Post»Real Fake Fun In Fake Real Life

Posted by Steve Or Steven Read on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM in the News & Stuff section

pigeon forge jurassic jungle boat decoy mannequins     pigeon forge jurassic jungle boat

Been a little quiet around here lately. My time has been split up between making new music with the band Narco States, working on a fairly intense Drupal website project (the day job), and traveling whenever possible. Here is something fun from a recent trip to Tennessee.  Since I claim to be so busy, I will just copy/paste the comment I posted at the bottom of my latest point page. Click either of the above images or click here to see what I am talking about! ...

Earthquake The Ride and Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride are in the Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge Tennesse area and both are owned by the same company. As you can see they employ mannequins to simulate audience interest in their amusement offerings, duping passerby in a very competitive area. Growing up in Florida, I am interested in weird, shameless tourism tactics. And this is surely a first! Never have I seen such brash capitalistic awesomeness. We asked a bartender at an adjacent TGI Fridays restaurant, who told us a few years ago this company had terribly lagging sales so in desperation they tried adding these customer decoys and they worked! I believe the Earthquake ride was first and then Jungle Ride came second. From what we could tell no other companies had yet copied their tactic. But they soon will... believe me when I say this is the future of tourism. This sort of thing is actually commonplace on the Internet, but it's spilling over into real life.

Some of the photos were shot by me and my family, while others were found on the Internet. Based on some of the older photos I found, it appears that on the Jurassic Jungle Ride they later changed the attire of some of the decoys to make them look more theme-oriented. This was probably due to backlash at customers realizing they were fooled. I suppose adding a safari outfit and hat does the trick rather nicely, blurring the boundaries of manipulation and amusement.