Sunday, June 12, 2005

Wknd Asgn #63: Amusement Parks

Listen to sample of song here!

John asked for our
Amusing Amusement Park Moments  I think I have stories for all his suggestions (scary, funny etc!)

Well the first experience I recall is Disney in FL. This would have been the early 70s so no Epcot etc. I haven’t been to any of the newer parks…at least I have something to do in my retirement…like the commercial! Ha! My dad had a convention there & I remember staying in the Contemporary & taking the Monorail through it. I loved the purple lights you put your hand under to show your stamp.  I also remember the Tiki Room with the birds! :-) I do recall being totally freaked by the 
Haunted Mansion! Ha! I think the room where it appeared like the room was getting smaller and thinner was the problem! We had so much fun on those trips! My dad is “a planner!” He took us to see the alligators  or maybe they are crocodiles? (Anyone know the difference?) &  Marineland. My sister dropped her kiddy purse in the main tank. It was sooo cool. This guy had to get the “diver dan” suit on…you know the hard metal helmet with the tubes & the bubbles coming up & he had to go down & get it! It was great! Now my 3 great-great aunts lived in Melbourne until the last one passed away a few years ago & we were down there 7 years ago but we didn’t get to do the whole park. I remember the fires were going on then &  it poured also! I did go on Magic Mountain, I had never been on that & the Haunted Mansion wasn’t so bad this time! I couldn't get that "Its a Small World" song out of my head! My little niece loved that ride so we went on quite a few times! Darn I probably won't be able to now...don't you hate when that happens.

Now, some interesting stories from Six Flags Great America!
I actually did my internship for my Masters in Industrial Psychology in the Human Resource Department of Six Flags Great America
! This was 1990. How do you get an internship like that! Ha! 9 months of Amusement & Fun (a bit of sarcasm should be noted here! HA!) I was the director of a program which hired, placed & trained at-risk teens in jobs at the park. I just can't pick 1 amusing story so this will be a long one...AGAIN! :-) I'm a prof...what do you want? :-)

One funny story was when we did a MAJOR hiring event at a hotel...I did 100 interviews myself! Well we go for pizza afterwards & of course we are laughing up a storm...and when my laugh got going I had this shrill of a voice...odd, I don't usually sound like that? At times it almost disappears! Ya, well the next day everything disappeared! My first & hopefully last case of Laryngitis! I am not a good person to have laryngitis, as you can tell by how much I write! Ha! And we didn't have email & blogging then, so you can just imagine how frustrated I was! I swore when I coughed it felt like my brochials stuck together. The doctor made me stay home for 3 days & I had boundless amounts of energy. Then after 3 days of laying around I felt sickand then I had to go back to work. Ugh! I drank a gallon & 1/2 of orange juice my first day back! Ha!

A cool thing was I was one of the 1st people on Iron Wolf. One night about m
I'm in the office with this one guy filing...I SWEAR! And all of a sudden the door opens. Freaked us both! It is the president of the park. He comes in all excited. They had sandbagged it (meaning they let it run with sandbags for people) & then he rode it. He saw a light on & was excited to have someone else ride it & get their imagine is after midnight in like beginning of March I think & the president, this other guy & I are on Iron Wolf with just this maintenance guy runningthe ride. The shoulder bars come down & it dawns on me...this ride malfunctions& that guy is out of here & they find us in the morning when everyone comes in to work. Ugh! You think it is bumpy now? You should have seen it that night! BTW the ride is painted in the colors of the presidents Alma Mater...USC I think?

I also got to meet Miss
Sweden of that year! She was a guest in the park with friends & became ill. I remember she made a call & “Bye” (though not sure if spelled the same way) was “Hi” in her language I guess. She also thought you can get antibiotics just over the counter, Sweden
you could.


I really do know the park layout very well now from being behind the scenes. I also LOVE going to Great
during Fright Fest! The “Friday the 13th” music just gives me the creeps (good kind!) when I just start to walk up to the gate! :-) The special Halloween characters are fun (the Trolls are the best!), reading the funny tombstones, the blood red reflecting pool, the Halloween musical show and the cool crisp autumn air and the early darkness add to the fun.

