Just For Fun

02
Apr

2014

Fairy Tale Gondola in Grächen, Switzerland

If you have kids, taking them skiing is probably some of the most fun you can have together as a family. But what happens when just hitting the slopes is no longer enough?

Well, the Märchen-Gondelbahn system in Grächen (Switzerland) decided to one-up their offerings by introducing specially designed “Fairy Tale Gondolas”.

Fairy Tale Gondola. Image from RRO.ch.

Since the 2011/2012 season, children onboard cabins can now listen to timeless favourites such as Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty.

This one-of-kind feature was part of a larger multi-million dollar investment to attract more families to the resort. The classic fairy tales are voiced by Swiss actress Silvia Jost and last for the entire 7 minute journey.

A big thanks goes to Barry for sending us the link!



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26
Feb

2014

No idea . . .

This comes from Gareth in London. It apparently appeared this past Valentine’s Day in a local Swiss newspaper.

Gareth has no idea what it means and asked me if I could shed some light on the subject as someone who a) knows a bit about gondolas and b) spends a large amount of time in Switzerland.

Cable Car Cartoon

Ha ha?

Your guess is as good as mine. Anyone else have any thoughts?



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

11
Feb

2014

Hot Tub Gondola

Hot springs are highly popular in Japan and so are cable cars. So what happens when you put one and one together?

Well you get perhaps the best combo ever: a hot tub gondola!  Image from Die Welt.

This probably is the coolest cable car we’ve seen since the infamous sauna gondola!



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

19
Dec

2013

Vid of the Day: Daredevils Walk Tightrope Between Two French Aerial Trams

Today’s pic of the day has been pre-empted by something amazing. Enjoy:





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11
Dec

2013

The Simpsons in Brazil: Riding the Sugarloaf Cable Car

Over the years, we’ve seen some pretty outrageous and hilarious portrayals of cable cars in Hollywood and popular media.

But just when we thought nothing else could top the cable car scene in Moonraker, I think the following clip just might take the cake. If anything, it’s the funniest (if not only) cable car depiction I’ve seen in the Simpsons.

Check it out. If you have time, its worth watching the entire episode but if not, the scene starts at 7:15.

 


Big thanks goes out to Jennifer for sending us the link!



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09
Dec

2013

Will Hello Kitty Rescue Taipei’s Maokong Gondola?

Taipei, Maokong Gondola, Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty, now featured on Taipei’s MRT Easycard.

We’ve had a lego cable car.

Then we had an Angry Birds themed cable car.

We’ve even had a sauna gondola.

But this is unique.

Last week the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp. (TRTC) relaunched the under-performing Maokong Gondola under a year-long promotion called “The Year of Hello Kitty.”

The themed attraction is (natch) a Hello Kitty themed environment designed as a means to increase ridership on the money losing system. Whether or not that strategy is successful in the long-term is anybody’s guess, but if the relaunch’s first day of operations are any indication, TRTC may have landed on something.

On it’s first day of operations the Hello Kitty gondola system transported almost 12,000 riders — a fivefold increase week-over-week with people having to purchase tickets up to 30 days in advance of visiting the system.

Now sure, some of those 12,000 people were no doubt a part of a complex marketing strategy to gain attention and awareness — but all of them? Unlikely.

I’ll admit it — I don’t really understand why emblazoning a cable car system with a feline Japanese cartoon character would convert into actual ridership, but then again I don’t understand Hello Kitty.

Actually, let me rephrase that: I don’t understand the fascination with Hello Kitty specifically.

I do, however, understand fandom and the associated culture that comes along with it. Like any piece of cult geekery, the thing about Hello Kitty is that it has a built-in fandom that is beyond compare. Fans like these will consume almost anything that’s within the Hello Kitty empire (including, apparently, knock-off Hello Kitty themed condoms, chainsaws and tooth crowns

I may not care one iota about Hello Kitt, but give me a Transformers-themed cable car ride and I’ll give you all the money just to ride it once. So believe me: I get it.

Not content to let all that sweet Hello Kitty merchandising money slip through their hands, TRTC has wisely outfitted each of the cable car stations with plenty of unique Hello Kitty gondola merchandise for people to add to their collections.

What’s interesting here has less to do with Hello Kitty and more to do with a public transit agency intentionally going out of their way to make a part of their transit system that is currently unprofitable, profitable. And they’re doing it in a most-unusual (for a transit agency) manner — they’re being fun.

We’ve talked about fun in the past (here, here and here, for example) and I think the point is this: Hello Kitty is not the answer to a transit agency’s woes. But if injecting a little bit of fun into the equation increases ridership, revenue and smiles; then shouldn’t every transit agency look to do something similar?

PS — For any other transit agencies looking to get in on that Hello Kitty transit goldmine, you can already find your favourite Asian cartoon cat on streetcars, LRTs and planes. Get yours today.



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

27
Nov

2013

Ngong Ping 360: World’s First Bread/Donut Gondola?

Gondola cabins have been replicated and/or transformed into many different things in the past.

To name a few, there’s the life-sized Lego cabin in Singapore, the sauna gondola in Ylläs, Finland, and even a gondola vending machine!

Well the folks at the Ngong Ping 360 have really outdone themselves and may have created the world’s first hybrid Bread/Donut gondola.

Donut/Bread Gondola. Image from Ngong Ping 360 Facebook.

This specially designed cabin is part the Breadtacular event being hosted at the Ngong Ping Village. Unfortunately though, no word yet if the cabin is actually edible!

Special thanks goes out to reader Jennifer for forwarding us the link!



Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the one of the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

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