Friday, June 7, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #173 - Black Hole Sun

Joe is joined by David Daut to discuss Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge! We walk through the land's experiences, offerings, interactive segments, Smuggler's Run impressions, and the hype versus reality of the land. We also touch on Hagrid, HHN29 tickets, and SeaWorld Orlando coaster news. 'Til the spire!

Read David's write up of the land on his website.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour 172 - Cedar Point's Food Is Good Now?

We're talking about the hottest topic in all of themed entertainment this week: Cedar Point! Step aside Star Wars. This week it's Joe and Jeff as they talk about their annual Memorial Day Weekend Cedar Point trip. We discuss the new BackbeatQ restaurant, enhancements to Magnum and Cedar Creek Mine Ride, Melt, Steel Vengeance, what Cedar Point needs in the future, and more!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Islands of Adventure Turns 20

Today is the 20th Anniversary of the opening of Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando. Islands started as a direct response to feedback on Universal Studios Florida with its more adult, real life, and indoor attractions. This new park would focus on kids and family friendly properties, feature outdoor attractions such as roller coasters, and get people wet.

Original plans called for "Cartoon World" with Dr Seuss but also D.C. Comics characters, Looney Tunes, and even for The Simpsons. Six Flags renegotiated for Looney Tunes and D.C., effectively locking those characters out of the park while The Simpsons and Gracie Films were not willing to play ball.

During development the focus of the park shifted as Jurassic Park The Ride opened with critical acclaim in Hollywood and an islands theme was adopted. Marvel Comics (seen as second rate at the time) signed a lifetime deal with the park as did many smaller cartoon characters. Jurassic Park made its home at the new park as the star attraction and a new original land based on myths and legends was developed (no it wasn't the same plans Disney had for Animal Kingdom).

Construction started in 1997 for CityWalk and Islands of Adventure for opening in 1999. Islands opened with 13 rides (including the Island Skipper Tours) and three shows. In the intervening years a small coaster, a flat ride, and the much delayed Seuss Troll ride opened but none brought back the crowds after the September 11th terrorist attacks. IoA and USF languished at around 5 million guests a year, each, for nearly a decade. Then a certain wizard came to town and changed theme parks forever.

Islands of Adventure is and has remained one of the best parks in the country. While we take it for granted now the combination of thrills, theming, and design was never before seen. Remember IoA was the first park to receive a full, custom soundtrack. Nothing shows the excitement and wonder better than Sean Flaharty's pre-opening day video of the park. In the video Sean shows us the famous IoA model, construction footage of the park, and a pre-opening day tour. The energy and amazement is palpable and quaint, with many guests not knowing what each attraction is.

Other sites have more great Islands of Adventure info. Theme Park University has a series on the never built original concepts for the park and Theme Park Insider dives into the history of Potter in the park.

This year for the 20th Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opens and a new Jurassic Park experience is on the horizon. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for this amazing theme park.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour 171 - Earl the Squirrel

Joe is joined by Brian from Inside Universal this week to talk about his visit behind the walls at Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure. We also discuss chicken "corn dog" nuggets, HHN29's Depths of Fear, Jurassic Park construction, horitcultre, Star Wars Galaxy's Edge pricing, and more!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure May 20 Update

Photo courtesy of Inside Universal.

Hagird's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure officially opens in three weeks. In our latest, and last, update we'll look at the finishing touches along the ride path, the outdoor queue, the indoor queue preview released today, and speculate on Team Member and guest previews. As always many thanks to Inside Universal and Bioreconsturct for the photos and coverage. If you do not already make sure to follow them.

The entrance sign for Hagrid is nearly installed and complete. Moss has been applied and the fiber-optics are installed!

What I like is the small bit of stained glass below which brings some color and pop to the sign, something sorely missing from Dragon Challenge.
Construction is nearly done! Staining of the sidewalks is finishing up on May 7 and the sound barrier mural painting has started. Continuous testing started this past week and trains are dispatching roughly every 20-30 seconds, giving this ride an hourly capacity of over 2000 guests an hour.

