A Look Ahead …

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Three things coming up this weekend, the first two at Worlds of Fun:

The Great Pumpkin Fest

Join us at Worlds of Fun for the ultimate fall festival – The Great Pumpkin Fest! This family-friendly event is all treats and no tricks and features special Halloween-themed activities for kids plus PEANUTS-themed rides and attractions in Planet Snoopy!

Halloween Haunt

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. All new in 2017, the Skeleton Crew brings a high-flying cirque-style show of talented acrobats with a team of skeletons to shock witnesses with electrifying acrobatic performances. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of 13 Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights from September 16 through October 29.

Ales & Tails — September 16th-17th, 2017 (Kansas City Renaissance Festival)

Join us for one of the most popular theme weekend events at the Renaissance Festival! Bring your pooch and learn about pet safety and training, purchase pet clothing, personalized tags, all-natural dog food and parade your dog around for the Pet Costume Contest! You must complete the Dog Registration Form & check in at the pet gate.


Longbow Archery Championships

Steady, aim, fire! Put your shot to the test in our annual Longbow Competition. Held outside of the festival’s front gate daily at 10:00am.

Tallest and Small Dog Contest

Held daily at 10:45am near the Washer Well Stage.


Pet Costume Contest

Whether ye pet be a fairy, a pirate, a gypsy, or a mixture of them all, we want to see their costume! Come show off your pet at the daily FREE pet costume contest. Held daily at 1:15pm at the Washer Well Stage.


Hot “Dog” Eating Competition

Don’t worry! These dogs are made from pigs. Race to finish your hot dog the fastest and receive a prize! This FREE competition is held daily at 2:45pm at the Washer Well Stage.


Best Dog Trick Competition

Think your pooch has the coolest trick around? Show them off at the FREE Dog Trick Competition located at the Washer Well Stage at 3:00pm daily.


Corgi Race

Watch the corgis test their legs and speed against other pups to win fun prizes! Race begin at 4:00pm on the Joust Track daily.


Sit Means Sit Competition

Who can sit still the longest? Show off your dog’s mastery of the essential trick “sit” and see who can hold the position the longest! Located near the Washer Well Stage at 5:00pm daily.


Bring your Dog!

While the Renaissance Festival loves all animals, only dogs that have proof of their rabies vaccination are allowed into the Festival. All dogs must be leashed and check in at the Pet Gate. Visit our Bring your Dog! page for more information.


Villager Bingo

Can you find them all? Play Villager Bingo for FREE and win a FREE festival ride. Pick up your card at the Info Booth at the Front Gate. All day!


Weekend Promotions

Celebration of Cities (Columbia MO, Jefferson City MO & Rolla MO)

Residents from these cities will receive $3 off their admission ticket when they present proof of residency at our box office.

Ladies’ Shopping Weekend

Grab your friends and join us for a day of shopping and wine for only $20! The discount ticket includes admission, glass of wine, gift bag, and the opportunity to receive discounts from select artisans all day!

Scout Day

Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and leaders can wear their uniform for a $10 ticket at the box office.

Harvesters Food Drive 

Donate 5 non-perishable food items and receive a Buy One, Get One ticket opportunity on a regular priced Adult admission ticket! Please, no expired food!

Half-Price Pet Admission

Pet Admission is cut in half and is only $5.00 this weekend only!

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Saturday/Weekend After Report

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Summer is over, socially. Labor Day Weekend marks the social end of summer. So I thought today I would rehash the weekend.

Saturday

We started our celebration of the weekend at Worlds of Fun. Dollar Days. We spent our Dollar Days time at the Moroccan Merchant store: $5 plush and apparel, everything else $1.

They had cheerful ambassadors at the door offering you a bag (for $1 at checkout) to put your  purchases in while shopping. The four of us looked through the store for items of interest, dispersed into the developing crowd, and then finally arrived into the checkout line.

There we met Mary and other staff checking everyone out. Not everything was wringing up correctly, but they all worked through and around the issues to get everything to ring up and people’s purchases completed. As I said, “we are at World’s of Fun, so, no matter what happens, have fun with it.” Those staff were great evidence of what so many of the staff there always exude. Things don’t have to run perfectly, but you have fun with and about it, and find a resolution/workaround.

