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bert425 last won the day on March 18

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About bert425

  • Birthday 04/25/1967


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  1. well . this happened today. (and to quote @coasterbill.. it really does explain why "Disney hasn't bothered to fight it") https://nordot.app/1013893337012584448?c=592622757532812385 here's the headline from the Orlando Sentinel "Gov. DeSantis’ new Reedy Creek board says Disney stripped its power" CNN picked it up now too: https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/29/politics/desantis-disney-board-control/index.html
  2. Vote with your wallet, and do NOT feel guilty about it. but it's going to come down to your decision. *if* I were to ever go back to Dollywood - and I'd very much like to. I'd spend a lot of $$ there because Dolly is and always has been an ally, therefore I would support something she's involved with, even tangentially. But I would not spend $$ elsewhere in the area (ie: I'd stay at Dreammore, wouldn't eat downtown in Gaitlinburg, etc) unless I was certain I would feel comfortable supporting the individual business. it's basically the "rules" I follow myself now..I choose to never eat Chick-Fil-A, or Cracker Barrel. ultimately, you do what you want to do, and if you want to justify it, you can justify just about anything. but don't ever feel "guilty" about your support of something when you agree with what they do. (another perfect example: SeaWorld I really don't give a shit about what the Blackfish activists, or PETA activists try to tell me about the park. I've seen the good they do for the animals they rescue, and I'm just fine giving them my support and money). hope that input helps?
  3. ^ it's back in the news, as the tower in Orlando was just brought down. I'd suspect that's why suddenly they did it . . probably easier to avoid bad PR than do nothing and wait for a Karen to complain how it's unsafe.
  4. ^ a child died on a drop tower. so the additional seat belt makes people feel safer riding it. that's the story. no change at all to ride experience (Scream at SFFT has the seat belt too now)
  5. stopped by SWSA yesterday for opening weekend of the Seven Seas Food Festival. as expected, most everything was excellent, and they had quite the crowd - perfect weather, Aquatica open, and the festival weekend (tho it started on Thurs), brought in a lot of folks eager to try the SeaWorld San Antonio food - which by reputation is very good! (and it is, Chef Scott and team do a great job on every event at the park). *edit to update: the 18 puchcards for Passholders, are now available on the Passholder Portal! but it's also easy/peasy to do it in person, and once we showed them our passes, got lanyards with 18 punches (3 bonus) over the regular 15 punch cards. apparently this year they are also selling 10 punch (standard), 7 punch & 3 punch (online only options) for "taster" there is SO much good food, I'll go thru 2 18-punch cards, at least, during the 6 weeks (thru early May) this runs. I always do the "course" backwards starting at Mexico - as I want those drinks (LOL). a few changes this year to both menu and entertainment offerings. . . but as usual, we bumped into Chef Scott almost immediately near the Mexico booth, and he walked me thru all the exciting new menu options and recommended stuff. *and then we saw him at almost every booth after we'd stopped to eat there asking us for our feedback. he was stalking us because he REALLY liked my boots, I think (lol. . got stopped a bunch of times from folks admiring them). but here he is, SeaWorld San Antonio's Cheff Scott - who puts together all the menus and that fantastic food they offer there! he recommended the new Cochnita Pibil (pork) taco, and pointed out that by popular demand, the Chicken Mole Fries were back. I got a Prickly Pear cocktail - which was Fantasic! (the sampler size is included as a punch, by you can pay the $14 for the full size - which is what i'm holding here) they forgot the chile salt on the rim (hey. . opening weekend) and Scott went and got some to sprinkle on that made it even more flavorful. Recommended. the new taco (fantastic. . and pretty spicy. . loved it) and bottom are the Chicken Mole fries. the mole is not spicy, but it IS flavorful. Scott has known me long enough that he knows I like spicy and went and got me a side of the house made Habanero sauce (that goes in the new taco) to put on the Mole Fries - and oh man, that brought them to another level. Fantastic. no other pics from my table, since my two friends BOTH ordered Mole Fries. . . . LOL. . but with permission of the kind lady next