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Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports Land

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TR 1: Busch Gardens Tampa 2016 (below)

TR 2: I Drive Shenanigans, Fun Spot and a Terrible Tourist Trap

TR 3: Magic Kingdom (Disney Fanboys, Please Avoid)

TR 4: SHAMU!!!!!!!!

TR 5: The Desolate Sh*thole known as "La Ronde"

TR 6: LA Ronde Part 2... Where The Hell Did the Staff Go?!?!?!?!

TR 7: We finally escaped La Ronde!

TR 8: Poutine, Beer, Bobsleds, Arrows, Jesus and Comets!

TR 9: Jersey-Shore-Credit-Whore-Tour-2016-Ft.-Boldikus,-Alcohol-and-The-World's-Greatest-Log-Flume-Watch-The-F**King-Tram-Car-Please-You-Drunk-A**hole Trip Report ® Part 1 (Featuring Six Flags Great Adventure)

TR 10: Jersey-Shore-Credit-Whore-Tour-2016-Ft.-Boldikus,-Alcohol-and-The-World's-Greatest-Log-Flume-Watch-The-F**King-Tram-Car-Please-You-Drunk-A**hole Trip Report ® Part 2 (ZOOMIN AND FLOOMIN)

TR 11: Jersey-Shore-Credit-Whore-Tour-2016-Ft.-Boldikus,-Alcohol-and-The-World's-Greatest-Log-Flume-Watch-The-F**King-Tram-Car-Please-You-Drunk-A**hole Trip Report ® Part 3 (Featuring Great White!)

TR 12: Wildwood and Seaside (Part 4) - If she doesn't get the Jersey Shore references in this report, SHE'S TOO YOUNG FOR YOU BRO


2016 Reports I was too lazy to write:

Kings Dominion / Busch Gardens and the Center of the Universe from last October - By Boldikus

Hersheypark with Boldikus and the gang from last October - By Boldikus

Holiday in the Park with Boldikus from last December - By Boldikus



TR 13: Dollywood Opening Day (different thread)

TR 14: Mystical Midwest Road Trip 2017 Part 1: Kings Island

TR 15: Mystical Midwest Road Trip 2017 Part 2: Kentucky's Dick Rock Kingdom!

TR 16: Mystical Midwest Road Trip 2017 Part 3: Holiday World and Some Bill Paxton Level Sh*t

TR 17: Mystical Midwest Road Trip 2017 Part 4: Coney Island! (No, the clean one)

TR 18: Mystical Midwest Road Trip 2017 Part 5: Cedar Point Day 1

TR 19: Mystical Midwest Road Trip 2017 Part 6: Cedar Point Day 2

TR 20: Coasterbill's Klassy Florida Adventure 2017 - Universal Orlando Part 1 and the World's sh*ttiest airline!

TR 21: Coasterbill's Klassy Florida Adventure 2017 - Universal Orlando Part 2!

TR 22: Coasterbill's Klassy Florida Adventure 2017 - Sea World and Fun Spot

TR 23: Coasterbill's Klassy Florida Adventure 2017 - Busch Gardens Tampa!

TR 24: Six Flags Great Adventure and the Hotel Directly Responsible for Snooki

TR 25: Boozin' in Wildwood 2017

TR 26: Hydrus, Crazy Mice, An Awful Pinfari and Margaritaville!

TR 27: Adventureland (No... not that one... or that one... keep going... yeah, that's the one)

TR 28: A Michigan Adventure to Michigan's Adventure

TR 29: Six Flags Great America Part One!

TR 30: Six Flags Great America Part Two!

TR 31: Chicago and Some Nasy A** Pizza Soup!

TR 32: Cedar Point and Some F*cking Alpacas (no literally)

TR 33: Whales, Dolphins, Sea Lions and over 400 Horses!

TR 34: Busch Gardens Tampa and Howl O Scream!

TR 35: Four parks in one day! (And our first ride on Mine Blower!)

TR 36: Phuckin Phoenix Phall Phunfest 2017 Day One

TR 37: Phuckin Phoenix Phall Phunfest 2017 Day Two

TR 38: Invad(R?)ing Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Williamsburg!

TR 41: Kings Dominion and a Shenandoah Soaking!

TR 42: Dorney Park's Haunt: Just in time for f*cking Christmas! lol

TR 43: Bill and Brit fly another sh*tty a** plane to Vegas (Route 66, Grand Canyon)

TR 44: Bill and Brit fly another sh*tty a** plane to Vegas (Glen Canyon, Hoover Dam)

TR 45: Las Vegas Part 1: Is this REALLY the worst coaster in America?

TR 47: A Chaotic Adventuredome Adventure!

