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Photo TR: Matt visits heaven


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As some of you know, I have a small love affair with the park known as EPCOT. It's like a siren constantly calling my name, "Matt.....Matt, come back, we miss you. We've gone wandless, you must see Spaceship Earth is all it's orgasmic beauty."


What can I say, I'm a sucker for one very geodesic ball that sits squarely in the center of Disney World. This trip would be different. I would venture to where this Matt had never gone before.......outside the realm of Disney! Gasp! Oh dear lord, what am I doing? Sea World, Universal, Busch and Cypress Gardens? Surely I'll be struck down by Walt himself.


The first day began with heading over to Sea World to join up with the rest of the gang. I hadn't been to Shamu's haven since 1986, when my parents decided the place was rather sad and pathetic. I couldn't believe the changes, and I hardly recognized the place. Oh yes, I received my Kraken credit and one dose of water via Journey. That's two Journey's down one to go.


Personally, I found Kraken rather forceless and none too exciting. Then again, I did just arrive on plane full of screaming kids, so maybe I was immune to G forces of any kind.


After a long stop at BW3, we all headed over to Magical Midway. The chair swing thingy way up in the air awaited. Since I'm a pus, I sat it out.


Ugh, lunch came up just watching them.


Let's see, beer, and wings. Let's go swing around!


Yep, wet Matt. I'd look like this after seeing SSE a few days later, for a whole different reason.


Journey. I think we all know what's coming next.


A lovely twisty adventure.


The Kraken awaits, you pathetic credit light whore.

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OK, Day 2. The moment of truth, I stepped outside of my Disney comfort zone and headed off to Universal Studios, and Island of Adventure. Even worse, the group had tickets for Hollywood Horror Nights. I'm a total chicken....while, you know, and after one maze decided it would be best if I drank. So I did.


I have to say, I was incredibly impressed with the theming of Island of Adventure. The entrance plaza was as gorgeous as Piers, and rivaled anything I've seen at Disney. I found Hulk to be forceful and fairly smooth. I was told it was running quite well that day. Spiderman was one kick ass dark ride, even when it breaks. Dueling Dragons was Red Dawn Awesome. I found Ice to be the better of the two. Then again it was the first of the two rides, and I might have been a bit enamored with the whole dueling thing.


Later in the day we all headed over to Universal to hit up the credits, and the rides before HHN started. Mummy was just great. I hated the LA version, so I wasn't expecting much. Sorry Jew, Orlando's kicks the poop out of yours in everyway.


These cool video balls showed clips of the New Line movies.


Were in a private banquet room, and I see this. My Father worked for CCH his entire career. How cool.


We got to talk with Mr. Roddy about HHN. Very sweet indeed!


Jack was back, and he brought one mean posse with him this year.


My wife cringes when she sees these pics. I've turned into a whore.


Unoriginal shot. Check.


Can anyone show me the way to the additional T-Rexes?


What province is this in?


Or better yet, Robb!


So let's get Dave wet!


Wetness and Matt don't mix.


There it is.....Hulk through the trees.....oy.


The adventure begins somewhere around here me thinks.


Welcome, I'm the lighthouse with no apparent harbor to protect.

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I'm not really afraid of much, but I was really leery about riding a Star Flyer, until I actually did earlier this year. It looks much worse than it is, it was actually fun and a great view of all the flatness of Orlando. Maybe next time we'll just fill you full of beer, Matt, apparently it worked for Paul!

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The moment you've all been waiting for......OK, the moment I'd been waiting for, EPCOT.


You must understand that in October of 1982, I visited EPCOT. It was as seven year old, my imagination was just taken completely to a new level as we walked through this odd, and yet wildly entertaining park. It was my first real memory of any theme park, and the one visit I dont forget. The vision of Spaceship Earth all lit up as we left, and the projection of the continents spinning on it as you exited, still chokes me up to this day. When word that the wand was coming down, I about....ok, I did, orgasm. SSE was back to the way I first saw it, and a bit of my childhood had come back. Be forewarned, this section is Spaceship Earth picture heavy. I need bathroom material, if you know what I mean.


Better yet, it's the Food & Wine Festival, which is my favorite time of the year. Beeeeeeeer.........Fooooooodddddd. Does it get any better than eating and drinking your way around your favorute place in the whole world? Yes it does, when you add a crew of TPR members!


On an odd note, this visit happened 25 years to the day that I visited in 1982.....strange and yet, fitting.


That's one big compact disc!


Soren???? Are you here?


Wandless Spaceship Earth makes me very "happy." This makes me cry.


Sam Adam's 12th Anniversary. Good stuff.


I believe in starting them out early. Kristen, meet the finest beverage known to man. Beer.


I see a wandless Spaceship Earth. Good grief am I pathetic.


Oh, Canada.....you gave us Paul.....and Labatt's......and Molson.....can we give them back?


I sat here for ten minutes thinking of a caption.......I gots nothing.


Seriously, a fifteen minute wait for this? Bleeech.


Nice to finally see the tarp down.


Or maybe this one did.....


This gave me wood.


ALERT, ALERT!!!!! Disney nerd pic.

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Day three took us to Busch Gardens, and a little place known as Cypress Gardens. I was expecting many parks full of flowers and trees, and well, gardens. WTF?


Busch was strictly a credit whoring run, more like a crash course. We were in and out of there in four hours. Crowds were light, and everything was up and running. Today would also see my 100th credit. Sadly Colin wouldn't cooperate and get "100" tatooed on his chest and let my hold him. Kumba was the lucky coaster, and I'd have to say it was the highlight of the trip, coasterwise. I enjoyed Sheikra, but the whole dive thing did nothing for me. I found it "meh."


After that it was off to Cypress Gardens to ride Starliner, their new little woodie. We all found the airtime extreme on the first bunny hill. It was wild. For the most part the ride was OK, but enjoyable. Nothing I'd find myself craving to get back on. I will say, that after all the horro stories about how "ghetto" the park was, I was pleasantly surprised when walking the grounds. It was clean, the ops were friendly, and the atmosphere was nice. Again, nothing you'd drive out of your way for, but a nice little local park.


Day three found more than one of us wiped out.


I see four towns are missing idiots. Wait, make that five, I'm also taking the picture.


This neither spun or got us wet. Poo.


Um yeah, it's a woodie, with some airtime, and it's painted white.


Kumba kicked Erik's butt. A BK Whopper later kicked mine.


Diver down. Or a pathetic reference to Van Halen.


1st rides of the day. Chiropractor visit has already been scheduled.

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Day.....I have no idea, they all started to blend together. Our last day in MCO, and were headed back to Disney.


It was off to Animal Kingdom. EE was in B mode, which I found to be quite full of suckage. I almost missed the Yeti altogether. Oh well, know I've seen both modes. Here you go.


I'll leave you with this. I have some tissues calling my name.


I believe I can sum up how awesome this ride is, in about 1,500 words.


Triceratop spin. Check. Small child. Check. Lots of giggle. Most certainly!


Nice balls. What? You we're expecting a better caption?


Is this Dinosaur?

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I liked Star flyer, too--actually kind of relaxing (until you realize how small those chains are).


It was a great time in Florida last week--and you managed to capture my enormous bald spot in numerous pictures.

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I don't find Kraken to be overly forceful but I still really, really like it. Usually the second loop is the best spot for forces, but I do have to agree it did seem to be missing its little bite on that day.


- Joe


oh, and we were at Sea World on the 24th. A lot of folks didn't know we were coming, having a bit of time with friends is nice once in a while

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