We followed that with a two-some anniversary visit to Cinzetti’s Restaurant in Overland Park. Excellent service, excellent food, excellent ambiance.

There were other items to the afternoon. Target’s 4 for $10 soda can case sale ended Saturday, so we picked up my annual soda supply, then went over to the Sprint store to go phone shopping. Left and came back later to pick up a new, bottom of the price series smart phone for the wife — happy anniversary! The Sprint people were also very helpful with the phone choice, setup, accessories, etc.

Sunday

Started off with church. Where they introduced the new choir director.

Director of Music Ministries

Taylor Tracy

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Taylor is a native of Buhler, KS where he grew up on the family farm.  Over the last 10 years, Taylor has served as a choir director in congregations varying in size from 80 to slightly under 2,000.  In addition to his conducting experience, Taylor has performed as a soloist, in choirs, and orchestras throughout Europe, Canada, up and down both coasts and throughout the Mid-West.  Taylor is active in the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, KMEA, and KCDA and has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning News.  Taylor’s commitment to quality church music and liturgy has brought regional recognition to several music ministries under his direction.  He looks forward to serving with members of the Avondale staff and community and to continue the musical excellence of the church.
We didn’t get to introduce ourselves to him, because I had to get to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival by 1 p.m. to be on stage with Madrigalia Bar Nonne.
The day outdoors was warm but not overly so. It ensured we always glistened, but so did the music, as our sets included appreciative audiences and youthful singers who we invited up to sing along with us and practice what they learned in school in a broader and more lively environment. The crowd was large and colorful, but not super packed.
I’m sure all three days of the weekend had similar lievliness. It was a very good start to the seven weekend run.

Monday

For us this was a more relaxing day. I put on some bike miles exploring trails in the morning, then we did a quick run over for lunch in the early afternoon.  There didn’t seem to be a large crowd of cars at the Worlds of Fun parking lot. But by the time we went back to Oceans of Fun for the evening, we could see that sometime during the day they had parked all their lots and extended parking a long distance on the grass.  My take, since Monday was the last day Oceans of Fun was open for the season, everyone was getting a last swim in. Worlds of Fun, meanwhile, has two whole seasons left to go for the year: Haunt and Winterfest.

That said, by the time we arrived before 6 p.m. there was plenty of space for us to park close in the main lot, and spend our last OOF moments floating around the Caribbean Cooler until the guards blew their whistles in unison to signal the end of the OOF year.

Conclusion

So, yes, a good transitional weekend. The end of summer; the beginning of fall. But it will take awhile to think of it as fall. Though maybe not too long — the 10-day forecast has our lows dipping into the 50s for most of that time.

 

P.S. — Since so much of the post was about WOF, I will also put the weekly dining plan stats update in this post.

Total Price Paid $497.44
Total Number of Meals 476
Total Retail $4,967.10
Average Price Per Meal $1.05
Total Drink Price 29.64
Total number of drinks 456
Total Retail $502.50
Average Price Per Drink $0.07

A look ahead: Labor Day Weekend

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Most appropriately this post should have been created and scheduled for Thursday. But in the way of the  world I posted something else on Thursday, so am doing the weekend wrap-up very early on Saturday — though I don’t expect the post to actually change anyone’s schedule. So here goes:

Dollar Days at Worlds of Fun

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Worlds of Fun has probably its best sales of the year this weekend.

Explore Dinosaurs Alive! for just $1!

Enjoy $1 Food items:

  • $1 Hot Dog at G’rilla Grill
  • $1 Hot Dog at Oceans of Fun Food Truck
  • $1 Donuts at G’rilla Grill
  • $1 Donuts at Grandma’s Funnel Cakes
  • $1 French Fries at G’rilla Grill
  • $1 Barbacoa Taco at Oceans of Fun Food Truck

Play $1 Games:

  • Dead Ringer at Detonator Games
  • Rebound at Detonator Games
  • Mamba Ball at Africa Games
  • Plinko in the Orient
  • Cat Whack at Games Street USA

Discounts on Merchandise at Moroccan Merchant!

