Merry Zoo Day tradition (also known as Christmas). Our kids loved everything about being at the zoo from visiting Tiger Mountain to riding the Bug Carousel to wandering around the Mouse House.
And yet, even with all these happy memories, I'm not planning to visit the Bronx Zoo again any time soon. I'm not renewing our membership, even though I'm sure we'll still make a few trips to the Central Park Zoo.
Why don't I want to go to the Bronx Zoo anymore? It's not because they lost a venomous cobra. No, it's because they lost their integrity when they added Dora and Diego's 4D Adventure to the list of attractions at the zoo. Touted as a "multi-media experience," it's really just a movie. And it's all my kids want to do at the zoo. Forget the animals. Forget being outside. Forget being together as a family. Forget you're a kid at the zoo - let's go inside and help Nickelodeon reach their corporate profit goals!
I got a renewal email from the zoo recently, and took the time to respond why my family would no longer be members. The Assistant Director of Guest Relations replied, clarifying for me not only why the film was a super-great addition to the zoo, but also that the film was playing at "other widely-respected Zoos and Aquariums" including the "National Aquarium, Cincinnati Zoo, North Carolina Zoo, and St. Louis Zoo."
Great, now I'm even more depressed that Dora & Diego have taken over other major zoos (and aquariums), too.
The good news? The Assistant Director of Guest Relations informed me that they "currently plan to replace Dora & Diego's 4-D Adventure with a new 4-D movie, yet to be determined, at the Bronx Zoo in the spring of 2012."
I don't even want to guess what this film will be, but I am willing to guess that I won't be renewing my membership to the zoo in Spring 2012. And it's a shame.
Dora and Diego have been at the zoo since last summer when the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood wrote Et Tu, Bronx Zoo? about their disappointment that advertising had reached the previously commercial-free zoo.
What do you think about kids having more and more advertising in their lives?