Friday, March 10, 2017

Countdowns with The Rock Otaku 03: Top 11 Rock N’ Roller Coaster Theme Change Ideas

To be changed soon, preferably 2018.
Hello degenerates, heathens, weirdos, and deviants.  I am the Rock Otaku, and I’m here to show you worlds such as hard rock, metal, punk, alternative rock, movies, TV, anime, video games, and anything that makes us scream, shout, and let it all out.

As some of you may have noticed, I tend to have that opening slogan in my blogs when I do something big or based on a series, but I seem to only discuss the first two (and three after that when the opportunity arises) in my blog overall.  As for the others, they end up serving as times to make references or jokes in my main series.  And this is the main reason why I am now going to try to fit in more anime reviews, news, and countdowns into my blog.

You know what, I’ll use the extra week I’ve added to my time to make my LET THEM EAT METAL series bi-weekly to create a series of countdowns.  And they don’t have to be just about anime.  I can use this to mention movies, TV shows, episodes of shows, news, games, and even other musical artists I want to talk about but aren’t able to usually thanks to my current load.  But today, we’re talking Disney World.

For today, I’ve decided to discuss something that both pains me to consider but is something I must think about to ensure that I’m able to embrace the future when it washes away the past.  Specifically, I’ve been tormented by this thought.  On the one hand, it’s something that I hold dear and would have issues with if it changed drastically.  On the other hand, I know that when it’s supposed to be time for change, keeping it the same would cause feelings of despair knowing why it must be this way.  Of course, I talk about the Rock N’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

For a brief history point, the ride is a Vekoma-made LSM coaster with a top speed of 57 mph, an acceleration to that which takes 2.8 seconds (it is a launched coaster), 3 inversions, including a sea serpent (a two-inversion element where riders go up a half-loop into a full corkscrew before going down another half-loop, it’s similar to a cobra roll), and a corkscrew, max G-forces of 5, a length of 3,403 ft, and 5 trains, each with 6 cars that have two rows that seat two people for a total of 24 riders per train.  It’s indoors.  It’s themed to traveling through the streets of L.A. to get to a concert by hard rock icons Aerosmith in a stretch limo (or a super-stretch to be exact) supplied to fans of the band by management, and the non-looping roads are completely jammed.  Of course, the setting is at the fictional G-Force Records, and Aerosmith was recording and mixing an album (or remixing Toys in the Attic for the umpteenth time) before their manager has them going to the Forum for a show.  However, the show starts before you get there, so thanks to a classic rock station broadcasting live from the show literally, you get to hear a few songs from the set before you get there.  And the songs, depending on the vehicle, include “Nine Lives” from Nine Lives (a.k.a. the opening song to Dead or Alive 3), “Sweet Emotion” and “Walk This Way” from Toys in the Attic, “Back In The Saddle” from Rocks, “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” from Permanent Vacation, and “Young Lust,” “F.I.N.E.,” and “Love In An Elevator” from Pump.  After you disembark, you get a glimpse of the show, your ride photos, and some of backstage before you go into the gift shop.  And before I end this spiel, the ride opened in late July of 1999.

As for my thoughts, I love this ride.  As far as coasters go, this is probably the one that led to me becoming a hardcore roller coaster fanboy.  Before this, I was scared of roller coasters that went through loops (non-inverting coasters, I was fine with), and it was a focus on the speed and music (and not given the option of the chicken exit) that led me to do this.  After that, it’s like intercourse, my looping coaster cherry was popped, and I flirted with everything from stand-up coasters, inverted coasters, floorless coasters, and flying coasters ever since.  Also spawned from this unholy mix of Disney magic and rock hedonism was my love for the band Aerosmith and my first steps into becoming the metalhead I am today.  After that, I’ve started listening to more classic rock, hard rock, 80s rock, and anything with screaming guitars before my tastes settled in for songs that are fun and sleazy, dirty and rotten, hard and heavy, and outright loaded with awesome instrumentation.  I’ve even seen Aerosmith live on the Rockin’ The Joint tour with Lenny Kravitz (and I still own a t-shirt from that tour).  In short, Aerosmith are arguably my favorite rock band of all time, and a massive part of my nostalgia.  And it pains me to say this, but as an Aerosmith fan, I feel that their time in Disney World is running low.

