I t was such a random place to find ourselves on a Thursday. In a mock Wild West, dancing girls in faded frills and Will Smith being blasted over the speaker system.
Hundreds had gathered and people were pushing their way to the front.
Little kids were hoisted onto dads’ shoulders as though this was something they just had to see to believe.
Many of us had travelled far to be here. By plane and car park courtesy bus.
We’d waited an hour already in a queue just to get in the front gates.
Inside we were instantly hit. Nuclear family bomb.
We were pushed along in the aftershock, delivered to a showdown in front of a painted American Wild West street scene.
The show itself sucked. But the general public was mesmerizing.
“Churros! Churros!” They chanted, again shuffling off and lining up, to buy deep-fried sticks of sugared carbohydrates. At least I think that’s what they were.
Little kids wandered about, sucking on slurpy cups of bright blue slush that were bigger than their own heads. Being fed a constant stream of sugar to heighten the experience of being there.
Others had told us we had to take the young bloke to Movie World.
It’s like the ultimate pilgrimage for the unfaithful.
And yes, he loved it. He said he loved it, but honestly, most of the time he looked about as bemused as I felt.
We whiled away another hour in the Scooby Doo spooky coaster line.
It looked short.
From the outside.
But once we were herded indoors a line as long and colourful as the giant rainbow serpent curled around a central fountain, then folded in on itself several times.
Just as well we’d bought a packed a lunch.
As we neared the end it dawned on me.
“We don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into,” I said.
The indoor ride being closed to view.
Let’s just say in no other circumstance would I thank the lord something I’d lined up for an hour for only went for two minutes.
The people watching was the most fun.
Especially once the rain started and they all covered themselves in what looked like Movie World-themed garbage bags with a hole for the head.
Everything had a logo.
Flappity, flappity flap went the gift shop ponchos, threatening to take the wearers up, up and away.
My lasting memory from Movie World?
We turned a mock street corner to find everyday people escalated to hero status, just because they were paid to dip into a fancy dress box.
The little bloke didn’t know where to look first – there was the Scooby Doo gang, Batman, Marilyn, Austin Powers, the Armless Man… you won’t remember that last one from the silver screen.
“Look at that one! He’s funny,” my boy pointed out, rather excitedly, just as this man was wheeled past us.
“No mate, that man’s got no arms,” I said.
“That was actually an armless man.”
Cue instant shock horror.
“I’m so sorry mum, I didn’t know,” he pleaded, his little hand cupped over his mouth.
Poor kid thought he was all part of the show.