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Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures


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Great photos! I've always wanted to visit the Miami Seaquarium, but I'm not in Miami too often.

 

I believe the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, FL has a manatee show. No, the mantee does not leap out of the water, but it's basically it's the keeper talking about the features of the manatee.

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I also just realized that the skycoaster and "Blender" are now gone...or appear to be anyway.

 

Yeah, no Sky Coaster. "The Blender" was mentioned on a few maps and things, but there did not appear to be any actual attraction corresponding to that name.

 

 

I've got to ask if the Giant Billboard for Disney is still at the bottom of the Drop? (I found that really funny)

 

Nope, we didn't see anything like that.

 

 

First post on the site and I am loving this report. Scrolled through the Smokey Mounatin thread yesterday @ work, a slow day. Had to stop half way through as I was almost crying with laughter I must hasten to add.

 

Hey, thanks. I'm honored.

 

As usual, thanks to everyone for their kind words.

 

Next up: A visit to a local grocery store!

 

No, really.

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When you first mentioned you were heading down there to MSQ, I was amazed that it was still open. That place has been a lightning rod for activists for decades now. I'll reserve my own harsh opinions on the place, and stick with the positives regarding the report, except I will say that the place was much better when it had a monorail.

 

- The peacock picture/caption was gold medal material!

- The documentation of the sea lion show was also top-notch.

- The "shark channel" looks exactly like what they used to have at Ocean World in Fort Lauderdale, although if I recall correctly (and I'm REALLY digging deep into the memory bank here), I *think* Ocean World used to have trainers actually standing in the water while feeding the sharks. Using the Dave Thomas handbook, this obviously would have been better with volunteer guests....after the sharks had been starved for days/weeks.

 

Honestly, I think Miami Seaquarium's days might be numbered once "Lolita" finally dies.

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I'll reserve my own harsh opinions on the place

 

[Not particularly aimed at BeemerBoy, but in general....]

 

It should not be assumed that I have not given such matters any thought. I have my opinions, and they might most readily be described as "mixed." But I am also of the opinion that my opinion isn't everything. Not everything is black-and-white. And however they may have gotten there, most animals in captivity now need to stay in captivity in order to survive.

 

In any case, if people wish to let my photos help them decide whether or not they want to visit any of the places featured in this thread, I would consider that a compliment.

 

I have visited places and come away having no desire to ever return. That was not the case with the Miami Seaquarium. We liked it. You may feel differently.

 

Also, you voted for the wrong people, and your religion is stupid. Thank you.

 

the place was much better when it had a monorail.

 

Wait, what? I had no idea that they'd once had a monorail!

 

Honestly, I think Miami Seaquarium's days might be numbered once "Lolita" finally dies.

 

That thought occurred to me, as well. But I'm not so sure. There's a lot more there than just Lolita. And it's amazing to me how many zoos survive without have any kind of "star attraction."

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Wait, what? I had no idea that they'd once had a monorail!

Yep, they sure did.....clicky!

 

That thought occurred to me, as well. But I'm not so sure. There's a lot more there than just Lolita. And it's amazing to me how many zoos survive without have any kind of "star attraction."

Actually, your report proved that they really have cleaned the place up a lot since I used to live down there. In fact, and this might sound odd to some, but considering that 99% of the controversy surrounds both the whale and dolphin show tanks, the place might prosper with the eventual removal of both, and a new "image" which highlights what would remain in the park.

 

I think some upgrades to certain habitats like the manatees and sea lions (a la Sea World Orlando), along with a stronger focus on conservation would help the place prosper for years to come. I also think the "local park" feel to it is a strong selling point....but then again, that's just my opinion.

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In 1993, inspired by the film Red Dawn, China invaded the United States. But the Chinese had learned a valuable lesson from the thrill-a-minute action/adventure extravaganza: You can’t beat Patrick Swayze with guns. Instead, the Chinese invasion would be a cultural one. Instead of soldiers, they sent artists, acrobats, and model-makers. And rather than landing in Washington, DC, this invasion struck the heart of America’s imagination, Central Florida’s theme park district.

 

The operation was dubbed "Splendid China," and the war for the hearts and minds of Central Floridians and Walt Disney World tourists dragged out for 10 long years.

 

At first, it was not clear what the Chinese were attempting to do. But then, in 1995, the film “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar” came out--and, well, you can’t fool America forever.

 

Disorganized pockets of resistance quickly formed, and by 2003, the Chinese were driven back to their godless lands, shamed and defeated.

