Arachnid Wonder World: Final

                         What more can be said about Arachnid Wonder World? A lot more, but as for me, I have no further words to describe this masterpiece of a theme park. There was so much more the park had to offer us, yet the mere tease of a single trip did more than enough to satiate our adventurous appetites. I think you would agree, dear reader, that AWW is a place that was likely conceptualized by a fellow who may or may not need to be institutionalized. Regardless of the origin, I’m not going to argue with the magnificent results! The truth is, my ratings and review methods are frankly quite arbitrary. I wouldn’t take them too seriously; go to this theme park, you won’t regret it. You’ll never look at a spider the same way again. That house spider that used to freak you out? You’ll wish you were smaller so you could give the lad a big old hug!

                 Well, what do you know! It seems I have lied, and that I do indeed have more words to describe AWW! But I’m finished now. Exiting the park was a pretty straightforward affair; we were simply attached to the pulley system that got us into the park, in reverse. The process was as quick as entering. It was a little sad to be leaving such an extraordinary place, it will be a while before I have the opportunity to visit again… But I wouldn’t trade the memory of this fun-filled and frightening adventure for the world.

                 So, where does Domina stand in all of this? Well…This may come as a wee bit of a shock, dear reader, but trust me, there is no way that you could possibly be as shocked as I was. You see, Domina…Wasn’t Domina…I know that sounds like a non-answer, but that non-answer was easier to write than to simply reveal that Domina is actual Uncle Vernon. Yes, you read that correctly, Domina isn’t Domina, but is, and always was, in fact, Uncle Vernon from Harry Potter. You know, the fat and abusive dude who deplored magic. As someone who was a dear friend to me, her…or his real identity, came as a real blow to me. It’s disappointing to discover that someone who may as well have been my closest friend, was in fact somebody completely different, and Domina herself was nothing but a convincing fiction. But alas, life moves on.

                Perhaps you’re having trouble wrapping your head around this new information, dear reader. I feel your pain. Allow me to elaborate on this whole “Uncle Vernon affair” a bit more; As we made our way back to my car, sleepy from our exploits, “Domina” suddenly stopped in her tracks. Naturally, I asked her what was wrong. She didn’t say anything. Instead, something very bizarre began to happen, something that not even my experience at AWW prepared me for. Before my eyes, Domina began to turn into a blobby pulp, her form suddenly appearing as a self-malleable clay of sorts. She began grunting in an unnaturally masculine manner, and finally began to writhe and convulse upon the ground in almost epileptic fashion. At this point I was about to dial 911, but of course, AWW beat me to it. White and red nurse arachnids instantly seemed to drop out of thin air (though actually from AWW above.), circling Domina, and gently nudging me aside. “Her” grunting lessened, and she seemed to be in less pain, but they couldn’t do anything to actual reverse the process. They then promptly left as suddenly as they had come, with one nurse spider letting me know that he was going to be just fine. He???  Naturally, I was beyond bemused. To my utter horror, the person who staggered upwards wasn’t Domina, it was…Well, you know exactly who it was. I stood there in gaping and silent awe. My jaw didn’t hit the floor, it crashed passed it into hell. I tried demanding some kind of explanation, but my mouth simply wouldn’t work. Fortunately, “Domina” did the speaking for me; Uncle Vernon seemed to understand my confusion. I’m paraphrasing, but he essentially stated that he was wrong to be so biased against magic. He saw that, in reality, magic was just a word for something that was not properly understood, as well as something to describe incredibly advanced science and technology. He didn’t provide a  satisfying explanation as to why he turn the form of Domina,  and I didn’t have the opportunity to ask him, as suddenly pulled a broom out of his behind flew off into the night sky. I sincerely apologize that you won’t get the answers you see, dear reader, but alas, they shall forever elude me too.

                The transformation of the person I knew as Domina certainly put hamper on my overall experience; rather than tying off the day with a neat little bowtie, the proverbial present of the day was chucked into a truck by some careless worker. That being said, nothing on the inside really broke. A few cracks maybe, but it’ll survive. Of course, this revelation had nothing to do with AWW, so the true identity of Domina will have zero impact upon the final score I’m giving this theme park.

                In the end, there was no lasting harm done. Sure, it sucks to put so much into a friendship only to ultimately lose that friend (who was never real in the first place), but I’ve moved on from the grief of it. I have found a new friend named Alison! Let’s just hope she isn’t Aunt Petunia or Dudley in disguise, which she very well might be.

                Toodaloo dear reader! You’ve actually managed to reach the end of all this! I feel sorry for you, I’m afraid I have nothing to help soothe the trauma that you’ve undergone, however I recommend therapy. But hopefully you’ll seriously consider a visit to the awe-inspiring Arachnid Wonder World if you were on the fence about it before, just remember that pizza toppings have no respect for Stormtroopers!  

                 

 

Final score for Arachnid Wonder World: 4 arachnids out of 5

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Arachnid Wonder World: The World Hopper

It is with great anticipation and pride that I bring to you, dear reader, the final review post for the extraordinary Arachnid Wonder World. Writing these reviews for you fine folk has almost been as incredible of an experience as the park itself! Almost. As I’ve said, it would be impossible for me to give the park its due justice, but my next opportunity to visit AWW may be ages from now, so a truly comprehensive review is simply out of the picture for me. However, I do hope that these reviews have given you a sufficient taste of the park, enough for you to come up with an educated decision as to whether or not a visit is for you. Granted, you only get my perspective and opinion, but hey, who else is doing a review of this park? Scouring blogs throughout the internet, I, remarkably enough, seem to be the only one. Go figure!

             So, what does ‘The World Hopper’ bring to the table, what sort of ride was it? As I’ve mentioned in the last post, “Epic” is a modest word for this attraction. We couldn’t have made a better final selection, it was the perfect bow to top off our excursion in AWW, a climax to remember. You’ll find just what sort of attraction it truly was soon enough, dear reader.