  • $5* Plush & Apparel
  • Everything else at Moroccan Merchant $1*

Event time runs 11am – 6pm, or while supplies last.
Dollar Days are Saturday, September 2nd through Monday, September 4th, 2017 only. 

*items listed do not include applicable sales tax and may not be combined with other discounts

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Today is the first of 7 themed weekends the Kansas City Renaissance Festival is open.  Find out more at: http://www.kcrenfest.com/

The first weekend theme is:

Passport to the World – September 2, 3 & 4, 2017


Hula Hoop Contest

You don’t have to jump through hoops to enter; you just need to be the last man, woman, or child hula hooping to win! Join in for FREE each day at 10:45am at the Washer Well Stage.


Belly Dance Contest

Shake it ’til you make it! Jingle those scarves and let your hips do the talking at our FREE competition! Winners take home prizes from Heart of America Belly Dance. Held daily at 12:45pm at the Washer Well Stage.


Costume Contest

Showcase your best garb in this week’s FREE costume contest! Held daily at 1:15pm at the Washer Well Stage.


Jumbo Polish Sausage Eating Competition

Join us for the FREE Jumbo Polish Sausage Eating Competition to see who can devour their sausage the fastest! Located at the Washer Well Stage at 2:45pm. Meat and prizes provided by 


Fantasy Mask Competition

Show off your creative side by designing a fantasy mask! Any materials are acceptable for use as long as it’s handmade. Get creative with paint, beads, feathers, latex, clay, and leather. After you’ve created your masterpiece, be prepared to model it on the Pavilion stage! Prizes will be awarded to the judges’ favorites for both categories; Adult and Child. Held daily at 3:00pm at the Washer Well Stage. Fantasy Mask registration form HERE.


Villager Bingo

Can you find them all? Play Villager Bingo for FREE and win a FREE festival ride. Pick up your card at the Info Booth at the Front Gate. All day!

 

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Cinzetti’s

This weekend also happens to be our anniversary, which will include a visit to Cinzetti’s restaurant, 7201 W 91st St Overland Park, KS 66212 (913) 642-0101, sometime during the weekend. So here’s a modest tout of this exhibition cooking Italian Buffet. Visit their website at http://www.cinzzettis.com/kansas/ for more information.

Cedar Fair Tour: Worlds of Fun — Coming Home

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We did a half-tour of the Cedar Fair Parks; I blogged about the visits, and about the parks in comparison. Now I feel a need to blog about home, about Worlds of Fun. After touring all those parks, seeing all those extreme and expansive roller coasters, does it make Worlds of Fun dim by comparison? Might we wish to live closer to another park instead?

The answer is no. I asked the family about what makes Worlds of Fun our park of choice. After we got past “living four miles away”, we decided that there are some definite things about the park that we think is better than any of the other parks we visited. True, there are many things at the other parks that are individually better, but overall, we will take Worlds of Fun — while at the same time recommending what we think would make it better.

My first thoughts about what I like about Worlds of Fun, since I am by heart a water child, reflect around the Oceans of Fun portion. All of agreed that of the wave pools we experienced, none of them were better than the Surf City wave pool at Oceans of Fun. Nor were any of the lazy rivers better than the Caribbean Cooler. Sure, we’d like a lazy river with some of the fun stuff and obstacle course type items, but having a river you don’t need a tube to ride in, and one deep enough to swim in, is a luxury we didn’t find anywhere else.

I came up with a word for it: space. When Worlds of Fun was built in 1973, and when Oceans of Fun was built in 1982, they were built on a scale of space not reflected in the other parks we saw. It can be seen in the amount of space between the rides, and the size of the Wave Pool at Oceans of Fun. In the intervening years the layout and replacement of rides has filled in some of that space, but the overlying feeling and principle still remains. It is one of the major stamps of the Midwestern mentality that is subtly reflected in the park.

The other major stamp is that of theme. All the other parks we saw had themed sections. None of them had an overriding park theme. Worlds of Fun is based on the Jules Verne classic Around the World in 80 Days; each section of the park represents a region of the world that you pass through. True, there was no passing through Scandinavia in the book, but the theme of world regions is a unifying theme to the whole park that the other parks don’t have anything like. In fact, if they wanted to, the park could think about more subtle ways to integrate the book plot into the park plot.  Some year they could have sightings of Phileas Fogg or Passepartout. But even without the literary allusions of that idea, paying attention to the region theme is a key element of the parks subtle appeal.