door, here's the Eleote - which she also said was very good. the Tequila bar was open in the corner down by Mexico. . but it was way too early for me to tackle a flight of Tequila. . . so next time Onwards to France! the Crab & Spinach Crepe is the brand new one (and it is fantastic and highly recommended. Other than the food at Greece and the Empanadas at Brazil? it's the highest recommended food choice I'd give) the Mushroom/Spinach is only "new" because they took the Turkey off of it from last year. A shame, as that was my favorite savory bite in the park. But they were having issues last year keeping the meat at temp, so decided to make it another Vegetarian option this year. (so if you're a Vegetarian. . pretty much every option but one at France is a choice for you) this is the Crab and Spinach. it doesn't LOOK amazing, but trust me, it IS. *and* it's real crab (not Krab with a K) and you can really taste the crab. the Spinach Mushroom was still really good. . but not as good as when it also had turkey in it. as noted, still good tho. Paige got the strawberry/Hazlenut sweet crepe and really liked it. the "Sunday in the Park" photo op is back over here. So of course. although for some reason, the Wine stop has moved from France to over by Rio Loco / Jamaica area. . that's a little weird. Chef Scott had told me that they really worked to improve the food over at the Germany booth. so we tried it again this year based on his recommendation. it WAS better. . but being brutally honest? as good as they made the Beer Cheese this year, the braised beef still reminded me very much of a frozen dinner (I gave that feedback to him when he asked). I think the proportions were off, and the jous just destroys the other flavors by overwhelming them and making the whole Spaetzle dish taste like a frozen salsbury steak sauce. to be fair? it's not BAD - but there are SO many better options, I wouldn't waste punches on food here. (the drink and beer options on the other hand? excellent. . and the beer garden setting was busy when we were there) and of course, always worth coming over to Germany for THIS photo op: not sure if the Band was playing or not. . the stage was there with a new LED screen behind it. But I didn't see any performance times listed, so wonder if no German Band this year? the Braised Beef and Cabbage the Beer Cheese with Speatzle & beef (we shared this and still left much of it!) and the apple Strudel with Vanilla Ice Cream. a stop to ride Texas Stingray, and then? on to Greece! As usual, Greece does not disappoint. Tho the standout is the lamb slider? EVERYTHING is excellent: this is Baklawa Ice cream (basically a Baklava smashed into caramel ice cream. . .so damn good) These are the Loukoumades - a honey fried donut. delicious. and the Chicken Schwarma. Didn't get a pic of the Gyro or Slider, as Russell forgot I was taking pictures, and ate them before I got to the table! no "Living Statue" this year in Greece :(. . . just a photo op by the pillars she used to stand under. HOWEVER, we did bump into a visitor - SFFT Park President Jeffrey Siebert, who was at SWSA for a bit (showing a guest around) and enjoying the Food Festival dishes (and of course, Chef Scott was there too. . I swear, he was stalking us around the lagoon ) it was very nice to get to meet Salim - I mean, I don't work for him, but he seemed to be a really nice guy. and I told Jeffrey we'd see him a little later over at Fiesta Texas (for those pics, check out the SFFT thread - they have the new Boomerang trains out). forgot to get a pic of the Italy sign - but as usual, that booth has the HUGE lines, because they make the flatbreads to order, and the kiddos know and want "pizza" Mike got the Feta Cheese and Grape flatbread, and he said it was really good. (tho he did wait at least 25 minutes in line for it) meanwhile? I stomped Grapes at the Italy photo op. continuing around the park, we found the wine bar - that used to be over by France. and then relaxed in Jamaica photo op. . . tho we bypassed ordering anything from the food here. (we were getting full, and still had a few stops. besides, will get it next time. .the rum raisin ice cream here is amazing) Paige chilled.. .I signaled the world can F-off. . I'm relaxing. then onto Korea for the Beef Short Ribs and the Double Dragon Punch (which Mike loved, but Russell thought was too sweet). while they ate, I snapped pics of the progress on Catapult falls. It's coming together fast, and they for sure will make their May 14 launch date for it! and of COURSE we had to stop and go thru the Penguin House, once again fully stocked. SeaWorld San Antonio really should bottle and sell that smell from there tho. . I mean, it's certainly