Then there is the stories of my roommate while I interned. She had her sister come live with us...and her PYTHON! Ugh! I'm not a fan of snakes! I don't hate them, I just don't bother them & they shouldn't bother me! Did I forget to tell you this is when I got Dusty (see pet blog!) Ok, well waking up & pulling the shower curtain back to put your foot in & findingthe Python happily sleeping afloat in the tub wasn't too bad...a few times...but the day I had off & he got out of his tank, now mind you he had 2 25lb weights on top of his tank top, I wasn’t too happy!! Ya! I'm at the breakfast bar & my books fall of the barstool in the corner of the living room. I figure I just placed them wrong...a few more fall & I see this lovely snake crawling up the corner of the wall! I still shudder to think if he had gone left into my room as I had my headphones on doing my leg lifts. I called & said "He is out, get here NOW!" Almost like the scene in "Turner & Hooch!" Ha! I love Tom Hanks! :-)

Now this is the not so nice story! Last fall I had foot surgery and this is from an injury at
Kentucky Kingdom
4 years ago come July! I rode one of the old roller coasters (train type) and this metal block on the floor of the car I was in had the lap bar attached to it. As we took the first turn my left foot hit the edge of the block. I had Keds on! I don’t even remember the rest of the ride. I saw stars! I just wanted to get off of the ride because of the pain. To make a very frustrating long story short, I didn’t get an answer until the 6th doctor a year ago last June. He was in the door frame of the room & from there said, “It is that swollen after 3 years?” as he had my chart in his hands. He said he thought it was the tendon & that the previous doctors had only scratched the surface of what should be done but he sent me for an MRI, as the others were old. When I returned he started the conversation as saying “I’ve been looking at these all week!” I knew that could not be good, but I was not at all prepared for what I heard. I had a lipoma from the impact which he said destroyed 90% of a muscle in my foot. This would make sense why my foot was not getting better. He also showed me how the ligament & tendon going up my calf had atrophied horribly and I had severe arthritis in my ankle. I had surgery at the end of last September to remove the lipoma & graft some muscle. It had grown another 20%, so that was 92% destruction of muscle and it was wrapped around the nerve so I have nerve damage. I was off of work for 9 weeks! UGH!!! It is also why I have been having so much back trouble since then! I have not been on a roller coaster since which really upsets me since I love them so much. I also dislocated a toe ligament last December & fractured a toe in two places on the opposite foot last Feb! UGH!

P.S. I didn't include pictures of my foot from surgery...didn't want to gross everyone out! :-)

My favorite rides at Great America
are…OH BTW you have to ALWAYS ride in the first car! :-)


Raging Bull - Extremely smooth!
Batman  - Love to dangle those legs!
Vertical Velocity - Hang those few seconds looking down!
Déjà vu - Probably the one which makes me the most dizzy
Demon – Ride at night with the lights in the tunnel!

St. Louis

The Boss – I like the going through the trees/woods…cool!

I haven’t been to Cedar Point since I was a teenager, which would be the ‘70s, so I haven’t been on the new rides. I was planning on doing them the summer after Kentucky
Kingdom until I hurt my foot. When I was there I loved the Gemini! At the end of the night my family (yep my folks too!) kept getting back in line (nobody in it!) and we rode :-) like 6 times in a row! :-)  I’m still working on rehabbing my foot & back so wish me luck for next summer full of coaster riding! Great America also just added a Water Park
so I’d love to do that!

I also remember going to King’s
as a teen & seeing “The Banana Splits”. Anyone remember them?

One banana, two banana, three banana, four… Tra la la, la la la la, Tra la la, la la la la

Sorry…I don’t know what came over me! :-)

Extra Credit: Scariest Ride?

Other an the Haunted Mansion when I was a kid, I think it would have to be the Ferris Wheel at a friends hometown fair. It was a bucket type with a pole in the center & then a canopy. It did not have a cage type inclosure & my friend kept swinging it. I was freaking was just a few years ago! Ha!

P.S.  I just saw the Stratosphere advertised on AOL...has anyone been on this ride?


goofbar54 said...

thoose pictures  are awesome !!!! i never been to fright fest so now i know what it looks like!!!

mariebm56 said...

I am not seeing any photos.