TR 39: which is totally out of order: Holiday in the Park Opening Weekend 2017 at Six Flags Great Adventure! (different thread).

TR 40: which is totally out of order: Holiday in the Park 2017 at Six Flags America! (different thread)

TR 46: A frigid closing day of Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure (different thread)

TR 47: Viva Loss Vegas (Get it? Because we lost).

TR 48: Holiday in the Park at Six Flags New England


2017 Reports I was too lazy to write:

Great Adventure Opening Day 2017 - By Boldikus

Six Flags New England and Lake Compounce - By Boldikus

Wildwood Weekend - By ytterbiumanalyst. His report is probably better than mine since he was sober and remembers sh*t. lol

Six Flags Great Adventure (Fright Fest) - By Boldikus

Six Flags Great Adventure (Holiday in the Park) - By Boldikus



TR 49: Fun Spot and Epcot (hey, that rhymes!)

TR 50: Magical Animal Kingdoms!

TR 51: Animal Kingdom Day Two

TR 52: Magic Kingdom and Flight of Passage

TR 53: SeaWorld Orlando Wild Arctic Tour!

TR 54: Busch Gardens Tampa!

TR 55: Northern California Part 1: California's Great America

TR 56: Northern California Part 2: Crackhead SeaWorld!

TR 57: Northern California Part 3: Trees, Sea Lions and Coasters. Snapple Fact: One of these three things is a lie...

TR 58: Our first ever ride on Steel Vengeance!

TR 59: We're sh*tty enthusiasts and I don't care

TR 60: One more Steel Vengeance Ride, then we got lost on the way home

TR 61: Mini-Minneapolis Trip Part 1 (Valleyfair)

TR 62: Mini-Minneapolis Trip Part 2 (Riding the best ride in Minnesota!)

TR 63: Como Como Como Como Como chameleon (well... okay, there's no chameleon but there's a polar bear).

TR 64 (which is totally out of order): A Holiday in the Park miracle at SFNE: Mind Eraser is actually good! (Different Thread)

TR 65 (which is totally out of order): A Sooper Time at Hershey's Christmas Candylane!

TR 66: Minnesota Zoo and pictures of titis

TR 67:Six Flags over Texas Part 1

TR 68: Six Flags over Texas Part 2 and Globe Life Park

TR 69: Kemah Boardwalk, Galveston Pleasure Pier and the Sh*ttiest Bar in America

TR 70: Busch Gardens San Antonio Part 1

TR 71: Busch Gardens San Antonio Part 2


2018 Reports I was too lazy to write

Kings Dominion Opening Day (with Twisted Timbers) - By Boldikus

Busch Gardens Williamsburg - By Boldikus

Craft Beer and Food Trucks at Six Flags Great Adventure - By Boldikus



TR 72: Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest 2019 (Different Thread)

TR 73: Copperhead Strike! (Different Thread)

TR 74: Universal (Different Thread)



TR 75: Is this the end times? The American Dream Mall is Open! (Different Thread)




TR 1: Busch Gardens Tampa 2016


Hey everyone! Last weekend we were down in Florida for our cousin's wedding and because I have nothing better to do today I figured I'd do something I almost never do and grace everyone with my piss poor attempt at a photo trip report. I might be a little light on photos as I never intended to make this trip report but it's a slow day at the office so why not?


The wedding was on Saturday in Tampa so we decided to take Friday and Monday off from work and stay in Orlando (jumping around to different hotels seems like way more trouble than it's worth). Normal people would have spent their three theme park days at Universal and Disney but given my unhealthy love affair with a certain roaring B&M with a zero g roll from hell in Tampa and my girlfriend's love affair with a certain fun-loving group of orca whales in Orlando we did things a little differently. We also just enjoy supporting SeaWorld because it annoys our idiot Blackfish-watching friends.


Day one was spent at Busch Gardens Tampa, a park we usually visit at least once a year and absolutely love. At the airport on Thursday night we had heard that SheiKra had suffered a "terrifying" breakdown where it stopped on top of the lift and based on the way it was being reported killed approximately 3,000 people so naturally we were bombarded with warnings from our concerned loved ones trying to save us from almost certain death by visiting Busch Gardens, all of which we ignored because we're awesome and brave like that.


Line's were pretty short all day but we opted for Quick Queue unlimited due to the hot weather so we could ride Stanley Falls whenever we damn well pleased and so we could skip the line on Cheetah Hunt (both rides had about a 30 minute+ wait all day). The park opened at 10:00 but all that really meant was that Cheetah Hunt was open and we were welcome to line up for all the other closed rides that weren't going to open for at least 30 minutes. Once things started to open up we sort of bounced around so rather than trying to go in chronological order I'll just give my thoughts on the major rides and then go through a few other noteworthy things.