So, back to the Worlds of Fun part more specifically. With the use of the theme, the park is arranged in a loop pattern, unlike the other parks, actually a loop and a loop within the loop, to go from region to region. Geographically it seems to us that Worlds of Fun is built on a hillier terrain than any of the other parks, and the loops take full advantage of this geographical presence. You also see it in the various streams, waterways and ponds that flow through the park campus. I have blogged about the “turtle pond” at the park, an unintended natural wonder at the park. Paying attention to these geographical landmarks could even improve the park.

When I think of specific rides, Worlds of Fun has some things that other parks don’t have. The Prowler is an excellent example. Sure, other parks have wooden roller coasters, other parks have more extreme roller coasters, but not have a coaster constructed with the unique principle of the Prowler. Other roller coasters may have more extreme functions, but only the Prowler connects each feature into the next one without down time between them, to keep the intensity continually on the prowl throughout the ride.

Then there is the Spinning Dragons. None of the rides had a similar single car spinning ride like the dragons. The closest we found were the “mouse trap” type coasters that we found and enjoyed at many of the other parks. (Our recommendation is that Worlds of Fun should get one of those — the best placement would be somewhere near, but not in, Planet Snoopy.)

The Uniqueness of the Patriot is harder to describe. It is more similar to other coasters at other parks than the first two I described. But has a length and intensity that fits well with the rest of the rides at WOF, and is a coaster that Betsy is still willing to go on, when other coasters become to extreme for her.

We also like our train, even if it is only a one-stop train. The use of a real train engine Eli (converted to natural gas), gives it a distinction we didn’t feel at the other parks. Once again, they have potential to ramp this up as well. The Great Train robbery scenario of 2016 was fun, they need to think more about wrapping it into various themes.

We have also enjoyed the street entertainments. This year and last they had the Brass Brigade doing roving performances.  In 2016 they also had a town cast that went around and did things, mostly connected to Americana. These are elements they need to think about and weave in more completely to the experience.

I could go on, but as G.K. Chesterton said, it is hard to describe something you know well and love for many reasons.  Something new you experience you can describe in an item or two, but the things you really like have too many layers to easily describe. Let me just close by saying we like our home park of Worlds of Fun, for many reasons, and also why we would like to see so many things that could make it even better.

I am curious to see how Winterfest works out this year. It sounds exciting, and I hope they keep the park’s flavor and theme in mind as they tailor the elements for it.

A Look Ahead: End of Summer?

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It is still a little ways to Labor Day Weekend, when the Kansas City Renaissance Festival opens, but a week from this evening is  Media Day at the Ren Fest. That is where they try to “wine and dine” the media and other important local dignitaries. Madrigalia Bar Nonne will be there adding color, and so I will be there singing, which is why this event goes on the look ahead.

Back where I grew up, school didn’t start until after Labor Day.  But here school has already started this week. Back when I grew up the start of school indicated the end of summer. So has summer ended already? Or will it end at Labor Day? Thoughts?

Speaking of which, with the start of school, Worlds of Fun went into weekends-only mode this past week. So we haven’t been to the part since Sunday.  Below is the All-Season Meal Plan stats for the year:

Total Price Paid $497.44
Total Number of Meals 435
Total Retail $4,548.56
Average Price Per Meal $1.14
Total Drink Price 29.64
Total number of drinks 422
Total Retail $468.50
Average Price Per Drink $0.07

A Look Ahead: Million $ Quartet

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This Thursday I am doing another quick “look ahead” post.

Snoopy’s Birthday

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The first item is today, Thursday, Aug. 10

Worlds of Fun

4545 Worlds of Fun Ave, Kansas City, Missouri 64161
Come help us celebrate Snoopy’s Birthday on Thursday after the 1:30 performance of Sally’s Rockin’ Dance Party! Cake will be served!

Million $ Quartet

The next item is July 6, 2017 – Sept. 24, 2017 at the New Theatre Restaurant.  I post it today, because we are going to the matinee this Saturday.

