A picture is worth a thousand words. Cliche as it may be, this famous line sums up one phenomenon that could easily be observed, and one that I did, wherever I looked during my Enchanted Kingdom visit.
Just like any other tourist spot or entertainment attraction, there were countless numbers of people ready to have an amazing time at the park, and, like most people who like keeping concrete memories of special occasions, these park-goers surely would not leave without taking with them some remembrance of their visit. These souvenirs came in the form of keychains, stuffed toys, clothes, accessories and various other park merchandise. However, as I looked to the left and to the right, there was one thing I saw almost all people taking as a souvenir–a photograph. Click, photo. Click, photo. Perhaps the easiest and cheapest memento to produce with just a press of a button, pictures were taken almost every second at almost every place by almost every group of any subject in any position. Thus, getting down from the shuttle and marching up the entrance gate so began the journey of a thousand words.
Almost every second at almost every place
Because a camera takes but a second to produce a photo, pictures were being taken during my whole visit. With a simple click, memories were captured and stored, some to be viewed again in the future, most of them likely to end up on Facebook. Also, because cameras can be so conveniently stored in the bags, purses or pockets of the park-goers, visitors brought these with them wherever they went. Photographers were positioned watching as bystanders, walking along the pathways, waiting in the lines, eating at the food court and even sitting on the rides.
Almost every group
Social class is of little importance at Enchanted Kingdom for you would find people of all walks of life enjoying the same things. For each group, be it a family, a barkada or a couple, there would be at least one person with a camera. With technology today, a wide range of cameras is available for use to take pictures of this enchanting place. From the lower middle class with basic camera phones and digital cameras to rich families with iPhone cameras and fancy DSLR’s, everyone was happily clicking away, all equally able to capture anything they saw before them.
Any subject in any position
Even before entering the park proper, Eldar the Magician, a statue of the park’s mascot, was already being swarmed by paparazzi. What better way to signify the start of a wonderful day than with a picture alongside the character that represents the park itself. Eldar, though, is merely one of the different images and statues that people were fond of photographing. Just outside the Space Shuttle, a teenage girl was taking a snapshot of an astronaut statue holding her stuffed giraffe. Along Boulderville, the dinosaur and animal imitations were seeing constant light flashes by passers-by’s cameras. Beside the Jungle Log Jam, a giant distraught mossy green face was the center of attention. Here, at the request of her parents, a small toddler was posing for the camera (although she looked quite frightened). Living mascots also roamed the park greeting the different people they would encounter and allowing them to make papicture. One of the main mascots for the day, which I was lucky enough to see and take a picture with was the Savior himself, Jesus!
Another popular subject of photos would be the rides itself. Upon entering the gate, there were people taking pictures in front of the Grand Carousel, one of the favorite attractions among little children. There were also those taking photos as they gazed up at the EKstreme Tower Ride and the Space Shuttle, possibly as a way to gauge their own courage to ride these extreme rides. Even the arguably elegant swans of Swan Lake became the subject of some pictures. And at night, when the sun has disappeared and the lights go on, the rides become even more beautiful to the eyes, giving a sense of wonder and enchantment to all especially the little children.
The last subject that people take photos of, and the most cherished one at that, are the faces of their friends and loved ones. As one mother clicked on her camera, she captured the joy her child felt as he was riding up and down the Air Pterodactyl. While spinning round and round on the Flying Fiesta, I witnessed a fellow rider take a snapshot of her friend also on the ride as she savored the fresh air caressing her face. While on Anchor’s Away, one of my friends, terrified and clinging on to his seat mate, was being captured on camera and laughed at by another rider on the other side of the ship. For those rides, however, which would be dangerous for cameras, Enchanted Kingdom provides a means to get their pictures taken for them albeit at a price. Without a doubt, one of the best subjects that park-goers love to take is the face because it showcases the emotions that were experienced and the memories that were cherished.
All in all, the day was spent filling the hearts of each visitor and satisfying the feeling of family and closeness. Although, I was not able to ride many of the rides, the memories formed during the visit are most valuable to me and most park-goers, as can be seen by all the photos taken and the smiles shared. Each moment was truly priceless and each memory will surely be remembered for long.
by Paolo De Los Reyes, 101161