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I love theme parks. That's why I'm the Theme Parks Guide at About.com. But sometimes--OK, LOTS of times--parks do things that make me crazy. I just returned from a trip to Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada with my family and we had, ahem, a barrel of fun. But an incident at Marineland, a sea life/wild animal/amusement park hybrid, had me turning redder than a lobster with anger. I had wanted to ride the park's ballyhooed Dragon Mountain roller coaster. I'm not sure why, but only one of the ride's three trains was working. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that some safety precaution required the one-train operation. But the ride operators, who were taking their sweet time loading and unloading the ride, kept sending the 28-passenger train out with three or four empty seats. And that's inexcusable. Although there wasn't an enormous line, I estimated it was going to take at least 90 minutes before I boarded the train. Since I was riding alone (yes, I'm sorry to say the Theme Park Guide's family members are all coaster wimps), I tried to get the attention of the ride operators to see if I could jump ahead and ride in one of the empty seats. When they ignored me, I walked around to the ride's exit and tried asking the same question. The ride op, however, sternly escorted me out without even listening to me. I was so mad, I gave up trying to ride the coaster (even though I had planned to write a review of the ride.) And if I was mad, I'm sure other folks waiting in line were equally aggravated. Since we're in the middle of the park season, it's a good time to trot out my Z-Ticket rant. It includes the ten things that make me bonkers at theme parks. Marineland, take a good look at Z-Ticket infraction number eight, Lazy Ride Ops. You've just been issued a Z-Ticket.
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