appealing to the billions of fans that live within a four-hour flight of Dubai. The park is split into zones, with rides based on Bollywood’s biggest hits. It has 30 live shows across six stages and there will be six restaurants covering the breadth of Indian cuisine.’


2018: Unnamed Virtual Reality Attraction (Busch Gardens, Williamsburg)
‘America’s first virtual reality motion simulator theme park ride will open at Busch Gardens Williamsburg next year. The as-yet-unnamed ride will replace the Europe in the Air show, which closed last year. The new experience will not use the motion simulator theater’s screens, but will display its show on individual VR headsets that riders will wear. Six Flags brought virtual reality to several of its roller coasters across the country last year, but this will be the first installation of VR at a major theme park’s motion simulator ride.’


2021: Tron Lightcycle Power Run (DisneyWorld, Orlando)
‘The “Tron” ride will be at DisneyWorld, in a new space adjacent to Space Mountain. The company debuted Tron Lightcycle Power Run at Shanghai Disneyland last summer. The Tron attraction, based on the popular movie franchise, has strong visual appeal. The Shanghai ride glows, internally and externally. It’s one of the greatest-looking facilities at night I’ve ever seen in any Disney park. It’s almost at the level of castle magnificence, really, at night.’


Now: Mirnovec Fun Park (Croatia)
‘Tomorrow will see the opening of the all-new Mirnovec Fun Park located on Croatia’s Adriatic Sea coast, which is said to be the largest family amusement park in the country until to date. On an area of some 45,000 square meters, visitors can discover three different theme areas: “Pirates’ World”, “Wild West” and “Universe”, featuring a variety of family attractions. The investment sum for the new leisure destination amounts to 15 million Euros, which represents the highest investment in an amusement park in Croatia until to date. In its first year of operation, the park is expected to welcome around 180,000 visitors.’


Now: Hvirvelvinden (Fårup Sommerland, Denmark)
‘Try the wildest swing and spin perhaps in history! In 2017 we build Hvirvelvinden – our most daring theme ever. In the whirlwind you are thrown up and down violently from 19 meters height while you rotate around. But we warn you! You are assured to feel dizzy and confused after a ride in the whirlwind. Are you among the tough and brave who dare?’


2020: Unnamed Harry Potter Attraction (Universal Islands of Adventure, Orlando)
‘Universal and Warner Bros. are working on a replacement for the Dragon Challenge Coaster, and since Dragon Challenge wasn’t built as an original Potter attraction, it makes sense to change it out,” the source said. The new rumored ride would do away with the entire coaster approach and go with more of an indoor/outdoor dark ride concept using approaches made popular by other rides. It may have a portion as if you are in a forest — with part of the ride outside — and other parts indoor designed to make you feel like you’re outside. In addition, the ride system doesn’t appear to be using the Kuka robotic arm system that is found on the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, but using a different device to give the rider the G-forces experienced on rides. It’s possible if Universal is looking to use a new technology it may tap into recent patents filed by the theme park that indicate using wands in a car-like ride system.’


Now: HYPE (Sarkanniemi, Finland)
‘According to a report from Premier Rides, the installation is on schedule for the Triple Launch coaster which will seriously alter the landscape of Sarkanniemi.’


Never: London Paramount Entertainment Resort (Kent, UK)
‘London Paramount Entertainment Resort (commonly referred to as London Paramount) was a proposed theme park and entertainment precinct in Swanscombe, Kent. The project was announced on 8 October 2012 and it was estimated to open by around 2022. In June 2017, it was announced that Paramount has pulled out of the project. The attraction was cover an 872-acre site with a 2,000-seat theatre, hotels, an exhibition space, restaurants and a nightclub. In comparison, Disneyland Paris is 480 acres, while Walt Disney World in Florida covers a massive 27,258 acres. Up to 40,000 visitors a day were expected to visit the park, which was estimated to have 50 rides inspired by Paramount films.’


2020: Unnamed B&M Invert Roller Coaster (Gröna Lund, Sweden)
‘Gröna Lund has submitted a planning application for a B&M Invert roller coaster. The new coaster would be 112 feet (34m) tall and 2297 (700m) long, with a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h) and a ride time of approximately two minutes. If the plans are approved construction will begin in 2018 with the coaster opening in 2020. The compact waterfront park has many attractions built on top of one another, including three intertwining coasters, but the addition of a eighth coaster of this size seemed unlikely. However, park Rides Manager Peter Osbeck has worked with B&M to design the layout around Insane, the Intamin ZacSpin coaster, with an underground station and a lift hill extending over the Biergarden in order to squeeze it in.’


