Totally Tell Me Everything…6…about Theme Parks!

Hello, friends! This month, we’re gabbing about THEME PARKS, a subject Sarah and Bryn have a lot of experience with.

Question 1: What was your favorite Theme Park experience as a kid, teen and adult?

Kid

  • Not Afraid: Bryn begins with the tale of the time her former fighter pilot father took her on her first upside-down roller coaster, the Corkscrew at Knott’s Berry Farm in ‘80s Buena Park, California.
  • Risk-taker: Sarah’s also got a roller coaster memory for us: When it came to amusement park time for the Heitman family, the formula was Sarah and dad bonding on roller coasters, and her mom enjoying watching them from a bench with a nice coffee. Sarah’s first experience was on The Rattler at Fiesta Texas, a wooden roller coaster. 

Teen 

  • Living in an ‘80s movie: Bryn takes us for a trip to a slightly alarming teenage memory of her 8th grade field trip to Disneyland, but redeems herself with tales of sultry summer nights at all-ages dance club Studio K at Knott’s Berry Farm. Bryn didn’t know this at the time of our recording, but found out that Studio K was located in the Fiesta Village esplanade where Jaguar! now stands. 
  • Sweet freedom: As a member of marching back from middle through high school, Sarah has plenty of band trips to various theme parks under her stylish belt. And she remembers this great sense of freedom, being unleashed at the parks without chaperones clinging tight: You’re given your stipend of money to spend and a time to return to the bus. Have at it! She felt like flying. 
    • Biggest ride memory: Batman: The Ride for the first time. And the soundtrack theme was pumping through the line, it was at night, and it was very, very cool. 

Adult

  • Moving to LA = Theme parks galore: Sarah discovered that when your new college friends have annual passes to Disneyland, you get an annual pass and become a regular. And she discovered that her favorite Knott’s Berry Farm is actually Knott’s Scary Farm
  • Moms and Kids and Solo Moms: Of course, one of Bryn’s favorite things about theme parks has to be getting to take her kids there for the first time and watching their relationship with the parks evolve as they get older. An unexpected second discovery has been the joy of going to theme parks alone, which has been a gift to herself that has made a big impact on her. 

Extra: Bryn likes themed stuff: Clifton’s Cafeterias, Old World, Madonna Inn

Question 2: What do we want to learn about Theme Parks?

  • Bryn dug into the difference between an amusement park and a theme park. 
    • This article from Theme Park Insider gives a good definition of a theme park. 
    • An amusement park generally is a large outdoor area with fairground rides, shows, refreshments, games of chance or skill, and other entertainments. American amusement parks came out of the idea of the  “pleasure gardens” of Europe.
    • A theme park is an amusement park that’s organized and built around a particular theme or group of themes.

Question 3: What are you excited about regarding Theme Parks, especially now that they have reopened after a long period of closure?

  • Sarah is super-digging how Disney California Adventure’s new Avengers Campus is mirroring the Disney+ shows and changing up characters and interactions
  • Bryn is looking forward to being more present when she’s at the parks and appreciating the privilege of being there.
  • And both of us are excited about getting dressed up in fun outfits/Disneybounds, and packing our bags with just the right stuff to optimize our day. Especially big scarves.

BONUS Question: What’s your favorite immersive Theme Park experience?

  • Sarah relates her experience of walking into Be Our Guest, the Beauty and the Beast restaurant in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. It was literally walking IN TO the beauty and the beast film’s ballroom. 
  • Bryn cheated and said the Exploratorium’s Tactile Dome in San Francisco. We’ll all have to forgive her.

About Totally Tell Me Everything

Two friends, one fun topic, three burning questions = lots of fun conversation! Each month we pick a topic and ask each other three questions about it – we learn about the subject, our past and each other. So come sit by us and we’ll totally tell you everything!

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