Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jungle Joe's World @ Subic Bay

Caitlin woke us up around 6:30am because she was already excited to go to Subic. The whole family, including mom and dad, and Cols' sister Ilene is spending Holy Thursday at Forest Hills in Subic. We left Rockwell around 8:30am and dropped off Caitlin and a couple of our maids at Valle to ride with Dad's Previa, while we went ahead to Speaker Perez to pick up Ilene. Tita Angie and Tita Rose were too tired so they decided not to go with us. The two cars then just met at the Petron station in NLEX where we started our convoy to Subic.

The traffic was horrendous starting from EDSA near Monumento, where you turn right to go to NLEX. It was like everyone in Manila had the same idea -- to get out of the city on this morning. It was heavy traffic all the way to San Fernando, Pampanga exit. We stopped for lunch at a Chow King in San Fernando. The restaurant was also jam-packed from travellers stopping for some food. From there, it was another 1 hr and a half or so to get to Subic. But traffic was better already.

We arrived at Forest Hills in El Kabayo Road around 2:30pm. We were booked at unit 437A. Caitlin, Ilene and I decided to waste no time and go ahead to the new theme park that I've read about -- Jungle Joe's World. Jungle Joe is situated between Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure. Its about a 15 to 20 min. drive from our place through the forest and occasionally seeing wild monkeys along the road. The numerous signs leading to Jungle Joe's World heightened the excitement. But boy! Were we in for a major disappointment!

The tickets to Jungle Joe's World is P350 per person (no distinction between adult and child). But they have this Coke promo wherein if each person buys 3 x Coke products worth P35 each (for a total of P105), you get a 50% off from the entrance. So P350 x 50% + P105 = P285. Therefore, it comes out cheaper to go for the promo even if you don't need to drink that much. So Ilene, Caitlin and I had to buy a total of 9 Nestea just to avail of the lower ticket price. Since we obviously could not carry the 9 bottles around, we left it at the counter and just came back for it later.

Upon entering the gates, a guide accompanied us with a giant picnic umbrella. Our first stop was the Indy 500 cart area. Images at the website gives you an impression that its a big obstacle course for go-carts. But it turned out to be a tiny track where kids just maneuver using manually-powered twist cars. Caitlin didn't want to have anything to do with it. So we got out of there quickly.

Next stop was a theater showing Disney movies. As to why anybody would pay P350 to enter Jungle Joe's World to watch a Disney movie is beyond me. The moment we got into the entrace door, we immediately headed for the exit and onto the next attraction.

Next was Winter Wonderland. This one is pretty odd also. What is Santa's north pole doing here at a jungle-themed park?! Its totally senseless. Inside the Wonderland were fake reindeers, staff dressed as elves, and a thin guy dressed as Santa. The guide told us this was really meant to be a souvenir store. Duh?! We got out of there in a minute.

Then it was on to Jurassic Trail. Its a forest trail with several statues of dinosaurs and crocodiles. It was also a short trail because the guide said its not yet complete. The entire developed area of Jungle Joe is actually only a small portion of the total size of the park. This is supposed to be just Phase 1. I really doubt if this place will expand to Phase 2 and so on with the bad word-of-mouth that I'm sure all visitors will tell others.

The Jurassic Trail is pretty much the end of the main street already. You can rent All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) there for about P300 per 30 mins. Total rip-off. They should give away that for free since nothing else is worth the entrance ticket. None of the rides are working. The guide said its because there's no electricity yet. Arrgggh! Even some of the animal statues are already broken.

The only thing that Caitlin liked was the jungle gym where she got to climb through the ropes and slides. Ilene did not fare as well as her footing slipped through the ropes and scraped her shin. I can imagine lots of kids would probably encounter similar accidents. But luckily, Caitlin seem to handle it quick well and remained unscathed.

At 5pm, it was time for the main show. If you are expecting a Disneyland-like parade on main street, you'd be in for yet another major disappointment. The grand finale was basically just the park staff doing some calisthenics-like dance number. Then the Jungle Joe mascot came out (much to Caitlin's fear -- she's deathly afraid of mascots for some reason) and danced with the staff to the tune of Papaya. How cheezy can you get?!

Since Caitlin kept crying already, we hightailed it out of the park. Of course, we picked up our bags of Nestea's first. We then went to Royal Subic Duty Free store to pickup Cols and back home to prepare for dinner. Overall, I give my two thumbs down for Jungle Joe's World. It has got to be the worst theme park I've ever been into.


Lawstude said...

We went there after going to Zoobic Safari. Maybe I was too tired to notice the unworthiness of the place, but I guess for P285, you could not expect for more. I agree that the place still needs development and I am sure that by the time it is fully complete, the entrance fee would not be that cheap.

Mrs.DIY said...

I like you blog, really funny and very informative. We are supposed to celebrate my daughter's birthday there next week but it turned me off after reading your blog.I dont want to ruin my daughters birthday.