             I will say this much; the building that housed the attraction…Well, that’s an inaccurate word…The building that preceded the attraction was highly unassuming. It didn’t necessarily blend in, but it was a bit bland. It was essentially a modernist steel-and-glass dome structure plopped upon a reinforced, dense gossamer base, with a staircase towards its main entrance. I see enough of those types of structures in the real world; the only thing that gave a hint as to the remarkable nature of the attraction was of the name of the ride itself. I was planning on skipping this one over, not content to finish our trip off with just any old attraction, but it was Domina who ended up changing my mind. She reminded me of what was arguable our best experience at AWW thus far, that being the circus. The tent and queue of that attraction was more than a little lackluster, but the meat of the circus itself couldn’t have been more antithetical to our expectations. Perhaps the creators of AWW really took the proverb “don’t judge a book by its cover” quite seriously, and hoped the park guests would do the same…Maybe the best attractions of the park all had the lamest of covers? We decided to bet on that fact, and entered the glass dome. We were tired from all the walking, anyways, and a disappointing final ride wouldn’t be the end of the world.

             Before I properly begin this review with discussion of the queue, I’d like to refer your attention back to Domina; I didn’t really discuss her much in my last post, as there really wasn’t much to discuss. She remained unchanged from her blissful, arachnophobic-free state, a wonderful thing, to be sure. It would seem that taking this trip with Domina proved to be an unprecedented success! I expected this trip to be something of a dramatic stepping stone to help her overcome her deep fears, but I certainly didn’t expect for her fears to completely wash away so soon! She got over her fear of spiders quicker than Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side! And that, dear reader, is saying something. So why do I bring her up now? Well, prior to our jaunt upon The World Hopper, as Domina and I were having a pleasurable and thoughtful conversation, the topic moved to motorcycles. Nothing problematic with that, I was explaining to Domina how excited I was to take Motorcycle lessons back home, how I couldn’t wait to buy my own motorcycle. I had already actually ridden an off-road motorcycle on a dirt road once. I was starting to tell Domina how driving one of those at full speed gave me the sensation of flying, when out of absolutely nowhere, she yelled, in a bizarrely gruff (and remarkably accurate) English accent, “MOTORCYCLES DON’T FLY!” She then went on an absurdist tirade against motorcycles, complaining about how loud they were, and how young people had no respect for the road. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing, this was obviously some sort of act, and she’s never played a practical joke like that before; I was impressed. She remained quite serious, however, without the remotest sign of mirth, not a crack of a smile. It was becoming disconcerting, and to top it off, I could have sworn to see her chin suddenly become larger and more jiggly, like she was transforming into a fat person before my eyes. I decided to change the topic, and she went back to her normal self, chin and all. She made no reference to what just happened. I decided it must have been a joke, and that I must have imagined the chin, or if I didn’t, I could explain it away as me being in the in the incredibly surreal AWW…Of course, I wouldn’t have magnified her motorcycle-related outburst so heavily if it wasn’t relevant. Indeed, this shall be important later, so just keep it in mind…

                       

 

Queue  

“Queue” may not be the most fitting word to describe this glass dome structure. But somehow, the brevity of the word seemed better than “The terminal building.” Quite right, dear reader; the interior of this building distinctly reminded me of an airport terminal, to the T! Now, is that a good thing? Well…I’m still not exactly sure. Considering the nature of the attraction, as you’ll find out soon enough, it is, in fact, an appropriate aesthetic. But honestly? Like the structure itself, the interior was just so…boring. I was expecting this generic dome to secretly house something incredible, but instead it just seemed to house an exact copy of Terminal D at JFK international. Why terminal D? No reason. What else can I really say about it? If you’ve ever had to travel then you know what an airport terminal is like, and keeping it real, you know what one is like even if you’ve never traveled, they’re universal. So yes, we had to go through the process of buying a ticket, and then simply sitting down and waiting for what I estimated to be roughly a half-hour. Fear not though, there were invigorating magazines to keep us occupied! Included were such intellectually stimulating think pieces the likes of…People Magazine! And Vogue! Yeah, since Domina and I had an IQ above fifty, we were pretty bored, suffice it to say. The blandness of the structure also made having an invigorating conversation with Domina very challenging, as if the environment itself was enchanted with some kind of horrible boredom spell. So we just sat there in ever-exciting silence. A trip to AWW should be about escapism, not being reminded of the mundane realities inherent to our human civilization.

There is one minor but notable difference to this terminal building in contrast to ones found at actual airports; there was no departure board! This is because, of course, this wasn’t actually an airport, but a ride attraction. We simply bought (yes, bought) a ticket for something completely unknown and impatiently waited to board the attraction, whatever on earth it was. Paying for a ride that we’re left completely in the dark about is yet another mark against the queue. The arachnid attendants that worked in the building kept their lips sealed if you asked any questions about it. We actually witnessed several people receive immediate refunds, not being able to handle the torturous boredom and ignorance of the attraction.  If I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed we were being packaged and delivered to some remote rainforest to have our organs harvested! Probably by the behest of a psychotic Asian person who is obsessed with British culture! That, of course, wasn’t the case.  But if you couldn’t tell, I found the interior of this little structure to be downright abysmal. If this was all there was to the queue, I believe it would be getting 1 arachnid out of 5, which would be a first.

That being said, there are two reasons as to why I’m refraining from giving this attraction 1 arachnid out of 5, and in fact giving it a low three score. The first reason is the simple fact that the attraction itself was so extraordinary, so wonderfully out-of-this-world (“in-of-this-world” is technically more accurate, as you’ll soon find out.), that giving this queue such a terrible score would undermine the overall score, and as such understate the quality of the actual attraction. After all, the ride experience should have more weight than the wait experience…Have you found that these reviews of mine are quite poorly structured? If you haven’t, then you’re a slow one. It’s okay, I’m the same way, dear reader.

