Thursday, January 31, 2013

Birthday Dreams

"But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells... of silence" - Simon & Garfunkel

- Imagine a dream where you walk outside and realize that you are the only one left... no people anywhere.
- Think of a horror movie that takes place in an old amusement park or a crazy carnival.
- Picture a post-apocalyptic world with all the evidence of a once bustling civilization slowly being overcome by rust and decay.

That is what we experienced when we took the kids to "Wonderland" for the girls 5th birthday.

First of all, there isn't much that could possibly more exciting to two 5 year old girls than their birthday. They have been counting down the days since Christmas. There has been lots of planning, excited discussions, dreaming, and smiles during January related to their birthday. It is fun to watch. We decided that instead of just toys, we would take the kids somewhere for their birthday to create some fun memories. "Wonderland" seemed like a perfect place. It has amusement park rides for adults and children, plus it also has a decent sized water park with lots of slides. Double the fun.

We arrived at the park when it opened at around 10AM. We got the first indication that this would be a different experience when we realized that out of a huge parking lot, we were the only car. We then walked up to a large row of ticket counters to find that only one ticket window was open. We purchased our tickets and entered.

We stayed for most of the day and.... we were the only visitors there! To be honest, in the afternoon at the water-park we did see one couple sitting near a pool on the other side, but that was it! It was surreal.  I mean a huge park with dozens of rides, shops, games, buildings, eateries... and we had it all to ourselves.  It was cool, but also kind of creepy. The ride operator(s) would just kind of wait around to see where we walked to next and then walk over and fire that ride up just for us. What made it even more eerie was that none of the rides had any music or sounds!  I mean can you even imagine a carnival, fair, or amusement park without the blaring music and sound effects?  ...Nothing.  Just the whirring sounds of machinery and hydraulics. There was booth after booth of carnival games all set up and ready to play, with no lights and no one there convincing you to 'win it big' or test your skill. No people. No sounds. Yeah, eerie.

The kids loved it. They got to go on any ride or slide they wanted with no lines. Want to ride again? just let the zombie-like Bangladeshi workers know and they push the button for another round. Did I mention NO LINES? Yvonne and I also enjoyed the grown-up rides we went on. Have you ever ridden a roller coaster where you were the only rider? Some of the rides were a great thrill... but often it was more the scare that the ride might break down rather than the thrill of the ride itself. Without music, you notice a lot more of the bangs and clanking noises... not to mention, these rides were just plain old.

In the end, the outing was success. The kids had fun. The parents had fun. We all made some great (although slightly creepy) memories. Plus, the kids got to ride a real camel.

What the Heck?


  1. Man...totally wish we could have gone to Wonderland with you! Hope Abi and Saylor had a great birthday and we're so excited that they are 5!

  2. Oh and that is a pretty fancy camel. Must have gotten dress up just for the girls birthday.

  3. Wow, the kids are getting so big! Especially Talon! I would love an amusement park with no lines! But that is kind of creepy. . .

  4. Wow, that is really strange/fun/random. Any clues as to what caused EVERYONE IN THE UAE (!!!) to be entertained elsewhere for the day? Amazing! Glad you guys are making fun memories of you time there!

  5. I can only imagine how strange that would be to be the only ones at a fun park! Maybe it was the weather? A religious holiday? Better than going to Disneyland and waiting 3 hours in line for one ride, I guess...

    And Happy Birthday girls!

    You are all lookin' great!

  6. Happy Happy birthday girls! You were pretty lucky to have such a special day just for the two of you! They cleared the whole park for your 5th birthday-pretty awesome! Emma is so excited that you are all the same age for a couple of months. Know we love you and glad you had such a great day!

  7. happy birthday gurlys!!! miss you guys so much. cant believe your already 5! luv you guys sooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!
    -sabeena sheth