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The Florida Adventures of RedPiggy

Discussion in 'Friends and Family' started by RedPiggy, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    LOL, Hi, y'all...

    As you may have heard, I'm in Orlando for a week. It took three hours or so to get from DFW, Texas to here and my butt was sore from sitting that long. :)

    Still, we made it safe (I still think the pilot needs to work on something we like to call "landings") yesterday and shall begin our adventures today, renting a car and heading over to Tampa for Busch Gardens, which is an epic zoo of mind-blowing proportions (from what I remember, as the last I went to Florida at all was 2004). I'll be taking my camera, so there'll hopefully be pics and vids assuming this hotel network holds up. Still, I'm staying at the Royal Pacific at Universal and it's sweeeet. I already have some new design ideas for my bedroom, LOL.
  2. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Let us know everything. *Remembers that Busch Gardens being equal parts zoo and theme park, the Scorpion roller coaster and Tanganyika Tidal Wave log flume most vividly. Have fun Kelly! :excited:
  3. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Ok, Day 1 of our vacation (we arrived yesterday but crashed in bed after landing, so it doesn't count, LOL) was at Busch Gardens of Tampa. I'm not baked but now my skin's starting to itch. I think my brother and I went on every coaster but one. We saw lots of neat animals. Timbuktu was closed, as was a gorilla exhibit, but otherwise it was awesome. We rode on a couple of water rides and got supremely drenched. We rode the Skyride as we started to get tired of walking. Here are some pics:

    Some zebras and gazelles

    A white tiger grooming

    A spotted hyena lying around

    Our room at the Pacific Royal Hotel at Universal Studios

    A lounging kangaroo

    Me at Busch Gardens

    The view over a bridge outside the hotel entrance, with a lilypad-covered pond

    Anyway, there wasn't a coaster named the Scorpion. We did go on the Tidal Wave, however (and got the most drenched I ever have).
    newsmanfan likes this.
  4. Muppet fan 123

    Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    Have fun! Are you heading over to MuppetVision?
  5. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    We went to Busch Gardens, Tampa today and will be spending the rest of the week perusing Universal Studios and the Islands of Adventure, actually. :)
  6. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Cool pictures! That kangaroo sure looked awkward lying down, lol.
  7. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Maybe they took it down, I think the Scorpion was the yellowish track coaster. Yes, you get royally drenched at the Tidal Wave, that's why it's the best. And we loved to stand behind the glass to watch the resulting splashdown or stand outside the bridge walkway exit to get drenched in the resulting splashdown.

    Lilypad huh? Any certain frogs hanging around there?

    *Ish jealous, would so loooooooove to go to Universal Studios, most importantly to go to Potterworld.
  8. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Well, in the Egyptian section there is the Montu, which is a yellowish coaster with some blue triangles on the sides of the cars. Maybe they just renamed it? Day 2 was at Hogwarts, which was great. Short, but great. They went to a lot of trouble to make some interesting details. We ate breakfast at the Three Broomsticks, which plays music from the movies and occasionally weird shadows pop up, like goblins messing with flying cups. I didn't have to go pee but my mom did and she heard Moaning Myrtle talking to her, LOL. The Forbidden Journey or whatever inside Hogwarts castle was kinda short, but still worth seeing all the cool stuff they put inside. I really admire the technology they used to make it look like the cast was really there, a kind of 3-D movie/hologram set up that doesn't require glasses. We also got to see a Triwizard show of sorts, with the Russian and French teams introducing themselves. No magic, just some color guard-ish stuff, but still cool. We also watched the 8th Voyage of Sinbad, which is painfully silly, but a funny stage show for all its camp. We saw Poseidon's Fury. Camp, but still a good way to kill time, LOL. Today we will be going to the place I would work for free for all its awesomeness: Jurassic Park.

    Everyone keeps yelling at me to get dressed already, so I'm just going to link my photobucket account. Maybe if I have some time tonight or whatever I can add captions. My Photo Album

    Again, I'm not uploading everything due to many pics are my Mom's pics of interesting flowers she likes, LOL.
  9. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Hogwarts at Universal Studios... Muuuust gooooo!
    *Dies a fannish death of happiness at Kelly's report.

    Hope the Jurassic Park's better than the actual movie franchise.

    And as for the stage shows. As a MSTie, you know I have to say it in the high-pitched Gypsy voice. "Hee's not Sinbad!"
    Fragglemuppet likes this.
  10. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Whew, Day 3 is done!