This was our first ride of the day. We rode it in the back row and then got to re-ride in the front since nobody was in the station yet. Is there anything not to love about Scorpion? It's smooth, the loop is amazing and it's a fun-filled ride that seems to appeal to everyone. Praise be to Anton. (3x)


Sheikra and Falcon's Fury:

Neither of these rides moved once the entire day. Maintenance was actively working on Sheikra but Falcon's Fury was a ghost town. While I love both rides, it's no big loss. I always assume Falcon's Fury will be closed so when it's actually open it's a pleasant surprise and given the events of the previous day I expected that we might miss out on Sheikra.



This ride honestly just pisses me off. With Fury being the lone exception, how is it that while other companies keep getting better and better with time B&M has taken a huge step backwards. Kumba is complete perfection. Every element on this ride is taken at such a ludicrous speed that it puts all other B&M's to shame. This ride probably features my favorite dive loop on any coaster, the best cobra roll on any coaster, some of the best corkscrews on any coaster and a zero-g-roll that's so good it should be illegal in all 50 states. Riding this thing in the back row on the far side of the train is complete bliss. I don't smoke but I usually feel like I need a cigarette after riding it. (5x)


Cheetah Hunt

After our first few rides on Kumba we rode the flume and then von rolled our way to the front of the park to ride Cheetah Hunt. God I love this thing... it's not quite up to the level of Montu and Kumba but it's a tremendous coaster. The low to the ground portion of the ride over the water never gets old and it features a few really nice pops of airtime. (3x)


Stanley Falls

This ride had a pretty healthy line all day and was the main reason we bought Quick Queue. It's just what the doctor ordered on a hot day. A nice splash without soaking you, some nice sections where it meanders around, a few fun drops and a few fast turns also. Thumbs up from me! (4x)


Congo Rapids

By this point you've all heard about my love affair with log flumes and my disdain for every other water ride in existence not named Journey to Atlantis or Escape from Pompeii but since it was pushing 100 degrees and we could skip the hour long line we thought it would be a good idea to try out Congo rapids. We thought wrong. As usual everything below the waist including socks and shoes (which must be worn) got soaked and the other half of you (the part you want to get wet which is why log flumes are great) stayed dry. Thanks for that Congo Rapids. That was my semi-annual ride on a water ride that's not a log flume to remind myself why I stick to log flumes. Thanks to quick queue we did skip a 60 minute line though. (1x)



I wonder if people who live near this park fully appreciate how rare it is to have a B&M duo like this (well, really trio because Sheikra is very good in it's own right). Normally we ride inverts in the front but this is absolutely a back seat ride. The raw power of this ride is flat out ridiculous. It pulls insane G forces throughout the entire ride all while being perfectly smooth. Snapping into that pretzel in the back row might be the most forceful element on any coaster I've ever ridden. How did we go from this to Banshee? I swear as you're snapping through that element if you listen closely you can almost hear the ride yelling "Hey Banshee, f**k out of here with that s**t". (3x)


In addition to those rides we also spent a lot of time looking at the animal exhibits and took a ride on the train and multiple rides on the Sky Ride (I know you're all shocked... if "Von Rolling" was an olympic sport I'd win a gold medal. Sky Rides are life, sky rides are love).


A few other things of note;


- I love Cheetah Run. Cheetahs are seriously some of the most beautiful animals on earth and seeing them run is flat out stunning. If you go to Busch Gardens Tampa and don't stop to watch the Cheetah presentation then you're doing something wrong.


- On the subject of shows... Iceploration... kill it with fire. What a waste of time. And who the hell thought it would be a good idea to sit in an air conditioned theater watching a terrible show after suffering through Congo Rapids? Oh... right. My bad. By the way we skipped "Opening Night Critters" because we saw it last time but that's a great show and I highly recommend it. I don't recommend Iceploration though. What a pile of crap.


- Guest service is top notch at this place. Every employee we came in contact with was outstanding. They give Disney a run for their money, especially the animal staff.


As always we had a great day at BGT. They easily have one of the best coaster collections in the country and when paired with rides like Falcon's Fury, the water rides, the great flume, the awesome animal exhibits and the great food this place is really a gem.


And now a few pictures...


This ride is complete greatness. The pacing, the excellent location. Everything about it is wonderful. Oh and Cheetah Hunt is cool too.


This is why we're here. B&M should close down the factory for a few days and go on a field trip to ride Kumba so they can remember how not to suck.


o̶n̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶s̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶s̶ The only good thing about Congo Rapids is that it offers some great views of Kumba


An image of happier times... before we rode Congo Rapids. Look how optimistic and stupid we were back then.


