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SFMW 03/27/05: Trip reprt with a few photos

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Hi all,


I had actually planned to take the family to Great America on Sunday, but a quick check of their operating calendar showed me that my plan was doomed since they weren't going to be open. (What’s up with that?) Oh well, SFMW is closer to home anyway, and open, (kind of an important part of any trip to a park, eh?) so that's where we went.


Even though the forecast called for rain, we hoped that Zonga might be running. (No such luck) We weren't in any big hurry, so we showed up at about 11:30. One look at the parking lot told us that the crowds would be light.


After seeing that Zonga was still sitting idle, we headed straight for Medusa. The wife and my 2 oldest kids took the ride while I waited with the youngest. They got off and the kids begged to go again (as usual). I had other plans though. I wanted to see some of the animal shows that we've never taken in for whatever reason.


We had a few minutes to kill before the bird show so we "rode" the Stargate moving chair movie deal. That thing's ok and all, but a new film would be nice. I mean, honestly, how many times can I save the universe and still get all jazzed about it? The wife and kids don't seem to tire of it though, so whatever...


On to the bird show! They have this pirate ship themed set where the trainers come out and do this little spiel about how they crashed the ship into skull rock and that a bunch of their bird cargo got scattered about. They then go about collecting the various birds, while telling us the pertinent facts about each one. They have a little deal at about the middle of the show where a couple of talking birds join in the skit. That was kinda' cool. Some of the other birds are released to fly over the audience before going to the trainers on the stage. The owl was particularly cool. The bald eagle is saved for the end of the show. The one they have has injuries to its wings that prevent it from flying. It's still a very impressive looking animal however. All in all, I found the show entertaining and informative.


After the bird show, we had a little time to kill before the Wildlife theatre "Animals of the world" show. The weather predictions seemed like they may have been in error because the sun was shining and it was actually getting pretty warm. There was zero wait for the river raft ride so we gave it a go. We all got splashed a bit here and there, but none of us got really soaked. With the sun out, we'd easily dry off in just a little while. After leaving our raft for the next brave travelers, we made the short walk to the Wildlife theatre and got there just as the show started. Even though we were a little wet, it was warm enough that we took our seats in a shady spot.


This show had sort of a "Survivor" theme to it. They had the survivor music playing and they picked 3 adults and 3 kids to be on 2 separate "tribes" that would answer questions about the animals. Of course, the whole deal was rigged so that the kids would win. I honestly don't remember each animal that they brought out, but they were all fairly interesting. The ones that did stick out to me were the fruit bat and the Cheetah. The bat was actually pretty cool. They had it move itself along a rope strung across the stage. I never knew that bats had little thumb-like deals on the "knuckle" (for lack of a better term) of their wings. It used them to get about. It was neat to watch. The Cheetah was most memorable because they had a pair of Easter Bunny ears on her head. The ears didn't seem to bother her at all and it looked just cute as hell. (As evidenced by all the "Awwws" from the crowd)


After the animal show the kids were ready to ride some more. We took a few spins on "Jambo". I don't know what that kind of ride is called, but it's this deal that's just a flat platform that rises and falls in a circle. It's pretty tame. It just kind of gives you a little belly tickle when it starts going a little faster. I don't know why, but the kids can't seem to get enough of it. I find it mildly amusing and all, but one ride on it is enough for me. It just doesn't do anything all that exciting. We then walked just a short ways to "VooDoo". I don't know what the common name for these rides is either, but it's the same thing as a "Gravitron" in RCT. I guess these "spin and puke" rides must have their fans, but I'm not really one of them. The thing just doesn't do much for me. I actually believe that watching it is more intense than riding it. Since there was almost no line, I stayed on it for 3 go-rounds before I was just simply bored with it. The kids stayed on for another few cycles while I took a couple pictures of the flamingos and the river raft ride.


We then:


Watched the Shouka killer whale show. (Always entertaining)


Rode the Tasmanian Devil. (Me once, the kids about a bazillion times)


Rode Boomerang. (Ho-hum)


Rode what I think must be the weakest swinging ship in existence. (Although it makes my wife nauseas because she can't stand swinging rides)


Witnessed the weather forecasts come to fruition.


It was about time to get something to eat so we headed over to try the buffet restaurant. All you can eat salad, mac and cheese, vegetarian chili, spaghetti, fried chicken and sodas: $53 for 2 adults and 3 kids. What a bargain! (Not) Oh well, I guess by theme park standards (or at least the standards of theme parks that I'm used to) it's not all that bad. The kids seemed to like it and that's good enough for me.


We had hoped that maybe the rain would let up a bit while we ate, but that wasn't going to happen. It was raining harder and harder with no let up in sight. We checked out the Shark Experience and the Walrus deal (Been there, done that) and then decided to call it a day. My daughter was all bent that we didn't go ride Roar in the rain, but none of the rest of us wanted to get any wetter than we already were.


If we'd paid a regular park admission, then I'd have left thinking we got kinda' burned by the weather, but since we've got season passes it was no biggy. We had a good time, even if it was a short day at the park.


I'd have taken more pics if I'd been planning to post a trip report. As it is, I really only posted this because Robb encouraged people to post TRs in a recent email that I received. Here are the few pics that I did take. (I already know they're pretty lame and uninteresting. Like I said, I wasn't taking pics with the idea of posting a trip report) I’ll include a few other pics from some previous trips to try to make up for it.


Sunday's pics:
















Some pics from March 12th (opening day):
















Some pics from last September:



























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We'll be heading there for the first time this season on Saturday.


This is our favorite time of year to go, because the crowds haven't discovered the place yet and the weather is neither too hot nor too wet.


Thanks for the report.



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