Fox Studios - The Ride of your Life

Fox Studios, flushed with pride at the success of their Backlot theme park, are planning new attractions to dwarf the success of the Titanic joy ride.

Titanic: The Experience has been so popular, Fox Studios have been unable to cope with the crowds seeking the thrill of a lifetime --- provided by the realism and attention to detail, as they literally sink or swim to the tormented wail of Celine Dion.

A spokesperson for Fox Studios agreed there had been a few teething problems when crowds exceeded capacity. "The fact that people have been content to queue for 2 hours, is proof that we have got it right. We just need more space and a few more rides".

The State Government has come to the party and given Fox Studios control over more of Centennial Park, and part of the Eastern Distributor for a peppercorn rent.

Opening in time for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is the Di and Dodi ride. Details of Di and Dodi: The Paparazzi are sketchy but, in the true Hollywood tradition, no expense has been spared to create a realistic experience.

The ride will begin in a blaze of flashlights as you step out of a fake hotel entrance to make your dash for the getaway car. After going on a hair-raising ride at breakneck speed through Centennial Park --- with no seatbelts, and a driver reeking of alcohol, you get side swiped by the unlucky ticket holder who ended up in a white Fiat.

As the Fiat speeds off into the distance, your Mercedes smashes into the Eastern Distributor tunnel. The ride does not end there. After an agonizing wait, you are transferred into an NSW ambulance for a slow trip to find a hospital with a vacant bed.

Depending on the ticket you purchase, you could end up riding on a gun carriage to the stirring strains of Elton John's Candle in the Wind.

Ms Clover Moore, the Independent MP for Bligh, is outraged. "Fox Studios get exactly what they want," she thundered to yet another meeting packed with members of the local leather community. And now they are planning major upgrades to these facilities in what appears to be a blatant attempt to cash in on the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras".

Dr Refshauge, Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, defended the proposal. "The decision taken by the Government in 1995 has been vindicated," he said. "This adds significantly to Sydney's capacity to compete as a world-class centre for entertainment and the arts".

Another ride that is planned is Jackie and John: The Final Trip. Here you get to sit in the back of a Cadillac wearing a pillbox hat and set of pearls as you set off in a solemn cavalcade around Centennial Park before passing a grassy knoll.

It is hoped that spectators --- who will not be charged, will line the route and heighten the sense of realism.

The Centennial Park Residents Association spokesperson condemned the proposal, saying no mention was made of the new rides at any community meetings. "This is just another Government back-room deal. Not only have they closed off Bourke Street and half of Crown Street, they are now going to be closing part of the Eastern Distributor".

Bob Carr, defended the Governments role, saying the new rides would help promote road and gun safety in the State.

Glenn and Chris, two local boys who frequent the Backlot, were ecstatic when told of the new rides being planned.

"I have always wondered what it would be like to live the life of a royal," said Glenn. "Now, thanks to Fox Studios, I will know. I admired Princess Di, all the stuff she did about landmines was fantastic, and thanks to this new ride, we get to learn how important it is to wear seatbelts".

His partner Chris was clearly excited and even plans to change his Mardi Gras outfit. "I have lost count of the number of times I have taken the Backlot tour. I just love what they have done to Bent Street," he said. " It is so much more fun then a Westfield shopping centre, and now it is going to be open all night for our Mardi Gras. I can't wait to try the new rides. I want to be one of the first in the queue".

A Fox Studios spokesperson refused to confirm rumours of another planned ride Lunar Park: the Ghost Train.