Yesterday we took the kids to Kentucky Kingdom, it was opening day. I really had a tiny sense of dread about the whole trip. Back in 2007, a horrific accident happened there when a 13 year-old girl had her feet severed on a ride. It was one of those rides where you go up hundreds of feet in the air and then fall straight down at a rate of 55 miles per hour. A cable broke loose and cut off her feet on the way down. I remembered hearing about the accident on the news and thinking about how awful that must have been for that little girl and her parents.
The theme park closed down after that. Doctors were able to reattach one of the girl’s feet and she now has a prosthetic for the other. Her family only received a $500,000 settlement which I’m sure wasn’t enough to pay the medical bills. I thought about that girl a lot as we made our way through the newly reopened park.
At the entrance was the exact same ride the girl lost her feet on. It was renamed and a different color but it was the same type of ride. There was also a smaller version for the little kids. I thought that was tacky. They could have still had an amazing park without those rides. Out of respect for the little girl, now woman, they should have left those rides out. I realize the park has a new owner now but still…..I couldn’t quit thinking about it. We didn’t go on those rides but a lot of people did.
The most amazing part of Kentucky Kingdom for my family was in the water park. There was a wave pool with 9-13 foot waves. It was so fun – but the fun was cut short because of stupid parents. There were 20 lifeguards standing at the edge of the pool. Each time the waves started a life guard would have to jump off the wall to save a child. The waves were then shut off. This happened over and over and over again. It was very frustrating to watch. It was also very frustrating for the responsible people in the water trying to have a good time.
After being pulled from the water the kids were put in a lawn chair and interviewed by someone with a clipboard. No parent came running – not even once! As I watched I imagined the interview questions;
1. How does it feel knowing your parents don’t give a shit about you?
2. How many near drownings have you had today?
3. Has anyone told your parents that they suck at being parents?
After the questions the kids were released and went into a sea of lounge chairs looking for their parents or running back into the pool to do it again. Thankfully no one died. I think each time a child was rescued and no parents came running that their names should have been announced over a loud speaker to pick up their child at the front office and then they should have been escorted out of the park with social services waiting outside. It’s bad enough that they let their children almost drown but to not notice they were plucked out of the water by lifeguards is inexcusable. I was shocked as the same scenario played out again and again.
I was also shocked at the amount of people telling their kids to tip-toe so they would look tall enough to go on the ‘big’ rides. One lady was even bragging about how her daughter wore three inch heels so she would be able to go the bigger rides. Are these people stupid? Do they think their kids are invincible? Don’t they realize there are height requirements for a reason? Each time I saw this I wished the parents would be escorted from the park. Teaching their kids to lie? Putting their safety at risk? My faith in humanity had diminished by the end of the day.
But stupid people aside, the park was amazing and I would highly recommend it. We are considering season passes. There is something for everyone and the park was very clean and the staff very polite. There are even free sunscreen stations throughout the park! But the food was expensive. We bought two hamburgers, one hotdog, fries and drinks and it cost $42! We paid $31 each to get in, $8 for parking and $15 for a locker. It wasn’t cheap but it is an amusement park and a water park. It was a great time and my whole family loved it. We can’t wait to do it again!