Sam had been wanting to go back to Enchanted Kingdom for a long time. I wasn’t too hot about the idea considering what happened the last time we were there years ago — children and adults jumping the lines with the park attendants ignoring them for the most part. It was a far cry from the crowd and the orderliness that we experienced the first time we were there just a few months after the park opened two decades ago.
On February 1, as I promised Sam, we went back to Enchanted Kingdom. There were new rides but, apart from that, nothing’s changed. The food is still bad. And jumping the lines was still the norm for many visitors. We encountered parents who were telling their young children it was okay to do it. There were parents who pushed to get ahead in the lines. Once or twice, park attendants told the erring children to go back to the end of the line. But, in most cases, they turned a blind eye.
Although there were moments when I wanted to slap some parents and drown some children, we survived without incident. And the goal was achieved. As it turned out, the real come-on for the girls was a chance to relive their childhood for a day. That became clear to me when they sought the rides they had enjoyed as toddlers and as grade-schoolers.
The girls rode the kiddie rides, played games and Sam even won a huge stuffed toy for breaking plates. They tried the scarier ones (with Speedy) that I was too chicken to even consider.
They had fun. And I was happy to see them having fun.
But we’re not going back again. It was Sam herself who said it. It was heartbreaking to see the girls’ disappointment when they realized that adults are not allowed to ride the Air Pterodactyl, Stone Eggs and Dinosaurus unless accompanying young children. There were some tentative musings about borrowing some strangers’ kids but it was just a passing thought. But that was a turning point. How could they relive their childhood if they weren’t allowed in the very rides that they enjoyed the most when they were very young? Personally, I considered it a blessing in disguise. I really don’t want to go back to Enchanted Kingdom. It has totally lost the magic for me.