Not to see Elitch’s is not to see Denver
A quote that is seen around the park and is one of my favorites. And in many ways, it is true. Right in the middle of all the action of downtown, lodo and the like, Elitchs is surrounded by beauty. Face west and see the incredible Rocky Mountains, look over your shoulder to other great venues for fun: The Children’s Museum, Invesco Field at Mile High, Coors Field, and the amazing downtown skyline—to name a few. But possibly more relevant: Elitch Gardens has been a part of Denver for over a Century!
Some of us remember it’s former location, which was fun, had fabulous gardens and The (infamous) Twister, the first real roller coaster I ever road. But the park was land-locked and needed space to grow into the multi-faceted park it is today.
History aside, my daughter (9) and I had a blast. We hadn’t been to the park in a couple of years and my daughter was now tall enough to ride pretty much all the rides. When we arrived around 11 am, we went straight for the tea cups. Now why would any grown woman in her right mind go straight for the tea cups? Well, when that pre-teen bundle of joy pointed and said, “Mom, let’s go on the tea cups,” there was simply nothing else to be done. So, we did and the dizzies
took over an hour to seep out of my brain. We moved on to several other rides with a bit less spin.
When I had been to the park in years past, I always brought a lunch. I forgot this year. So we ate at Panda Express, deciding to share (which was plenty of food) and didn’t break the bank. I purchased a refillable cup ($1 refills), and we made use of it the rest of the day.
After lunch, my sweet, somewhat timid daughter said, “Can we ride the Mind Eraser?” I love
coasters, so I promptly replied, “Sure…” but I still can’t believe she went through with it. Being the last full weekday of the summer season, the line was not long and it took hardly any time at all to arrive at our destination…we got in, sat down, bucked up and hung on! (chikachika, chikachika, chikachika…)
I had forgotten how much thrashing of the head happens on the ride. Yikes! I was fairly worried for my daughter. When the ride ended, she was crying.“Mom! I lost my retainer!”
Wow! That was not what I had expected to hear. She was more worried about that fact than scared about the ride. In fact, the tears went on for a while. We reported our incident to customer service and they said a “sweep” under the Eraser would happen in about an hour. We returned later. Still no retainer!!
Eventually my daughter did say she would ride the “Retainer Eraser,” again (Do you like our new pet name for it? So did the orthodontist.)What I learned:
**Even though I enjoyed the lunch, I will probably pack one next time and take a quick trip to the car for a break and food.
**I would purchase the drink again. Hey, if you go more than once during a single season, you can keep bringing it. Eventually, it’s worth the initial investment.
**Do not wear a retainer on this ride.
While you are at it, I’m sure sunglasses, flip flops and hats are out too!!!
So, visiting from out of town? Been here all your life? See Denver! Experience Elitch Gardens!
PS: Although we love the water park at Elitchs, my daughter and I did not have as much time as we wanted so we focused on the amusement park side.