Noteworthy: We have Cheetahs on our heads.


The train from Nairobi to Congo is awesome. Not only does it offer great views of Cobra's Curse but you get really close to the animals.


And speaking of Cobra's curse. This thing looks great. Here's a view of it from the train. We got to see it testing a few times and can't wait to come back and ride it.


This park is gorgeous. Williamsburg gets all of the attention but this place really goes toe to toe with them.


Gorilla's can't talk. But if they could I imagine given his expression that he would inform me that if I posted another Sky Ride picture he would eat my face off.


This ride really looks awesome. I think I may be more excited for this than I am for Mako.


Thankfully that Gorilla was behind glass so he can f**k off.


And I leave you with one last picture of Cheetahs... because Cheetahs. Thanks for a great day Busch Gardens!!!


More to come!


On the way to Florida I was informed that watching "Why Planes Crash" on the plane is frowned upon.

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Excellent TR! Love the captions under the pictures especially! BGT is awesome! I definitely wouldn't make a trip down to Florida, without making my way over there!


And while I actually love a lot of what B&M has done since Kumba, there is no doubt that it is one of their crowning achievements!

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Thanks guys. When I took these pictures I had no intention of doing a trip report so I wish I had a few more, most of them were just me screwing around or taking pictures for Facebook but it turns out I took some halfway decent ones. lol


Plenty more to come from Fun Spot, Magic Kingdom and Sea World

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Yay, TR from Coasterbill! I fully support this and encourage more behavior of this sort. I don't get down to FL often (once every decade it seems) but the next time I go I'm definitely telling Disney to talk to the hand and going over the Sea World and BGT instead. How long did it take you to get from Orlando to BGT?

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Alright, so time for part 2 from Friday night.


After Busch Gardens closed for the day we went back to Orlando for some shenanigans on I Drive.


I know some people hate them, but we love tourist traps. Love, love, love them. We have a tradition whenever we're in an insufferable tourist trap to go out of our way to find the absolute sh*ttiest place on the entire strip and go there after a few drinks. This led us to "Dracula's House and Currency Exchange (no refunds)" in Niagara Falls and we were determined to top that experience Friday night.


I think we succeeded.


I've never seen a miniature golf course that was entirely hidden from the road before. They had a flashing neon sign out front and huge walls everywhere, it looked like a strip club only there was some guy out front who looked like he'd just done all the drugs in Florida holding an alligator for absolutely no reason. That's right, I'm talking about Gator golf...



Little did we know the crappiness that would ensue


Gator golf advertises "over 200 gators" which is entirely B.S. The concept is actually pretty cool, the combination of miniature golf and tons and tons of alligators but in reality there were only a dozen or so gators and a golf course that looked like it may have been cool once but was now in horrible shape. Luckily for these guys I doubt anyone ever went there because if anyone did they would have PETA on them faster than you could say "holy sh*t what a ripoff". Most of the "theming" was rusted and discrepant, some gator pools were abandoned and are most likely the origin of west nile virus and some holes didn't work at all.


No seriously...



Somebody tell me how this is supposed to work.


Sure we had been drinking, but when we came up to this hole we still had a pretty good concept of what gravity was and why this hole never got the memo. If you hit the ball under the green that's elevated for no reason at all it would just disappear forever because there were no ramps or openings on the other side. You don't start from the top because that's stupid (plus then what's the point of the front section) and... and... god get us out of here.


Luckily when we turned around we saw a bunch of wood lying around so I guess they were working on correcting the problem. Hopefully somebody figured out what a ramp was.



lol wtf???


After we saw that we quickly rushed through the last few holes, happy to get out of there as fast as possible and proud of ourselves for finding the absolute worst tourist trap on I drive.



Goodbye Mr. Gator. Sorry about your horrendous living conditions, we'd help but we've got some drinking to do.


After Gator Golf drove us to drink we figured we'd head to (brace yourselves locals) Señor Frogs!


I get the idea that no locals would ever be caught dead in this place since everything was overpriced and you had to pay for parking for seemingly no reason but we didn't know any better. Live and learn I guess...



As you can see, we decided to start acting like adults and were no longer wearing cheetah's on our heads.


Truth be told we had a great time at Señor Frogs in a "that was cool but we're never going back there" kind of way. We were exhausted by that point but we weren't about to let our night end yet. It was time for one more pit stop, one of my favorite places in Orlando. Fun Spot!


