Worlds of Fun Celebrity

My original plan was to put together a video from the BBQ and Brew Festival at Worlds of Fun for today’s post. I have one, and will be making comments here about the festival.

But before I do that, I want to discuss my “celebrity” status I experienced on Saturday.

Saturday was a perfect weather day. Between that and a lot of prescheduled school groups visiting the park, the place was rather busy. I was standing in the Americana Plaza, trying to decide which line to stand in for lunch, Tacos or Subway, when a gentleman came up to me and asked if I was the “Worlds of Fun blogger guy”. I was taken aback a bit. I mentioned nothing official, but I do blog periodically about the park and the meal plan, and how much we save on it.

That led to the gentlemen pointing out his wife and kids at a nearby table, and explaining that his wife had found my posts on the dining plan, and they had read them, and appreciated the way I had laid out how the plan worked. It was because of what I wrote, he said, that they decided that the plan would work for them, and so they had picked it up.

When his wife saw me standing there, she pointed me out to her husband, and said she thought I was the guy from the blog, which I was. So he and I had a nice conversation, and thanked me for what I wrote, saying that people do read it.

I told him he was welcome, and it was good to know the information helped someone.

That was celebrity moment number one.

After eating lunch, I was walking out of the park, when a couple of ladies with what appeared to be their older elementary daughters came up to me while i was between the entrance kiosks and the security kiosks. They asked if they could take their picture with me. I said sure. I wasn’t certain why they wanted my picture: did they recognize me from somewhere, or was it just my unique, eclectic wardrobe? In either case, I posed like a celebrity for their pictures.

Celebrity number two.

The third moment was after our foray into the BBQ & Brew Festival on Saturday evening. A teen girl asked to take her picture with me. Here I’m pretty sure it was to be funny, and because of my eclectic wardrobe, but, like earlier, I posed like the celebrity I was pretending to be so her friend could take our picture.

Moment number three.

And the final moment actually occurred earlier. While filming a section of the festival, some teen boys cut across the camera, realized what they had done, apologized, then asked if I was a photographer. I said, just an amateur, but I was taking some segments that I was going to be posting to my blog. One of the kids said “on youtube?” to which his friend, with almost tired patience “Blog”. So I went from the possibility of a cool youtube uploader to a more nerdy blogger in their eyes.

Moment number four.

With that, let me make some comments on this year’s BBQ & Brew Festival, and then embed the video below that for you to watch. This year’s video will be more of a rough edit, less smooth than last year’s more snippets with less flow.

This year’s BBQ & Brew Festival has six food stations, and six drink stations, pairings, just like last year. Instead of tents they have more permanent, but movable, booths to put everything in. That said, the overall organization and festive air felt a little more rough.

Of course, we went during the busiest day of the festival this year.

They have a booth right there for purchasing your tickets and getting your age verification. That is a definite improvement.

Not being drinkers, we only tried one alcohol sample, for a cider. It was okay, a little tart. We’d rather have a regular sweet cider.  We didn’t try any of the beers or ales; after last year we knew we just don’t have the taste for them.

But the food was good. Though they were so busy that they ran out of some items.

I really enjoyed the Smoked Sausage. But our favorite was the Chicken Waffles, we found stupendous last year: a waffle cone with beans in the tip, barbecue chicken on the top, and crowned with a bit of sweet cole slaw.

The first item they ran out of that we noticed was the bread for the turkey sliders. But the food server at the booth was keeping the festival going by serving up the turkey without the bread, and arranging it, with sauces, in a very festive and decorative fashion. I was quite impressed by him.

The person serving up the ribs did a nice job as well. It wasn’t until I got back and started writing this up, that I realized it was supposed to be served with a savory corn bread. I saw no corn bread. They must have run out of it.

The one tasting we didn’t have was the corn of the cob. There was no corn visible any of the time we were there. What was supposed to make it barbecue was barbecue in the butter. So I felt a little let down, since I enjoy corn on the cob.

But the ending was superb with the barbecue donuts. Though we were trying to figure out where the barbecue was. It took overhearing the server tell someone else that the sugar on the donuts had a slight bit of barbecue flavor. I didn’t notice that flavor, but they were very good finish to the festival.

With those comments, please see the video mish-mash of the festival here:

And finally, the dining plan wrap up. Let me begin with comments about the food and concessions staff and equipment.

I have made comments before about many of the wonderful people working in the food concessions, and about the new touch-screen kiosks they have for ordering food at some of the venues. Today I am going to make a couple of not completely positive comments.

I was waiting in line at the Pizza Pier to order pizza. When the guy at the cash register saw me, he asked if I was waiting to order something, and told me I would have to use the kiosk. I told him the kiosk wouldn’t do the order I wanted, so I had been told previously I needed to go straight to him. He still made me use the kiosk.

So I used the kiosk, and ordered my combo with a side salad. When I showed it to the guy at the cash register, he said they didn’t have salads and I would have to have bread sticks. I said I didn’t want bread sticks, i wanted a second slice of pizza, which I know the plan allows.

When I know more about the plan than the wait staff, and when they don’t listen, and tell me things I know won’t work, it doesn’t make for a pleasant experience. If someone who knew what they were doing, and whom I had seen previously, hadn’t come up to assist, it would have gotten worse. Instead, it all got itself resolved very well.

But they do need to figure out a way to adjust the kiosks so someone cannot order something that they are out of. They have always had salads on the pizza menus, but so seldom have they been available to actually order.

Now, on some very positive elements to the food plan and service. They converted the booth where the Nordic Nook was into a soda refill station. The Nook served brauts and turkey legs. Brats were on the plan, Turkey legs weren’t. Turkey legs got moved to the Battlecreek Barbecue, and got put on the plan. And Sunday, the first day we saw the G’Rilla Grill open, we got to see brauts on the menu. It makes sense to move the turkey legs with the BBQ, and the brauts with the hot dogs at the Grill. So another win-win.

That said, I will conclude with the following stats to date for the All Season Dining Plan:

Total Price Paid $497.44
Total Number of Meals 63
Total Retail $655.35
Average Price Per Meal $7.90
Total Drink Price 29.64
Total number of drinks 49
Total Retail $49.00
Average Price Per Drink $0.60

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