Flashback Friday: Not-so-amusing amusement parks

Posted on April 8th, 2011

I have been to hell. It’s called an amusement park.

Now, the truth is, there is nothing really wrong with amusement parks. But I realized halfway through my trip there that I needed a set of survival rules to get through any future amusement park vacations. Use the rules with caution and feel free to add your own.

Rule 1

Never allow your daredevil son to convince you that a roller coaster is slow. I speak from experience. That child is lying. The roller coaster that he wants you to go on pulls enough g-forces to be a test rocket for NASA, goes up far too high in the air to be safe and has no floor. So you will definitely lose the cute new sandals you just bought for the trip and the lunch you foolishly consumed before you became a test subject—I mean rider.

Rule 2

Calories consumed at an amusement park only count if you don’t throw up after a ride on the aforementioned roller coaster.

On the other hand, eating something you believe to be healthy (like sushi) at an amusement park is not a good thing. Nobody else eats it. They are all eating hot dogs and pizza. Your sushi is either plastic or so old that the fish on the rice patty is now an endangered species.

Rule 3

Do not go to the amusement park with your child’s grandparents. Every time you say no, the grandparents will say yes. Your child will end up with several t-shirts, a basketball, a soccer ball on a string, a Batman keychain, twelve ice cream cones in various flavors, approximately one thousand frozen lemonades which are sipped twice before being tossed in the trash, four pieces of pizza, a turkey leg, a huge waffle-like thing called a funnel cake that is covered with strawberries, whipped cream and powdered sugar and one very watery hot chocolate.

And that’s just the first day.

Rule 4

Do not under any circumstances ride on the old-fashioned car ride in the kids-only section. Your butt will become wedged in the seat and you will be unable to free yourself without considerable embarrassment and the help of a football player moonlighting at the concession stand.

Rule 5

The water rides are only visible to children after dark or when it is too cold to ride them. Unfortunately, your child will wear you down until you finally take him on it. Then your child will duck down when the splash part comes, and you will be soaking wet for the rest of your trip. Enjoy your cold. You’ve earned it. Personally, I’d sneeze on my child several times, but then I am known to be vindictive.

Rule 6

Do not take the camera on the water ride.

Rule 7

Do not wait for your child to tell you he has to use the bathroom. Instead, make him use the bathroom every hour or so. You see, at amusement parks their philosophy on bathrooms is simple. They have one bathroom for every twenty thousand guests. And each bathroom has only four stalls. And only two toilets in those bathrooms actually work. So the restroom lines are actually longer than the lines for the most popular rides. And amusement park employees frown on trees being used as restrooms—no matter how urgent the need. Small children have small bladders. Do not forget this.

Oh, and here’s a bonus restroom tip. Don’t flush a toilet before you use it. It will flood the bathroom and every other woman in the park will curse you when her shoes squish. Of course, that is assuming she still has shoes on.

Rule 8

When dusk falls, the park fills with vendors selling cheap glow-in-the-dark necklaces and character flashlights. Your child will beg for one. And you will buy it. And it will break before the last rays of sunset fade.

And you will buy another one. And another. Because it’s been a long day, the sushi is making weird noises in your stomach, your shoes are squishy, your new digital camera is waterlogged and you are coming down with a cold.

Rule 9

Relax. Have some fun. Remember, the sugar high will wear off and your child will sleep through the entire night—only to wake up the next day and want to start all over again.

Like this? Become a fan on Facebook. Seriously. I am begging you.

Add me to your rss reader | Become a Fan on Facebook!

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Flashback Friday: Not-so-amusing amusement parks”

  1. Edie Mindell Says:

    Oh, that’s exactly the same rules I’m applying myself, having experienced all of them in just 2 amusement park visits.:-) I’m actually dreading our third visit this month, and have since been thinking of alibis and ways to cancel our trip. Any ideas?

  2. Ladder Ball Says:

    Hi! I’ve been following your site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

  3. Laurie Says:

    @Edie, I don’t think there is any hope. But wear close-toed shoes and try not to drink anything all day long. At least that will cut down on bathroom visits :)

    @Ladder Ball, LOL, I have family in Texas and I thought, “hmmm, none of them are humble about Texas.” Then I realized you were talking about Humble, Texas. Hope the wildfires aren’t bugging you.

Leave a Reply