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Ryan's Commentary: What was the best era for The World's Best Kids' Area?


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Gosh, nostalgia is rough isn't it? I look back and remember fondly the days of visiting Kings Island as a kid. My dad would pick my sister and me up on Saturdays (my mom and dad were divorced), and we'd swing by the breakfast buffet at Frishes and then head out to the park. My sister and I were pretty young, so the 3 of us would spend the day in Hanna-Barbera Land. I sure loved that place! I remember riding the Flinstone Bumper Cars, and several other rides. I used to love riding the little trains that you powered by turning a handle with your hands. There were also different colored trains that went round a track (can't remember for the life of me what they were called) and we always took a ride on those. After a while of rides, it was time to sit down, relax, and catch a puppet show by the Puppet Tree. I can still remember walking around that area and hearing theme songs from some of my favorite shows. You'd hear the lyrics over the speakers, "Scooby, Scoobidy Doo..." or "...just because he's smarter than the average bear!" Thinking back on things like this just gives me warm fuzzies inside. It reminds me of being a carefree child, experiencing certain rides for the first time, or just spending a Saturday with my dad. Did I think it was that great while I was experiencing it at the time? It's hard to say. I did know I was having fun though, and that's what was important when I was a kid. I was having great fun! I didn't care about anything else as long as I got to ride Scooby Doo on the carousel.

Looking back now though, it's clear to see that these types of things hold more meaning now then they did when I was a kid. Yeah they meant a lot to me then, but over time the meaning changes. It's not about going to the park and having a good time, it's looking back and reliving those times in your memories and knowing that you'll never experience them again. There is something a bit sad about it, but also you're happy because you got to experience those things. So for me, well, I'd probably say that Hanna-Barbera was the best era at the park. Why? Because of the memories I carry with me from that era. The characters, the rides, the attractions, the music. It gets all rolled together into one big memory.

20 years from now, find someone who was a kid during this era and ask him about his memories of visiting KI as a child. I bet you it'll sound the same as my description above, except the names of the rides and attractions will vary slightly. When it really comes down to it, the characters on the signs, or the paint schemes of the rides have nothing to do with it. It's the people you're with and the experiences you share together that cement those memories in your mind. The other things are just secondary. Things change, memories are forever.

This is how I feel about Cedar Point in general now.

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