Last week my GF Melissa and myself went on a Florida trip that we basically planned at the last minute. We had a blast and I would first like to thank everyone on here who gave me some tips about this trip. Those tips made the trip a lot better than it would have been otherwise, so thank you very much!
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures because I'm not really someone who takes pictures. I just like to go to the parks and have fun. I'll split the report up into the different days and add a day here and there.
DAY 1: Busch Gardens Tampa and NHL hockey game
As soon as we got off the plane we headed to BGT for our very first visit to this park for a little preview before heading to the Lightning vs Sharks hockey game. Now before I go any further I am very much a roller coaster thrill seeking enthusiast and theming and/or other attractions usually don't do much for me. But with that said I do appreciate if the park is nice and the first thing you notice when walking through security and the front entrance is how beautiful and nice looking the park is.
The park was extremely busy this day, it was 80 on a Saturday, and the lines were very long for everything not named Montu, Scorpion, and Kumba. And the lines for those 3 got pretty long around 4:00. I did however resist the urge to get quick queue since we had 2 days planned at BGT later in the week.
The first coaster we hit was Montu. We did it twice in a row, first in the front and then in the very back. This is a coaster that if I rode it 2 years ago I would have been disappointed because it didn't live up to some of the expectations and become my favorite invert.. but I have really learned to temper my expectations. Montu is a fantastic ride, but I just prefer Afterburn and Raptor because they are more whippy (if that's a word) and more intense because the elements are all back to back. After the inversion after the MCBR Montu has this section that's just really drawn out and not doing much. IMO that's what places it a solid 3rd behind Raptor (my #1) and Afterburn. But it is a very good ride. It's batwing might be my favorite element of any invert that I've ridden, especially in the back. It is glossy smooth and that first half is every bit as good as Raptor and Afterburn.
Then we headed toward the area where Falcons Fury is. But that ride was a 30 minute wait and Scorpion was only 15 min so we decided to hit Scorpion and this ride shattered my expectations. That loop and helix is freaking outstanding!
Then we hit what is IMO the star attraction of BGT, and that's MOTHER F------ KUMBA!!!!! Holy f------- sh----!!! This thing is so intense it was like it was designed specifically for my tastes in coasters. For as old as it is I was very surprised that it was as smooth as something that is brand spanking new! Every element was flawless and this is easily a top 10 coaster for me. After riding this 4 times in a row the lines for the rest of the rides were ridiculously long so we left to check into our hotel, eat, and go to the hockey game.
The game was great, the Lightning have a great team this year! But one thing that almost screwed me up was that I thought the team played in St. Petersburg because for a long time the area was named the St. Pete Times Forum. But the arena is actually located in Downtown Tampa and it has had a couple name changes since then. That almost screwed me because I was looking for hotels in St. Pete, and if I had seen something I liked I would have booked it and we would have had to drive completely out of the way to stay at our hotel. Thankfully I got something in Tampa instead. And BTW can't we go back to the good old days were stadiums and arenas had 1 name and they would stick with it. I mean seriously, when I was a kid I could name every teams stadium or arena and now I probably couldn't name 15% of them...
Great report so far! Glad you had fun at my home park, can't wait to hear about your second day there. Be the Thunder!
AndrewA86 wrote:Then we hit what is IMO the star attraction of BGT, and that's MOTHER F------ KUMBA!!!!! Holy f------- sh----!!! This thing is so intense it was like it was designed specifically for my tastes in coasters. For as old as it is I was very surprised that it was as smooth as something that is brand spanking new! Every element was flawless and this is easily a top 10 coaster for me.
Now that's what I like to hear. Welcome to the cult.
First, thanks to everyone who suggested Discovery Cove. The whole experience there was unreal! After getting checked in we had breakfast, which was awesome! Their breakfast was just about as good as any restaurant I've ever been to. Then we headed to the saltwater pool that is supposed to resemble a coral reef and I gotta say it is very authentic. There are deep parts and shallow parts and you can swim with a bunch of fish and stingrays. I didn't get too close to the stingrays because those things freak me out. It was very similar to being in Hawaii and swimming with the fish in whatever bay we were in when I was there. There's also a shark tank connected to the pool and it allows you to get right up next to some sharks. That whole experience was really cool, but then it was our time to swim with dolphins!
The dolphin swim was really cool, but I thought we would get a little more personal time with the dolphin. We were in a group of 9 or 10 people and the actual amount of time you get to interact with the dolphin isn't very much. You get to pet it for like 5 seconds right away. You get to take your picture with it, and then your swim consists of you holding on to it while it pulls you across the pool. Aside from that you're standing in the water and watching it do tricks. It was cool, and it was definitely worth it, but like I said I thought there would be a little more personal time with it.
After the dolphin swim we had lunch. If you didn't know, all the food and drinks are included, which was awesome! The lunch was just as good as the breakfast. They really take care of you at this place.
Then my favorite part of this park is the lazy river or whatever they call it. The water is really warm, and the whole experience is just so relaxing. You go down the river and at one point you go under a waterfall where there are a bunch of cool exotic birds. As you keep going down the river you get to another waterfall where you exit the area the birds are in. Apparently the 2 waterfalls along with a net keep the birds in their area. I have no idea how long we stayed in that river. That was just a very enjoyable experience. I guess the park also only lets a certain amount of people in each day so it doesn't get overcrowded like it does at Cedar Point for example..