2019: Suntago Water World (Warsaw)
‘In Mszczonow near Warsaw the construction of the First stage of Park of Poland which will be named Suntago Water World, the largest water park in CEE, has already started. Inside the complex investor plans to build 30 various water slides, of total length 3.2 km, wave pool, pools, over 10 saunas, a thermal health bath, mineral pools and a spa complex. The opening of the EUR 150 million investment is scheduled within 2 years.’


2020: Untitled Guardians of the Galaxy Attraction (Epcot, Orlando)
‘The rumors just keep circling when it comes to the possible Guardians of the Galaxy attraction at Epcot. The latest development in this rumor, is that a user of a roller coaster fan site has spotted a very interested test site for a new roller coaster being developed by Vekoma. Vekoma is an amusement ride and roller coaster design company that is based in the Netherlands. The company is known for working with Disney Imagineering on attractions such as the Barnstormer, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and most recently on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom. The company is also known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to roller coaster design, especially when it comes to unique and new ride vehicles. Images of their current test site popped up online and shows some sort of flying roller coaster. Now that may not sound so revolutionary to some, but the interesting twist is that is also features a vertical piece of track specifically designed to be used as a loading and unloading station. This is where the tie into the possibly Guardians of the Galaxy attraction comes into the picture. One can see that the track is placed within a circular building. This design also supports the original theory that the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction was to replace the Mission: Space attraction at Future World. This circular building could easily represent the exiting circular rooms within the Mission: Space attraction that house the four separate gravitons.’


2019 – 2021: Walibi (Belgium)
‘Walibi Belgium has impressive future plans. In the coming years, the theme park will invest more than 100 million euros in ten new attractions, of which four new roller coasters, spread over eight new themed areas. In 2021, the largest and fastest rollercoaster of the Benelux will open. In 2019 the entrance of the park will get a new look. In addition, there will be a makeover for the area around Cobra, the Vekoma Boomerang. There will also be a themed restaurant and a spinning theater with Bollywood theme. In the same year, a new children’s coaster will open. The current Far West section should be revamped by 2020. There will be an interactive water attraction, a Mack Rides Twist’n’Splash. A year later, there will be a refurbishment for the area around Wooden roller coaster Weerwolf and Vampire, the SLC of the park. Both attractions will receive a New Orelans theme, with voodoo influences. The biggest investment is scheduled for 2021. Walibi Belgium will open that year a spectacular megacoaster in a new African themed area, at the back end of the park. It will be the largest and fastest rollercoaster of the Benelux. And that’s not all. The intention is to build a new family attraction between 2022 and 2023. The area around the log flume Flash Back and the Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop Psyké Underground will get a harbor theme. Also, new slides will be added to Aqualibi.’


2018: Iron Bull (Parque Espana, Japan)
‘Parque Espana has announced Iron Bull, a steampunk themed transformation of the park’s existing closed indoor Bullfight Roller Coaster attraction from Sansei. Look for it to open to guests on Feb. 4th, 2018.’


2018: Secret Weapon 8 (Alton Towers, UK)
‘Plans have been revealed for Alton Towers’ new rollercoaster – code name ‘Secret Weapon 8’. The coaster, which is due to open in 2018, will replace Alton Tower’s log flume ride. Plans of the 200 metre high wooden coaster have now emerged.’


2020: Nintendo Land (Universal Studios Japan)
‘Last year it was announced that Universal and Nintendo had partnered to create themed lands at all of their Universal theme parks. On Friday, the first details of that deal were made public, as the deal was finalized. Last year it was announced that Universal and Nintendo had partnered to create themed lands at all of their Universal theme parks. On Friday, the first details of that deal were made public, as the deal was finalized. According to an image in the news report, they have a general idea of where the new land will go. The entire area is said to be interactive, and will be like “going on your own Nintendo Adventure”. That means getting coins, stomping Goombas and lots of Zelda. The areas will all feature attractions, shops and dining that feature many characters from the rich Nintendo character library. Walk around characters like Mario, Link, and Koopa are pretty much shoe-ins. Discussed attractions also include a Mario Kart themed ride, a Legend of Zelda themed interactive ride, and an attraction that mixes many Nintendo characters in one adventure. The rides are being billed as being the latest in technology.’


