Visiting a theme park or doing an attraction for the first time is always an exciting and nerve-racking experience. Even if you’ve looked up details beforehand, you still won’t fully know what to expect, and there will always be little touches that take you by surprise. It’s true, though, that people very rarely visit a theme park just once, and there’s a lot to be said about taking a return trip to somewhere you’ve already been.
I noticed this particularly today during my and Shawn’s second visit to Efteling this week. Because we had visited earlier in the week, we knew which attractions we wanted to focus our time on, and were able to navigate a little more efficiently having walked the paths already fairly recently. This not only made the day more efficient but allowed us to make the most of our time as we knew we were going to enjoy the rides we did do, instead of trying out everything in the hope that it would all be awesome (which, just so you know, for the most part it all is).
What’s great about returning somewhere though is all the little things you notice that you never would have picked up on the first time; all the little subtleties that it takes an experienced mind and pair of eyes to pick out. I didn’t realise until today, for example, that the water splash on Joris en de Draak is caused by the dragon’s tail, or that when the Witte Wieven appear in the Baron 1898 pre-show there’s a very subtle but pretty cool effect that makes it look like the plaster is falling off the walls. It’s these little things that, for me, keep you interested in an attraction, as you never know what you might discover the next time you go through.
Of course, this isn’t the only great thing about returning to a theme park you know well. One of my favourite things is taking friends who’ve never done a park before to somewhere I know well and introducing them to all the attractions I love so much. Making people go on Hex at Alton Towers for the first time, for example, and watching their disgruntled looks fade to bemusement and awe during the ride as they try and work out what the heck just happened. There’s so much to enjoy about a theme park, and sharing it with friends is just part of that enjoyment.
I suppose sometimes things can get a little stale if they’re done over and over again; I guess it really depends on how much you like the attraction. There are rides I could go on over and over again and do nothing else all day and never get bored, while there are other attractions I really like but could only manage once or maybe twice at most in a day before the novelty wore off. But I think most theme park enthusiasts would agree with me that returning to your favourite places is just as exciting as trying out new ones, and it’s the combination of both of those that makes the thrillseekers’ life a happy one indeed.
See you around =] x x