Very low.  With their current touring ailments, the sudden push from Steven Tyler to have a solo career and Joe Perry having other projects, their collective age, and the fact that they are starting to wind down on the concert circuit (link here: due to that as well as the drugs and STDs that have taken a toll on their bodies, it’s going to look like the ride will be in bad taste in the near future.  As I’ve stated, the story in the ride is about getting to an Aerosmith concert.  It’s rather easy to notice, but the ride’s longevity is already not shortened by the ride technology, but the fact that the ride is about something that’s about to become nonexistent.  Plus even I noticed that this ride’s choice of artist, in a time period when various rock acts were being pushed in mainstream acceptance from pop punk, post-grunge, nu metal, hair metal revival, garage rock revival, and other late-90s rock genres that have been hitting big, feels more like an advertisement than a work of art.  In that time, Aerosmith did that soft ballad for their big hit Armageddon (and arguably, this move that’s possibly by Michael Eisner is probably one of the only GOOD things Michael Bay has contributed to American culture that isn’t The Rock), “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing.”  Yeah, when you figure it out, this is clearly a commercial for Aerosmith’s big single, then released album Nine Lives (which is why the title track is in the ride), and later album Just Push Play, their least acclaimed albums.  As a result, that specter of 1999 Disney and Aerosmith is enough to turn a still awesome thrill ride into an unfunny joke once the realization that this was still part of the era when Eisner went crazy.  And we need a new theme for it.

As a result, I came up with definitely a lot, but I’ve picked out the 11 that I think would allow for even better ideas for this amazing coaster.  Why 11?
Nigel, I wasn’t asking you, and that’s in reference to your Marshall amps.  Anyone else?  Anybody?  Screw it, I just like going one step beyond from time to time.  I hope you enjoy.

11.       Guardians of the Galaxy

If there’s an issue with this theme, it’s A) too obvious and B) excessive considering that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has Star Wars Land down the pipeline.  It isn’t a great idea to have two space operas under Disney’s wing, despite major differences, competing for long lines and Fastpass use.  But I do see the potential, as one great idea would be to take the story of the GOTG overlay that’s happening to California’s version of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and use that plot.  But instead of a lift system, Rocket Raccoon is having riders help the rest of the team, Star Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, and Groot (plus Yondu, Nebula, and Mantis if they decide to incorporate elements of Volume 2) escape through “stretch Knowhere passenger ships” out of The Collector’s mansion and through Knowhere, dealing with rogue Ravagers, excavation craft, and various ner-do-wells out to attack you and the Guardians.  And yes, Star Lord’s Awesome Mix’s would serve as the soundtrack for your escape.  Plus I’m sure that Some Jerk with a Camera and Joe Rhode would have come up with this idea for this kind of overlay before me.

10.       Zootopia
So here’s the one that I’d really want Disney to consider.  The film was a massive hit, the characters are memorable, the animation was stellar, the concept is near-genius, and the message is probably one of the most important ones that could have been made in a major motion picture at the time (too bad that most States elected Trump, though).  As for the concept of the ride, what I can think of is riders being screened by the Zootopia Police Department in the hopes of finding new recruits (due to our species being unfamiliar to the all-mammal metropolis).  Afterwards, a mysterious criminal, trying to complete a dastardly plan of depowering predators and possibly controlling the city through fear, causes a civilian to go savage and attack townspeople with no way of stopping him, so riders accelerate into the district (which is portrayed through projection, effects, color, and lighting as any of the city’s multiple ecosystem-inspired districts) with both the savage predator and the responsible culprit and bringing the cure to Judy and Nick, who are on the case already, and apprehend the wanted criminal (who’d not be a plot-spoiling character from the movie and instead be a Trump expy for both laughs and commentary on his policy towards Latin American and Middle Eastern immigrants, legal and illegal) before things get worse.  The ride would be fast, loud, scary, aggressive, and be as fun as a shrew wedding.  As for the music, that would probably be animal-inspired versions of songs by Aerosmith or other rock acts to fit the ride’s intensity.

9.         Gravity Falls
This is a tough one, as the setting of the series would clash with the theming of the park around it if this great cartoon was chosen for the theme.  Yes, the entire front building would be rethemed to Grunkle Stan’s Mystery Shack, with the main coaster being some mystical set of limo trains that accelerate (or launch) through a bunch of weirdness bubbles.  All I can think of for this ride is something like this:
And yes, it would be fun and inventive for the Imagineers, and would show how nerdy the group is, to do practically this.  Plus, it would allow for some cool visuals during the ride.  Rather than that, I’m not sure what I could bring to the ride using this theme, and I will expect crucifixion threats and angry mobs for the next month or two.

8.         Star Vs. The Forces of Evil
But from what I know about this cartoon, I actually think that this one fits the coaster layout, park theme, and main thrill of the original ride better.  It has an urban setting, so it can mesh with classic/fantasy Hollywood extremely well, even better when you realize that the series involves aliens, magic, fighting, and a lot of weird moments.  Plus, with what I’ve heard from the soundtrack and recent news involving a scene or two, I could easily see this series getting some serious consideration from Disney for a ride or attraction in the parks to promote the cartoon to even theme park guests.  I’d dig that.  However, I’ll let the Imagineers take a look due to me not seeing enough episodes.

7.         Fullmetal Alchemist

I’ve never said anything about not using themes not owned by Disney.  Plus I’m sure that Universal doesn’t have anything to do with this property also.

