Dutch Wonderland

June 24, 2000

Waking up, going to an amusement park was not exactly high on my "things I'd Like To Do" list. Sleep topped that list, but then what else are we gonna do for the next 6 hours. After all I had been riding this horse for the past 5 days, and was getting a tease homesick, and was tired before I even left the hotel room this morning. As in worn out tired. 5 days of parks in a row had really taken its toll on us. I can't begin to fathom how Eric must feel and how tired Eric must be since on top of everything I did he also drove 1,000 miles.

Anyway we finally kick ourselves out of the hotel and head to Lancaster, PA. After a stop for breakfast at a Perkins, we pull into Dutch Wonderland. After parking in what was marked overflow parking, we make our way through the castle gift shop, and to the ticket sales counter. I confirmed ACE members do get $3 off, the ticket seller has to look through her flipbook of current discount offers to get the barcode for it however, and ID card will be checked. While buyng my ticket the seller asked for some info about ACE and I did a 2 minute sales promotion on ACE and its benefits (i.e. magazines, conventiones, etc) she noted down the membership address on a peice of scrap paper, and I recieved my tickets. We proceeded to the turnstiles where the guest run their own ticket through the ticket scanner, then when the green light comes on, you hand the ticket to the ticket taker, and move on into the park.

We walk the park, and decide on the Double Splash to start our day. Double Splash is the parks logflume, and it had already developed a short 10 minute wait. It uses vividly colored logs instead of just the noral brown, and features two short drops, like the ride was designed around children. It also features a uniwue mist tunnel. We tthen looked at the miniature circus, and headed back to the Joust. Joust is a chance Big Dipper, and is runnng purple train with props apparently on loan from the PA Rennaisance Festival. A 1 cycle wait, where we opted to not take choice seats, and it was a two lap ride on this version of kiddie coaster. Credit scored.

Now it was time to ride the first CCI. We knoew it was a short one. We get in line, and find out that they fill the queue gates one trainload at a time on a first come first servre basis. Eventuaqlly we would get rides front back middle, on our first Sky Princess fest. Sky princess is a family CCI. None of the extreeme forces found on CCI's other rides, this one is a tried and true out and back with helix finale, and a fairly tame ride. We noted a John Hunt model on display. (also seen at Phoenix and Leap The Dips) After a few trips and a restroom run, we headed down and watched the Lusse Skooters while enjoying a $1.00 can of pepsi. The skooters looked slow, but it was more fun watching an older rider, who as she was being loaded mentioned that she was having difficulkty with the ride. No wonder I dont think she touched the steering wheel or gas pedal the whole ride. She made a whole 1/2 revolution around the dogems floor, merely by being bumped there. Hillarious to watch. FYI: the cars looked like the one in the Oaks Park video. We then cross an outrageously steep bridge to the Botanical Gardens and opt to ride through the gardens on the Gondola Boat ride. a self propelled boat on a track with a recorded narration. Lots of miniature world landmarks on display, and a nice scenci relaxing ride. Hmm I wonder if Arrow did this ride system, th recording mentioned a company out in california though.

We then realize we have to cross the overly steep bridge again, walk aloing side the stream, feed some ducks, and head around to Space Camp (or whatever the space themed area is called) We look at the command center with the real NASA video feed, and the Saturn rocket, we take turns playing with the intercom system, and keep having touble with that annoying Low Fuel warning. (Just like Robb's video), then we head over to the Motion Simulator Museum. You see Dutch Wonderland has both the newest and oldest in portable motion simulators. A Wisdom Astroliner 2000, and a Voyager VR.

We note they are loading the Astroliner, so we go on inside. Thankful this Astroliners A/C is still working, our ride is delayed due to technical difficulties with the VCR. VCR? They had VCR's when this ride came out? Especially ones with on screen programming? I suspect the ride recived an audio-visual update over the years. Soon the door colsed the lights went out and we got treated to the Astroliner movie you all know and hate. The simple rolling back and forth of the barrel of the rocket to simulate movement. Ahh a nostalgia trip.

Now it was time to walk accross the path and ride the Voyager. It was a 2 cycle wait for Voyager, and we took the next to back row. The operator announced that the ride is equipped with seatbelts but their use is optional (unless you are a kid, kids must wear seatbelts) They also showed the "Abort" buttons located along the cabin roof. Then the doors closed and Voyager began. Voyager is not a bad portable motion simulator, and heck I was even getting airtime on Voyager. (Can you tell we opted not to wear the seatbelt) I like voyager, though I'm not sure its worth $5 like a park 17 miles from is charging for it. We exited Voyager, and headed for the waterslides, I don't know if Eric was joking when he siais "Go ride" but he followed me up the stairs. We opted for the Black tube. While on the stairs we noted the Log Boats up front that must be on an underground track. We confirmed this when we saw the Swan Boat exhibit in the back of the park. Anyway after making our way to the top of the stairs, we noted that together we would exceed the weight limit, so went seperate. these are those Wet/Dry waterslides, and you ride in a little rubber boat. A fun peppy int he dark slide follwed and we were a bit surpised at how wet we got, but hey it IS a waterslide.

We then headed back around past the front gate, and started a tour of the park, we stopped in the Arcade, where it looks exactly like featured in Robb's video., then we went in the Dutch Wonderhouse. I noted that the Wonderhouse is completely manually operated. And that the effect only works if you look straight forward. By then we were really exhausted, and I hate to admit we layed down on the ground in a grassy area, drinking some Pepsi products while debriefing on the trip for a good long time. Ah Rest, Then we headed up to get some ice Cream then headed over to say farewell to the Sky Princess, a few more rides wouldn't hurt.

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