Which movies will get their own rides at the UK’s new Paramount theme park?
For today’s post, I thought we’d do something (to quote Monty Python) completely different.
Let’s talk about theme parks, particularly movie-themed ones. We all know them, right? Disneyland, Universal Orlando, Disney-MGM and, if you want to be obscure, that Warner Bros theme park in Australia, with 20th Century Fox scheduled to open a theme park in Malaysia this year.
Well in 2021, Paramount will be getting in on the act by opening a theme park on the Swanscombe Peninsula. According to news sources and various pieces of concept artwork, among the films and TV shows to be included as rides and attractions are Star Trek, Titanic, The Godfather and the likes of the stuff on Nickelodeon, Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear.
With that said, here are some ideas of my own for what could be included. Some are realistically possible, others just wishful thinking, so keep an open mind. Anyway, on with the list…
For this, my idea for a theme park attraction based on Top Gun would have to be a rollercoaster styled on the dogfight sequences displayed in the film.
With the cars in the shape of fighter jets, to give you the experience of actually fighting alongside Maverick and Iceman in the movie, and as an added bonus, the joy of listening to Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone while waiting in the queue.
Sunset Boulevard, Rosemary’s Baby, Friday The 13th, Fatal Attraction and the Paranormal Activity franchise
What better idea than to incorporate all of the most notable horror and thriller movies Paramount has produced over the years and place them into that classic of fairground rides, a haunted house (or a ride reminiscent of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion), with each room styled on one of the movies listed above?
Sunset Bouelvard for the living room, Fatal Attraction for the kitchen and the bathroom, Rosemary’s Baby and Paranormal Activity for the bedrooms and Friday the 13th for the garden, with perhaps the added bonus of a basement/laboratory modelled on two pre-Code Paramount horror movies Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (with Frederic March) and The Island of Lost Souls and The Addams Family for the main entrance, just to lighten the mood up a bit.
Nashville, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Flashdance, Footloose, Hustle and Flow, Dreamgirls
Paramount has produced a fair number of music based features over the years, these five features listed above being their most prominent.
So what better way of celebrating them in attraction-form, by creating a discotheque/karaoke area allowing you to dance and sing along to your favourite ditties, including Stayin’ Alive, It’s Hard Out Here Being a Pimp and I’m Easy.
It may have seemed divisive to numerous folk upon release, but there is the possibility that Chris Nolan’s Interstellar has the potential to make a good ride. A rollercoaster, to be exact.
Anyone who’s seen the film will know that there are numerous set pieces and depictions of interstellar travel littered throughout the film. So my proposition is, an indoor rollercoaster (similar to Alton Towers’ now defunct Black Hole) modelled on the final sequence of the film involving Endurance’s entry into Gargantua and the Tesseract.
It would also allow for some technical wizardry to simulate the effects used in the film (maybe lightshows or onscreen projections placed around the coaster). Just add Hans Zimmer’s score for the entrance and appropriate points on the rollercoaster, and you got yourself an attraction worth paying for.
Airplane! and The Naked Gun
Again, I know what you’re thinking. How do we create a ride based on the two most notable comedy features from comedy trio Jim Abrahams and the Zucker Bros? Well, to quote Greg Proops, follow along and you’ll find rich rewards.
This one’s an easy one, a motion simulator recreating the opening sequence of the trilogy. Stock footage and random stuff shot with a GoPro camera would create the film used in the simulator. With Airplane!, perhaps a balloon stand selling replicas of Otto the autopilot (in balloon form of course).
The Untouchables and Collateral
Now, how to do a ride/attraction based on Brian De Palma’s 1987 adaptation of the TV series The Untouchables?
I know, a Laser Quest-esque attraction centred on the shoot-out in Grand Central Station. Just for added difficulty, a replica of the baby carriage moving up and down the stairs (on a track), points will be lost if its hit. That will be enough to make any customer feel like Elliot Ness. Plus, an animatronic recreation of the baseball scene for those waiting in line.
Same applies for Michael Mann’s 2004 feature Collateral. Specifically, one based on either of the shootouts at the nightclub or on the train.
Serpico and Chinatown
We’re all familiar with the Sherlock Holmes Tour of London, are we not? Well, Paramount London could do something similar based on their neo-noir classic Chinatown and gritty crime drama Serpico.
It would consist of following tour guides (as Frank Serpico and Jake Gittes), finding clues, solving puzzles and catching bad guys along the way. Too obscure for you? Well forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.
There’s only one type of ride that could draw influence from Crocodile Dundee. A log flume (or some other flume ride) around recreations of the Australian outback in crocodile-shaped ride vehicles.
Message to Alton Towers: that’s not a log flume. *Unveils log flume ride* That’s a log flume.
This could take the form of a drop tower ride similar to Alton Towers’ Nemesis: Sub-Terra, with direct inspiration taken from Cloverfield (2008), including recreations of the Clover monster’s arrival and the scene in the subway.
Then onward to the second part, modelled after its spiritual sequel 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and centred on the ventilation shafts of the shelter.
Buy Cloverfield on DVD and Blu-Ray
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Planes, Trains and Automobiles
What better way to salute John Hughes’s time at Paramount than to create an attraction based on his two high-points post-Breakfast Club?
For this one, maybe some sort of car ride modelled on scenes from both those pictures (such as the car jump or parade sequence from Ferris Bueller). It would make for a relaxing pseudo-road trip after all that adrenaline rush
The Ten Commandments
Of course, no Paramount theme park should be without Cecil B. DeMille’s blustery masterpiece.
Some form of water ride would suffice, with influence being drawn from the scene where Moses parts the Red Sea. Maybe a boat ride, with the boats in the form of miniature replicas of Egyptian Khufu ships, and one final dash for the exit, so you can feel a part of the Exodus.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Meatballs, Wayne’s World and There Will Be Blood
For the food court, a restaurant modelled on Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a meatball stand named after the Bill Murray movie of the same name, all kinds of restaurants and shops selling all the food and drinks shown in the product placement gag from Wayne’s World and a There Will Be Blood-themed milkshake bar (“I drink your milkshake! I DRINK IT UP!”).
And, just to branch out into TV, a recreation of the bar from Cheers and a Frasier-themed scrambled egg stand.
Cleopatra (Cecil B. DeMille, 1934) – spa facility (milk bath included).
Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1953) – scooter hire.
Seconds (John Frankenheimer, 1966) – a rollercoaster of the surrealist kind.
Trading Places (John Landis, 1983) – cash points.
Ghost (Jerry Zucker, 1990) – pottery classes.
The Truman Show (Peter Weir, 1998) – model village.
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