Here's the original post:
It is summer time and it is the time of the year to get outside and see what the world has to offer (as a Massachusetts resident, I get stuck in side for awhile). My wife and I have taken my 3 year old and 18 month old daughters out and about in the area and I can't help but think, nothing is as good as the themeparks.
We'll go to the zoo and start talking about Animal Kingdom. We'll go to the science museum and start talking about Epcot. We went to a nice play area and then I will start to remember my daughters playing at the Honey I shrunk the kids play area at DHS. We'll go to a little amusement park and I will see the shoddy themeing, the peeling paint and the trash on the ground here and there instead of the fun times I am suppose to be having. We'll go places that are meant to be fun and I'll look around and think, "this place blows."
So it is official, the theme parks have ruined all area attractions for me. Has this happened to anyone else?
Oh boy, this topic just pushed a couple of my theme park hot buttons. I'll try to hold back letting it all out or else things could get really ugly so I'll keep it short and sweet and sour like my Pygmy character.
First off, a little history about me. I'm a Florida native, always have lived within 45 minutes to the theme parks and loved it. Grew up and started working for both Universal and Disney and loved it for the most part (that's another story)
So yes, my views about the theme parks are obviously going to be a little different than the average visitor, and no I do not think the theme parks are less magical when I know all the in's and out's of them. One thing I've learned as I've started to travel around was to appreciate all the other little tourist traps the world has to offer. They all bring a little something different that the big theme parks can never offer, and it's hard to put that experience into words, so you're just going to have to take my word on it and check out these places without your mouse-tinted goggles.
For example: This past Memorial Day weekend, I had a lovely 4 days off, and I decided to head up to South Dakota to check out this Flintstones Theme Park as mentioned here in these forums. Yes I was aware of it's existence, and yes I knew it was going to be incredibly cheesy, and that's pretty much why I had to check it out. Besides hamming it up with a bunch of old guys that probably grew up with Fred and Barney, and the nearly identical houses, I had a great time visiting this place. I also drove around several of the scenic routes and saw Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore, Devil's Tower, Badlands, and a few other places nearby.
Before I turn this into a trip report, the point I'm trying to make is that while I was going through all these places, I have had those thoughts pop in the back of my mind of how similar this is to Disney or Universal. Heck, there was even a Norwegian chapel in Rapid City that was screaming "Remember me, from Epcot?!" Anyways, even though I've had those thoughts in my mind, what I tend to think is how this trip turned out better than what the theme parks could offer. Sure I'm not screaming off my head on a thrill ride or enjoying that smell past popcorn and churro vendors, but it was a nice change from all that hustle at the theme parks.
So please, do yourself a favor and learn how to take time and smell the roses nearby, and not just keep going back to the same artificial wildlife known as plasticus mechanicus that you all know and love.
Trying something new nearby: Everybody's doing it! (because it's cheaper!)