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Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures


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Thanks for the Africa photos. Kilimanjaro Safaris is an awesome attraction, and the whole Harambe town is very cool.

 

I have bad memories of Harambe... On our last trip (first time in AK,) my family was walking through Harambe to get to the Safari, and a little boy was running in front of his dad right behind us. By the face-painting booth (pictured,) he ran into a rope set up for a line and smacked onto the ground. It's hard to see a little kid get hurt and then try and go enjoy a safari ride. It goes to show ya', don't run in the parks!

 

And I don't know if I agree with the 60% well-themed idea. Disney's Animal Kingdom comes from the creators of Tokyo DisneySEA, and I'd say the Animal Kingdom could be just as amazing as DisneySEA if they had a foreign company willing to dump money all over it. You can't deny that Animal Kingdom is well-themed. The only place I can think of is Camp Minnie-Mickey; that isn't so great with theming, but that's because it was meant to be temporary. Dinoland U.S.A. is often a point that AK-haters like to bring up, specifically Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama, but this area has a deep storyline. It weaves through the Dino Institute, Restaurantosaurus, and the Dino-Rama store. People that think it isn't well-themed really just don't like the theming, I think.

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Dinoland U.S.A. is often a point that AK-haters like to bring up, specifically Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama, but this area has a deep storyline. It weaves through the Dino Institute, Restaurantosaurus, and the Dino-Rama store. People that think it isn't well-themed really just don't like the theming, I think.

 

The tacky tourist trap area at AK is PURPOSELY themed to be quite tacky! I read somewhere when they brought up the question why did Disney just build a coaster? The Imaggineer replied, It was really hard for us not to make it look good!

 

It's just a part of Route 66 themeing that does fit in to the USA part of Dinoland USA.

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Great TR! I like the hippos fighting. Did you happen to see the bats? Those things are crazy looking. Anyway, thanks for posting! Keep it coming!

 

Thanks! The bats are in Asia, though. (Which is why they were not featured in this update. See below.)

 

 

I hate to disagree with such an AMAZING post, however, I fail to see the 40% of Animal kingdom that is not themed extremely well, all I saw was that crappy area behind the Zambezi traders.

 

This update dealt only with the Africa section of the park, whereas my 60/40 split referred to the entirety of Animal Kingdom:

 

Africa's theming = great

Asia's theming = great

Discovery Island's theming = amazing

Camp Minnie-Mickey = weak

Rafiki's Planet Watch = pathetic

DinoLand, USA = 50/50

 

Yes, Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama does a great job of "transporting you" to a cheesy carnival erected in a parking lot. But...well, read the sentence again.

 

 

People that think it isn't well-themed really just don't like the theming, I think.

 

You make a interesting point. On the other hand, if the theming completely loses you (and it does me), can it really be considered "good"?

 

So, again, while sections of Animal Kingdom are undeniably beautiful--as a whole, it feels a bit slipshod to me. Tarzan/Nemo in DinoLand? Festival of the Lion King not in Africa?? Those are some pretty big theming breaches for such a new (Disney) park.

 

Nevertheless, I have to admit that I rather like Animal Kingdom--almost despite myself. While there isn't a ton of stuff to do, what is there is very well balanced: a big coaster, a small coaster, a dark ride, a jeep ride, a rapids ride, a 4-D attraction, a circular ride, two big shows, two animal-viewing walking trails, a couple of full-service restaurants, and some absolutely gorgeous vistas. (Now if we could just get our transportation ride back.... )

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The tacky tourist trap area at AK is PURPOSELY themed to be quite tacky! I read somewhere when they brought up the question why did Disney just build a coaster? The Imaggineer replied, It was really hard for us not to make it look good!

 

Exactly. And I think you're thinking of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, those little "Disney Dish with Jim Hill" boxes under some attractions? I think in one of them he said something like that.

 

Ooh, and Erik, you forgot to mention the Oasis. The Oasis is a fantastic example of great Imagineering and immersion, by Joe Rohde. The parking lot of DAK is purposefully meant to be hot and unforgiving, so when you enter the park through the cool, green and lush Oasis, you slow down and start preparing yourself for the kind of experience you're in for when you reach the actual park. Then, you come up the bridge and you have the reveal of the Tree of Life.

 

It's a lot more dramatic when people aren't all rushing straight up the hill.

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We love AK, in spite of it's flaws. I do agree that Rafiki's Planet Watch is completely pathetic and poorly executed.

 

I don't buy that the parking lot is intentionally "hot and unforgiving," though, as it is pretty much identical to every other parking lot in WDW.

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I haven't yet replied in the Florida thread so, kudos to you guys for keeping us all updated through your adventures. You capture the little things that most other people including me just gloss over or just plain don't see. I was at AK six months ago and i still found a bunch of new stuff in your update. Keep it going guys.

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Ooh, and Erik, you forgot to mention the Oasis. The Oasis is a fantastic example of great Imagineering and immersion, by Joe Rohde. The parking lot of DAK is purposefully meant to be hot and unforgiving, so when you enter the park through the cool, green and lush Oasis, you slow down and start preparing yourself for the kind of experience you're in for when you reach the actual park. Then, you come up the bridge and you have the reveal of the Tree of Life.

 

I didn't really forget. I just didn't mention Oasis because it's so different that's it's hard to compare it to the other areas, seeing as how it contains no attractions, shops, or eateries. I agree that it's very nice, though.

 

I'm afraid I'm going to have to go with Mo on your parking lot statement, though. Fan boy!

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I don't buy that the parking lot is intentionally "hot and unforgiving," though, as it is pretty much identical to every other parking lot in WDW.

