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Photo TR: A Florida Chrismahanukwanzakah 2009

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The offseason of the Bryan and Adam Show has left me with plenty of time to explore my solo efforts once again while my co-star continues to perfect Season Two for your eventual viewing pleasure... So this year, I decided to splurge on the holiday madness, taking in a little bit of ice, a dash of Christmas, a touch of hurricane plus a few ingredients like birthday and a new year thrown into the mix. And although my comedic attempts will be far less successful than those of my counterpart, I hope you enjoy this report, for whatever its worth!



This year's holiday season began with a visit to the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando to take in the annual ICE! exhibition held in the convention center. For those that are unfamiliar with the event, the resort's convention space (with the addition of a few climate-controlled tents) is converted into a show hall for unique ice sculptures, each year with a different theme and a different look. The exhibit is a walk-through experience that can last (based on your own pace and the pace of those in front of you) anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour and a half. There are plenty of photo opportunities within the icy halls, and plenty of chances to take in the cold air, set to nine degrees fahrenheit at all times. Another signature aspect of the seasonal attraction is its popular ICE! slides. My last visit was made back in 2006 and can be seen in this report. My good friend Paul decided to accompany me for this visit, and his company was certainly welcome.




Happy Holidays to everyone and a festive start to our Chrismahanukwanzakah!


The complex is kept at such a temperature that even the doors freeze over!


One of the last major scenes of the exhibit had plenty of people stopping in their tracks for photos... I hear some kid even kissed the angel, but thats just a rumor.


I took the tunnel!!!


I'm so hungry I could ride a reindeer!


He deserves a break anyways...


Paul liked the slide, but not enough to wait for it more than once.


Just in case you were planning on riding with six people in a row.


Down we go!


Somebody call Bill Paxton! We've got ice twisters!


Oh really?


I love how the ICE! slide carries a warning similar to the ones used for major coasters like Kraken, Kumba and Journey to Atlantis...


For such a short ride, there sure are a lot of risks...


I'll stick with Slab: The Ride for now.


People watch guests slide down as if it were a sport... I'm still waiting to see some guest go flying past the barrier to make a strike.


On Hoishe, On Herschel, On Schlomo!


Santa sat us down on his steel-supported lap, looked at us at pointed us in the direction of his brother's photo op...


Unfortunately Hanukkah Harry was unavailable for photos that night.


I'm not quite sure what these are... But I want a hat like that!


Beware of the heffalumps and woozles... They'll get you!


Inspired by a Bryan and Adam Show Season 1 photo... Brownie points for whomever finds the photo in question.


And I mean tons of brownie points!


Paul has tamed the polar bear and is now king of the ice world. I bought him a complimentary ICE! hot chocolate as a reward.


Penguin Watch 2009 continues when we return...


You even pass through an igloo to get to the next room...


I feel like I'm in Super Smash Bros... And I'm stuck on the Ice Climbers' course.


Yep. I went there.


Does anyone care to explain to me what this could possibly be?


I can haz ice cream cone?


Give it a few days and there will be seven rabbits in this room.


Paulrus is a big fan of the walrus...


I do my best sculpture impression since there isn't someone next to me to make me look less ridiculous...


Thanks Bryan!


The detail in the ice is really fantastic... We don't see too much of that here in Florida.


I obey all of the rules... But I couldn't resist.


This year's exhibition features an inuit theme unlike the frozen Florida theme that it sported in 2006.


One of the exhibit's first info signs...


This is one of the many reminders that guests should not touch the ice. This block is the only one that guests are allowed to put their hands on without getting in trouble...


Like I said... TPR friendly.


Similar to a cruise line's photo operation, photos are taken at the beginning of the experience so that the photos are ready and printed at the exit of the attraction, regardless of the guest's intention to purchase said photo.


This attraction is TPR friendly.


Picking up a parka is sort of like getting a tube at a water park... You get in line, pick it up off a rolling slide that feeds from the attraction exhibit and when done, you give it to the next person waiting at the other end of the slide.


Once given the signal, guests are sent off to "Parka Pickup," the starting point of the cold adventure to come.