The outdoor queue is complete and installed and follows a similar path to the Dragon Challenge outdoor queue. And yes, there are NO metal detectors, so while you will need to store bags you won't have to empty out your pockets.
What's that? Yes, it's a unicorn! Hidden during the final portion of the ride the unicorn will bid us good luck and farewell after we touchdown in the ruins.

This past week several media outlets were invited by Universal Orlando to preview the queue. Hagrid took over the ruins on the outskirts of Hogwarts Castle and uses them to take care of his creatures. Inside guests wind through a newly laid out queue finding equipment, books, and creatures. Soon guests enter the first preshow where Hagrid and Arthur Weasley repair and discuss the motorbike that guests will ride on. After the first preshow there is another bit of queue before a second preshow, one that Universal is keeping secret for now.

Inside Universal has a great write up of the event and Orlando Informer put together a fantastic video looking at the ride and queue (see above).
Photo courtesy of Inside Universal.
With the ride quickly approaching opening everyone is wondering when the ride will preview for all guests. At this point the only guaranteed date to start riding is June 13, the grand opening date. But if you're traveling prior to then there's a possibility the ride will open for limited previews.

Right now the ride is still under the control of Universal Creative. The final major milestone for the attraction will be when the control of the ride is transferred from Creative to the Universal operations team. Rumors point to this occurring on Memorial Day weekend. After transferring to operations the ride will continue to run through testing and training the team members. Once the operations team feels comfortable with the ride they will begin Team Member previews for the attraction. These usually last a handful of days with the final day of Team Member previews ending in the late morning. Only then, and if they feel comfortable, will the ride open in the evening for guest previews.

To speculate it is likely Team Member previews will occur the week of May 27 with guest previews starting the following week, the first full week of June. Guest previews are unlikely to occur the few days prior to June 13. Islands of Adventure closes at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11 for the media event. June 10 and 12 the ride will likely be closed for media impressions, on ride photography, and to prepare for the grand opening for guests.

It has been fun to share with you all the construction and of this attraction and hope to see you in the parks!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour 170 - Brit in a Speedo

It's Alex and Joe this time to talk about news, rumors, and trip reports! We cover the Kings Island giga coaster, Dollywood's newest addition, Star Wars Galaxy's Edge, more Hagrid, and more! Then we discuss Alex's trip through the south, including his first ever visit to Animal Kingdom, before Joe talks about Kennywood's pass holder preview day and a quick stop at Hersheypark.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Unannounced Jurassic Park Attraction Update 5/7/2019

Construction on the unannounced Jurassic Park attraction continues with land clearing continuing in the area formerly home to the Triceratops Encounter and Raptor Encounter. Along the lagoon front deep pylons and footers are installed for the new bypass bridge and coaster.

For a reminder this is the rumor coaster layout.

The eye in the sky Bioreconstruct is back with updates from the construction project.

Here you can see the three former Triceratops Encounter enclosures are in various states of demolition. The old Raptor Encounter area is totally gone and the two buildings at the top of the image are the old queue for the Triceratops Encounter attraction that was used as a break and changing room for Raptor Encounter.

Current status of the new bypass bridge opening this summer. This new bridge will act as access to the new attraction in front of the Discovery Center and as a way to cut between Lost Continent and Jurassic Park during nighttime shows in Hogsmeade.

While under construction the Raptor Encounter has moved next to Pizza Preditoria in the old Jurassic Park River Adventure extended queue.

The unannounced Jurassic Park attraction is expected to be a new roller coaster designed by Intamin AG. The coaster is rumored to be the fastest in central Florida once it opens in early 2021. It will feature multiple inversions, two high speed launches, and extended airtime.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour 169 - #dadstuff

Everybody rock your body right, Banks Lee's back, alright.

Joe, Mike, and Banks talk about Universal Classic Monsters house, HHN29's leaked rumored lineup, the Today Cafe, avocado toast, Disney Hollywood Studios' 30th Anniversary, the bad new DHS logo, and Banks' tour of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Hagrid's Magical Creature Motorbike Adventure April 20 Updates

We are seven weeks away from the opening of Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Islands of Adventure on June 13, 2019! The project is quickly entering the final phases of show installation and construction and there are lots of updates. Lets dive into the magical creatures we'll see on the ride, the latest arial photo updates, and ride testing!


