A Walk in the Park
April 5, 2012 Leave a comment
Every busy season, Universal likes to send to folks from behind the scenes out to work in the parks. Ostensibly it’s to pitch in and help with the higher attendance levels. But I actually suspect it’s to make us grateful we’re not out there dealing with that madness anymore.
Because you have to be a little crazy to want to visit a theme park in Florida during spring break or summer. If you don’t have kids and therefore don’t have your vacation time dictated by school being out, there’s really no earthly reason to put yourself through that. Unless you really enjoy the communal experience of standing in line with a bunch of sweaty people for two hours for a ride that lasts five minutes. And I do mean sweaty. We’re barely into spring and it was pushing 90 today. As I walked through the area I was helping to sweep up, I saw people sprawled out in any spare bit of shade they could find like they’d just dropped out of the Bataan Death March. And some of them do treat it like a death march, where it’s not about enjoying anything, but seeing everything. If people have to get left behind, so be it; sacrifices must be made to cross the next ride off the map.
And of course you’re battling a few thousand other families who have the same thing in mind. Thus waiting roughly the length of a Spider-Man movie to go on the Spider-Man ride. But they don’t seem to ever get tired of it, because every year the crowds return, even though they know better, even though they’ve been warned, even though common sense would dictate that it might be a tad busy during peak vacation season in the tourist capital of the world. And they’ll still manage to express shock and disbelief that there’s so many people. As if no one else could have possibly had the idea of coming to Florida when their kids have no school.
So I wove my way through hot, weary tourists, working my way towards hot and weary myself, until it was time for my shift to end and I could head back to the air-conditioned paradise that is my cubicle. I put in eleven years out on those front lines. Which I think is the combined amount of time people waited in line today. But hey, keep coming. All that revenue keeps me in that air-conditioned cubicle, thank you very much.