Greedy Shame on Busch Gardens

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So we’re spending a few days in Williamsburg, Virginia. It’s me, the wife, the kids, the sister in law, the nephews, the mother in law, the grandmother in law, the friends. We’ve done a bunch of things, all’s good, all’s fine. And today, as planned, we went to Busch Gardens, which is located about 10 minutes down the road.

Now, the tickets to this particular theme park are crazy expensive. I think we dropped about $68 per person, which is, on the surface, ludicrous. However, I can see how amusement parks are pricey to run. You have thousands of employees, you have heavy insurance payments, etc … etc. So, while $68 is not cool, at least—in profit-first America—it can be sorta kinda justified.

That being said …

We were inside the park. I had a backpack with me, because, well, you need things with kids. I’m talking suntan lotion, bug spray, extra clothes, water. We approached one of the coasters. I LOVE coasters. We walked toward the line. The attendant looked at me. “Sir,” he said, “you have to check your bag in a locker.”

“What?” I said.

“A locker to the left,” he said. “It costs $1.”

I was, truly, dumbfounded. I’ve probably visited a solid dozen theme parks over the past few years, and—when riding coasters—one can always bring stuff and place it in a little cubbie at the ride entrance. It’s never (truly, never) an issue or big deal. Here, however, you’re dropping $1. And then another $1. And then another $1. Because the park is spread out and sort of meandering. You’re never in one place for long.

Why am I writing about this? Because greed pisses me off, and this is simply a case of a greedy corporate entity devising a way to take a few more dollars from the working person. There is no good reason for the locker system. Like, none. But, clearly, the $15 suntan canisters and $8 sodas and $5 pretzels and $9 turkey legs aren’t generating enough of a profit margin for Sea World Parks and Entertainment, the owners of Busch Gardens.

Oy.

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