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Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

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You covered Robb's favorite part of Animal Kingdom...Frozen Vault.

Oh, er, yeah...I meant to do that!



I may be in the minority here but I really love this park a lot.

Of the four Walt Disney World parks, Animal Kingdom is my favorite. And yet, it contains some really dreadful areas. But when it hits, it really hits.



Hard to believe that was all from only one area of Animal Kingdom,

Sadly, my first "finished" draft of this update had 160 photos. I had to cut a considerable amount to get it down to TPR's maximum of 99. It's probably stronger for it, but still.


Looking forward to a shorter one next time!

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Wow, Fantastic TR as always. It's so pretty, the Monkey island just looks fantastic, I love how it blends in with the rest of the environment, it looks like the least 'enclosed' animal enclosure I've maybe ever seen - great design. Animal Kingdom surely has to be up there for one of the prettiest parks in the world!

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I'm really not a fan of the crowds at Disney, but Animal Kingdom is a good park to just walk around. There are a lot of little touches and secret areas that not everyone finds because they are racing to the rides. I love spending the day at Animal Kingdom just eating and roaming the park for new photos. I forget they even have rides.

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I have to agree with you on Kali River Rapids. It feels like nothing, nothing, nothing, trees, trees cut down, smoke , drop, elephants, end. That is pretty much the whole ride. Every time I go on it people are confused at the tree part. They sort of miss a storytelling opportunity.


Great trip report, though.

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^ Yeah. It's just kind of a downer. "Hey, I'm on a ride and it's fun! Oh, those trees have all been cut down and it's barren and smoldery now. Whee...."


It's still pretty good...but weird.

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Erik and Smisty, while I view this thread often and always enjoy the updates, I've never posted to say Thank you! for sharing all your oddventures. The level of detail you go into while presenting your visits via photos is much appreciated. And, happy belated birthday!

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I'm really not a fan of the crowds at Disney, but Animal Kingdom is a good park to just walk around. There are a lot of little touches and secret areas that not everyone finds because they are racing to the rides. I love spending the day at Animal Kingdom just eating and roaming the park for new photos. I forget they even have rides.

This sums up my thoughts on the park, except for Dinosaur. I never forget they have Dinosaur.

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Great report; thanks so much! It kills me that I haven't been to this awesome park since forever. (Last time I was there, "Dinosaur" was still "Countdown To Extinction.") These are some of the best photos of "Expedition Everest" that I've seen and they fill me with toxic levels of want.

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I was really enjoying the report, untill you say:

"A cool bath if you're bird. Or Brazilian."


I mean, I enjoyed the whole report, but I didn't understand the joke and I must confess, I felt kinda offended.

You see, I am brazilian, but I don't bath in fontains, specially in a jungle environment.


I don't know if you've ever been to Brazil, but it's a lot different down here than that scenery on the picture.


Please don't take it bad, I had to say how I felt. And if you wanna check out how Brazil looks like, I'll be glad to show you around in Rio, where I live, and take you to visit our parks and ride our coasters. Seriously.


All the best,


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^ It's nothing to do with the jungle setting. In certain Florida theme park circles, fountains are sometimes referred to as "Brazilian baths," because...


Orlando theme parks get a lot of tour groups from Brazil. These groups often do a lot of waiting around in central locations (where there tend to be fountains), especially at the end of the day. And these large groups of bored/excited (mostly) teenagers frequently take their shoes/sandals off and put their feet in the water--a practice that is considered humorously unacceptable in "US culture."


Thus, "Brazilian baths."


That probably didn't help your opinion much, but there you go.

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^sorry I missunderstood it. That makes a lot more sense now. It's not a prejudment, which makes me glad.

I know how brazilian teenagers behave in parks. I heard once they threw a Mickey in EPCOT's lake.

By the way, I'm sorry about this attitude, not all of us are like that. Hopefully we'll learn how to behave someday..smile


Still, my invitation is sincere. Whenever you come to Brazil, contact me, and I'll be very happy to show you around.


If you wanna see pics of Brazilian parks, check my club's website: http://www.cbmr.com.br


Once again, sorry for the missunderstanding.




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^Trust me Lucaz, Erik did not mean his comments to cause you disrespect or stereotype your entire country.


It's just the truth that there is a lot of bad behavior from the teenage groups that come over to Orlando. I'm sure the same could be said with groups of American teens traveling somewhere with minimal adult supervision.

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Hi Elissa,


don't worry, I just wasn't familiar with the term, but I understand it now. I'm cool with it.


Still waiting TPR to come down here. Hopefully I'll make it to US by may or june this year and I'll contact TPR to see if anyone would go with me to Cedar Point. Unfortunately I won't be able to go in august like Felix or Guilherme (wich makes me very jealous).


Thanks for the concern.




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A couple of days ago, we took a trip down to Key West. Neither of us had ever been before, but it looked like there was a fair amount of "Erik & Smisty stuff" to do there, and I had always heard good things. Even the drive down, it was said, was gorgeous; "something everyone has to experience at least once in their lifetime."


Well, in our opinion, the 'natural beauty' aspect of the keys is a bit overrated. Still, we had a lot of fun. And you'll be seeing some detailed updates from some of the attractions in this part of the world from us soon. But this is not that. This is just an impressionistic overview of some of the cool, wacky stuff we saw driving and walking around The Florida Keys.


