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It’s the Great Pumpkin Carving Brick-or-Treat, Charlie Brown


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Our school district has a Fall Break every year at the end of October, so the last 3 years we’ve used this to go to Kansas City and experience the Halloween festivities. We’re not into haunts, and we have young children, so we stay on the more family friendly side of the holiday, with lots of pumpkins, ghosts, and other creatures of the night!

 

The agenda for this year was to visit Sea Life and Legoland on Saturday, then Worlds of Fun on Sunday. I’m going to include some pictures from Sea Life and Legoland, because even though they’re not really theme parks, they are owned by Merlin and provide a theme park like experience.

 

This is the third year in a row we’ve visited Sea Life and Legoland, and I really love the atmosphere. They’re located in the Crown Center mall in downtown Kansas City, which offers free parking on weekends! They require an entry time, so the park is never super crowded, and we’ve always gotten to do everything we wanted to. Absolutely stellar operations, and I would expect no less from Merlin.

 

We went to Sea Life first. It’s a wonderful aquarium, with all the modern amenities—a touch pool, Q&A sessions with animal keepers, and educational programmes. During the Halloween season, they feature underwater pumpkin carving (photos to follow). It’s always a treat to visit a high quality aquarium, and Sea Life totally delivers.

 

One of the perks of being in a mall is that the food court is available. Crown Center features a number of local Kansas City dining options, including Fritz’s, a unique dining experience themed to railroads, where your food is brought to you by train! Fritz’s is to us essential to the Crown Center experience. The food is decent, but the atmosphere is amazing, and it’s just such a fun place.

 

After lunch, we headed to Legoland. There have been a lot of changes since last year: They’ve constructed a new Quiet Room—much appreciated for adults or kids on the autism spectrum who may just need to get away from all the noise and activity. The Lego Friends cupcake restaurant has now become a pizzeria, which offers new ways to build. The biggest addition, though, was the new Lego Nexo Knights 4D movie, which was very fun. Nothing like being rained on while watching a sci-fi ren fair!

 

If I had any complaint, it’s that the Brick-or-Treat event was not well coordinated. There were to be 4 locations to brick-or-treat, but we found only 2 of them actually provided the treats: the photo booth and the café. The 4D movie and the master builder academy were advertised as having brick-or-treat, but they didn’t seem to know what was going on.

 

Still, it was a very fun day, and low crowd levels made for a very enjoyable visit. This is a place for adults and kids to play together, and it totally delivers on that aspect. Legoland and Sea Life are very much recommended when visiting Kansas City, especially with children.

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And we'll start off with some spooky banjo music.

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Oh. Yeah, they're basically spiders.

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Sea bugs!

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Look at how cute it is!

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Aw, aren't they sweet? Horseshoe crabs!

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Here, touch some horseshoe crabs, girls. No worries here.

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At least we got these prizes!

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Just being an eel....

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But look at all these beautiful fish!

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Oh no! We're trapped!

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Nautilus tank, using UV light instead of natural light, since they're used to dark ocean depths.

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Ursula's been here! Run! AAAAAARRRRGGGGH!

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This is called a sunflower starfish. This aquarium is the only place I've ever seen one.

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Shark!

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Rays are so amazing. I could watch these for hours.

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The morning's carvings.

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I found Dory!

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Just hanging out with a shark.

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Jellies!

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And now, the pumpkin carving show.

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Mark and Peter are preparing to carve pumpkins for us.

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Coral reef exhibit.

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Lego sandcastles! Major win for this, advertising their other attraction.

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This was new this year, replacing a plastic tube maze. You used these touchpads to colour your own fish.

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Then you uploaded them when you're done.

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Lots of different kinds.

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Having fun making some fish art!

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And they appear in this wall projection fish tank!

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This is a terrible exhibit. I can totally see the projectors!

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Part 2

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And now on to Legoland!

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Here we're making Lego bricks from plastic poop pellets.

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This guy has the best job ever.

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The Sally dark ride!

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The temporary exhibit this year is Ninjago!

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This was a fun interactive game.

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Plan B is building a fortress!

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This was a fun game, where you tried to move the wand from one side to the other without touching the metal wire.

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The one flat ride.

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Kansas City is very proud of their World Series championship.

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This is the very famous Kansas City Arch.

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Kansas City is very proud of their sports. This is the football team, Sporting KC.

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NASCAR

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Kauffman Stadium, home of the 2015 world champion Royals!

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Arrowhead Stadium, home of the American football team Kansas City Chiefs!

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Ooh, meta.

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Scare lessons.

