When I read travel stuff, I want the details of what's going on, not someone trying to ape Fitzgerald (mimicking Twain, however, is cool with me). The excerpt you provided sounds like someone struggling to make a particular word length. If I'm reading an Anthony Bordain book, this writing style is great. But all that excerpt tells me is that I don't want to go ANYWHERE close to the Baltic region.
I feel your pain, Robert. I imagine it's very similar to how I feel about many of the programs on The Travel Channel, especially the trash they market to the amusement/theme park viewers. Did I really see a program last night telling me how EXTREME a Vekoma flying dutchman is?
Now, my turn: In your post, one thing that stood out is your mention of the attraction ratings on this site. I think we are getting better, but come on, Dumbo still has a 6 out of 10 rating. The Tilt-a-Whirl at Cedar Point has a 7. Jolly Roger at SF Great Adventure, an average spinner, has a rating of 10! Puh-lease! Those attractions are mediocre at best, regardless of whether or not they are classics. And I am not just talking about thrill factor... because there is a lot more to a top notch attraction than thrills as the Best Ride tournament eventually proved out today.
It is as if people are afraid to rate something honestly, like they are going to hurt someone's feelings if they give Dumbo a 4. Look if something is mediocre, we should rate it as such. And rides like Dumbo, the Tilt-A-Whirl, and Jolly Roger that are found at nearly every county fair and carnival across the nation, should be rated as such. I mean, everyone talks about the great coasters at Cedar Point, and maybe one or two extreme midway rides, but there are 75 attractions in that park. We usually talk about a couple dozen of them. The rest: midway mediocrity. And I am not picking on Cedar Point (heck, with 15 adult coasters, they offer more worthwhile thrills than most) - many theme and amusement parks are in the same boat. We pay a premium for the headliner attractions, then are expected to spend the bulk of the day riding midway attractions the likes of which we have already ridden 1000 times over at parks across the nation. Ugh!
Go check out the ratings on this site for Worlds of Fun and Holiday World sometime... I like WOF and love Holiday World, but based on my ratings you would think I had a vendetta. I guess I just don't feel it is necessary to prop up midway experiences. Those types of attractions are a cheap, safe way for a park to expand, but they are almost always "skip-able" in my touring plans.
Fair, mediocre, average... these are not bad ratings, just honest representations of common midway attractions. Be tough - but fair, and use the comments to explain your rating if necessary. Send a message to park managers and planners that if they add a mediocre scrambler attraction, this site is gonna let everyone know that park took the easy road. The cheap road. The road most traveled. Conversely, when an attraction that is unlike anything else is added... make sure it gets the props it deserves, so theme park engineers are more willing to take those kind of chances in the future.
I'm done. Going to watch 24, Heroes, and Castle. Monday nights during the NFL off-season are not so bad any more! =)
Some of those "extreme ride" shows on the Travel/Discovery Channel crack me up. It makes me wonder how much some of these parks paid them to rate the ride. Also, they like to use the term "over" a lot, no matter how much over something is. After a cheesy intro line and some other crappy dialogue, every description of a coaster goes like this.
"This coaster is over 157 feet tall with over 4 inversions and over 3143 feet of track. The ride lasts over 2:44 seconds. Last year it had over 1,504,332 riders"
I have several TV shows of that variety in my library from various times. Up until about 2000, most amusement park shows had more of a documentary/informative feel than infomercial feel, even when covering existing parks. It just all depends on who's making the show. Obviously the Disney shows on the Travel Channel are made to promote the park just the same, but at least they do it in an informative manner and without that horrible dialogue.
There was an article in a recent issue of Outside magazine written by a travel writer, who spills some collective beans if you will. For the sake of a subject change and to remove the tournament from the mind of Robert Niles, here is a link for your reading pleasure.
Sorry James. That one was too easy (the show IS getting better, but good lord is the writing sloppy as ever).
Derek, I hate to pimp my videos out, but have you ever seen any of the Parking series my gf and I did? We were trying to do an anti-that style park video, though we weren't as successful as we set out to be (it was our first attempt. Cut us some slack). Our whole outlook was to spend as much time outside the parks as we spent in the parks, y'know, getting into the culture and idiosyncrasies of the nearby towns. Search Youtube for "ThemeParkSushi" and you'll find them.
Sorry, thread hijack over.
Fun tone, exhaustively researched and brutally honest. I found them an indispensable guide on my first trip to Maui earlier this year. And a fun read even when not planning a trip. Reading these books get me fired up to do theme park reviews.
Something can be average and you still enjoyed it. Just means you had reasonable expectations. A ride that is a 6 or 7 is still fun just may not be as thrilling or as themed as a Spidey or Mummy.
I have mentioned before I think a more sophisticated rating system would help with some of these issues. Ratings along the following lines would help provide a more accurate and complete picture of the expererience.
* Cleanliness: 8* Thrills: 9* Theming: 5* Ride Attendants: 8* Safety: 9* Ride's Age/Upkeep: 7Add or take away a few and you could really get a good picture of what to expect on that ride. You could do something similar for Hotels and Restaraunts rating staff, cleanliness, quality, variety, etc.
Add or take away a few and you could really get a good picture of what to expect on that ride. You could do something similar for Hotels and Restaraunts rating staff, cleanliness, quality, variety, etc.
I just wish people would try to understand how ratings should work. If you have a ride that's considered run of the mill (for example, Atlantis @ Sea World San Diego), then use that as a starting point. Kinda like giving a C grade... it's just average... mediocre... passing... C's get Degrees... but sure, it's all subjective and that's why everyone should take some time to rate a ride properly, and not just go "10 because it PWND everyone!" or "10 because it's at CP!".
So are we to expect another season of Theme Park Sushi this summer?