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    Monday, March 17, 2008

    The Omaha Zoo Strikes Again

    Why does the zoo like my kids to not get what they are expecting?

    You'll all remember the LAST zoo fiasco, brought to you in part by the zoo, and in part by the stupid fucking College World Series.

    Well, they've done it again. Outdone themselves in terms of crappy planning and an obvious lack of concern for the overall experience had by their patrons. Stunning. Their staff must be chock-full of genuises, I swear.

    Yesterday, "Dora and Diego" were going to be at the zoo from 1-4. I first started wondering how well it could possibly go when I saw and heard the commercial for it approximately 612 times in about a three-day period. But since Samantha, having seen several of said commercials, had been soooo elated ("Mommy, Dora and Diego are coming to the zoo?!?!? To MMMMYYYYY zoo??!?!") we decided to go.

    So we went. We walked past the door to the Wild Kindgdom Pavillion, which housed the beloved characters for the day. We made our way to the end of the line, approximately two blocks from said door. Our jaws dropped. And the line moved painfully slowly, moving only a matter of feet in nearly an hour. I didn't want to punk out on Samantha, give up as we had done last summer with her zoo class, so we waited. And waited. And waited.

    After standing in a line with approximately 1500 people ahead of us for over an hour, Samantha, in her beyond-her-years wisdom, decided she was sick of waiting, and said "I changed my mind. I don't want to see Dora and Diego anymore. Let's go see the giraffes!" And so see the giraffes we did.

    Fortunately, I have a very well-adjusted four-year old who adapts well, and who got over her disappointment within minutes. Not so lucky were many of the parents there.

    To the zoo, I ask you - what were you thinking? Did you think only a handful of kids would show see DORA and DIEGO, for pete's sake? And suppose you DID know there would be a line that stretched clear down to the train station - did you REALLY think that March in Nebraska was a GREAT time to host an event that you knew would have thousands of young children standing out in the cold for SEVERAL hours?

    No matter how you look at it, the zoo blew it. They advertised it over and over, for weeks, repeatedly, in various mediums. They did everything in their power to get as MANY people there as possible, all the while knowing they were planning to walk them through a building that could not house many, one at a time, and leave the rest to stand outside in the cold all afternoon. GREAT plan for small kids.

    They could have had more than one "set" of Dora and Diegos - most kids wouldn't have known the difference. They could have had Dora in one place and Diego in another. That would have cut everyone's wait time in HALF. They could have had them walking throughout the park, taking pictures with people at random. At least then more kids might have had a SHOT at seeing them! A lady was telling a guy as we were leaving that they had been there since 11:30 and had JUST gotten through - at 2:30! Insane.

    As it was, we saw the giraffes, stopped at King Kong's for lunch (much to Daddy's great joy) and went home. So we bailed on yet another zoo event obviously planned by their chimps.

    I am SO glad my kid was smart enough to know a shitty deal when she saw one!

    1 comment:

    Deb said...

    I'm completely freaking out about seeing the Easter Bunny tomorrow at the Mall of America. First, I hate that place. Second, why did we wait this long? URGGHH!! The kid is going to scream. I just know it. I'm hoping that seeing Blue from Blue's Clues will make him happy, since she's there tomorrow, too. (Why, you ask? I don't know.)

    Okay, just had to share that, since I know you feel my parenting pain.