Ladies and Gentlemen, a reason to get Vic Mignogna and Travis Willingham to provide some of their most iconic vocal performances in Disney World.  I mean, Ed and Roy are two of the most engaging, iconic, and likeable anime characters of the past decade, and a ride dedicated to Hiromu Arakawa’s iconic manga would be sweet.  For the ride itself, you can still have limo trains as the nation of Amestris has cars in it alongside other forms of 20th century technology.  As for the sound effects, there are many great musical cues, themes, and moments that the Imagineers can put into the ride.  Seriously, every single opening song from the original anime (which deviates from the manga in the second half) would fit great here, and the themes from Brotherhood would sound amazing on a roller coaster (considering that they’re…
…emotional roller coaster rides).  Plus, with the use of Alchemy by several characters and other cool powers presented from the Homunculi, you can have a lot of things going on in the main ride building.

For a likely story, my idea would be that guests are chosen to join the military and/or apply for positions as State Alchemist (with the latter involving a test that serves as the ride).  After you go through the queue into the main building, you get a spiel on Amestris, the State Alchemists, alchemy, the people you’ll work with (which includes Edward and Alphonse Elric, Colonel Roy Mustang, Lieutenant Risa Hawkeye, Major Alex Armstrong and his sister Olivier, Jean Havok, Maes Hughes, King Bradley, and others) while you wait for your exam.  Then you get a briefing from Roy (with the Elric brothers getting in the way by accident) which goes into detail about your special exam before revealing that you’ll embark on a mission where you are trying to prevent the Homunculi Lust, Wrath, and Envy from obtaining a possible philosophers stone.  In this case, they are aided by Gluttony, Sloth and Greed (the first or second depending on if Hughes is in this ride) while the riders also have to deal with Scar, who’s being chased by the Elrics due to his connections with Winry Rockbell.  As a result, after boarding military vehicles, Kimblee shows up and riders have to evade him via a 0-57 mph launch right into the ongoing fight, where riders will twist and turn, evading various alchemic attacks and the powers of the Homunculi, with the climax being Ed and Roy, with maybe some help from Scar, subduing them with their combined alchemy.  And you can have Hohenheim show up at the end in a touching moment for Ed and Al remembering Trisha Elric, because Disney loves showcasing families together.  And yes, Winry would have a major part here.  The disembark would also reveal that certain riders, based on a pre-ride questionnaire and the rider’s age, will be advancing to immediate alchemy exams, where they will use their knowledge of alchemy, or be helped by cast members, to create something out of nothing before being given a title by King Bradley, Roy, or even Mickey Mouse, depending on the time of day and whether the ride features Wrath’s death, matching their personality or skills as one.  Plus you get a special watch that can be a souvenir or a cosplay item that signifies your status as a State Alchemist of both Amestris and Disney World itself.

6.         Spaceballs

You’re probably thinking this.  Why?  Well, because this is my list, these are my preferred choices, and who wouldn’t like to have a Spaceballs ride now that Disney is going overboard with Star Wars in Hollywood Studios (and Disneyland to a certain degree).  Yes, this would fit better at Universal, but I feel that Disney missed out on not incorporating the comedy of Mel Brooks into their old-Hollywood-themed park, and I feel that this is the best property to make up for this.  Why?  Because this is arguably Mel Brooks’ most iconic property (outside of Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, and The Producers).  There’s also the Star Wars spoofing of the movie, which can show that Disney can make fun of themselves and their corporate culture.  When the comedy’s most clever gag is the in-movie merchandising and subversions of characters like Luke Skywalker AND Han Solo into a single character (Lone Starr), Princess Leia as a spoiled brat (Vespa), Chewbacca with a love for Bon Jovi (Barf), Emperor Palpatine as an inept American President (Scroob), Darth Vader as a nerd (Dark Helmet), Piet, Veers, or even Tarkin as the only sane man (Colonel Sandurz), Yoda as a Jewish salesman (Yogurt), and C3PO as a woman (Dot Matrix), and Stormtroopers with the intelligence of Natsuru Seno (Spaceballs in general).