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It's a graveyard smash!

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Country Club Plaza, a ritzy shopping district. I've been, but never bought anything. I don't make that kind of money.

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Starlight Theatre is a great venue. Saw Depeche Mode here once.

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Dancing skeletons!

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And of course, what trip to Kansas City would be complete without the Wizard of Oz?

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The Emerald city!

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Follow the yellow brick road!

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The lights alternate in a "night" and "day" mode every few minutes. Very cool effect.

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The detail in these stadiums is amazing.

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This is the Kauffman Centre. I haven't had the privilege of seeing an opera there yet, but I hear it is a great venue.

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WW1 memorial and Union Station.

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President Truman's house

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Sprint Center, home of Kansas City's NBA team--oh, wait....

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Dorothy and Toto!

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Pumpkin contest

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It's a graveyard smash!

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This replaces the old cupcake store.

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The pizza place has a karaoke mic!

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I'll take the Pikachu pizza, please.

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This year's Duplo brick

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Thanks, Merlin, for a great day!

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Day 2: Worlds of Fun's Great Pumpkin Fest

 

Sundays in October are great days to visit Worlds of Fun. Haunt is not available on Sundays, so the crowd levels are very low. Since we’re with young children, these are both positives.

 

This was our last time visiting this park for the year, and consequently the last time we will enter through the current entrance. I stopped to take in all the magic, fighting back sobs the whole way. It was almost too much for me to—

 

Just kidding. Burn the witch and bring on the new entrance! It’s about f*cking time!

 

We entered around 10:30 and were just about the only ones there. Around 10:45 they started letting gold and platinum passholders past the ropes set up around the Scandinavia plaza. We got in line for Spinning Dragons and watched them do the final testing. It opened right at 11:00, and we were on 10 minutes later. That was the longest wait of the entire day. Totally awesome ride, except of course for that Gerstlauer rattle.

 

From there, my wife took the kids to Planet Snoopy, while I went to Patriot, the only ride I wanted to go on that none of my kids are tall enough for. It was a walk-on, but I waited one train for the front row, because why not? They were running two trains, so it was well worth waiting that extra minute. Totally awesome ride, except of course for that B&M rattle.

 

While I’m on the subject, every coaster was running two trains (except obviously Cosmic Coaster and Boomerang), and Spinning Dragons was running 5 cars. The crowd levels probably didn’t warrant that, but it was awesome service! Totally enjoyed riding everything we wanted as much as we wanted.

 

After a few rides in Planet Snoopy, including the flyers and the Linus Launcher, we saw that Timber Wolf was open. I love this ride so much now that it’s been repaired. This is the sort of work that has been needed for years, and I’m very glad they’ve done it, and are continuing to work on it. Totally awesome ride, except of course for that PTC-on-half-GCI-half-Dinn rattle.

 

Time for lunch, and where else but Chickie’s and Pete’s? This is the only location in the entire state, so every time we visit Worlds of Fun, we gotta get our crab fries. They didn’t have a bartender that day though, so we settled for Fanta. Almost perfect.

 

On that subject, I’ll mention that one criticism of the day is that a lot of places were closed, and the ones that were open appeared to have some staffing issues. That wasn’t a super huge concern, as the aforementioned low crowd levels meant there still wasn’t any waiting for food or drinks. It just meant we had to walk a little farther than normal, and hey, exercise is a good thing.

 

After lunch, we went to the left side of the park for Scandi Scrambler, Sea Dragon, and Prowler. Prowler was a walk on as well, but we opted to wait 2 trains for front row, then 3 trains for back row. Totally awesome ride, except of course for that GCI rattle.

 

Next we went to Dinosaurs Alive. Now that a few trees have lost their leaves completely, there are beginning to be some holes in the foliage through which you can see Prowler. Pro tip: If you go to WoF on opening weekend in early April, a lot of the trees haven’t grown leaves yet, and you can get some great views of Prowler. Near the end of the season isn’t as good, but close.

 

We of course skipped Boomerang. I’ve been on enough of those already, and they’ve all sucked. These days I choose to spend my time doing other things. And of course, it’s got that Vekoma rattle.

 

Next up was Europa. I was disappointed to see that the area was not as lively as it had been last year. The Vamps did not return, and whereas last year it had a great party vibe, this year it just felt dead. The line for Le Taxitour was far too long, so we rode Flying Dutchman and Autobahn, and then moved back to Planet Snoopy.

 

We hung out with the Snoop Dogg for a while and rode all the kids’ favourites, and then made our way back toward Mamba. Detonator is always a favourite of mine. The original Space Shot is still the best, and it has some great airtime at the top. Totally awesome ride, except of course for that S&S rattle.