The pre-show for the exhibit features an icy man sharing puns and giving you a bit of information about what you will see inside...

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Adam went to the GAY lord hotel! Let the rumor mill begin!


Just kidding bro! Awesome TR! Those sculptures look amazing. They have one of these Ice exhibits here in Nashville at our very own GAY lord hotel. It was the Peanuts characters. I know, enough said. I didn't attend. Yours looks much better.


Anyway! I look forward to more amazing Floridian Christmas sights. (sans Brian)


Happy Christhananzamasikahkwan!


Guy "GAY Lord is really code for HAPPY God. It does not imply what so ever that Jesus was homosexual. Because we all know, Jesus was a Vampire. A HAPPY Vampire. " Koepp

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I gave blood for the first time this year, and the Florida Blood Center gave me (among other things) a half-off coupon to ICE. Unfortunately due to finals week I didn't have time to go before my retreat back to America's Frosted Hat, but this TR makes me glad it doesn't expire until the end of NEXT year's event!

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Our second stop on the Chrismahanukwanzakah tour brought my friends and I to the Magic Kingdom to experience Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party not once, but twice. Thanks to freakish Florida weather, our first party was rained out to the point where the park gave complimentary tickets to return for the next party. During the two visits, we were able to see the fireworks show twice, the parade once, and only once were we subjected to the incredible awesomeness that is "A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas." Despite the rain, we had a great time during our first night and were extremely grateful to return later that weekend.




Another early Chrismahanukwanzakah gift for you all to help close this update...


We finished off our night with some extra rides on the newly refurbished (extra amazing) Space Mountain.


Hannukah Harry was still unavailable to join his brother in the parade...


I hear he's been playing with his Spinagogue in preparation for his debut in the Major League Dreidel tournament next year.


Santa travels fast, considering we just saw him at the Gaylord Palms Resort...


Operation: Blind a Raindeer


Status: Success


3. Make her open the box... And thats the way we do it!


Then the nutcracker's men came in...


Then the creeper cookies came along.


The gingerbread house float actually emits the scent of gingerbread... Its a silent but deadly reminder that you need to visit the Grand Floridian to buy a gingerbread shingle.


Then the Elissa-friendly float arrived...


Then the carolers came by to sing the Dreidel Song!


Then they did a live performance of Bad Romance!


The conga line always starts with the smallest non-planet.


Its the Once Upon a Chrismahanukwanzakahtime Parade!


Next, we were ready for the parade!


And then Windows crashed...


Thats why I'm on a Mac.


Sorry to ruin it for all of the believers... But Santa Claus isn't real.


Stitch is though.


Time for some token hypnosis thrown in the mix...


"But I want a makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique Stitch!"

"But I bought you a voucher for the Pirate's League! And they don't do refunds here!"


Have they moved Stitch's Great Escape outside to accommodate its ridiculous popularity?


"Join Buzz Lightyear on a daring space mission to save the universe from the evil emperor Zurg! Report to Star Command and Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin!"


Wrong attraction.


The show actually had a pretty large (and involved) crowd... There was caroling, cajoling, hootin' and hollerin'.


And then Mike Wazowski comes out to help sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer... Plus he jokes.


See the video for more details.


Unfortunately, Buzz doesn't speak in his Toy Story 3 Spanish mode during the show.


Then, a show host comes out and sings about her dream to have Santa join in the show...


Sound a little like Stitch's Supersonic Celebration? Thats because it basically is.


The show has a logo... As all shows should.


I'm not prepared...


And then they had to go and rip off Star Wars...


I still think Robot Chicken does it the best.


Thanks to "A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas," I now know how to "fa, "la" and "fa la la."


Just in case you forgot where we were...


Of the three event-specific fireworks shows, this is my second favorite with the former Pirate and Princess Party's Magic, Music & Mayhem keeping its post at first place.


Yell Fire! Yo... Yo... Yo, yo yo!


In perfect Christmas spirit, Cthulhu makes an appearance in the show...


When I raise my fingers towards the heavens, this is what happens.