As for that merchandising gag, that would go into the ride, with it being renamed to Spaceballs: The Roller Coaster, with all Spaceballs merchandising and souvenirs being within the ride’s story.  As in, the ride exists in the universe of the movie, you are entering said universe literally (as a film shooting for Spaceballs 4: The Animesque Kickstarter for Spaceballs 3: The Search for Spaceballs 2: The Search for More Money, directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg with involvement from Brooksfilms), with the setting being a spoof of Disneyland (as Scroobland) within Spaceball Four (that ship is too big, if it was complety recreated, the park would go overbudget), and you are in line for Spaceballs: The Ride, a roller coaster that spoofs the French version of Space Mountain, and instead of a space motif for the ride building, the ride building would be the interior of the ship, as the ride comes across Princess Arrow (a mixed spoof of Rey and Mai Natsume from BlazBlue played by Chloe Grace Moretz) the daughter of Prince Lone Starr and Princess Vespa battling the apprentice (or fanboy/girl) of Dark Helmet, Dark Cosplay (who’s Kylo Ren if he cosplayed as an anime villain), then setting the self-destruct on the ship (which, in a parody of sequelitis, is obvious like on Spaceball One, Two, and Three, and you blast in your stretch limo starship (which is a tribute to the Eagle 5, which is a Winnebago as a starship) through the rest of the ship out of the park, with the Spaceballs theme song by The Spinners (and possible rock/metal, rap, classical and electronica versions) playing as you witness the crew abandon ship with President Scroob IV (turning Snoke into a stoner played by Seth Rogen), General Tsou (a General Hux spoof taking a stab at forced-inclusion in mainstream genre media played by Ken Watanabe), and Dark Cosplay (the aforementioned Kylo Ren spoof played by Michael Cera and/or Emma Stone) being stuck when it blows (and sent to a planet protected by superheroes, much to the dismay of “the Revengers”) while riders blast into hyperspace (with some joke about ludicrous speed before you go light speed).  As for the parody names and ideas, yes, this would make fun of The Force Awakens and the Sequel Trilogy, as well as Rogue One and the Han Solo spinoff, but it would be Disney making them (or me coming up with them and getting uncredited for it) with Brooksfilms, and being a massive spoof of fan fiction as well, with its absurd scenarios, character origins, and always rehashing better stories.  But with jokes of the Sequel Trilogy being official fan fiction might be in favor of the jokes (and better than what Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer would come up with).  And it being a roller coaster might also add to the satire of movie merchandising, taking it to the logical extreme.

The next five are based around properties to the point where you can keep the name Rock N’ Roller Coaster.  You’ll thank me later.

5.         A Test Track-style overhaul.
This is for if they have no plans of having a band be the main band, instead being a celebration of music.  1) That would mean that, despite being older, this would be considered a Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit knockoff, and 2) that would mean a lot more genres and a redo of the train system.  But I say Test Track because based on the current trains, I don’t think that the restraints would allow for a screen to choose the song.  Instead, the song is chosen in the old pre-show building, with monitors beforehand telling riders that they are in control of the songs they get to hear.  Plus this can allow for a new lightshow within the ride building, creating the feeling of being at a concert, with the choices of what riders visualize when hearing music being compiled by the train then brought to life through lasers, projections, props, smoke effects, screens inside, and even within the trains.  And yes, this could allow for a diverse, expansive soundtrack ranging from rock, pop, hip hop, country, electronic, r&b, disco, metal, punk, indie, classical, jazz, blues, and other genres, all with expertly mixed songs to fit the experience.  But if that’s not enough, the projections can include everything from Disney movies, TV shows, music videos of represented songs, various little animations, and even anime and video game footage that Disney can license, causing the ride to double as a ride-through version of an AMV.  This would be probably be one of the more expensive and more abstract ideas I have, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t a good idea for the ride.

4.         Rock Band/Guitar Hero
See the Test Track inspired renovation above, except with the ability to play guitar, bass, drums, and sing the songs from the ride in a recreation of the feeling of being on stage, with the ride being your shuttle to your concert.  And yes, songs from the games will be used, with the songs being the performances that are made by the people before you.

3.         A new story involving Aerosmith’s music that doesn’t include them in concert.

So this would be the easiest one to keep the name Rock N’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith.  Why, because this would be more like a change to something closer in spirit to what the Paris version is, despite the idea that the coaster will not feature a filmed encounter with Aerosmith.  However, I could easily see the idea gestating into something in the form of the following:

  •  A mysterious force attacks Earth, and the music of Aerosmith is the only thing that can stop it.  Sure, it would pretty much be a launched roller coaster version to the climax of Mars Attacks! or Star Trek Beyond, but it would lead to a very fun experience where the coaster is evading whatever is attacking Los Angeles, and you get to see stuff blowing up with the power of rock.
  • A nefarious nemesis to a hero has taken over the city and banned rock music to ensure him having control with an iron fist.  To stop him, you use the music of Aerosmith to get his attention, ensure a successful revolution, and end his reign once and for all.  It’s cheesy and generic, but it gets the job done, could lead to a movie, and allows for more characters in the park.
  • A new form of transportation technology has been developed, and that it can only work on stretch limos for now.  Essentially, the limo train is being used for a field test to take riders from one side of the globe (or the city of L.A.) to the other through a launch into a portal that opens in front, leads to a mysterious dimension that can be a nice drive or a wild roller coaster style trip, and the music of Aerosmith triggers the latter.  Three guesses on how this can apply to the current ride.

  • The limo trains are time machines that take riders to the 70s to see Aerosmith in their prime (played either by the band members or actors with effects to make them look like the band in the 70s).  Yes the experience is very similar in concept to Back to the Future, but after the opening of The Simpsons Ride, we BTTF fans need something along those lines in Orlando.  And imagine it being tied into something timeless rather than forgotten *cough*Dinosaur*cough*despite the ride system*cough*.

