While visiting Cedar Point with James Rao, he made several disparaging remarks about the appropriateness of areas in amusement parks being themed specifically for very young children, areas comprised of rides that are usually 1) flat spinners, and 2) have a rider height limit of 54". James seemed to be of the opinion (James, please correct me if I'm wrong) that there should not be such areas where children's rides are segregated, and that every ride for height-challenged children should be able to be experienced with their parents, maximizing the family experience.
I do not question that there should be attractions for young children that the entire family should be able to experience together (of which I counted twenty-two such attractions at Cedar Point- most in the "official" children's areas while others are scattered throughout the park), but I want to make this statement- I feel that there is nothing wrong with a well-themed area dedicated to small, relatively slow, flat spinner rides (such as the traditional cars where a 3 year old can sit in the car by themselves, honking the annoying horn and waving to Mom and Pop as the ride goes round and round). Watching the looks on the kids faces as they ride all by themselves, the fun and perhaps a bit of pride as they pretend to be "all grown up", and the similar look on their parents' faces, tells me that there is a place for these attractions in a park. Spreading such attractions throughout a park is fine, but perhaps having a special area just for the majority of them (such as Camp Snoopy, Kidzopolis or Kiddie Land) allows for special theming, special dining options, and perhaps a special feeling for the very young that they have a place where they feel that they are the focus, not the big, noisy coasters and over-the-top thrill rides aimed more for the older members of the family. Is there a place for big, elaborate all-inclusive family attractions? Yes, of course their is. Is there a place for slower, gentler rides that the preschool-age guests can claim as all-their-own? I say "yes" to that also.Tweet
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