Today’s lunchtime news chum brings together some articles related, perhaps peripherally, to theme parks….
- Universal: A Gain and A Loss. Lots of news out there regarding Universal Hollywood. Their expansion plans are on the verge of approval. There are many good things about this plan: it was developed with community input, and it will add not only the Harry Potter-themed area but a walking path along the Los Angeles River. The bad news: something has to go to make space for this, and that something is the Universal (oops) Gibson Amphitheater. Also going will be the former Nickelodeon, now Curious George, Playarea behind the amphitheater. I have fond memories of the amphitheater, having seen both Peter, Paul, and Mary as well as Roger Whittaker there. Nowadays their programming sucks, and there hasn’t been an interesting show in years. I won’t miss it — both it and the Greek have gone downhill in their shows. What will replace the Gibson as a large concert venue? The Galen Center at USC.
- Knotts – Log Flumes and Animatronics. Knotts (which I haven’t been to since I was a little kid) is updating their tired log flume ride with its well-worn scenes and weak animation. What’s interesting is the story behind the man who do the work: a man who turned a love of tinkering and mechanics, without a high-school education, into a career. He is now the keeper of Disney animatronics (with all the original spare parts), as well as building animated characters for lots of other theme parks.
- Disney and Furniture. OK, this one is a little bit of a stretch. But perhaps a comfy one, as it is about the famous Disney chair. This chair was coveted by managers and animators alike. Not interested in chairs? How about futuristic couches? I could see my daughter liking some of this. Need more Disney? How about a collection of Disney park pictures — then and now.
Music: Home Before Dark (Neil Diamond): “Act Like A Man”