The second and larger reason had to do with the queue itself. You see, as atrociously bland as the glass dome structure and its airport-terminal interior were, the queue didn’t actually end at the terminal! Once it was finally our turn to board the attraction (along with roughly ten other passengers who decided not to get refunds.), we were guided towards the back exit of the terminal building by a group of black-suited spiders, unique in that they each only had two eyes, and by extension, their unnecessary sunglasses looked fit for a large-headed human.

Out of nowhere, these “Men-in-Black” arachnids began to shove of us into a gigantic steel cannon one at a time, where we then rolled towards the bottom of the cannon in one massive pileup. Some of the riders tried to run away, but there was no escape from these intimidating spiders. They each wielded several Spiderman-esque “Web-sling guns” that efficiently yanked any runaways inwards. Being spiders, they had the advantage of being able to quadruple wield those gadgets, and as such, there was no hope for escape. In my humble opinion, this was all rather exciting! I actually though this was part of the main attraction, when in fact that hadn’t even begun yet. Now, I could understand how something like this could cause undue panic and anxiety in some individuals, say an old lady. But for me personally? This was the breath of fresh air I was hoping for, something to save me from the almost supernatural boredom that Domina and I, along with the other riders, were experiencing. That’s definitely a plus, but the excitement of the queue doesn’t end there, dear reader! If you have an elementary understanding of cannons, then I’m should you could imagine what happened next. Indeed, in what was the singularly most compact and thrilling moment that we had at AWW, the cannon launched every rider into the air at breakneck speeds. We all separated from our squished ball and flung around in the air in what seemed to be the length of several marathons, at a rate that seemed to break even video game physics. Surely we couldn’t survive such an explosive burst of speed? At the time, that wasn’t where my mind was at. In fact, my mind seemed to be nowhere during this unexpected cannon launch; I can’t even recall screaming, although I’m sure there was plenty of that to be had. I only recall an absolute focus on the incredibly pure adrenaline high I was experiencing, higher than anything I had ever experienced prior. Then, faster than the blink of an eye, we landed on the attraction itself. No parachute required, apparently. We landed in an incredibly plush manner, none of the riders bounced even once, as if we had all been simply jumping upon a bed. I think the only thing that could even be said about that is… This is AWW. The Batman of theme parks. Enough said.

The boredom of the terminal was, of course, promptly washed away and forgotten; I can’t actually recall ever experiencing a greater degree of energetic contrast in my life! That cannon was definitely a boon to the score of the queue, being more than sufficient enough to pass as a ride itself. That being said, it was only a very small part of the queue, and the fact remains that the majority of time spent within the queue was spent idling in the hellishly bland terminal building. I’m afraid this extraordinary experience can’t quite salvage this queue from receiving a low three score.

 

Score: 3 arachnids out of 5

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The Great Jumping Spider

            So what exactly was this attraction? What did we land on? Why the terminal building? Hold your horses, dear reader, I’ll tell you. But first, I’m going to share with you a completely irrelevant story that has nothing to do with anything. Since this is my final review post, I’d like to pad it out, I’m sure you understand.

            Ahem. There once was a cherry pie that everybody loved. There were plenty of delicious pies available, from succulent blueberry to raspberry jam, more than enough for anybody. But for whatever reason, everyone remain fixated on that cherry pie, like it was the only pie in the world. The desire for that cherry pie was the bringer of horrific wars and strife, and an untold amount of suffering. Some said that the cherry pie held the secret meaning of life. Others claimed that it was a creation of the devil. Regardless of the truth, the cherry pie was no longer something that plagued the earth. It was said to have eaten itself in order to end the greed it inspired. Perhaps the cherry pie was a powerful gift from a god who overestimated his human creations. It doesn’t really matter; today, everyone has an equal slice of delicious pie, and peace rules the day.

            Moving on, it’s time to answer those questions! But first, a word from our sponsors! We don’t have any sponsors! In that case, I’m going to go do my laundry, I’ve been putting it off to write this review, and since I’m trying to solve my procrastination problem, I’m afraid those questions will have to wait. Thank you for your patience and understanding, dear reader.

             Alright, my laundry’s finished! Nothing has turned pink, so I consider it an unprecedented success.  As promised, it’s time to finally answer those what and why questions! What were they again? Hmmm, I’m afraid that in order to properly formulate my answers, I’m going to have to re-read the first paragraph of this section, I’m sure you understand.

            Okay, I’ve re-read the questions! I have a pretty solid memory of the attraction, but as tempting as it is to spell out the answers for you now, I think it would be more beneficial if I allowed myself to properly format and ruminate on my answers in order to give a clear picture of the attraction. Wouldn’t you agree, dear reader?

             I’m ready! Let’s start with the question, ‘what did we land on?’ Well…I forgot! I remembered the answer only a minute ago! Perhaps all this careful planning of my answers caused me to forget a few essentials! In order to jog my memory, I’m going to have to—okay, I’ll stop now, dear reader. I suppose the jest went on far enough, I guess I don’t know when to quit.

