I spent about 4 hours at the park today and it was insane. There were so many kids that were bussed in, more than I have ever seen before. I sat next to a nice woman on a park bench who was a chaperone from a school in the Bronx. She said that many of the schools in New York come down to the park because they get those great group rates and a lot of the kids don't get out of the city. I can appreciate the sentiment, but believe me when I say that for many of them, you can take the kid out of the city but you can't take the city out of the kid.
I never even made it down to the big wave pool because the park was wall to wall people and they were rude as hell. I can't begin to count the number of times someone slammed into me and didn't even think twice, or the ammount of profanity that my kids were treated to. I'm not a prude, but damn, those kids sounded were rough. We didn't even attempt the slides, because they were backed up out onto the walkways. I've never seen it like that. I did make the mistake of taking my kids into the new wave pool because it was super hot and it appeared to be the only way we were getting wet without an hour line.
It was crazy in that freaking pool. So many kids and scumbag adults, pushing everyone out of their way to get to the front or slamming into people with the waves running, never with the courtesy of an apology or a simple, "my bad." One girl swam underwater and slammed into my crotch and when I made a loud noise from being startled, she stuck her head out of the water and gave me a pissy look like I was in HER way. Both my kids were getting pushed around, shoved and treated like crap, so I chose to leave. The lifeguards seemed HIGHLY understaffed and overworked. Poor guys and girls, I don't envy them.
After that, we moved over to the park side and though there was just as many rude people running, pushing and cutting in lines (I had people cut in front of me on 3 seperate occasions today and I saw more). The lines were much shorter, though, which my kids appreciated. The Steel Force and Dominator teams were rocking it out, got to hand it to them. The ferris wheel line wasn't too bad, but going slower than I'd ever seen it. They were filling every third car for some reason, though there were plenty of people in line to fill the whole thing up. I took the obligatory ride on the caurosel and it was nice as always, but the attendant was a garbled mess over the speaker... again, as always.
My kids took quick rides on the Sea Dragon (awesome staff) and on Enterprise (one girl moving slowwwww), which weren't too bad because the lines were about the size of a cycle on each. My son insisted on the Road Rally and I was surprised to see 5 or 6 cars backed up at the stop sign at the end while 5 attendants stood around the podium and had a conversation.
Security seemed to be in full gear with the bikes and roving patrols. Some looked a bit out of shape and not too menacing, especially to the inner city kids I watched mocking one of them. I also noticed a lot of people smoking around the park and I saw security walk right by on a couple of occasions. I was shocked to see security walk right by one kid standing on top of a big garbage can in Wildwater Kingdom. He was sort of ambling by too, not walking with a purpose as if he was on his way somewhere.
One thing I did notice, and this was a big thing for me, the landscaping looked awesome. The flowers were trimmed nicely, shrubbery attended to and everything looked to be in pristine order. Trees looked well-pruned and in good health, plus it appears that some were added, along with those new planters for flowers that look gorgeous. The shady part on the way down to Steel Force was really nice and I appreciated it a lot (89 degrees today). I also appreciated the humor of whoever designed the upturned bucket with blue stones looking like water had spilled out of it. Nice. Kudos to that group, who rarely hear the praise that they deserve.