My SA class required me to go on a field trip to observe people. I was faced with three options:
Option A- Observe the performers and the audience at a Comedy Bar
Option B- Observe the performers and the audience at a Gay Bar
Option C- Observe groups of people at Enchanted Kingdom
So I had three choices for the venue of my fieldtrip. My first choice was Option A- the comedy bar trip. Why? Because firstly, I would be able to easily see the demographic of the people that go there and what kinds of jokes are “mabenta” to them, which would make my field observation a little bit easier. Secondly, I have never been to a comedy bar before, so going there would have been a new experience for me. Option B- the gay bar trip was my second choice. It’s kind of similar in a way with Option A but it was a bit more daring (with all the macho dancers involved). Option C- the Enchanted Kingdom trip was the last thing that I wanted to get because I’ve been there a lot of times already. There was nothing new to see and I thought I would just be distracted from my work.
So, what did I choose for my field trip? Option C- The Enchanted Kingdom trip. Why? Because I had an appointment the night of the comedy bar trip and for the gay bar trip, I simply forgot about it.
I was still studying in grade school (I think I was still in grade 6) the last time I went to Enchanted Kingdom. I would always have fun whenever we would go there. Every ride there was a treat for me. From the Space Shuttle to the Carousel ride, I would always have the time of my life. But then things changed and I grew tired of EK. I stopped going there (even if my cousins would still do).
During my most recent visit to Enchanted Kingdom for the SA field trip, I set one thing on my mind: I need to accomplish my mission, and that mission is to do a mini-ethnography of EK. I was not there to have fun; I was there to accomplish my mission. I said to myself that I would not ride any rides that day and, surprise surprise, I did. I bought the P500 ticket for rides instead of the P150 (or P100, I’m not really sure) ticket for entrance only because all my friends did. So, I rode the rides and, surprise surprise, I did have fun, but I’m not quite sure if I was really able to do my job.
There were a variety of people at Enchanted Kingdom during the field trip. Groups of people differ from the clothes they wear, their ages, their behavior, etc. The only thing that was common was that almost everybody didn’t roam around alone. People went around Enchanted Kingdom in pairs or in groups.
Most of the people I saw during the trip were in their teens and up to probably mid-20’s. There were also a lot of kids, those with ages ranging from 4-12, but the little kids were at the Dinosaur section of the park most of the time because the rides there are targeted towards kids. The “adults”, those with ages 30- 45, are usually with their families or with their romantic partner. The “old” people, probably in the 50’s – 100’s, are usually just sitting around the park; watching their loved ones enjoy the rides.
Shorts were a popular choice for men and women because of the heat (the sun’s always scorching hot whenever I’m at EK). Caps and hats were also worn by a lot of people during the day.
There were a lot more people eating at the food court than at the air-conditioned cafeteria because the food there was a lot cheaper and there were more choices. I ate with my friends at the cafeteria and there was only one other group besides us that ate there while the food court was really full of people.
*This can lead some to the conclusion that there are more of the “masa” at Enchanted Kingdom but keep in mind that it is still more likely that it was based on preference rather than just the price of food that determined where the people ate.
So I wasn’t really able to observe thoroughly. I was so into the experience of being in EK again that I was only able to observe groups of people around me for short periods of time. Although I have experienced more thrilling rides at other amusement parks, the rides at EK provided me with enough thrills and nostalgia.
I had fun during the whole time I was at EK. My friends did. One of them was soo scared riding all of the rides that day but at the end, he still had fun. I’m sure everyone else who went there did too (maybe except for some isolated cases).
Carl Nielsen C. Ramos
SA21 Section A