Disappearing Rainforest Cafes

For years, Bridgette and I thought it would be fun to visit a Rainforest Cafe some day. The stories of animatronic animals and simulated storms sounded like a memorable experience.

When we got married in 2003, the nearest one was about 45 minutes away in congested Tysons Corner, VA. So we put it off for a few years. In 2005, we went to look up their hours and discovered they had closed that location.

Dave&Bridgette with animatronic elephant

The next closest Rainforest Cafe was about an hour away, in Towson, MD, near Baltimore. Finally, in October, 2007, for our anniversary, we got to that location. We got there soon after they opened, so it was almost empty when we were seated, and we had a great time. Every twenty minutes or so, there was a simulated storm and the animatronic animals would panic at the thunder and flashes of light.

Bridgette with a Volcano!

We ordered a towering chocolate cake called a Vocano for dessert, which featured one of the servers hustling out of the kitchen with it, lit sparklers on top, yelling, “Vollllcaaaaaaaanoooo!” It was better than the happy birthday rap you get at a lot of restaurants (to avoid paying performance royalties on the Happy Birthday song, which is still under copyright, BTW).

After lunch there, we went to the aquarium in the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

For Valentines Day, 2009, we thought we’d go back to the Towson Rainforest Cafe and the Inner Harbor. When we looked them up on the web to find out when they opened, we discovered that the Towson Rainforest Cafe had closed a month earlier. The nearest ones are now in New Jersey and Tennessee.

It seems the Rainforest Cafe may be modeled after the world’s rapidly disappearing rainforests a little too realistically.

We did, however, get to the Inner Harbor Cheesecake Factory for dessert. There was a rather long wait, but it was shorter than driving to New Jersey.

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