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Sep 5, 2010
Was the best place in the park, IMO. I thought the theming was Irish enough, playful enough, and the hamlet really played as a single village. It did the best job of what, in my opinion, theme parks are supposed to do, which is transporting the guest out of the real world and into a pretend one.

When I say "Old" Killarney, I mean the Killarney when it still had Castle O'Sullivan, the leprechaun in the wagon, Corkscrew Hill, and a real Irish Dance show. That place was alive back then, and I used to go over there in the evening just to sit and chill.

(Why am I legitimately sitting here getting bummed out about not having this place to go to any more? I'm a grown man, lol).

Anybody else love this place back in the day?
I'm annoyed with the removal of Corkscrew Hill, but Celtic Fyre is an appropriate replacement for the Irish Dance show (we all know your feelings on it). I wouldn't mind getting rid of EitA and opening up Castle O'Sullivan for a regular show/experience (a la country bear jamboree, theme appropriate).

Don't forget they had the beer school there too.
^You mean Pre-Sundial Busch Gardens Killarney?

Ah, yes. I remember the magic of that really did feel like you were someplace else...and, no, I'm not referring the Europe in the Air style of doing so!
I did enjoy the leprechaun set-up as well as the traditional irish dancing, and would have loved to see the show in Castle O' Sullivan, but I haven't ever cared too much for Corkscrew Hill (too rough for me).

I think the only change I really enjoyed was the addition of Europe in the Air. I mean Celtic Fyre is okay, but it just doesn't compare to Emerald Beat. The extra dines are great experiences but I don't want to pay extra, I just want another free show. I don't mind the smaller shows in the town village, they just didn't have the wonder and imagination that the leprechaun did.

I wonder if they still have the leprechaun? I realize the leprechauns wagon is/was used in Cursed and Fear Fair, but what about that magical leprechaun? Where did he disappear to?
Corkscrew Hill! Killarney Sound Machine (the leprechaun guy in the wagon)! Toys o' the Leprechaun! The Secrets of Castle O'Sullivan! Ah, it was such a magical place...
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But yeah, I can see how putting a postcard tour of Europe in where Corkscrew Hill was, putting Elmo breakfast in where Secrets of Castle O'Sullivan was, and replacing the sound machine (good recall, J0E1) with absolutely nothing was seen as an improvement.

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^Yeah, it really screams, "Welcome to the tacky shopping mall!" Not to mention that cheap drink stand they have set up there now next to that tree...
(Speaking of which, I really like that adds some feeling of mystic to the area--if you've ever been inside it, a leprechaun tells a story about the Spirit of Ireland inside there from a speaker).

Sigh... check out what I'm referring to from this outdated Google Maps image:


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This is really what I mean...Killarney felt mysterious and fairy tale-like. I think this is actually mostly why I don't really enjoy Celtic Fyre...because it's not either of those things. It's very, very normal and literal and realistic, and that's not what I associate with Killarney.

Killarney was what I think the whole park ought to be: an exercise in escapism. You could almost, if you wanted to, believe that you were in a real village in a make-believe Ireland -- the Ireland that only exists in books and stories. At their best, I think all of the hamlets are this way: romantic versions of what we *think* these places are like. It's not a real representation of Ireland, it's a caricature of Ireland. The character of Ireland is fairies and leprechauns and little holes in trees where leprechauns tell stories, and that's what it was.

Not ShamROCK. Not Elmo breakfast time.

I'm a fan of the park as a series of isolated hamlets that are each like miniature theme parks all on their own. As you travel around Busch Gardens, you're visiting seven places that should be self-contained themed environments that act as if the other hamlets are really different places that exist somewhere far away. I don't like to see "Europe" represented in Ireland. I want to see Ireland represented in Ireland.

^*Presses "Thanks" button so hard and so rapidly that the trackpad breaks*
Jack said:
One thing that the old Killarney had and that luckily the new one still has is the fountain with the pot of gold in it in front of Castle O' Sullivan. It's a neat hidden touch and uniquely shows the detail, creativity, and charm the old Killarney used to have. Definitely my favorite part of Ireland.
Yes, along with the tree, the green cobblestone pathways, the isolated feel of the area, they waterside view, and the lush gardens around the Grogan's area...that's what is so great about Ireland that the other countries all seem to lack in comparison.
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