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What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

Archive for What-to-Avoid Wednesday

What-to-Avoid Wednesday / Daffin’s Candy Store

I don’t mean to send my friends out on bad “Go BIG” assignments. It’s just coincidental that our last two gracious volunteer correspondents got stuck with duds. First, Sandra spent a small fortune on the cheesefest that is Santa’s Enchanted Forest, the world’s largest Christmas theme park. Now, Tom has submitted this report from his visit to the world’s largest candy store. This place, you will note, has been awarded the lowest score in “Go BIG” history. Even though I’m a raging chocoholic, I think even I would have scored it low.

daffins candy store

Looks nice enough from the outside...

I appreciate Tom’s relative restraint, and the humor he found in the situation. He presents more humorous slice-of-life tales in his blog, and on his new site, Creature Banter. If you’ve ever laughed at the naïve yet absurd utterances from the children in your life, you’ll appreciate his collection.

His report:

After a post-holiday week-long trip back to my East Coast roots, we were facing a 14-hour drive to our Indiana home. Connecticut to Indiana. Just typing it makes me shutter.

“We” included me, my love Rachel and her 9-year-old daughter, who informed me prior to our excursion that “long car trips aren’t my thing.”

So we were thrilled to hear that our reward for the 300-mile trek through the state of Pennsylvania was a visit to Daffin’s, which calls itself the world’s largest candy store. The store resides in Sharon, PA, a few miles off Interstate 80. The store’s website boasted of Daffin’s Chocolate Kingdom – including chocolate villages and a 400-pound chocolate turtle.  This was not to be missed.

So we were excited to bribe the child with candy, and what would surely be a visit to paradise.

The location was a bit hard to find, as its location was a few miles from the highway, but we were determined to find it, and indulge in some chocolate and candy.

We finally arrived…or did we? Is this the place? Or is this a pharmacy?

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What-To-Avoid Wednesday / Santa’s Enchanted Forest

When you’re looking for a “world’s largest” to visit, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes you come across an experience which is overpriced, over-hyped, and an overall disappointment. Then again, that’s just your opinion. Your kids could love it, and you just have to suck it up and keep the cash flowing. (Selfless parenthood, blah blah blah.)

Santa's Enchanted Forest

Probably more "enchanting" at night, I'm guessing.

My friend Sandra was not feeling the warm-and-fuzzies for Santa’s Enchanted Forest, the world’s largest Christmas theme park in Miami, FL. Alas, her daughter found it delightful, so she may just find herself there again this December!

Her review is our first installment of our oh-so-cleverly-titled series, What-To-Avoid Wednesday!

Santa’s Enchanted Forest may be the world’s largest Christmas theme park, but is it worth the trip? That depends on what you’re expecting. If you’re looking for a magical place to stir your childhood dreams of Christmas with beautiful light displays, fancy rides, and food that will thrill your senses, go to Disney. If you love carnivals, rides which creak and give you whiplash, and enjoy being conned by carnies trying to fast talk you out of your money, then you’ve found the right place!

For a mere $24 per adult and $16 per child, you get to ride a handful of rides for free and continue to drain your wallet for the rest.  The food is standard carnival fare — elephant ears, pizza, corn on the cob, fries, cotton candy, deep fried just about anything, and mystery meat on a stick. Oh, and you can even get your picture taken on top of a huge, nearly five-foot high toilet! I must say, I was tempted…

(Editor’s note; But was it larger than the world’s largest toilet in Indiana?!)

Santa's Enchanted Forest

She's got a ticket to ride...

With that said, my five-year old loved it. She saw the beautiful Christmas lights and creative electric train displays, and did not notice the rickety wood holding them up or the rusty scaffolding in the background.  From her perspective, the guy balancing on chairs and the man climbing up a really high pole were amazing feats of strength. She didn’t mind the dirt, the grime, the other clientele, or the quality of the prizes.

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