On a slow day, it happens more than 40 times. A visitor to the Six Flags amusement park loses keys, a cellphone, a camera, or a wallet. Count me among the number for today. I rode a ride called the Wildcatter, which suspends you in the air and then drops you in a rush from a height of about 3 stories. After you fall, your car speeds down a track with you now flat on your back. Then, the car jolts abruptly, places you back in an upright sitting position, and you start to laugh with the person sitting next to you about how much you both had been screaming. Well, apparently, this was where I lost my keys.
I didn’t notice they were gone until I was on the other side of the park. Luckily, I had only ridden two rides up to this point, so I was able to locate the security office and let them know that I was looking for the keys.
The woman who was running the counter — Amber Thompson at the Arlington park — was very nice. She asked me for my license, asked for a description of the keys and whether I had anything distinctive attached to my keychain, like grocery store cards. I described them for her, and showed her a similar key that I carry with me in case I get locked out of my car. (Note: Always carry a back-up set, just in case something like this happens to you; then, you will not be stranded at the amusement park needing to call a cab.) Unfortunately, nothing could be done right away. I had only just been on the ride about 20 minutes before, and nothing had been reported yet. But she gave me a card that had my case number on it, and a direct phone number to the security office. She recommended that I check back periodically through the evening.
Here’s the cool thing about losing your keys at Six Flags: if they are found once you have left, the park will FedEx them back to your home free of charge.
So, at this point, let me stop and make a couple of comments: First, put everything that youdon’t want to lose in a secure place. You would be surprised how easily you can lose something important on a ride that flips you upside down and jerks sharply. If you are a woman, or a man who has a wife, put these the keys in a purse. Second, and almost as important, make sure to protect your cellphones and cameras from contact with water. My wife and I love to ride the rides that splash us with water and leave us drenched. Before we go on these, we make sure to put our cameras and cellphones inside of little Ziploc bags and store them inside her purse. While I was waiting in the security office to have my keys returned, someone was picking up a cellphone that was no longer functioning because the battery was wet from a water ride.
Fortunately, my story has a good ending. My keys were quickly found, and were returned safely to me before the park closed. Everyone who I dealt with to get the keys back was very professional. “Characters” of the park like Bugs Bunny or Wonder Woman are supposed to smile and remain in character at all times, and employees are called to act in a similar way. You would think this would make adults snicker as they passed, but somehow you find yourself pleased by the presence of Bugs Bunny after you have lost your keys. It is calming in some charming way.
Because of the helpfulness of the crew, losing my keys didn’t subtract from my enjoyment of the day. My wife and I have season passes for the park, and I highly recommend them, because you can easily spend small doses of time there whenever it’s convenient for you.
Just make sure you haven’t lost something important after you’re getting off each ride.