 

Still, not everyone had rejected the mystical and ancient ways of their invaders. A few even embraced them, converting to Chinese customs and ways of thought. Traitors, right in the heart of the good old US of A. And some survive still, living in secret, protected by the very Americans who drove out the Chinese invasion fleet. Why?

 

Low, low prices. Every day.

 

Winn-Dixie #2379

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Now branded by Winn-Dixie as a "Marketplace," the store actually began its life as a Gooding's. But not everyone has the stomach for sheltering abominations.

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Though it may not look special from the outside, it becomes clear immediately upon entering that something is very, very wrong.

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A bridge over a reflection pool brings you to magazine racks filled with Chinese propaganda. Don't fall for it, Smisty!

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The bakery area, where the only recipe calls for evil.

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What kind of food can be found here? You know, normal stuff.

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The Chinese invaders did not shy away from co-opting our own cultural symbols for their own twisted purposes.

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Believe it or not, the figures above are actually animatronics that occasionally perform a little show.

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What America under communism would look like.

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Here, you'd never even know that the good guys had won.

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Ping pong balls might not seem like an obvious choice as an impulse item in the freezer section of your local grocer. At least, not to an American. But you know how the Chinese always dominate in ping pong (or as they call it, "table tennis") in the Olympics? Well, there you go.

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Obviously, I don't have to explain the significance of the snowman.

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The check out aisles. (The employee has been deliberately blurred for his own protection.)

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No place is safe.

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Must not sleep. Must warn others.

 

Do you feel warned? Awesome, I'm gonna go take a nap.

Edited by Electerik
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Ok, this is very odd. I've been to this location SEVERAL times but never really noticed all of these details!?!? I excuse myself though as I used to visit this store to stock up immediately after getting off a redeye flight. I assume this theming has been in the store since Splendid China? Or perhaps they purchased it all at the big Splendid China Foreclosure sale!?!?

 

Very interesting.

 

Full disclosure, I now show at the Publix a mile down the road instead!

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My friend has a townhouse just behind ex-Splendid China, and we went here over Thanksgiving... and yes, it's about as odd of a shopping experience as you've described. It took me until I got the receipt to realize it's actually a front for Winn-Dixie, and what's worse, it took me until just now to realize it's Chinese-themed because of its proximity to the former attraction.

 

/Scarier still is driving past Splendid China and seeing decaying palaces et al.

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^ The first year I went on the TPR Orlando trip we went there to go shopping, and get TPDave his first taste of Taco Bell. It was an odd experience.

 

 

So that's where the sea monster from World of Motion went!

 

(Note to Disney nerds: I know where it really resides, don't tell me)

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^ The first year I went on the TPR Orlando trip we went there to go shopping, and get TPDave his first taste of Taco Bell.

 

Funny you should mention that; that Taco Bell had the oddest hours I'd ever seen. Granted, it was Thanksgiving weekend, but I'm talking open for three hours, closed, then open for four with drive-thru open for six, all in the same day.

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^ Laugh while you can, monkey boy.

 

We talked to an employee who said that she'd been with the store since it opened, 16 years ago. That would put it around 1994 or 1995, just a couple of years after Splendid China opened, and long before it closed. She went on to say that all of the Gooding's stores back then were given individual themes, and that the one across from WDW's "back entrance" on Apopka-Vineland had a Disney theme.

 

So, of course, we headed over to check it out. Unfortunately, this "Disney theme" turned out to be a very subtle old-time Main Street sort of thing, and certainly no match for the other store's full-on China theming. Still, if we run across any more current or former Gooding's stores in the area, we'll make sure to check them out, just in case.

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I'm sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you shall be duly enshrined!

 

Well, I may have lost at 'Words With Friends' to Monkeyoverlord, but at least someone got my Buckaroo Banzai reference!

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Ok, this is very odd. I've been to this location SEVERAL times but never really noticed all of these details!?!? I excuse myself though as I used to visit this store to stock up immediately after getting off a redeye flight. I assume this theming has been in the store since Splendid China? Or perhaps they purchased it all at the big Splendid China Foreclosure sale!?!?

Funny thing is, every time we've been in this store I've noticed it, but I just kind of thought it was like Fry's Electronics, and they were all themed, and I also figured this one was themed because of the now-defunct Splendid China theme park that was right around the corner.

 

Agreed that every time we've been in here it was right after a red eye and I never paid that much attention to the theming details.

 

We only found it because our rental house was around the corner...how did you guys find this place???

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