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Binge Britain: the Theme Park Ride


Taking recent dispiriting headlines such as “Binge Britain out of Control”, “ British youths leave adults in fear” and “Violent Brit kids drunk all day” as  his inspiration, one British theme park designer has developed a unique and exhilarating themed experience based around a traditional night out in one of the UK’s inner cities.

Oldham based entrepreneur Alvin Sidebottom  has designed a themed ride/attraction based around an evening’s merriment in the wrong end of town. “The way I see it, " he explains, "there is nothing that gets the adrenaline flowing as readily as a night on the tiles in one of our culturally rich northern towns. That moment you realise you’ve walked into the wrong pub, the creeping realisation that some large bloke you don’t know is staring at you, the guy at the bar being over friendly in an aggressive manner or over aggressive in a friendly manner, you’re not sure which , all add colour and vibrancy to the rich tapestry of our lives.  “A pint and a fight” was our mantra as youths and I think by recreating for today’s thrill seekers the sheer excitement and unique nature of such nocturnal celebrations, we will make any such ride a sure fire winner."

The proposed ride would take carriages, each with up to 20 riders and introduce guests to three themed environments each with their own challenges and carefully styled interiors, the public house, the night club and the kebab shop. With outstanding attention to detail, guests will genuinely feel the roller coaster of emotions experienced by your typical Lancastrian club goer. For example, in the pub section Sidebottom plans to spill warm beer on the carpets for at least six months prior to opening and to get in a team from Norway to vandalise the toilets . Each carriage will feature stained and ripped seats with fluffy dice and a nodding dog at the back. Actors will add further realism by portraying a variety of colourful characters , each of whom will interact with guests and so enrich and enhance their experience:  a bloke no-one knows that well will insist in telling everyone in the bar he is a guest’s best mate,   another will sit in the same spot at the bar throughout the ride drinking heavily and moaning about foreigners.

The carriage will stop before the nightclub area and be denied access by a “bouncer” whereupon guests will have to argue with him and pretend they are meeting a friend inside. A neat twist will see one in every 20 riders manhandled out of the ride and ejected from the theme park itself, thus taking interactivity to new heights. Passing through the club area, the carriage will then inadvertently spill someone’s pint and the trained actor involved will become aggressive, emphasising in quaint and colourful language an annoyance out of all proportion to the trivial nature of the incident. Upon leaving the club guests will arrive in the final part of the experience, the kebab shop, where they can purchase a variety of trinkets, souvenirs of the ride and meat products of questionable origin. Again actors play a vital role in bring the experience to life and guests can expect to be regaled with a number of tall tales by sweating characters the worse for wear from drink and have their feet stood on by a specially trained team of surly youths in hoods. Finally as the carriage leaves the shop, a couple of female actors will re-enact a typical fight scene while their friends scream encouragement whilst slumped against the wall holding half empty bottles of Lambrini.

At his headquarters, in the snug at the Dog and Duck  in Oldham, with a packet of pork scratchings and cradling his 7th pint,   Sidebottom explained how some of the major parks are already keen to take up his idea.  Asked whether, with another recent headline reading "British youths are ranked the third-worst binge drinkers in Europe",   his ride glorifies or condones so-called binge drinking, Sidebottom replied  " I thought we’d be top. 2 others are worserer than us then or better, I’m not sure…  Mine’s a bitter."

Sidebottom Engineering Ltd

A multi-disciplinary firm, Sidebottom Engineering designs rides and attractions for some of the world’s biggest theme parks and also trades in cheap DVDs and plasma screen TVs. Without plugs.

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