I LOVE theme parks. Always have. And always will.
We traveled as a family in the summer during my youth. Mostly towing a camper behind the station wagon. I think the first theme park I went to was Six Flags over Georgia not too long after it opened. It was pristine and lots of fun. I remember the dolphin show, eating ice cold watermelon near the train, balking after an hour and a half in line for the very dark inside Okefenokee Swamp ride (give me a break I was only five.) and the glorious Crystal Pistol shows.
Luckily I took the train with my aunt and cousin to visit relatives in Winter Park, Florida.
I got to enjoy the newness of Walt Disney World in its first years. (If you don’t remember what an “E” ticket ride is, I think you are a youngster!) It was like a dream world that you wanted to live in….forever. The memory of the short movie in a little theatre on Main Street told of what Walt envisioned. EPCOT, an environmentally protected city of tomorrow. The whole place was to be under a glass dome with moving sidewalks for the people that lived and worked there. The initial idea was not another park experience. Disney is still one of the most magical places in the country. They know how to generate a wonderful fantasy experience.
Middle Tennessee got our own great park. Opryland was like nirvana for me. It was a show park with rides. The shows were FANTASTIC and still make my heart race when I think of them today. Of course, when WSM sold the park to Gaylord Entertainment, things changed for the worse. The park was torn down to make way for a…(shivers)…..mall. (I think this makes it into the top ten on the list of the worst business decisions ever made along with the idiot that got rid of the Sears catalog.) They thought the many conventioneers that were attracted to the Opryland Hotel and Grand Ole Opry would much prefer shopping at a second rate discount mall than enjoying the regions only theme park. I forgive, but don’t forget.
As an adult I have visited Disneyland, Hershey Park and Universal Studios Hollywood. There seem to be so many great ones scattered around the country, and the world. Book me a ticket!
Following the Theme Park Review website and their Facebook page gives me the same joy as traveling to parks that I hope to visit one day. The Point-Of-View roller coasters videos are terrific. They are currently in Japan and making me long for a return trip.
Roller coasters are just fun. No extra explanation needed.