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Radical Re-Imagineering: Rock 'n' Roller Coaster

Friday, March 12, 2010

Steven Tyler's out of rehab, and rejoined Aerosmith. They've even got a European tour scheduled, "Cocked, Locked, and Ready to Rock." So, one can imagine that the rumors that Disney's going to replace Aerosmith with a new band for Rock 'n' Roller Coaster should be dead, dead, dead.

But isn't it fun to imagine what one could do with a Re-imagineered Rock 'n' Roller Coaster? Aerosmith gets enough play on the oldies stations these days that one can imagine a future where Love in an Elevator feels almost as nostalgic and old timey as the Dapper Dans serenading the crowds on Main Street.

When my BFF and my son and I tried on this week's Those Darn Cats to come up with bands to replace Aerosmith, and accompanying changes in theme, most of the bands that came to mind were, well, old. And maybe that's a function of the fact that my BFF and I are in our forties (sorry sweetie!), but my kid's only 13 so he doesn't have a good excuse. And we were just goofing around, so we didn't bother staying within the realm of Disney reality. Personally, despite the fact that the band is old (and mostly dead), I love the idea of a Ramones themed Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and the theming changes that would entail. Perhaps you're in a stretch taxi, late for a show at CBGBs? Any chance we can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach?

Our listeners have helped us out with a ton of other ideas, most of which I could actually imagine Disney considering: U2, KISS, and Bon Jovi all seemed reasaonble candidates. (AC/DC sounded like fun to me, but I was less sure that Disney would bring on the unavoidable Highway to Hell reference.) My favorite suggestion from listeners came when Aaron in a blog comment, and also my friend Kent in an email, suggested Red Hot Chili Peppers, who we can of course thank for Rockin' Space Moutain at Disneyland not long ago.

But then, I found myself wanting to expand into other genres too! How about Love Rollercoaster with the Ohio Players? We could have ourselves a Funk 'n' Roller Coaster! Or, oh yeah, the Red Hot Chili Peppers cover would do nicely too!

And still, I'm an old lady so I'm thinking old school. Even the Chili Peppers have been playing together since 1983. But how do you pick the hot new thing and still be sure it'll have some staying power?

So, I'm making a new pitch: Much like Toy Story Mania has the capacity built in for seamless overlays with a simple software change (and yeah, I'm in computing so I know "simple" is a loaded word), if Rock 'n' Roller Coaster wants to stay with the times, ultimately it will benefit from a similar system, with a pre-show and ride soundtrack which can be easily switched out and updated. The general theming of the super-stretch limo and Los Angeles freeway don't limit themselves to any particular band, or any particular time period.

So whaddya say? If they could switch out bands in Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, who would you like to see featured? Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem? Madonna? Lady Gaga? Prince? Bring it on. For those about to rock, we salute you.