A week or so ago I headed out to Florida for a work trip so I took it upon myself to head out a day early and visit a couple of parks that had long been on my "theme park bucket list". Despite multiple trips to FL I had just never managed to get to these two parks.
They were both totally worth the wait as both were amazing.
Written by Gregg Condon
Flying into MIA at about 6am ... flying out of MIA at about 7am on my way to TPA.
If that seems like a quick connection in an airport as big as MIA ... you are correct.
After a quick breakfast at IHOP (seriously, I could NOT find a Waffle House on the way from the Airport) it was time for Busch Gardens Tampa.
Wouldn't you know, just as the park was about to open a huge storm hit. It wasn't even one of those 5 minute FL storms, it was a good 1/2 hour.
Good thing after that though is we had a relatively dry day.
Our first stop of the day was Cheetah Hunt ... and in typical Intamin fashion the ride was down.
We did get to ride later in the day and I loved it. Would have loved to ride more, but the ride just was having a bad day.
So while they were figuring out what's going on with the Intamin, we headed to Cobra's Curse.
Totally loved this ride. Unexpectedly longer than I thought it would be.
Next up was Montu ... and wow, this B&M did not disappoint. Fun in the front and the back.
Some more of Cobra's Curse
A lot of the rides at Busch Gardens go near walkways, so I'm guessing this has been an issue in the past?
Tunnel of Humidity
Ok, Falcon's Fury.
I'll be honest, I'm not a "screamer" when it comes to rides, unless we're just being silly. But VERY rarely does a ride make me scream from freaking me out. This one did. And it was AMAZING.
I had thought they should add the same seats to Lex Luthor at SFMM, I'm re-thinking that. It may be too much. Lol.
Scorpion was great fun as well.
Oh yeah, some of Team Park Journey came out for the day as well. We had so much fun.
Boo, Kumba was closed. Guess I'll have to come back. Shucks.
Mad Kitty ... seriously, he did NOT like us, well me.
Well, if you insist. =)
Most amount of wet we've ever gotten on a log flume ever. And it was glorious.
I don't get why these dive machines get such hate. Are they the most intense rides ever? No. But they sure are fun.
Flaming-O's for my wife.
The Kangaroos are down for rehab. Not sure if drugs or physical. =)
So after a fun day at Busch Gardens, and having had only an hour or two of "plane sleep" I drove out to Orlando.
Instead of going to sleep in my hotel I decided to go find Shake Shack. I honestly didn't even realize it was at the same place as the Orlando Eye.
The next morning it was up bright and early for SeaWorld. Well, I slept for like 11 hours in the hotel, and it was again ... amazing.
Ok, here it is kids. I've gotten a LOT of flack over the years due to my dislike of Tatsu at Magic Mountain. I'm just not a fan. I would have much preferred a flying coaster that had some tunnels or hugged the terrain a bit, not just built on top of a hill. It's an eyesore, it needs a paint job, it's got no pacing ... shall I go on.
Which brings me to Manta
I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved, LOVED Manta. I don't understand how anybody who has ridden both of these coasters could put Tatsu above Manta. Manta has EVERYTHING a Flying coaster should have. Aerial stunts. Check. Pretzel Loop. Check. Awesome looking trains. Check. Near misses with Rocks and Water. Check. Great ops. Check.
I really loved this ride if you can't tell.
A little slo-mo of the part of the ride nobody has ever seen. Lol.
Oh, my other favorite part of the park, for those of you who know me this is NO surprise.
This area blew me away. And the Penguin Encounter at SeaWorld San Diego is a pale comparison.
But more on that in another article soon.
I know the ride gets a lot of hate, and it's probably pretty justified, but I enjoyed it for what it was.
If you are riding this thinking it's going to be Pooh at TDL you will be SORELY disappointed.
OMG, Penguins. I could have stayed in here all day if it wasn't so cold.
Love the underwater viewing.
NEED!! (No I didn't buy it)
Journey to Atlantis was a lot of fun. I was warned not to sit in the front row. I did not sit in the front row. I see why I was warned not to sit in the front row.
Where to even begin with this ...
Yes, you read that correctly, 354 seconds between dispatches. And that doesn't even include the ride cycle time. This VR thing HAS to die. I would have loved to ride this more than once, but I couldn't handle it. It was ridiculous.
I did wait for a front row ride, but because of how they have the VR "Bags" set up, it didn't matter.
Another ride that seems to get a lot of hate for no apparent reason. Solidly in the middle of the B&M Hypers, but that's not a bad thing AT ALL.
First ride it was raining, and I was in the front row. It stung.
As you can see, it wasn't busy. I rode this 8 times in about 45 minutes. Could have ridden more if I didn't have to walk around every time.
Had to pay a visit to the Sharks
And the Turtles
Alright, that's going to wrap it up. I had an amazing two days at two amazing parks.