             Big shock, we all landed plushly upon the back of a massive arachnid. The ‘Great Jumping Spider’, as it were. He or she wasn’t as massive as those clown arachnids I covered a few post back, but did have quite the oversized and curvy abdomen. You may be wondering how none of the riders tumbled off the arachnid due to its natural curvature. That has to do with precisely where each individual landed. You see, in spite of the unfathomably thrilling and chaotic method of “embarking” this spider, we all still had assigned seating! Like on a plane! The absurdity of it! Even by absurd standards this is too much. If you’ve been reading, then you know that absurdity goes together with AWW like bread and butter, but nonetheless…Wow. Anyways, each individual landed precisely where they were meant to sit, seemingly without a fractional inch of an error. Basic, circular web designs (intricately and masterfully arranged to look like planet earth.) were evenly interspersed among the spiders wide cephalothorax, functionally our chairs. These circular webs caught our fall onto the spider, and kept us firmly adhered to the spider. The extraordinary and unparalleled contrast between being flung through the air via cannon to being essentially immobilized upon the back of this arachnid was…Well, unparalleled. It was like being superman one minute, and a statue the next. This web-paralysis was thankfully short-lived, only a temporary state. The web circles only retained their hyper-adhesive properties to catch our fall. If we all remained super-glued to this spider indefinitely, it would have gotten uncomfortable, downright unpleasurable even. However, considering its extremely brief use, it actual comes out as a positive. As I said, the contrast made for a fascinatingly surreal experience, one that not even dreams can do justice. 

         Before we were “released” from the grip, a digital panel was raised in front of every single seat, one for each. I didn’t mention that this spider wasn’t just an organic spider, it was something of a cyborg, or so it seemed; a combination of silver and brown. General Grievous’ pet tarantula? Who knows, but it looked cool. Anyhow, all these digital panels contained a simple touch screen display that allowed each individual to select one of five options. It was at this moment that I understood why this attraction was preceded by a terminal building. The five options signified five different cities; New York, Tokyo, Paris, Las Vegas, and Rio de Janeiro. I had to blink several times; I thought my eyes weren’t working. At this point, I figured nothing at AWW could possibly surprise me, from eight-legged dogs to psychotic clown spiders, I thought I had seen it all. Yet this simple, benign, and very “Apple” digital display was essentially the creators of AWW asking me to hold their beers. The World Hopper was clearly defined as an attraction, not a mode of transport. In fact, rich folk had the option of entering AWW by plane, the park had a small runway at the far end, fit with a special, first class entrance that I unfortunately have no details on. So what gives? Why on earth were there different city options for each individual rider? Was this an attraction that literally took place in different cities around the world? How so? And if so, what the actual (f) duck? I bought 2 tickets for a one day excursion at the park, not at the freaking Big Apple! Domina and I were equally bewildered (though she was grunting somewhat awkwardly for some reason.), but decided to just roll with it, there was no going back now. Obviously, we didn’t want to get separated, so we both selected ‘Las Vegas’, as that was a city that we both have always wanted to visit. Thoroughly confused as to what to expect, we didn’t have time to ponder it as the great jumping spider, or the “World Hopper”, suddenly leapt into the air at a staggering velocity. Just as the adhesive properties of the seats wore off, a thick and transparent dome swiftly surrounded the abdomen of the spider, enclosing all twelve riders in it. No, no one smacked into the dome, rather, everyone experienced an extreme shift in gravity. Not, zero-gravity, mind you, just low gravity. Our momentum was ceased in an almost unnatural fashion, causing only a few riders to softly tap the perimeter of the hemisphere. The view of the clouds in the sky was absolutely breathtaking; Domina and I gently glided back downwards and drank in the beautiful nighttime sights, a mix of orange, yellow, and blue. It was a blissful state, wind seeped through deliberate cracks within the dome, creating an incredibly calming and breezy atmosphere. Meanwhile, the spider continued to soar through the sky, upwards and then downwards. Note that the spider wasn’t flying, he was merely hopping an incredible distance. It was almost a state of nirvana, I would have been happy to remain floating for centuries. As it happened, we were in the air for about ten minutes before the world hopper reached its first destination; New York City. The Spider’s eight legs landed deftly upon of the actual Chrysler building, giving us quite a stunning view. Two people had selected this location, and they promptly disembarked. I’ll explain the process of how that works in the next section of the review, as well as what actual happened during our city excursion. But at this point, our perspective was a simple, awe-inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime-view of New York, as it was for the other four cities. We didn’t even begin to ponder the horrifying experience the city dwellers must have been experiencing, looking upwards only to see a giant spider clinging to the tip of the Chrysler building. Something like that would make the worldly news, would it not? In fact, considering that this was an attraction at the park, this must have happened numerous times prior to us even visiting, at a plethora of different tourist destinations. Why on earth has this not been recorded? As ridiculous as it would seem, I’ll, again, explain this strangeness in the next section of this review. I assure you that this wasn’t some kind of virtual reality trip, this was the real deal.

 

            The view for every other city was equally as mesmerizing as the view from the Chrysler building. In Paris, the jumping spider had managed to land at a quintessential postcard view, Eiffel tower and all. The Tokyo Tower provided stunning views, vertigo be damned. Rio de Janeiro looked like a painted paradise from the top of Christ the Redeemer, though I’m not sure god wouldn’t be too pleased with a gigantic spider crawling about Jesus’ face. The creators of AWW never claimed to be catholic. Las Vegas was the final city on the list, the view embodying the essence of Vegas as a spectacular neon night, though Domina and I didn’t stick around for the view as we disembarked, descending an incredible-dense strand of gossamer from the top of the faux-Eiffel Tower  like two surrealist firemen. The spider then hopped off, presumably back towards AWW, and we were left wondering if and when it would return.

            In a way, this was a rudimentary experience, but I think a simple focus sometimes makes the moments all the more extraordinary! We were lucky that Las Vegas was the final city on the agenda, as that allowed us to soak in all the views, and remain within the ethereal dome of the jumping spider for a longer period of time. I don’t have much more to say about the jumping spider, I believe all that I have written speaks for itself! If you can’t hear my words speaking for themselves, try putting on headphones! I gave my words speech lessons, and most words (not all.) have given these lessons some respectable due diligence. Please try and hear them, my words used to be so shy that the idea of ‘speaking for themselves’ was a pipe dream within another pipe dream. It’s a point of pride for some of my words, and they would love your feedback!  

