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Eric's 2009 Theme Park Adventures - RESURRECTED!


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Welcome to Eric's 2009 Theme Park Adventures Tread! Check below for the index for my adventures throughout 2009!


Islands of Adventure

Dinosaur World

T-Rex Cafe

Universal Studios Florida

Florida State Fair

Gatlinburg Area Attractions

Kings Island


We start with my first park visit of 2009. Last Saturday I drove up to Orlando and met up with Mike and Julie, friends I met from the TPR Tokyo trip last September. We spent a fun morning and early afternoon at Islands of Adventure and then the 3 of us headed over to meet up with Robb, Elissa and Kristen to hang out at Downtown Disney. We ended the night with a yummy meal at Elissa's favorite place and my employer, Carrabba's Italian Girll. It was great seeing everyone and can't wait to do it again sometime in the future!


After IOA, we headed over to Downtown Disney and met up with the Alvey's. After some shopping, we finished off the day with a yummy dinner at Carrabba's. Thanks again to Mike, Julie, Robb, Elissa and Kristen for a fun day and it was great seeing all of you!


Mike explored the caves.


Good times.


Mike and Julie discovered "If I Ran A Zoo" for the first time. Julie and I trapped Mike under the fountain for awhile. =p


Julie did a good job, we didn't get too wet. =)


Hopefully Julie will keep us dry keeping to the song on One Fish, Two Fish etc..


Julie and I with the Cat In The Hat.


Mike and Julie had to meet the Grinch since it was Grinchmas!


Even thought it was after New Year's, Grinchmas was still present.


Always have to get the "wearing the 3D glasses photo" in line for Spiderman.


Could it be because Julie was on Popeye and Bluto's Blige Rat Rapids? I think Julie got a little bit wet!


On top of the Me-Ship Olive with a water cannon. Why does Mike have that mischievous grin?


We had lunch at Mythos which was awesome as usual.


The 3 of us before experiencing the new neutered Poseidon's Fury.


We rode the flyers first thing so Julie could get the credit.


In Camp Jurassic.


Mike and Julie with a new giant friend, a T-rex!

Edited by live2tell75
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^ Hey Dave! Your TPR Tokyo trip friends missed you!


Last Saturday I planned a surprise Birthday Adventure for Kevin. Kevin is a BIG dinosaur freak. Think Ross from Friends and you'll know what I mean! So I surprised him by blindfolding him and taking him to Dinosaur World. Dinosaur World is a old-school looking dino roadside attraction half way between Tampa and Orlando off I-4. Every time we drive to Orlando Kevin's eyes always light up when we drive by the place. So we went and it wasn't that bad. It was actually a lot bigger than I thought it would be. And it was pretty educational. The attraction features about 40-50 life size dinosaur statues. The place was very busy with alot of families. It was a fun one time visit.

Now onto the photos of world famous Dinosaur World!




Watch out there is a T-rex behind you!


Kevin thought this was the best vending machine ever!




Look a cute baby dino.


Kevin was in his element.


Part 1 of Kevin's Birthday Adventure - world famous Dinosaur World!

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After Dinosaur World, we continued on for the second part of Kevin's surprise birthday adventure, lunch at the T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney. It was a lot of fun. Think The Rainforest Cafe with dinosaurs. The restaurant is divided into 5 themed rooms. There is the bar area themed to an underwater coral reef. The fern forest and rain forest areas. The Ice age room had very cool lighting. The room we ate in I think was the Geotech room that featured a meteorite shower every 20 minutes and a large fire grill. The food was good, but like most elaboratley theme restaurants you are paying for the theme - this explains the $16 cheeseburgers. The cafe also features a dino-themed shop and a Build-A-Dino shop which seemed pretty popular with the little ones. A neat thing about this place is they have a fossil sand dig for the kids to play in while waiting for a table. If you haven't been I recommend checking it out. Onto the photos!




The coral reef bar was pretty cool looking! What's up with prisoners sitting at the bar? =p





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It looks like the T-Rex Cafe does the Rainforest Cafe one better when it comes to themeing. But did they serve deep-fried dino bites (like the gator meat at Gatorworld)?


Happy Belated Birthday, Kevin.

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Robb and I were JUST talking about Dinosaur World, wondering if it was still surviving. And from your pictures it looks way nicer than I ever would have imagined from the signage on I-4!


Also, T-Rex Cafe looked a lot more manageable without a bazillion people there like when we last saw the place! Did you try to take any video of the place with your digital camera???