This past week Universal revealed some of the creatures featured on the attraction. Fan favorites from the movies, such as Fluffy and Centaurs, return while a new create only from the books, the Blast-Ended Skrewt, are finally represented in real life! Universal also teased several other creatures we will see throughout the ride: thestrals, gnomes, a unicorn, and more! We expect most of these creatures to be programmed animated figures or simple animated figures.

Arial Updates

Our eyes in the sky Bioreconstruct provided us several updates to the exterior construction. Since our last update more trees and landscaping was added to the north west portion of the land by the final overbooked turn. More themed elements such as wagons, barrels, and directional signage was added to the first portion of the outside of the ride.

Access walkways are receiving their final pavement and theming after the construction equipment was removed. Final touch ups, painting, and landscaping is occurring throughout the ride. The back sound barrier is also being painted a neutral green pattern with more trees coming soon.

In Hogsmeade the new entrance archway is under construction. The previous design was scrapped with a new, distinct triangular archway being built. Some new pavement work is also being worked on, possibly to add a queue between the entrance and lockers for busy days.

Coaster Testing

We have testing! Full circuits with one ride vehicle were running for weeks at night but recently Universal has started daytime testing. See the above video for a sample of what type of speed and forces we will expect to see on this ride.

That's not all, the coaster has crossed a major milestone: human testing has begun! In the above video you can see what is likely Universal and Intamin employees testing the attraction. This is a huge milestone as the attraction is now safe for human riding. Additionally we can hear music, sound effects, and Hagrid's narration are running, meaning the attraction is running with show elements in place.

What remains in this project? The queue is likely the last thing to be completed with set design, effects, and show elements to be installed. Final elements are still being added to the attraction such as landscaping, trees, painting, and completed animated figures. The last components of the attraction, running multiple trains and operations training, will occur in the next month. Universal probably doesn't know when Team Member or guest technical rehearsals will occur but I would bet a Hogs Head Ale on Team Member testing immediately after Memorial Day weekend and guest testing shortly after.

As this project wraps up and approaches the grand opening we plan on posting one more final update followed by photos, videos, and our review of the attraction shortly after opening. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour 168 - $8 Champagne

News Team Assemble!

Joe, Lane, Mike, and Nick talk about Duffy's friends, Rock'n'Rollercoaster overlays, trains, Magical Creatures, LargeFlames, Halloween Horror Nights, Endless Summers, Cars, Disney+, and YOUR QUESTIONS!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #167 - Fashionable Fanny Packs

Joe and Mike are joined by special guest Banks Lee of Attractions the Show! On this episode we talk about Busch Gardens Tampa's newest coaster, Tigris, and next year's RMC'ing of Gwazi. Star Wars Galaxy's Edge is opening earlier than we though but Mickey's Runaway Railway might be opening in 2020? Universal announced Stranger Things at HHN29 while also showing off more of their new Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure coaster.

Lastly we discuss our trips into the parks with Banks visiting Lego Movie World at Legoland, Sesame Street at SeaWorld Orlando, Knotts Berry Farm, and 90's Nite at Disneyland followed by Joe giving the highlights of his recent Disneyland Resort trip.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure - What We Know

Universal's newest Wizarding World attraction, Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, opens in less than three months. This highly anticipated new coaster has remained largely undiscussed officially by Universal Orlando. In this article we will tackle the latest news, rumors, and speculation to paint a picture of what to expect when this attraction opens June 13.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

