“The Most Magical Place on Earth” -Tagline for Walt Disney World’s ‘The Magic Kingdom’
There are talks of the WWE Hall of Fame finding a permanent home in Orlando, Fl. Orlando also happens to be the home to my favorite theme parks (read: the only theme parks I live close enough to frequent). Putting the Hall of Fame in Orlando not only takes advantage of the built-in tourism, but also lends itself to the WWE building their own theme park. Then, people could go to Orlando for actual wrestling-related attractions instead of TNA.
Every good theme park has rides and shows and games that appeal to all ages. Here are a choice few that would make it into my WWE theme park, WWE World.
1. The Rollercoaster: The Cobra
The name was easy to come up with on this one. With the coaster itself shaped like Santino Marella’s arms (complete with the tattoos), passengers are loaded into the ‘hands’ or cars. Harnesses extend to cover each passenger’s arms in different snake images. The ride starts slowly, building that anticipation, waiting for the right time to strike. Suddenly, a lever smacks against the back of the car, forcing it to point straight up. Guests are excited – they are facing the sky at a complete 90° angle. Then, another lever hits the coaster at the ‘elbow’ intersection, causing the whole coaster to snap up, with the passengers now upside down and looking at the back of ride. Finally, a crane grabs either side of the car and turns it around, with guests still upside down, but now in the right direction for the strike to occur. And then BAM! The car shoots out and retracts in the span of 1.75 seconds. Hey – the ride is the most literal translation from Santino’s move: it’s short, stupid and has a great build-up.
2. The Water Ride: The Game
Islands of Adventure has Harry Potter. Cedar Point has Millenium Force. Disney has Space Mountain. The Game is going to be what WWE World is known for. This ride will be a cross between a log flume and water rapids with Splash Mountain overtones. Passengers will load into water-bottled shaped boats and travel through the dark and misty, occasionally hitting those laughing spots. After a few drum beats, the boats are catapulted straight up out of Triple H’s mouth in an explosion of water. Those lucky enough to have been sent on Track 2 will shoot out of Triple H’s nose in an explosion of water and sweat and disgustingness at a much faster pace. Caution: You Will Get Soaked.
3. The Boring Ride: The Hall of General Managers
Nobody wants to go through all the General Managers WWE has ever had…but everyone will. One of the more interactive rides in WWE World, The Hall of General Managers, heavily influenced by The Hall of Presidents, will let you meet and greet with all your favorite and not-so-favorite GMs from the different brands. Watch the Audio-Animatronic figures and go behind the scenes of RAW and Smackdown with all 11 General Managers in this multi-media presentation and stage show narrated by our favorite ring-announcer, Lilian Garcia. Become Teddy Long’s homey! Be put in an Ankle-Lock by Kurt Angle! Cry at the sight of Shane and Stephanie McMahon! Slap Vickie Guerreo in the face! Smash a Laptop! This carousel through the GMs will have something in it for everyone.
4. The Live Show: Alternating Variety Hours
When I visit a theme park, I usually go to the live shows once. Not once each time I visit the park, but once a lifetime so I never have to sit through it again. The shows are always the same corny concepts with the same corny actors. That’s where WWE World can get the leg up on the competition. With this Alternating Variety Hour, you never know what show will take place when you’re visiting the park. From The Cutting Edge to The Highlight Reel - you can’t go wrong…unless you were expecting Edge and Chris Jericho to actually make an appearance. That being said, make sure to catch everyone’s favorite impersonator, Rodney Pepper, at Piper’s Pit. However, Brutus Beefcake will continue to host The Barber Shop. They’ll be so bad, it’ll be good!
5. The Kiddie Ride: Hornswoggle’s Wild Ride
This one’s a no-brainer. Make it similar to the spinning tea-cups or Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Just have people sit in a car and have it go bat-shit crazy. Bobbing, weaving, spinning, speeding up, slowing down – anything the kids will enjoy. Make sure it takes place inside a structure similar to the underneath of a wrestling ring. And everyone leaves covered in dirt. With beards.
6. Family Fun: Wrestle around the World (WATW)
A lot of people love Epcot’s World Showcase, where you can drink around the world, eat native foods, learn about different cultures and meet people from different regions of the world. WWE’s Wrestle around the World will introduce park guests to a wide variety of cultures, personalities and wrestling techniques from all over the world, including:
Jamaica: Kofi Kingston. Learn the Boom! Boom! Boom! Every visitor to this section will also receive a box of 48 Crayola crayons.
West Africa: Kofi Kingston. Although not geographic neighbors, the adjacency of these two countries makes it easy for park guests to use their Jamaica Crayola crayons to decorate a piece of Kofi’s in-ring attire.
England: Wade Barrett. Cheer on Man U. Really, that’s all Wade Barrett will be doing, so grab a pint and adopt a thick accent no one can really understand.
Ireland: Sheamus...and the Limes (Sheamus’ new band). In this, the greenest section of the WATW, you’ll find a large selection of beers (Guinness) and throw potatoes at people who walk by. Free drinks for each person you leave a visible bruise on!
Mexico: Alberto Del Rio and the Luchadores. Wear masks, drive nice cars and get hopped up on those steroids.
South Africa: Justin Gabriel. Send your kids to the most boring exhibit in the WATW to spend quality time with the face of Wrestlemania 27 (according to the poster at our local Moe’s).
Scotland: Drew McIntyre. The hype of this section of WATW is out of control. Everyone thinks that Scotland is the country to visit and the best thing to happen to WWE World. However, park creators did not agree and you’ll walk past this section without ever knowing it was there.
India: The Great Khali. The most romantic of the countries in WATW, you’ll be featured on The Kiss Cam all day. Pucker up!
Parts Unknown: Ultimate Warrior. The only part of WATW that isn’t distinctly marked in your Adventure Guide, you’ll be lucky if you find this small section in the large, gray, foggy area that seems to cover it.
Samoa: The Usos (and the thousands of other Samoan wrestlers). Here you’ll learn the Haka and develop a hard skull by repeatedly smashing things against your head. Rather, smashing your head against things.
Canada: Christian and Chris Jericho and Bret Hart and Edge. At Canada, the largest of the areas in WATW, you’ll learn to become awesome at wrestling.
Or you could go to Chyna, but who really wants to go there?
Theme parks like Busch Gardens and Universal Studios also have holiday-themed events and celebrations, with Halloween being a forerunner. Competing events like Howl-o-Scream and Halloween Horror Nights attract thousands of visitors and have such strong legacies that introducing this same concept in another Florida park would be folly. After all, WWE wouldn’t need to invest in a Halloween event designed to scare visitors – TNA is right down the street.