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Robb and I were JUST talking about Dinosaur World, wondering if it was still surviving. And from your pictures it looks way nicer than I ever would have imagined from the signage on I-4!


Also, T-Rex Cafe looked a lot more manageable without a bazillion people there like when we last saw the place! Did you try to take any video of the place with your digital camera???


The place really surprised us, we thought the same thing. From 1-4 it looks pretty sketchy but it is a neat place for kids. And it was busy, I think families are finding it a little bit more affordable place to take the kids. For kids it is under $10.


And no I didn't chance taking a any videos at the TREX Cafe, I didn't want to be thrown to the dinos for their lunch!

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It looks like the T-Rex Cafe does the Rainforest Cafe one better when it comes to themeing. But did they serve deep-fried dino bites (like the gator meat at Gatorworld)?


Happy Belated Birthday, Kevin.


T-rex is owned by the same Co. that run Rainforest Cafe

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the Grinch character would have to be one of the lamest costumes I've seen, especially for a major theme park.


Like Julie said, I think this was a back up or they actually had two versions of the costume. The one Julie and Mike was with was based off the animated classic holiday cartoon. And the one above with Julie is based on the live action movie version starring Jim Carey.


And I agree with you Julie, the second one/movie version is much better. Plus the movie version character talks to the guests and can be a wise ass!

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Funny this TR has Dinosaur World in it. I was talking to my friend, trying to work out the details of what we are going to do when we are there in July. She suggested Dino World, because her son is a big time dinosaur freak. I said sure... since we are in Kissimme, and plan on going to the beach, I figured maybe we can go to the beach, then hit the park up for some afternoon (hopefully) fun on the way back?? It is not something that takes a long time, right? LOL. I am almost dreading that day. I do not want to pay for a park where after the first say... four or five pics of fake dinos on a path... the rest will bore the bejesus out of the rest of the group! What else is there in this place that could keep an adult mesmerized?


Thanks again for posting! I seem to be following your footsteps!

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^ it's ok I don't mind having a stalker! Just kidding!

Actually a good thing about Dinosaur World is that it is in the woods so it is completely in the shade. So visiting the place in July won't be that bad (don't get me wrong it is still going to be hot!). I would probably plan on spending about 2 hours at the place.


I wish I could say that it isn't boring. Your friend's kid that loves dinosaurs will love the place. But to be honest you will probably end up being like me and after 4 or 5 dinos you'll start looking for the nearest bench! I wish I could say there were other things to see but basically the attraction is designed as educational for the little ones. But I did learn a few things here and there. Not sure if this really helps.

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Oh yes, it does help! Thank you. To know we do not have to spend much time there, (especially since he has been there before) is a plus. I am already planning the day in my head. LOL. We plan on getting the Go Orlando pass, and my friend said that is included in it. SO... we are hitting up Boggy Creek Air Boats early, run to the beach. Cut out of there by 3, go to Dinosaur World - head over to Checkers, (YUM)... then off to Go Karts and Miniature Golf. Maybe Ripleys or Wonderworks. I forget which is in there. But since they are all around the same area on I-Drive... whichever. Thank you again!

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  • 1 year later...

I kind of got crazy behind with my trip reports from 2009. So I'm resurrecting this thread back to life! I'll pick this up with some photos of The Florida State Fair from back in Feb. 2009 with a couple of Orlando photos thrown in. Enjoy!


A quick visit to Universal Studios Florida with my friend Lynn during Mardi Gras.


After a day at Universal Lynn and I had dinner with these great people at Carrabba's. lol - Looks like we had a photo crasher - who's the dude on the far left?


2009 Florida State Fair.


First of many Music Express type rides.


Go to love the cheesy old dark rides.


A spinning wild mouse, one of the fair's 5 coasters.



I love fairs at night.


Music Express #2.


One of my favorite rides.


A pretty big funhouse.







A classic.



Compact coaster.


Another dark ride.


Another music express.



Another funhouse.







Funhouse #3.







Music Express #4!



Mirror Maze.


Final funhouse.


Another childhood favorite carnival ride growing up.


The largest coaster at the fair.

Edited by live2tell75
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I went to the fair that year. I went this year too. I didn't do any of the rides, but it was fun to walk the midway and take photos. I did see the pig races and the sea lion shows, which are always fun. This year I caught the Elvis impersonator competition, which was a riot. Some of them were really good. Others... not so much. Looking forward to next year's fair!

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