Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Gillian's Wonderland Pier- The calm before the Gale Force

Recommended Posts

Fun Spot Kissimmee

 

After getting off Flight of Passage, it was about 10:30. If I were on my own, I probably would have gone back to Magic Kingdom, but my friend was ready to call it a night. I still had the urge to ride some coasters though. If only there was a park that was open until midnight 365 days a year. Actually there are two- Fun Spot Orlando and Fun Spot Kissimmee.

 

Back in November, I was told a same day, multi-park pass was no longer available for the Fun Spot parks. I was a little frustrated, but ultimately it all worked out. The alternative was to get a season pass. It seemed insane to get a season pass for a park over 1,000 miles away, but it proved prudent. Otherwise I would have skipped Fun Spot on this visit.

 

IMG_20180210_215538.thumb.jpg.f69761df8c93644bace2e18bfedb3255.jpg

Open 10 am - 12 am 365 days a year. I think that's the most impressive schedule of any park.

 

I had enough time to fit one location in. Both have great wooden coasters, but I prefer the Kissimmee location primarily because of Mine Blower. It was also more convenient for my buddy who lived across the street too.

 

Mine Blower is a crazy coaster. I’m still in awe just how much airtime Gravity Group is able to cram into these compact woodies. That’s partially why the far larger Chu Chulainn is so high on my bucket list. It’s not what I’d call a smooth coaster, but it’s not rough either. It just consists of some shuffling as the coaster traverses the impossibly tight twists.

 

The start of the ride reminds me very much of Wildfire-lite. Both have extremely steep, ejector airtime filled first drops and are followed by a hang-time filled inversion. The rest of the ride probably has 6-7 more spots of airtime and each moment seems to get more and more abrupt. There really isn’t a spot of dead track anywhere on the coaster and it feels a whole lot faster than 48 MPH. 9 out of 10

 

1402173045_MineBlower.thumb.jpg.a0f781d752049e40ff7815e1a4f269c7.jpg

It's only 80 feet tall, but it's an absolute airtime buffet.

1508671885_MineBlowerInversion.thumb.jpg.007df106933459548c81bd6894997e16.jpg

Signature shot.

 

Going in, I wasn’t sure if I’d ride the SkyCoaster. Was I scared? Yes, but not because of the height. I wasn’t sure if it would be too stressful on my ankle. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure if they’d let me ride with a massive brace on my ankle. The latter wasn’t an issue at all. It was almost as if they were excited to take my money.

 

I really need to remember to bring my glasses strap next time I’m down in Orlando so I can truly appreciate this ride’s insane height. The way I felt the height with my Mr. Magoo-esque vision was from the rapid drop in temperatures and the length of the drop. And that drop is about as exhilarating as a moment you’ll find at any park in the world.

 

It was extra freaky this time since I spun around at the bottom of the first drop and was flung backwards at such a quick pace. Every other time I’ve done my best impersonation of Superman while soaring towards the sky, but this time I was clutching the vest pretty tightly. The only uncomfortable bit for my ankle was the final transition from flying to standing, but thankfully the brace protected my ankle well.

 

Skycoaster.thumb.jpg.766305ba98cfb88b73b1f6f291c5f2e3.jpg

Few rides are as terrifying as the world's largest sky coaster.

 

I also made sure to grab another ride on the Rockstar Coaster. While I scoff at Primeval Whirl’s place in a Disney park, I’m perfectly content seeing this spinner at a park such as Fun Spot. And this is the best of the Reverchon/Zamperla versions I’ve come across. Since Fun Spot’s crowds keep lines to a minimum, I’m always able to ride alone. This results in the most consistently crazy spinning on these versions. 6 out of 10

 

Rockstar.thumb.jpg.a81ab5f01ad6f4d027346d669fb310a9.jpg

A rare shot taken from the creepily dark Old Town.

 

Last time I skipped out on Head Rush 360 in the interest of time. Since I’ve loved the Technical Park versions, I was expecting to love this equally as much. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

 

There’s only one type of attraction that can make me queasy- swinging ships. That’s right. All those insane spinning, bouncing, flipping contraptions are a piece of cake for me, but your garden variety Sea Dragon turns me green. And the weirdest part is that I’m usually fine on frisbees (only the smaller Huss ones bother me).

 

So back to Head Rush 360. This one swings and inverts very slowly. Needless to say, it led to me feeling a bit queasy. Thankfully I rode it at the very end of the night so I didn’t miss out on any other rides.

 

216178660_HeadRush360.thumb.jpg.3edcf024eee3ab7f3f7836d0c5d882ff.jpg

I really wanted to like this ride. I really did. But unfortunately it turned me greener than the Hulk.

 

I had 10 minutes left. While I really wanted to ride Mine Blower again, I figured something tamer would be the best bet. So I decided to give a whirl on the awkwardly placed Ferris Wheel. It’s located outside of the main park and you have to walk through a creepily dark section of Old Town to reach it. But at the end is this elaborately well lit wheel.

 

The side panels do a pretty good job obscuring any photos, but I was able to get one or two shots before sitting back and taking in the lights of International Drive and Fun Spot. It was a perfect way to end a night in the Orlando area.

 

758242313_FerrisWheel.thumb.jpg.ca0757018bb4872181de966f66585a0c.jpg

The wheel had different lighting packages that switched every few seconds.

Aerial.JPG.59f0ab5c8c899debee82073fee260a0e.JPG

Fun Spot in all its glory.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 1.6k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Steel Pier I had tried going to Steel Pier once before in 2017, but the park closed shortly before I arrived.  This is one of those parks that has a rolling closure depending on attendance.  So t

While I'm not the biggest fan of the ride, I can't deny it was a great add for a lot of smaller parks once it was introduced so it's neat to say I rode the first.

Twisted Timbers is my new number one roller coaster     at the Land of Make Believe. Land of Make Believe The Land of Make Believe in Hope, New Jersey is a small park pr

Posted Images

I was pleasantly surprised by Mine Blower last fall--a fun ride, with only one or two bad "bumps."

Link to post
Share on other sites

A few things:

 

-Great report as usual!

 

-Mine Blower is the goat and it always will be in my eyes, such an underrated coaster. Probably the most intense wooden I've been on to date, but with only six wood credits, I guess that's not saying much.

 

-Sucks that you didn't like Head Rush, that thing is so much fun from start to finish. I get it, and I used to have the same thing when it came to pirate ships, but I love the thing, and I can't wait to see it built at the Orlando location.

 

-Props to you for getting on the Skycoaster, you have more balls than I do.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I was pleasantly surprised by Mine Blower last fall--a fun ride, with only one or two bad "bumps."

 

The awesomeness certainly outweighs the bumps for me as well.

 

A few things:

 

-Great report as usual!

 

-Mine Blower is the goat and it always will be in my eyes, such an underrated coaster. Probably the most intense wooden I've been on to date, but with only six wood credits, I guess that's not saying much.

 

-Sucks that you didn't like Head Rush, that thing is so much fun from start to finish. I get it, and I used to have the same thing when it came to pirate ships, but I love the thing, and I can't wait to see it built at the Orlando location.

 

-Props to you for getting on the Skycoaster, you have more balls than I do.

 

Thanks! I find it funny little pendulum rides terrify me more than SkyCoasters but that's the case for me.

 

I'd be hard pressed to name a wooden coaster of Mine Blower's height with the same intensity. The other Gravity Group junior woodies have a ton of airtime in their own right, but they lack the ferocity of Mine Blower.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Busch Gardens Tampa

 

Like last year's visit to Orlando, this visit was centered around a work trip. This time, it was a massive conference. The conference went well, but I know that's not why you're here.

 

I knew I'd have time to visit the Orlando parks in the evening once the conference concluded, but there was another park I loved just an hour's drive away in Tampa. After experiencing the awesomeness of Busch Gardens Tampa firsthand back in November, I just couldn't visit Florida and skip this park, especially since I had a season pass. Therefore, I added an extra day onto the trip.

 

My company wasn't covering a rental car for the trip since my hotel was across the street from the convention center. I considered a one day rental car, but ultimately decided to use the Mears Shuttle boldikus used last year. Yes I didn't get to the park until an hour after it opened, but it was free and extremely convenient since the pick-up location was just a 20 minute walk away at SeaWorld. Instead of staring at the vast flatness of Florida's roadways (seriously, you can see for miles on any tall attraction), I could instead watch Journey 2 on the way down, the epitome of an average family movie.

