Don and I are quite different when it comes to theme parks like Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.
I go to enjoy myself, see the sights, and go on some of the rides that are fun and safe. As an occasional player of the mobile game Pokémon Go, I also am content to wander around the parks, discovering the many Pokestops and collecting new critters.
Don goes for the thrill rides. He loves the roller coasters and will make the rounds to ride as many of them as we have time for. While he also enjoys the other rides, he’s really into the fast, scary ones.
One of the reasons we’ve stayed married over 37 years is that Don has accepted that trying to get me on most roller coasters is a lost cause. In turn, I am resigned to the fact that my normally sensible husband likes rides that make me think I’m going to die.
So, it’s not uncommon for us to split up for a time when we visit a theme park. Don goes off and gets his thrills, and I find something entertaining to do while I wait for him to get it out of his system. There are rides we both enjoy, and we’ll try to get on those if the wait isn’t too long. We’ve found that this is the best way for us to both be happy.
We’ve been to Universal once since they reopened. There were temperature checks before we were allowed inside the CityWalk area (a shopping and restaurant area outside of Universal and Islands of Adventure). We were also required to wear masks and Don had us put on N95 masks that he’d gotten back before there was a pandemic.
Let me break for a moment to say that N95 mask, while better protection, is not extremely comfortable. We put up with them, of course, only removing them occasionally to eat or to cool off in a gift shop. I must admit they are also just plain white. I’ve seen some cool looking masks out there, and I’m tempted to buy some.
But going back to theme parks and roller coasters, an article about Japanese theme parks caught my eye. According to the article I found on www.usatoday.com, theme parks in Japan are reopening, with some rules for attendees.
One of the rules is unusual: no screaming on roller coasters. The reasoning behind the rule is that “intense vocal expressions” are thought to expel droplets that might spread the coronavirus.
Theme park goers are having issues with this ruling. In response, two executives of one of the theme parks put out a video of them on a roller coaster silently experiencing the ride. The video concludes with the statement, “Please scream inside your heart.”
There is an assumption made here, that screaming on a roller coaster is perfectly voluntary and can be suppressed at will.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m somehow persuaded to get on a roller coaster, I’m going to scream. Not because it’s a choice on my part, either. The scream is pushed out of my mouth by my body and brain, which are united in their outrage of what I’m putting them through. And my heart? It says it isn’t strong enough to contain my terror.
So, it looks like I won’t be on any Japanese roller coasters in the foreseeable future. Though I must admit it would be fun to see what a Japanese theme park is like. I wonder if they have Pokestops.