Do you remember the day the commercial for the Arachnid Wonder World first aired? To many of us, it seemed to be nothing more than absurdist satire, perhaps poking fun at the fears many people had of roller coasters and the like. A literal spider-web theme park, fit with gossamer chair swings and eight-legged park entertainers? A theme park made by spiders for spiders? All of the sudden willing to accommodate human park guests, thanks to this, out-of-the-blue, shrinking technology? Beyond preposterous. In fact, I was in the crowd of people who believed this was some form of creative marketing tactic for some new, satirical kids cartoon. It was only due to the surreal authenticity of the commercial that it garnered the attention that it did. Sure, in today’s world, virtually anything could be faked. Yet everything, from the spiders that moved, the tiny actors involved in the commercial, to the white-thread roller coaster, seem 100% genuine. CGI experts and practical effect maestros picked apart the commercial, with in-depth analysis, only to present the impossible facts that the commercial we all witnessed had not been created with either CGI or practical effects, not even in the slightest. Still, the world moved on. Such is the stubbornness of our devotion to reality. If it wasn’t a practical or computer-generated illusion, it was some other form of elaborate hoax. The idea that humans would go to that level of trouble merely to market a cartoon no one had ever heard of seemed quite silly to some. But what other possibility was there? Well, we all know the answer to that now. Today, Arachnid Wonder World has surpassed every theme park in the world in terms of sheer success and popularity. Not even Disney could hold a candle to the power in which AWW is able to draw crowds. I’m still not sure which is more absurd; the fact that this park, fit with its shrinking technology and giant spiders, actually exists, or that it has managed to amass any visitors at all, let alone massive popularity! Hello?! Arachnophobia anyone? But that’s just it; people are attracted to their nightmares, so long as they trust that they’re in a safe space.
Frankly, I don’t have anything to add to the conversation in regards to the implications of AWW. I cannot confirm the rumors of an intelligent underground city of spiders, nor do I have particularly strong opinion on whether or not the creators of AWW should share their incredible technology with the rest of the world. On one hand, shrinking technology, insect training systems, and gossamer engineering could undoubtedly be an enormous boon to our society. On the other hand, just turn on an episode of Black Mirror to see why some Luddite attitudes may not be so bad. None of us even know the people behind the creation of this bizarre theme park. If we could even call them people. Who’s to say the creators aren’t extra-terrestrials, or as many people theorize, a society of intelligent arachnids? The point is, I’m not smart enough to add fuel to this endless discussion.
I’m writing this blog post for one solitary reason, which I’m sure many of you have guessed at. I’ve recently taken an all-day trip to AWW, finally having the money saved up to visit the big city, and purchase a ticket. Well, two tickets. I brought my girl-that’s-a-friend along, Domina, to the park with me. I didn’t want to go alone, but I also wanted to bring her along to help quell her fear of spiders. Domina is not one of those people with arachnophobia…No…She has crippling arachnophobia, to the point where should doesn’t enjoy her fear, even in a safe space. She’s been known to cower at photos of even the cutest of clip-art spiders. I’ve seen her punch a poor zookeeper in the face for daring to ask if she wanted to hold a tarantula. A basket-case indeed. She told me that, when she was a small girl, both of her parents had inexplicably transformed into spiders for no reason. Naturally I never believed her, but considering the course reality has taken, I suppose anything is possible. I don’t blame her for her fear, but I’m a strong believer in throwing someone into the deep end, so long as you provide floaties. AWW is perfectly safe, as safe as any other park, and she loves theme parks. How did I manage to convince her to come along with me, you may ask? Well, believe it or not, I didn’t. She was the one who insisted to come. She had recently killed someone for drawing a spider near her, and she knew it was time to make a change. Incremental steps never worked for her, I knew it, and she knew it. She agreed with my ‘into the deep end’ logic, and decided to only way to soothe her phobia was to jump in with both feet. She assured me that were she to kill anything at AWW, it would be a spider.
I warned her that would get her arrested anyways, but alas, I can assure nobody was hurt on our excursion to AWW. In fact, it was phenomenal trip. However, AWW is surely not without its flaws, and it is my intention to provide to you, dear reader, with a comprehensive, attraction-by-attraction review of the AWW theme park as a whole, in the chronological order of which we experienced the attraction. Each post following this one shall be devoted to an attraction, from dawn ‘till dusk, fit with a five star review system. You may think of this as something of a semi-analytical trip report, only without the photographs. As some of you may know, AWW strictly forbids photographs of any kind; do a Google search to find out what happens to your smart phone if you try to take one…
We’ll get started next week with our grand entrance to AWW! Hope to see you there, dear reader! Be sure to tell your eight-legged friends about it, as well as your two-legged ones.