  • Or they just rehash the Paris storyline of making a music video.

From all of these ideas, there are ways to keep the music and iconography of Aerosmith and not feel dated at all.

2.         A different hard rock act, hopefully a more recent act like Volbeat, The Pretty Reckless, Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold, Breaking Benjamin, Pop Evil, or Alter Bridge.

But if Disney thinks the appeal of the ride is blazing through Hollywood to see a major rock band play loud stadiums, and the choice of Aerosmith dictates a hard rock act, then there are many to choose from.  Yes, that would mean that the Forum would be replaced with the Whiskey A Go-Go or the Viper Room, but that would also play more into the rock culture of Los Angeles and be a celebration of that than a glitzy, celebrity-focused cheese fest.  And as I’ve mentioned, there are many hard rock and heavy metal bands who are around today, have a similar musical focus as Aerosmith when the famous band were both at their creative best and at their most commercial, and would be more than excited to be chosen for a Disney attraction over 5 Seconds of Summer.  Think about it.  Volbeat, The Pretty Reckless, Disturbed, Ghost, Shinedown, Red Sun Rising, Avenged Sevenfold, Metallica to a certain degree, Alter Bridge, Highly Suspect, Bullet for my Valentine, Seether, Rev Theory, Beartooth, Adelitas Way, Starset, Skillet to a certain degree, Chevelle, Korn, Breaking Benjamin, A Day To Remember, Green Day, Pop Evil, Devour the Day, Sixx: A.M., Sick Puppies, Avatar (the band, not the damn movie because that’s at Animal Kingdom), Bring Me The Horizon, and so on would fit the theme of the ride surprisingly well, both in sonic attitude and intensity as well as being the soundtrack to a high-speed right through the grungy underbelly of Hollywood, where glam metal, punk rock, hard rock, and alternative rock thrive in the City of Angels.  But that’s my opinion.

Before I explain Number 1, here are some honorable mentions:

HM1:   Doctor Strange
Now for things to get really trippy.  While the whole Marvel-Universal deal will be a bind for Disney to use certain Marvel properties in their parks, especially the legendary characters and A-listers, there are characters like Doctor Strange that have been used in the parks recently.  For a ride based on the Sorcerer Supreme, the attraction could be an exploration of the various dimensions found in the comics and especially the movie from last year (the one that got less Oscars than Suicide Squad), with the launch taking riders through a sling ring to Kamar-Taj or even New York (all from Los Angeles).  After the main launch, riders travel through mind-bending environments including the Mirror Dimension, before a dark sorcerer takes riders and Stephen Strange to the Dark Dimension for a near-miss encounter with Dormammu in all his evil glory.  And yes, the soundtrack would probably be the score by Michael Giacchino from the film, a rock remix of the score, or 60s and 70s progressive, psychedelic, acid, symphonic, and heavy rock to match the surreal imagery your magic-infused trains travel through.

HM2:   Big Hero 6

But enough with the aspects of Marvel that Disney may have difficulty using thanks to Universal.  Let’s try the version of Marvel they devised.  For Big Hero 6, the ride’s theme would take riders to a Japanese-infused version of Los Angeles to match San Fransokyo from the movie version (possibly Los Angyoto, a portmanteau of Lost Angeles and Kyoto) where the characters are going to.  Then an evil force attacks the city, the gang, Hiro, Baymax, Go Go, Honey, Wasabi, and Fred, all don their identities as the science-enabled superhero team, the Big Hero 6, and take it on while you, the riders are trying to escape or survive the carnage resulting from the fight.  In this scenario, you’d have state-of-the-art audio-animatronics, lots of speed, intricate set design within the ride building, a Technical College makeover to the record studio façade, and probably the music of Fall Out Boy (or even heroic anime themes) blaring during the ride.  There is a lot to play around with here, and I wouldn’t mind seeing this movie get a ride.

HM3:   Wreck-It Ralph
Now here’s a Disney movie that NEEDS an attraction, despite the characters involved.  For Wreck-It Ralph, you could easily set the ride in an arcade, and then, through the internet, Tron-style, you enter the world of the characters (or G-Force Records becomes a façade from a game.  As for the ride, you could easily make it a recreation of Hero’s Duty, Sugar Rush, or whatever Rich Moore has in mind for representing the internet as a whole in the sequel, with Ralph and the gang joining along as riders deal with a scenario of one of the game villains or heroes (preferably M. Bison to reference that joke in a Street Fighter sketch from Robot Chicken, the one where Ryu has made a packet for the tournament and everyone having issues with it), accidently “goes Turbo” and our heroes, Ralph, Felix, Calhoun, and Vanellope, have to get him or her back in her own game (which is represented at the final brake run).  But despite that observation in the parenthesis, I’d like to see the Imagineers try to have it so that ANY famous video game character “goes Turbo” and program the ride so that it’s completely random, so ride cycles would involve catching Ryu, Pac-Man, Sonic, Zangief, M. Bison, Dr. Eggman, Clyde, Kano, Scorpion, Ken, Chun Li, Tapper, Dig Dug, a zombie from House of the Dead, or even original characters in no particular order (no Nintendo characters, unfortunately, you can have parodies, though).  As for Sonic, though, that would be another ride in itself.

