The King and The King of Pop are still making the news. Albeit, theme park news this time.

Elvis’ Favorite Roller Coaster – Zippin Pippin to Reopen in WI
Allegedly, Zippin Pippin was at the top of Elvis’ Top 10 Coasters List. The Gravity Group, acclaimed designers of The Voyage & Ravine Flyer II are helping Bay Beach Amusement park in Green Bay Wisconsin re-build the Zippin Pippin. The classic roller coaster was said to be Elvis Presley’s favorite roller coaster. He would often rent out a Memphis amusement park so that he could ride it over and over without being mobbed by fans. Bay Beach Amusement Park is a historic park with several class rides already. So, it should be a good place for Zippin Pippin – a 1923 John A. Miller designed woodie. More: Gadling | Zippin Pippin | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A Michael Jackson Theme Park & Thriller Roller CoasterMichael Jackson's Moonwalker
With the King of Pop’s love of amusement parks, it was only a matter of time before we saw a Michael Jackson theme park. I, like many, figured that a park would have grown out of his Neverland Ranch in California. Instead, the theme park and accompanying attractions (golf course, hotel, performing arts center, and museum) are being built in his hometown of Gary, Indiana. I don’t know anything about Gary, but I would imagine that the town would be welcoming the tourists that’ll like flock to the city.

The most interesting news about the planned theme park is a mention of a Thriller roller coaster. The project will be built over the next ten years starting with the museum. So, it’ll likely be a while before they even begin construction on the theme park. The park will include rides from the Neverland Ranch. More: Gadling | LA Times | Neverland Ranch on RCDB

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Zippin Pippin’s move to Wisconsin? What do you think of the idea of a Michael Jackson theme park?

I know that Jackson’s a polarizing figure. Feel free to give your opinion, but please be civil this website is a G/PG website. Leave a comment below and vote in the polls.  Image credit: Flickr user – theogeo

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About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

16 Responses

  1. Quil

    I'm prettey sure MJ would be "thrilled" at the thought of having his own theme park, but I don't realy think many people would travle a long distance for a Michael Jackson park. Having a museum as well is a great Idea.

    • Harold

      Like Dolly Parton's theme park? A disaster? I don't think so. Though I hate country music, I've enjoyed her theme park.

  2. jjhobo

    Loads of people still travel from all over the world to graceland so it is possible people will travel to this complex, Michael Jackson's star power is one of the few that could get crowds like that and if it has world class attractions it will be on the map for coaster fans aswell. The aerosmith ride worked really well I felt so theres no reason a coaster with jackson's music cant.

    Im not that confident of the theme park happening though, not many new theme parks are built anymore and given the current recession it probably wont be, look at what happened to all those planned theme parks accross the world, only a few survived to completion.

  3. The New Santa

    They could try and redo Neverland with Michael's original plans. I read somewhere that he had plans for a whole Peter Pan themed land with a myriad of rides and attractions. I may be wrong but I believe that he had plans to have a pirate section, mermaid section, and some other memorable locations of the movie/book. Honestly, I am not a fan of Michael's music but if it was themed well enough and offered some unique experiences, I would be willing to make the drive up to the park. Then again, that isn't exactly themed to Michael himself but I am sure he would appreciate his ideas to come to life a lot more than have some tourist trap erected in his memory. You can only do so much with his songs and I am willing to say that making a theme park based of the music alone would be nearly impossible. I mean even if they can come up with 20 or so attractions there would be nothing left for future expansions of the park. Sure it might be a hit the first year but if they can't continue to add to the park, it will soon be worn out and not nearly as appealing to the public. If they ever have a theme park that involves Michael, it should only be a small section of a park themed to the greatest musicians in history (Elvis, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Pink Floyd, and perhaps some of the newer, more popular bands).

  4. mark

    I've seen downtown Gary, Indiana, it needs a lot more than this proposal … and they don't have the tax base for the obvious subsidies this project would require, since Gary is not exactly synonymous with tourism.

    I thought Michael Jackson had more integrity before he had his operations, but I was never a fan and don't like the cult of celebrity.

  5. Harold

    Elvis' house is now a tourist attraction. Many people still dress up like Elvis, and perform. Let's not forget his favorite sandwich. In England, The Beatles are honored with tours of Liverpool, in honor of their success. Let's also not forget a musical dedicated to their music. Though she has not left us, Dolly Parton has her own amusement park. Nice park, by the way. Dale Ernhart has a coaster named and themed after him. Why should we deny Michael the same?

  6. Prof.BAM

    WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?! DOES R! I! P! MEAN ANYTHING TO ANYONE ANYMORE!? As for the Zippin Pippin, Yeah! I wonder if they'll sell peanut butter and bannanna sandwiches (ha ha)

  7. MIKEY

    I am glad to see that Bay Beach is getting the Zippin Pippin, and it could not be going to a more deserving park. I have been on the Zippin Pippin many times. Although I hate to see her leave my home state of Tennessee, I am thrilled that future generations will be able to ride the Zippin Pippin again. The Zippin Pippin is an excellent wooden rollercoaster, what a great classic woodie, and it is in great hands with GGI.

    The last time that I was at Libertyland, the ride operator of the Zippin Pippin told me that he witnessed Elvis ride the Zippin Pippin for 4 straight hours without getting off the ride just eight days before he died.

    Dr. Michael E. Schmidt

  8. Gearhart

    I always thought Thriller could become a really good (or really terrible) dark ride, as for a coaster, he did do a song called Speed Demon… Bottom line they would need good rides to attract me, I'm pretty eclectic in my musical taste and like a lot of his stuff, but the attractions are key.

  9. Harold

    If only they make Neverland something like Graceland. Transfer MJ's remains to Neverland, place MJ memorabilias there, etc. Fans all over the world would flock there for sure.

  10. Down Under

    Harold – I agree with you.

    Michael Jackson’s camp should open Neverland to the public, like Graceland.

    Elvis’ legacy is still alive because of shrewd marketing strategies, with Graceland as a tourist spot as the best one.

    Really, who still buys Elvis albums?

    If Neverland opens like Graceland, the number of visitors will easily surpass Graceland’s. This way, the world will know that Michael’s status has long eclipsed Elvis.

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