got "Penguin House" associated with it. Japan pavillion menu is basically the same, although Chef Scott tweaked the Seared Tuna a little. I was way too full to try anything, so i just enjoyed the show there while folks ate. this is the Yuzu sorbet. Mike had never had Yuzu before but he said he liked it and it was very tropical. and Paige said the Gyoza were fantastic. no drummers this year instead there's a geisha who does a water act. it was . . interesting, and yes, entertaining. and she sticks around after the performance for photo ops. next up. . Hawaii! Poke bowls looked SO good. . . but I was way too full. and they were sold out of the Aloha Beaches drink we wanted. so saving for next time! Last stop today was Brazil. I love the Blackberry Acai sorbet here. but the stars are the chicken empanadas. . SO good. last year there was a dancing girls/party in the center of the area show. . but I didn't see any times up, so wonder if that's gone this year? but the photo op is still up for Brazil. Paige had the Tropical Monkey drink. . that she sucked right down (so it was good) and Russell got the Chicken Empanadas. we were SO full, but it was a great morning/afternoon. can't wait to go back and try more of the offerings, and take in a few of the SWSA shows! till next time. . .
  6. after a full morning/afternoon at SeaWorld San Antonio (enjoying the Seven Seas Food Festival), we popped into SFFT for a bit on the way home. Glad we did, as they were doing Passholder Appreciation weekend, with a voucher to come back for some event (launch party?) for the new Kid Flash coaster later this "early summer". but a better reason was to ride Miss Kitty (as the train is now back running - AND Gully Washer finally reopened yesterday too). but the best reason? they have the new Boomerang train on display in front of the coaster as they have already started the work on it (maintenance guys were up on the cobra roll during our visit) some pics: not a pop in without a stop to see Miss Connie in Sangerfest! and ride my Bowie Bunny on the Carousel we also got on Miss Kitty which was finally back up and running (tho we had a delay due to "something on the tracks" = not sure what it was, but prayers to a likely flat squirrel. and then we wandered over to Boomerang where the park had just put out this display today. the new cars look great, and I really like the explanation of the changes!
  7. SFFT & SFOT started off charging everyone last week during Texas spring Break. but by day 2, they started handing out free admission to Passholders at the park who asked for them. I'm not sure that SFFT actually had a Cap - everyone I know that went and wanted a free admission pass for the After Hours Scream event, was able to get one - regardless if they were there at open or not.
  8. Day 12, morning: Walt Disney Studios up and out for rope drop, as today was going to be a slamming busy day. It was Saturday, so knew the parks were going to be PACKED. as an alternate plan, I had weeks ago, booked a visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower Saturday afternoon, with the Alvey's to get away from the crowds during the busiest part of the day. James wasn't going to do that (tho a few others on the official trip did join us too), so we planned to go to the Disney Studios park at rope drop, I'd leave for Eiffel Tower around lunch time, and then would meet back up with James at Disneyland later that evening. plan locked, and off we went: Lovely entrance. . thru an indoor section (that I think was mostly shops - we never actually stopped here on any day - tho Brown Derbey looks like a food court) Up ahead the main park, and the Walt & Mickey statue. noted - we'll be back for you this morning. . . but first, we are following the crowd to the right side of the park. Aladdin's flying carpets. . never really had much of a line, but I don't think we ever actually rode it here at Disney Studios.. . . I mean. . it's right next door to where everyone was going. . . Crush's Coaster. and yeah. . . STARTED off the day, at rope drop, with a 30 minute wait. (we had some skip the line passes, and would use them later in the trip. . but we wanted to not waste one right away and joined the flood of folks headed here) a few other TPR folks were in line here too first thing. . . the theming, as expected, was well done. it's a fun spinning coaster. is it great? no, but it IS fun, and if the line is shorter than a 30 minute wait (or you have skip the line), I'd say it's worth it. Capacity seems to be pretty bad tho. . . so never really saw it with a "shortish" line after a fun ride on Crush, we headed out to continue our way around the park. during our trip, lots of construction walls