 

Since I was visiting on a Thursday just before Spring Break, I figured the park would be relatively empty. And I was right. Because of this, I was optimistic I could hit Cheetah Hunt without much of a wait. And I was wrong. While there were certainly less people in line for Cheetah Hunt than my November visit, the park was only running the front half of the station. As a result, the line moved like a resting cheetah. Fast forward 45 minutes and I was seated in row 1 and traveling at cheetah speeds.

 

The coaster really is a jack-of-all-trades. And I think that's the ride's strength. It has two solid launches, a fantastic inversion, and some good airtime all while traveling on one heck of a long journey through the park. You pass over-and-under pathways, speed through the savanna, and weave through rock work. Honestly if this coaster had a bit more intensity, I'm pretty sure it would be as revered as Taron is among European coaster enthusiasts.

 

But I don't think Busch Gardens cares. While us enthusiasts gravitate towards Montu and Kumba, it's clear that Cheetah Hunt is the park's most popular attraction. If you expect a balls-to-the-wall ride like Maverick, you're going to be disappointed. If you expect a coaster that's incredibly fun and reliable, you'll be impressed by Cheetah Hunt. Honestly I'd take it over Kumba myself (I know some are cringing at that statement). 9 out of 10

 

596258329_CheetahHuntTower(2018).thumb.jpg.7a2020b63031ffeaa2fc0482e81e1189.jpg

A top hat is too mainstream for Cheetah Hunt. Instead it has the visually stunning and confusing Windcatcher Tower.

644906730_CheetahHuntTrenchDrop(2018).thumb.jpg.302d7edf8f50ad22f0f1a9e658a00e79.jpg

I'm pretty sure I had this exact shot except without riders last time. I like it better this time.

114496641_CheetahHuntHeartlineRollEntry.thumb.jpg.ccda4178bc11b4422fe935840064de8b.jpg

The coaster's lone inversion sure is photogenic. Actually the whole coaster is photogenic.

1160605353_CheetahHuntDrop(2018Front).thumb.jpg.f234964bb837d17c23a8dfc5218a1152.jpg

Can you say airtime?

1187193086_CheetahHuntTurn.thumb.jpg.5d76b0087afe6d5947073f3c20f99971.jpg

Cheetah Hunt sure is a crowd pleaser.

 

I was excited to see a 10 minute wait posted at Cobra's Curse, but it probably took 2-3 times that. On the bright side, the queue is very well themed. When the snake begins explaining the backstory in the last room, everyone's head immediately gravitates towards the elaborate projection. On the downside, I had to suffer through the Florida heat. But didn't you visit on a 60 degree day in March? Yes I did. And for that reason I'm pretty sure they were heating the queue.

 

Cobra's Curse is a very weird spinning coaster. It's really only a spinning coaster for the last third of the ride. The first bit travels entirely forwards. It's pretty forgettable outside of the elevator lift and the 60 foot cobra that would make Indiana Jones quake. The second bit is a slow helix taken in reverse. The last bit is easily the ride's highlight as the spinning is activated.

 

I find that Cobra's Curse doesn't spin quite as well as the other spinning coasters I've been on, but it probably has a superior layout as it dives over and under pathways. If Cobra's Curse spun for the entirety of the ride, this has the potential to be the best spinning coaster out there except for maybe Time Traveler. But as is, it's a very weird and funky coaster. 7 out of 10

 

960194486_CobrasCurseSnake(Close).thumb.jpg.c5ab78d927646d79ef5be878ffe43fed.jpg

Feel the wrath of the Snake King.

347009869_CobrasCurseHorseshoeTurn(2018).thumb.jpg.1bff3d7e199308a308b52726881f6ba6.jpg

And you certainly do in the last bit of the ride.

753140027_CobrasCurseTurn.thumb.jpg.6fee4b626b63f52f61c8ac32e35e5029.jpg

I see you Montu.

 

I had gone long enough without riding Montu. Fortunately I didn't have to wait long, as the coaster never seems to be more than just a 1-2 train wait. Montu is an exceptional coaster. Usually I prefer airtime based coasters, but I can appreciate a forceful looper as long as it's smooth. And the 20 year old coaster is still as smooth as a baby's bottom.

 

Outside of the Immelmann, which is just ok, the rest of the elements are incredibly forceful. The two standouts are the zero-G roll and batwing. This zero-G roll is better than 99% of the ones out there. It just so happens the 1% it isn't better than exists on the other side of the park. But it's ok because while Kumba has a very good cobra roll, Montu shows off with its absurd batwing that combines the whip of an old-school B&M corkscrew with the positive Gs of a pretzel loop.

 

After my last visit, Montu barely passed Nemesis for my favorite inverted coaster. If you asked me again after this visit, maybe I'd give it to Nemesis. It's really splitting hairs between those two. Nemesis may be slightly more intense and have better theming, but Montu is longer with elements maybe just a hair less intense. Number 1 or number 2 invert, it's still the king of the park and an easy 10 out of 10.

 

1105748888_MontuOverview.thumb.jpg.a4d712bfcf13a58ee845e4b0492d5882.jpg

The Snake King may have some cool effects, but I prefer to worship the Egyptian god of war, Montu.

1675063846_MontuImmelmann(2018).thumb.jpg.cc5c19ad74810776b49095f53430f582.jpg

Go figure, the least impressive of the inversions is the most photogenic on Montu.

 

I was sort of letdown by Ikaros and Falcon's Fury when I rode them last year. They were very good rides, but not as good as I anticipated. After being wowed by Acrophobia a few years ago, gritting my teeth on every drop, I was excited to try a taller version with even more tilting. But there was one variable missing on Falcon's Fury and Ikaros. My glasses. Six Flags allowed glasses on Acrophobia, but neither Grona Lund nor Busch Gardens would allow me on their towers without a strap which I had foolishly forgotten.

 

But not in 2018. Bill Belichick may have forgotten who his starting cornerback was in the Super Bowl, but I definitely remembered my glasses strap this visit. I can say without a doubt that the tilting effect and subsequent drop are significantly more impressive on 1080p (with glasses) versus a grainy video from the 1960's (without glasses). Yes the drop itself still doesn't feel quite as intense as a Gen 2 or 3 Intamin tower, but the psychological factor of plunging towards pavement more than compensates.

 

So the moral of the story (for the visually impaired) is to bring a glasses strap. Or get Lasik eye surgery. 10 out of 10

 

959591724_FalconsFuryAscending.thumb.jpg.a7a0244a075f550edf1e651b7aae3573.jpg

335 feet is a whole lot more terrifying when you can see.

724790526_FalconsFuryTop1.thumb.jpg.78929a4ef170cb898c7a27efa54630b4.jpg

I'm glad the queue is covered with a roof. I'm not worried about falling objects. I'm more concerned about a sudden shower.

 

I couldn't come to Pantopia without getting a pretzel. More specifically, I needed a bacon pretzel fury. Everyone else can wait for their Cinnamon Bread and Cesari's Pizza, but you'll find me at Twisted Tails Pretzels. This is seriously my favorite food item at any amusement park. Every bite was warm, doughy goodness mixed with the greasy comfort of bacon. There were also kettle chips. They were probably solid overall, but they're completely forgettable when placed next to this scrumptious food item. Just look at it.

 

306780233_BaconPretzelFury(2018).thumb.jpg.a19f1c32f70590ca5450923ceae3ce87.jpg

Who needs Cinnamon Bread when you have the bacon pretzel fury.

 

After shaving a few days off my life with that pretzel, I walked a whopping 200 feet into the queue line of Scorpion. The queue took about 20 minutes due to the one train ops, but it afforded some excellent views of Scorpion navigating its course.

 

Once you reach the bottom of that drop, you whip through the rest of the course. The strong point is without a doubt the trademark Schwarzkopf loop. It's about as forceful an element that you'll find on a coaster with just a 42" height requirement. The subsequent helices aren't lacking on the G forces either. Really the only knock against the coaster is its length. Compared to the park's B&M trilogy and Cheetah Hunt, Scorpion is easy to forget. But it's overall a very solid steel coaster. 7 out of 10

 

513049135_ScorpionVerticalLoop(2018).thumb.jpg.731b5c8fa7d767bc29a2bdfd0b7ee7d3.jpg

The queue may move slowly, but it affords some great shots like this.

592876390_ScorpionThreading.thumb.jpg.b352dc75d9ba10f3c7946d12ac71c822.jpg

Threading the needle.

1745254269_ScorpionHelix(2018).thumb.jpg.4e093f186238006e97647d4b9233528e.jpg

A train full of happy riders.

