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Jul 7, 2010
I got one last trip to Busch in before I’m back in Hampton Roads for good in August. I’m just going to write this chronologically because, although there are a few major points I want to hit on, taking you through our day will probably flow better (also trying to be more of an eloquent writer like Nora haha).

We arrived in the park around 11am and saw very few cars in the parking lot, which was good and bad; it was a Sunday in early July. It should be packed. Lines were never terrible/most rides were walk-ons. Walked past EiTA and saw the Howl-O-Scream construction sign. Griffon, Flume, and Alpie were all walk-ons. Flume was more refreshing than ever. I don’t know about you all but honestly, of the three water rides, I really believe that Flume is the most refreshing. Enough thrill to keep you interested but chill enough for the kids. I always worry when it comes to budget cuts that Flume will get the axe. That definitely will be a sad day when an original attraction is shut down.

Bypassed literally everything on our way to Verbolten. Still just as great as ever and that drop still packs an enormous punch. Funny thing happened though: I’m guessing a tour group was walking into the show building to tour the holding area because an enormous beam of light could be seen inside the ride house. We were going to ride Mach Tower but honestly, before this year I was fine with riding it; after all of its downtime lately, I’m always uneasy. Not that I don’t feel safe, but it’s become the only attraction in the park that I am markedly apprehensive about riding. When really thinking about it, I really don’t even think you could get me on Falcon’s Fury if you tried. Not worried about the safety here again, but something about these rides just does not seem right to me. Call me crazy.

Walked over to San Marco and saw that Mix it Up was playing so we watched it. During the show it dawned on me that I had actually never seen it. At first, and still now, I really don’t get what is exclusively Italian about it, however, I’m in love with it. The talent and the pace overshadow everything not-Italian about it. It’s fun, it’s fast, and the other thing that stuck out the most was the fact that this show is Summer. It’s light and doesn’t weigh you down. Then it hit me.

Why can’t IllumiNights become this. Shorten the show, give them a small enough stage to not impose on a hamlet. Seriously, get a circle of bells, xylophones, and a snare and you’ve got a show. Light. Short. Summer-y. I completely agree that Giadino Magico is spot-on. I know we said we love it but don’t want to clone it, well there’s a second show.

I never got to see Killarney Kommotion but did get to see the stage set-up. Plenty of work went into it, but I feel like that is almost the antithesis of what the event should be. I don’t believe IllumiNights should be an overlay, but an added discovery one stumbles upon while they and their family are enjoying the park. These shows shouldn’t impose on theme they should complement it. I feel like Killarney Kommotion is “heavy,” or at least the stage is (figuratively). Giardino is light and airy. I feel as if the park is having an issue with making a “flagship” show for the event (which seems to be Killarney Kommotion). I personally don’t believe there should be one “flagship show.” I believe they should all evolve and blend into one airy, Summer-y night, capped off by a fireworks display. They had this strong foundation last year. Drop Oktoberfest and I think the event is even more solid. Killarney, Aquitaine, and San Marco all had light and airy shows last year, and honestly, from a staff perspective, didn’t seem to require huge numbers other than puppeteers in Killarney. Besides, this show set-up, spatially, covers all major corners. Oktoberfest should just be a celebration on its own: This is Oktoberfest, PEOPLE!

This brings me to the tree. The park has realized that the circular bed in front of Das Festhaus is becoming their grand marquee. I’m fine with this, but I think the Glow-Tree-of-Life-Swarovski-Commercial is the result of them realizing they had an “IllumiNights Dead Zone.” The problem with this is, I don’t believe that’s a bad thing. I honestly can’t even remember when the last time plants were actually there other than the ring planting around the maypole. For Howl-O-Scream and Christmas Town I do believe that the area should be decorated due to the fact that during those events, the area becomes a real destination for Open Casket/Old Monster Dance Party (which I miss) and O Tannenbaum. However I believe that during the summer this area should stay pristine. Keep it light, keep it old fashioned, keep it original.

The current garden pest overlay is a bit unneeded especially when the park is experiencing massive budget cuts across the board. I think they attempted to tie everything together, but honestly I think the décor clashes. I understand the Giardino connection, but park-wide it seems forced. Like I said, an overlay really isn’t needed.

There is more to talk about but I’m blanking right now. Wah

Thanks for reading! And yes, I know I have a problem with writing exorbitantly long posts; I'm working on cutting down. :p

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