Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: Wild Adventures 2008

If you want to know what Wild Adventures Theme Park is all about, you need look no further than this brochure cover. It is a work of art! We've got roller coasters, maps, animals, water, a family--All we need is a kitchen sink! In fact, this cover spread is so comprehensive that we might as well skip the rest of the brochure. Very well then. Good night!

I'm a horrible bluffer. I like to think of it as a positive character trait.

But for my own heath and safety, it would have been better if I had never laid eyes on page two! In addition to my roller coaster and brochure obsessions, I also have a soft spot for giraffes. And when I say "soft spot", I mean I own hundreds of them. So as you might imagine, I'm a bit overstimulated right now. Darn you Wild Adventures, with your spectacular variety of rides, animals, and attractions!!

Okay. Taking a deep breath. Counting to ten and OH MY GOD THERE ARE MORE GIRAFFES!! And shucks are they ever cute... Alright, Sabrina: FOCUS. It's time to get down to business!

Animals have always been at the heart of Wild Adventures, which began as a petting zoo. And despite the fact that current owners Herschend Family Entertainment had no prior experience managing a property that features animals, they have wholeheartedly embraced this tradition. They even brought more animals to the park in 2008--as in 300 more! Now that's what I call "embracing".

This much I knew. What I did not know, however, is that some of Wild Adventures' animal residents are celebrities. According to this brochure, all of the park's elephants have "retired from show business"! I guess you could say that Wild Adventures is home to some big stars...

The theme of the week is: Rides named Rattler! (I didn't plan that. Honest!) When Rattler opened in March 2008, Wild Adventures had much to celebrate. It was the park's first new ride in three years! The downward spiraling financial troubles of previous owners Adventure Parks Group LLC were surely to blame for that dry spell.

And on the facing page...Well, well, well: What have we here? Could it be? Yes! It's the return of cheesy park shirt-wearing coaster dude!! My favorite. And his shirt's even the right color for it. I'm more than a little confused about what's going on in that particular photo, and it's not because I'm blinded by the cheese. These folks appear to be riding an inverted coaster (Hangman) on top of the track, and Cheeseman's seat actually looks like it's sitting on top of the other two. I'm no safety inspector, but those look like some serious violations to me! Cheeseman, overcome by his Wild Adventures fanboy tendencies, has obviously been tampering with this ride. Shame on you, Cheeseman!

Remember all that water pictured on the cover? Here's where it comes into play! Splash Island is Wild Adventures' answer to that scorching Georgia heat. Little did it know that it would be receiving a complete overhaul and a Polynesian facelift after the 2008 season came to a close!

Wild Adventures' holiday events were obviously still a work in progress at the time this brochure was printed. By the time the holiday season rolled around, "Haunted Adventure Nites" had become "Phobia" and "Christmas Wonderland" had become "Festival of Lights". Under HFE management, both events were greatly expanded and improved.

Normally I don't have much to say about operating calendars, but this one merits a comment. See all those dates in January and February when the park was closed? This was the first year in its history that Wild Adventures did not operate year-round. This calendar change was enacted by HFE--wisely, I might add--in order to give them ample time for annual maintenance and rehab activities.

Since HFE is obviously in the business of making wise decisions, I expect to see at least one giraffe on every future brochure cover!


Chris said...

Keeping the park closed in Jan/Feb makes so much sense that I'm surprised it took a new owner to make the change. Jan/Feb still gets pretty cold up here. In those months, it's a completely different climate (much colder!) up here than it is in Orlando or Tampa.

You also see they were pushing the synergy of Stone Mountain park to people passing through Valdosta on the way to Atlanta. Makes sense to me; the metro for Valdosta is pretty small compared to the larger feeder cities this park is targeting/depending on; e.g., Tallahassee and Jacksonville. There's no major city in between either one of those two markets. It's too bad moving the park isn't exactly feasible!