- House of No Mouse. One thing that fascinates me is abandoned buildings. How about an abandoned theme park, never used? Such a place exists in China, where there was once going to be a theme park called “Wonderland” not that far from Beijing. Construction was stopped more than a decade ago. Funds were withdrawn, and what is left is the skeletal remains of a palace and a castle in the middle of a corn field.
- I’m Not Lion. When we think of MGM, we think of Leo the Lion, the corporate symbol for many decades. Leo is such a corporate symbol that when MGM built the Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, they provided a way for visitors to see the lions. They even created a 401(k) for the lions to provide for their care. Well, with the economy being what it is, there is just no room for the lions on the payroll anymore, and so MGM lions are getting their pink slip. There are some hints in this article MGM Resorts is also planning some other massive changes for the property; those who know Vegas history will recall this is the 2nd incarnation of the MGM Grand, and the 2nd retheming of the current property.
- Biting the Dust. Speaking of lions, many years ago in Irvine CA, there was a theme park called “Lion Country Safari”. It is long gone (I think it is where the amphitheatre is now), but Irvine was also home to a water park called “Wild Rivers”. That closed last year when the Irvine Co. yanked their lease. Here’s an interesting article on how they are demolishing the park, with pictures.
- Cast in Stone. Some would argue that Hollywood Boulevard is a theme park unto itself. If it is, the “castle” at the center would have to be Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and its forecourt of star footprints. The LA Times has an interesting article on those footprints: how the theatre is acquiring them today, how it is not displaying all of them, and how some of the more famous ones are going to be retired.
Music: Dueling Banjos (Eric Weissberg & Marshall Brickman): Pony Express