100 Roller Coasters for 2018 (A Year In Review)

After the 2017 calendar year, I did the first annual "100 Coasters" retrospective. I had a banner year for myself, and discussing/reviewing 100 different roller coasters that I rode seemed like an interesting way to go about doing a review of the entire year in a nice, neat format. I didn't expect to have that kind of year in 2018 again: I started the year on the unemployment line, for starters. By the time it was over, I had actually surpassed my huge year with a monster 73 new coasters riden. Getting 70 coasters is super tough; it takes real effort. I was frequently at parks from March all the way through New Year's Eve. I visited 19 states, 2 Canadian provinces, and 5 European countries. From RMCs to Mountain Coasters to the ubiquitous SBF Visa Spinning Coasters that reproduce like rabbits, I saw a lot of stuff and I rode it too.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #165 - Teenage Wasteland

Joe is joined by David Daut to talk about Stranger Things at Halloween Horror Nights(?), Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge news and rumors, David's report from Evermore in Utah, Disney's acquisition of Fox and the theme park implications including Simpsons and Spider-Man at DCA, and then finally closing out with talk about theme park preservation with an eye towards Muppet-vision 3-D.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #164 - Bachelorscope Weekend

Joe, Nick, and Sean talk about Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Epcot's new entrance, and Wonders of Life's 'Play Pavilion' replacement. Then we dive into Sean's bachelory party to talk about the "3 great rides" theory, Magic Kingdom, Homecomin', Trader Sam's, Universal, and more.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Potter Coaster Announced! Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Opening June 13, 2019

We've seen the arial photos. We've seen Alicia's leaks. We've speculated and discussed this ride to death. Finally we have the name and official concept art to the Potter coaster.

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure coaster is an innovative, family thrill ride that combines a launched coaster like Cheetah Hunt, the scenery of Big Thunder Mountain, a wild indoor drop like Tower of Terror and Verbolten, and audio animatronic figures like Pirates of the Caribbean. Guests will follow Hagrid as we see the magical creatures we've read and seen in the films.

Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures coaster will open June 13, 2019 at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #163 - Flight of the Na'vi-gator

Alan and Joe talk about Cedar Fair's earnings call, their plans for their parks, mistakes with smaller parks, and the removal of Volcano: The Blast Coaster. Then we dive into our recent trips to Orlando! Joe talks about his adventure to SeaWorld, Jiko, Animal Kingdom After Hours, and Universal. Alan discusses his long weekend at Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Then we give our final reviews of Pandora - World of Avatar, the price of theming, the importance of good rides, and more random thoughts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #162 - Secret Fudge and Failed Communist Tomorrowland

Joe, Alan, and Alex are freezing their asses off! This week's topics:

  • Jurassic Park coaster update
  • Gwazi RMC rumors
  • Hersheypark's Chocolate Town updates
  • Kings Island's International Street Updates
  • Kings Dominion and Volcano
  • Complain about Disneyland's Tomorrowland
  • SeaWorld San Diego and Orlando rumors
  • Trip Reports
    • Alex goes to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Kings Dominion, and Six Flags Over America then some alpine coasters
    • Alan visits Graceland and Dollywood

Friday, January 18, 2019

Jurassic Park Coaster Layout (Project 791)

Chip Skambis from WFTV has provided the first layout of the Jurassic Park coaster.

The coaster's first show scene is light blue and on the left, the load/queue will be the red shape. At this point we expect the coaster to launch south and enter the "spaghetti bowl" of inversions and tight turns. The coaster will then hit a second launch over the red shape and in front of the Discovery Center. There the coaster will wrap around near Hogsmeade and return, over the water, to the old Triceratops Encounter plot.

What is interesting is the coaster will go around the queue in what could be an extended show scene to close out the ride. We are not as clear with this part of the ride.

Chip also reports the construction and building timeline for the ride is 18 months, placing the ride in a summer or fall 2020 opening timeframe.

The coaster is expected to be built by Intamin or Mack Rides and will be the fastest ride in Florida (pending the final speed of Gwazi's RMC make over).

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jurassic Park Coaster Construction Update (Project 791)

Today construction walls were been spotted around the old Triceratops Encounter area in Jurassic Park at Islands of Adventure.

A new rollercoaster has been a long standing rumor for this location, with our own sources and Orlando Park Stop hearing it will be a launched steel coaster themed to Raptors. The development of the land will include a new coaster that will span the width of the land, queue, and a new permanent Raptor Encounter meet and greet area that will increase capacity.