I have to admit, I'm incredibly jealous of everyone that lives in Orlando. You can ride world class rides 24/7, 365 days a year, you have great weather, you have Disney and Universal right on your doorsteps but for some reason I'm more jealous of Fun Spot than anything else. They're open until midnight every night, there are never any lines and you could just stop in for 10 minutes whenever you want and ride a killer wood coaster and get a cheap beer. What's not to love about this place???



First stop, White Lightning!


This is a great little coaster. It has tremendous pops of air, a fast paced layout, fun laterals and all things considered probably more airtime than any other coaster in Central Florida (until Mako opens). They added some new lights to it which really make it pop and the ride was just as good as we remembered it. Everyone needs to stop by and ride White Lightning when they're in Orlando.



White Lightning and Freedom Flyer: Note the new lights


We weren't planning on staying so we bought individual tickets but we knew we had one more ride to ride before we could leave. Feast your eyes on the most messed up Paratrooper on planet earth.



It looks innocent but it WILL try to kill you.


We learned the last time we were at Fun Spot that this thing puts all other Paratroopers to shame. They crank this thing up to 11 both forwards and backwards (yes... backwards) and when you reach the top you feel like you're almost about to go upside down. I don't know what they're feeding this thing but it's nuts, and the long ride cycle makes it the best bargain in Orlando at 3 bucks a ride. Kudos to Fun Spot for managing to turn a nice little family ride like a Paratrooper into a white knuckle thrill ride.


After our ridiculous paratrooper ride it was about midnight and we decided to call it a night, but not before grabbing a beer and laughing at the unsuspecting people riding the Paratrooper from hell while we sat out by the water. What a great way to start out trip.


More to come!


We love Fun Spot!

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Fun Spot is the best. Yeah, the rides are pricey compared to like a standard amusement park elsewhere in the country, but in Orlando, that's a bargain. Plus 2.50 drafts during happy hour and attendants that seemed oblivious or apathetic to my preposterously aggressive driving style on the go karts. Did I say Fun Spot was the best? It is the best. I would probably just go there and Sea World if I was an Orlando local and be totally OK with life.

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Fun Spot is the best. Yeah, the rides are pricey compared to like a standard amusement park elsewhere in the country, but in Orlando, that's a bargain. Plus 2.50 drafts during happy hour and attendants that seemed oblivious or apathetic to my preposterously aggressive driving style on the go karts. Did I say Fun Spot was the best? It is the best. I would probably just go there and Sea World if I was an Orlando local and be totally OK with life.


I wish we had time for the Go Karts, they really are top notch (at both locations actually). We saw some pretty horrific crashes on there and (as you described) the ride ops couldn't even begin to care. It was great.

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Yep, I agree, Their Paratrooper is the most messed up fun one I've ever been on. It is a (scary) blast. Good to see your shot of White Lightning with its new lights. I was driving west on I-4 at night and it looks really cool. The whole length has those cool lights and really draws your attention.

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How did I miss this report? Grest photos and cheers for the stories that go along with them. Orlando looks like a fantastic time, although I keep struggling between planning a trip there vs the North East for all the fun up there.


After riding Afterburn, I'm dying to get on Montu. Zero g's are probably my favorite element and Banshee's does not compare to Raptor, Batman, Afterburn, or other older B&Ms..but it was nice to have at a home park for a year! Bleh and those vest restraints. I like some space between my legs and the OTSR on B&Ms! It's amazing to think that they actually used to throw you around.

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getting me excited for our trip in 6 weeks!


we're doing the exact same parks/stops. . but staying in Tampa (and adding in the Weeki Wachee mermaids!). . . we love crappy roadside stuff too.

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Great report so far! Your review of the coasters at BGT are pretty much spot on with my opinion about the rides. Kumba is just perfection, easily one of B&M's finest rides. Cheetah Hunt it's just so much fun, I could ride it all day long. The part over the water is my favorite part also. And as for Montu, I swear that batwing element in the backseat is trying to rip your face off!


We also just enjoy supporting SeaWorld because it annoys our idiot Blackfish-watching friends.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Time for another update.


Sorry in advance for the limited amount of pictures. As I said I didn’t plan on doing a TR and we were too busy having fun to worry about picture taking. The ones we do have are of us, meant for social media basically. The next update will have tons more pictures.

This one might be a little text heavy but I'll try to break it up and hopefully it's semi-interesting. This will cover Saturday and Sunday. The major order of business for Saturday was the wedding, and as it was for a family friend my mom and her husband came down late Friday night and we decided to spend most of these 2 days with them. They had planned to go to Disney on Sunday (for the first time since I was a kid) but had to straighten out our ticket situation on Saturday and decided to do so at Disney Springs.


