Friday, September 16, 2005

Down in the park

I've always pushed the edge of the whole "there's no such thing as a stupid question" thing.

The problem is that I have all these things running through my head and unless I say them, there's not really any way to get them to stop.

Unless I write them down.

My brother and I were talking about Great America a few weeks ago. Neither of us have been in a while, and we lamented the loss of many of the cool rides we enjoyed when we were younger.

We found all kinds of information about the park, courtesy of this very cool site.

I vaguely recalled that there was a sister Great America park, but my brother and I were intrigued to find that the sister park, in Gurnee, Ill., still has many of the inaugural Great America rides.

The Whizzer, which closed at our GA in 1988, was the first roller coaster I ever rode on. According to the site, it's still running in Gurnee.

Josh and I have penciled in a tentative road trip to Gurnee in the near future.

This got me to thinking. Theme parks aren't very, well, theme-ey anymore. Not around here, anyway. Aside from the old school Great America, we had Frontier Village, but that closed when I was a kid and I only vaguely recall having been there. I might not have.

Now it's just a collection of rides. Cool rides, to be sure, but there's no unifying theme.

This is where the idea thing I was talking about earlier comes in.

What's a theme that hasn't been done?

The human body.

You could get all kinds of funding from pharmaceutical companies, which, to be honest, could use some positive p.r., right? Each ride could have brief educational displays that you can read while you're waiting in line. And of course, the park would be divided into different areas. I can't decide if it shoulid be divided by location or by type of process. Oh, well.

Off the top of my head, here are some ride ideas:

The Centrifuge

A lot of these are existing types of rides that are redressed to fit in with the theme. Here we have a Gravitron-like ride in which the riders are the test tubes that need to be spun around. This could work with a ride like Orleans Orbit, with test-tube-style passenger cars, but that ride makes me ill (the only ride to ever make me feel queasy).


You know those bungee rocket rides they show people freaking out in on America's Funniest Home Videos? This ride simulates the speed of the human sneeze. Your capsule, which could be decked out to look alternately like pollen or cat dander or something, rockets you and a friend at roughly Mach 3 (the speed, not the razor) into the air before you land safely at the launch pad.

Nutrition Express

Not as much of a ride as a park transportation system, the Nutrition Express is carrying nutrients (and passengers) to different parts of the body. Each station would have an appropriate name, like "The Bloodstream," "The Heart" or something not lame.

Down the Hatch

A freefall ride where you and a few friends are food or drink going down the esophagus. The main structure of the ride represents a magnified section of someone's throat. Maybe they could put a facade on it that would look like a person. They could call him Perry Stalsis or something.


A dark ride in which passengers are inside the stomach, twisting, turning and churning. Coincidentally, this ride is most likely to make you sick to your stomach. But that's OK, because it's got a really cool name.


A really fast roller coaster in which riders are part of the central nervous system. It could be advertised as "Impulse: A ride with real action potential." This could be one of the fastest coasters in the area and would likely be the biggest draw in the park.

The Log Ride

I'm not even touching this one.

You get the idea. I think with a good assortment of rides, this isn't that far-fetched of an idea. The vaguely educational aspect would work well with school field trips. And can you imagine the kinds of mascots you could have running around the park?

Get your picture taken with Colon Farrell or Urethra Franklin!

If any theme park desginer types want to use this idea, all I ask for is decent compensation and lifetime passes for my family.

Oh, and a Log Ride hat would be cool, too.

1 comment:

  1. You have way too much time on your hands. Go wash the dishes!

    Just kidding.