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Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures


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I still think they should have a Sesame Street Character haunt. that would be pretty cool

 

Big Bird's Blood Bath? Elmo Loves You...To Death?

Well, Elmo is already scary. Just having a maze with him sitting in it is enough to give me nightmares for a month.

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Was there a Cylde and Seamore Halloween show?

 

Someone mentioned that the show was different somehow, so we checked it out. But all they did was say the word "spooktacular" several times.

 

(For the record, it was not advertised as being special. Someone just told us that there were differences from the normal show. Not really the case, though.)

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^Too bad. I remember about 4-5 years ago, the Cylde and Seamore show became "spooky." Slappy walked the plank and then came back as a ghost to steal the treasure. The Pets Ahoy show had the trainers in Halloween costumes. I still haven't seen the Tony-award winning "Countdown T Halloween."

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  • 3 weeks later...

As much as we love amusement parks, neither of us have ever been big water park fans. In fact, you can count the number of water parks we've each been to on one hand. Neither of us are particularly strong swimmers, and neither of us like body-slides or being dunked. No, we like family raft rides and lazy rivers. We like animal exhibits and pretty flowers. We like...

 

Aquatica

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Aquatica is located directly across the street from SeaWorld.

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The park's mascots give you a clue to Aquatica's general South Pacific / Australia / New Zealand theme.

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A small bridge and waterfall lead you to the entrance.

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Odd that such a new park would have a crooked entrance. ;O)

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"Hey man, Anheuser-Busch left their eagle here. You want it?"

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The pathway from the gate to the park proper is weird, funky, and cool. It takes you under, past, and over the park's signature attraction, Dolphin Plunge.

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Dolphin Plunge dumps you out near this hilarious sign.

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Next to Dolphin Plunge is an underwater viewing area, where you can watch people on the slide trying to catch a glimpse of the park's Commerson's dolphins.

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Kiwi Traders gift shop stands at the park crossroads.

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I bought one of these shirts. I'm sure it'll show up in a future update.

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Misty bought this bumper sticker with 'Roa' on it, among other things.

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Next stop, the park's main locker complex. (I just don't see any practical way around getting a locker at water parks.) It's $5.00 plus a $5.00 deposit for a standard-size all-day locker.

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Next to the lockers is a cabana with a few small animal exhibits.

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"Hello, I am some sort of lizard. I might be from the South Pacific, for all you know."

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We are now here.

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The entrance to Tassie Twister, the park's dual "toilet bowl" slides, is accessed from within the lazy river. It seems like a neat idea, but creates some practical problems--especially when the park is busy.

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Loggerhead Lane is the name of the lazy river.

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Preparing to enter the lazy river's underwater viewing area.

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Okay, this is cool.

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Do you think that person in the slide sees the Commerson dolphin?

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There's also this half-tunnel fish tank thing.

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Coming back around to the entrance and exit of Loggerhead Lane.

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Well...we should be protected against Satan. So that's nice.

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This would make a good caption contest. I have no prizes for you, though. So, instead, I'll just talk about the water sprayers that exist throughout the park, wetting the midways and your feet. They're great if you're barefooted, not so good if you're wearing flip-flops.

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Aquatica has three proper restaurants. This is the biggest. The park offers an all-day dining deal, but it's only good here. Still, that would probably be our recommendation.

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It's a buffet, whether you choose the $15.00 one-time offer, or the $20.00 all-day deal.

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Cook-out appropriate food. Pretty good, too.

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The park's other gift shop, Adaptations.

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The entrance for the park's two family raft rides.

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HooRoo Run is one big non-turning undulating drop.

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The splashdown pool.

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Wahalla Wave is half open, half enclosed, and all awesome.

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The top of Taumata Racer.

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There is no way I would ever get Misty on this. Honestly, I'm not too sure about it myself. That's what water park wimps we are.

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Hard to make out the times in this photo, but I do think it's a nice idea.

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Walkabout Waters is one of the park's two water play structures, and the one adults are allowed to experience without children.

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And now for our favorite thing at Aquatica, Roa's Rapids!

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It's like a lazy river, but very fast and with no inner-tubes. You can wear one of the parks free life-jackets though, which I highly recommend.

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Basically, we spend about half our day here. And since there are two entrances, it can also be used as a sort of transportation ride, to get from one part of the park to the other.

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Uh-oh, Smisty has the face. What's the matter, Smisty?

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Oh, I see; I have a tiny lifeguard on my head.

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On our second visit to the park, we decided to try Mango Market, resulting in our one sour experience at Aquatica.

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The short version is: We got there 5 minutes after they opened, were ignored for about 10 minutes while the employees did there opening stuff, and then we gave up and left.

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Kata's Kookaburra Cove is the more kid-oriented water play structure (though they look awfully similar to me).

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A cute slide.

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I heard somewhere that SeaWorld did a bunch of surveys about what people want in a water park before designing Aquatica, and the result was lots and lots of beach with lots and lots of lounge chairs.