'Splosions galore...


Oh noes!!! The castle is under attack!


The Castle Dreamlights have returned to much fanfare... I think they look incredible!


Space Mountain shut down early on in the evening, offering TTA riders a great view of the ride with the lights on.


The next visit offered a much drier experience...


You'd think there was a hurricane passing over Reedy Creek by the look of this photo, but its just a Florida rainstorm at its finest.

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So, as our holiday continued, it was time for a visit (actually two) to Seaworld Orlando. It is a little-known fact that Chrismahanukwanzakah lasts as long as you celebrate it, so in this case, its still going strong! Visting on the day of New Year's Eve, and on New Year's Day, Seaworld was very busy but just as fun as always. Since my brother's girlfriend didn't ride coasters and had never been to Seaworld, we decided to play tourist and see some of the shows (none of which had we seen recently).


I will say that every time you visit a park that you've been to more times than you can count with someone who has never been, it opens your eyes to the smaller things of the park that really makes the place even more special.


Oh, and then there's this cult-like chant:




This thing asks you to time how long you can hold your breath.


I'm still holding mine until Chrismahanukwanzakah is over.


The old entrance to the Beer School was open for extra seating in anticipation of the need for later that night.






No more Clydesdale.


Just Hamlet.


It certainly is the end of the decade as we know it.


No more Busch cart.


Hardy har har.


Can I haz feesh pleez?


Even more dolphins...


"Get out of my theater, now!"


I found another walrus for Paulrus!


Clyde and Seamore were really off of their game today...


Florida is finally getting a Proslide Tantrum!


I see Omaka Rocka pieces!


The Reflections water jets have been playing during the day to the tune of Wizards of Winter. And its just pure awesome.


And the finale is here!


Lots of dolphins...


I like mid-air shots, as this trip report has probably shown.


Are you ready for the finale?


Now we're defying gravity like Wicked.


The old Bayside Stadium water skiing show has been moved to the Whale and Dolphin Stadium, temporarily of course.


Over at Blue Horizons, we have a porpoise doing a flip.


Over by Manta, these cool little shade-givers have been put up.


The inside of Voyager's (impressive as always) was decked out for the holidays.


It was time for some BBQ for lunch... For those of you that don't know, Voyagers, formerly a pizzeria, actually switched menus with the Smokehouse because of the popularity of the food there. Now Voyager's sells BBQ while Seaport Pizza (the former Smokehouse) sells pizza.


And this pig used to reside at the front of the Smokehouse.


There is a nifty little tube between the two octopus tanks that allows this fellow to squeeze on through.


Back over the Manta aquarium, we are lucky enough to see the elusive octopus in transit.


I still don't believe.


An overview of the stadium is surely trip report gold.




What this shot doesn't hint at is that a few frames later, Shamu opened his mouth and devoured that poor and helpless singer... I hear we was from Amity and his last name was Brody.


Inspiring... Make way for the Return of the King!


The "Chosen One" is among us.


He found his target.


Then the star of the show started singing...


A Shamu mid-flip is better than no Shamu at all!


"I'm king of the world!"


Its become a tradition for my brother and I to share contorted faces for the Kraken on-ride photo.


And ready to eat.


I'm 'mazed...


How did I get here?


We start our visit with a look at the leafy sea dragons in all their splendor...

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Great pics Adam. I wish the clyesdales would have been able to stay in their stable. They looked much cooler than the horses that replaced them. Which leads to the question... Where did all the clyesdales go?

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Great pics Adam. I wish the clyesdales would have been able to stay in their stable. They looked much cooler than the horses that replaced them. Which leads to the question... Where did all the clyesdales go?


They went to Grant's Farm up in St. Louis. It's where all the ABInBev Clydesdales are trained (or used to). It used to be open to the public (might still be) and they used to offer free water (or ABI Beer) to guests similar to the parks, but ABI kept Grant's Farm.


Adam, glad to see you were able to try the ICE! slides. The night we were there, three of the four were closed because some kid lost his lunch and dinner all over them! That makes me wonder... How do you clean up freezing vomit?

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