 

Scorpion may have a forceful loop, but I heard a faint rumble in the background. As I moved towards the back of the park, the sound increased in intensity to a deafening roar and I was staring at none other than Kumba.

 

It's not uncommon for a B&M coaster to feature a loop, Immelmann/dive loop, zero-G roll, cobra roll, and corkscrews in that order. But what makes Kumba rare is just how forceful all of these elements are. While Montu is close to Kumba's intensity, it does have a pedestrian Immelmann. Kumba has no throwaway elements.

 

I started seeing grey on the vertical loop. The dive loop ramps up the positive Gs even further. Then there's the world's best zero-G roll. Usually I'm indifferent to cobra rolls. On Kumba, it's extremely intense. Then there are the last two corkscrews. There's a noticeable difference between a newer B&M and an "old-school" B&M. I think Kumba goes a step beyond just an "old-school" B&M with the snappiness of those final corkscrews. And last but not least is a very intense upward helix leading into the brake run that I always seem to forget.

 

Every single element brings on the positive Gs and makes you regret ever calling B&Ms boring or forceless. Now I can't quite give it a 10 since Kumba is difficult to reride. It's not rough, but it's intensity makes it difficult (for me at least) to reride consecutively. And that's coming from someone who can ride Montu or Nemesis repeatedly. If you love intense rides, Kumba is for you. 9 out of 10

 

1573199008_KumbaVerticalLoop(2018).thumb.jpg.1ee47f47364591558474ff59a676e46d.jpg

If you follow the sound of the roar, you encounter this beast.

2079045905_KumbaZero-GRoll.thumb.jpg.026faf2c9cc3d64b452bc4304f6d79ff.jpg

Say hello to the world's most intense zero-G roll.

1609660309_KumbaCorkscrew(Side).thumb.jpg.5aff4921fb170efd6b771b57a7f75d21.jpg

Kumba's sequence of inversions isn't unique. But the intensity of each one sure is.

1419336166_KumbaCobraRoll(Side).thumb.jpg.c0fca5feab5255c3034733a877559c57.jpg

Even the cobra roll is great. Usually this is a throwaway element for me.

 

60 degree weather is perfectly comfortable weather for me to walk around in shorts and a t-shirt. That's also perfect weather to ride a log flume. Unfortunately that would not happen. Stanley Falls was down for maintenance. But it wasn't lying dormant like the adjacent Tidal Wave. No it was testing non-stop all day. What a tease, but it was expected since it was listed as down for annual maintenance. But there was one water ride open. The Congo River Rapids.

 

1616556510_StanleyFallsTesting.thumb.jpg.ebb209a1beaab878d2924124781d3202.jpg

What a tease. Testing all day but not accepting riders.

246016311_SkyRideClosed.thumb.jpg.89d5fc0f0e36db38156f822bd54c830c.jpg

Sorry coasterbill. I can see why you weren't at the park this day.

 

Riding a rapids ride in these weather conditions was a risk for sure. I had never ridden this one, so I had no clue if there was an unavoidable waterfall of doom waiting for me. Still I ignored my better judgment and rode. I mean how often would this ride be a walk-on?

 

In typical Busch Gardens fashion, the ride was very well landscaped. The attraction really felt as if it was located deep in the jungle. One of the women in my raft shared that an employee (probably the Dippin' Dots guy) told her the waterfall was off. There was still a massive waterfall in the cave finale, but it didn't extend far enough out to soak anyone to the bone. I don't know if that's the norm or not.

 

The rapids were capable of soaking you though. And I actually won the game of Russian Roulette as I came off with no more than a few splashes. Meanwhile the rest of the boat was hammered by 2-3 soaking rapids. In fact, I almost escaped 100% dry if it wasn't for the water jet that pushes you towards the lift. That doesn't sound like something that would get you wet, but when your raft presses directly against the jet, the water will find a way to cascade over the seat back. As far as rapids rides go, I thought this one was pretty average. 6 out of 10

 

413587193_CongoRiverRapids.thumb.jpg.7189ee5525949f12385e20524555484c.jpg

Well that definitely looks like it has the potential to melt the Wicked Witch of the West.

 

The last major coaster I needed to hit was another favorite among the GP, SheiKra. Like the other two B&Ms, this one was yet another 1-2 train wait, even with just one half of the station open. If you've ridden one dive machine, you probably know what to expect with the first drop (except maybe Valravn). While the latter has vest restraints that can sap some of the airtime, SheiKra is pure floaty bliss for the duration of the drop much like Griffon or Oblivion.

 

The Immelmann is graceful and not particularly forceful, but SheiKra has one last trick up its sleeve, the second drop. Also 90 degrees, this drop provides even more floater air and passes through what looks like ancient ruins. While the drops may not be as terrifying as Falcon's Fury, SheiKra is probably the best dive machine out there not named Griffon. I prefer the latter because of the few spots of airtime while heading towards the brakes. 8.5 out of 10

 

555603384_SheiKraFirstDrop(Close).thumb.jpg.862b1962a1659f90a58f776da6a2d2af.jpg

SheiKra is so close in proximity to Pantopia, but it's quite a bit of a walk.

 

I had about an hour and a half left, so I decided to backtrack and grab extra rides on my favorites- Kumba, Falcon's Fury, Cheetah Hunt, and Montu. As I said earlier in the report, I couldn't pass through Pantopia and not get a pretzel. I considered going with a basic pretzel, but the heart wants what the heart wants. And it wanted bacon. So I had my second bacon pretzel fury of the day.

 

708033495_BaconPretzelFury2.thumb.jpg.115769f763269871330d8bbd28e3369a.jpg

Round 2.

 

I made sure to finish with 4 consecutive rides on Montu, with all but one of them coming in the back. I also checked out some of the animals on the pathway between Egypt and Pantopia along the way.

 

1549911973_HyenaStaring.thumb.jpg.3b46d2dfbd12a38a1dc9acacf2ba1ba6.jpg

Hi hyena.

2117043192_GiraffesEating.thumb.jpg.ce3d7be48c38206b50bd90a963f599f2.jpg

I know they're herbivores, but they really don't know what they're missing with the bacon pretzel fury.

1812225609_GiraffeSquatting.thumb.jpg.2c7374a32a4f48decf9aa6dca125aab9.jpg

I thought corgis sat awkwardly. And then I saw this giraffe.

 

Alas it was time for my day at Busch Gardens to come to a close. I can't believe it took me until last year to make it to this park. I absolutely love the Williamsburg one and the Tampa one is just as amazing. Now I don't think I'll be making an extended visit to the Orlando area without stopping into Busch Gardens Tampa.

 

Back to the shuttle, my lone gripe with it was the departure time. Anyone who goes on a TPR trip knows the importance of being punctual. A 5:45 departure means a 5:45 departure. If you show up at 5:46, you may see the bus riding off into the sunset. If you arrive at 5:47, maybe you'll still be able to see the fresh tire tracks. We were told to be on the bus by 5:45, but that the bus driver "would wait for everyone." I didn't want to be "that guy" so I arrived on time.

 

However, the bus didn't leave until 6:15 because everyone else didn't mind being "that guy". People took their sweet time returning to the bus. Instead of getting one last ride on Montu, I was treated to the beginning of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. It was an annoyance, but the bus was free so I can't complain too much. It just gives me a greater appreciation how Robb and Elissa aren't afraid to leave someone in the dust if they can't respect the time of others on a trip.

Link to post
Share on other sites

great report, and reminds me why I loved BGT so much on our 1 trip (but 3 days) visit there.

 

Agreed 100% on Cobra's Curse.. it was fine for what it was, but we only rode it 1 time (tho it took 3 tries to get on it.. LOL.. we were there just after it opened, and they were still figuring out kinks).

for our ride tho, the spinning was so minimal, we didn't even notice it was spinning! so we actually preferred the backwards section. it's a great fit for the park, and a good family ride.

 

of course, we were there multiple days, and did all the shows, and animal exhibits too.. . . otherwise, likely would have ridden it again (tho we did get multiple rides in on most other things in the park)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome report, but putting Cheetah Hunt over Kumba does slightly aggravate me. Only slightly.

