Last weekend, I went with my family to spend a long weekend at Cedar Point – it’s an amusement park in Ohio. (I’m not going to do a full “recap” post – I talked about the hotel last year in this post and nothing has really changed, it is amazing for convenience but not amazing for accessibility.) Walking around the park made me think a little bit about how much things can change and how different things can seen as an adult versus when you were kid!
For background – when my dad was younger, he spent a summer working at one of the “guess your age / weight / birth month” booths at Cedar Point and, to this day, it remains the highlight of his life. He just had the best time there and reminisces about it often; if you have ever met him, there is a good chance you’ve heard one of his stories from his time there. It’s kind of a running joke in our family and friends how much he talks about it! So when my sister and I were young, we used to go back every summer.
Back then, we didn’t mind getting out of our wheelchairs for rides, so we’d ride things like Pirate Ship or spinny rides – they even had a kids roller coaster in Camp Snoopy that we could ride without our parents, which was pretty cool. And they had old-timey “saloons” in Frontier Town where you could sit inside, enjoy the AC, get some food and watch a little 20 minute show. The park felt so huge – like we could never do all the things we wanted to do while we were there. Though, to be fair, this is also probably because my sister and I could easily spend 30 minutes in a gift shop, deciding very carefully what we wanted to pick as a souvenir.
But it’s funny now going back as an adult – my time in the park is spent so differently. My sister and I mostly just hung out and walked around, drinking our Starbucks and eating the funnel cake and elephant ear pastries that we picked up (it wasn’t quite warm enough for Dippin’ Dots or else that definitely still would’ve been on the list, too). We’re not interested in getting out of our wheelchairs for rides anymore – it’s just not comfortable – so it’s a different kind of time in the park. It’s also funny to think how HUGE the park seemed as a kid – when you don’t ride any rides, you can actually walk the perimeter of the park pretty quickly! It’s fun, though, to walk around and see what things I still recognize and remember, what things I remember but don’t exist anymore, and what things my Dad can’t believe I don’t remember, ha! Even though it was a different way of spending time in the park, it was still a great time.
And of course, some things will never change… I did still spend a good 20 minutes with my sister in the gift shop while she decided what she wanted to buy.