The owners of the Williamstown, Kentucky creationist theme park Ark Encounter, home to a 510 foot long model of the biblical Noah's Ark, are suing their insurance carriers for not covering $1 million in damages caused by heavy rain. From Lex18:
According to the suit, heavy rains caused a landslide and some structural support damage near the Ark exhibit.
“Subsequent to heavy rains, a significant landslide occurred along portions of the slope, which eliminated the structural support for the roadway, caused significant damage to the road surface itself and the incorporated improvements, and rendered portions of the road unsafe and unfit for use,” reads the suit...
Initially, the suit alleges, the defendants cited faulty craftsmanship as the reason for the property damage and stated they were not liable. After an appeal, they conceded that only a small amount was covered by the policy.
"Ark Encounter LLC Files Lawsuit After Heavy Rains Damage Property" (Lex18)
Previously: "Help protest a taxpayer-funded Creationist theme park in Kentucky"
image: OlinEJ (CC0) Read the rest
Game of Thrones fans will have a chance to walk through Winterfell.
HBO has announced plans to convert several of their filming sets located in Northern Ireland into tourist attractions, as the show ends its historic run in 2019. Read the rest
We can all take some comfort that even Disney, with all its money and creative resources, can fail.
Take for instance, Disney's epic failure, a long-gone ride called Superstar Limo. The dark ride, that was once in California Adventure's Hollywood Pictures Backlot area, took guests in a sparkly purple limousine through a distorted version of Hollywood and Los Angeles. It was open just under a year and was later (and as you'll see in the video, hilariously) repurposed as the Monsters, Inc. ride.
Kevin Perjurer of the YouTube channel Defunctland describes it as their "worst attraction ever" and offers this critical history of it. His video is 20 minutes long but worth a watch, as his research goes deep and this "Superstar Limo" truly has to be seen to be believed. Be sure to stay to the end to see the reactions of the cast of The Drew Carey Show and Rosie O'Donnell when they all took a whirl in it together.
Also, in case you're curious, here's a look at the ride without commentary:
Read the rest
Fans of Disney theme parks, prepare to fritter your day away.
Google announced Tuesday that its Map's Street View feature is now available to explore all of Disney's U.S. theme parks, from California to Florida, in 360-degree panorama.
The parks included are, as follows: Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Magic Kingdom at WDW Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Pandora – The World of Avatar, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.
Street View is also available to explore the shops and restaurants at Disney Springs and Downtown Disney District.
Disney Parks Blog writes:
To create the 360-degree imagery at Disney Parks, Google used Street View Trekker, a wearable backpack with a camera system on top. The Trekker is worn by an operator and is moved through walkways and structures, automatically gathering images. Imagery is then stitched together to create the 360-degree panoramas you see today.
Here's a look:
image via Disney Parks Blog Read the rest
Disney fans here have been much preoccupied with the retheming of “Tower of Terror” to “Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission Breakout” at Disney California Adventure, and the opening of Pandora at Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World. On the other side of the planet at Tokyo DisneySea (one of the best Disney parks in the world—ask anyone who’s been there, or just look at a photo below) the latest attraction to open is “Nemo and Friends SeaRider.” The new ride, which opened on May 12, replaces one of the park’s 2001 opening day attractions, “Stormrider.” That ride was kind of like a bigger version of “Star Tours,” but not nearly as good. You could see the seams all over the large screen, thus destroying the illusion that you were supposed to be looking out a large observation window at the front of a new type of plane. Said aircraft was designed to drop a “fuse” into the center of a hurricane which immediately dissipates it. The ride was not the best thing Walt Disney Imagineering has done, and it usually had the shortest line in Tokyo DisneySea, about 20 to 40 minutes in a park where two- and three-hour lines are the norm.
They just fixed it by redoing the entire thing with an overlay from the film Finding Dory. There are many Disney park enthusiasts who bemoan the conversion of a ride with an original storyline and characters to that of an Intellectual Property (“IP”) which Disney owns. Personally, I don’t care as long as the ride is good. Read the rest
Japan's iconic animation Studio Ghibli, co-founded by anime director Hayao Miyazaki, is developing a 'My Neighbor Totoro' theme park. Read the rest
Remember those funny atheist protest ads mocking a Noah’s Ark-themed amusement park being built in Williamstown, Kentucky? Two billboard companies with no sense of humor have refused to run the atheist group's funny ads ridiculing The Ark Encounter. Read the rest
Christian ministry Answers In Genesis report that their massive Noah's Ark attraction will open next July in Williamstown, Kentucky. This is the same organization behind the infamous Creation Museum where cavemen frolic with dinosaurs. The 510-foot-long, $90 million wooden Ark will be the centerpiece of a Christian theme park. The state of Kentucky had originally given Answers In Genesis an $18 million tax break on the project but changed their mind "over concerns of 'religious indoctrination,'" according to the Associated Press. Answers In Genesis has filed a federal lawsuit to try to get the tax incentive reinstated.
I just hope the ark has room for the dragons and unicorns.
(Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!) Read the rest
Yeah, you’ve heard of Disneyland (that’s the one in California) and you were probably dragged to Walt Disney World (that’s the one in Florida) when you were a kid. And, possibly, if you give a rat’s patootie about Disney theme parks, you might have heard they have them in other countries, but you’ve probably never heard of Tokyo DisneySea.
“TDS,” as the Japanese call it, is what is known as a Disney resort’s “second gate.” If you’re a WDW person, then Epcot is the second gate; if you’re a DL person, then Disney California Adventure is the second gate.
In 2001, when The Walt Disney Company built Disney California Adventure, it spent one billion bucks for the park, the Grand Californian Hotel, and Downtown Disney. The same year, when The Oriental Land Company (who owns the Tokyo Disney Resort—The Walt Disney Company receives a royalty and percentage) built Tokyo DineySea, it spent three billion dollars just for the park. The Imagineers who conceive all this amazing stuff for Disney, most of which rarely gets built, got the chance to see their best creations realized. I could write a book about Tokyo DisneySea, but here are just 15 really cool things.
1. Drinking a Kirin Frozen Draft while standing beside the Nautilus. Yes, they serve Japanese beer with a frozen “head” right next to Captain Nemo’s killer sub. Nice when it’s 85 degrees and 90% humidity.
2. A quiet street in a small Italian town … except it’s really in a theme park near Tokyo. Read the rest
Here's a set of photos from the ruins of Heritage USA in Fort Mill, SC, the Christian themepark built by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker at the height of their evangelical empire, now fallen to ruins since its closure in 1989. It's arguably a lot more fun to visit now than it ever was in its heyday.
(via IO9) Read the rest
More fantastic, barn-storming Disney theme park theory from Passport to Dreams Old and New: On Integrity, an indictment of the wholesale destruction of the unique identity of Florida's Walt Disney World and its replacement with generic theming imported from Disneyland. "I love Disneyland dearly, but when it comes to Walt Disney World -- to hell with Disneyland." Read the rest