           

 

Score: 5 arachnids out of 5

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The Las Vegas Experience

            Now, I know what you’re thinking. Well, actually I don’t, that would be impossible. In fact, if you made this far into my review of AWW, then I presume that you have lost your mind ages ago. If I had a receiver capable to reading your mind, then I’d imagine I would be trying to decipher a garbled, incomprehensible mess of a mind. But don’t feel bad, dear reader! You’re still twice as sane as I am.

            Moving on, I don’t actually know what you’re thinking, but there is a chance that you might be wondering why I’m reviewing our experience at Las Vegas. It has nothing to do with AWW, right? This is a tourist destination that we were simply dropped off at; a review of Las Vegas would be another series of blog posts altogether, yes? No. You see, while this was indeed Las Vegas, frills and all, there was a very unique catch to it that was, admittedly, mind blowing; it was all ours, just Domina and I, as we were the only ones who selected Vegas. How so?  Somehow. Buzz off, dear reader, I’m bored of writing this.

            Just kidding! Please don’t leave, dear reader. Perhaps I overdid the jokes in this blog post, but I assure you, I am the Senate. I mean, I assure, promise you even, that this might be my last jibe of this post. Let’s continue, shall we?

            For a surprisingly lengthy period of time, as in longer than the amount of time we should have had left at AWW, Las Vegas basically became our playground in a manner that may be difficult to comprehend, but I’ll do my best to explain it. So, you know how the great jumping spider landed at the top of the famous Vegas Eiffel Tower? Well, the reaction from the surrounding crowd went about as you would imagine; sheer bedlam. How would you react to seeing a gigantic spider fall out of the sky on your 21st birthday? A few ballsy morons took some quick selfies with the spider in the background, but for the most part, people ran for the hills. If only the same people would have ran before they blew out their life savings on slot machines. Anyhow, are you starting to see the advantage Domina and I held? We were given the power to command fear in others. The jumping spider promptly hopped off after causing the panic, so it had nothing to do with him specifically. Rather, without out us knowing it, we were both “blessed” with biological augmentation that allowed us to summon a pack of spiders from our hands, not dissimilar from the plasmids you would see in the video game ‘Bioshock’. How did this help us? It was very simple; if people didn’t do what we asked, or to be more blunt, didn’t give us free things, we would threaten to spawn a swarm of spiders all over them, after proving that we could, of course. This allowed us to enjoy pretty fabulous meals, witness fabulous sights, savor the best drinks, and gamble away without worry using other people’s money. We were hampered by police attention, of course, however, also without us knowing it prior, Domina and I were laced with a special drug (likely administered as a gas within the dome of the jumping spider.) that protected us from anyone who threatened or infringed our freedom in any way. A cop who tried to arrest us was instantly transformed into a beetle, for instance, which Domina took no hesitation in squashing. A bouncer trying to shove us out of a club went flying as if by some powerful invisible spring, crashing through the casino ceiling and disappearing into the night sky. When we were particular drunk, we began launching mounds of crawling spiders onto the street, causing frenzied traffic chaos; at this point we were actually being shot at, but the bullets reversed their direction, or transformed into soft flowers. All in all, Domina and I had a pretty amazing time.

            Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room; the ethics of all of this. Everything I outlined above must come across as morally abhorrent, and rightfully so. Perhaps you’re shocked that we would be so willing to abuse our powers in such a self-serving and careless manner, alcohol or no. Well, I can assure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for our sudden lack of ethics, I read up on it back at the terminal building exit-area when we returned to AWW. You see, the drugs that we were laced with didn’t just protect us and give us those powers; they manipulated our mind. You see, at the end of the day, our brains are just a collection of neurons firing at an ungodly rate. These neurons are responsible for our thoughts, and by extension, our choices. Suffice it to say, the tech that AWW has on offer is…impressive, as you may have been able to work out. This ability to manipulate our minds is just another mind blowing innovation in an endless stream of mind blowing innovations; this time, they were able to control the paths our neurons took, as well as creating (billions) of new ones. We were still given a certain level of free will, certainly the illusion of it, as well as retaining our sense of self. But our neurons would manipulated in such a way the annihilated our sense of ethics, and encouraged us to use our powers to attain our hedonistic desires. So indeed, if we saw a sexy-looking car that we liked, we simply took it. After the trip was over, our minds had returned to normal. We were left perplexed yet satisfied. The drug permanently prevented any feeling of guilt or remorse in regards to that specific trip.

            Now, there’s another elephant in the room that I would like to address. But first, I’d like to apologize to the elephant, as this one is rather sensitive about her weight, the poor dear. As I’ve explained, we weren’t responsible for our sudden lack of morality…but the creators of AWW certainly were…Well, that’s more than a little horrible of them, yes? Shouldn’t I be notifying the FBI rather than writing a review for this theme park? No, as there isn’t a need for that. You should have realized by now that something doesn’t quite add up. This sort of re-current pillage would make the nightly news, and cause abject anarchy within the world. This was a theme park attraction after all, implying that this kind of visit occurred on daily basis…Yet outside of AWW, all the major world cities were doing just fine, fit with a refreshing lack of arachnid harassment.

            Like everything that seems insane on the surface, there is a logical (?) explanation beneath it. As I’ve mentioned, these were real cities, not a VR simulation or anything. We were indeed bullying real people with our spider powers, not convincing puppets. What gives? The answer lies in the manipulation of time. No, I’m not referring to time travel, dear reader. Time is inherently linear no matter what. No alternate dimensions, either, everything that took place, took place in our singular dimension. When I refer to the manipulation of time, that’s kind of a misnomer; technically, I’m referring to the manipulation of the physical universe, every single aspect of it. When Domina and I returned to AWW, we returned at exactly the time we left, on precisely the same day. What is that if not backwards time travel? I’ll tell you; It may go without saying, but every single millisecond of the universe’s existence is distinct from one another. There is no one second that is the same as the last; every atom is in a different position, every planet is in a slightly altered state, every conversation is at a different syllable, you get the picture.  The creators of AWW didn’t go back in time; they altered the physical universe to be in the exact physical state that it was prior to the moment the jumping spider bounded into the sky. Every person in on the planet was I the same position they were in, meaning our Las Vegas excursion never really happened…Well, it did happen, but all the damage we caused was instantly fixed, and all the trauma and deaths we caused were essentially nullified. It wasn’t time travel, but it may as well have been.

