Scary theme park

Top 8 Stephen King Theme Park Rides That Need To Happen: The Petition [UPDATED]

Unite, Stephen King enthusiasts, for a petition that will make reading or watching King’s works an even more immersive experience!

Yesterday, Bloody Disgusting published a report about how, on multiple occasions, theme parks like Orlando Studios Florida and Disney MGM Studios were close to creating Stephen King-themed rides to attract guests. Both times, the attempt failed.

Both times were also in the 90s, however, and, today, a revisit of the idea deserves another chance. As the Inquisitr noted recently, we are currently in the midst of a “Stephen King Renaissance,” with studios producing more Stephen King adaptations and more people reading King’s works than has been the case for nearly 30 years. Because of this and because Stephen King stories have long been a beloved fixture in the pop culture scene, a Stephen King-themed amusement park ride would more than likely be extremely popular.

Horror author Stephen King
Stephen King. [Image by Joe Kohen/Getty Images for the New Yorker]

The only specific idea for a Stephen King-inspired ride mentioned in the Bloody Disgusting piece, which has gone viral since the time of publication, is one based on The Shining in which a torrent of fake blood rushes at the visitors just when they think the ride is over. It is a great idea, but it is certainly not a complete ride. Besides, Yahoo Movies points out, King Himself does not even like the movie version of the Shining, so is it really a good pick for his only amusement park ride?

With over 50 novels and even more novellas/short stories in his bibliography, there are tons of great Stephen King set pieces to choose from that would make awesome rides. Below are just a few great ideas for some potential attractions that would fit this bill:

[WARNING: SPOILERS LIE AHEAD]

1. Blaine the Mono (from Stephen King’s Dark Tower III and IV: The Wastelands and Wizard and Glass, 1991-1997)

Made famous in the last few chapters of The Wastelands and the opening pages of Wizard and Glass, the third and fourth books in Stephen King’s crowning jewel Dark Tower novels, Blaine the Mono is a futuristic locomotive that exchanges riddles with the main characters while hurtling through irradiated wastelands and literally travel between dimensions at speeds that break the sound barrier. You’d be hard-pressed to find better inspiration for a roller coaster in any book or movie, not just a Stephen King one. The Dark Tower is being turned into a movie later this year, and the name association would drum up recognition for the attraction.

2. The Derry Canal (Stephen King’s It, 1986)

It’s not exactly canon that one would encounter terrors aplenty while cruising the canal in Derry, the town in Stephen King’s horror masterpiece It, but a sort of house of horrors river ride based on scenes found in the book seems too good an idea to pass up. Riders could encounter the leper, the mummy, Pennywise in his clown form (of course), and plenty of red balloons. As the ride progressed, it would go from the canal to the sewers below the city, and the finale would take place at It’s layer, where park-goers would encounter the creature’s true form. The movie coming out in September is what started this whole Stephen King resurgence, and it would obviously be great publicity for the ride.

New Line's 'It' poster, fan-made
A fanmade poster for ‘It’ featuring Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Clown. [Image by CAMW1N/Deviant Art]

3. The Mist (Stephen King’s Night Shift, 1978)

In 2007, Frank Darabont (who also brought the world The Shawshank Redemption, another King adaptation) directed The Mist, a film based on a Stephen King novella of the same name. It is about a small town that is enveloped in a mist, and a veritable menagerie of otherworldly and hellish creatures are somehow released into that mist. A “haunted house” ride in which riders are carted through Stephen King’s titular mist and meet horrifying creatures along the way would be both terrifying and atmospherically amazing. A TV series adaptation of The Mist is being released later this year on Spike.

4. Jonesy’s Snowmobile (Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher, 2001)

Dreamcatcher is not one of Stephen King’s best-known novels, but it is the only one that really focuses on an alien occupation. A large portion of the book is about the snowmobile-bound journey of Jonesy, one of the protagonists who has been possessed by one of the extraterrestrials. A journey at high speeds through a wooded winter wonderland where colored lights from UFOs illuminate the darkening sky and forest wildlife stampedes in packs all around you would be cool, and adding looks at the alien worms and other creepy scenes from the story (which was made into a movie in 2003) would add to the experience.

5. The Night Flier (Stephen King’s Nightmares & Dreamscapes, 1993)

Just the name here tells you it would make a great theme park ride. It’s been two decades since Stephen King’s short story The Night Flier was new to the screen, but the story, which is about a serial killer vampire who pilots a small plane around the country at night, would make a perfect interactive experience.

6. Christine (Stephen King’s Christine, 1983)

Christine is a haunted car. ‘Nuff said. Of course, the Stephen King book was made into an iconic movie in 1983.

7. The Teenytown Railway (Stephen King’s Dr. Sleep, 2013)

Dr. Sleep might be the least-known entry on this list because it is the only one that has never come to the screen, but it has the important distinction of being the sequel to a very well-known Stephen King work indeed: The Shining. At one point in Dr. Sleep, one of the leads (the grown-up version of Danny Torrance, the boy who brought us “Redrum”) gets a job at a tourist attraction that includes a small railroad to amuse children. The theme park version of the railroad, which is called the Teenytown Railway, would be for older audiences. It would expose riders to recreations of scenes from Dr. Sleep and The Shining. Dr. Sleep topped The Inquisitr‘s list of “Top 10 Stephen King Books That Desperately Need A Movie Adaptation” largely due to the success of its predecessor. We still think that a movie would be a great idea, and this ride would be the perfect tie-in.

8. Cyclopean Mountains Handcart (Stephen King’s Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger, 1982)

This list is finishing up where it began: with The Dark Tower. During the first book in the series that Stephen King wrote when he was 19, the main characters take a memorable ride through the belly of a cavernous mountain on a handcart. It would be a great roller coaster, and it would be an excellent way to introduce audiences to the world of The Dark Tower.

Honorable Mention: The Bullet

This one could hardly be included in the list because only hardcore King fans are likely to associate it with the author. In 2000, Stephen King published “Riding the Bullet,” a novella about a man who was too scared to ride an amusement park ride called The Bullet when he was a child. Enough said.

Stephen King is today more popular than he has been in decades, and theme parks that might consider building a King-themed ride will pay attention to that kind of thing if it can be proven. Drop your name at this online petition (click here) to show you are in support of the idea. If enough people raise their voices, there will be results.

[Featured image by Bestdesigns/iStock]

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