I really hate to give them three stars (really, I kind of want to give them two stars), however, I came on Saturday with my two boys for the "Day Out With Thomas" event. I paid $70.00 for the event/ride. This review pertains to this specific event.
They didn't have the event parking properly labeled. I have only been to the zoo. I've never actually come to the museum before this. I saw the signs for event parking for employees. Therefore, I was confused and wasn't able to figure out where to park at first. After walking all the way up to the ticket counter at the zoo (like a fool), they told me where it was located. Even the young lady at the ticket counter said they should properly label the signs to indicate customers were to park in that area also! She didn't seem shocked that I came all the way to the zoo entrance. I'm just guessing, but perhaps other people did also??
Finally, I pull into the correct parking area. They're not charging for parking, but would like a donation. Okay! I forked over five dollars. Just charge for parking. It makes things a lot simpler than making others look like jerks because they don't want to give out donations. Besides, everyone is used to paying for parking all over south Florida anyway.
We go to will-call to pick up our tickets. There wasn't any line. We grabbed the tickets and head inside. I see lots of different activities, which most of them charged additional fees if you wanted to participate. So, let me get this straight, you charge $20/person, then turn around and want to charge more fees for them to do other activities? I wasn't impressed. The link train was an additional $4/person(I think it was $4.00 anyway). I just passed everything over because we needed to make it in time for our ride on Thomas.
We head to the bathrooms. They're fairly clean for the amount of traffic going in and out of them. That was a nice surprise. They even had soap in the dispensers!
I couldn't really tell where the line started. I actually eavesdropped on another couple to figure out where to go. Of course, there was a red line pointing out where to go on the sidewalk outside of the covered area. I didn't actually see it until we walked towards the line for the next trip. We get in line for the Thomas ride. At this point, my youngest was really excited and my older son was just ready for it to be over.
We board the train and pick a spot by the window. All of the seats up top were already taken. Go figure. I couldn't really understand the guy right before the ride. He said something about someone coming by, but we never saw anyone come by until the end of the ride.
Here's the "best" part. The 25 minute train ride "adventure" consisted of the train pulling forward and backing up in the opposite direction several times. What?? Come on. That was just sad. My youngest even became bored from the lack of activity and he LOVES train rides. My boys were just ready for it to be over.
I think the best part about this trip were the delicious, soft, hot pretzels I purchased as a snack after the ride. At least they were worth the $12.00 I spent for three of them!! After our snack, I let them play with the bubbles that were blowing near the front of the event and promptly left. I really did not feel like spending any more money at this event.
I will never come back for this event. I truly expected it to be a lot better than what it was. We may however come back just to check out the trains and the rest of the museum if we are coming down to go to the zoo. I don't think I would go out of my way to come back down just to visit the museum. Once we come back, I will review it again accordingly.
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