Unknown: The Chiller (Beto Carrero World, Brazil)
(7/2/12) Beto Carrero World has started to receive shipments of the former Batman & Robin: The Chiller coaster that once ran at Six Flags Great Adventure. (8/30/12) All the pieces of The Chiller are now said to be on site and the park is expected to possibly reopen the coaster sometime in 2013. (Note: Has not happened yet to my knowledge). (8/5/17) Update on The Chiller… while the ride’s pieces continue to sit on site waiting to be built, apparently the plans for the coaster itself are missing and the park is unwilling to pay Premier Rides to draw up new plans for it that would fit their site. The end result is it is now highly unlikely that we will see The Chiller rebuild or run ever again.’


2018: Bazyliszek (Legendia, Poland)
‘Legendia has announced the creation of a new dark ride for next season from Jora Vision and AlterFace to be called Bazyliszek. The new ride will be themed around Polish legends and folklore as guests enter the headquarters for a ‘Monster Hunters Guild’ and then journey through, “an ancident village, dark caves, magical forests and ruins to fight all kinds of creatures. At the end of their journey they finally reach the ferocious Basilisk, the largest and scariest monster of all.’


Now: Symbolica – Palace of Fantasy (Efteling, Holland)
‘On July 1st, Dutch Efteling theme park opened its all-new “Symbolica – Palace of Fantasy” attraction after a construction phase of around 18 months, celebrating its 65th anniversary this season. Behind the palace’s masonry the guests can now discover hidden corridors and magical rooms in King Pardulfus’ castle – of course accompanied by the court jester and mascot “Pardoes”. The investment volume for this new indoor family theme ride amounts to 35 million Euros, representing the park’s largest investment into a new attraction until to date.’


Never: Ghost Town in the Sky (Maggie Valley, NC)
‘Ghost Town in the Sky is now officially up for sale… again. Not a big surprise as the park failed to open at all in 2016 and nothing at all has changed for 2017. Sorry folks… but I think it’s a goner for good this time. Too many failed efforts to revive it along with infrastructure problems that prevent making it easy for guests to even get to the main park at the top of the mountain any longer just make it unattractive to potential buyers. Though the mountainside location would be a beautiful place to build a few massive Alpine Coasters however… Unless something changes, this is likely going to be our final report on this closed park.’




