Dec. 21 – Possibly the last update for this year, a photo journal reporting on Six Flags Great Adventure from 2012. It’s been a while since I’ve covered a big ol’ heavy metal coaster park, so please enjoy all 172 captioned photos in this set. Some of you may already know this through Twitter and the like, but I should probably announce it here: in October I was taken on as an intern in the content and design department at the Thinkwell Group, and I will now be staying full time as a show writer/research assistant, hopefully to work my way up to a creative director someday. Needless to say it’s been an amazing and amazingly fortunate experience, and there are so many stories I wish I could share that would make the theme park geeks reading this start to foam, if only it weren’t for the dastardly non-disclosure agreement!

Anyway, as you can imagine this job sort of sucks up a lot of my energy to want to write about theme parks in my spare time, but I still see no reason to declare this site done as long as people are okay with a photo journal trickling in every several weeks or so, maybe with the occasional written piece when there’s something I really want to share. Hersheypark and Canada’s Wonderland will probably be the next updates, so check back for reviews of more almost-new coasters.

Nov. 25 – I finally published a photo journal from my trip last year to Philadelphia. I even tried putting captions and personal thoughts with each of the photos, and did stuff like look up the names of the buildings or statues I took pictures of. Just a note, even though the photos are arranged to appear as if everything happened over the course of one day, it was actually spread over two, or else I’d have run a marathon.

This is also the first update to be broadcast from my new computer, after my trusty laptop since 2007, upon which this entire website was created, finally BSOD’ed on me last month. It was the end of an era, a pivotal turning point in life that represented an emotional roller coaster ride for me, if that coaster was manufactured by Intamin and spent the whole time broken down with me cursing at it for a while before finally deciding to move on to that sleek new B&M down the midway. That also might have something to do with why this update is so abysmally late. I think I can feel confident that the next update will come sooner, maybe.

Sep. 14 – Yep, it took me nearly two months to make a photo trip report – of Dorney Park, no less! – that’s well over a year past the actual trip date. That’s just the kinda place this site has become, apparently. I’ll save for another time the story of how, since the last update posted below, I bought a one-way plane ticket to California. Most of the activity is now happening on Twitter anyway, so follow @jkthompson72 if you haven’t already.

Jul. 25 – Two more photo journals from last year, both from Knoebels, trying to get caught up with reports in my limited spare time. I’ll cap it off with a Canada’s Wonderland photo journal and capsule review combo, and then… I dunno. Back to Asia 2011? Focus on 2013 and beyond? Ditch the review format entirely?

Jul. 7 – How long has it been since I’ve done two updates this close together? I vaguely remember a time when I was able to update the site once a weekend, and even a period when I was writing an essay every other day. That time is long over and I don’t think it’s ever coming back. RCP has evolved in many ways since then, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there will never be just one format the site will take, but rather a hodgepodge of different styles, be they capsule reviews, in-depth analysis essays, travel writings, or photo journals. Yes, today’s update is for all intents and purposes a set of “photo trip reports”, that easy and pervasive style of amusement park fan documentation that this website was initially created in rebellion of, and I won’t claim that my take brings anything original to the genre. The descriptions for these first three are a little fuller than they were for the Florida photo journals, in part because I don’t intend to publish any capsule reviews along with these in the near future. Glance through them, or don’t. But don’t forget the much better update below.

Jul. 3 – This is an update long overdue. So I introduced the capsule format last year as a way to reign in my more indulgent tendencies when it comes to long-form essay writing and to try to make rolling out new updates an easier process to keep from getting even further backlogged. Obviously the experiment didn’t work too well, if the three-and-a-half month wait, handful of multiparagraph “capsules”, and eighteen footnotes in this latest review set of Disney’s Animal Kingdom are any indications. However the major Florida theme parks, for whatever their individual demerits, do at least merit more discussion than most parks. Since I’ll probably start covering regional destinations after this update I really hope updates to finally start moving faster in the near future. And if you haven’t already, follow me on Twitter (@jkthompson72) to get notice of the most recent updates and to join in the many other conversations that take place.

By the way, the last banner is a little something extra to thank you for your patience. I’ve criticized plenty of other people’s rides, but I’ve rarely shared explicit examples of the sort of things I would do if given the money, resources, and creative freedom to build to my own. “Into the Abyss” is one of those ideas. There may be more written treatments to come, should anyone be interested.

Mar. 18“While the other Walt Disney World parks use their environments to evoke universal stories of reassurance, wonder, or nature, Hollywood Studios by contrast is both narrow in concept and narcissistic in delivery. It’s a vanity project designed primarily to please the old guard of Hollywood executives who built it in the first place.” If you haven’t guessed it by now I’m not a huge fan of Florida or its theme parks; nevertheless there are several gold nuggets that can’t be overlooked, Disney’s Hollywood Studios containing a few of them.

Feb. 23“The EPCOT Center was to be the 21st century’s shining city upon a hill, built in a state where the sun shines brightly but there are no hills.” The Magic Kingdom review was able to generate a fair amount of controversy, so let’s see if we can keep that momentum going into Epcot, which includes topics about racism, pornography, and (most debatable) the theoretical relationship between technology and history.

Jan. 15 – The full set of Magic Kingdom capsule reviews is now published, along with the photo journal for more visually inclined folk. Hopefully I was able to say one or two things that haven’t already been said about the world’s most popular theme park. Next up is Epcot.


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