The coaster is expected to be built by Intamin, though some report it could be a Mack coaster too. Unlike the Potter coaster this will focus on thrills and resemble rides like Maverick at Cedar Point and Taron at Phantasialand. We expect the ride to be among the fastest in Orlando and will incorporate criss-crossing track, inversions, and large coaster elements.

Approximate location of the new coaster. Coaster will mostly take place on old Tricertops Encounter plot with an out and back element infant of the Discovery Center and behind The Watering Hole bar.
Per Quint on Inside Universal if plans remain the same Raptor Encounter will move to the old Jurassic Park River Adventure extended queue by mid February. Additional information from Midway Mayhem and Orlando Park Stop says the carnival games will move north, opening up the pathways for more construction walls.

The new coaster has not been confirmed by Universal, but we expect it to open in late 2020 or 2021. We discussed this project and several others on this week’s podcast.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Parkscope Unprofessional Podcast Hour #161 - The Official Disney Podcast of Hot Topic

OG crew time with Joe, Nick, and Mike this week. We talk the latest rumors at Universal Orlando, Polercoaster, and The Google Assistant Ride. Then we close it up with Mike's long thoughts on the future of Walt Disney World, the long term aspects of aiming for an upper upper middle class customer, the possible declining registrations of runDisney, and more Voodoo Donuts love. Stay to the end for positive takes!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

As Good As It Gets

"Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding." - Bill Bullard

Theme park discussion on the internet is primarily centered around the relationship of Disney fans to Disney parks or those parks which are geographically adjacent to Disney parks. There is then a natural myopia that results from this - with such a limited frame of reference, fans burn out and confuse their familiarity with the Disney product with enormous declines in the industry as a whole. More often than not on spaces like Twitter, I find myself engaging with people who are upset with the state of the theme park industry. The parks are too heavily reliant on intellectual property, too reliant on screens, pricing out the middle class, too many festivals or festivals that bring out the "bad crowd", and on and on and on.

I'm going to say something that has been said before by others, but needs be said again - this is the best time in history to be a fan of outdoor amusements. Yes, including theme parks.

This isn't a conclusion I've come to lightly. I'm not pretending there aren't issues with Walt Disney World's monorails. I'm not telling you that the Jimmy Fallon ride is a classic - I haven't even been on it. But what I am not going to do is pretend to you that Disney's American parks (and their direct competition) are the whole of the theme park industry and that they (the parks) and it (the industry) peaked specifically at the same exact time that its loudest detractors conveniently were children making their first trips.

Let's start with Disney - Disneyland's Pixar Pier redo basically got negative marks across the board. Fair enough. Their upcoming Marvel stuff seems to have the problem of not being better than Universal's Marvel stuff, so naturally Disney fans are going to have to be mad about that (Why? Good question. Ask them). Star Wars? Oh, it's going to be terrible because people will want to go there. It's just gonna be too good and unnaturally occupy space in the park, and not at all because the parks are intended to resemble specifically what they were when the commentors first went, but because of some kind of quote asserted to come from Walt through Tony Baxter or something like that. It's never about what Star Wars will be in 5 or 10 years to the parks or the industry, just about what it will be opening week.

But I digress: this isn't just a thread about Disney parks. Ultimately, I can't change anyone's perception of them. If you haven't gotten over Horizons and World of Motion by now, you never will. No, this is about the industry. You want to know what things are happening in the industry?

Unprecedented construction of indoor themed attractions are happening. You want high tech dark rides? We're getting those with Sally's Justice League rides, with 6 opened in the US. You want auteur stuff? Meow Wolf's retheme of a dark ride at Elitch Gardens is a real thing and actually happening for 2019, producing the first thing that approaches "high art" in the genre. "Flying Theaters" a la Soarin' are proliferating like mad, whether its as standalone attractions in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, or Minneapolis, or in the Merlin theme parks. Where Disneyquest failed, others are succeeding: Legoland Discovery Centers are all over the US and Canada, each with 4D movies, shooting dark rides, and spinners. Lionsgate will soon join the fray in New York City, and that's not even mentioning the explosion of escape games and LARP (Live Action Role Play) with places like Evermore Park in Utah. A whole year round theme park new facility will open in New Jersey (Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream in the Meadowlands).

