Arachnid Wonder World: The Bouncy Web

After we disembarked from Spider Flyers, I took in the grand scope of Arachnid Wonder World, and the sheer volume of attractions this park had to offer.  Spider Flyers was a more fun attraction than I had perhaps gave it credit for, yet I realized at this point that I had barely scratched the surface of what further fun this park had to offer. That Chair Swing was child’s play, and this notion gave me a tingling exhilaration, an invigoration for the eight-legged adventure yet ahead of me. Where to begin? It was only 9:10 in the morning, so much fun left to be had! I couldn’t wait to experience the next attraction. However, one thing was dampening the experience slightly; while Domina had finally snapped out of her previously catatonic state (a blessing to be sure), she hadn’t returned to her normal self, or in other words, my true friend. As we hastened and maneuvered around the thickening crowd of park guests, trying to decide the next attraction to ride, Domina continued to babble on incoherently about her lust for spiders, as if describing her long lost lover. By the time she asked me how many spiders I would buy her for Christmas this year, I had enough. Though her inexplicable arachnophilia was initially amusing, I realized that it was some kind of twisted overcompensation for her actual arachnophobia, the likes of which I have never witnessed, dear reader. An unhealthy suppression of her true emotions... The point of her being here was not only for the joy of it, but to overcome and defeat her crippling fear of spiders, and this wasn’t helping. So, I swiftly pulled her aside, looked her dead in the eye, and calmly explained to her how irrational and insane her behavior was, reminding her of the reason for her visit, and who she truly was. I just wanted her to return to her normal, semi-sane self again. But all I got was an indignant huff, “Obviously we died and went to spider heaven, silly boy! You’re clearly delusional! Now seriously, I want a mutant tarantula for Christmas, not some stupid puppy!” This wouldn’t be easy, dear reader. Ever-worried, I scanned the park for a suitable next attraction as we continued meandering through AWW. Something that would help Domina exit this phase that she seemed to be locked in. Something lively, something that required energetic interaction from park guests. I felt purging some of her manic energy would help her move past this, and indeed, I found just the trick. It was a sizeable attraction entitled ‘The Bouncy Web’; an apt name, as this was essentially a trampoline attraction. Perfectly fitting to what I was searching for. So, here is my official review for The Bouncy Web!

Queue & Acrobatics

The exterior of The Bouncy Web resembled a castle fortress; a blue and white, compressed spider-silk, octagonal fortress, fit with four parapet-turrets. The attraction itself was out of view, blocked off by the eight, thirty-foot tall walls as well a central entrance gate, surprisingly constructed out of wood, of all things. The queue itself, whilst not brief (Twenty minute wait.), was inspiringly unique and enjoyable. Normally when you think of a queue, you think of a long wait in a snaking line, correct? Possibly themed, possibly unthemed. Spider Flyers set the expectation that that is what I would be getting on this trip to AWW. But this attraction threw that notion out the window. Spider Flyers may have had a shorter wait, but the queue itself was far more mundane. Plus, you have to consider the ratio of the wait to the attraction length, which in The Bouncy Web’s case, was far superior to Spider Flyers. Besides, I’ve already established that wait times will no longer factor in to the queue scores. That being said, the wait for The Bouncy Web did not function as a traditional line, as the embarkment and disembarkment process did not lump park guests into a single group, but instead individualistically. Or at the very most, four people at a time for those people who came to AWW in large groups.  Due to the physically interactive and ‘sandbox’ nature of this attraction, guest were allowed a maximum of one hour to spend on the attraction, but were allowed to exit any time they wished. More than enough time, dear reader. You may think this posed a problem for wait time, but rest assured, the sizeable ride capacity for The Bouncy Web prevented this from becoming an issue, as well as the trickle method of ride embarkment.