 

We ate dinner at Coasters, because we were in that area, and we actually had a pretty decent bacon hamburger. Bonus points to the kid taking my order—I didn’t have to explain that I don’t want cheese! I just said “bacon hamburger” and he understood completely! First time all year that’s happened. Those of you who have or with family members who have dietary needs, you get it. Dairy allergies are a bitch, and 3 of the 5 of us suffer the wrath of that bitch.

 

Our ride on Mamba was one of the best I’ve ever had. It was flying through the course and had some great airtime in places it doesn’t normally, such as at the top of the third hill, right before you plunge into the helix. It also didn’t hit the brakes very hard, and had some decent air on the bunny hills. It’s not Magnum’s airtime, but it was really good. Totally awesome ride, except of course for that Morgan rattle.

 

After that ride, we decided that we were tired and ready to head back home. It was around 6, and the park closed that day at 7 anyway, so we made our way back to Scandinavia. We rode Fjörd Fjärlane and the Grand Carousel to finish out the day, and made our way back through that god-awful entrance for the last time. IT was a great way to finish out a great Cedar Fair year.

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Fall colours!

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Goin' to a theme park, walkin' past a maintenance shed.

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Nothing testing yet.

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Yes, we wore costumes to the park!

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We ain't afraid of no ghosts.

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Uh, kids...look behind you.

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Attack of the killer pumpkins...

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And we're entering!

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Chickie's and Pete's has developed some serious landscaping issues since we were last here.

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Spinning Dragons' fountain has been nicely decorated.

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Orient Express, how I miss thee.

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Testing!

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More testing!

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Haunts look so different during the day.

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Super scary flowers!

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The increasingly inaccurately named Front Street had some great decorations.

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Them outlaws is gonna make yous pay for what ya done did.

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Boo!

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And here's the Snoop Dogg himself!

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A nice easy maze for the kids.

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Not nearly windy enough to snap.

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The legendary alternate exit for Timber Wolf.

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This screams desperation. They put these signs out blocking about half the pathway--and mind you, this is a major pathway, and right in front of Planet Snoopy, which is the biggest attraction today. I had to take this picture just to make fun of them for doing this.

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Viking Voyager had some great landscaping and decorations. But you know what's better than a well decorated log flume? An operating log flume! Get on your game, Worlds of Fun--Silver Dollar City's running their log flume this weekend. It's 73 degrees today. I need some cooling flumage.

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Loved the signs.

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Worlds of Fun has a really great haunt event. Glad they leave some of it up during the day.

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This was the sort of crowd we saw all day.

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Sigh. That should be a shot of Zambezi Zinger.

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Guess which one we're here for!

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I think this is an acceptable queue length.

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The Africa section is totally not racist. I don't know what you're talking about.

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King Joffrey's been here, I see.

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Boomerangs are great to photograph, I'll give them that.

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That chamber looked horrific. We opted for dinos instead.

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Prowler THROUGH THE TREES!

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A photo of T-Rex, because T-Rex is awesome.

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Triceratops ain't afraid of no T-Rex.

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Yep, great in photos.

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Loopty loop!

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Le Carrousel est complètement disparu.

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Just hanging out with this pumpkin.

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Some enthusiasts would be way too excited to see this... (Keep doing your thing, Mr. Ouimet--love what you've done with the place).

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This was pretty cool.

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Puns?! Have you no respect for the deceased?!

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Urgent Scare? Meh. We're here for Mamba!

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I took this picture before the Dreamworld rapids ride malfunction, so I was planning a joke here. Seems in bad taste now. So here's a cool shot of a drained rapids ride.

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Closed today. Wimps. If it's warm enough not to need a jacket, it's warm enough for a rapids ride!

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Boomerang is still doing its thang.

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Which of these things is most horrifying? If you answered "The sign with the terrible stereotype of a Moroccan merchant," congratulations, you're not a racist!

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Yep, this is in the middle of the park.

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Good night candy stand by the light of the moon.

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Good night, old entrance that will be leaving soon.

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Good night, Pre-K ticket.

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Good night, Patriot.

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Good night, maintenance gear.

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Good night, amenity for those who can't quit.

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Good night, Kansas Citians full of Halloween cheer.

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Good night, Worlds of Fun. It's been a great year.

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Great TR and I haven't been to WoF in decades! That said, I did notice something not usually available at parks....

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Over there on the Left - Troller Rental? Not sure if that's a necessity or not. :p

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