I did get over to Disney Springs and Hoop De Do Review later in the day with more of Team Park Journey, and that was amazing as well. Maybe I'll put that report up one of these days. =)
Hopefully you enjoyed this report, I will be visiting FL a few more times for work soon so I'm looking forward to trying a few more parks I have yet to get to and seeing more of the state.
SeaWorld Orlando is Ready to Rush the Rapids with Infinity Falls
World’s Tallest River Rapid Drop Coming Summer 2018
ORLANDO, Fla. (April 13, 2017) –SeaWorld Orlando announces its latest world-class attraction, Infinity Falls, to debut summer 2018. Thrilling rapids will roar through the brand new rainforest river experience, while adventure-seeking guests plunge down the world’s tallest river rapid drop.
“We are constantly looking at new ways to amaze our guests - Infinity Falls will do that, and more,” said Jim Dean, President of SeaWorld Orlando Parks. “From the excitement of the thrilling rapids, to the unique vertical lift element, it will be an adventure that appeals to the entire family. Infinity Falls continues our commitment to investing in our park, and developing new ways to entertain and inspire our guests with meaningful, fun-filled vacations.”
To bring Infinity Falls to life, designers were inspired by the rainforests of South America and the flowing rivers found within. Each raft will twist and turn through a lush jungle environment as guests experience the feel of exhilarating Class IV rapids. A unique vertical elevator will lift each raft for a dramatic launch into the river, 40 feet below.
“Water makes up more than 70% of our planet,” said Brian Morrow, Vice President of Theme Park Design Experience. “We developed Infinity Falls to tell new stories that showcase the beauty and sheer power of water and the amazing wildlife that lives in it. The result is a new river rapids adventure for our guests to explore, and actively help freshwater ecosystems in a way that only SeaWorld can bring to life.”
The addition of Infinity Falls is the perfect addition to SeaWorld’s ever-growing ride portfolio. From the roller coaster thrills of Mako, Manta and Kraken to the water flume fun of Journey to Atlantis, Infinity Falls will soon join the park’s famed attractions as a must-do experience in Orlando.
Infinity Falls will be the centerpiece of a newly themed surrounding area, fully immersing guests in a rainforest canopy. After riding the rapids on Infinity Falls, the entire family can explore the village and take part in interactive experiences that combine play with education to create a positive impact on freshwater ecosystems. SeaWorld’s Animal Ambassadors will also provide up-close encounters with animals native to South America.
Infinity Falls will open at SeaWorld Orlando in summer 2018.
Infinity Falls Teaser
About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The company is one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 29,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.
The company owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 50-year history, the company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The company’s theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., a publicly traded company. Visit www.seaworldentertainment.com for more.
Today it's time for another great holiday update from Florida as we take a look at Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld Orlando.
Lots of new things to see for 2016 including new food, cool night rides on Mako and Bumble!!
Click here for more information on Christmas Celebration.
Written by Renée Girard
Tonight we're at SeaWorld Orlando for the Christmas Celebration!
First stop is to visit Rudolph's Christmastown.
Rudolph and Clarice are great and all... but the line is long and I want to meet Bumble!
Yes! I got a Bumble hug! Love this new addition to SeaWorld Christmas this year!
The Rudolph and friends area for the SeaWorld Christmas Celebration is super cute.
Now on to the food and drinks! I highly recommend the sampler packages, if you want to try a little bit of everything!
They have an awesome selection of beer! I can't get everything tonight so I'm pretty sure I'll be getting a sampler next time too
There is a good amount of food offered for the celebration SeaWorld. I opted for the poutine and why not, more beer.
You can enjoy the Sea of Trees and holiday entertainment next to the fire @SeaWorld Christmas Celebration.
Dessert time! The popular s'mores are back, this time in a cone. Messy, but delicious!
If ice skating shows are your thing, Winter Wonderland on Ice is one of the best around!
Santa, sandwiches and drinks? The Terrace has what you want!
Didn't catch O Wondrous Night tonight but have in the past, and it's an excellent, original show.
Walk on night rides for Mako, amazing! And it's in the 50s tonight in Orlando, makes for a great ride!
The Christmas lights along the Waterfront area are simply beautiful.
The holiday village with all of the food, drinks, shopping and entertainment is always my favorite part of SeaWorld at Christmas.
We'll close out the night with Shamu Christmas Miracles.
Shamu is cool but the star of Shamu Christmas Miracles is the gospel singer and sax player.
Snowflakes on the waterfront as we head out of the park.
Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld Orlando runs weekends in Dec. We'll be back here tomorrow morning for the Reindeer Run 5k!
Good morning! We are back at SeaWorld for the Reindeer Run 5k!
Around 4000 runners are ready to run a 5k through SeaWorld for the annual Reindeer Run!
Congrats to all who participated in the Reindeer Run SeaWorld ! We had a blast!