Remember these dogs? I miss them :(
Today, Adventureland is actually quite sad. That duck-picking-up game costs something like 4 bucks, and the ticket prices rival the prices of Valley Fair (which, ride-wise, is a far superior park). The buildings are rather run-down; the paint is peeling and the wood is warping. The rides that were once "cool" now don't work as well, and is it just me, or does the Outlaw seem about three rides away from falling apart? We love it, though, simply because of the nostalgia element - everything (besides some new additions) stays the same from year to year. It's kitschy, it's campy...we laugh at the creaking rides that haven't changed since our childhood and the misspelled graffiti that is poorly hidden on every wooden surface...but we love it and would probably be quite crushed if it changed too drastically.
If this doesn't get you pumped...then maybe nothing will. (link)
Me and Brother on the good old Scrambler
The Good: Classic rides
The way I see it, there are three categories of rides at Adventureland - Classic, meh, and nausea-inducing. (You will find that there is one ride in a category all its own.) The following list is of the best rides - in my opinion - in the park.
*Teacups - particularly when you try to squeeze four grown adults into one cup
*Ladybugs (and basically every kiddie ride in the park) - my niece Audrey is a huge fan!
*Lady Luck - Although it is in danger of becoming nausea-inducing, I still enjoy it. Though I do hate the no-single-rider rule, which often forces me to be squished into the seat beside my brother. Which is awkward.
*All the water rides - It is true that I hate walking around all day in drenched clothing...but it is often worth it for the Raging River, the Log Ride, and the Sawmill Splash. The Sawmill Splash is my favorite - if only I could manage to avoid touching the black seatbelts, which are always warm and moist and make your hands smell like dirty lunch trays and snow pants for the rest of the day. For real. Smell them next time if you don't believe me. Also, it's always rather awkward for whoever has to sit in the back on the Log Ride and straddle the front person.
*The Outlaw - though it may not be operable for much longer, I'm afraid
*Sky Ride - I am probably the only one in my family who loves the ski-lift. I especially like looking for stuffed animals that people accidentally dropped in trees and on roofs.
Little Chelsea on the airplanes...
Slightly bigger Chelsea on the carousel...
And Miss Audrey drivin' the boats!
*Sky Wheel - rather boring, slow, and too windy for my taste. But the views can be nice.
*Himalayas (aka "Fast Cars") - This is just jerky and awkward for whoever has to sit on the inside. But I like the ride's choices in music.
*Bumper cars - These would probably be on my "classic rides" list, if not for the fact that my siblings all make it their goal to trap me in a corner and laugh. Not so fun.
The Bad: Rides in Which I Worry About Vomit
*Train - The train doesn't make me want to vomit. However, the train's path winds mainly through trees and maybe one ride. There is literally nothing to see, and it always takes a good half hour to get them to start up the ride. My sister insists that it gets her "excited for the day", but unless you, too, get excited by trees and chain-link fence...I'd skip this one.
*Galleon - I liked this ride until I watched someone puke off the side of it. I have a vomit phobia...and this kind of ruined the ride for me.
*Der Flinger - Ditto. (Thanks a lot, Brent :) )
*Falling Star - Again, ditto.
*Balloon Races - Sigh. I have gotten so old that even this ride - which is meant mostly for kids - makes me feel nauseous. The last time I rode it, I watched my sister break out in a pukey-sweat mustache, and I wanted to laugh at her but my stomach was too queasy.
*Tilt-A-Whirl - Ditto. :(
*Lighthouse - Worst ride in the park. So loud. So sick-making.
*Dragon - After riding the Dragon, I'm always tempted to get one of those cushion-y neck braces for the pain my neck and head are in.
*Silly Silo - It always smelled like puke in there. May it rest in peace.
(You might notice there are some rides I didn't mention - the Inverter, Space Shot, Splash-Over, etc. I left these out only because I choose not to ride them, so I cannot fairly judge. I'm a wuss.)
All looking at the approaching wave in fear!
The Good: The Underground
When I went to Adventureland with my friends one year, I hyped this ride up so much that my friends were actually pissed at me when we got off. So let's just admit this to ourselves right away: The Underground is a horrible ride. It's terrible. The robots used are cheesy, half of the ride no longer works, and when you're inside the building, it's like being in a very warm, humid basement. But to me, The Underground is so bad that it's really kind of amazing. When the ride first came out in the 90s, it was awesome. But now...the robot at the beginning ("Y'ain't afraid of the dark, now, are ye'?") is missing his beard and his ability to move his arms, eyes, and mouth. The "rocks" don't "fall" anymore. And the jerk "uphill" near the end is so rough that my sister lost her sunglasses one year. It's pretty sad. But every year, the worse it gets, the more I love it. I hope they never shut it down. (Also, the graffiti outside the ride is usually pretty great. One example: "For some flippity floppity, call 888-8888." I guess all the cool kids call it flippity floppity now.)
A super-exciting 1999 ride-through of The Underground in its prime...at about 3:00, the woman says what we all feel about most amusement park rides..."I wish they designed these things for tall, fat people." LOL!
The Bad: Eating Outdoors
I hate eating outside. I hate it when flies get in my food (and at Adventureland, they always do). I hate smelling gross things while eating my food (and at Adventureland, it always smells like vomit and funnel cake). I hate wind blowing away your napkin (and at Adventureland, just trust me...the wind will always blow away your goddamn napkin). I also don't particularly enjoy sweat running down my back while I try to enjoy a nice hamburger. I hate eating outside. And it's very hard to avoid at this theme park.
The Good: People-Watching
I get a little bored watching my siblings ride the Galleon. I lean against the fence, hold bags, and sweat. So it's always fun to see what kind of people are walking around Adventureland today. Some of my favorites: The Poor Planners (usually wearing jeans and looking miserable - denim is the worst theme-park fashion choice EVER), the Young Couples who Love PDA (usually one is carrying a huge stuffed animal and the other has his hand in her back pocket), the Weak Stomachs (although I try to avoid looking at those guys), and the Ones who Really Should Not be Wearing That (you know who you are). It's super entertaining. (Just so I don't seem too judgmental here, I can definitely say that to onlookers watching me, I am That Girl with a White Ring Around her Mouth who Could Pass Out Any Second.)
A newish addition to the park: Holding baby kangaroos!
The Bad: A General Feeling of Nausea
The idea of going to a theme park always seems really fun to me. I picture myself playing games, riding roller coasters, having a blast. And then I go on my first ride, and I smell that fried food in the air...and I feel a little bit...bleh. I'm not sure if it's just me, but parks like this in general make me have a vaguely nauseous feeling for the entire rest of the day. I think it's a mixture of spinning rides, smelly environment, and heat. Does anyone else have this problem?
Despite being much too old for this, apparently I was just so overcome with fatigue that I had to be carried to the car. Adventureland'll do that to ya!
(A side note: The number of rides I can go on without feeling ill is growing smaller and smaller each year. Because of this, I decided to save my forty bucks - plus ten bucks parking! - and skip the tradition this year. I am sad about it, but...check out where Jared and I went instead!)
So...are you an Adventureland hater or an Adventureland lover??