Monday, February 13, 2006

Enchanted Kingdom

Yesterday we loaded 15 folks into a mini-van and headed to The Enchanted Kingdom. "EK" is the ROP's equivalent of Disney World, though it is more like Six Flags or the late, great Opryland (memorial site here) in terms of size, shows, and tech-level.

We started off crammed into Uncle Elmo's Mitsubishi L300 for the 90-minute drive from Meycauayan to EK. Rani laughed and played without crying, and Matt, Mykah, Kay, and Eia kept us entertained. The drive flew by, as the 90 minutes felt did feel like 90 minutes. Upon arrival, I unfolded my contorted skeleton, we checked in, had the kids measured (they measure the kid's height and then provide a customized-by pencil list of the rides each child can ride) and headed for the grand carousel. Then we split off into groups handing the kids off from one to another as we rode, ate, and took in the sights. Ten hours later, whipped and drained, we proceeded to slink back home. A great time was had by all, especially Eia and Kay, who finished the "who'll get the wettest on the raft ride" competition tied for first.

There were things that drove me crazy, but I'd expected no different. All in all, I was very impressed with the variety and quality of rides, the cleanliness of all of the facilities, and the friendly, helpful staff (It's nice to be in a place where service sector jobs are performed with pride, and quality customer service is delivered).

I never thought that I'd find the world's best hotdogs in the Philippines, but I did. The EK concession stands served only fried "Pure Foods" brand franks (the artificial coloring makes the dripping grease turn red), and they are served on fat, yeasty buns/rolls. I had several of the "bacon dogs", which are fried hotdogs, split down the middle and stuffed with cheese and bacon. Ummmmmmm.

The most exciting ride was certainly the "Space Shuttle", which is quite a fun rollercoaster. You start off being pulled backwards up a near-vertical incline, where you stay suspended for nearly a minute (I was hanging off of my seat against the shoulder restraints---) before being shot forward, through 2 loops, one with a full twist. You then find yourself being slowly pulled up another near-vertical incline, dangled, and shot through again---backwards. Grabe! Sobra! Takot Ako! Ferlie says that this ride made her realize that she is "old", and she has sworn off any other "thrill rides". We'll see about that.

Like any amusement park (or as Dr Shwe used to say, "amazement park") the primary purpose of EK is separate the visitors from as much of their money as possible. EK is expensive, but fortunately for me, it's downright cheap by "Fat, Hairy, Whiteboy standards".

The next time any of you, dear readers, find your self on Luzon, you might want to consider investing a day (and P500+) in a trip to EK.

Pictures will follow. Wait lang.


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