    Today we went to Jurassic Park. You can see my photo album here.

    We decided that the River Adventure would make us soaked so we would do that last. We found a neat Spinosaurus head hovering over a Jeep. Most of the eateries involved lots and lots of meat. My mom had a turkey leg that I swear must've been related to velociraptors given how big it was, LOL. I had BBQ ribs. Well, we were going to eat after the ride, but as soon as we were about to step onto the raft, there were "technical difficulties". Eventually they had to close the ride, though what they did with the 6 boats still full of people I dunno. They do have a funny line after that, though. We heard them say on the intercom "Somebody secure the raptor enclosure!" Now, my brother and I have a dark sense of humor, so when they finally started the test runs after fixing it, we thought it'd be great to have bloody mannequins ride on the boats instead of just being empty and say something like "So THAT'S where they went!" I'm sick, I know, LOL.

    I would kill to have the cool raptor statues in the gift shops.

    The Visitor Center is really neat. The left side of the back entrance is a gift shop (boy, did I shop, though not at that one). The right side is a small eatery. The middle recreates basically the look of the Visitor Center's interior with the fossil skeletons of the TRex and a sauropod of some sort. As we went downstairs we were treated to the hatching of a baby raptor, which thrilled my brother and I as we never got to see a hatching the first time we went all those 7 years ago. Some kid thought it was a TRex baby. Pffbt. Leave the JP geekiness to the grownups, kids, LOL. The cute thing was that it was a Lost World Raptor, not any from 1 or 3 (you know, the kind with the yellow underbelly, orange dorsal side with brown stripes). I realize it's sad that I could've named not only the species but what movie it came from, LOL. I live, breathe and eat Jurassic Park. If I die, I want that to be Heaven. :)

    Well, because we're gluttons for punishment, we decided we weren't wet enough so we hopped onto Popeye's raft ride and then Dudley DoRight's log ride. By then we were completely and unutterably drenched. Fortunately, for 5 bucks you can enter a people dryer, though it never really dried our feet or shoes very well, so we squish-squish-squished all the way back to the hotel.

    We decided to skip Marvel and do that on Saturday, because we still have all of Universal Studios proper to do, and that could take all day and we don't want to get on the plane Sunday exhausted from the day before. See ya tomorrow!
  11. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    Sounds like an absolute blast! I'll have to get back to FL someday soon and check all of that out. Never been to Universal. I like the concept that the park attractions are as much about the ambiance of the films as simple ride-and-trinket-stores; makes it sound much more worth seeing. :news:

    Nice pics! Gawd, those tigers... I could watch them all day. So majestic. They must be the most laid-back big cats, too...as long as they have a steady food supply, it's all good in their world. Thank you so much for posting all this! Theme-park-visiting vicariously... Jealous? Me? Nahhhhh.
  12. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I can't really comment on Disney World since I can't even remember the last time we went, but one thing I prefer regarding Universal Studios is the commitment to storytelling. Even roller coasters have a plot (such as HP's Dragon Challenge being part of the overall Triwizard Tournament plot set up before and after). Also, everyone is always so nice. Even staff members who look like they would rather be asleep aren't that irritable, LOL. Combine that with staying in a hotel on location so you can use your hotel key as a fast pass through lines or having all the stuff you just bought delivered to your room the next day so you don't have to lug it all around and you have an excellent vacation. :)
    newsmanfan likes this.
  13. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Heh, that's why if I ever get to go back to WDW, I'd choose to stay at the Grand Continental Hotel cause it has a direct monorail hub inside their lobby to take you straight to the park gates area.
  14. kyunkyua

    kyunkyua Active Member

    ...But...those are the exact same redeeming qualities that Disney World has...
    Don't take me too seriously, though. My Disney park fangirling can't not be biased. :p
    Never been anywhere else in Orlando other than the McDonald's and the beach, anyway. And those felt pretty underwhelming to me.
  15. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    For some odd reason, i find this idea insanely entertaining!
    Fragglemuppet likes this.
  16. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    LOL, and they (mostly) work, too! Here is some more photos on my album. We didn't take as many this time, even though we spent 9 hours at Universal Studios -- because I'm a complete moron and forgot to get the memory card out of the laptop and back in the camera. Sheesh...

    We went to Shrek 4D first. It was entertaining as always. At least this time it didn't send some poor grandmother into shock when Shrek and Donkey spill some spiders and air jets give you the heebie jeebies under your seat. :)

    We went to the little Twister prop show. It's decent enough.