            How was such an incredible feat possible? Well I can’t tell you how, but I can explain the general process. Allegedly, AWW has its own space station, and a large part of that space station contains a telescopic photography center of sorts. At every waking millisecond of time, the center takes several 360 degree snapshots of the entire universe, capturing every conceivable detail. When I say every conceivable detail, I mean every conceivable detail…That includes quantum detail, as well as details of the furthest stars, dear reader. These snapshots give AWW the blueprint to “recreate” the universe to fit in with these snapshots. Now, this obviously doesn’t explain how they were able to restructure the entire universe so quickly, and on an intraday basis for their ride attraction. Surely such a deed, even with hyper-advanced tech and an army of intelligent scientists, would take trillions upon trillions of years to complete? Well…yes! You’d be right, dear reader! Actually, you’ be wrong; it actually took several quintillion years, give or take. Certainly, that’s not on an intraday basis, but here’s the thing; that unfathomable amount of time was simulated, meaning the actual amount of time spent in the real world was only about ten minutes, plenty of time between each ride. There were apparently a team of about thirty, genius-level intellect arachnid scientists who proudly took on the job, plugging themselves into a simulated universe, cloning themselves 10-fold for a greater quantity of workers. The simulated universe was an exact replica of our universe, but on a time loop, precisely during the moments of time that the “World Hopper” was in action. With them was a reference of a snapshot of the universe, directly prior the attraction start. They were able to recreate every aspect of the universe (utilizing unknown/simulated tech) to capture that precise snapshot. They were then able to create a kind of “big bang” formula to be quickly manufactured in the real world at the space station. This big bang had the ability to re-structure the universe as necessary. If you’re smart, then you may be able to hypothesize the secret to AWW’s insanely advanced technology…When you could simulate time on that level, anything imaginable could be invented, with hardly any effort required from people in the real world…Makes me wonder why they’re twiddling their thumbs with cancer, or not curing the common cold…

            I would give this experience five arachnids out of five, but I am instead giving it a strong four. There are two simple things are holding it back from a five; the first one I’ve already mentioned; why the world is not a utopia with the level of tech I just presented is an abject absurdity to me. That may not have anything to do with the ride itself, but the second reason does; I don’t like how our minds were manipulated, there should have been some form of consent, particular when it came it to contorting our sense of morality. I’d like to think the creators of AWW handle their immense power with extraordinary responsibility; AWW is the safest theme park on the planet, after all. But nonetheless, on principal, the mind manipulation seems a bit sleazy. But all in all, this was an extraordinary experience to go out on! If I ever get to visit Las Vegas properly, then I’ll never look at it the same way again.  

 

  



Score: 4 arachnids out of 5

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            What an adventure it has been, dear reader! You have my immense gratitude for sticking with me for this long; your level of tolerance is the stuff of legend! The final rating for AWW shall be revealed in my last post, following this one, although you may be able to calculate the rating on your own.

          I bid you farewell for now, dear reader, I hope you’re eagerly awaiting the finale! Once you read, you’ll never look at Domina the same way again. I certainly don’t.

 

Final score for The World Hopper: 4 arachnids out of 5

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Arachnid Wonder World: Arachnodrenaline

I wonder what you, dear reader, expect from a name like Arachnodrenaline. It sounds a bit like a corny, B-horror film from the eighties, no? There certainly isn’t anything wrong about that of course, it’s just not the kind of name I would necessarily expect to come from a place like Arachnid Wonder World. If you’ve been paying attention, then you could probably give a very valid argument as to why that was exactly the sort of thing I should have expected from the park, but I digress. Or rather I don’t; Regardless, I like the name!

            After Domina and I underwent our unique purging situation, it was time to select our next attraction. What came as a great surprise to me (though admittedly not as surprising as that whole “purging” ordeal I dare not mention again.) was how late in the afternoon it was! Risnorf’s Circus official started at 1:10, but by the time were mulling over the next attraction to ride, it was almost 5:00. That extraordinary second show must have been as long as a movie. This left us precious little time in AWW, a bittersweet thing, to be sure, though I was determined to make our final hours in AWW a fitting cap to our surreal adventure. Never go out with a fizzle, as they say, pop that champagne like a volcano. I didn’t really know how to do that, however. How could I top what has already been so extraordinary? That’s the fundamental dilemma with “betterment”, I suppose. The spectacularly new renders the old less spectacular than it once was, which, I suppose, is a problem. Domina didn’t have any ideas, though fear not, she remained refreshingly perky. Our time constraint, combined with the fact that there were such a gargantuan number of choices, made our decision quite an overwhelming task.  Should we ride and compete on the bucking centipedes? Maybe we should just ride that classic (gossamer) pendulum ride…No, no, I think we’ll be better off riding the jumping spiders…Or else go web-bungee jumping. I think you get the picture, dear reader. We finally shrugged our shoulders and decided to wait in line for the “haunted” bumper cars, an indoor attraction that allegedly featured prehistoric arachnids back from the dead, as well as a multi-dimensional driving space (as in vertical, diagonal, and upside down.). This seemed interesting enough, although we felt that we could have selected something more substantial. But if we didn’t reach a decision soon, the only attraction we would experience would be ‘The Great Indecision Exploit.’