As I have mentioned, the best part about the queue was how frankly enjoyable it was. It was so entertaining, that it could’ve almost been an attraction in and of itself. First things first; before entering the queue surrounding the octagonal fortress, we had to receive something of a buzzer from a hyper, helium-infused white jumping spider near the wooden gate, laughing manically for some reason. This wrist-attached buzzer functioned a lot like those restaurant buzzers that let diners know when it was their turn to be served, preventing line-cutters and general chaos. Following that, we entered the main queue, me fully expecting a bore of a time (Domina begging us to undertake spider-transformation after this attraction.), but instead finding myself enthralled by some activity occurring in a semi-circular niche at the center of one of the gossamer walls. In fact, there were four of these vaulted recesses, one on every other exterior wall. What occurred within each niche was essentially the same, but equally mesmerizing nonetheless. We essentially got to witness a free acrobatic show prior to boarding the attraction. Each niche featured a raised stage, along with a large, and clearly well-trained blue and red jumping spider performing impressive acrobatic features, the likes of which were impressive even for a spider. The blue and red colors seemed suspiciously Spider Man-esque, and indeed, upon closer inspection I noticed they were wearing the arachnid equivalent of a unitard, their natural colors hidden underneath that.  After circling the queue to witness the four arachnid acrobats, I settled on a niche with the thinnest crowd to get a better view. I got to experience an amazing array of acrobatic feats, the likes of which I have literally never seen, considering the nature of the acrobat. From a dizzying, impossible amount of back flips performed in a row without landing (Hidden web strands, I’d imagine.), eight-legged cartwheels galore,  absurdly high jumps fit with web swinging (hint hint…), self-perpetuate web tight-rope walking, and more. The spider had begun break dancing on its back by the time our wrist buzzers signified that it was our turn to board. I found myself so engrossed in the physical display, that I was almost disappointed that the wait was over. That is the sign of an exceptional queue, dear reader. The score I’m giving may seem overblown to you, and perhaps it would be if this were the main attraction. If that were the case, I’d likely rate this as an above average show. But it wasn’t, dear reader, it was merely the queue, and that is what made it truly special.    

However, upon reflection, there was something odd about my experience watching the acrobat. It only occurred to me after the fact, but Domina had been silent the entire time. Usually this wouldn’t have been strange, but she had previously been prattling on and on about her unprecedented, alleged love for spiders. It was only when she continued her inane ramblings as we embarked upon the main attraction that I theorized the reason for this; my own enthusiasm. I had been visibly enthused during acrobatic displays. Prior to that and afterwards, I carried a natural, stoic, and mildly nervous demeanor. My enthusiasm for arachnid displays of physical prowess may have somehow put a temporary stopper to her pseudo-love for spiders. This gave me an idea…