    The Mummy ride still rules for being such an awesome mind you-know-what, LOL. They also have a great merchandise selection. If you can't go to Egypt, consider this place instead. :)

    Jaws is no longer an option. I suspect that it will be London, as in according to a Universal staff member a train will lead you from some Harry Potter-related thing there to the Harry Potter thing in Islands of Adventure (good, 'cause it's way too short as is). So, my guess is the Universal side will be a Muggle atmosphere and the Island of Adventure will be the Wizard side. Time will tell, and naturally when they get that built we shall verily return, LOL.

    They turned that Earthquake movie-related prop show into a general disaster movie, but they made the director some guy named Kincade, played by none other than awesomeness Christopher Walken, brought to you by the power of that really cool hologram technology. We actually had to move our heads a bit to realize he wasn't really there. It was really well done, despite the lame part of the ride, which they transformed into a movie trailer with audience members as extras which was absolutely hilarious.

    Back to the Future was replaced by the Simpsons ride, which is basically you are in Krustyland and Sideshow Bob wants to kill Krusty and hilarity ensues. I loved BTTF, I swear to God, but the Simpsons is better. At least we took pics of the Delorean and Doc's train, which was placed elsewhere in the park.

    Dude, I am not kidding ... we WON at the MIB ride! *loud applause, please*

    You don't understand: my brother and I went to that ride like 2 or 3 times last time and we never could win that stupid (yet extremely fun) game-slash-ride. We've been really depressed over that, LOL. But on our second try today, even without three other people in our car -- we actually won! We won! We won! It helped that I landed a 1ooK bonus for shooting the big bug at the end. I can't stand myself I'm so elated!

    My brother demanded I go on this huge, evil coaster called the Rocket or something.

    He ... OWES ... me.

    Anyway, tomorrow is Marvel over at Islands of Adventure. Maybe I can find a good Phoenix costume or something. That'd be sweet. <3

    How could I forget Beetlejuice? The Ghost with the Most was still entertaining at his concert with other Universal Monsters, whom he possesses and makes them into rock stars. I enjoyed when Wolfman and Dracula started fighting over the Bride of Frankenstein and BJ snarked to the audience that "this will be as lame as Twilight". LOL.
    newsmanfan likes this.
  17. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Sorry... But nothing will replace the BTTF ride in my memories of when my family went there back in 1991. The best thing about it? If you sat up front, you'd get the rushing coolth of the airjet when the ride car took off and landed again.

    Kelly as Phoenix? Rawor! :flirt:

    BJ's Rock & Review is still going on? I misses the excellent fanfiction about that extra venue show posted by ExpensivePizza over on fanfiction.net before she took it and all her stories down.

    Enjoy yourself in Marvel-Land. *Is concerned that you might end up being cloned into an evil Madeline Prior/Goblin Queen version.
  18. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    Hey, LOOK HERE!


    Today is the last day of my vacation.

    Okay, technically I'm off for another week, but we go to the airport tomorrow morning to return to Texas.

    My brother and I went on the Hulk ride. We opted out on the Doctor Doom Fear Fall. That left the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman ride, which was upgraded with HD 3D. To be honest, I couldn't tell, but then again, I haven't been to it in 7 years.

    That left shopping (we had to have breakfast at the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade 'cause they're the only ones who serve breakfast). I didn't find any good Phoenix stuff, but I managed to score some tradebacks of Astonishing X-Men that I couldn't find at home, so yay me. That puts me up to Issue 23 or something.

    A part of me hates to leave, but I miss my Lab babies. I've had dreams that they miss us, and I feel in my heart Sarah is blaming Bear for our long absence, LOL. Thanks to all my peeps who tuned in while I bragged about how awesome our vacation was. It was something we really needed. I feel so refreshed and mellow now (of course, don't wake me up at 7am when the park doesn't open until 830 or 9 because then I'm somewhat grouchy, LOL). :D
  19. newsmanfan

    newsmanfan Well-Known Member

    The whole deal looks amazingly fun. Hope you didn't sunburn! Are the pups all happy to have you home? (I know...DUH. But it's always nice to have a happy animal around after a long trip, even a good one.)

  20. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    I did get roasted the first day, but that's how I decided to buy my floppy hat, LOL. Oh, and our babies were super happy to see us. They've currently been guilt-tripping us a lot, begging for attention far more often. It works, of course, LOL. :)
    newsmanfan likes this.

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