DISCLAIMER: We know nothing about Disney. When enthusiasts talk about "the GP", that's us when it comes to Disney. Things like our lack of knowledge of how anything works, the places we ate or the order in which we hit rides may drive locals crazy but we purposely went into this with very little research.



Messing around in Disney Springs


So we had kind of a strange situation regarding tickets. In 1997 when we were kids, we got lifetime passes to Disney. Basically they're one time use tickets that never expire. In order to use them though we had to go to Disney Springs and get them changed into regular tickets, then link them up with the other 2 tickets. I was thrilled that we were able to use these things and that we weren't charged the difference between kids and adult tickets. The only downside was that we had to wait until the day before to book Fast Pass so once we got it all straightened out we headed over to the nearest bar and tried to figure out how to use the app.


Also, we only had one day at Disney so we decided on 1 day, 1 park tickets to Magic Kingdom.


Let me just say, Fast Pass Plus is a pain in the ass. Once you get it set up it's great but I would have been thrilled to throw money at them like I can at Universal, Six Flags or Cedar Fair and just get a wristband without needing to link up an app, scan everyone's tickets with a smartphone, add them to the group, still not have them added properly added because they were already added to another group and eventually just give up and try to get ride times that were semi close together. Again, locals may be thinking we're idiots and it sure felt that way but at first we were cursing this system (though it's free, so I guess how much can you really complain).


Of note: After leaving Disney Springs we did have one more pit stop in Kissimmee before the wedding invloving alcohol and a 300 foot skycoaster but sadly I don't have any photos of that one. There's a video, but it was shot vertically for some reason so I'll spare everyone. lol


Fast forward to the next day, it would be impossible to break everything down in order so I’ll give my thoughts on the attractions we did along with some general thoughts on the park as a whole.



Good Morning from the Happiest Place on Earth!


So first, the rides… we’ll start with the good (actually the great):


Pirates: We hit this first “Why??? IT NEVER HAS A LINE ANYWAY!!!” yeah we know, don’t say I didn’t warn you locals, we had no strategy at all. Anyway, this ride is still just as amazing as I remember it. The Jack Sparrow animatronics are ridiculously good but somehow they don’t detract from the others at all. What is there to say about this ride that hasn’t already been said? It’s amazing. We lost count of how many times we rode this.


Big Thunder: After Pirates we went to Big Thunder and were greeted by a quick 10 minute wait. Initially this ride was going to be closed for refurb during our visit (according to a few Disney sites) but luckily that got pushed back because it was my favorite ride as a kid and I was really excited to ride it again. It didn’t disappoint. It’s a great family ride with awesome theming. We loved the small details in the queue and were blown away by the interactive dynamite thing at the exit. What park would even bother doing something like that since very few people would even notice it? Big Thunder gets a big thumbs up from me.


Splash Mountain: This is one of the best rides in the park. Awesome animatronics, great queue and a nice little splash. We rode it twice, once with a 10 minute wait and once again when the wait was pushing an hour with Fast Pass.


Haunted Mansion: I lost count of our rides on this but again, it’s every bit as good as I remembered it. It’s a nostalgia trip but much like Pirates, it still stands the test of time. We made this our last ride of the night.


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: Our group was mostly disappointed with this because the line was 90 minutes and the ride was a bit on the short side but I enjoyed it for what it was. I’d say it’s the weakest of the 3 coasters in the park but it looks great and I’d love to re-ride it with a shorter line.


Space Mountain: After spending about 12 hours in the park we finally made it over to Space Mountain. When we were booking Fast Passes only Brit and I booked this one but my mom and her husband didn’t because he has a medical issue where he can’t be jarred around too much and he was a little worried about it. We decided that we could all ride it though after he rode Thunder Mountain and Mine Train and they had no forces to speak of but at the last minute decided maybe it was better if Brit and I scoped it out first. It wasn’t time for FastPass yet but we figured we were up for re-rides so we waited in the stand-by line. About 30 minutes later we were in our rockets and um… holy sh*t.


This ride is loaded with insane laterals, great pops of air, awesome effects and given the train design and the dark ride area it felt absolutely out of control. This ride doesn’t get the respect it deserves, it’s utterly fantastic. As we pulled into the brakes we both looked at eachother and had the exact same reaction. “Holy sh*t, that was a roller coaster. Like a real one.” Lol.


We got to the exit and had to break the news that riding that would be a terrible idea, but as we kept gushing about it I could tell my mom was loving everything we were saying (unlike him she loves intense rides and has been known to power ride El Toro on multiple occasions) so we decided we had to get her on the ride. I tried to get her to go with Brit but she insisted on giving my mom her ticket so she could use the Fast Pass and I could ride with her. The second ride was as awesome as the first and I’m happy to report that she loved it. I owe Brit big time for that one, lol.