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Score: 5 arachnids out of 5

Main trampoline

Having been granted entrance to the interior of The Bouncy Web’s fortress, I mused over how we would spend our time within the mini-complex. We had an entire hour to kill, after all, although we ended up leaving forty minutes in. Certainly not out of dissatisfaction, mind you, dear reader! Definitely not, we had an absolute blast on this attraction, it was merely a tiring affair. Anyways, I referred to The Bouncy Web as a ‘mini-complex’, and this is no exaggeration. You can almost view it as a minor theme park in and of itself, putting those urban indoor trampoline parks to shame.  The central area functioned as something of a “sandbox” trampoline, an exceedingly wide spider web for park guests to bounce on as they see fit, and that we did, dear reader. Our specialty web-attach boots that we were given at the entrance of AWW worked seamlessly within The Bouncy Web, in fact I barely even registered them. Surrounding the central trampoline were a variety of smaller trampoline segments, each one with a more specified goal for guests. However, I shall review most of those individually in the next section, but in this section of the review, I shall focus on the central web trampoline. That is where Domina and I spent the majority of time on the attraction, as it functioned as a natural “hub” area, providing the branch off exits and entrances to the miscellaneous experiences surrounding the central trampoline. The freeing nature of the main trampoline made it so we could create our own rules on the fly, in contrast to the more linear attractions. It’s utterly stunning to me how something far simpler in concept could generate far more long-term value than the most complex of creations. An interesting paradox…Anyhow, our time bouncing upon this main web-trampoline proved to be a joyous one, for both of us. Domina remained immutable in her arachnophillic state, however at this point I put aside my frustration with her, and instead began implementing my plan. Rather than directly attempting to pull Domina back to her senses, I began to reflect her insane levels of arachnid enthusiasm. As we began casually bouncing around the trampoline, circumnavigating the perimeter as a sort of tour of the complex, Domina commenced her nonsensical rambling, this time expressing her disappointment that she was born to human parents and not spider parents. Instead of shaking my head in embarrassment like my instincts told me too, I simply nodded my head in agreement. This seemed to temporarily put her off, just as I suspected. She clammed up. A minute later she was back to “normal”, but her reaction gave me the confidence to go further with my pretend-enthusiasm. While we freely bounced about, I continued to reflect her enthusiasm, agreeing that a spider transformation wasn’t a bad idea; that I could use the six extra arms for multitasking. Her words rung of approval, but her nervous body language told another story.  Indeed, by the end of our time on the attraction, Domina had finally moved passed this weird phase of hers, but I’ll explain exactly what happened in the next section of this post.

As I’ve stated, we honestly had a blast on this grand trampoline! Despite Domina’s altered state of consciousness, I could tell that she was genuinely having fun, as I was. As we played bouncy tag, “Crack the Egg”, Leap Frog, and tried and failed to do cool tricks, Domina smiled all the way. Her true personality seemed to temporarily shine through here and there; perhaps it was due to the distinct lack of spiders within the actual Bouncy Web complex. Still, it was only a glimmer; as soon as a burst of adrenaline was over with, she was back to dreaming about spider sex, or god knows what else.  Point is, the main trampoline served its recreational purpose in spades, but there really isn’t all that much to say considering the basic nature of it. I would take this trampoline over any other in the world, that’s for sure. The bird’s eye view of the streets below AWW beneath our feet was worth the price of admission alone. Not to mention the sheer size of the web, I believe I’ve understated that. Just think three football fields worth. It goes without saying that this is quite impressive, and this scale truly prevents an overly crowded bounce zone, a real annoyance in other trampoline parks. However, this scale is also to its detriment; traveling to the different miscellaneous trampoline circled around the complex wall proved to be quite a pain. The only option was to travel by foot (or rather as a kangaroo.), and in my mind, this was a cheap way to pad out the attraction time. I’m sure the creators of AWW could’ve easily provided efficient transport within the complex…The large trampoline size also minimizes the relative size of the complex, deceiving guests into imagining a greater quantity of things within the complex, when in fact the bulk of was occupied by an enormous but simplistic trampoline. Despite these gripes, I couldn’t in good conscious gives this trampoline a score any lower than four. I believe that’s fair.

             

Score: 4 arachnids out of 5

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Misc Trampolines

                  So, you may be wondering what these miscellaneous, smaller trampolines that I referred to actually are. A very good question! Because I completely forgot the answer! Regrettably, my memory draws a blank in regards to those elements of The Bouncy Web. Perhaps some mischievous spiders were having a bit too much fun with mind-erase technology (don’t put it past this park), maybe I hit my head, who knows. All you need to know is that I had a resounding blast, and Domina went back to her normal, semi-psychotic state.

