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Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

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If you asked me to name the best themed ride, from start to finish, in Florida, I'd probably say, "Men In Black: Alien Attack." But, ironically enough, this ride is located--along with the fairly well themed Simpsons Ride--in one of the worst themed areas of any Florida park.


And, of course, Universal Orlando's on-ride camera policy is, 'No.' So enjoy this update of two well-done, entirely indoor attractions that we can't take photos of, in a an ugly-ass area of the park that we can take all the photos we want of.


Hey, we like a challenge.


World Expo, Universal Studios Florida


Welcome to World Expo! Just follow the concrete!


This 'quiet area' isn't too bad. I'm not 100% sure that it's actually part of World Expo, but it doesn't seem like it could be part of anything else either, so we'll go with it.


No comment.


When you have no theme, just name things after the area.


Our first stop of note is The International Food & Film Festival. (Don't let the 'Film Festival' part fool you. It's just a counter-service restaurant.)


Here you can choose from Italian food, American food, and Chinese food.


The food here is okay. There are movie posters on the walls, some in different languages. Um...that's about it, really.


Lot's of semi-permanent booths in this area.


Okay, on to the good stuff. This, of course, used to be the Back to the Future shop. Now it's themed to The Simpsons.


Best gift shop ever. Seriously. (What, you thought I had some sort of axe to grind? I calls 'em like I sees 'em.)


To say they make fun of themselves would be an understatement.


Spider-Pig, Spider-Pig, does whatever a Spider-Pig does. Can he swing, from a web? No he can't, he's a pig. Look out! He is a Spider-Pig!


You know...they really should have made a whole Simpsons-themed land.


They have my name!


They don't have Misty's name, but they do have donuts!


My name's not Dingus. He must be talking to you.


Access gate. Maybe they can build some more Simpsons stuff back there.


I think that chick is gonna hurl.


They did a good job converting BTTF to this. Lots of nice touches all around.


You think he parked her there on purpose?


All height signs should be photo ops.


This would be so much better than Potterland.


Yep, same "no fun to wait in" queue as BTTF.


The indoor queue is better.


Damn, I was really excited about the Yardwork Simulator, too.


The ride still has the same "It's not our problem" loading system as BTTF. They put eight people in a room and let them duke it out for two rows of four. Misty and I were in with two groups of three. The attendants ran away.


As for the ride itself, it's a simulator. It's not different. It shakes you around a lot while it pretends it's doing something cool.


Really, the only thing it's got going for it is The Simpsons. So if you don't care for them, there's really no reason to ride it.


Honestly, I think 'motion simulator' was almost the worst choice for a Simpsons ride. I want to go on Captain Dinosaur's Pirate Rip-Off!


Want a Coke?


Oh, 'cause we heard you wanted a Coke.


Are you *sure* you don't want a Coke?


Yes, there really are three drink stands in a row between Simpsons and MiB.


Hmmm...we must be going the wrong way or something, because we keep getting to the gift shops before the actual rides.


One thing Universal has pretty much always done, that the other major Florida chains don't, is to try to sell you time shares right in the midway--which is disgusting, obviously.


This is ride is seriously great. It's an area of contradictions.


They always have a single rider line.


Holy crap, yes! I want to do that! Hurry up, Universal!


Okay, so...your MiB experience begins by going in to see "The Universe and You." Which is (presumably) a cheesy film about whether or not aliens might exists.


"Sorry about all that phony theme park nonsense."


Authorized for MiB agent training.


Cool animatronic queue theming.


I hear the blauvistnig is excellent.


Approaching Immigration/Control.


This photo makes it seem really narrow, but the ledge on the left is actually queue.


The Weapons Room.


The loading area.


The view from the other side.


Beware, I have a laser gun.


This is actually a still from the first MiB movie. But see those cardboard target aliens in the background? Those are totally in the ride.


The unload area, which puts you back in "The Universe and You," since you had your memory erased at the end of the ride.


Exit theming is always welcome.


The on-ride photo area.


MiB has the best on-ride photo ever. It even shows everybody's score (you know, if you actually buy the thing). I think our friend Seth (bottom-left) won this round.


The ride was built so that you didn't have to exit into the gift shop if you didn't want to. But in the dark days before Harry Potter, when Universal was selling blood on the street corner, this "emergency" exit door went up and changed all that.


The gift shop is cool, too. (Though it's no Kwik-E-Mart.)


Smisty, that's not his knee.




So, to sum up: Men In Black is awesome, The Simpsons is okay, the area blows.


Thanks for reading this lame update!

