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Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

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We went to Clearwater with the intent of visiting the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Gondolier Pizza (a restaurant we had liked a lot up in Sevierville). Driving in, we encountered heavy traffic, fought our way through it, discovered that the police were blocking lanes randomly with no explanation and "directing" traffic, often in opposition to perfectly operational traffic lights. At first we just thought there was an accident or something and that we'd get through it. But after many miles of this insanity, we discovered that there was an Iron Man triathlon-type race occurring on the streets. Of course, by this time, we were stuck in traffic that simply did not move, with no warning going in, and no way to get out of it. Gondolier turned out to be impossible to reach by car, street parking was $1.25 per hour (and we'd neglected to bring a roll of quarters), so walking was out. And the aquarium turned out to be closed the entire day because they were filming a movie there. So we left as quickly as we could (which was not very fast), only to hit construction once we were out of the triathlon zone. And by construction, I mean two perfectly good lanes of a four lane bridge were closed off with no actual construction happening. So, we then spent an hour...driving across a bridge.


I guess I could have researched more. But, then again, the city could have warned cars coming in of what was ahead of them. (Same with the bridge. No warning until you were on it. And nowhere else to go at that point, because it's a bridge.)


Whatever. My fault or theirs, I'm not going back any time soon. Clearwater can die in a fire.


I know, nothing like replying to a year old post. But, I have to second the Gondolier Pizza. I neglected to follow this warning and was in Clearwater in October,


Gondolier Pizza = awesome, AND there is a mini golf place about a quarter mile up the street. Captain Bligh's or something like that. I actually though of Erik and Smisty while playing it. Captain Bligh's definitely has seen better days. The game room could be right up there in the hunt for "Worst Game Room in the World" though having 75% of the machines including the only pinball machine out of order affected my opinion. Actually the course itself wasn't in too bad a shape, it was just the general feel of the property. Lots of gratuitous stairs and walking. Like the two or three flights of stairs AFTER the 18th hole just to get up to the office which is at the very top of the treehouse like thing to return the putter. Then to have to walk those two or three flights of stairs back down, that is after you exit through said sad sack game room.


Did the Clearwater Marine Aquairum. They were experiencing capacity problems due to the Dolphin Tale movie. The CMA is not all that in itself, but it does have Winter which is kind of cool, and lots of friendly good hearted volunteers working the place. They jacked the admission from $9 to $15. I actually liked the upcharge boat ride to see marine life better than the actual aquarium.


Problem with Clearwater is also that it is just so far from everything else.

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I am fascinated/haunted by the Titanic. I guess it's kind of a morbid fascination, but I love reading all about it. I've done extensive research (for no reason whatsoever) on it. Danny and I saw a traveling version of this in Birmingham years ago. I was enthralled.


I feel the same way. I saw a traveling exhibit as well when it was in Baltimore - complete with a giant iceberg!

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Nice! I went to the Titanic Experience in Pigeon Forge, looks like the exhibits share very similar qualities. I've always passed the one here in Orlando but could never bring my self to pay for it. Nice update, and it is a really good museum. My passenger died, along with all the family...we were 3rd class.

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Responses to TR>TR>actual exhibit. While the exhibit indeed looks like a waste of money ($20!?! Ha, you fools!!!), I was strangely entertained by your TR of said underwhelming exhibit. Or, perhaps I'm simply amused by your's and Bryan's self-inflicted suffering. Yeah, it's probably the second option...

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We've been wanting to do SeaWorld Orlando's Makahiki Luau for a couple of years. And now we have.


The price? $46 per adult. We don't have children. Good luck with that.


But, hey, there's free alcohol.


It's sort of a Polynesian blend, rather than being specifically Hawaiian.


I'm just happy to be leied.


Oh, come on--like you *wouldn't* have made a "leied" joke.


Salads are already on the table.


I always expect dinner shows to be more...cohesive. That is to say, I want there to be a connection between the food and the show. But there never is.


Like, the performers should kill a pig on stage and then bring it to your table. Something like that. Instead, it's always just, you eat standard food and then watch a show.


While I'm complaining...how about some--oh, I don't know--pineapple, maybe?


The show was cool, though. And, if anything, almost too long.


Again, it was definitely a mix of different cultures--which, from an educational perspective, was both good and bad.




And fire! All is forgiven!


They surrounded the stage with a mesh curtain before he started doing the really crazy stuff.


"Yeah, I'm awesome. I know it."


This is how far behind I am on updates. (Actually, it's even worse than that.)


So, would I recommend it? I'm not sure. So there you go. I'm no help at all.



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I did the Sea World luau Christmas edition many years ago. I thought it was pretty good. I remember one big guy performer used to call gusts by what city they were from, like "Cleveland," "Tampa," "New York," etc.


Now let's do the luau at the Royal Pacific Resort and compare notes!

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I've been and tasted the real thing before, and all I can say is thank god for you the show was still good. The dining however is a big part of the experience, unfortunately.


Something about this being indoors seems really off for a 'luau'.


Even the luau I went to at the Disney Polynesian resort many years ago was held outside.



At least they didn't serve you poi.


No poi!? Then it's definitely not a luau, just a Hawaiian-themed dinner show.


Poi is really not that bad, not after you realize taro is in a lot of the cuisine anyway, and you should try to eat poi with a salty meat and not on it's own. (The latter was a the advice of my golf cart chauffeur on my wedding night.)

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Where do they host this? Is it in a venue that's used for anything else?


The description on the website says that you don't need park admission to attend, so I'm guessing it's somewhere near the front of the park and accessible by one of the alternate entrances.

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I was actually really surprised to see the Mahiki Luau being held in the Seafire Inn. The offering has been around for many years, and I believe it predates the Waterfront expansion, meaning it wasn't always held at this venue. Now I'm curious to find out where exactly it was hosted before!


Thank you for giving me one more thing to research...

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Where do they host this? Is it in a venue that's used for anything else?


The description on the website says that you don't need park admission to attend, so I'm guessing it's somewhere near the front of the park and accessible by one of the alternate entrances.


As Adam mentioned, it's at Seafire Inn. That is the nearest restaurant to the front entrance, but not near enough. Guests who are only attending the luau still go through the front gate. As near as I can tell, those guests are simply released back into the park with everyone else when the show is over, so...yeah....


I can't swear to that, though. Maybe there's more to it that I haven't observed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just re-read this, because I got really behind in reding this. Great Oddventures!


I remember in HS our senior trip to Florida we went to the luau at sea world. I think it was OK but I just remember wanting to get a couple more rides on Kraken. Lol.

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