 

Still have yet to experience the elusive pretzel that literally EVERYONE talks about.... mmmm...

do-it-chancellor-palpatine-19218231.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so glad I didn't fly Spirit when I went to Orlando last August (not that I would've anyways). There was a Spirit plane stuck on the tarmac at Terminal 5 at LAX where I was that was surrounded by emergency vehicles and was being evacuated (I'm not sure what the issue was). A bunch of people that were to board this plane to its next destination were being delayed by awhile, possibly until another Spirit plane was available, and possibly until the morning. A lot of airport staff thought this going to delay the other flights in the terminal but my JetBlue flight was still listed as on time and didn't leave much later than the posted time. Honestly I don't know if I could ever fly Spirit (I would be willing to try Frontier or Alliegiant for a shorter flight) but if it was my last resort it wouldn't be for a flight more than two hours. JetBlue and Spirit were priced similar for flights to Orlando for when I went ($100 for JetBlue) for a five hour one-way so it was a no-brainer.

 

I went to Universal Orlando and both Fun Spots on my last trip, so I plan to go to WDW on my next Orlando trip. I'm hoping to go in Sept or Oct when Epcot Food & Wine Festival and the Halloween events are going on. I may have to squeeze in a day trip to Busch Gardens if I secure enough days to go.

IMG_0660.thumb.JPG.26b1972be321c7752827a7e0b8864f4d.JPG

This Spirit plane near my gate was having problems of some sort (this was the best picture I could get with my phone walking by quickly).

IMG_0661.thumb.JPG.43fdfbe537e3f81aec4da68030af9e29.JPG

I walked right by the Spirit plane and boarded my JetBlue flight to Orlando without any problems.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great report! It made me realize I really have to get back to this park. I feel like I took Cheetah Hunt for granted when I visited BGT cause I was so enamored with Montu, Kumba and Shiekra.

Link to post
Share on other sites
great report, and reminds me why I loved BGT so much on our 1 trip (but 3 days) visit there.

 

Agreed 100% on Cobra's Curse.. it was fine for what it was, but we only rode it 1 time (tho it took 3 tries to get on it.. LOL.. we were there just after it opened, and they were still figuring out kinks).

for our ride tho, the spinning was so minimal, we didn't even notice it was spinning! so we actually preferred the backwards section. it's a great fit for the park, and a good family ride.

 

of course, we were there multiple days, and did all the shows, and animal exhibits too.. . . otherwise, likely would have ridden it again (tho we did get multiple rides in on most other things in the park)

 

Thanks! With multiple days, I definitely would have tried to hit one of the shows. The one I was most bummed out to miss was the cheetah run, but I believe I arrived too late with the shuttle.

 

Great report! Great writing style. And a few laughs for good measure.

 

Still have yet to experience the elusive pretzel that literally EVERYONE talks about.... mmmm...

 

Thanks! Once I had one at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, I hoped they'd spread the goodness around the chain. Along with Busch Gardens Tampa, SeaWorld Orlando also serves them now. Though the latter varies up its menu day-to-day, so sometimes you may have a bacon pretzel. Other days you may get a cheeseburger or a meatball sub pretzel.

 

Awesome report, but putting Cheetah Hunt over Kumba does slightly aggravate me. Only slightly.

 

Thanks! I know that would bother some people. Think of it this way, one less person waiting in line with you. Still I can't understate that the ride is very good. Just for me personally I have a more enjoyable time on Cheetah Hunt.

 

I'm so glad I didn't fly Spirit when I went to Orlando last August (not that I would've anyways). There was a Spirit plane stuck on the tarmac at Terminal 5 at LAX where I was that was surrounded by emergency vehicles and was being evacuated (I'm not sure what the issue was). A bunch of people that were to board this plane to its next destination were being delayed by awhile, possibly until another Spirit plane was available, and possibly until the morning. A lot of airport staff thought this going to delay the other flights in the terminal but my JetBlue flight was still listed as on time and didn't leave much later than the posted time. Honestly I don't know if I could ever fly Spirit (I would be willing to try Frontier or Alliegiant for a shorter flight) but if it was my last resort it wouldn't be for a flight more than two hours. JetBlue and Spirit were priced similar for flights to Orlando for when I went ($100 for JetBlue) for a five hour one-way so it was a no-brainer.

 

I went to Universal Orlando and both Fun Spots on my last trip, so I plan to go to WDW on my next Orlando trip. I'm hoping to go in Sept or Oct when Epcot Food & Wine Festival and the Halloween events are going on. I may have to squeeze in a day trip to Busch Gardens if I secure enough days to go.

 

If Spirit was more transparent and honest about the delays, I would be open to giving them a second chance. They're a budget airline after all, so I know I'm sacrificing punctuality (among other things) for a reduced rate. But the complete disarray at the counter wasn't worth the stress.

 

If you haven't been to SeaWorld, I'd actually recommend them over Busch Gardens. It's a toss-up which park I'd take, but if you only have one day and are trying to squeeze one in, I'd recommend SeaWorld based off of proximity. If you have two days, definitely do both.

 

Great report! It made me realize I really have to get back to this park. I feel like I took Cheetah Hunt for granted when I visited BGT cause I was so enamored with Montu, Kumba and Shiekra.

 

Thanks! It also doesn't help Cheetah Hunt's case that it can easily boast a 30-45 minute wait while those 3 B&Ms are typically walk-ons.

Link to post
Share on other sites

SeaWorld Orlando

 

The location of my hotel for the conference was fantastic. It was across the street from the Orange County Convention Center, next to a steakhouse, and most importantly, just a 15 minute walk from SeaWorld. While my coworkers were more intrigued by the steakhouse, I was more interested in the fantastic B&M collection once the workday concluded.

 

In total, I visited SeaWorld four separate days. Three of those visits didn't span more than 2 or so hours while the final visit was an entire day. After filling the abridged visits with just coasters, it was refreshing to devote an entire day to SeaWorld.

 

1047644417_EntryArea.thumb.jpg.6f02b7d886edfafa002d33ba3cdf16ef.jpg

A sight I saw many times during my visit to Orlando.

 

For most of the park's patrons, Shamu is the crown jewel. For most coaster enthusiasts, I am guessing Manta is the crown jewel. I thought the same after my visit last year. Manta is still its same excellent self (and I'll get to that shortly). However on this visit, Mako was the shiniest pearl in the sea.

 

Mako is somewhat of an odd B&M hyper. One, that finale completely breaks the mold from all the other B&M hypers (which is a good thing in my opinion). Two, it is the only one that I prefer in the front seat. Without hesitation I will pick the back row on every other. Quite frankly, I could even skip the front row and I wouldn't shed a tear. But Mako is different. The front is the definitive place to ride.

 

The back row still has the prototypical floater airtime throughout the first half. But instead of the gentle (but sustained) floater air you get on the front of Apollo or any of the other B&M hypers, the airtime was stronger. I'd put it on par with the intensity of the airtime on the final few hills of Fury. So not quite the force of an Intamin hyper, but the fact that it's sustained with such a comfortable restraint system makes it extremely enjoyable and reridable.

 

After the MCBR, many of B&M's hypers seem to lose a step. In terms of speed, Mako is similar. But instead of slowly cresting hills a Segway in San Francisco, Mako sneaks in some wonderful overbanks. The first one in particular is surprisingly wild and really throws you to the side, catching me off-guard every ride. Then the final turn over the water is extremely picturesque but also a tad funky. It's hard to describe, but the banking seemed prolonged. It's almost like what happens if I hit autocomplete on something I'm building in Planet Coaster.

 

I probably rode Mako nearly 30 times. It wasn't hard to do since the line was never more than a 2-3 train wait. If you ride up front, Mako is probably the best B&M out there after Fury and Shambhala. 10 out of 10

 

47555189_MakoOverview(Partial).thumb.jpg.893954e9a060397d91cdcbd92d1d2ee6.jpg

Mako looks like your average B&M hyper from a distance.

1376114069_MakoFirstDrop.thumb.jpg.5aa3d63b70c250273d2a17d63deea082.jpg

And the first drop rides like one too.

1006710084_MakoCamelback(Close).thumb.jpg.509b7f10596ee2b7639a8a0183fffa2d.jpg

But these hills offer some Fury-level airtime in the front.

677351070_MakoSpeedHill.thumb.jpg.819e91635de4342faceb6761097e1156.jpg

You also have this mini Shambhala speed hill that tries to launch you higher than a rocket at Cape Canaveral.

1597723507_MakoFinale(Entry1).thumb.jpg.80fdd12af17dfcf18fd86c1c28e9a72e.jpg

And then you have the second half that trades airtime hills for turns.

2055571330_MakoFinale(Entry2).thumb.jpg.d593e21bf9c66d78cbaa1ca142b110ec.jpg

It's also an extremely picturesque finale.

