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Scaparri's Spring Break in Florida: UPDATED twice! 3/27


Scaparri
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So, a friend of mine in the marketing business made an offer I couldn't refuse. All I had to do is get down to Orlando and pay for my food, and everything else was covered. I wasn't about to turn that down. So I headed down to Florida for a few days over spring break. It was a pretty sweet trip.

 

Part 1- Drive down/Lake Wales/BGA

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I'll end the BGA segment with a nice pic of some Sheikra action.

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The theming around here really is awesome.

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They're teaching the elephants to clean up their giant piles with giant TP.

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Hi Joe.

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Rhino Rally was down all day. I wasn't really complaining though.

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I made a friend over at the Myombe Reserve. No kidding, he saw me with the camera and posed.

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Giant friggin' gator. Speaking of gators, go Butler Bulldogs!

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Am I abnormal for loving this ride? I've never really understood the complaints, but to each his own. I must say, it's impossible to get a really good picture of it.

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Everything tastes better when it's free. Those of you into sports will probably find a little humor in this picture, given the second picture of this TR.

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Outside of the coasters, this is probably the best place in the park.

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I took this picture while waiting in a 40 minute line. Does anybody else spot what's wrong here?

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Vertical droppage.

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Sheikra looks like a monster at this park.

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It was a little bumpy, but an awesome ride. It's doin' pretty well for being 14 years old.

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Finally! Last year, I came to the park for the first time and was pretty stoked to ride Kumba, but it was closed for painting. None of that this year!

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Lookin' nice with the new paint, though I honestly didn't think it looked that bad last year. I won't complain though.

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First up was Montu, which was amazing that day. It ran most of the day without the trims on before the batwing.

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Cool hedge animal in the park.

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After an agonizingly long off-season, it was finally time to ride some coasters!

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On the way over to BGA, I was able to get a pic of the coolest power line tower ever.

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I got into Orlando, and Dave and I went to the Skyventure indoor skydiving. It was freakin' sweet. The wind was kind of a like a never ending TTD/KK launch.

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Tribute to a fallen legend... only it's not a crocodile.

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I spent a day in Lake Wales first. I had never seen an alligator in the wild before.

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Me and the Nick-A-Jack. This is a traditional stop on the way down. And by the way, Go Dawgs!

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Raddest rest stop ever! It's on an island in the middle of a lake in TN.

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Very nice TR. I'm heading down to Busch Gardens and Orlando in a few weeks, (Darn Catholic schools and their late spring breaks) so I have a few questions for you. How were the lines for the major attractions? Whats the best order to do the park in? Is Gwazi that rough? What kind of tickets did you buy? Is it best to just go with the one-day $51 dollar kind?

Thanks

 

I did catch your little joke. So, are you rooting for the gators or Butler tonight? I, myself, am an Ohio State fan, we barely pulled it off last night. I also live in Dayton, so Go Wright State, Horizon League champs!

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I didn't think gwazi was that bad, I have only been on 4 woodies before that so I don't really know rough. 3 of the woodies are taken care of off by the park to the point of rough is realitive to other parks. When I was there, lines were only 20 minutes long. All the coasters seemed to running at max cap. the day I went.

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The Mickey Power Tower was the one of the last things I saw as I was leaving Florida *tear*.

Very good trip report. Agree about Montu... completely, utterly surprised me and ended up being one of my favorites. Awesome that they were running it without the trims because I do remember those. But I have to agree with the masses about Gwazi; simply one of the roughest coasters I've ever been on period.

Thought the layout was good.

Looks like it was pretty empty... it was empty for us as well. Is it always that empty or should I come in the summer?

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Great pics! Loved the ones of the rest stop croc and the cute gator. Beautiful shots of Kumba, Montu, and Sheikra. The one pic lets you see how big Sheikra's trains really are. (yes, I noticed all the empty seats when you said you waited 40 mins) I've been to BGT once- it really is a beautiful park, w/the theming and landscaping- and you captured it well.