So anyway I know I’ve done a lot of gushing so far and while we had an amazing day and loved the park, there is something I need to say before giving my thoughts on the other rides. But first, a disclaimer…


====== Okay… so Disney Fanboys, Skip This ========

I’m not sure if this is a popular opinion or not and I was a bit surprised by it but Brit and I both felt the same way and didn’t mention it once until we got back to the hotel because we didn’t want to share it with the rest of the group.


Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and some rides can and should get by on it forever. A few rides have also been updated to the point that they’re both loaded with nostalgia and would be excellent even if they opened today (Mansion, Splash, Big Thunder, Space and Pirates). Some rides though (actually a lot of rides) don’t seem like they’re even close to being on the same level. Maybe we had unreasonable expectations because we hold Disney on a pedestal, but as far as delivering consistently cutting edge, amazing attractions we both felt like Universal was not only beating Disney but they were utterly destroying them.


When we went to Universal, there were some rides that were noticeably better than others but for the most part we felt like every ride was just home run after home run after home run. The only exceptions were Shrek which still wasn’t all that bad and E.T. but I was at peace with that because I loved it for being the one beacon of Nostalgia left at Universal. As I mentioned, I feel like some rides can and should get by on nostalgia forever and E.T. is one of them. To be fair we skipped Twister and Disaster because we heard they sucked but Universal already removed both of them.


I feel like Disney is more than happy to let rides continue to run when they don’t live up to their standards whereas Universal would give them the axe immediately and overall that actually made us feel more “blown away” by Universal than Disney (and it’s not close).


============= Okay, it’s safe to come back =================


So first, I know I had mentioned that there are some rides that could get by on nostalgia forever even though they don’t hold up to modern standards. The ones that come to mind here are Carousel of Progress and It’s a Small World. We enjoyed them both for what they were.


Disney got Carousel of Progress right, they presented it properly as a ride Walt loved and between the intro and the soundtrack “It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” the ride is such an overwhelming nostalgia-gasm that guests probably don’t care at all that it’s dated. They understand that it’s a piece of history with a direct connection to Walt and despite the fact that it’s dated it’s still enjoyable. I loved it.


It’s a Small World (unlike Carousel of Progress) also has a catchy song but this one happens to be rage inducing. Still, it’s fun for what it is. An old world’s fair ride that’s great for families. My mom loved the thing way too much, so much so that she wanted to make it our last ride of the night at 5 minutes to midnight before I pointed out how close we were to the Haunted Mansion and sanity finally prevailed. The ride’s not for me but I can appreciate it. I have a thing for 64 World’s Fair rides I guess (Great Adventure if you ever touch that Skyway I swear…)



Since the Magic Kingdom doesn't serve alcohol, this statement takes bull*** to a whole new level.


Okay, so now for some of the rides that I think need some work. I liked them all but they’re a MAJOR step down from the rides I’ve mentioned so far.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (This felt more like a Cedar Fair boo blasters level of theming than a Disney dark ride), Peter Pan’s Flight (and by the way, what’s the obsession with this thing? The lines for it were obscene all day), Jungle Cruise (this one might hit a nerve with Disney fans but we have actual safari rides now with real animals… one of which is at the same resort), Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid (great queue, mediocre ride. I can’t believe this is a modern attraction. Am I correct in saying that this is the first dark ride at the Magic Kingdom built from scratch after Universal opened Forbidden Journey? Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad ride but the 2 parks are not playing on the same level here. I didn’t expect forbidden Journey as this wasn’t the E-ticket, super hyped ride that that was but I expected better than this).


Sorry for the negativity… as I said we had a great time and loved most of the rides but we were surprised to see these rides at the Magic Kingdom. Before I stop with the little bit of negativity though I have 2 attractions that I really want to highlight as being hilariously awful. Why do these exist? Why?


The Enchanted Tiki Room: So it’s come to my attention that Disney fans have a hard-on for this thing. Really? I mean… really? I get it. It’s old, but it’s terrible. So terrible, like really, really terrible. I hated it with a passion and as I looked around the room I saw nothing but people questioning their life choices and bored kids that wanted to leave and ride something else. Nobody in the entire room seemed to be enjoying it. I don’t blame them.

And last, and certainly, certainly least…


Stitch’s Great Escape: I don’t feel that any further explanation is needed. I really don’t. Kill it, kill it with fire. Everyone hates this ride, right? Right????? If someone out there tries to argue with me and tell me this thing is good I’ll be shocked.


