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Theme Park Review's "Halloween in Orlando" 2009


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Thank you so very very much for a fabulous week! I had a blast, even if you couldn't understand what I was saying most of the time


It was fab to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.


You are awesome. And look amazing. And if I was a richer man, I would buy the house next to me and let you live there, as long as you told me at least one story every day (Emily's stories are AMAZING!).


Some other random Orlando thoughts/comments:


- First, there was not nearly enough love for this:



Come on, this is amazing! Well, I thought it was...


- The T-Rex restaurant was godly. Lots of dinos, awesome drinks, really good food. About a billion times better than Rainforest Cafe.


- Our BWW visit was amazing in how bad it was. Seriously, some of the worst service ever. I like the food there, but really, my cats would run the place better.


- Manta was really good. I think I like Tatsu a bit more, but I liked Manta a lot. I've been to all the Sea World parks over the last couple of months, and the Orlando one is easily my favorite. Texas is pretty cool. The San Diego one should be turned into a mall, as even a collection of horrible chain stores would be better than that park. Such a quality let down compared to the other two parks.


- Robb dressed up as a Taco provided the rest of us with hours of entertainment. Hearing people react to him while walking around was so much fun. Plus, DISCO ICE BAT RETURNED THAT NIGHT! Again, there was not quite the level of excitement over this fact like there should have been...


- I almost died of heat stroke or something at Epcot. Thankfully lots of alcohol kept me cooler. Food & Wine was amazing, like it is every year. Best thing I had this year was probably the Lava Cake from Ireland. Worst thing was the Tuna Sensation from Japan. And it wasn't horrible, just not as good as I was hoping (I love raw tuna, but it was pretty oily).


- Joey drinking around the world needs to be a TV show.


- HRRR is awesome. Seriously, I loved this ride. Listening to Judas Priest - Painkiller while on a coaster was something I figured would never happen.


- Our tours of the HHN mazes were so much fun. Since I can't do mazes (stupid eyes!), I really enjoy these tours. The amount of detail that goes into these mazes is amazing.


- Best moment of the trip for me: We are at HHN, and are going to ride Jaws. Obviously, I am quite excited about this, and start chanting "Shark! Shark! Shark!" and suddenly the whole group takes up the chant and frightens the tour guides. We do this throughout the ride, occasionally changing the chant ("Fire! Fire! Fire!"). I was in awe. Seriously, you have no idea how happy I was that everyone bought into my insanity at that moment.


- Most terrifying moment of the trip: Having to watch Hanna Montana.


- The pool party was amazing. The shots delivered poolside were also amazing, though in ways I thought not possible.


- Yak & Yeti at Animal Kingdom is HIGHLY recommended. I loved the food there, and hope to eat there every time I visit.


Overall, the trip ruled. Thank you Robb & Elissa for organizing all of this, and everyone else on the trip for tolerating me and Ice Bat. I'll post pics at some point...



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The work of art that was your door is poorly represented by that picture. It is a travesty that your door did not have a more prominant location since I am sure very few people made it all the way out to the back of the house 21.

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Next up was Busch Gardens Tampa and Howl-O-Scream!


I will say that HOS has improved a *LOT* since the last time we visited the event in 2006.


The mazes were much better, the scare zones were improved, and overall the event seemed much less of an halloween that falls in the shadows of Halloween Horror Nights and is stepping up to be a real competitor.


Kudos to Busch Gardens Tampa for all the great improvements!



Busch Gardens Tampa today! Hurrah!





Still my favorite B&M!





Smooth. Intense. Awesome!





Busch Gardens now had some of the "old school" wax mold souvenier machines!





In just a few minutes I'll have this amazing wax ape to take home with me!





Mold-A-Rama huh? We should totally get them to make Robb & Elissa wax figures!





How to make my awesome wax mold ape!





My wax ape creation is nearly done!





I'm holding it upside down as the machine says. I need to give him a name...I shall call him "Mr. Ape!"





Ta-Da!!! Mr. Ape will serve as an awesome memory of our fun filled visit to Busch Gardens Tampa!





Piers tries his best "Mr. Ape Impression" but fails completely.





Hey Wes, look! They have a Mr. Giraffe for you! I hope he approves of this machine.





Time for a mid-day Carrabba's break!





It Two-for-one drinks Happy Hour. For the next hour Piers is going to be VERY happy!





Piers is working on drink #3 & #4 ... AT THE SAME TIME!!!





We will begin our night at Howl-o-Scream with more food...





...and of course more beer!!!





Our first maze...Death Row Vengance. Awesome maze!





Everyone ready?





Ignore the warning...keep going!





Lots of Howl-o-Scream awesomeness to check out.





I hope we get to see *more* of her during the event!



The scare zones were this blurry in real life. COOL EFFECT!!!





Our favorite maze of the night was the "Toy Factory" one. It was REALLY well done! Not sure why, but it seems like every halloween event this year has a "scary toys" maze.





I can't tell if this "Skeleton in the wheel chair" gag is part of the event, or just another Florida local...





Reconstruction - cool maze. Lots of blood and severed heads. Thumbs up!





"13" was kind of your "generic campy motorcycle gang" maze. It was fun, but nothing amazing.





DED Pledge Week was, as the name implies "weak." For this year's "signature" maze I thought the scares were tame and the "hot sorority chicks" were a bit frumpy!





Ok, ok!!! I take that back! Well, actually, I DON'T!!! Spank me some more!!!





Trapped in the Walls is probably the weakest maze at the event, but it some ways it's great because it offers some comedy value!



There's the entrance of Trapped in the Walls...at least it was last time...this time around it was the exit. Not sure why they reversed the maze because it made even less sense now!





They had this "mock fashion show" going on when you entered the park. Not a bad thing to see when coming through the front gates!



Of course, then they all turned evil and ate people...still, though, not a bad thing to see!


That's it from Howl-O-Scream. Like I said, MUCH BETTER event than our last visit.



Edited by ernierocker
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