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There are two wave pools, side by side. I think one is supposed to have bigger, stronger waves than the other, but I honestly couldn't tell you which is which.

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I have a waterproof camera.

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First Aid and a second set of lockers. For really busy days, perhaps?

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Okay, so let me use this bird display to talk about Aquatica's animal exhibits. Outside of the Commerson's dolphins, there's not much. Just a few birds and small fish. It still kicks ass over every other water park's no-animal-exhibits-at-all, but they definitely could do more.

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Whanua Way and Omaka Rocka inner-tube slides.

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Ghetto "carry your own tubes up the stairs" style.

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Omaka Rocka is the park's newest addition.

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"Aaaaahhhhh!!!"

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It's really fun, except for the parts where your feet bash into the walls.

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The third restaurant is the Waterstone Grill. After we gave up on Mango Market, we headed here.

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This menu board really doesn't do it justice. They also have fish and buffalo chicken sandwiches.

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We received much better service here.

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Dig the souvenir inner-tube bowl.

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And we're back at Kiwi Traders.

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This made us laugh. Possibly because it's so brilliant.

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On your way out, you're continually reminded of what a pretty park this is.

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Not really a show, but they sometime have "training sessions" with the Commerson's dolphin.

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It mostly involves them swimming back and forth. But again, it's better than every other water park's nothing-at-all.

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The exit. I used to be funnier than this. I don't know what happened.

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"Ah-qua-tick-ah" or "Ah-qua-teak-ah"? Discuss.

 

And now I leave you with one of the coolest photos I have ever taken. Ready?

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Aquatica - SeaWorld's Water Park

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Great pictures Erik! For the two of you not being water park enthusiasts per say, you definitely shoot them well. It looks like you both had a blast. The park is a lot more lush than I had thought. I had heard that there was very little shade. SW must have put more umbrellas & trees in during the off season.

 

That $20 all day buffet is a deal! I will have to get my family here when we make a trek to Floruba. Hopefully next year.

 

Guy "The Ohana's loves them some waterparkage." Koepp

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I love Aquatica's entrance. I think its one of the best park entrances anywhere, theres just so much going on above and below and around to see with the slides, dolphins, lazy river and bridges , very very cool.

Great trip report, Aquatica is a great water park, although when I last visited it felt like it was still missing something attractions wise. I mean we rode every slide multiple times and were pretty much bored with the place within about 3 hours. Omaka Rocka might have helped with this a bit but I wish they had a few more re-ridable slides like a water coaster or a signature body slide. But still one of the best water parks I've been to.

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Awesome report! Looks like a really fun park! I loved the 'God's Warrior smell my finger,' and the 'Banana Beach Cook-out with a side of cottage cheese leg' pictures .

 

The wife and I aren't really waterpark people either, but that one looks a lot better than most! Thanks for the report!

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Although I'm not a waterpark fan, I really liked this park.

 

I loved the not so lazy river of death. Totally got a life vest, which actually made floating quite fun!

 

The only thing I hated was having to get into the lazy river to access the two slides. They didn't have enough tubs and the park had just opened, so you were sitting in the lazy river waiting for like 15 minutes for a random tube to float down and hope you grab it before anyone else.

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I'm a huge waterpark fan and Aquatica is right up there among my favorites.As far as people saying it's not lush I think that's true if you're comparing it to a Typhoon Lagoon which has so many trees it would be difficult to get sunburned on the sunniest days.Aquatica is more about palm trees,still very nice but it's just not Typhoon Lagoon.I went to Aquatica this year on what was probably one of the hottest days of the year,the wavepool read 100 degrees and my cars thermometer 103,here's a suggestion if you go to a waterpark on a day like this, bring sandals,I ended up having to buy some as the ground became like lava by noon,you literally could not walk on it.The greatest thing in the park is the Roa's Rapids (fast) lazy river,more parks should have this.I also agree that the entrance to Tassies Twisters through the slow lazy river is an idea that sounded good but it's really confusing for people,there's an entrance for just the lazy river on the left with the blue tubes and the other one one for Tassies where you get the yellow tubes.The way it's set up they need more signs or attendants to guide the people.Overall it's become my new favorite waterpark in Orlando.

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Awesome TR as always. Though, I do question what is funny about the lifeguard eye contact sign? It does read a bit like if they did look you in the eyes something bad would happen to you by them... but.... maybe my years of working in aquatics has me wishing *my* park could have something similar. I swear, in any sort of situation, it is always brought up how "rude" the guard was by not making eye contact whilst speaking with the guest. Trying to explain to this person in an overly nice, polite manner that the guard's main focus is that water and they cannot look away from it for anything and everything can happen in it if they're not attentive... a couple of seconds is a life or death situation.