 

No really, Disney was planning an air conditioned parking lot until one of the Imagineers mentioned that a hot and unforgiving parking lot would better fit the Animal Kingdom. Sorry I can't reveal my sources.

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Dinosaur World is located in Plant City, Florida, adjacent to Interstate 4. This means that you drive by it between Orlando and Tampa. Which sounds like an ideal location--except that you probably have a reason that you're driving to Tampa or Orlando, and you probably can't spare the time for Dinosaur World.

 

But we did.

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Such a momentous occasion deserves momentous idiocy.

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The red dudes coming out of the eggs are trash cans.

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A series of bridges connect the parking lot to the main entrance.

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Already, it is clear that we are in the presence of greatness.

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You enter and exit the attraction through the gift shop. The price is $12.95 per person, for adults.

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Check out this awesome attraction map, Xeroxed on actual paper.

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Dinosaur World consists largely of life-sized static figures of (duh) dinosaurs.

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Some of which are incredibly realistic.

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Yes, it's the mighty slugosaurus, which literally swam on top of the water! Amazing!

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Okay, now they're just messing with us.

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I would like to take a moment to point out that no one really knows what color dinosaurs actually were. Therefore, obviously, at least some of them could have been bright red and yellow.

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"I was black as your death, you fudging assclowns!"

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These Canadian dinosaurs were sad and stupid.

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"Should we eat her?" - "Dude, we're herbivores!" - "Really?" - "I dunno. Maybe."

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This area is known as "the museum."

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Now, normally, I don't take pictures of restrooms. Or, at least, I don't post them in these updates. But, come on, just look at those urinals!

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"After inserting a bill, wait until the machine no longer makes the grinding noise before you make your selection."

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"I want to get a vending machine with fun-sized candy bars, and the glass in front is a magnifying glass. You'll be mad, but it will be too late." -Mitch Hedberg

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Fossil Dig was not open while we were there. Dang it!

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Oh well. At least we got to play on the slides.

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And now, kids, it's time for "Touch and Tell!" (Just don't tell your parents!)

 

Put your hand in the hole, feel around for a while, and then describe what it is that you think you're touching!

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"Why, it's a tiny plastic dino! Now this next one requires us to go around behind the building...."

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Ladies and gentlemen, I must apologize for the previous two captions--which were, obviously, in very poor taste.

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Yes, it's the boneyard...!

 

Ah, forget it.

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Torosaurus: a seperate animal, or just some kind of weird Triceratops? Discuss.

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Yes, come to Dinosaur World, where you can sit on an uncomfortable bench and watch TV. That make sense, right?

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Next up, the Skeleton Garden. With music by Oingo Boingo! (Well, not really. But that would be awesome!)

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I thought this was a nice addition to the full figures, and made the attraction as a whole feel more complete.

 

Penis.

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"Too graphic"? Let's go!

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Duuuude....

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Even blue and red, these guys look pretty bad-ass.

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Wait...is that a herbivore attacking and eating a raptor? What the...? Cut!

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I have no idea what that means.

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Oh, okay. It means, "More violent dino attacks!"

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And now back to the big boring dinosaurs that don't rip each other in half.

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Let's read that first sentence together: "This is the largest of the dinosaurs which some people guess may have butted heads although scientists never found any evidence that they did." Okay then.

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This little guy is deadkennedysasaurus, though some people guess that he actually preferred Minor Threat and didn't really mind the suburbs but maybe not.

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Oh. Well, I guess that's it.

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And now, a crooked picture of the exit.

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Dinosaur World. I was not drunk while performing this update. And also we enjoyed it.

Edited by Electerik
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I have easily past this attraction over 100 times and never stopped. I gotta say, I'm still not convinced!

 

As for the dinosaur crazy colors, apparently there has been more research lately and they think that dinosaurs did have some more interesting colors and patterns than our generation was taught as children!

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I too have passed it many, many times and never thought about stopping. At least it looks like they have made an attempt to keep it looking decent and not like an old roadside attraction that's barely hanging on.

 

I thought they built a kids water play area a few years back? Did you guys see anything that looked like it?

 

Thanks for keeping me from spending $12.95! I owe you two beers at Epcot!

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They have a place exactly like this about an hour & a half north of Nashville. Between Beech Bend & Kentucky Kingdom. Me and tha kids went last spring. I thought it was a bit cheesy, but the kids had a blast. I looked it up on line and apparently there are 3 of them owned by the same company. There's also one in Texas. http://www.dinoworld.net/

 

I don't know about your visit that day, but when we went, there were tons of people there. If you have one that's close to you, It's a nice place to go with the fam for a little day trip if you have young kids that are into dinosaurs. (like mine are) It was very clean, well maintained, and everyone there was very nice and helpful. Oh! and you can bring in your pets if you have them on a leash. My kids were exhausted after running around that place for 3 hours. We had a good time.

 

Some of the science was a bit lacking. I had to correct a few of the placards that were posted as I didn't want my kids to be informed incorrectly. Aside from that, it's well worth the price. And you can usually find discount tickets at the closest gas station near it as well. I think we got like 20% off or something like that.

 

Guy "Oh! Did your dino's lack bung holes & genitalia? Ours did." Koepp

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^^^The Jeff Johnson exhibit can't exist yet, as he is still alive, and there are no bones to be dug up.

 

^^Oh Yeah! Between this and the creation museum, a fun filled day is sure to ensue.

 

^Yes, yes, and... ...only if your Jeff Johnson.

 

Guy "See how I bookended this post with Jeff Johnson. It's like Haiku, in posting form. And doesn't follow Haiku rules. But yet makes perfect sense. Uh... ...Jeff Johnson? "Koepp

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