By Brady MacDonald
7:45 AM PDT, March 26, 2013
It's safe to say the Kitt Super Jet boat ride set to open Friday at Italy's Movieland ranks as the craziest and strangest theme park attraction debuting anywhere in the world this summer.
The one-of-a-kind ride at the movie studio theme park outside Verona combines the extreme tourism of jet boating popularized in New Zealand with a theme based on the 1980s "Knight Rider" TV show starring David Hasselhoff and an artificially intelligent crime-fighting car named Kitt.
Stop me if you've been on this wild-sounding ride before.
For the new attraction, Movieland is collaborating with the New Zealand company behind the Shotover (Queenstown) and Hukafalls (Auckland) jet boat tours that take riders through the narrow canyons of sheer rock cliffs along winding rivers. The high-performance 600-horsepower boats with hydrojets drift across the water at speeds reaching 50 mph while narrowly missing rock outcroppings and performing 360-degree turns. (Watch video)
Movieland has constructed a circular water course around the park's existing "Rambo" stunt show where pilots will maneuver the track-free boats around obstacles and past special effects with 14 passengers on board.
The park has three jet boats that will take riders on the 3 1/2-minute journey. The "Rambo" show will remain on the bill, alternating performances with the jet boat rides. (Watch video)
As if that is not enough, Movieland has grafted a "Knight Rider" back story onto the ride in which Kitt has transformed from a supercar into a superboat (maybe that plot line appeared in the 2008 TV series reboot). No word yet if the jet black crime-fighting boats will talk. The over-the-top concept sounds like ridiculous fun.
Movieland has a reputation for creating rides and attractions you can't find at any other theme park. The park's lineup currently includes the U-571 submarine simulator, a "Terminator" 5-D shooting gallery and an attraction called Magma that combines a back lot tram ride with a catastrophe scenario.
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