were up - Avengers Campus area opened shortly after we were there. So there really wasn't all that much to do at the time at Disney Studios. But I did have a fun time there, and the rides they DO have, are mostly pretty great. this ride (cloned at several Disney parks) had really no line - I think maybe folks just miss it's there? so James and I hopped in the queue for it. it would have been better if it hadn't been out in the direct sunlight. . . . but with both of us in the back seat, we got some decent "whip/swing" action. Crush's coaster does have this interactive section where the cars zoom by outside, enticing those walking by to come take a ride. is it as Detailed as Car's Land at Disney California Adventure? I dont' think so (tho never have been there since they opened it). . but I thought it was really well done here. outside of Cars land is Toy Story area. . . with a bunch of rides that LOOK way better than the actually ride. but man, do they look good. we passed by tho, as first we wanted to ride Ratatouille. . . I'd only heard raves about this, and couldn't wait to experience it. the Gusteau animation in the sign comes "alive" and chats with the people in the queue. Ready for our 3D adventure! trackless ride, similar to Pooh's Hunny Hunt system and you ride inside a rat! that's scurrying under counters and thru the kitchen during your adventure. I LOVED this..and think we rode it at least 6 times during our visit. thru the windows back there is Remy's. . the sit down restaurant, where you are shrunk down to the size of a rat for the meal. the food there was good, but well worth it for the theming, which was amazing. an ok. .let's head over to Toy Story Land, entering thru the Barrel of Monkeys really well done. . the queue for RC Racer is great. . and the look of the ride is great. peeking across the way at Slinky Dog. . we'd be there next unfortunately, RC Racer looks way more thrilling than it actually is. the restraints weren't my favorite, and the ride is really short and doesn't do much. I think I got more airtime from a giant frisbee than this. I'm glad we rode it, because it looks so neat. . but yeah, this was one and done for us. same with Slinky Dog. . . it LOOKS just amazing. and as a Toy Story fanboy? I loved it and no way would I pass up a ride on it. but it doesn't really DO anything. (another 1 and done). but it looks so great. this is the only ride over here that I did more than once. which is surprising, because it looks like just a standard Parachute Drop ride. but it actually holds in spaces, and goes up as well as down during the cycle. It was quite fun, actually. Pic from Slinky Dog queue too much of a glare. . but "I've been Packaged!" Rex is eating his head!!! ooooooooo I have ZERO memory of what this is. I recall it's from the food truck that was near the Cars Roadtrip tram ride. . but hell if I can recall.. it didn't make much of an impression, I guess. ham and cheese? hell if I know? ah. .the infamous (ly) bad "Cars roadtrip". . the replacement for the Studios tour. we're here, and it's a people eater, so let's ride it. huge queue space, not many folks in line. . . I know that look - "why do you wanna waste time riding THIS???" but we did ride it. and even got a bit excited (tho that might be because we got to sit down after a full day yesterday and already a lot of walking today) hmmm. . THIS looks . . . "familiar" FIRE FIRE!!! sparks! and water! lots of water lots and lots and lots of water yup and once we saw the Eyefull tower , it was over. really? yup. but the toilets over here had car part themed toilet seats. . which were cute. I still had about 40 minutes until I had to head out to the train station, so we decided to hit the only other ride here we hadn't gotten to yet: Tower of Terror. the line wasn't "short". . but it was moving. . . nah. .it was closer to 20. . but the sign was right there and with permission took a pic. spooky. . . and love the uniforms here too. . . we moved pretty well, and made it all the way into the gas pipes room.. . THIS close.. and the ride went down. and stayed down.. . 5 minutes. 10 minutes. 15 minutes. I started to panic, as I still had to leave the park and make it to the train station. . . so at the 20 minute down time - KNOWING it was coming back up shortly - I flagged down a cast member, and told him I had to exit the line, as I had to meet up with folks. and he walked me (and a couple of others - mainly parents with kids who had to pee ) out the back way and thru to the exit. I powerwalked over the train station at DisneySprings. It had been a really fun morning. . but I was pretty psyched for the trip into Paris and to the top of the Eiffel Tower. to be continued. . .
