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  • Blog Post: Depp Part Deux: WDW's revamped version of "Pirates of the Caribbean" opens to the public

    Yo ho, …o h… irates life fo… me. Since 1973, that's what visitors to WDW 's Pirates of the Caribbean have (figuratively) experienced. Start with Disneyland 's 1967 classic , arguably the greatest E-Ticket ever built, and whittle it down to the barest essentials. Trim off the mood-building first act and...
  • Blog Post: "High in the Sky Seuss Trolley" begins previews at Islands of Adventure

    I'd hear rumors of the existence of "7 a.m." But I hadn't actually seen it myself in many years. I'm a guy who likes his sleep, and it takes an awful lot to get me to sacrifice it . But the opportunity to experience a theme park ride over seven years in the making was such an occasion. So shortly after...
  • Blog Post: A JHM Exclusive: Your first look at Universal Orlando's "Revenge of the Mummy" thrill ride

    WARNING! The following contains spoilers. The following is based on an incomplete attraction, and should not be construed as representative of the final product. The ride is in private technical rehearsals, and is not open to the public. Do not go to the park expecting to experience the ride until the...
  • Blog Post: Around the World in Eighty Bites

    October is my favorite time of year to live in Orlando. During the blistering summer heat, when hordes of tourists swarm like locusts, I curse this town. In the spring, when the daily 4 p.m. monsoons come through, turning I-4 into a flooded parking lot, I wonder how soon I can move back to Jersey. But...
  • Blog Post: A Heapin' Helpin' of Horror

    Pop quiz: What is the #1 haunted attraction in America? Wrong! According to Haunt World Magazine (2002), the answer is Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Florida. At least, that's what the advertising that has been blanketing Central Florida claims; I can't find back issues of Haunt World,...
  • Blog Post: A Visit to Universal Orlando's "Halloween Horror Nights 13"

    Haunted houses, horror movies, ghost stories - none of it scares me any more. I enjoy it, I appreciate it, and I look forward to it every year. But it just doesn't frighten me. I wasn't always like this. As a kid, the idea of anything spooky or gory scared the crap out of me, because I wasn't allowed...
  • Blog Post: "Shrek 4D", "Mickey's Philharmagic" and the post modern theme park -- Part I

    "Welcome to the Happiest Totalitarian Kingdom on Earth" (Ok, Maybe the Second Happiest) Pop quiz -- The above quote is: a) An overhead sign that greets guests as they enter the pre-show of Universal Orlando's "Shrek 4-D" attraction. b) A very pointed (and very funny) slap at Disney. c) An emblem of the...
  • Blog Post: "Shrek 4D", "Mickey's Philharmagic" and the post modern theme park -- Part II

    Welcome back to the exciting world of Post-Modernism! In the first part of this article , I discussed the Modernist influences found in the Walt Disney parks and attractions. This is not meant to imply that post-Modernism has not influenced, or been influenced by, the Mouse. After all, Andy Warhol, one...
  • Blog Post: Maybe they should rename the park "Not-so-Great Adventure"

    If you live anywhere in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia area, you've probably seen the ads. "New this season at Six Flags Great Adventure: Superman - Ultimate Flight." Soar through the air like the Man of Steel, suspended lying on your belly with your arms stretched out in front of you. Hurry hurry...
  • Blog Post: To Hurl or Not to Hurl: A Second Opinion on "Mission: Space" -- Part I

    As another brutally hot and humid Orlando summer staggers to a close, the August 15th official opening date of Epcot's Mission: Space draws nigh. As this eagerly-awaited attraction rose from the dust of the dearly departed Horizons, enquiring minds have buzzed with questions. Is the centrifuge technology...
  • Blog Post: To Hurl or Not to Hurl: A Second Opinion on "Mission: Space" -- Part II

    So, here I stand in Epcot's Future World, about to embark on "Mission: Sickness." It's brutally muggy out, in the mid-90's and about 90% humidity. The thick black clouds hanging overhead will open up in about 15 minutes, dumping liquid sunshine for the next 2 hours. Welcome to Florida in August. The...
  • Blog Post: To Hurl or Not to Hurl: A Second Opinion on "Mission: Space" -- Part III

    Okay. Let's begin our pre-flight check: Massively hyped new high-tech thrill attraction? Check. Budget-limited underthemed queue line? Check. Repeated apocalyptic safety warnings? Check. Scientifically calibrated Jagermeister hangover? Check. We have liftoff! As the launch sequence of "Mission: Space...
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