HM4:   The Twilight Zone
No reason except to match the theme to the adjacent Tower of Terror.  If the Imagineers can make a hit drop ride involving a malfunctioning elevator with the Twilight Zone franchise, they can do so with a high-speed stretch limo.

HM5:   This is Spinal Tap

The question isn’t why.  I’d frame it as this: why not?  It mixes movie magic and heavy metal to have the fictional British hard rock icons have their own roller coaster in a theme park themed around Hollywood (and yes, I know they have songs like “Big Bottom,” “Sex Farm,” “Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight,” and “Saucy Jack” (which came from a musical by David St. Hubbins), just to name a few).  But what makes this brilliant is that with a rich “history” of the band for the Imagineers to play with, a lot of great songs, the fact that Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer (who just coincidentally quit The Simpsons and did not reprise his roles on The Simpsons Ride in Universal) are still alive and possibly able to play music, and some of the funniest commentary on rock music from the 80s (and possibly today) that you’ll ever hear.  And with the memorable quotes and moments from the movie, like malfunctioning stage effects, poorly-designed stage props, the reaction to the censored Smell the Glove album cover, and even the multiple drummers dying or quitting, you have a lot to work with in creating the coaster.  Hell, you can keep the story from the original ride but spoof it at the same time, with the drummer suddenly dying on the way and being replaced at the last minute for the big show at an anime convention you’re racing through L.A. to get to (in reference to the fact that in the movie, the venues progressively get lamer before the band’s success in Japan leads to an Asia tour).  That and the anime/game/comic convention ending could be an added joke to the fact that the band may have gotten big on Weekly Shonen Jump (or Sunday or Magazine if Jump doesn’t like the idea of Spinal Tap enjoying their work), Marvel, and Playstation between their disastrous Smell the Glove tour and the current promotional tour for their new album, with a silly title and raunchy album cover (again?!) to boot.  And yes, I’m sure that you can also apply this logic in creating your own fictional joke band with the same problems as Spinal Tap, if not worse, if the guys don’t want to do it.  What I mean is that there are many jokes you can make about modern hard rock, post-grunge, rap metal, nu metal, pop punk, emo, metalcore, deathcore, djent, post-punk revival, garage rock revival, indie rock, indie pop, electrorock, and even indie folk that deserve a good spoofing.  But that’s just my opinion.  Consider this an honorary number 12.

HM6: Interstella 5555

An anime based on Daft Punk, the duo is still around, their music meshes rock, pop, funk, disco, and electronica into a legendary style, their image is distinctive, and the anime is considered an iconic one?  Why is Disney not even jumping on the potential (even though the fact that Universal’s music-themed roller coaster has “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” from the movie and the album that serves as its soundtrack may cause confusion for visitors to both resorts).

HM7: Brutal Legend

With the themes, iconography, and music, this would be a great replacement theme for the ride.  Unfortunately, the game is too mature, violent, vulgar, and bloody for Disney to handle.  So while I could see Disney doing this, I can also see Disney not doing this.

HM8: Metalocalypse
See Brutal Legend above.

HM9: Sonic the Hedgehog

This is so obvious to do, but I’m not sure about this because of the license being owned by Merlin Entertainment at one point (with a Sonic-themed ride in Alton Towers for a brief time).  But if Universal can use Nintendo characters a while after Six Flags showcased the Wii, then Disney can theme something to the blue blur after the Sonic theme for Spinball Whizzer was taken down.  Plus Disney did air Sonic cartoons on Toon Disney/Disney XD, and that’s how I was first introduced to the world of this:
(Expect more of that next week)

For the coaster, it’s simple.  Just turn Hollywood into a mix of the Green Hill and Scrap Brain Zones from the first game (with the modern or Boom designs for Sonic and Eggman if Sega demands it) and get Jun Senoue to do the soundtrack.  And yes, that can lead to Crush 40 songs blaring as you travel through loops.  Also, make sure it’s as if you’re speeding alongside Sonic in familiar sets and props from the games (recreated in real-life or something close to real).  For the story, it can be altered so that other characters can be the main hero on your adventure (depending on the train) with different methods to handling the fight with Dr. Eggman.  In short, you get a retheme that could change the game for video game-themed rides before Nintendo Land comes out.

HM10: Any anime with a story involving music (preferably rock)
There is a lot of music-themed anime and manga with concepts that could work for a re-theme of Rock N’ Roller Coaster.  Several of these would include K-On, Love Live!, The Idolm@ster, Beck: The Mongolian Chop Squad, the recent Bang! Dream, and even something called Macross.  For those, the ideas would be based around racing through the world of anime while music from it plays in the background, loud and proud.  Plus the music aspects of these shows would be the focal point of the story, with ideas like getting to a show, bringing joy to people, or protecting Earth from extra-terrestrial threats.  It would be fun, intense, and arguably moé.  Think of this as a blanket idea.