…As I said though, with those 2 exceptions we enjoyed everything in the park (even if we did see a major fluctuation in quality). We stayed from open (I believe 9AM) to close at midnight and had a blast. We also saw a few shows. Country Bear Jamboree and Hall of Presidents were both cool. The theming throughout the park was top class (except maybe Tomorrowland which was good but a little dated) and we also took a spin on the Peoplemover which is really a marvel with the way it intertwines with everything in Tomorrowland.


Just a few final thoughts…


- The Staff was truly tremendous. Everyone we encountered (other than one obnoxious tram driver) was amazingly friendly.


- One negative thing was the food. Maybe we weren’t looking in the right places but we thought of all the Orlando parks (except Fun Spot, though they have cheap beer) they had the weakest food offerings. We ended up at a pretty good fajita place in Frontierland but the options in Tomorrowland were terrible and they weren’t overly great on Main Street either. This is probably a point in the TR when a local is shaking their head thinking we should have rounded some corner and gone to some amazing place we didn’t see… who knows. Maybe our lack of preparation is partially to blame but we weren’t impressed.


- The projection show was mind-blowingly good. I’m really glad we decided to stop and watch this. Nothing will make you sip the Disney Kool Aid like watching this show.


- Most importantly we had a great day. Maybe our expectations were a bit high but we still loved the place. Would I make it a “must-do” whenever we visit Florida like Busch Gardens or Sea World? No. But we’re not the target market and if you haven’t been there you really need to go. It’s a great, great park.



Thanks for a great day Disney!


One more update to come from Florida: Sea World! And I promise there will be more pictures.lol

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This is a great report, and even as a local and big Disney fan, I agree with a lot of your points. Fastpass is a huge pain if you haven't tinkered with it a little first...which is kind of stupid considering it's designed to make tourists' lives easier, but what do I know? I will say though, even when you get the hang of the process of linking/reserving/etc. there are some really annoying technical glitches that plague the parks to this day. I've been stopped at the gate so many times because they can't figure this technology out it seems like. More often than not, I get Fastpasses as compensation for inconvenience rather than because they actually worked properly. Once people (and Disney themselves lol) get the hang of it, I feel like it'll be a cool thing to use.


And yes, some of their rides are way too outdated. But they're in a kinda damned if you do damned if you don't situation. I mean, people still complain about them adding Jack Sparrow to Pirates. Where is the line between leaving classics alone and updating the place for a more modern audience? Personally, I still like all the corny rides except for Peter Pan and Little Mermaid, but I've been going since I was tiny. But I guess they have three other parks meant for experimenting with new things so some of the more outdated stuff at Magic Kingdom isn't a huge deal for me, but it is definitely something they should think about years out.


Dining definitely leaves a lot to be desired at MK...dont think Ive ever enjoyed a meal there besides that fajita place you went to. They should really step it up.


And yes. You're the only person I've ever come across who also thinks Space Mountain is a freakin fantastic ride lol

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when we go, we rarely eat in Magic Kingdom (just snacks, usually).. we do park-hopper and eat most meals at Epcot, despite what park we've spent the day in (Marrakesh in Morocco is a favorite, as is the food in the Pyramid in Mexico).


* edit -- we DO try to get a dinner reservation at Cinderella's Castle, and while not "great". .the food is OK, and it's fun to eat in the castle!


but you didn't like Peter Pan?


it's flying!


(hands down my favorite in the park, and will wait in those insane lines to ride it several times on trips to Magic Kingdom)

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Can't say that I disagree with some of your assessments of Disney World, Bill.


Not saying that I don't like the park, I am just more of an Epcot or Animal Kingdom type of guy. Perhaps that's because I don't have kids and would prefer the good food/beer at Epcot, the safari and Everest at AK, or Tower of Terror at the Studios.


When we went with Michael's family and my father a few years ago, Michael and his kids/grandkids opted to go to Disney for a 2nd day while my father and I went over to Disney Studios. When we all met up for dinner later (don't even remember where we ate), Michael told me that he wished that he would have skipped the second day at Disney and went to Studios with us instead. He said about halfway through the day, he just got burned out from all of the kids. lol


If you are a family with smaller kids, the charm of Disney World simply can't be beat. But if you're not toting kids around, I would much prefer hitting up the other Disney parks or go to Sea World, Universal/IOA...or just skip Orlando altogether and go to my favorite park in Florida: Busch Gardens Tampa, like we did last year.


Different strokes for different folks.

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The stitchs great Escape is sooooo bad but when it was alien encounter it was so damn cool. The atmosphere was much darker and having the alien spit and breathe hot air on you was fun. It's just not the same when it's a little fur ball doing that instead of the impressive scary alien lol I loved it as a kid but I've always been into horror but apparently it was too scary for Disney lol

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