I think some of the most exciting places to travel to are the ones with theme parks. Sure, there are places with good scenery, or excellent cultural artefacts and architecture, or great food, great hospitable people. Lots of shopping. But no, I think I still really like the ones with amusement parks.
I liked going to the Gold Coast, and I think the only things I remember from there were DreamWorld and MovieWorld, most notably the latter. DreamWorld was a bit too childish and all the rides seemed to involve turning around and around to make people dizzy. But MovieWorld was great. It had the unforgettable Scooby-Doo rollercoaster, which is my favourite by far, and the awe-inspiring Superman one. And I love that some of the most thrilling rides had an age limit of, like, 2 years old or something. Those children sure are sturdy! But yeah, do visit the MovieWorld sometime, in Gold Coast. Oh, and watch out for all the Hey Arnold banners around.
I have also been to Hong Kong Disneyland, which was… alright. Maybe I was getting a bit too old for Disney by that time, but the rides were all mainly family-centred. But I hear Hong Kong Disneyland’s like the worst Disneyland around, right? I couldn’t go to Tokyo Disneyland because it wasn’t part of the package, and that was because it is way costly and also requires a whole day to just queue up at all the rides. Apparently the best time to go to Tokyo Disneyland is when it is raining, because the number of visitors will be reduced by half and you may at least have a chance to ride a few more rides. If only I could reserve an amusement park all to myself for a day.
So I guess it is a good thing, if I were a tourist, that Singapore has Universal Studios Singapore. It had an Escape theme park previously (and probably still does), but that one is more focused towards locals and doesn’t have many rides, or many impressive ones to be precise. However, USS is more international — and also more expensive — and I think it has some good things going. No favourite rides so far, though. But the atmosphere of the place is pretty good, and I think crowd control is alright too.
Malaysia, more specifically Johor Bahru, has recently opened a Legoland amusement park. It is extremely family-oriented, and by that I mean quite kiddie. I haven’t really been there but that was the feedback I heard. I suppose it can be difficult to have a theme park that appeals to children and adolescents at the same time — there can only be these many rides after all. Having no sibling of my own, I’m inclined to seek out amusement parks with more rides that fit my age.
It is funny that when I was younger, I went to Genting Highlands a lot. They had an Outdoor Theme Park which was quite cool for such an old theme park, but I was terrified of the exhilarating rides. I could take simple rollercoasters well, and loved the spinning cups, but when it came to more creative rides like the kind where you shoot up into the sky (they had a kid version which was really short) I was appalled. And up to now I still hate rides involving driving a car. Those bumper cars, for instance, and road rallies, or whatever you call the kind where you sit in a car and drive around a circuit. I hate those, because most times I can never understand the controls.
Maybe this is a reflection of my poor hands-on coordination. I have always been bad at learning how to do stuff by hand.