Million Dollar Quartet is the new smash-hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On December 4, 1956, these 4 young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. Million Dollar Quartet brings the legendary night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “16 Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog,” and many more. This thrilling Broadway musical takes you inside the recording

 

Season Dining Update

And finally, we have the season dining plan update (which isn’t really a look ahead, but which I put here semi-regularly):

Total Price Paid $497.44
Total Number of Meals 417
Total Retail $4,364.36
Average Price Per Meal $1.19
Total Drink Price 29.64
Total number of drinks 406
Total Retail $452.50
Average Price Per Drink $0.07

A Look Ahead …

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This week is the start of the big tour. And the big tour begins with:

LibertyCon

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The Thirtieth LibertyCon starts Friday and goes through Sunday in Chattanooga, TN. For those of us in the SciFi community, it will be a star-studded weekend with some true stars, not just those of the PC-elect.

Master of Ceremonies:  Toni Weisskopf

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Baen Editor & Publisher, Toni Weisskopf, isn’t just one of the most well-known people at LibertyCon, she’s one of the most well-known people in Southern Fandom!  There’s not much to say about her that you don’t already know, so I’m not going to bother…  except to point out that you know how smart, funny and charming this lady can be…  so all I can think is that she’s going to be a heck of a Master of Ceremonies for LC30!

30th Anniversary Literary Guest of Honor:  John Ringo

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John Ringo is not only a world class writer, but is also a very familiar face at LibertyCon.  Every year you can find him sitting and chatting with friends and fans, and now he’s even stepped up his game to take on Todd McCaffrey in the ConSuite with his “Nearly Home-Made Spaghetti” that he brought in for the attendees at LC29!  (I would say all of this is the reason for us having him in as LC30th Anniv. LGoH but really it’s just a ploy so we can hang out with his lovely wife, Miriam)  Wink

You can find out more about John at his website, JohnRingo.net

Literary Guest of Honor:  Kevin Hearne

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Kevin Hearne is a favorite author of quite a few of the LibertyCon family, and we’re sure that once you check out his work you’ll understand why! We’re really looking forward to meeting him when he comes in as our LC30 Literary Guest of Honor!

You can find out more about Mr. Hearne (And his dogs for that matter!) at his website, KevinHearne.com

Artist Guest of Honor:  Dan dos Santos

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Dan dos Santos is an incredible artist who covers the field with his work. Although primarily known for his incredible book cover art, he has also worked in comics and film for companies like DC Comics and Disney. You just never know where this guy is going to pop up, but we’re happy that he’s popping up in Chattanooga as our 2017 Artist Guest!

You can learn more about Dan by checking out his website at DandosSantos.com

Science Guest of Honor:  Dr. Elisa Quintana

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Dr. Elisa Quintana is an award winning scientist that works with both the SETI Institute and the NASA Ames Research Center on the Kepler Mission.  She not only has several advanced degrees in addition to her Ph.D. in Physics, but was also a team lead of the astronomers who confirmed Kepler-186f.  This might not mean much to you said that way, but it was the first  Earth-sized planet found orbiting in another star’s habitable “Goldilocks Zone”!

One thing about it, I can’t wait to see the Mad Scientists’ Panel with her on board!

Special Guest of Honor:  Todd McCaffrey

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Over the past several years, Todd McCaffrey has been a well known face around LibertyCon.  He’s not only a talented author, but also genuinely one of the nicest people around.  (Also we’ve come to look forward to his crepes, which he makes for staff and fans for Saturday morning breakfast.  Really!  We’re not joking, Todd McCaffrey makes our breakfast…  and they’re great!)  We’re looking forward to having him at LibertyCon 30 as our Staff Chef Special Guest of Honor!

You can learn more about Todd by checking out his page at PERNHome.com

30th Anniversary Guest:  Faith Hunter

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Another new face on the list of LibertyCon 30 “headliners”, Faith Hunter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock Series, the Rogue Mage Series and the Soulwood Series.  We haven’t had the chance to meet Ms. Hunter yet, but by all accounts she should fit right into our little LibertyCon Family!  We can’t wait to see her in 2017!