1979344152_MakoWaterTurn.thumb.jpg.3f2bbff82974e1830831aed4547031d4.jpg

I think SeaWorld missed an opportunity for a near miss with a shark here. What could go wrong?

2084710605_MakoReturnRun3.thumb.jpg.97e78e609030fa1810fef0e5e9a12d8a.jpg

All eyes on the coaster. If the roar of a B&M alone isn't enough, the park interrupts your regularly scheduled pop music with a dramatic score when the train passes over the entry way.

 

Overall SeaWorld's operations are fantastic, but there was one ride that left something to be desired- Manta. While the ride did have one train operations at points, that wasn't what bothered me. It was the seating policy. For the first two days I visited, SeaWorld was assigning riders towards the front of the train. Yes the back row is arguably the back seat, but the really frustrating part was that the park was having people wait 1-2 trains rather than allowing them to fill empty rows towards the back. Hershey is the only other park I've seen do something similar.

 

Thankfully I was able to get the back row to my heart's content on the last two days I visited. Manta is yet another one of SeaWorld's B&Ms that stray from the norm.

On Superman and Tatsu, the front is the money seat for the view. While the front has superior visuals, the back is significantly more intense. Up front, I'd describe the first drop and the inline twists as graceful. The whole train may be one manta, but the back rides like an entirely different animal. Then that pretzel loop feels like it's going to pants me with its intensity in any row.

 

I'll still take Tatsu over Manta, but it's close. Manta definitely has better landscaping, but there's something both awesome and unsettling soaring around atop a mountain. 9.5 out of 10

 

491018832_MantaEntrance(Day).thumb.jpg.8c2c739219fbba8cd25bd07e4b904797.jpg

Manta makes quite the statement as you enter the park.

200989657_MantaOverview.thumb.jpg.c5055e70c6b313ad0e4e982fc84d3e96.jpg

Manta is like Superman: Ultimate Flight if Superman actually had some theming and a ride after the pretzel loop.

1312474231_MantaFinale.thumb.jpg.464581f0aaa6537bfb78a3e5ba531308.jpg

I'm pretty sure this drop gives airtime in the back row, which is definitely an odd feeling in the flying position.

1133913740_MantaPretzelLoop(2018).thumb.jpg.19b427a9924a38fbff0a1d6f1743f7ef.jpg

I'm not sure if this is the best pretzel in the park. It is the best loop though.

295024001_MantaInlineTwist2.thumb.jpg.dbdf7d177c08befb8d192068e2ad55eb.jpg

Upside down or rightside up? That is the question with a flyer.

761289805_MantaRiders.thumb.jpg.cb056de1f5594e8079d2184bfa5c612d.jpg

A train full of happy riders.

858687970_MantaWaterTurn(2018).thumb.jpg.98e107d247e3dc1a4cdef41bd08ebcda.jpg

Usually I hate filters, but it was necessary after the dang sun overexposed this shot.

745057931_MantaQueue2.thumb.jpg.fbb0908ca9ed13343a94fa3451a3eed6.jpg

This is probably one of the best queue lines to get stuck in. It's basically an aquarium.

 

Last but not least is the park's oldest B&M, Kraken. Unlike last year when I had to make a beeline to this attraction at park opening to avoid the capacity black hole known as virtual reality, Kraken's line moved ridiculously fast all-day long. Unfortunately the absence of VR only seemed temporary if the park map is to be believed. The park also kept the "Please remove your headset audio" active on the brake run. That's honestly something I'd expect more from a Six Flags park.

 

Outside of SFFT's Superman, I'd be hard-pressed to name a better floorless coaster. Kraken kicks the ride off with an unusually straight, but excellent, first drop. I really wish more B&M loopers had these. The straight drops are a highlight on this, Medusa, and Wild Eagle. The rest of the first half is the standard fare- vertical loop, dive loop, zero-G roll, and cobra roll. All the elements are glass smooth and enjoyable.

 

But it's the second half that differentiates Kraken from the other floorless coasters. The MCBR doesn't slow the train even a shred, so the resulting dive into the trench gives some great air in the back. The resulting vertical loop is more intense than the first and the final corkscrew is everything you'd expect from an older B&M looper.

 

This is how Kraken should be ridden, no VR. I can dream that the VR headsets fell into the water or were eaten by a kraken, but I do think they'll be back someday. It's still shocking to me that such a big, excellent coaster like Kraken would need VR to attract riders, but that's the park's call. 9 out of 10

 

295126030_KrakenVRRemoved.thumb.jpg.c50e22870f7c87a437fc56dbb1b91adc.jpg

I'd like to point two things out. One is the lack of VR. Two is the presence of some winter hats and coats. It was 65 degrees out...

1483534399_KrakenLiftHill.thumb.jpg.8636235e95a15e392304aebe8f92168a.jpg

Kraken lifts riders almost to the clouds. But not quite above the clouds. That's Nitro's job.

148258151_KrakenFirstDrop.thumb.jpg.ddb78fad32d4df3e747dda477bb9f0e7.jpg

I really wish more B&Ms had straight drops. I like them a whole lot more than the curved ones.

420921451_KrakenMCBR.thumb.jpg.c7a5d38084706289914376525371ed17.jpg

The first half is reminiscent of Kumba. Not quite as intense, but still very fun.

365328079_KrakenTrenchDive.thumb.jpg.3fceb14c3cf1d285696eab6204dd3f88.jpg

The second half is where Kraken shines.

658406099_KrakenVerticalLoop2.thumb.jpg.0cd48aab2a7ccd2e702c6259b5cfddb0.jpg

This looks like something from a 360 degree camera, but I call it the magic of minimal space to work with.

186582935_KrakenTunnel.thumb.jpg.8285b8b96a1c3294bafc101fb566ee78.jpg

This tunnel is a whole lot more exciting when you don't have a headset in front of your eyes.

468836091_KrakenCorkscrew(Side).thumb.jpg.436e8acf9a7312bd1ef3d564a201a06d.jpg

All of the park's B&Ms are ridiculously photogenic.

 

The next "coaster" can be debated among the community. Yes it's 90% a flume, but that final drop is makes it a coaster in my opinion. Journey to Atlantis was down the first day. I was worried it was due to the "bitter cold" weather Florida was experiencing (60-65 degrees) causing some locals to bundle up in winter coats and hats. With the thermostat not even reading half of that back home, I was definitely in the mood for a soaking journey to the sunken city.

 

Fortunately it was open the next three days. For the most part, it was a walk-on, but it did post a 30 minute wait by mid-afternoon on the final day. However, I was able to grab three walk-ons by riding near park opening and close.

 

The "story" is entirely up to the rider to interpret. Thankfully SeaWorld has a musical score to guide you. The whimsical music at the beginning leaves you in awe at the wonders of Atlantis before SeaWorld ran out of budget. The ominous music is the middle is a catchy ear worm that tries to distract you from the vast nothingness you are looking at. I'm guessing we took a wrong turn in Atlantis to the backside of the building? Then the finale transitions to a booming song fitting for the end of an epic war movie. So I'm guessing we escaped?

 

As for the "coaster" elements, they're very well done. The main drop is outstanding. It's even taller than it appears since it's partially enclosed and even provides a really nice pop of air towards the back of the boat. I don't know if you get that pop in the front of the boat since I won't dare ride there because of the dastardly second drop. Then the curving coaster drop isn't overly thrilling, but it sure does beat your typical flume drop. If you avoid the front, you'll come off with the perfect wetness. If you ride up front, let's just say I hope you can swim. 9 out of 10

 

2065643984_JourneytoAtlantis(2018).thumb.jpg.e82f75ff1db17e278cb4ef82ffb847b3.jpg

The confusing Journey to Atlantis. Did we escape? I'm saying yes but only because the music is happy in the end.

1760515494_JourneytoAtlantisDrop(Side).thumb.jpg.e9d98f359381828258ec1c80cc634b9e.jpg

You can debate if this is a coaster or not, but this drop is better than those found on most coasters.

1529977018_JourneytoAtlantisSplash.thumb.jpg.3043338a54130a0fa7ca06a2aafc7725.jpg

Now you'd think the main drop is how you get wet...

886518872_JourneytoAtlantisSecondDrop.thumb.jpg.bab2fffbf69dae270a9190d91234b461.jpg

But it's this devious little thing that will unleash Poseidon's fury on front seat riders.

 

Antarctica, like Journey to Atlantis, feels like SeaWorld trying to emulate a Disney quality attraction. The outer facade and plaza look outstanding. But again it feels like the budget was cut after an impressive start.

