Monday, June 23, 2008

It's MINI GOLF Week here at!

If you're a longtime listener of Coaster, you know that we're all suckers for good theming.

When a park goes out of their way to add theme to a certain ride or attraction, you know that they really care a lot about their product and their guests.

Over the weekend, I found an excellent example of world class theming in a really unexpected place.

Molly and I took a ride out to Herndon, VA to a place called Woody's Golf Range.  I went there because I had heard that they had a really great Mini-Golf  course called "Perils of the Lost Jungle."

The word on the street was that this golf course was inspired by the "Jungle Cruise" at the Disney theme parks.  So once I heard that, I had to give it a shot.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting much.  Outside of Orlando or a beach boardwalk, you don't find many Mini-Golf courses that are worth the price of admission. 

But once we entered the "jungle,"  I was absolutely blown away by the experience.   As we played the 18-hole course, we encountered swinging monkeys, shrunken heads, spitting lizards, hissing gators, dense foliage, foggy caves and a custom made soundtrack for each hole. 

The humor and imagination that went into the design of this course remind me of something that would come out of Disney Imagineering.

I was amazed to find animatronic figures along the way that actually interacted with the putters.

For instance, at the 2nd hole, we encountered Charlie's Trading Post, complete with a proprietor who looked and sounded like Humphrey Bogart.

Later on, we were told to avoid disturbing an alligator's nest.  Of course, once we did, we got attacked by an animatronic alligator who charged at us with ferocious speed and and then spit water at us.

I was floored to learn that most of the animatronic props came from the same company that designed props for Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios.

To make things even better, we played the course at night.  The designers had a lighting scheme that made each hole look like a unique Hollywood set.  At once point, we putted and walked through an Aztec temple that even had a trap door that you had to "activate" yourself.

This made me realize that there are probably other great Mini-Golf courses all across America.  So, I'd like to make this week "Mini-Golf Week" here on the blog.

Do you know of a great, highly themed Mini-Golf course that deserves to be praised?  Head to our forum and let us know!

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