Daniel Von Fange

Life, Code, and Cool Stuff

Busch Gardens

We went to Busch Gardens yesterday with some relatives. The Williamsburg Busch Gardens theme park is built into little “countries”, each with their own distinctive archetecture, music, rides, and eating. (When visiting Europe we were reminded a lot of Busch Gardens.)

I’m not a theme park person. My line wait tolerance is only about twice the duration of the ride, and that only happens on off days for a park. I also see very little point in rides in which you have no control. Going with relatives whom you can watch scream and shout is not so bad, of course. And taking little kids who really like moving fast through space is fun too.

Now next time I go to a park, and get bored in the first twenty minutes, I’m going to play bounty hunter. Pick a person, briskly walk off to the opposite part of the park, and then HUNT THEM DOWN. Should give me something to do.

The “4D Haunted Lighthouse Film” was our first stop. It was one of those 3D steroscopic films where you wear the glasses and see depth in the screen. The story was very well written to the medium and for the audince. The movie had everyone watching it off ballance and surprised the entire time.

After that we went over to “Escape from Pompii”. As I overheard one not too bright young man say to his girlfriend, “Escape from Pompii is this ride where you go in a boat through Atalantis.” The fire inside the ride was pretty fun. It’s spooky with nothing between you and the fire inside. I’ve gone down one log flume in the last ten years, so it was a bit of a thrill at the end of the ride as we emerged from the darkness at top of the building and took the dive toward the ground. I was hanging onto the hat to keep it from flying off my head when the little dawrf inside my head began to panic. I let go of the hat and grabbed for the rail. A few seconds later, I was hatless. “Scratch one hat, I announced to the air as we were riding the boat in. Then somebody behind me tapped me on the shoulder, and handed me my hat. Phew!

I noticed on some of the rides that they used had a bunch of prerecorded “yell” messages for things like “Do not spin the swingy-chairs around or we will stop the ride.” The ride opperator just presses the appropate button, and out of the speakers comes the appreate cease and desist message recorded by a professional actor. It lets someone with almost no English skills run a ride.

The rides seem much tamer at Busch Gardens this time then I rembered. I wonder it is me, or the park.

I also noticed that all the rides have the one way turnstyle. I’m guessing the primary reason for them is not crowd control, but as a counter. I’m would be willing to bet someone walks around at the end of each day and writes then totals down. The really fun thing to do would be to put them on ethernet and have live stats during the day.