 

For Antarctica, the trackless ride vehicles alone are a major wow. The movement is pretty random, but a few of the spins have the force of a tilt-a-whirl. If you're concerned the spinning will distract from the theming, don't worry. There's barely any outside of giant, rainbow-colored icicles. There's not a single animatronic along the journey and just 1-2 screens if I remember correctly. Still it's enjoyable for the ride system. 6 out of 10

 

And the penguin exhibit the attraction dumps you into is arguably better than the ride. 90% of the penguins are standing as still as statues on the elaborate rock work, but the other 10% are speeding through the water like a torpedo. I honestly never knew penguins could move that fast. It's like watching a turkey fly. Those birds can move when they want to despite their pudgy appearance.

 

1829499221_AntarcticaEntrance.thumb.jpg.89f694debe5c0036a1c564d9cec9309d.jpg

The outside looks like an E ticket. The ride system looks like an E ticket. But the ride isn't quite an E ticket. Or a D ticket...

59970678_Penguins(Zoomed).thumb.jpg.8af5e9ce831ef8b81d552e2279c0873c.jpg

But the exhibit afterwards more than makes up for it.

1433484552_PenguinTank.thumb.jpg.26d26839f37c4371dfa27e043755742f.jpg

I don't know how something so fat can move so fast in the water.

 

Honestly I think Wild Arctic is the superior dark ride. Yes the ride is 20-25 years older than Antarctica, but it's a better attraction. While the film is dated and not quite as visually appealing as a Star Tours or (insert your choice of Universal simulators, there are a ton), the movement on this one blows me away. It's significantly bumpier and wilder than any other simulator I've been on. While I can see that as a detriment for some, it's a major plus for me. It really makes the flight through a winter storm an intense experience. 8 out of 10

 

And like Antarctica, the exhibit after the attraction is excellent as well. This one (fittingly) has a series of cold weather animals such as mantees and seals. I really love how the attraction ties into the animal exhibit. SeaWorld did a wonderful job subtly theming the animal exhibit to an arctic base without distracting from the wildlife in the exhibit.

 

449713910_WildArcticSafetyVideo.thumb.jpg.244ebb72e01761d1d9d4adb387aaf137.jpg

The safety video says it all about the age of the attraction.

200121_Manatee(Underwater).thumb.jpg.16f750cf20332770b3f794e98d5758a9.jpg

I much prefer being dumped into an animal exhibit than a gift shop. The gift shop comes after the animal exhibit.

 

The last attraction I rode (this visit) at Sea World was one I missed last year, the Sky Tower. Does this ride often close? It was closed last year and only open 2 of the 4 days I was at the park. I'm certainly glad I was able to get two rides on this colossal attraction since the views are exemplary.

 

I knew Florida was a mostly flat state, but the Sky Tower really put it into perspective. I saw a few mountains atop the attraction, and all of them were located at Walt Disney World. Florida really doesn't have any hills, does it? The views were breathtaking. Not only could I admire the park's B&M collection, but you could see every other Orlando park- Disney World, Universal, Fun Spot, etc. It was also the perfect opportunity to check out the park's progress on Infinity Falls.

 

On a final note, I sure am glad that I'm a season pass holder. I was pretty shocked to find the Sky Tower was an upcharge attraction. But that $2 fee was waived with my pass. Even if I wasn't a passholder, I think that's a fair price, especially since the nearby Orlando Eye charges $25-30 per ride. 10 out of 10

 

1984114701_SkyTowerAdmission.thumb.jpg.5bc0bf16f166bcc648bfbd1617ddedc2.jpg

I don't know why I'd ever ride the Orlando Eye when I can ride this tower for free.

1550574564_InfinityFallsConstruction(Aerial).thumb.jpg.fbf0b142332db7faedd7517e420e593f.jpg

I'm really looking forward to Infinity Falls. I'm a sucker for raft rides with drops.

1107130779_DisneyWorld.thumb.jpg.1483c1e5470b2425b05f03af7a6ccf27.jpg

I see the mouse's paradise in the distance.

 

SeaWorld is more than just rides. Honestly I think most people are shocked to discover that SeaWorld even has rides. My coworkers sure were when I mentioned it to them. They were more interested in Clyde, Seamore, and Shamu. Ultimately I saw all but one show. The one show I skipped was One Ocean.

 

I skipped the Shamu show? Yes, but it was for two reasons. The first is that I saw the One Ocean show a few years ago at the San Diego park and it was by far the weakest show of the lot. The whales barely performed any stunts. Not sure if I caught it on a bad day, but that's my experience with the show. Instead of giving it a second chance, I took a slightly different approach to get my Shamu fill. I took a route that involved the iconic whale and an all-you-cat eat/all-you-can drink buffet.

 

Dine with Shamu is an incredible deal. With my pass, it came out to $26-27 if I remember correctly. For an all-you-can eat and all-you-can drink (yes you read that right, alcohol included) buffet, that's an incredibly good deal. The buffet had roast beef, chicken, pork, pasta, and basically anything else you'd find at the Disney buffets. And there was bottomless Budweiser and Bud Light (you knew that'd be the beer selection).

 

For the first half hour of the meal, the trainers circulated around the patio checking if anyone had questions about the whales. For the second half hour, the trainers gave a little demonstration in the pool adjacent to the dining area. These whales weren't actually the killer whales (I forget the breed), but they're an incredibly rare whale.

 

Ok I probably should clarify. It's all-you-can-eat and drink in an hour. Because after that hour, they move you to Shamu Stadium to see the real Shamu family. Don't worry, you are able to bring that one final beer to go.

 

I didn't realize the meal included this private show in the stadium afterwards. The demonstration was much better than the One Ocean show I saw a few years ago. The whales did a few stunts and the trainers provided some information how they care for the beloved whales. I'll take that over a pop infused show that focused more on the dancing trainers than the whales. The meal alone and private show alone are great deals, so putting them together makes this a no brainer in a visit to the park.

 

Beer.thumb.jpg.e1941cde0505524f7c741d8a12de99b2.jpg

Imagine a place where you can sit poolside with unlimited beer. Now imagine that while also seeing a whale show. Does that sound too good to be true? It isn't. Go to SeaWorld and make sure you do Dine with Shamu.

937642902_ShamuFeeding.thumb.jpg.8c1b0c95abfb623e768c8e8de43aa172.jpg

It's only fair if Shamu gets fed as well.

907748387_ShamuJump1.thumb.jpg.326c6442dbd8f57451ac5455c6a68b40.jpg

In exchange for his bounty of fish, the entire Shamu family seemed very willing to entertain.

436562126_ShamuJump2.thumb.jpg.a8cb4fb83c68bdc673ebd9a58b52090a.jpg

Shamu has a serious vertical. Maybe basketball is in their future?

1765653956_ShamuJump3.thumb.jpg.eba6ba12f2a78d12ef9404fa9bae8d07.jpg

Their splash is pretty soaking, but I still think the second drop on Journey to Atlantis is worse. Yes it really is that evil.

991981885_ShamuPeeing2.thumb.jpg.8bd9353e41ae130cd945737b02ead8d1.jpg

After many beers, I'm sure most people in the audience needed to go. If staring at a massive pool wasn't enough, part of the show literally has Shamu pee into a cup.

 

Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High was my favorite of the shows. I loved their show at the San Diego park, so I was excited to see the Florida version. This is without a doubt the funniest of the shows. While that's partially attributed to the energy and performance of the human cast, it's more because of the sheer awkwardness of the sea lions. Those animals are incredibly clever and impressive, but they also look quite goofy as they slide across the stage.

 

For anyone who has seen the show, is the female actress supposed to punch the science teacher in the face? Based on the out-of-control laughter of the cast, I am guessing it was accidental, but they played it off very well after the initial shock and even joked about it for the rest of the show.

 

201174489_ClydeandSeamoresSeaLionHigh.thumb.jpg.ccf647e079c04d9859340f224df1abc9.jpg

Professor Fizzbang sure got banged during this show. Still trying to determine if it was scripted or not since the cast played off it well!

1239155515_ClydeandSeamoreSlide.thumb.jpg.711c8555b89b0f3a8b851cbe787b58b7.jpg

I think Clyde would really like the slides at Aquatica.

743470262_ClydeandSeamoreCar.thumb.jpg.693f9dc68a242e771bc4563b3cec5021.jpg

Just look at the sea lion. They're cute, but they also look incredibly goofy. That's what makes this show.

