May 26th, 2012 by Marianne McCann
Bay City got a new spot in the last week, and its truly a spot for just about everyone!
Dubbed “Hairy Hippo Fun Land” (It was Happy Hippo Fun Land until it Happy Hippo Building School was noted), it evokes the classic boardwalk amusement parks like Coney Island, Asbury Park, Riverview Park, etc.
As with other Bay City “follies,” this one is built by the LDPW “Moles,” who worked with a lot of original feedback from the Bay City Alliance. It serves as a counterpoint to the “Industrial Park” on the east side of the city, a place to frolic and have fun.
There are seven main attractions, though only three are currently open to the public. These are the Loller Coaster, a carousel, ferris wheel, shooting gallery. teacup ride, bumper cars, and a parachute drop.
Unfortunately, only the last three are currently in operation: a bug in the pathfinding Release Client server has temporarily shuttered the coaster and ferris wheel, and the shooting galley is still being finished.
There are also several other attractions: a rope ladder climbing contraption with many cool prizes, a “strong man” game, a fortune teller (and two weight and fortune machines), hippo innertubes, observation binoculars, and even two mutoscopes showing “vintage” mole movies. 7Seas fishing servers (and custom prizes) round things out.
There is also a bit of a game available too: the Hippo Food Challenge. Once you get and attach the HUD available at either gate to the park, you need to go around to the various eateries in the park and enjoy 30 different food items to get a prize. There is a catch, though: every so often something is just not going to agree with you, prompting a quick jaunt to one of the two restrooms on site. If you don’t make it in time, you’ll be sick. Don’t be sick.
Second Life history buffs will also appreciate some of the construction: the lamps along the boardwalk, and the boardwalk itself, hails from the Varney Boardwalk from Second Life’s earliest days. A sign located in the window of an antique shop on the Weston side of the park includes the sign from that original boardwalk — a nice nod to the history. Also, note the Altrumia Linden hippos at the entranceways, devised many years ago for a hippo decorating contest. The hippo is, of course, Second Life’s unofficial mascot.
In addition to the four shuttered attractions coming online in the not too distant future, expect to see the moles adding even more fun items around the park all Summer long. Come on by and enjoy it, and come back later and see what’s new.
EDIT: I am also reminded that while Hairy Hippo Fun Land is two regions wide, the Bay City Aquarium is connected to it as well, meaning it is really three regions of things to explore and enjoy.