Sunday, June 11, 2017

Santa's Village Azoosment Park; East Dundee, Illinois

Thanks to sister and brother-in-law's generosity, we were able to go back in time and visit Santa's Village Azoosment Park in East Dundee last weekend.  Due to a funny case of mistaken Santa's Villages, the whole crew showed up early (a California Santa's Village has a 10am opening time but our Santa's Village has an 11am start time).  Luckily, there is a Wendy's just outside of the park where we were able to grab an early lunch before the theme park festivities. In retrospect, this worked out to our advantage because the food at Santa's Village is rather expensive, as expected, and there is very little indoor seating anywhere in the park.  It was hot but not unbearably hot on the day we went, but the guy below didn't care:
After being to the Disney Parks so many times in the past, Santa's Village really seems like the minor leagues in theme park quality, but we still had a fun time.

First, on the day we went, we had very short wait times.  The rides are a notch above carnival rides.  The newest ride, the Super Cyclone, is a pretty fun, low thrills roller coaster.  People my age probably remember the Super Cyclone as being the Galaxy... And it is still the same two-car no-loop coaster.
The intended crowd for Santa's Village is clearly evident as the rides are mostly the spin around, little-kiddie type.  My body can't handle spinning, so there are quite a few rides that I cannot go on at the park.  Here are some more ride pictures:
 In addition to the Super Cyclone, we rode on the Ding-Em Dodge'em Bumper Cars, the Tri-nado, the Mega Velocity (Scrambler), Jed's Antique Country Cruisers (Speedway cars) and SVFD Engine #3.  Not bad for only a few hours in the park.  My littlest one is just about 48" so she can ride everything in the park.

In addition to rides, Santa's Village also has animals, mostly ones from the farm.  So if you expected the Azoosment Park part of the title to mean tigers, lions, crocodiles or other cool beasts, you came to the wrong place.  However, they do have the Parakeet Paradise, which is a blast.  The Parakeet Paradise is an indoor parakeet enclosure where little feathered friends are up close and personal and everywhere around you.  For a few bucks, you can get some parakeet feed on a stick and then they get really close.  Here are some pictures:
Santa's Village has a tortoise enclosure too called Tortoise Island, and my blog entry wouldn't be complete without a picture of my favorite type of animal:
Finally, Santa's Village has carnival games where we couldn't convince my oldest not to play the dreaded impossible ring toss. I really like her stubborness against the odds.  Let's see how I feel about that when she is 14.
Comparing the current iteration of Santa's Village to the memory of the park from my childhood, it is much smaller and at most, a half day event.  But it doesn't really matter how I feel but rather how the kids' experience is.  That said, it is worth the 25-dollar or so admission because the rides and animals are perfect for the 12-and-under crowd.  What's more, the rides do not still have that awful stale plastic smell that I remember from my childhood in the 80's.  Just make sure you bring in plenty of bottled water (they don't prevent you from carrying non-alcoholic drinks into the park), sunscreen, sunglasses and hats on a hot day because there are very few indoor venues at Santa's Village.  Thanks for the read.

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