       But as fortune would have it, we didn’t need to reach a decision at all! You see, I had forgotten about something I had done when I purchased the two tickets to AWW. On the website where the tickets were purveyed, there were several customizable options for the tickets themselves. For the most part, I kept it simple; a straight forward, all-day ticket for both of us. I didn’t have the funds for all those admittedly disappointing and gimmicky extras, like season passes and flash passes. Flash passes annoy me in particular, as they are essentially just a real life version of “pay-to-win”, a good way to kill a fair sense of adventure. There was even a cheese-scent option for some bizarre reason that I won’t even try to fathom. But all weirdness aside, there was one interesting option that stood out to me, one that warranted a slightly deeper dive into my pockets. There were a few select attractions throughout the park that had no queue at all, as they didn’t need them. This is relevant to the tickets, as these select rides were only available to those park guests that purchased the associated ticket add-on. Initially, I was super annoyed about this; if flash-passes are pay-to-win, then this would be the equivalent of blocking content behind a pay-wall. Proverbial DLC in air quotes. However, upon reflection, I ended up simmering down about the ordeal. Considering the sheer volume of attractions the park had to offer, the amount of rides that required this extra-ticket purchase were quite negligible in comparison; only three in total. Besides, this kind of thing wasn’t exactly equivalent to the extortionate ticket sales you would find at your local states fair…But even putting that aside, there was one thing that could quite objectively be considered a good thing about these ticket add-ons; nonexistent waiting. Do you remember the incredibly fast line at the entrance of AWW? Well, the wait for this special attraction ended up being just as fleeting, whereas in another park, we could of have been looking at a two hour wait time for the type of attraction we rode. What made it so fleeting? Believe it or not, it had nothing to do with the fact that the ride was secluded from default-ticket guests. Instead, it was due to the fact that the physical tickets that came with the add-on featured a minuscule “buzzer” of sorts, not unlike the kind you would find at a restaurant, one that buzzed when your food was ready. This buzzer, however, was far more sophisticated, as it didn’t function on a straightforward wait-time; that would have been impossible to manage. Reading the fine print on the website now, the buzzer allegedly sent microscopic spiders to scour the brains of the park guests, reading their respective minds. Somehow, the combination of all the microscopic spiders within all the guests created a nearly perfect time table for embarking upon these special rides. I can’t claim to understand how it truly works, but I’m not going to complain about the results. Somehow, the act of reading our collective minds allowed the add-on system to craft a riding schedule that went along smoother then Mussolini’s trains. Just accept it, dear reader, don’t question how nonsensical that sounds.

             In this case, Domina and I were both pleasantly surprised by the buzz from our tickets (Domina in particular, as she wasn’t even aware that I had purchased these add-ons.), in this case being for the titular Arachnodrenaline, which is, in fact, a roller coaster. A particularly thrilling one, I could promise you that. Although it certainly seems like we haven’t gotten to ride generous amount of roller coasters on this day, have we, dear reader? Only one on our entire trip in the park? That seems light, but I’m not complaining; if I just wanted roller coaster after roller coaster, I would have gone to Six Flags. 

             As it stands, this roller coaster alone did more than enough to fill a thrill seekers adrenaline addiction than one hundred coasters could at your average amusement park. Read on to find out why, dear reader!

 

The Roller Coaster

This review is going to be shorter than what is typical, as the nature of the attraction only really warrants one category of assessment, that being the roller coaster itself. Think of it as recompense for the absurdist length of my former post, or else abject and shameful laziness on my part. Whichever you prefer.

Have you ever ridden ‘Batman: The Ride’, dear reader? It was the world’s first inverted coaster; not as in loops, but as in the coaster train riding underneath the track rather than on top, as was traditional. A sit-down “flying” coaster, if you will. As you must have guessed, Arachnodrenaline was very much along the same lines of that style of roller coaster. As you may have also guessed, this attraction also provided a substantial twist to the formula. This is AWW, after all, and you’ve read enough to know that the creators of AWW aren’t playing around. Not everything at this park works, mind you, sometimes things are arguably even disastrous; but the words “mediocre” and “average” are definitely absent to the vernacular of AWW.

With that being said, what was the twist in this instance? Well, I’ll start with the biggest one; the ride vehicles. Did you ever have the desire to channel Tarzan and his vine-swinging antics? Well, take a trip to AWW and ride Arachnodrenaline and you’ll find your wish fulfilled, sort of anyways. You see, the ride vehicles for the gossamer train of this attraction did not include traditional harnesses of any kind. Instead, riders were asked to simply grab on to safely interspersed strands of web, or rope, attached underneath the swift-moving ride vehicles. As a side note, these side vehicles lacked any visible wheels; the train simply seemed to glide along the track effortlessly, as if magnetic. Just an interesting little innovation there…Now, to you, simply “holding on” to a web strand while a coaster train zigs and zags along a mountainous track full of corkscrews and inversions may seem needlessly dangerous. But fear not, once guests held on to the web strands, it was impossible to let go due to the adhesion. Like most roller coasters, riding this thrill beast required the ultimate sacrifice of control and trust in fate! One of the reasons roller coasters tend to be so thrilling, I suppose. Now, I’m sure you’ve noticed a problem with the ride design; the physics of rope-swinging mixed in with the structure of a roller coaster, which, indeed, featured loop-de-loops, massive drops and the like,  doesn’t exactly go together like bread and butter, does it? To that I say…Really? Are you really going to question the physics of AWW at this juncture? At this point during our trip, incredibly innovative design was on par for the course and didn’t remotely faze me; following the circus, I learned not to underestimate the creators of AWW.