 

Score: 1337 arachnids out of 5

I jest, dear reader! You’ll have to forgive me, I couldn’t help myself. Anyways, there were five extra trampoline attractions within the area, each one providing a relatively unique experience. We only experienced three of the five, and the first one we embarked on could only be referred to as a “super-high bounce” (these were given no names.). Essentially this amounted to a trick competition against other park guests, the tricks being easier to pull off due to an almost gravity-defying bounce height. Tricks weren’t required, though. I was surprised I hadn’t noticed people flying into the air outside the attraction, but upon reflection, the creators of AWW likely utilized advanced invisibility technology for aesthetic purposes. This, as it should go without saying, was exceptionally fun. Non-intrusive force fields prevented riders from escaping the cylindrical confines of their respective trampoline, so safety wasn’t an issue. The next one we went on was something of an “involuntary bounce” attraction, if that makes sense. Imagine an oversized padded room, like something you would see in an insane asylum, only larger, with bouncy spider webs instead of rubber walls. The process of this attraction was a very simple one; we entered the closed off and curious room, one of us (Domina) getting swiftly sucked out of the room by an unseen force. In the next second, I found out why. As I took a tentative first step into the darkened room, the entire space lit up in yellow lights, and I found the whole world spinning around me as I seemed to inexplicably fly around the room. Well, I wasn’t flying, dear reader, I was being bounced around the trampoline room like a ping-pong ball on Adderall. There was no pattern, just erratic bouncing at varying high velocities. The definition of blissful chaos. This insanity of a ride explained the need for individual separation…Domina seemed to have one hell of a time after she took her turn (though her hair disagreed.); It lasted for only a couple of minutes, but trust me, considering the kinetic intensity of this one, sometimes short and sweet is the only option.  Following that, the final trampoline we had the pleasure to enjoy felt like something pulled straight out of Super Mario. Indeed, it was essentially the (spider web) physical embodiment of a classic 3-d Platformer. If you’ve ever played any of those classic video games, you’ll know that the playable characters are all able to jump far higher than should be possible within their universe, almost as if they all jumped on some invisible, well…trampoline. What Domina and I partook in basically involved bouncing from one trampoline to another, less we fall to a soft landing. Each one was arranged higher than the last, the entire arrangement forming something of a spiral staircase-aesthetic. Vertigo was a definite factor to this trampoline attraction, more so than the super high bounce due to the ascending nature of the inciting jump-points. However, of the miscellaneous trampolines we experienced, I found this to be my least favorite one. It certainly wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, certainly not, it was relatively enjoyable. Key word relative. The thrills I felt were just as easily felt bounding around upon the central trampoline. Putting that aside, making my way to the top of this spiral proved to be a rather uncomfortable experience. I found myself getting lightheaded and dizzy; in fact, neither Domina nor myself even managed to make our way to the very top! Perhaps this was an aspect of the challenge, but it simply wasn’t my cup of tea, dear reader. Overall, this was a very minor dent to an otherwise fantastic time, so I don’t feel the need to penalize the score more than necessary.      

Score: 4.5 arachnids out of 5

 

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Ah, but we’re not quite finished yet, are we, dear reader? You may be wondering what became of Domina…Well, as I’ve stated, I managed to push her out of her arachnophillic state, utilizing the strategy of enthusiastic reflection. As we were finally exiting The Bouncy Web, too tired of jumping to continue past forty minutes, I played a little trick on Domina. I offered her a surprise, a “gift” of sorts. None of it was true, of course. “You know Domina, I’ve been thinking about what you said, about your desire to transform into a spider…Well, I’ve decided you were right! While we were waiting in line for the trampolines, I secretly made a deal with a spider. I got us discount for arachnid transformation! I already made the payment, so we’re good to go!” That’s a direct quote, dear reader. This seemed to freeze Domina in her tracks. I then made a show of questioning her on why she was getting cold feet. Finally, a nibble of truth spilled out of Domina; “I…I don’t want tha-that…” I then claimed that it was too late, the payment had already been made, and the spider transformation would be automatic, occurring during our next sleep session. This sent her into a full-blown panic, sprinting out of The Bouncy Web faster than what I believed was possible. Clearly, she was making a dash for the transformation shack to try and reverse the process. I momentarily regretted my words, but sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind, dear reader. Stay tuned for what happened next in my next attraction review…

 

Final score for The Bouncy Web: 4.5 arachnids out of 5

 

 

               

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