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Okay, back to more important matters. The first ever Erik & Smisty Bag O' Rubbish That We Don't Want Anymore has been sent! And while I have no idea how long it will take to actually reach Mr. Overlord, considering how expensive it was to ship, I can only assume that all packages in Scotland are delivered by jet-powered llamas (and thus I imagine that it won't take all that long).


PS: I expect an unboxing report!

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Great photos! World Expo isn't the best part of the park, but it has one of the best rides in the park -- MIB!


There are a lot of drink stands in World Expo. I remember IOA used to have a bunch of drink stands. Many years ago, I remember that I counted about 5 drink stands in between the Hulk coaster and Cafe 4. Man, how thristy can you be?

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Orlando isn't all theme parks and miniature golf, of course. It also has crappy T-shirt shops.


So, in honor of "Black Friday," we present to you this very special shopping TR!


Bargain World


Located on International Drive, Bargain World forms sort of a duplex with "Sports Dominator."


The only sure-fire way to judge the age of an alien is by his clothing choices.


Misty has a shopping system: If it has Wall-E on it, she buys it.


Let's make the rounds. Candy...






...and, of course, artworks.


There are also lots and lots of questionable postcards. In fact, I started with about 20 that I wanted to post, but I've pared it down to two.


Yes, it's five Orlando attractions!


Yes, it's Bargain World--for all your discount vacation souvenir needs!


No reputations were harmed during the making of this update.

Edited by ernierocker
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I've been to that Bargain World! I love how kistchy/ghetto International Drive can be.


As for that "Orlando Attractions" postcard, take a closer look at the Mexico pavilion... the pyramid is photoshopped to look wider! And the Spaceship Earth pic shows the entrance plaza before the graveyard came around.

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Wow, you can shop for all of your Orlando souvenirs at Bargain World! Who wouldn’t want to bring home a Corona lamp or a happy fisherman sign? When you see that lamp on your table, you’ll get a rush of memories from your Orlando vacation!


When I saw the photos of Bargain World, one word came to mind: “ghetto.”

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I love this thread. I will be in Orlando in March on business and I have 4 days free. Haven't decided yet to do Disney or everything else! Leaning to everything else!


If you want to do "everything else" in Orlando, let the Oddventures be your guide!


I think it would be interesting to do the smaller Orlando attractions one day. I was thinking of going to the attractions brouchure stand in a hotel lobby. I would close my eyes and randomly grab 3 brochures. Whatever 3 brochures that I grabbed, I would visit those attractions. I may pick Disney or Universal, or I may choose Trainland and the Titanic Experience. Whatever I chose, I would go!

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  • 2 weeks later...


Not long ago, there was a man named Harry Osborn. He lived a happy life in a place called "Arkansas," until his dad went crazy and dropped some blond chick off a bridge. Vowing to restore honor to the family name, Harry put up a bunch of Christmas lights. But then the Supreme Court said, "Whaaa, you're using more electricity than the whole rest of the state! Whaaa!" But then Walt Disney World said, "Hey, we have a really boring area in one of our parks that you could put all your lights up in. Plus, you're dad works for us now anyway!"


The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, at Disney's Hollywood Studios


This is not actually Harry's work. But it is a Christmas tree, and it is just outside of DHS.


This is a really nice picture of concrete, at night.


Decorations on whatever the heck they call this park's Main Street.


Dancing...wait, what are those things??


The park's "star" attraction. Yuk, yuk, yuk.


"Hey, you're all ruining my shot!"


Okay, that's pretty cool.




Can you spot the hidden Chevy sign?


"Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling yoo-hoo...!"


Would you like some cotton candy...IN HELL???


If it's out there, it gets decorated.


Tron tire swing.


True story: According to Bob Geldof, people stand outside his house and sing "Do They Know It's Christmas" at him. This is known as "vigilante justice."


"It's a street corner telephone parlor! Oh, what kind of horrible suicide-free time is this?" [Anyone?]


That...seems wrong, somehow.


Dude, he decorated the stars in the sky!


Hey, you know who makes great light bulbs? GE.


Apparently, Disney wouldn't give Harry the rights to use Mickey Mouse, so he had to make this guy up.


Man, New York is infested with angels.


This makes me think of Back to the Future. Which reminds me: DeLoreans are cool.


By this point, I had been drinking heavily.


Instead of Jesus? Mickey Mouse.


"Dear Lord, please help Erik come up with better captions, we beseech thee."


"I'm a crazy toy soldier! Gimme some candy!"


Look! One sad little menorah, up where you can't really see it.


Well, that's really...something.


Merry Christmas and Happy Robonica from Erik & Smisty!

Edited by ernierocker
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