HM11: Detroit Metal City
See Brutal Legend and Metalocalypse above.

HM12: Gintama
This one might be a little tough, as it’s probably a good idea to understand Japanese culture, pop culture, anime, manga, games, politics, and events to even understand the humor, despite it being fast enough that anyone with NO knowledge on Japan can find it funny.  There are a lot of great ideas coming from this series of manga and anime that can translate into a very funny, but thrilling ride, such as the Shinsengumi and their antics, the work of Odd Jobs (which can lead to an idol, band, or aspiring musical artist to become the musical focus), the Amanto and their colorful backgrounds, and even the day-to-day life of the shogun (SHOGUN KAYO?!)  There is a lot of material for the Imagineers here, but the issue may be the translation issues that led to the series to NOW get an English dub (one from Crunchyroll with involvement from Ocean Productions in Canada), and some of the gags may not translate well to Florida.  I’d give this theme as an idea to Tokyo Disneyland to play around with first (and have it in Tomorrowland to fit the sci-fi elements of this series).

HM13: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Now here’s where things get bizarre.  While I can easily see a coaster based on this manly anime series being the one I’m considering for a redo, it’s going to be difficult to find an understandably sane way for Disney to visualize Stands.  I do consider that the in-ride story will involve the Speedwagon Foundation creating a technology that allows non-stand users to see stands for the ride, but it’s going to be hard to sell the concept of stands to park goers in general.  Definitely a pick from me, but I can see the complaints.

HM14: Soul Eater

Essentially apply the same logic to the Fullmetal Alchemist ride concept I devised, and instead do Soul Eater, with its focus on obtaining and reaping evil souls with your weapon.  That and Medusa would replace the Homunculi while the test is from Death, Spirit Albarn, and Dr. Stein.  And the ending cameo would be Excalibur, with Sword and the Stone references for Disney purists.  And no, there won’t be any testing for weapons; there will be a focus on finding meisters.  For music, the fast-paced opening and ending themes, especially “Resonance” by T.M. Revolution, would fit the ride extremely well.

This won’t:

1.         BlazBlue:

This is probably my personal pick for a Rock N’ Roller Coaster makeover theme-wise.  Why?  Well the reasons are the following.  The story is loaded with fun, colorful characters that range from snarky-but-heroic (Ragna), crazy (Jin), good-natured (Noel), fun (Taokaka, Bang, Makoto), outright hate-inducing (Hazama/Terumi, Relius, and Izanami), conflicted (Litchi, Arakune, Carl, Tsubaki/Izayoi), badass (Tager, Azrael, Bullet, Kagura, Hibiki), rich with experience (Rachel, Hakumen, Kokonoe, Jubei, Valkenhayn, Amane, Nine, and Es), universe-bending and lore-expanding (Celica (not rage-inducing enough for me), Naoto, and Mai), and creepy (the Murakumos), all with their quirks (and yes, I almost forgot Platinum, but she doesn’t need to be brought up here).  There are a lot of concepts, themes, and ideas that the Imagineers can play around with, such as The Boundary, Continuum Shifts, time travel, parallel universes, possibilities, and the concept of fate.  And that soundtrack is awesome, with its mix of metal, rock, anison, and even other genres to match each character.  As for the experience, here are some ideas I have that come from the games, other material, and so on:

  • Rock N’ Roller Coaster with Yuuki Terumi:
For this, the ride would still have the original storyline of speeding through the city to get to a concert.  This time, it would be Terumi’s band at the end of his gag reel in Chronophantasma with Terumi on vocals/guitar, Relius on guitar/vocals, Ragna on drums, and some shmuck on bass.  For the story itself, you can alter it so that there’s an opening band with Noel, Jin (or Mai and Kajun), Tsubaki, and Makoto on vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, and somehow Jin wants to form a Van Halen style band with Ragna (out of brotherly “conflict”), which would derail both bands, with scenarios where this happens.  Or another situation where Ragna pulls a Dave Grohl, like Terumi before him, and starts a band with other characters, where he is the singer/guitarist (and yes, you can hear Patrick Seitz sing like Dave Grohl in this scenario).  And keeping to the idea or multiple possibilities, the stories can change depending on the ride-through and pre-show and what goes on in them, with a Star Tours II method of changing the storyline.