So along with the mighty thrills one would expect from an upstanding roller coaster, you could also add to that some quite literally swinging thrills for good measure. Beyond that, there was another extraordinary and wonderfully terrifying innovation that came with this roller coaster. The best way I could describe it would be “track & vehicle hopping”; to put it more directly, there were certain points on the linear track in which the track seemed to end, only to continue further away past a gap with a new ride train at the ready. These gaps were obscured from park guests not riding the attraction, so the initial approach towards the first gap was quite a harrowing experience, as you would imagine. Fortunately that only lasted a few seconds, and it made the thrill of the “hop” all the more thrilling. Essentially, the ride train would chug full speed ahead towards a gap, seemingly headed for an inevitable crash. Then, the train would stop extremely abruptly, causing the web-ropes to swing at quite a massive trajectory. At another park you would expect the coaster to start going backwards, flashback style. But here, the adhesive of the web-strands suddenly lifted, and all riders were thrust into the air! After a bit of freefall, we all ended up catching the ropes of the next train across the gap, at parallel spots, in fact. Somehow, the design of the roller coaster made it impossible for us to miss “catching” the next train over, and impossible for collision of any variety. You figure out how, but point is, it makes for one hell of an adrenaline rush. Definitely coaster of the year, if not the century.    

Another thing with regards to the physics of the roller coaster; most roller coasters today relay on momentum and gravity working in tandem to complete a full cycle, with artificial motion shifters in places, like chain lifts, boosters, and brakes for instance. This ride, however, seemed to rely more on artificial motion rather than natural momentum, with technology well beyond the examples I gave.  Sometimes the coaster seemed to inexplicably go slowly downhill, only to speed uphill like a rocket, adding a layer of unpredictability. In fact, the motion of each ride experience differed slightly each time. I only know this as Domina and I were actually allowed to ride the coaster two times in a row. Following the second bout of excitement, the arachnid ride operator cleared the air about the motion and explained how no two rides were exactly alike.

This, however, leads me into some of my minor criticisms; why do you think Domina and I held no reservations about riding this roller coaster twice in a row? It’s obvious, isn’t it? No? Urgh…Idiotic dear reader…No, not all you, just you, specifically. Fool of a Took, it should be obvious. Well, to spell it out, the ride jut went by too damn quickly! It was quite the condensed thrill, and, don’t get me wrong, sometimes that’s a good thing. I’ll take a ride that ends too quickly over a ride that overstays its welcome. But this one could stood to be a wee bit longer; it’s a minor complaint, but frankly, we would have ridden it a third time if we were allowed to…Which also, I suppose, speaks volumes about how well designed the ride actually is, so there’s that. Of course, it wasn’t perfect; while the swinging mechanic added an exciting layer of unpredictable movement to the mix, and overall I would say the inclusion was a net positive, it did cause some slight dizziness. Some people like sort of thing, but I’ve never been a fan. Headaches after-the-fact simply aren’t my thing. Dizziness was not advertised, so it is a minor negative…Another negative would be the theming of the ride, or more specifically, the lack there-of. In fact, quite disappointingly, our trip to AWW was devoid of any slow moving, heavily themed dark rides. There’s a beauty to those artistic wonders that was sorely missed here! That being said, we only covered a fraction of a fraction of the rides that there is to cover at AWW, so that criticism is somewhat moot. But why I am so hard on this ride its lack of dense theming. Why not the trampolines I reviewed a few posts back? Well, here’s the thing…Arachnodrenaline wasn’t entirely devoid of theming, and that is what made the lack of it in most areas of the ride so jarring! There was one specific segment of the ride that had us going inside a cavernous mound of web, a dark ride portion. It didn’t last very long, but it was hella-cool. During this twisting and turning portion of the coaster, there was a lot of illusionistic “near-misses”, with the narrow walls and the swing of the web strands, and more notably, ravenous spiders that seemed to be hyped up on drugs chasing the ride train, trying to eat us! In some regards, this segment of the ride made me think the entire attraction should have been a thrilling dark ride, a chase against hungry, eight-legged beasts. That would have been awesome! Instead, we get this bizarre contrast, as if the ride simply wasn’t finished. Perhaps that was the idea; the stark contrast of the theming made the red-eyed spiders less-expected, and therefore more frightening, the same as the track-gaps. Perhaps a good idea in theory, but in my opinion, not in practice. In the long run, it was distractingly random.

  Criticisms aside, this roller coaster was pretty spectacular, and I definitely have no regrets about buying that special add-on ticket. It was worth every penny.  

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Score: 4 arachnids out of 5

Thanks, to a short ride experience and a lack of a wait time, Arachnodrenaline really went by in the flash, despite us having ridden it twice in a row. This left us time for one final attraction before saying au revoir to AWW. Our final choice of attraction was a difficult one to make, but I must say, we left the park with a resounding bang. My next review covers what was probably the most epic ride that I have ridden, if ‘ride’ is even the proper terminology. You’ll understand more in the next post, dear reader, and I do apologize for calling you an idiot, dear reader, that was hypocritical of me. No, not you, you idiot, the others. Goodness, what a walking absurdity, you are. Nevertheless, I look forward to my final review post of AWW, I hope you’ll join me! Yes, even you, you ridiculous, lobotomized one.             

 

Final score for Arachnodrenaline: 4 arachnids out of 5

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Arachnid Wonder World: Cocoon Twister

Domina was moving at light speed through Arachnid Wonder World. After making ten running-steps upon exiting The Bouncy Web, I stopped dead in my tracks as Domina continued madly sprinting for the transformation shack. I realized that there was no actual point to chasing Domina down, and I couldn’t keep up with her hyped-up speed anyways. It was better to let the momentum of the moment naturally die down, there was no need to expend my energy further.   She would find out for herself that I tricked her, so I casually sauntered towards the transformation shack, enjoying the sight of children playing with balloons, along with some playful spiders. I’m quite happy with the state of the world in this regard; we’ve made lots of progress in interspecies relations as a society. Sure, our movies still don’t feature a particularly diverse cast of insects yet, they’re still heavily biased towards humans, but one step at a time! 

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