Given everyone is getting into the Halloween spirit I decided Postcard 3 for the Travel 52 Challenge should be one that can add to the season of costumes and candy but also survives to be entertainment through the rest of the calendar year.
Solace Beach Estates which manages residential, commercial, entertainment and art sims under its umbrella is home to the biggest amusement park in SecondLife, Black Pearl Beach Amusement Park.
This is THE place to go on grid when you need a little carnival fun.
Playing inside a spooky cave the Bone Band invites you to dance up on stage. The crowd of mysterious guests seem to appear out of no-where. Maybe it was a shared appreciation of music although I did notice the focus was more on my well rehearsed moves.
After marvelling at the strong man effortlessly lifting his weights and finding the bearded lady more scary than the zombies, I found myself inside the circus big top tent.
As a born attention seeker, I couldn’t let the seal steal the show. After all, how big a deal is balancing a ball on your nose!
Being a child at heart and enjoying quite a few circles of the Merry Go Round, after all, you do HAVE to ride each animal, I set out to find the Alice in Wonderland Dark Ride.
Being one of my favourite children story I rarely miss anything in SecondLife which is related to Alice in Wonderland.
A sign advises that the vehicle rezzer for the gondola due to SecondLife bugs, malfunctions on a regular basis. It encourages you to walk through so you can still experience the ride and this is what I had to do.
Research has shown that this ride was popular back in the early days of 2009. The details at time are a little dated but the creativity and clever use of atmosphere leave you with an appreciation for the theme and this ride quickly became my favourite.
Everything you expect from an Alice in Wonderland ride has been include. You will encounter all the whimsical characters from the book such as the Cheshire Cat, Jabberwocky, Mad Hatter and even the Queen of Hearts.
Remember to turn to midnight to get the full effect and if possible turn the camera to mouselook for a better visual experience.
Of course, no trip to Wonderland would be complete without a spin in the teacups.
I thought the idea for Timewarp very clever. Upon passing through a door you enter an upside down room. However, I found the camera control horrific (maybe because I have my camera constraints disabled) and didn’t complete the entire ride.
Others may have better luck.
Like all amusement parks there has to be a roller coaster! The big one … and the little one. I found no issues with the constrains SecondLife usually has on moving vehicles so both were extremely enjoyable to ride on.
Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten all that cotton candy.
An attraction that is housed within the park is one I have visited every Halloween for the past few years.
Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns is an experience that can last up to 30 minutes and one that is great fun when with company. I’m not going to ruin the fun of the ride except to say, these aren’t your usual friendly red nose clown fellows, especially the one at the ticket booth!
Clinging tightly to the safety harness the flashing lights of the amusement park looked beautiful against the midnight sky. As the tops of the houses appeared beneath my feet maybe now was not the best time to remember a fear of heights.
With cotton candy purchased, it was time to leave for the trip home, although I will sneak back in the coming weeks to enjoy the Haunted House Trail Halloween Experience found at the rear of the sim.
Things to note before visiting :
* SecondLife lag can cause disjointed movement whilst enjoying rides and should be expected.
Given that carnival rides in SecondLife are script intensive, I was pleasantly surprised to find lag not to be an issue in the hours I spent enjoying the rides and taking photographs. There was however few visitors whilst I was there.
* The park has been around since at least 2010. There rides are mostly older prim based builds. Do not expect the reality of mesh. Instead be amazed at how clever the creation of these rides are with their manipulation of prims, scripting and textures.
* Like many places which provide enjoyment for SecondLife residents donations are requested. Aside from donation boxes at all rides the sim also chat spams regularly their request for donations. Although this annoys some people, when there are no hostess’s involved like in a club setting there really is no other way for an activity sim to attempt to raise tier.
Just like real life, an amusement park is much more fun when you go as a group. So grab your friends and make an experience of it.
Location: Black Pearl Beach Amusement Park