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Always make sure you read the warnings before you use something…

July 12, 2006, 10:16 PM

I went to Water Country USA in Williamsburg on Tuesday, and it’s doubtful that I’ll be going back any time soon, since I didn’t have that good of a time, plus it just costs too much money anymore.

I think part of the reason I didn’t have that great of a time was because it was so crowded. It seemed like everyone and their mother was in that park and trying to get everywhere. As a result, all of the lines just about everywhere were insanely long.

Additionally, they’ve gotten worse over the now-six times I’ve been there in regards to how badly they get you money-wise. Of course, food and drink is expensive as hell. In fact, a 20-ounce bottle of Aquafina, which I can get at Wal-Mart for like $1.10, cost $3.00 at Water Country. Then there’s the parking. It’s $10.00 to park your car for the day. That’s pricey. Then it’s $15.00 for “preferred”, which is parking up close next to the entrance. Then the fee to actually get inside the park is $37.95. Locker fee is $10.00, with $4.00 refundable as a park voucher. It used to cost $6.00, and they gave you $2.00 back in cash. Now they give you what basically amounts to store credit, which you can only redeem in the park. So that’s $57.95, not counting the bottled water.

Though the main reason I didn’t have fun was because of something that was my fault. I used one of those spray sunscreens, which I find to be quite handy to use. However, in applying it to my face, I sprayed directly, which I found out later was strongly recommended against on the label. I got some of it in my eyes, and I was basically out of service for half of the afternoon. You want to talk about a bad feeling, this was it. They got the first aid people in the park to flush my eyes, and that only made a mild difference. I ended up having to lay down on one of the lounge chairs by the wave pool for a while to let it all go away (which it did, after about an hour).

What was amusing, though, was the “Hubba Hubba Highway”. It’s a river-type attraction, with a 1950s highway theme. But if that was what they were going for, then they failed on technical correctness. They showed shields for two real-life highways within the attraction. One was route 66. If they were trying to conjure up nostalgia for US 66, then they made a major boo-boo in their choice of highway shield. They used the interstate shield for 66, which made it Interstate 66, which was a bit of an anachronism. If I’m not mistaken, I-66 didn’t actually come about until well after the 1950s. The other highway featured, US 64, is correct for the time period they’re featuring, and on the correct US highway shield.

So this was a case where the main event for the day basically sucked. But it was a nice drive out and back. You’d think I’d learn by now that destinations with tourists as the main intention are something I’m not compatible with. And the drive out and back also goes to show – Richmond really is the “armpit of the state” (akin to New Jersey being the so-called “armpit of the country”). It really is not a pretty city. Northern Virginia and Roanoke are both far prettier than Richmond.

So there you go. Tuesday was indeed a tremendous waste of money, but it had its better points.

Web site: TripAdvisor reviews page on Water Country USA

Song: Two Silhouettes by Dinah Shore

Quote: "Feezle Day, we take the children out to see the feezles." - Cliff Huxtable to Dr. Burns (played by Danny Kaye) about why Feezle Day was a bad day for a dental appointment

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