 

I'm a huge waterpark fan and Aquatica is right up there among my favorites.As far as people saying it's not lush I think that's true if you're comparing it to a Typhoon Lagoon which has so many trees it would be difficult to get sunburned on the sunniest days.Aquatica is more about palm trees,still very nice but it's just not Typhoon Lagoon.I went to Aquatica this year on what was probably one of the hottest days of the year,the wavepool read 100 degrees and my cars thermometer 103,here's a suggestion if you go to a waterpark on a day like this, bring sandals,I ended up having to buy some as the ground became like lava by noon,you literally could not walk on it.The greatest thing in the park is the Roa's Rapids (fast) lazy river,more parks should have this.I also agree that the entrance to Tassies Twisters through the slow lazy river is an idea that sounded good but it's really confusing for people,there's an entrance for just the lazy river on the left with the blue tubes and the other one one for Tassies where you get the yellow tubes.The way it's set up they need more signs or attendants to guide the people.Overall it's become my new favorite waterpark in Orlando.

 

Completely agree. I've been there a few times now and the means to acquire a tube has changed a bit. First time, any tube in the river was good for the slide which worked okay, but they never seemed to have enough tubes for the river and for the slides. Newest way is to have specially colored rafts (ie. Yellow) for just the slide... The last time I was there it wasn't dead, but it wasn't crazy busy and people weren't passing them off when they got to the line for the slide. They floated around with little or no concern from the lifeguards who were posted there to ensure it worked smoothly. It is also a bit of kick int he pants to wait for a tube for the slide, wait for the slide, then hit the river and then be forced out of the tube you have because you now have to wait for another tube, in a different line.... all to relax.

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Great PTR guys! I loved aquatica! They had a great special for lockers that for $15 + $5 deposit you got a large locker, 2 souvenir sport bottles, with a freezeable core, and 2 towels! The bottle got the 99 cent refills 89 if you are a platnium pass holder! One of the best deals I've seen at a park! The only complaint I had was the Dolphin Slide hurt my back, Felt like the seams werent smoothed out enough! Other then that, The park is very well done!

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Just to chime in, I'm not a huge waterpark fan, but I've had some great times in a few, and this one does look pretty sweet; will have to find some time for waterparks the next visit to Wisc- I mean, Orlando. Also love the book rack of lazy beach reads and such. That really is brilliant.

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Great report! I went to Aquatica two years ago. It was fun, but I got sunburned!

 

So I see there have been a lot of Busch parks in the past few installments. Could this be because of Smisty's current employer?

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So I see there have been a lot of Busch parks in the past few installments. Could this be because of Smisty's current employer?

 

No, not too much. When we first started the thread, the only annual passes we had were for Walt Disney World, so there was a lot of that at the beginning. But we now have annual passes for pretty much everything. And we've both worked for Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld at one time or another, so we're pretty well covered in terms of biases.

 

I will say that we chose Howl-O-Scream over Horror Nights and Spooktacular over Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party based at least partially on cost, but keep in mind that Mickey's is an upcharge and Spook isn't.

 

Sometimes random just *seems* like a pattern.

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I've not seen too many pictures of the inside of Aquatica, now that I've seen more it really makes me want to visit sometime. Perhaps one of these days when I'm not paying student loans...

 

Gorgeous pictures, and a highly amusing TR!

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  • 2 weeks later...

During October and November, Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood, Florida, is home to a corn maze. Knowing almost nothing about it (other than price, hours, and location) we set off....

 

Scott's Maze Adventures

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Fairly professional looking.

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Um...slightly less professional.

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Oh my freaking god, it's "Deliverance."

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Overwhelming options. We went basic. Two for the corn maze, please.

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After buying wristbands, you are directed (without explanation) to the "video line."

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Small mazes, and other confusing distractions, can be found along this "video line."

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Ah...! We have to watch a video explaining the rules before we go in.

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Puzzles and such, to be deciphered within the maze.

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Despite having almost no idea of what to expect going in, I find myself surprised by just how big, busy, and "country" the whole thing is. (The stairway on top leads to a slide, by the way.)

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Lots of playground-type stuff. And a maze just for Misty!

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Hay!

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A hay...spider...?

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A corn walk-around character. I could go home happy right now, honestly.

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They even have food! I'm not eating any of it, but still....

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The wind tunnel and, um, "restrooms."

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Look, once we get to the maze itself, it's just going to be a bunch of photos of corn, so enjoy this craziness while you can.

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If you went to outer space, and looked down on this corn maze, I'd suggest that you reevaluate your priorities a bit.

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The entrance and maze rules.

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Did you ever see that movie, "Children of the Corn"? I didn't.

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Hmmm....

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Oh, the puzzles!

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Smisty does a rubbing.

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Not a good sign.

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Hey, a bridge! How do we get up there??

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Okay, we're lost.

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Yay, we found the bridge entrance! We're saved!

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The view from the bridge.

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"So, which way are you telling folks how to get out of here?" - "You're telling them how to get out?"

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Back in we go.

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Yay! We finished all the puzzles!

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And this maze is conquered.

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CORN see us! Get it?

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You can buy corn here.

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Or even... *become* corn!

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Yeah, so that was a thing.

 

Maybe even a fun thing.

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