There are not many reasons better for a long day out, or a bucket list travel journey, than the fun to be had at a theme park. The rides, the costumed characters, even the overpriced food and merchandise is an experience most of us will indulge in.
On ABC Perth Saturday Breakfast we had a wonderful discussion about our theme park experiences which, it must be said, included some embarrassing moments. Enjoy the audio file below and then below that, just a few words to help with your own memories of theme parks:
My tv childhood in a four-word nutshell was: The Banana Splits Show
Even better than the cartoons and antics of The Banana Splits were the opening and closing credits, much of which showed them having fun at Six Flags Over Texas, a 1960’s era theme park still going strong today. Lots of log rides into water and stomach heaving roller coasters. It was the first place I ever wanted to visit.
Theme Parks From Perth’s Past:
- Atlantis: King Neptune and his trident watching protectively over his leaping dolphins.
- Dizzy Lamb Park: Bumper boats, creaking ferris wheels, a few worn out kangaroos and from the footage I’ve seen, plenty of piles of yellow sand to throw sand boondies.
- El Caballo Blanco: White horses goose stepping, dancing and prancing to shouts of Ole!
- Wanneroo Lion Park: Ex-circus lions with a warning sign, “Trespassers will be eaten”.
- Armadale’s Pioneer Village: Every kid could get a wanted poster with their pic on it and tough old boiled lollies would last the journey between Armadale and Albany.
The Overseas Experience:
- Legoland: Lego themed rides and even a driving school and Lego boats. The only Lego experience they haven’t perfected is the walking on a Lego brick experience.
- Disneyland: If the Banana Splits opening credits didn’t inspire your first travel bucket list item then it was most likely Disneyland, particularly when once a week the Wonderful World of Disney would come on the telly (I said telly) and the opening credits would show clips of Disneyland, including the monorail that looked like Captain Nemo’s submarine (I had the lunchbox). Visiting Disneyland was completely wonderful, particularly rides like the Jungle Cruise. The classic Tea Cups continue to boggle my mind. How do they spin and circle around on a turntable at the same time?
- Movie Inspired: Sharknado! Perhaps it’s age inappropriate that Tom’s favourite movies are the Sharknado series so an opportunity to visit Sunway in KL to experience Sharknado was too good to be true and unexpectantly scary and gory. Sunway is gloriously full of water slides and aquatic themed fun.
- Waterbom Park is an institution for many people who visit Bali. I did a slide that I got stuck in and the pipe had to be opened to let me out.
- Haw Par Villa: I’m looking forward to describing this in more detail at a later date. Let’s just say this is a theme park like no other. It’s been frightening Chinese children in Singapore since 1937. Be Good! Or else!
Theme Parks are Hidden Treasures because … just like the Banana Splits theme says; you can have a “mess of fun and there’s lots of fun for everyone” and no doubt you’ll come home with an overpriced fridge magnet or coffee cup with your photo on it, to always remember a great day out.