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^ Screw that, Wally! My CP days are done! Though I must admit, I miss it sometimes.

 

Very nice TR. I'm heading down to Busch Gardens and Orlando in a few weeks, (Darn Catholic schools and their late spring breaks) so I have a few questions for you. How were the lines for the major attractions? Whats the best order to do the park in? Is Gwazi that rough? What kind of tickets did you buy? Is it best to just go with the one-day $51 dollar kind?

Thanks

 

I did catch your little joke. So, are you rooting for the gators or Butler tonight? I, myself, am an Ohio State fan, we barely pulled it off last night. I also live in Dayton, so Go Wright State, Horizon League champs!

 

I go to school at Butler, so I was of course rooting for them. Oh well, I knew we didn't have much of a chance. It was a good run.

 

No, Gwazi is not that rough, in my opinion. Though, I should probably mention I've never ridden it anywhere but the front seat, so I can't vouch for the rest of the train. The front is bumpy at best. I would say the majority of woodies I've been on are rougher than Gwazi. The lines weren't bad at all! I was there on a Tuesday, and though it looked busy, it seemed most of the people were either older or families with young kids. Kumba, Montu, Gwazi, and later in the day, Sheikra and Scorpion were all walk ons. Sheikra had a 40 minute line at one point, but that was mainly because it had been broken for a little while and they didn't shut the queue. I recommend going to Montu first while the rest of the crowd heads to Sheikra, then making your way up to Scorpion, Rhino Rally, Cheetah Chase, and Kumba, then head over to Sheikra, and around to Gwazi. That way, you are doing the exact opposite that most of the crowds are doing. My tickets were actually free. They were comped to my friend's company, but if you have a few days in Orlando, then I definitely recommend doing the two-park package for BGA and SeaWorld that's like $75-80. You really don't wanna miss Kraken, and SeaWorld is an awesome park if you like marine life. Hope that helps. It'll be a good time no matter what.

 

I'll be back hopefully in the morning for Part II with the first half of my Disney pics. Thanks for reading everybody.

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^ I agree, doing the Seaworld/BGA deal is your best bang for the buck. It's 85.99 for the two parks and you can go as many times as you want in a 7 day span. You just have to get the ticket online a week before you use it. They don't have the special at the park's ticket window.

 

 

Edit: ...they also have the same deal for IOA/USF, if you're interested.

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No, Gwazi is not that rough, in my opinion. Though, I should probably mention I've never ridden it anywhere but the front seat, so I can't vouch for the rest of the train.

 

That's like finding the one edible thing on a menu at a totally crappy restaurant and saying you love the restaurant despite most reviews.

 

Running with the metaphor, if Gwazi were a restaurant, its food would be decent at best, and nothing to write home about. The horribly slow service would be its biggest downfall.

 

-Mark

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Finally! So after getting about halfway done with an update and then, for whatever reason, having to stop and close out the window, I'm finally getting around to an update.

 

So, when I got down to my friend Dave's in Orlando, I found out that the Disney tickets we were getting for free were actually park hoppers! Jackpot! So we immediately decided to try and hit all four parks in two days.

 

Part II, Day 1 at Disney: MGM and Magic Kingdom

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Parting shot of the castle at night. Now it's time to go start the hour and a half trek back to the parking lot!

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The Wishes fireworks show was really cool. You know the chick dressed as Tinkerbell has to have some really big juevos and a whole lot of trust in Disney to zipline over the park like that. The whole show was awesome though.

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One last round on Space Mountain. I just couldn't get over how good this ride was.

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Pirates had a crazy line all day, so we used our nifty attraction passes on it.

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Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. I definitely tripped, head-butted a lady in the pooper, and busted myself. Nope, not embarrassing at all.

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Later at night (not when the pic was taken), I ran into a friend of mine from IU, and again, apparently a cast member over heard us and gave us 6 fast passes to go ride Splash Mountain. This campaign is awesome!

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Holy crap we won something!! While outside of Stitch, we were talking about everything we still had left to do. Apparently one of the cast members overheard us and gave us 14 fast-pass-like tickets that were good for ANY attraction!

