Between the time the reporting was done on this week's cover story and that issue hit the streets, more ideas for attractions at the future Ronald Reagan Great Park have been floated like a large orange balloon.
Indeed, the brilliant stroke of naming Irvine's massive public-works project after “The Gipper” has invigorated park planners, decision makers and the public.
Here are but five new attraction ideas on the drawing boards.
1.) Great Moments With Mr. Reagan
Borrowing technology from the animatronic Abraham Lincoln at Disneyland, the Ronald Wilson Reagan version will highlight an incredible life, and for each
performance, one lucky audience member will be told by the robotic president, “Has anyone
ever mentioned you look like Danny Thomas?” Plans are afoot to have Rich Little supply the voice once they
locate the real-life Reagan impersonator at whichever Indian casino he's
2.) Star Tours 2.0
Mutual assured destruction has never been so fun! That's what you'll be saying at the end of this
enclosed ride that puts you in a vibrating seat facing a screen projecting
goofy characters (think Edward Teller painted gold as C-3PO and Dana
Rohrabacher stuffed into the R2-D2 can). Don't think the Stars Wars defense system will work? It does in the movies.
3.) Snorin' Over California
Relive great moments from Reagan's stint as California governor from a seat that rises and seems to fly over the Golden State circa 1967-74. You'll watch Reagan early in his first term sign legislation expanding abortion rights in California. You'll swoop down as uniformed goons are called in to quell campus protests (and later when immigrants are called in to clean up the blood). And you'll drop in for several naps at the governor's mansion in Carmichael. Shhh, Uncle Ronnie's napping.
4.) It's a Small-Minded World
You'll see the world as Reagan did thanks to
animatronic kids who lay wreaths at a Nazi cemetery in Bitburg, joke about
bombing Russia in a mock radio booth, arm the future al-Qaeda in
Afghanistan, perform massacres in El Salvador and ignore the AIDS
epidemic everywhere. It really is a world of laughter and a world of tears.
5.) John Hinkley Shooting Range
Yeah, we thought at first the name was tasteless, too. But proponents argue the attraction does not honor the would-be presidential assassin, but rather the bump in Reagan's popularity after the evil act, which continued through to the Iran-contra mess, past the time everyone forgot the Iran-contra mess and on to today. Besides, the NRA has agreed to supply James Brady-shaped clay pigeons.
Got any more bright ideas? Add them to the comments.