Then we headed to Fun Spot Kissimmee, and this was a blast even though Mine Blower was disappointing. So I guess I'll get my thoughts on Mine Blower done first. The damn thing is just too rough. It's not as rough as that piece of crap in Santa Claus, IN, but it was just too rough for me to enjoy it. I rode in the front, back, and middle and didn't enjoy it anywhere. Which is too bad because the layout is amazing. It was kind of busy. I read about people saying there are no lines. We were there on a Sunday night, so maybe that's why it was a little more busy, but it was OK. I think we waited at the most 10 minutes for Mine Blower.
We did all the other flat rides, which were cool, but I don't want to go into detail on every single one. What stole the show were the 2 massive go-kart tracks. These things were massive and very fun. I almost thought I was going to flip myself off the vortex track a few times. Those curves are sharp and there were people on the track passing me by like I was the grandpa going 55 in the fast lane of the freeway. I also have to mention that they have the worlds tallest sky coaster and it is also the most fun. That thing is just awesome. I've never done one before because up the up-charge, but I think they're worth it.
It was a great 2nd day even though the thing I was looking forward to the most (Mine Blower) disappointed.
That's funny that you hit a rare day that Fun Spot gets any line whatsoever. Also funny that we're calling a 10 minute wait excessively long. But I've been to Fun Spot Kissimmee five times and every time Mine Blower has had no wait with empty seats the whole time I've been there. I've even gone on Saturdays. I think that the park just doesn't bring in enough money for proper maintenance on the coaster. Otherwise, it would probably be pretty smooth and pretty highly ranked. But I still enjoy it. I also like it as a way to get productive after the long ordeals of Disney where I'm standing in lines, and walking through their maze of a park.
BGT has been getting lines these days. Some people on this board don't believe me, but I think that outside of the Disney parks, its the park where crowds are the biggest issue in Florida. They'll probably only get worse when Tigris and Twisted Tigers open. But hey, I'm happy for them that they're making money and getting popular. BGT is my home park and I live pretty close. When Twisted Tigers comes out, I may splurge and buy the season length Quick Queue.
Another person drinking the Discovery Cove kool-aid -- but seriously, glad you enjoyed it. I kind of agree with the dolphin portion because you can see what they are doing from the shore anyways, but it is pretty fascinating having one throw you through the water.
Interesting about Mine Blower, it's always very polarized in people's opinions. I'll find out which camp I'm in next week!
anonymouscactus wrote: Interesting about Mine Blower, it's always very polarized in people's opinions. I'll find out which camp I'm in next week!
For whatever reason I don't seem to enjoy what are widley considered the better wood coasters, and I seem to enjoy ones that others find rough. For example I like Wild One at SFA, Hurler at Carowinds, and Mean Streak. But I hate Voyage, only think Mystic Timbers is OK, and I don't think El Toro is God's gift to the world.
Day 3: SeaWorld, Fun Spot Orlando, and the star flyer
This was my first every visit to a SeaWorld park, and I was really impressed with the coasters, and the park appearance as a whole. Obviously I was there first and foremost for the coasters. Mako has been a bucket list coaster for me for a long time and it was awesome to finally ride it. It was very busy, but that was something I expected with it being MLK day and there not being any school. So for only $30 more we did not hesitate to get Quick Queue unlimited.
The first ride of the day was Mako. I basically rode this all day and it never got old. This one definitely lives up to the hype. The pacing is great, every hill provided great air, and this was far more intense than all the other traditional hypers I've ever been on. This is truly a great roller coaster.
Then we hit Kraken and this ride was very interesting. Our first ride was one of the roughest rides I have ever had on a B&M. It rode more like an Arrow and I'm not kidding about that. But after trying it out some more I had some really great rides on it that couldn't have been smoother. So I came to the conclusion that it depended on what train you rode. One was a lot smoother than the other and that's something I've really never experienced before. When the ride was smooth it was easily the best floorless coaster I've ever been on. The first half was very intense with the elements coming one after another. And the 2nd half after the MCBR was very enjoyable going through the tunnels and I believe there were a couple more inversions. Overall it is a brilliant coaster but with one train being rough it was a little annoying to have to plan ahead in order to get the smooth train.
The last coaster is obviously Manta, and for someone who normally doesn't enjoy flying coasters this was surprisingly more enjoyable. I've been on all the Vekoma's and those are super uncomfortable. The only other B&M Flyer I was on was Superman at Great Adventure and it was very cold that day and I was wearing a few layers with a large jacket so I just felt like a stuffed turkey in there. So maybe because I was only wearing a light jacket on Manta is why it was more comfortable. As for the ride experience it was about what I expected. The pretzel loop was easily the most intense part. Other than that it was kind of mediocre and the pacing wasn't that great. But since it was a lot more comfortable than I am used to being on flying coasters I rode it 7 or 8 times.
Other than that there isn't much else to talk about. We skipped the water rides because it was too cold to get wet. We also went on this Penguin ride that I thought was really dumb.
Fun Spot Orlando was equally as fun as the other one. The Go Kart tracks were awesome. I was a little more daring on these tracks and it is just a ton of fun. White Lightning much like Mine Blower was too rough for my tastes. The other flat rides were fun. Overall I think these Fun Spot parks might be the best bang for your buck in Orlando..
We also hit the star flyer in Orlando. That was pretty fun. Nt that intense unless you're scared of heights. We did it at night, and I wanted to do it again during the day just to see how far you could see, but unfortunately we didn't get the chance.
Overall it was another great day and up next are the Universal parks and I can't wait to share my thoughts on those...
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.