556606345_PacificPointReserve2.thumb.jpg.8a041b22fa5c56e6ad9d1ad327b0b7e3.jpg

Pacific Point Reserve is a great place to see seals and sea lions outside of the show.

 

I also loved the Dolphin Days show. Dolphins are one of my favorite animals (just behind weenie dogs and corgis), so I of course was a big fan of the show. The show was basically non-stop jumps, flips, and high speed maneuvers by the dolphins, which is exactly what I want to see at an animal based show. There was the obligatory conservation and recycling message towards the end of the show, but it didn't distract at all from the performance since it was brief and to the point.

 

Along with the dolphin show, there was also the Dolphin Nursery exhibit near Manta. And I think this was my favorite exhibit at the park. Not only were there dolphins in the tank, but they were ridiculously photogenic. Now a dolphin swimming on the far-side of a pool would be photogenic in its own right, but these dolphins were attracted to cameras like ACErs are attracted to a buffet. Once they saw someone whip out their phone, they swam over as a pack took better selfies than any of the Kardashians.

 

1109314774_DolphinDaysJump.thumb.jpg.e3a476fab7ec3d3698fce1f4297b6775.jpg

Dolphin Days really knew how to showcase these majestic creatures.

443889414_DolphinNursery1.thumb.jpg.0f330154e41a675ca2976aed9b61aced.jpg

I think they see my camera.

291510768_DolphinNursery3.thumb.jpg.300a8877055e54b2cfb932f1b78a2536.jpg

Look at that smile!

733231054_DolphinSelfie.thumb.jpg.12987786b8444f72146222a81ee964ac.jpg

I swear they know how to pose.

 

Speaking of weenie dogs, SeaWorld actually had a show with them. But aren't we at a sea based park? Yes, but the Pets Ahoy show uses creatures many of us have as pets- dogs, cats, birds, etc. I saw a similar show a few years ago at Busch Gardens (Pet Shenanigans) and I'm pretty sure this is a carbon copy of the show, albeit with different animal actors. And honestly that isn't a bad thing. I loved Pet Shenanigans and this show is no different.

 

I also counted three different wiener dogs. They of course popped out of

 

627677293_PetsAhoyStage.thumb.jpg.8dd4e6fc3838b737837157b45ef9a7b4.jpg

Sorry this isn't a perfect carbon copy of the Williamsburg show. This one is indoors.

704165078_JumpingRope.thumb.jpg.514ea34811bb4ff3f89df3839d68f52c.jpg

I'd love to teach my dog to jump rope, but I'm pretty sure she'd try to play tug of war.

1540419972_DachshundJumpingRope.thumb.jpg.97b7aa04910babd6cb05417692ea7673.jpg

Then the real pro shows how it's done. Who doesn't love a jumping wiener?

 

Beyond the shows, I also made sure to hit some of the animal exhibits. The two that stand out in particular are the shark and turtle exhibits.

 

The shark exhibit (Shark Encounter?) is the first time that I've ever encountered one of those moving walkway, 360 degree aquariums and it was definitely a cool experience. There was something exhilarating and magical seeing sharks all-around me as I safely moved along. Meanwhile all I did last time was pay $5 to feed the sharks some shrimp.

 

575652999_360Walkway.thumb.jpg.b3c190ea7dd82be7a853009173ba3bd4.jpg

I definitely need to try more of these 360 degree aquariums.

1184785442_WhiteShark.thumb.jpg.d9a4c9998ae8bc35311cd7d8d06ca4fa.jpg

Hi Jaws. I'll just watch you safely from the other side of this glass.

382752599_ElephantShark.thumb.jpg.3c0a49988e55708575ef8ae6bc7895d2.jpg

What the heck is that thing on the right? It looks like a chainsaw.

 

The turtle exhibit was actually part of the queue for Turtle Trek. Turtle Trek was a 3D, 360 degree show about the life of a turtle. It's a simple concept and the visuals were almost exceptional. I say almost because the movie was very dark. It was pretty tricky to see parts of the film, but the parts I did see were very good. I was particularly amazed by the 3D. Usually the 3D in movies is a throwaway gimmick in my opinion and just a waste of $2. On Turtle Trek, I really did feel the creatures coming off the screen.

 

1751562663_TurtleFloor.thumb.jpg.7b01925b70c63efb388d35588ed3e671.jpg

Turtles are so easy to photograph. Then again, so aren't statues.

1691625336_TurtleSwimming(HeadOn).thumb.jpg.07c14242dddb0b564b8c941f59b3c56a.jpg

Well hello there Crush.

 

Yes I went to an all-you-can-eat buffet. But I couldn't visit a Busch/SeaWorld park without having those addicting pretzels. Unlike Busch Gardens which has a consistent menu, SeaWorlds seems to mix their menu up. While I can see that as a positive for many, I have to admit that I was disappointed that the selection was missing the bacon wrapped pretzel. I had to settle on a cheeseburger pretzel as an alternative. While it will never beat bacon, it did still beat an Auntie Anne's or Wetzel's Pretzel.

 

1278659889_PretzelOptions.thumb.jpg.2cadb5a37936d2f997205965a1b070c9.jpg

Hmmm how do I want to clog my arteries today?

719467725_CheeseburgerPretzel(Eating).thumb.jpg.5bc80035c44e65f97c453446fb223686.jpg

If the bacon pretzel didn't exist, I'd say this is the best pretzel creation I've ever had.

 

I also have an assorted array of creatures grabbed walking around the park. Not quite sure where I encountered all of these.

 

Though one of the most memorable animal encounters was a squirrel. As I was passing by Pets Ahoy, I saw this mischievous little squirrel clawing through the back of a carriage. I was stunned the squirrel didn't run off as I approached. Outside of the black squirrels I saw in Canada which actually would actually let people touch them, I've never seen a squirrel ignore humans like this. But this particular squirrel gave as many hoots as your local park when they hear enthusiasts complain about them adding a clone 99% of their population base has never ridden.

 

826975108_NaughtySquirrel.thumb.jpg.f3c080d0e7c518a98d4f15b070b57764.jpg

Caught in the act and he didn't care one bit.

1396727875_CreepyFish.thumb.jpg.4b13174b0f9b78231c6a8cb285e79193.jpg

Flounder.thumb.jpg.3a27bcf7dc9f8b41e0c98bea50316446.jpg

Flamingos.thumb.jpg.3300816053565e8a3291447f3e71d16f.jpg

 

It's a shame the park's attendance has been suffering from the Blackfish backlash since it truly is an excellent park. Honestly, I would take SeaWorld over all the Disney parks except Magic Kingdom. The combination of top-notch coasters, exemplary theming, and animal shows makes SeaWorld a fun and unique park.

 

1900256387_ParkEntrance(Sunset).thumb.jpg.61a1e26b66c9fc4013075b603f82b19c.jpg

My Uber driver struggled to find the pick-up area, but on the bright side, it allowed me to get this gorgeous photo around sunset.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As usual, excellent reporting, Mike. I especially enjoyed your Seaworld photos - very good.

 

Also, I agree 100% on the Cheetah Hunt>Kumba thing. Kumba is absolutely fantastic, but Cheetah Hunt just hits all the right spots. As I talked about in my report last year, the only issue I have with CH is those hard restraints, but since its not a buckwild-toss-you-around ride, I can deal with it. But yeah I'd ride it over anything else @ BGT, Kumba and Montu included (sorry not sorry).

 

Also shout out for the Mako row 1 love. I stumbled upon that row by chance, but everyone needs to ride it up there. The back is good, but riding in the front (right side) makes the ride great.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovin' the reports, Michael!

 

I definitely have to get back to SW to ride Mako and the new raft ride as well as try the Dine With Shamu as that looks like a great perk - even if it is Budweiser.

 

Loved the 2nd to last photo of Kraken where the front row riders (except maybe the one on the far left) all look to be seniors in their 60's or 70's & they look like they're having the times of their lives (except maybe the one on the far left). That's always awesome to see!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic report! Would read again. I give it a 9.7 out of 10 due to that overexposed photo. I thought your comment about Tatsu being "awesome and unsettling" to be on the nose, and I agree with your rating and ranking of Manta. I'm also glad to hear Kraken is still glassy smooth! It's been a good 8 years since I've been there. I need to go back. Mako sounds like a good excuse to go see the grandparents!

Link to post
Share on other sites
As usual, excellent reporting, Mike. I especially enjoyed your Seaworld photos - very good.

