#VowToVanish | Full Review of Vanish Point at Adventure Island

#VowToVanish at Adventure Island’s newest thrill ride Vanish Point! Opening tomorrow, this is an incredibly exhilarating waterpark attraction that is guaranteed to reach epic levels of suspense as you anticipate the moment the trap door flies open and you plummet to the watery depths of sheer adventure!

Along with many other bloggers and legacy media professionals covering the themed entertainment industry, I was invited to be among the first to experience Vanish Point. Towering more than 70ft in the air, Vanish Point is part of a unique breed of water coasters that combines the concept of a freefall with a traditional tube style slide. My guide Michelle was exceptional! A real testament to the quality of hospitality Adventure Islands extends to their media guests. She made my afternoon incredibly pleasant and was always attentive to my needs as I was there solo.

Along with many other bloggers and legacy media professionals covering the themed entertainment industry, I was invited to be among the first to experience Vanish Point. Towering more than 70ft in the air, Vanish Point is part of a unique breed of water coasters that combines the concept of a freefall with a traditional tube style slide. My guide Michelle was exceptional! A real testament to the quality of hospitality Adventure Islands extends to their media guests. She made my afternoon incredibly pleasant and was always attentive to my needs as I was there solo.

Even before I began the climb to the top of the tower, I passed a screen on the ride sign that shows footage from inside the launch capsule. While many in the media community seemed to simply pass it by, that element of the queue design caught my attention. It’s no secret that we are a highly mediated society (meaning interacting with and passively watching some form of media), so this was a brilliant way to integrate social media into the attraction. Whereas this feature may not be traditional social media, it embodies the idea of the vicarious experience that inspires or dares you to also take part in the thrill of Vanish Point in order to socialize with fellow enthusiasts or guests such as yourself. The idea of bonding through a screen works fabulously with this attraction. And for those who are traveling with someone who is unable to experience the attraction, your friend or family member can watch your face as you prepare for the drop!

Once you’ve climbed to the top of the tower, you are ushered over to one of two capsules. The ride attendant places you inside the tube and closes the door. To quote a favorite attraction of mine “there’s no turning back now.” Though it’s only a few seconds, time seems to stand still as you await the inevitable drop. I’m reminded of that great scene from Emperor’s New Groove in which Yzma commands Kronk to “pull the lever, Kronk…” then the trap door opens and Yzma plummets to the river below whilst exclaiming “…wrong lever!” Just before the trap door opens, there is a countdown 3…2…1…but there is a moment between the one and when it opens. It was probably less than a second but felt so much longer. Then WOOSH! You race down the water slide, turning, twisting, falling until you finally hit the bottom of the slide. What an adrenaline rush! I’ve never experienced a water a water attraction quite like this one. It was immensely exciting, and I know you will enjoy it WHEN you visit Adventure Island beginning tomorrow, March 9th.

After the experience on Vanish Point, I was walked around the park by my wonderful guide, and given a brief tour of the parks various offerings. I also found out that the food and beverage menu is supposedly changing to include some exclusive treats to Adventure Island. No information on WHAT to expect, but the idea is tasty enough! Looking forward to what Adventure Islands includes in their seasonal food. There is truly something for everyone at Adventure Islands. Whether you prefer it mild or wild, you are sure to find adventure waiting for you in the island oasis.

“A Dog’s Purpose” movie review

adogspurposeYou’re going to need tissues! Ever wonder what your dog was thinking? You’ll find out in Universal, Amblin Entertainment, and Walden Media’s glorified Hallmark movie that follows the soul of a loving dog. As such, A Dog’s Purpose is one of those films that is so simple yet emotionally touching. Based on the novel written by W. Bruce Cameron, this movie will tug at even the toughest of hearts. Although the film does not follow a traditional diegetic arc, three-act structure, and is filled with constant verbal exposition in the form of a voiceover, it is still enjoyable and works as a great date movie. No critical thinking required. Still, the author’s tagline “a novel for humans” can be seen in the social commentary on primarily human relationship dynamics followed by the relationship between a pet and his or her owner. Filled with moments of laughter and tears, A Dog’s Purpose is a film that everyone who either has or has ever had a dog should see. If you’re a cat person like me, then there isn’t much here for you–sorry. However, I was moved to tears during a scene in which the focus was on a human romantic relationship getting rekindled. You will never look at your dog the same way again and will likely go home and hug him or her just as a friend of mine did after she screened the film with me.

A Dog’s Purpose is about a dog who discovers the purpose for his existence as he is reincarnated into different dogs over the course of his life. Finding himself part of different families–or as he likes to refer to them–as packs, Bailey does his best to affect humans by influencing their respective needs to laugh and love.

Despite the rather two dimensional nature of A Dog’s Purpose, there is a deeper theme within the mostly shallow story if you examine the film closely enough. Not shallow in that there lacks emotional appeal or enjoyment, but shallow in that there is very little that is complex and dynamic in the narrative. Although Bailey spends most of his on screen life with Ethan (K.J. Apa), Bailey’s soul finds itself in other dogs who are part of their own respective family. Doing a close reading of the film reveals that each family unit represents a different kind of relationship dynamic or lack thereof. I won’t spoil it by describing each type of relationship, but knowing that there is social commentary on human and pet relationships could likely increase the appeal and enjoyment of the film for those who prefer movies with a more cerebral plot. Interestingly, the movie includes families/human relationships that represent a good cross-section of the types of relationship dynamics that exist in our lives.

For those who typically enjoy Hallmark movies, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. Last January we had glorified Lifetime movies and this year it must be Hallmark’s turn. As I have not read the novel, I cannot comment on differences between the book and the film adaptation.

Written by R.L. Terry

Edited by J.M. Wead