Universal-ly Accepted

None of this architecture is ‘necessary,’ per se, serving no other purpose than to tantalize the eye and imagination, and just so, I love every detail. Who wouldn’t want a windmill spinning atop their house, or a clam-powered faucet?

Details are important.  Any fan of H.G. Wells’ science-fiction will inform you that ignoring the little things in life can prove fatal . . . you know, because all the aliens died in Wells’ novel War of the Worlds . . . because they never considered Earth’s micro-organisms . . . and because of this ‘tiny’ oversight of these microbes the space invaders ended up a ‘little’ dead . . . which is to say ‘very.’

Which brings me to my second point: subtlety.  Subtlety is also a very important quality, especially in writing.  However, in theme parks, the subtle touch is best left outside the gates, along with moderation and unapproved coolers.  In a well-designed theme park, the act of walking or waiting should prove as entertaining as the rides themselves, engaging the imagination as well as the senses.  At the risk of sounding like a dork, I enjoy the lure of another world, of the fantasy.  To quote John Hammond: “I’m not talking about rides.  Everyone has rides.” Continue reading

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A Maryland Muggle in King Harry’s Court

Hogwarts Castle at Wizarding World of Harry Potter“Is this the line for Harry Potter-land?” Sean asked the Universal Studios guide, who directed the growing line of tourists now stretching the entire length of the park.  “Or is this just for some one of the rides?”

“If you want to piss in Hogwarts, this is the line,” she muttered back to him thrusting a wad of stand-by tickets into our hands before moving further down the queue.  Sean was left speechless for several seconds, a true achievement had the guide known it.  I would have shook her hand, if I didn’t think that she might bite it.

“Universal must hire all the rejects from Disney World,” he frowned back in line.  “All the ones that refuse to smile, assist the elderly and lie blatantly to the tourists.” Continue reading