 

Also, I agree 100% on the Cheetah Hunt>Kumba thing. Kumba is absolutely fantastic, but Cheetah Hunt just hits all the right spots. As I talked about in my report last year, the only issue I have with CH is those hard restraints, but since its not a buckwild-toss-you-around ride, I can deal with it. But yeah I'd ride it over anything else @ BGT, Kumba and Montu included (sorry not sorry).

 

Also shout out for the Mako row 1 love. I stumbled upon that row by chance, but everyone needs to ride it up there. The back is good, but riding in the front (right side) makes the ride great.

 

Thanks! With Cheetah Hunt's layout, particularly on the back end, I really wish it had the open lapbar only trains like Taron. Still the ride is great as is. I think it's really a testament to how great Busch Tampa's coaster collection is that people can easily have a debate among 3-4 coasters which is the best in the park.

 

I agree the ride side is the best on Mako. That twisting drop before the MCBR has a really freaky headchopper with the support.

 

Lovin' the reports, Michael!

 

I definitely have to get back to SW to ride Mako and the new raft ride as well as try the Dine With Shamu as that looks like a great perk - even if it is Budweiser.

 

Loved the 2nd to last photo of Kraken where the front row riders (except maybe the one on the far left) all look to be seniors in their 60's or 70's & they look like they're having the times of their lives (except maybe the one on the far left). That's always awesome to see!

 

Thanks! I don't always carry my digital camera because of how far cell phone cameras have advanced, but my digital camera really shines at capturing rider reactions. While I definitely do like to see people having a blast, I have to admit I like seeing a terrified rider every once and a while. Is that bad?

 

Fantastic report! Would read again. I give it a 9.7 out of 10 due to that overexposed photo. I thought your comment about Tatsu being "awesome and unsettling" to be on the nose, and I agree with your rating and ranking of Manta. I'm also glad to hear Kraken is still glassy smooth! It's been a good 8 years since I've been there. I need to go back. Mako sounds like a good excuse to go see the grandparents!

 

Thanks! SeaWorld Orlando really has one of the best B&M collections out there. Florida in general is an awesome state for B&Ms since you also have the three great ones at Busch Gardens Tampa and the Incredible Hulk Coaster which I think can hold its own with all of them.

 

Love the report! And I totally agree with you about Wild Arctic! I found the simulator ride to be very enjoyable, plus intense!

 

Thanks! Yeah the intensity really surprised me the first time I rode it. I was expecting another Universal or Disney simulator that went through the motions. Not something that genuinely made me have to hold on at points.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great report. Really makes me miss enjoying (and working at) SeaWorld. It's a shame they neutered Journey to Atlantis. I wish I had the training manual from it's debut, the story was pretty elaborate... (I mean that seriously). I haven't seen the "new" version yet, I'm assuming it's on YouTube somewhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Thanks! I never rode the old Journey to Atlantis, but from what I've gathered it used to have a story, but it was hard to follow. At least there was more theming about. I think the worst part is that some of the old theming, like the siren before lift one, appears to still be there and just deactivated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the report! I absolutely love SeaWorld, I highly recommend doing some of the animal encounters if you get a chance next time. We did a penguin encounter and the behind the scenes tours and it was amazing. I'm trying to get back down there soon and definitely plan on doing some more of the encounters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically for the new version of Journey to Atlantis the ride's features and gags are all completely static. No video or Seahorse, no mermaids, scary Medusa doesn't move, no Beetlejuice music. They turned off every single effect and replaced the soundtrack and audio with the music from the defunct Allure Show which I assume also saves on licensing.

 

As heinous as that is it kind of works, since most of the effects looked super-outdated and functioned only half the time. It's still better than a completely unthemed Splash boat. Hopefully one day the ride, as well as Antarctica and Wild Arctic can get some ++ upgrades, if the park's financials recover.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Love the report! I absolutely love SeaWorld, I highly recommend doing some of the animal encounters if you get a chance next time. We did a penguin encounter and the behind the scenes tours and it was amazing. I'm trying to get back down there soon and definitely plan on doing some more of the encounters.

 

Thanks! One of my bucket list items is swimming with the dolphins, so I have my eye on that one in the future.

 

Basically for the new version of Journey to Atlantis the ride's features and gags are all completely static. No video or Seahorse, no mermaids, scary Medusa doesn't move, no Beetlejuice music. They turned off every single effect and replaced the soundtrack and audio with the music from the defunct Allure Show which I assume also saves on licensing.

 

As heinous as that is it kind of works, since most of the effects looked super-outdated and functioned only half the time. It's still better than a completely unthemed Splash boat. Hopefully one day the ride, as well as Antarctica and Wild Arctic can get some ++ upgrades, if the park's financials recover.

 

I actually like the Allure soundtrack, but I think I'd take dynamic effects over it.

 

Wasn't it rumored the ride was going to get a Kraken tie-in to match its neighbor?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hopefully one day the ride, as well as Antarctica and Wild Arctic can get some ++ upgrades, if the park's financials recover.

 

I was always hoping they would do a Christmas retheme for Antarctica. (They are capable of doing any color with all the lights throughout the ride; they run color tests every morning). Throw some Christmas hats on the penguins, have you riding Santa's sleigh for the chase scene, use red/green lights etc. Add some flare to the ride for the holiday season. They used to do (still do?) Polar Express for Christmas at Wild Arctic, and Wonderland turns wonder mountain into a zombie theme for Haunt, so it's not completely unheard of (granted I know they are all different companies and designers). The movement would be more difficult because you'd have to make 4 separate ride programs (technically 8 due to wild/mild), but even throwing in touches to the existing ride and motion would be neat.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks! I don't always carry my digital camera because of how far cell phone cameras have advanced, but my digital camera really shines at capturing rider reactions. While I definitely do like to see people having a blast, I have to admit I like seeing a terrified rider every once and a while. Is that bad?

 

Definitely not...I enjoy that as well.

 

When I first started getting Michael into coasters, he would clench his eyes shut and mutter stuff like: "Oh fu%k, oh fu%k...why did I do this, why did I do this...why did I let you talk me into this...this thing just keeps going up....ahhhhhhhh!!!!!"

 

And of course, I would be dying and saying things like, "well, we're about half way up the lift now...hey, open your eyes, I think I see Canada from here (while at CP, of course)!

 

Yes, I am an evil little sh%t!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hopefully one day the ride, as well as Antarctica and Wild Arctic can get some ++ upgrades, if the park's financials recover.

 

I was always hoping they would do a Christmas retheme for Antarctica. (They are capable of doing any color with all the lights throughout the ride; they run color tests every morning). Throw some Christmas hats on the penguins, have you riding Santa's sleigh for the chase scene, use red/green lights etc. Add some flare to the ride for the holiday season. They used to do (still do?) Polar Express for Christmas at Wild Arctic, and Wonderland turns wonder mountain into a zombie theme for Haunt, so it's not completely unheard of (granted I know they are all different companies and designers). The movement would be more difficult because you'd have to make 4 separate ride programs (technically 8 due to wild/mild), but even throwing in touches to the existing ride and motion would be neat.

 

That would be a very neat overlay if they were able to pull it off. As long as the reveal to the penguin exhibit is still as impressive. That's easily the highlight of the ride. After seeing barely anything, turning around to see one of the best animal exhibits in the world is quite the sight.

 

Thanks! I don't always carry my digital camera because of how far cell phone cameras have advanced, but my digital camera really shines at capturing rider reactions. While I definitely do like to see people having a blast, I have to admit I like seeing a terrified rider every once and a while. Is that bad?

 

Definitely not...I enjoy that as well.

 

When I first started getting Michael into coasters, he would clench his eyes shut and mutter stuff like: "Oh fu%k, oh fu%k...why did I do this, why did I do this...why did I let you talk me into this...this thing just keeps going up....ahhhhhhhh!!!!!"

 

And of course, I would be dying and saying things like, "well, we're about half way up the lift now...hey, open your eyes, I think I see Canada from here (while at CP, of course)!

 

Yes, I am an evil little sh%t!

 

My dad shares the same sense of humor. Rock "n" Roller Coaster was my first inverting or launched coaster and I think I was 7 at the time. Going in, I knew it went upside down, but I didn't realize it launched you. We got row 1, so needless to say I was stunned when the launch occurred. My eyes were closed and my mouth was open wider than Joey Chestnut at a hot dog eating contest.

 

My dad didn't buy the on-ride photo. No that'd be too civil. He of course bought the full-size poster and hung it up in his office

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/