Actually, Tourism Minister Dr. Ng Yen Yen did, last week. Apparently, Malaysia doesn’t have enough of ‘em, and they’re not in every state.
Naturally, this got Walski to thinking... just how niche would you like ‘em, Yen Yen?
(niche to the max theme park ideas, in the full post)
A good theme park, in Walski’s opinion, should have universal appeal. That way, we not only attract the foreign tourism ringgit – or Renminbi these days – but also will draw in domestic tourists during those slow months.
With that in mind, here are some suggestions Walski has conjured…
One of the great experiences that folks outside of the Klang Valley don’t get to participate in is shoddy public transportation during peak traffic hours. In particular, shoddy bus service.
Upon arrival, and after you've paid your entrance fee, you’ll be herded to a simulated bus shelter, complete with climate control. Visitors won’t know what sort of weather surprise awaits them while waiting for the bus – anything from sudden torrential downpours to extreme drought-like sunshine. It’ll definitely put the fun back into dysfunctional!
Once the bus – specially designed with semi-functioning air-conditioning and a finicky engine – arrives, visitors will be packed on board, assisted by staffers (disguised as visitors) who will join in the mad rush. Since queuing is a disdained western culture that we don’t practice, expect some massive pushing and shoving fun.
Part of the ride will include a stunt demonstration of passengers being dragged along the route because the bus driver didn’t realize said passengers pants leg was caught between the exit door (all simulated, of course). Included, too, will be the famous bus breakdown experience, where visitors will alight, and be subjected to traffic fumes and more bad weather.
Since this theme park idea requires a rather low CAPEX investment (badly maintained stage buses come pretty cheap), every state can have its own KL BusLandTM, except maybe in KL itself, because that would be kind of redundant.
Hell’s Express BusTM
But if thrill rides are more your thing, then the Hell's Express BusTM 4D ride may just be the thing you've been waiting all your sorry life to experience. Visually similar to the IMAX experience – but more intense – this ride employs state of the art visual technology, mechatronics and simulated road kill and bloody body parts, to allow you once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll have nightmares the rest of your life from.
The ride is essentially a robotized mock up of a double-decker executive express coach, with random seats pre-populated with lifelike mechanized passengers. As the “journey” begins, enjoy the beautiful off-highway scenery, which noticeably starts to whizz by faster and faster – until the mechatronics kick in, with the “bus” jolting violently in various directions, as simulated metal guardrails sheer through the passenger compartment decapitating (or otherwise dismembering) the robotic “passengers” in a messy mayhem of rubber flesh, stage blood and hysterical screaming (both simulated and real, from you and your fellow riders).
And if that’s not thrilling enough, the ride culminates in a simulated explosion (complete with warm air jets), as the “bus”, now tilting 45 degrees towards horizontal, careens into the back of a RON 97 gasoline tanker (diesel just doesn’t have the same explosive effect).
Basic ride will cost about RM 35, with optional body bruising option at an affordable additional RM 10. And the trauma you’ll suffer the rest of your life – priceless. Unless you opt for the counseling sessions after the ride, for an additional RM 20. Money well spent, Walski tells ya.
The UGH Museum
In support of the government's constant call for ordinary Malaysians to change their lifestyles, to make it more frugal, etc., Walski proposes that each state (KL Federal Territory included this time) launch its own UGH Museum. UGH, in case you’re wondering, stands for Ubah Gaya Hidup (Lifestyle Change).
Through the mesmerizing yet informative displays you can learn new money-saving techniques – like “101 Fun Uses for Soiled Pampers”, or equally useful tips on how to hygienically “Recycle Your Toilet Paper”. And who would have guessed that there are actually “25 Delicious Used Motor Oil Recipes”, and that you can really stretch a 1 kg can of cooking oil, through the “Deepfried Reusables” diorama.
Fun, yet educational – that’s the driving philosophy of the UGH Museum. So, in the open space areas you can learn loads of interesting stuff, like “Fitting 25 in a 5-seat Sedan”, or the “Who needs a 7-seater, when a Kapcai can get you by?” hands-on session. Learn practical skills, like the “Make your own sugar form garden trimmings” workshop, or the “Teh Tarik & Milky Dishwater – what’s the difference?” seminar.
In the “Rent-free Living” village, located within the compound, you can learn valuable skills like “Making your dream Cardboard Bungalow come true”, and the ever useful “Why Buy when you can Squat” real estate seminar.
With each state having its own UGH Museum, you, too, can change your lifestyle, just like the government wants you to And it can definitely attract tourists from the far-flung 3rd World nations that we’re so wont to emulate.
And last, but certainly not least…
Instead of dreading an impending fascist Syariah-compliant state, and constantly bitch and moan about it, why not make this eventuality a source of tourist income? What Walski proposes is a family holiday resort, which is best described as an ingenious fusion of Club Med, Syariah Faith Camps, and the secret caves of Afghanistan.
Upon check-in, the tourist groups and/or families will expediently be segregated, and herded into the male and female portions of the resort. Don’t worry about wardrobe, because guests will be issued, included in the package price, with stylish attire for the fun-filled weekend: turbans for boys (white, of course), and burkhas for girls – in every color desirable, as long as they’re black or navy-blue.
The typical 3-day, 2-night program starts the very next day, bright and early at 5:00am with the Kuliah Subuh, broadcast resort-wide on concert-strength loudspeakers. Can’t wake up? Don’t worry, the resort staff will enter each room to ensure everyone doesn’t miss the fun! Each staff member will be equipped with exclusively designed canes, just in case a little gentle persuasion is required.
No resort would be complete without outdoor activities. On Day 1, Club Taliban will boast of such fun games as Pin the Tail on the Infidel, Landmine Dodging Paintball, and Hide-and-We’ll-Seek-U-Out. In between, you’ll attend seemingly unending lectures covering every conceivable minute inch of how you should live your life.
Day 2’s activities will include participation in Morality Police role-play activities, which will include snooping techniques and technologies, bruiseless roughing up techniques, how to break down front doors with minimal effort, and other related class room activities. At the end of the classroom sessions, guests will have the opportunity to participate in a simulated khalwat raid.
But the highlight of the experience will be Day 3, when you’ll be “abducted” from your accommodations, blindfolded and “manhandled” by Pashtun-speaking actors in balaclavas and mock-up Kalashnikovs. You’ll also be able to participate in a 3-hour arts and crafts workshop where you’ll learn how to make such cottage industry favorites like prayer beads, tissue box cover, and pipe bombs. For the rest of the day, you’ll be transported from place to place within the resort, blindfolded, where randomly chosen guests can experience first-hand Taliban-compliant court trials, interrogation and terrorizing techniques.
From time to time, mock executions will also carried out, but this activity is expected to be seasonal. But you never know – there just might be a beheading or stoning to provide you with added entertainment.
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So there you go – four unique theme park ideas that can be implemented quite easily. Even in the East Coast areas, currently bereft of any theme park fun, it would seem. Time permitting, Walski would’ve come up with more, but four’s good enough to whet the appetite for now… wouldn’t want to do someone else’s work for free now, would we?