Chol Ha Moed Chilluli Hashem
One of my neighbors - a nice guy/computer geek/sometimes comedy writer- sent me this guest post on his impressions of his trip to Hersey Park over Chol Hamoed.
For reasons unknown to me some people think that being part of the "am ha'nivchar" gives them the right to act like total jerks in public. When too many of those people get together this is what results.
Look for my post next week with remarkably similar impressions from my Chol Ha'Moed trip to Six Flags Great Adventure.
PS My neighbor asked me to assign him a secret identity - please note this post was not written by the REAL Henry Kissinger.
Random Observations from my Chol Hamoed Sukkot trip to Hershey Park
On Tuesday, my family and I went to Hershey Park. We've been there before, most recently this summer, but have never been to one of these special Chol Hamoed trips. (At least not since High school, but things were different then)
Here are some random observations:
1) Stroller etiquette
We got there early (Maybe the 40th car in the lot with about that number of people piling out of each car) and went first to Chocolate World which had a stroller parking lot that was only about 5-10% full. However, these strollers still managed to block the entrance. My wife, who is a stroller expert, noted that they were all fancy European strollers. I guess they come
with the same parking rules as fancy european sports cars.
Later on we had a hard time getting our stroller through the single aisle in the sukkah as it was blocked by other strollers.
Here's a rule of thumb I came up with: If parking your stroller in the middle of the aisle would block someone with an equivalent stroller from getting through, something is wrong.
Some of the strollers were used to carry bags of Brooklyn take out. That's an OK idea, but not as good as...
2) The rolling suitcases
People in the park actually had large suitcases that they were rolling around, presumably filled with food. Strange, but not a bad idea.
3) Theme music
Instead of the usual instrumental music which is not kosher for some reason, the park was playing jewish music (I don't know which performer) Apparently, with 28-30 dollars a pop from thousands of people (not to mention the 3.50 hot dogs, etc..), they were only able to afford one tape played in a loop which got real annoying real fast. Even the Music Express that usually plays pop music, played the same tape. It just wasn't the same.
4) General rudeness and line cutting.
On Monday, the day before our trip, I was driving to work and noticed a minivan behind me full of kids that could have been a family going on a Chol Hamoed trip. "How nice", I thought. A minute later I slowed down a bit to let someone pull in front of me and I got honked. That sort of set the tone of how things went at hershey park.
On all of my outings to amusement parks, I have never seen security called until now. We were towards the front of a somewhat long line for the monorail and there was a family trying to get in through the exit with some story about how they were in line at some point and only some of them left and then this one ran after that one and the other one followed this one and the park is closing soon so it isn't fair that they should have to wait in line again. The poor atttendant kept politely telling them that they can't cut the line but the family refused to budge so she had to call a manager. A few minutes later a security guard showed up. I don't know what happened next because I was distracted by the man with a large tray of food pushing through the line. (He was asked to leave as well).
I also saw a lot of kids on lines who were obviously shorter than the ride allowed. On one particular kiddie ride, the operator kept being inundated by people wanting their under height kid to go on the ride. (The ride was a mini merry go round with no straps. I guess they don't mind if little chezky goes flying) A woman in front of us was complaining to her husband and the operator that there are no rides that her kid can go on. I politely pointed out to her the adjancent ride which allowed kids of that size. She made a face at me. I think she cared more about arguing then her kid.
There are 36 rides in the park that these size kids can go on. How do I know?
a) I looked at the map. I don't think anyone else there bothered.
b) I have a daughter that age. Did she cry when she couldn't go on some of the rides? Yes. Do I want her to be a flying Chezkie? No.
The general level of line cutting was higher than on our summer trip. You get on a presumably short line but then all of a sudden the kid in front of you turns into 12 kids wearing the same exact clothing.
The sad part, besides the obvious chillul hashem, is that none of this suprised me.
They offered 2 mincha minyans. I showed up 3 minutes early to one and was pulled into a breakaway minyan. I'm not from Brooklyn so I find that slightly amusing.
6) Mix of people
By the kiddie rides, it was predominintly yeshivish people. The roller coaster lines were full of teenagers. Suprisingly few orthodox looking ones though. I wonder why?
All in all though, the rides were the same rides, the chocolate the same chocolate, so we had a great time.
Was anybody else there? Did anybody go to Sesame Place where they had separate fully clothed swimming in the middle of October? (It is in Pennsylvania) I'm sure AskShifra would love to hear about it.