p.s. Hey. ** Ferdinand, Hey, man. I just popped over there. Good sounding track. I’ll do a start-to-finish thing in a bit. Plus videos showing vinyl records revolving and playing the song you’re hearing at the same time are the best. ** Liquoredgoat, Hi, D. Good, leaving ’em wanting more, etc. Three Duverts? I did not know that. On the hunt. Thanks, buddy, take it easy. ** Jamie, Morning in duplicate, Jamie. Oh, Jim Post wrote to me and asked me to tell everyone thank you and that he was blown away by the great response. Me, I’m still good. My leisurely pace just ended abruptly, or will tomorrow, which is cool, I guess. Been called in for thorough, daily work on Gisele’s new and imminent piece. And, yes, I’m chomping at every bit and jittery to get back to finishing ‘PGL’ and starting work on the script for Zac’s and my next film. Mm, I don’t think I’ve been paid to merely listen. Interviewing people is kind of that but you’re also being paid to steer them. So your gig is almost history? Then what? Tuesday mostly delivered news of imminent lots of things but it itself had a uneventful outlay. No way, so … was the technician guy right? Are you, dare I ask, one with the world again? Macha rouleaux love, Dennis. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Hm, I don’t agree. I don’t think artists have any obligation whatsoever to cover others’ bases. Plus, that’s impossible, and when it happens, I think it’s always pure luck. I suppose I should see Bigelow’s last few films just to know what you guys are so bent out of shape about, but they just don’t intrigue me. I suppose you and David Edelstein must get confused for each other a lot. Funny since you guys are pretty different, I must say. Thank you ultra-kindly for the link to Bresson dissertation! I’ll devour it, of course. I met Barbara Cook once years ago with Kenward Elmslie. Sadly, I had never heard of her and didn’t her work at all, so I didn’t take advantage of the situation, but she was very nice. ** Steve Erickson. Hi, Oh please, I’m not defending ‘Detroit’, I’m taking issue with a critical stance that an unknown-to-me film has occasioned for you, period. Well, that’s interesting, of course, about your script. I do think we’re talking about different things re: this ‘torture porn’ discussion, so I think it’s probably best to shrug and move on. Congratulations on finishing the monologue! I just got hit with a swamping amount of work starting tomorrow so I had better beg off on reading it and giving you feedback, but thank you for asking. I’ve never seen ‘Homicide: Like on the Street’, no. ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh. I don’t know if Meghan Howland uses live models. Maybe if you use the link in the post that question can be answered? Morimoe does live in Japan, yes. In Tokyo, I think? ** Bill, Thanks for the words to Jim. I can fully imagine that ‘Christiane F.’ does not hold up, wow. I recently tried to rewatch ‘Liquid Sky’, and whoa, ditto. ** H, Hi. Thanks for the kinds words to Mr. Post. Oh my, please feel better, or I guess I now call upon ‘the gods’ to make you feel better. I’m very glad you’ve come to like Joy Williams. A favorite of hers? Hm. I honestly love everything of hers, but, hm, but maybe ‘The Quick and the Dead’ and ‘Escapes’? ** Nicholas, Yo back. Sounds like you should grab him, yes, or let yourself get grabbed. The headache came and went. Maybe it was just a bad batch. It was homemade. I think Richard Hell made it. He was the absinthe party’s host. Aw, nice words from Mr. Visser. He is such a talented fella, and a sweetie. Thanks! ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Jim gets 100% of the credit. I was just the proprietor and installer. I can imagine that your body learns from the years of schooling that August is for lazing about and it just never fully unlearns it. My laziness will be forced away starting tomorrow ‘cos work just came up. Today I’m doing a phone conversation with Eileen Myles for a magazine called Document Journal. I guess we’re supposed to blab about whatever. It seems kind of loose, but Eileen and I are super longterm pals, so it should be fun. But other than finding out that I’m about to get busy, Tuesday was a drifty blah, but not in a bad way. Did anything interesting transgress your lazing about today? ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Thanks! ** Misanthrope, Hi. Yeah, I agree about ambition. Better over than under. Disagreement is learning. Well, except on Facebook where it seems like mostly just consensual flagellation. I do like pumpkin pie. But not as much as I like mac and cheese. Which you can’t buy here in France. Whenever I go to the States, I always bring back 4 or 5 boxes of Kraft or other Mac and Cheese. I do know that the Dodgers are kicking ass. I am very happy about that. I wish Could Vin Scully talk about that. But the Dodgers have collapsed too many times bordering on always for me to let myself get emotionally involved. ** S., You were on a tear yesterday, my man. ** Jeff J, 100 feet away? Okay, that’s obviously not viable. Weird. Thank you for presumably inducing a bad headache by typing that comment. Or can you type with eyes closed? I can’t. I haven’t read the Kraus/Acker. People I know in the know who’ve read it have expressed much disappointment pretty much across the board. I will read it at some probably soonish point. I’m reading the Duvert right now. It’s fantastic. Bon day, bud. ** Right. Today I’m indulging my amusement park-loving side again and providing anyone who’s also interested with news about forthcoming (or not) rides and attractions worldwide. I hope you find it scintillating. See you tomorrow.


  1. Nicholas

    Another, larger YO to you, D. I love looking at your posts of park attractions. What bugs me is that I don’t know if my body could withstand some of them. I remember your presentation of Halloween attractions several years ago. I attended one, Erebus, that was in driving distance from here. One of my favorite buds, Masher/Aaron, took me. I told him to just keep an eye on me. He said, ‘of course, but just look at the composition and art.’ It was a great experience.

    As to Trev, I think he’s got me. When I met him, he was a cashier at a local organic food place a few blocks away. I forgot my card, so I said I was going to go back home and grab it. When I got back, he presented me with the food, and said, ‘Here’s your receipt, and your other receipt.’ The other receipt was just a piece of paper with his phone number, which I promptly called. We ended up at the DIA the next day, and some galleries, and then back at my place doing things that felt close to perfect. At that time, I was used to just social dating, so it was weird. Once he displayed his brain, I was sold on a man half my age who had a body very different than I was used to: very, very tall; ginger head to toe; and who didn’t freak about my medical probs. You get it. It’s working well. A few friends were suspicious, but fuck that. I have much more to say, but he’s allergic to social media, so I respect that.

