austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Don't be a brontosaurus

The pier had another wealth of rides featuring public domain versions of things like Jurassic Park, which seems have inspired a scenic-railroad ride around a path guarded by animatronic pterodactyls and creatures like that. Another rocking-ride like the Pharaoh's Fury ride we couldn't get on was the Free Willy, with the boat idea replaced by a whale. The wealth of not-quite-the-trademarked-characters reached an amusing to us high point on the Junior Go Cart Raceway, since all the carts had logos for various serious corporations such as McDonald's on them. We got to speculating about whether they were actually licensed uses of the various corporate logos, and if they were, who paid who and for what?

Where we completely lost it was the opening to the Sponge Bob Ride, which had various two-seater cars going into what I supposed was another Dark Ride. The ride was dominated by an octopus which as far as I remember doesn't exist in the SpongeBob universe, although I admit I'm not a devoted follower of the SquarePants canon. Our best guess was that it had been an underwater-inspired ride and with the excitement of SpongeBob the ride got a hasty makeover. (And, now, why is it that SpongeBob is in the built-in Apple Dictionary, while Rensselaer is not? Granted SpongeBob has a bigger endowment than RPI has, but I'm betting Rensselaer is misspelled far oftener.)

If that hadn't been entertaining enough, adjacent to the Sponge Bob Ride was the Pokémaze Play Area. If there was a specific Pokémon connection it wasn't obvious from the outside, but the thought of a small-time amusement pier clinging so eagerly to anything the kids were into these days what with their hula hoops and pikachus and all that was maybe funnier than it should objectively have been. Despite the disappointment of not finding the antique carousel we had hoped for, it looked like we had enjoyed a wonderful, nearly perfect, day, and to hope for anything more would be unforgivably greedy.

Trivia: In the Amsterdam Olympics of 1928, future Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and Tarzan performer Buster Crabbe finished third in the 1,500-meter freestyle. Source: Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement, Editors John E Findling, Kimberly D Pelle.

Currently Reading: Laughing Space, Edited by Isaac Asimov, Janet O Jeppson.


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