You can find out more about Faith at her website, FaithHunter.net

Besides all the guests of honor is a slate of sessions and activities and readings and signings to overflow the day with possibilities. As our second CON, and first LibertyCon, we won’t be quite as green as our first Con, but still gawking our way through the marvels of it all.

World’s of Fun

The second item on look ahead is World’s of Fun. Several items here.

  • This weekend is the big Patriotic Celebration.  Worlds of Fun celebrates the 4th for 4 nights in July with fireworks at 10pm each night, Saturday thru Tuesday. (Please note, the Worlds of Fun Avenue and main parking entrance will be closed from approximately 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm each night. Traffic entering the park will be directed to the Oceans of Fun parking lot.)
  • Family Reunion Days July 1-4, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 $42.99/person Admission and Meal for Groups of 15 or More. Celebrate your Family Reunion in July at Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. Enjoy access to both parks, an all-you-can-eat picnic buffet from 2PM – 3PM at one of our picnic pavilions, including Fried Chicken, Sliced Brisket, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Potato Chips, Assorted Cookies, and drinks from Coca-Cola. All at a reasonable price! With all the rides, slides, shows, and attractions, including the all-new Falcon’s Flight and Mustang Runner there’s no better place to have fun with the entire family. And no simpler way to plan it. Just work with one of our experienced Account Executives, and they’ll take care of everything. You and the family enjoy the day!
  • Military Days –– Worlds of Fun wants to thank the men and women who have served and who are currently serving in our country’s military. Veterans of the American Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard will receive complimentary admission to Worlds of Fun on July 4. Complimentary tickets available for active duty, reserve, or retired military with honorable or medical discharge and government issued ID.  Veterans or active military members only will receive complimentary admission to Worlds of Fun and can bring up to six (6) members of their immediate family on admission at $36.00 + tax each. Please present valid government issued ID at any ticket sales window located at the Worlds of Fun or Oceans of Fun main entrance in order to receive your admission and purchase your immediate family admissions

And of course there is our update on the Season Dining Plan Usage:

 

Total Price Paid $497.44
Total Number of Meals 262
Total Retail $2,699.06
Average Price Per Meal $1.90
Total Drink Price 29.64
Total number of drinks 231
Total Retail $228.00
Average Price Per Drink $0.13

Starlight Theatre — Jersey Boys

I did a late tease on this one Tuesday, but the show goes on through Sunday, July 2.

The strong adult language aside, the show itself was a very good show. The writing was well done. As a musical person, but not one locked into the music of the Jersey Boys’  era, I surprised myself with how much of it was familiar and enjoyable. My wife used her earplugs through the entire thing, and I was tempted to join her, but even with such volume levels it didn’t disturb unduly my ability to follow the weaving of the true-life story and the music that seamlessly told the story with it. This was much more that a musical collage or celebration.

As to the rest of the Starlight experience, I give Starlight a momentary reprise from our growing unease and displeasure at the quality of the experience we have been getting. We arrived earlier to this show than the last, and came in through the 63rd street gate, and were thus parked in grass parking on the correct side of the theatre to be able to get to our dinner reservations without undue circumnavigation of the entire grounds. Of course, we figured that out ourselves, where to come in to park — no one at the theatre suggested it to dining patrons, nor responded to my comments about the same from the previous survey.

The person checking tickets at the gate was having trouble with her reader, but handled the delay in a way that didn’t make us feel disgruntled by the wait. And when we got to the buffet line, there were plates — unlike last time — with a subtle design to remind us of records (thus themed to the evening’s show). Overall there were no glitches to the evening, for once.

All of that is said without being influenced by the other main event of the evening for us.

We won the door prize.

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When they handed us our programs at the gate, each of us looked to see who was sponsoring the show, and then turned to the page with the sponsor’s ad. They always announce that whoever on that page sees the gold Starlight sticker will be the winner of that night’s giveaway.  I turned to that page, saw the star, was subtly startled, closed, opened, gave my wife a peak and then closed the book again, with surreptitious glances.

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We guarded the booklet all through dinner, posed for a surreptitious picture in the our seats, and then went to redeem it at intermission for the $200 in Starlight gift certificates that was our prize.

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And now we still need to decide: will we apply them toward season tickets next year, or just buy individual shows. Will they present us with a good enough season to make season tickets worthwhile next year?