    It will be an animation day today. Love it. More to come about that.

    Glad you liked Visser’s brief response. He is, indeed, a fine man.

    All good. Njr

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Dennis it’s not an “obligation” it’s simply a recognition of what you’re doing and why. It’s very clear in your writing tat your experiences as a gay man aren’t “universal” nor should they be seen as a commentary and/or “analysis of gayness. Taking on a terribly specific subject like Police torture at the Algiers Motel during the Detroit riot demands an awareness and sensitivity that Kathy Bigelow does not possess. Over and above all it relates to the larger problem of White Presumption — the belief this culture has that whites can walk right inot black history and do and say whatever they want about it without being questioned. In fact the notion that whites would be questioned about anything is regarded by the White Establishment as hostle and worthy of knee-jerk rejection.

  3. Steve Erickson

    I think your objections to the term “torture porn” and what David and I have been saying over the past few days probably stem from your interest in dealing with violence in your work and how it’s been received. I’ve never been accused of making torture porn, and I don’t know how I would deal with it. I’ve always been very cautious about how I depict guns and violence even in the unproduced feature-length script where I went furthest with it, a revenge drama in which my protagonist commits murder. To be honest, one of my Facebook friends did a post yesterday where he was clearly suicidal and talked about how it felt to put a gun in his mouth. This disturbed the hell out of me, for its own sake obviously and also because I had written a script with similar imagery earlier in the day. In response, I told him to get rid of his gun ASAP and he said he didn’t own one. The collision of my violent thoughts, even if they’re way milder than yours, and real life totally threw me, although I know exactly why I wrote what I did and there’s a serious idea behind it that I don’t think I can put across in a way that would have the same impact on the audience without showing a man putting a gun to his head. But I’ve put a great deal of thought into what I’m doing with this image, as you obviously have with the violence in your work. I never want to go near a real gun in my life, and the only time I ever have was when I was 12, my Walkman had run out of batteries, and I thought I might find more batteries in my parents’ dresser drawers. Instead, I suddenly learned that my dad owned a handgun. I shut the drawer quickly, abandoned the search for batteries and decided to buy more when I got my allowance and an opportunity to go to the mall.

  4. chris dankland

    omg that tall Polercoaster one looks so scary !! even watching the video gave me some slight stomach butterflies. i mean, i’d ride it b/c it does look really fun but i’d probably need some prodding from somebody. rides that are that high are scary for me.

    that tron ride looks fun too, and i’d love to ride the Guardians of the Galaxy one although i admit that it would mostly be out of brand loyalty, i love those movies. pretty much any ride based on a Marvel movie i’d be down to wait in line for, whether they suck or not. those Marvel movies are definitely my guilty pleasure (that i don’t actually feel guilty about, but u know what i mean)

    hope ur having a good morning so far !! take care

  5. Nick Toti

    Hi Dennis!

    I’m always thrilled when you indulge your amusement park obsession. I paid particularly close attention to the Two Bit Circus which will supposedly be opening here in Los Angeles. Too bad all the stuff its creator said about “disrupting the industry” makes me want to puke! His full description reminds me of an art exhibit that just closed down here called The 14th Factory. It was full of really cool stuff but the whole place was obviously designed to be endlessly reproduced on people’s Instagram accounts. (Gross.)

    Speaking of indulging obsessions, a while back we had discussed me doing a post about Mike Warnke (the supposed Satanic high priest who became a wildly successful Christian stand-up comic). After much delay, that piece is as close to being finished as it’s likely to ever be. I assuming you’re still interested in running it and will email it to you as soon as I’m at a computer that isn’t my phone.

    Talk soon!

  6. Sypha

    Nintendo Land looks like it might be pretty cool.

    I saw in the sports page of (I think it was) USA TODAY yesterday that the Dodgers are doing well, and the first person I thought of was you, Dennis… recalled you were a fan, ha ha.