  9. look at the pic I posted up in the thread. . . one area of poles had the canvas.. . for a couple of weeks. Rest of queue was in sun, and then they apparently decided it looked stupid just to have one section of canvas up, and took them all down. ugh. . was horrible in the direct sunlight.
  10. Today would have been my Nick's 64th Birthday. Despite knowing the parks would all be gigantic overcrowded clusters? I just couldn't bear to sit at home alone and be sad. So I called a friend and we drove to San Antonio to go to SeaWorld the park was ABSOLUTELY *slammed*. . .we're talking 45 minutes to get to a parking spot (and that was WITH preferred handicap parking), with the line to get in stretching well past the gates onto the main road out front (Ellison). And if you've been to SWSA you know how much "driveway" there is between the main gates, and the parking gates! speaking of, they had all the parking gates open, and staffed with both sides open. today was also opening day for Aquatica as well, and once we actually got into the park? crowds in the walkways weren't bad at all - so Aquatica was drawing quite a bit of the crowd from the parking. Oh the shows were ABSOLUTELY packed. I dont' think I've ever seen standing room only in Orca Stadium But rides remained walk on for most of the afternoon. . . even the two water rides open only had 20 minute waits or so: Journey to Atlantis & Rio Loco (which had waterfalls on and SOAKED the one of us who wasn't ok getting wet - and only sprinkled me, since I declared to the universe upon entering the queue that I didn't care if I got soaked but here's probably what you really care about. . . the progress on the park's new 2023 launched flume with lift. it's coming together really quickly, and looking great: it started to warm up and got too crowded to be comfortable for me (the line for the Carousel was an easy 40 minute wait). . .and the food lines were all pretty nuts. I didn't really want to eat any of the Generic park food, so we decided to take off and stop for some good Tex Mex for early dinner on the way back to Austin. so after about 4 hours we headed out. in that time tho, we -rode 4 rides: Stingray 2x, Journey to Atlantis, and Rio Loco (could have also walked on to Steel Eel and Great White, but passed on those this visit). -saw the Orca show in standing room at the back (which worked out well as a very nice breeze back there (AND - barely - out of the splash zone. . . seriously, those splashes got all the way to the upper rows!) - Got a frozen drink from the bayside bar - got a cookie and a drink from Coaster Coffee - stopped and looked at construction (so we basically walked the entire park - even seeing the Count out for pictures over in Sesame Street. . with an INSANE line). & - went into Discovery Cove on the way out to see the Dolphins and Sharks. all in all, a pleasant day, and kept me distracted.
  11. yeah. . ."Gotham City Crime Wave" was a much better name. they changed it a few years ago to match the same name (and signage) that SFFT has on theirs. that said, the area that SFOG considers DCU does have the Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Joker ride. tho the Superman B&M FLyer sits in an area they just call "Metropolis". . LOL. . so the park has the rides too spread out to combine into one section.
  12. 100% if no one told you? pay for Preferred parking. It's not that much more expensive, and lets you park in your own lot way up at the front. it also has a dedicated entrance to the park. AND a dedicated exit from the parking lot at the end of the day.
  13. it's one of the last remaining (if not the last remaining) of that ride type. from what I heard (rumor, but no reason not to believe it) - what broke is not easily , or cheaply, repairable. Hence decision to just throw in the towel after they had just spent so much time & $$ refurbing it. so I say the odds of it going anywhere other than a scrap yard are basically 0%
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