Today I visited two parks I never even knew existed. The end.
No not really.
First things first. Today was my wife's B-day and the idea was to not spend the entire day doing just park things. We figured we'd sleep in. Stop by Nascar Speedpark for some Go-karts. Spend the day at Broadway At The Beach doing the touristy stuff and swing by Family Kingdom in the evening and maybe finish it off with some Mini Golf.
- Nascar Speedpark was crazy busy. They had posted 60 minute waits for the most popular tracks and even the kiddie carts were showing a 20 minute wait. I snapped several photos.
- I don't wait for anything.
- My wife has an uncle who is a huge Nascar fan so we bought him some crap and skedaddled right out of the craziness.
- Broadway at the Beach is essentially across the steet from Nascar Speedpark (I think the Nascar attractions are technically a part of the complex), so that was an easy hop, skip and jump. I pull in to find a collection of kiddie rides. Needless to say I parked immediately.
- Aforementioned kiddie rides were officially known as Carousel Park. They have no website or anything like that. It really was just a handful of kiddie rides all set up together. Still, it qualifies as a park as far as I'm concerned. I snapped several photos.
- Continued from there in a counterclockwise direction browsing shops and attractions.
- Stumbled upon my second surprise park of the day - Pavilion Nostalgia Park. Why haven't I heard of this!? With all the anger and disappointment over the loss of the old MB Pavilion Park, I can't believe this slipped under my radar. Basically they scored rides and crap from the old park and have them set up and operating. They have other items of interest too - photos, videos, info and stuff for people to check out. Each ride has a small sign in front of it with some info about it when it debuted at the old park. Caught me totally off guard. I snapped several photos.
- After that we made our way around to Ripley's Aquarium and decided to escape the heat (the official thermometer read 368 degrees) for a while.
- $63 and change to get into the aquarium.
- We had fun. It's a neat place and the kids really enjoyed it. I picked up a Horseshoe Crab and didn't scream like a little girl. Sharks are badass. It'd be neat to have a big old aquarium in your house...if someone else took care of it.
- The wife wanted her B-day dinner at the Key West Grill. Surprisingly good. I spare the details on that bill.
- Right across from the restaurant was a place called RIDEMAKERZ. Let me just tell you this thing is a license to print money. Think Build-A-Bear Workshop, but not so sissy and you build cars. Yeah, friggin cars and trucks and stuff! You can make them radio controlled or freewheel. You pick a body, a chassis, wheels, tires and put it all together. Then you pick out all kinds of stuff to customize it. (there's currently more than 649 million possible combinations of parts) Then you register it on a computer with your info and the vehicle's info. Then you pay and leave with your custom vehicle in a box. Your registration includes a unique vehicle number than you can use online to interact on their official website.
I can't explain how many people were lining up to pay $20, $50, $75 or more for a toy car. There really is no limit to what you could spend on a vehicle. (well, there probably technically is, but I have no idea how high it could go). My kids kept to the low-middle end of the road with minor customization and we were in the $40 range for each car - give or take. It's ridiculous. The place was packed and people were going nuts. Hell, by the time we left, I wanted to make one.
- By now it was late so we finished the loop stopping to see the KISS Coffeehouse (yup - God bless Gene Simmons and his ability to monetize the band), Kat Fine Art Studio (the awesome drummer painting was only $17,500 - the equally awesome bibliotech one was just $1550), and stopped to watch people climb into plastic balls that were then inflated with them inside and shoved out onto the water. Another million dollar idea. People look like total idiots trying to stand in their ball on water and people gather around to watch thinking they could do better...all to the tune of $10 for 3 minutes! Gotta love it.
- We went off in search of so Mini Golf but found every place (even the really crappy ones) just packed so we decided to see how things were at Family Kingdom.
- Things at Family Kingdom were equally packed, but we showed up just in time for the fireworks on the beach and then hung out a little while. Nice park at night. The kids rode a couple of rides and I'm hoping to take a mid-day break from Hard Rock Park tomorrow to swing back over and score some daytime pics and the Swamp Fox credit. Lines were too long tonight. I snapped several photos.
- I don't wait for anything
- After that we headed back to our hotel.
- I really dig the new Converse commercial. The full video is cool, but the commercial is basically just the first 30 seconds and last 30 seconds of the video. I like the tighter package the commercial delivers.
Tomorrow is Hard Rock Park. (or as my son keeps calling it - Rock Hard Park)
My theory is that parents will spoil the crap out of little girls but not little boys. That's why Disney princess crap sells so well and they can barely move the pirate merch. Then again, my theory is probably full of crap, too. :)
I've had surprise park visits in the past and it makes the trip more fun. A friend and I stumbled upon Midway Park in New York on our way out to Darien Lake one year and it was pretty interesting. Not to mention that I am a credit whore and scored two additional credits.
Lord Gonchar said:
The Gay Dolphin was pretty neat though.*** Edited 7/17/2008 2:17:35 PM UTC by Wile E. Coyote***
When I first read this line I thought that Gonch had swallowed too much salt water while swimming in the ocean.:)
Great name for a gift shop! I made me laugh out loud at work and almost got into trouble for it. I think I am going to have to get a Gay Dolphin T-shirt to wear just to see what people say.
Glad you are enjoying yourself, Gonch!
The Ripley's Aquarium is kickass, if it's anything like the one in Gatlinburg! :)
*** Edited 7/20/2008 2:36:46 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
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