Things I’ve learnt at Theme Parks:

Everyone has a rollercoaster face.
Most rides now have a camera attached to record a punter’s reaction as they are being flung groundwards upside-down at 60mph. I’ve done enough rides with my companions over the last few days to ascertain that these faces do not usually vary. Ian is always laughing. Sandi, looks calm, serene almost. I have my head thrust forward, my eyes pop-wide and am yelling, as if screaming into the abyss. Which is normally the case at the point these photos are taken.

Queueing will eat up your day.
Trite and obvious, I know, but come on. If a park has five rides you want to see, and you’re queueing for an average of an hour at each, that’s half your day gone just waiting. There are ways and means around this dilemma. Disney, for example, has a FastPass system that lets you book a slot on a chosen ride for later. There is a common piece of park lore that says that if you turn left as you enter the park as opposed to right, you’re going against the stream and can cut down on the amount of time you spend in the queue. To be frank though, the best way round it is to do the parks with someone who has a disability Blue Badge. Then you just go straight to the front of every line (be prepared to ignore indignant stares from the punters as you swan past). It makes the whole experience much more pleasurable, and allows you to plan the day your way, as opposed to working around everyone else.
Thanks for getting your white stick out, Sandi.

Rides are always worse than they look.
From the ground, a ride may look scary. When you’re perched at it’s highest point, looking out over the flat Florida countryside, contemplating the corkscrew turns and flat spins ahead of you, you realise that you’ve just let yourself in for the sort of experience that normally comes under the banner of astronaut training. Sheikra does this pretty well. In fact, I have a new marketing slogan for this particular ride if the Busch Gardens guys are willing. Sheikra: Holy Crap, My Nads Are Nudging My Eyeballs! While we’re on the subject, another common truth is that the worst part of any ride is the moment before you get on.

You will never look happier than when you are photographed with Mickey Mouse.
Seriously. I didn’t look that blissed on my wedding day. Talk about cultural reprogramming. Thank you, Mickey.

To summerise. For the past few days we have mostly been doing theme parks. We have had the funnest time.

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Rob

Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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