A lot of the drive down looks like this. There's lots of water on the other side of those trees, though. Which I bet is really cool looking.


The more built-up areas do have lots of interesting business signs and giant statues to entice people, though. So that's pretty cool.


The famous 7-mile bridge. And the old 7-mile bridge. Which appears to have been one-lane. So I guess I can see why they built a new one.


Man, fishing is really complicated.


The water is nice. But it's all pretty much the same.


There were some more things we might have checked out on the way down, but we went so early that most of them weren't open yet. (Early was definitely the way to go, though. Once the crowds did catch up with us, things began to look quite miserable. Luckily, we were pretty much done by then.)


I was really hoping there would be more cool Florida Key signage than there was. In fact, this is pretty much it. And this was erected by the rotary club.


So, basically, Key West is a beach town without any beach. (Note: I'm sure there is some beach somewhere. But it sure is well hidden.)


The Key West Art & History Museum. With limited time, this sounded a bit too dry for us. Nice building, though.


The toy store in this building was seriously cool. Like, so cool it's going to get its own update.


Sweets of Paradise's chocolate-covered key lime pie on a stick. This was Misty's only bite. Then she handed it to me. (And I'm sure she's going to love me for this picture.)


Okay, seriously, who dyes their dog blue?


The most boring Ripley's building I've ever seen.


I kind of regret not doing the Shipwreck Museum; Looks like it offers some pretty good views.


Conch is almost as big of a deal here as key lime pie.


Most (though not all) of the really touristy stuff is on the Northwest corner of the island.


Sir, you can't park your boat here.


This was both the best and worst aquarium we've ever been to. But you'll just have to wait for its update for an explanation of that.


I have no interest in shells, but I still went in.


Sponge Man!


I'm sure some different-kind-of-nerd-than-me can identify which cruise ship this is. All I can tell you is that it has Mickey on the side of the smokestack.


Now this is more like what I pictured!


Um...how do we get over there?


What Key West is really all about, though, is drinking and fishing.


This is (or was) apparently a turtle museum. We totally would have gone had it been open.


I think they made up all those places.


The problem with beach towns, of course, is that they're mostly for, and by, bums.


It's sort of difficult to get excited about mermaids if you're an ass man.


(And, yes, my first draft of this caption was simply: "Boobies!")


Key West says, "FUDGE YOU, HAWAII!"


The problem with beach towns....


Okay, this place is actually pretty awesome if you like key lime pie. Plus, they have ice cream.


Wait, key lime pie OUTLET?? Like, for all the slightly irregular pies?


But where Key West wins me back over is with its love of ice cream. There are ice cream shops all over the place, and most of them make their own stuff. This is Mattheessen's.


And this is Polar Bear, where I'm having (natch) key lime pie ice cream. (It was good, too, though Polar Bear was easily the most expensive of the five or six ice cream places we visited.)


And, yes, more ice cream!


Hey, anybody want some ice cream? (This one was my favorite, Mattheessen's was Smisty's.)


This was closed by the time we made it there. Not sure we would have done it anyway. We would probably need three or four days to do all the touristy stuff there is in Key West. Problem is, I'm not sure we liked Key West enough to go back that much.


The Southernmost Point Marker. Note the line to take your photo in front of it.


I said, "Note the line."


I recommend you get to Key West early, if you go--and do this first, if it interests you. As for us...


We are outta here.


Thanks for reading our very uncomprehensive Florida Keys overview.


This is the part where you tell us how awesome all the stuff we didn't do actually is, and make us want to go back!

Edited by ernierocker
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^ Generally, 6 1/2 to 7 hours is a safe bet.


What Key West is really all about, though, is drinking and fishing.

My friend, truer words have never been spoken. And that's exactly why I LOVE and miss Key West SOOOOOO much.


Breakfast at Blue Moon should not be missed on your next visit!


How do you get to that small island you mentioned? Well, you pay an exorbitant amount of cash, jump on a small boat, and end up at Sunset Key. Something I hope to do next October.



Loved this report!


Edited by BeemerBoy
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"Other kind of nerd" checking in here...most likely the Disney Magic.


My favorite memory of Key West is eating lunch at some restaurant that gave kids (I was a kid at the time) squirt guns to shoot the seagulls to keep them away. It was amazing. I'm sure PETA has stopped this practice by now, but it was pretty much the best meal ever.

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We love Key West and honestly wished we could get down there more often. Walking everywhere around the Duval St. area is lots of fun, even if you don't spend a dime on the tacky tourist stuff. My fav restaurant is Blue Heaven...nice outside dining at the site of a former boxing ring (used by Ernest Hemingway), a former bordello, and cockfighting arena (there is actually a rooster graveyard near the outside bar)

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I was there the same time as you! We lucked out with weather - it was fantastic.


As others have talked about, the island is Sunset Key. We took the boat out there for dinner last week. The view as incredible. The food could have been a lot better (especially for the price). There are a lot of great restaurants both on and off Duval. Michael's, Sarabeth, Blackfin, Martin's, etc.


The Disney Magic was in KW that day. I geeked out and watched it dock (was on her in early Feb).


Regarding beaches, there are a few, but KW isn't really known for them. It is a great town, though. Definitely worth a visit! Thanks for the pics - I want to go back!


-- Dave

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