Friday, July 07, 2006

Standardizing Thrill

Robbie and I visited 6 Flags St. Louis yesterday. The weather was incredible! I can't remember the last time I was chilled on a sunny July afternoon, but following the water rides, the air was cool and dry enough that I acknowledged one advantage the midwest might have over central Texas.

Being roller coaster fans, we were looking forward to trying some new rides. Since we both own season passes that are good at any 6 Flags park in the nation, all it cost us was parking.

We just walked past several of the roller coasters. Apparently the 6 Flags corporation can build replicas of the same ride at different parks more cheaply than it can design different rides.

As Robbie and I had decided that on this trip we would be finding local, non-national-chain restaurants for all of our meals, we were, perhaps, a bit too aware of the cookie-cutter, mass-production values of the theme park world.

One of the advantages of the national-chain-restaurants is they tend to carry a standard of expectation, predictability, and familiarity that offers comfort to travelers who might be far from home.

It seems to me, though, that theme parks, especially when it comes to their roller coasters, ought rather be offering just the opposite.

For more on the local eateries we have discovered, check noncon.

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