#389 – Biblical Roller Coasters

I spent yesterday at Six Flags Magic Mountain with our junior high and high school groups. Even though it was nearly 100 degrees we still had a great time. I love roller coasters so I never mind taking the students to Magic Mountain. While riding modern marvels like X2 and Tatsu, I couldn’t help but think about what Bible stories would make great roller coaster rides.

Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark is clearly the front runner for an amusement park ride. Every park has a water ride so why not have one based on Noah’s animal cruise? It’d be like Splash Mountain except it would be based on the Bible instead of Disney’s most racist movie. Waiting in line could tell the story of humanity’s wickedness and it would culminate in a daring escape aboard your very own ark. Each ark could have its own animal theme and the person working the ride could tell people to get on two by two. I know someone wants to make a Noah’s Ark theme park but an individual ride seems for more likely and way more awesome.

The Promised Land

One of my favorite rides at Disney’s California Adventure is Soarin’ Over California. On the ride you’re suspended in a glider in front of a massive movie screen. The screen shows a bird’s eye view of California locales while wind blows in your face. There are also different scents released in the air: salt water while soaring over Monterey and oranges while flying over groves. The same concept could be applied to Israel. Soarin’ Over the Promised Land would be a great way to see where God called his people. There would need to be some computer generated images as the Temple is no longer there and there weren’t tour buses on every road back in the day. Different scents could include fish over the Sea of Galilee, roasting meat over the Temple mount and burning trash over Gehenna.

Sodom and Gomorrah

Obviously there are some parts of the Sodom and Gomorrah story that cannot be included in a family-friendly attraction. No one wants his or her three year old asking, “Why is Lot pushing his daughters outside the door?” But all of the destruction that befell Sodom and Gomorrah would make for a very exciting theme park attraction. There was mass destruction on the old Universal Studios tram ride. Instead of King along causing the destruction, though, it would be the very hand of God. The attraction would even continue as people exited, passing a woman made of salt. The Sodom and Gomorrah ride couldn’t be anywhere near David’s Petting Zoo.

I had a great time at Magic Mountain and rode some amazing roller coasters. Applying some biblical themes to those rides could have made them even more amazing, though. Except for the Green Lantern ride; that thing was unbelievable.

What other bible stories would make good theme park attractions?

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3 Responses to “#389 – Biblical Roller Coasters”

  1. The Tower of Babel – One of those “freefall” rides, with speakers in the headrest that start broadcasting multiple languages all at once as you head down…

    Not that I would ever ride such a thing. I hate amusement parks. Water parks, though, I can enjoy. Would it be disrespectful to have a wave pool where the water parts, and you have to try to make it across before it crashes back down on you? Probably…

    (I had no idea Splash Mountain was based on “Song of the South.” I’m kind of surprised they haven’t changed that, given “Song of the South” is film non grata with Disney these days. I actually saw it as a kid in its last theatrical rerelease, c. 1980 or so… I wonder if the animation couldn’t be salvaged and repackaged somehow, to make it more acceptable to modern sensibilities. I bet some smart writers could do a remake that would entertain everyone and still push back some against the racism… And, literarily speaking, Joel Chandler Harris was preserving a bunch of folk culture… But I digress.)

    • Water parting at a water park would be amazing! That’s an idea I wish I had. I like amusement parks but I can’t stand the rides that just go up and drop.

  2. Correction: maybe “preserving” is too loaded a term. I guess he was presenting it to a white audience (and, yes, profiting from it … but it’s an ambiguous situation. But I digress again…)

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