Too much of an American focus? Then feast your eyes on the likes of Symbolica or the new shooting dark ride going into Walibi Belgium. Check out Derren Brown's Ghost Train or Can-Can Coaster at Europa Park. Oh, and then there's new parks. Literally hundreds of them, from Ireland to the Middle East and of course China. Not just the two latest Disney parks, but entire theme park chains like Chimelong and Magic Valley with giant theming pieces and expensive dark rides. Batman, the first "Strong Arm" attraction to open outside a Universal Park, just opened at WB Movie World in Abu Dhabi. Land of Legends in Turkey had Cirque founder Franco Dragone involved; Cirque Du Soliel has a theme park of it's own coming on-line in 2020 in Mexico. Speaking of Mexico, XCaret got the Applause Award for overall excellence in the industry; they've got a whole pile of facilities south of Cancun to explore.

And then there's roller coasters. You know - possibly the most fundamental building block and anchor of theme parks. They are better now than ever. Wood coasters invert with regularity. Steel coasters offer incredible and exciting forces while being smoother than ever. There are multiple coasters exceeding 100 MPH top speeds; coasters with 14 inversion, coasters that spin both freely and powered. Car designs like never before. Layouts that were once only the creations of teenagers on programs like NoLimits are being translated into real life. Not since the early-early 20th century (like 1900-1914) has there been growth like this in amusements.


Like any other fandom, being a pessimist or highly critical is something that people will find makes them look different or exceedingly intelligent. The way in which we interact on the internet also places a real value on the ability to generate web traffic. Getting "clicks" becomes a goal in and of itself; constructive thought isn't necessary. Rhetoric and emotional appeals matter a lot when it comes to media, and constant negative energy seems to be great at pulling in return visitors ready to feast on a buffet of depression and rage. In the world of theme parks, nothing generates traffic to begin with like Disney, with Universal well behind. This isn't inside baseball: there's probably as many Disney sites and Facebook groups as there are dedicated to all the regional parks combined. That's the power of that brand. Anyone who doesn't cover them primarily is going to have a serious challenge covering server costs, much less garnering a paycheck from theme park content.

Why am I saying all this? Because talking about how terrible and bad things are is encouraged by the way that we reward people on the internet with attention and money. Spend any amount of time on Youtube looking at things that interest people under the age of 50, and you'll invariably be directed to watch Ben Shapiro "destroying" some debate opposition, or the Angry Video Game Nerd playing crappy video games with special effects backing it. We enjoy watching someone else get dunked on, and the social media age provides the opportunity for anyone to dunk on anything without any barriers to entry. Paralyzed by a lack of meaning in any other facet of their lives, the cottage industry of hating but intaking mass media seems to grow endlessly with ever louder and more intense takes being required to take market share.

The volume of this expansion is unprecedented, and it is unlikely to ever occur again in the lifetimes of any living people due to demography. It isn't hiding: it is incredibly obvious and well documented by global theme park fans. In this world - the Disney park fandom - to admit that there is a world outside Disney and a universe of things to explore is to admit that the basis of its exceptionalism for where the negativity is derived is a lie. After all, to say that this is the low point is to say that we've descended significantly from a peak; this appeal to exceptionalism is an argument for tradition and nostalgia. Without that exceptionalism being reinforced, the would-be champions of righteousness would likely lose large segments of the audience that validates them entirely.

It is of the utmost important to never, ever suggest to the audience that what they are doing is inherently a waste of time. The audience wants reinforcement: "tough love" is OK, "no/less love" is unacceptable. Since the audience sources the critics in this instance, many are true believers themselves unwilling to self-examine their relationship to the parks. Doubling down on a lie is often easier than admission of the truth both from the perspective of what generates viewership as well as what makes their own lives easier. It is ultimately up to the audience itself to expand their awareness and seek out new and better media.