  • A ride-through any of the game climaxes:

For this, the ride would be an adventure where the endings to either Calamity Trigger, Continuum Shift, Chronophantasma, or Central Fiction would be recreated in ride form, you launch in to either capture/aid Ragna in defeating Nu/Terumi/Mu/Izanami/Susanno before the apocalypse has any possibility of happening.  And yes, all of these are possible with projections and lighting determining which trip you’ll go through, with a portal leading to any of these.  Hell, the pre-show could be an NOL transmission telling riders that Ragna is on the loose, before Sector Seven hacks in and tells riders that you are supposed to AID the Grim Reaper in SAVING THE WORLD from whatever the villains, Terumi, Relius, Nine, and Izanami, have in store for causing Armageddon.  And they’ll rig things that you’ll be put in the action.

  • The Boundary:
For this, it’s just the Boundary.  Let’s say that the Novus Orbis Librarium’s engineering division has devised a way to travel through the boundary safely (or not, because they’re the VILLAINS), and you’re all the test subjects.  So you enter the EBSTT (Enhanced Boundary Safe Travel Trains), which resemble stretch limos because the head of the division, Colonel Relius Clover, was convinced by Captain Hazama from Intelligence to use the iconography of the limousine to give the test subjects some feeling of fame, which would be crushed if the experiment fails or claimed if the experiment succeeds.  But the experiment is rigged to fail, so Kokonoe has Makoto hack into the system (with some help from other operatives) to ensure that the Boundary trip doesn’t cause death or a transformation of the riders Arakune.  As for the trip into the boundary, it can be scenes from the games, like the climaxes that I’ve mentioned, historical events like the Black Beast’s rampage, showcases of the Boundary itself, crossovers with other Disney properties (and even Star Wars), or gag scenarios like the saga of the Island of Brotherly Conflict, Golden Tager X and his battles, a challenge of manliness with Bang, Azrael, Kagura, Relius, Ragna, Amane, and others getting screwed at the end, or something happening to Ragna (he’s the butt monkey in this storyline, don't let the image above fool you) such as being a chick magnet, becoming a ghost,...
...a Torifune Military Academy student (either a boy or girl depending on which is funnier and which dorm he's assigned to), or becoming the equivalent to Mai in the grouping of Trinity, Nine, and Celica, and his journey is EXACTLY like Mai's, except we see how he encounters the No-Name Grimoire.  Ragna's reaction to me making a headcannon for a gender-bender storyline for him in 3, 2, 1...
The end would be arriving at Sector Seven headquarters, giving Terumi and Relius the sense that they succeeded in killing you while you still live on, meeting with Professor Kokonoe, Rachel, and Kagura to ensure that you don’t go through what you undertook again and that the NOL will be changed for the better (unless you get back in line to experience another scenario), and Ragna complaining to the three about something happening to him due to the effects of the Boundary on his body (such as body-swapping with Jin, Noel, Tsubaki, or Makoto, gender, personality, age, or even species change).  Then you disembark, check your photos, and go into the gift shop and the rest of the park.  This sounds like the ideal version, you know, but it isn’t the only one.

  • Any of the extra material like manga, light novels, visual novels, or drama CDs being recreated
This is arguably the easiest way to go, because there’s a lot of side material to the games with more characters, concepts, and ideas that the Imagineers can play around with.  But here’s the catch: Disney may have to consider a Tokyo version of this ride first (due to the fact that most of this, outside of XBlaze and Remix Heart, is in Japanese).  Depending on how well it does and if the Imagineers are willing to translate the content of the ride to English, we could see something along the lines of supplemental material to the games.

  • Something based on the next story arc Mori is planning:

What this means is that we’ll get a ride based on the arc that Mori is planning, obviously.  Hell, it could be a way to bring in Alpha-α-01 into the world in a canon form before the games do (or after, depending on if Star Wars Land and/or Toy Story Land is successful enough to ensure that Disney can safely change the coaster).  That would be a cool idea, and it may lead to some great ideas.

In short, those are some basic ideas for the BlazBlue makeover of the ride.  And yes, I feel that these would be perfect for a makeover.  But the thing that ties it all together should be the music.  With its fast and furious feel and attitude, it can turn the trips through the boundary from weird to awesome.  And yes, I feel that a lot of the effects would be a mix of cutting edge Audio-Animatronics, lights, projections like the ones used for Hatsune Miku and even Tupac, smoke effects, and lasers alongside several physical sets.  All of that combining to tell the story you’re riding through, which can be anything I’ve mentioned.

And these are my picks for new themes for the Rock N’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith in hopefully the near future.  If you have any suggestions, comments, advice, and wondering if I missed out on a great new theme, feel free to leave them in the comments.  Also, this is not to change your opinion on the ride.  This is meant to be a thought exercise that can show my skills at creating new ideas and stories for old rides.  If you have any ideas, again, tell me in the comments what you want to be the new theme.  If you comment about Joe Rhode’s weird ear or how the yeti is still not fixed, then I hope you have something funny to say.

Lastly, I wonder if anybody who reviews theme parks have ideas of their own.  I’d like to know theirs.

Until next time, this is The Rock Otaku.  Love Loud, Play Hard, and Rock On!

All used references are done under the rules of fair use and are owned by their original creators.

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