Amusement Park Costa Rican Style

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I took my son on a last bang before his mid-school break was over to Parque de Diversiones, the Tico version of an amusement park. And to be honest with you, I can not even begin to tell you how impressed I was!!! I was expecting some dinky little park with a few rides, like the fairs that are held in various places throughout Central American countries, usually attached to some Saint Day or Virgin holiday held at the local church. I went with a girlfriend of mine whose son is 1 year old, and my son who is four. We met up at 9 AM, figuring we'll be back at my house for lunch. How wrong were we! There are rides for all ages from little todlers to teenagers or older, if you dare.

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To start off, the park has an interesting payment system, one you'd never find in a western country, but works great for countries with too many kids and not enough money for all of them.

The entrance fee has three options:

- $10 for the the special pass, as they call it. This allows you to go on as many rides as you want, for the whole day. I bought this one, even though I was a bit skeptical at first because, being to amusement parks in the States I know how little they have for such young kids, but I was in a daring kind of mood.

- Next is pay-per-ride ($2- $5), depending on the ride.  Most rides are $2. 

- And the last one is free! If you don't want to go on any rides at all, you can still join your kids for a great day without getting on death defying rides.

Brandon on a Ride

My daring decision to buy the 'Special ticket' paid off in spades. The majority of the park was for kids my son's age, even my friends kid got to fully enjoy himself on the multitude of kiddie rides. The kid's rides are scattered all through out the park, however, the main area for them is called Plaza de Tio Conejo, and they are big people's rides miniaturized for little people: Entrance to Tio Coneja Kids Ridesa free fall, roller coaster that gave my stomach a few drops, and other fun rides.

Now the park has two trains, one taking you around the entire park and the other one, simply didn't make any sense. It took you around showing scenery of something that resembled a land fill. I strongly believe that this was done ages ago before the park took off and grew and for some reason they never got rid of it. Because if this is one of the first rides you go on, after that you definitely don't want to continue with the rest of the park. However, near the old, decrepit train is a little animal farm and petting zoo, so there are benefits of being in this area.

Another strange aspect of the amusement park is that people get married here! It's true when you first enter the park you have to go through a really lovely area called Pueblo Antigua. It has its own little central park, church and other colonial style houses. But I can't imagine getting married where hundreds of people come to all the time.Ride Splattered with Ads

Also, maybe I haven't been to an American amusement park in quite some time, but I don't recall the rides being name branded. Every single ride was used as an advertising billboard for some corporate brand name. Maybe this is how they got their money!

This is a great experience, especially with all the third world nuances that are sprinkled through out the park.

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Tags: travel  family  costa rica  fun  kids  motherhood  amusement park  day trip 
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