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I decided not to whore myself out today.

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Another shot of BTMR from the train.

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Big Thunder Mountain didn't disappoint.

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Hi James.

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The guy on the bottom got screwed.

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Haunted Mansion in the distance. Another ride that I remember being a lot cooler when I was 9. Still a fun classic though.

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It was considerably better when I was 9 though.

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No trip to Magic Kingdom is completely without seeing the Country Bear Jamboree!

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Tomorrowland. I didn't get any pics, but we actually got to do Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor. I really liked it, though the animation was still a bit rough at times.

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I didn't remember Space Mountain being as big as it is, and I definitely didn't remember Space Mountain being so freakin' awesome!

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Yeah, I'm way too excited to be on this.

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They even have the scoring pylon from Indy! Ok, I could geek out on you guys about the racing details and theming of this ride much like we all could geek out on somebody from the GP about any given roller coaster.

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The first ride of the day was Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. I'm a huge race fan, so I was all about this.

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Ever wonder what Walt would think of his company if he were still alive today?

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At least this trademark entrance hasn't been ruined with a stupid hat.

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Magic Kingdom! I hadn't been to this place since 1995, so it was a lot like going to a new park.

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After RnRC, we headed over to Magic Kingdom. On our way over, we saw an excellent, but rare, example of when Disney takes a really good idea and does a really crappy job of carry it out.

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I still love the concept and theming of this ride. It's starting to get a little jerky in spots, but nothing too bad.

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Unfortunately, no ToT this visit due to time constraints.

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That stupid hat ruined the trademark entrance of MGM.

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We didn't stay at AK though, and instead went straight to MGM.

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While waiting at AK to get our tickets, the craziest thing happened. I ran into my roommates and some of my friends from Butler! Small world (Disney pun intended)!

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"Headbutting" a lady in the pooper? What a convenient excuse. Well, that would be my "excuse"!

 

Also, from what I gather from this update is that people need to go to WDW and talk about how much they have to do in so little time, and they get fastpasses thrown at them!

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Final Update- Part III, Day 2 at Disney: Animal Kingdom and EPCOT

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I finally found a Double Decker bar! Which apparently causes its customers to make really stupid faces. Best...candy bar... ever.

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Apparently there was a torrential downpour outside while we were riding Soarin'.

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It was then time to pay a visit to Mr. Sinise. Mission: Space was pretty crazy. Wish it was a bit longer.

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Pretty cool theming in line for Nemo.

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After getting some fast passes for Space and hitting up Coke World or whatever it's called, we did the Nemo attraction at the Seas.

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Last up for the trip was Epcot.

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After doing most everything in the park, we went back for one more ride on EE, which had a 90 minute line. Thank you Fast Pass.

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The Finding Nemo musical was interesting. Kind of strange though. And the theater seats sucked something awful.

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Giraffes are the inventors of the faux hawk. There's a fun fact for ya.

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Baby giraffe.

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Among other things, we checked out the Kilimanjaro Safaris... which stomped the crap out of Rhino Rally in my opinion.

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This tree character was pretty cool. I can't decide if that would be an awesome job or a really crappy job.

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The drop is pretty sweet in the back.

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After hitting up Dinosaur, it was off to EE! Three words for this ride... Giant friggin' Yeti. It was a really cool ride.

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After getting some fast passes for Everest, we headed over to Dino Land to do Primeval Whirl. I don't know.... Disney could have done better, granted it is themed to a carnival, so maybe it's right on.

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Huge friggin' mountain.

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I had never been to AK before, so I was. pretty pumped about this. The opening ceremony was pretty cool

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Nice report, Scott. I'm surprised I missed it until now. You should've fed that gator some marshmallows. One of my first jobs was at a golf course, and our resident gator absolutely loved eating 'em for some odd reason. He became like my unofficial pet while I worked there.

 

And speaking of gators, unfortunately I gotta deduct a few points for your shirt at BGA.

 

 

 

Scott "Go Canes" B.

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