    Remember that Lovecraft convention that I’ve been back and forth about attending this year after all that drama in August? Well, now there’s a new controversy. I guess that S.T. Joshi, the world’s leading Lovecraft authority (who had been to the first 2 conventions) tried to dissuade the convention’s organizer from having certain anti-Lovecraft writers as guests/panelists. Joshi claims that the organizer agreed to this, but then went behind his back and got some of those anti-Lovecraft writers anyway. So now Joshi (who was supposed to be in 7 panels) has pulled out entirely and is calling for a boycott. So now the convention really has egg on its face, ha ha. I don’t know, for a convention that’s supposed to be about celebrating Lovecraft’s life and work, they do seem to be bending over backwards this year to try to lure vocally anti-Lovcraft types into the fold… seems kind of counterproductive to me.

    • Steve Erickson

      What does the anti-Lovecraft contingent think about the fact that a person of color is the world’s leading Lovecraft authority? This obviously doesn’t excuse the more dubious things Lovecraft wrote, but it suggests that his work can speak to people beyond its most obvious audience.

  7. Steve Erickson

    For the legal reasons that we have discussed privately, I am seriously thinking of changing the “gun to the head” scene to which one in which the character pretends to slit his throat with a knife filled with fake blood. This would be by far the most disturbing image in any film I’ve made (as well as an exact re-staging of a scene from TENEBRAE), and I’m afraid people would hit the back button on YouTube instead of watching the rest of the film, finding out the reasons behind this image of simulated suicide and listening to the rest of the monologue, most of which is way more humanist. I mean, my parents probably wouldn’t even watch the film if it included that image, and I would show them the script in advance.

  8. Dóra Grőber


    Well, then a massive thank you to Jim! I really loved it.
    The phone interview/conversation with your old friend sounds fun! I hope it really was! Can you say more about the work that came up suddenly or is it a new project not to be talked about yet?
    I met Anita today which was nice and I think it also meant the end of my lazy days – at least for a little while. There’s this huge festival here now (!/plist////) and we’ll visit it on Friday (to see Kasabian and PJ Harvey), then we’ll go to a one-day beach trip with Anita’s friends on Saturday, then I’ll be back at the festival on Sunday, working for the trans organization I also work for as the leader of the self-help group. So… I’m pretty excited!
    I hope you had a lovely day, Dennis! What happened?

  9. Jamie

    Well hello, Dennis! The wifi is back. It’s like the lights are on and the thieves have returned our furniture and food.
    How are you? Sounds exciting that you’re being called into urgent action. I hope that goes well. Is it the Crowd piece? I’ve thrown the idea to Hannah and her family to maybe try to catch it in Belgium. We’ll see…
    Excellent post. I find myself getting more and more excited by your theme-park posts, rollercoaster virgin that I am. Hope you’re still able to do Parc Asterix, but no worries if work obligations get in the way. Some of the rides here made me a little scared, tbh. I hope I don’t totally embarrass myself.
    I’m a little concerned about what I’m going to do when the animation job finishes, tbh. My Glasgow job is also slightly shaky, I just found out a couple of weeks ago. It will all be fine, I hope.
    What else is going on with you?
    I’m way too excited about the wifi. I’m going to get my headphones and go through your gig post from the weekend, just for starters.
    I hope your busy day is also blissful.
    Sultry love,

  10. _Black_Acrylic

    Today’s post spurred me to check on the progress of this mooted Flamingo Land move to Loch Lomond. Seems it’s still going ahead, “100m viewing tower” and all, though I have a feeling that many of these best-laid plans may be upended whenever Brexit becomes reality. But hey I guess we might all be nuked by North Korea by then anyway, right?

    Re the Yuck ‘n Yum/business idea, I’m grandiosely thinking of projects like Malcolm McLaren/the Sex Pistols or Tony Wilson/Factory Records where business and Anarchism worked together to make something great. YNY could be the art equivalent, in my fevered dreams anyway.

  11. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Maybe for a day sometimes in the future, you should design your own amusement park. That’d be interesting to see. I haven’t been to one in over 10 years. Sad, no?

    I was just thinking, I really don’t like my Art to be restricted/constricted by a bunch of rules. When did this start happening?

    Yeah, I hear you on the Dodgers. The Nats have been doing that to us the last few years. I understand. But it amazing what LA’s been up to this year. If Kershaw comes back 100%, they’ll be tough to beat. Though his playoff performances have never quite matched his regular season performances.

    Facebook sucks in that regard. I never get into arguments on there. Just not worth it. A big waste of time. I’m changing anyone’s mind, you know? But I do like it for email.

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