Tigana (my six year old) was obviously thrilled to have the opportunity to spend $4 for the 60 seconds ot took to walk through "the Crystal Palace Hall of Mirrors"; or to slide down the two story slide of "Raiders" (repainted in a Spiderman motif to update a reference the current generation of kids could no longer related to, though the jungle walkways and cave decorations and the lights all still say "Raiders"); or to twirl around in a giant berry as it makes her nearly dizzy enough to throw up. I had not appreciated previously how nostalgic it is for parents to not only watch their kids scream on rides they themselves used to ride (before age and gravity got the upper hand), but to watch the child's disillusionment and disappointment as the realization that one has just spent a week's allowance on a really lame exhibit suddenly sinks in. Oh, to be young and naive again...!
But the highlight of the exhibition for me this year was the new and unique concession of "Stick with Waffles". (The original slogan, the owner/inventor told me, was to have been, "Forget pancakes, stick with waffles" but he had to shorten it for the van/T-Shirt logo.) The concept is frightenly simple and innovative: bake a waffle with a popsicle stick sticking out the side, provide a choice of maple or strawberry butter (to avoid that whole sticky issue of how to handle the syrup) and voila, the perfect midway snack. It is so dumb, it's brilliant, and Tigana ate her's up with great relish, voting it her favorite food of the midway. Sadly, there seemed few other takers for the three hours we were there, and the proprietor told us he was plagued by the general perception that waffles are just for breakfast, but once that prejudice is overcome (as is certainly the case whenever we give Tigana the choice, waffles being her idea of a staple food equalled only by Kraft Dinner) the franchise is obviously going to take off!