Florida, Day 3 -- Old Town (1/12/2002)

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, January 15, 2002 5:23 PM
My original planning had been to hit Busch Gardens Tampa on this day. However, I REALLY didn't feel up to the hour drive yet (more worried about being tired for the return drive, actually).

I'd been considering hitting Old Town at "some point" during my Florida trip, and decided this was the perfect day for it. It wasn't too far from my hotel, in Kissimmee. There wouldn't be a crowd like the "main" parks MIGHT get on a Saturday. Oh, and it didn't open until noon, allowing me to sleep in some more :)

Old Town is a funky little place. Parking is free, and there's a bunch of cute little shops scattered around. I do hope they draw some crowds during the summer, as the place was a ghost town -- I felt bad for the people working in the shops. When I got there, it was only around 11:30, so I grabbed a quick lunch at the Damon's right there (grilled chicken salad -- moving on up in the world of food, AND braving chicken again at that, although this time it was REAL chicken, not some BK glued-together poultry byproducts)

Ok, I'll say it now. I did NOT ride the Skycoaster there. It's immense, and if I were with someone else who'd have ridden it and not recovering from aforementioned poultry problems, I MIGHT have been talked into it. I saw one couple ride it while I was there, and they SCREAMED the whole way down. :)

The park sells tickets ($1 each, with rides needing 1-4 tickets), or a "ride all day" wristband for $25. That seemed a bit steep to me given the ride selection, BUT hold on -- $15 "New Years" special? Ok, I'll take it.

Windstorm (4 tickets; 4 laps) -- Quickly getting my money's worth out of the $15 wristband, I took 4 laps on the Windstorm, a small steel coaster. I had the single train to myself, to the amusement of the operator. It's actually a fun little ride, and hey, it's a coaster. The op even offered to take a picture of me standing by the sign -- gotta love friendly employees.

The other coaster is a kiddie coaster called Dragon Wagon. I took a quick lap on this for the count. Ding.

That left one other ride of note. The Slingshot. Having passed on the Skycoaster, I decided I'd go ahead and spring the $25 upcharge for the Slingshot instead.

WOW.

Verti-what?

You're far more enclosed in the little "globe", than you are on the Vertigo "pod", but the ride is FAR more chaotic. I loved it. $25 seems a bit steep, but hey, I was on vacation.


Old Town is definitely worth a stopover if you have some time to kill while on vacation. It doesn't have much in the way of coasters, to be sure, but the two upcharge attractions are impressive.


And yes, that pretty much constituted my entire Saturday. I met some friends who were in town for a veterinarian's conference for dinner at Downtown Disney that night, where I ate part of a personal wood-fired pizza from Wolfgang Puck's Express (very good) and checked out the Lego store.

The true coaster riding was about to start, though. Next up, Sunday, and Busch Gardens Tampa...

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--Greg
"The questions ticket agents ask at airports are useless, but give an illusion of security to the GP. Much like seatbelts on roller coasters...
My page

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Tuesday, January 15, 2002 5:42 PM
Old Town gets busy at night.  We went on a weekday night in October of 2000 and the place was packed by 9pm.  There were lines for all the rides and the Skycoaster was packed.  Unfortunately the Slingshot wasn't there then, but we did ride the ejector seat (which I liked better than VertiGo.)
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Tuesday, January 15, 2002 6:28 PM
Old town is a great place to go when the parks close early. Nice little coaster to wind down on. The sky coaster is a life altering experience to say the least. I rode it a couple of weeks ago and I freaked out about half way up(Its high) but coming down is a wonderful experience. Also there is a restruant over by Damon's called Flippers pizza. They are the best pizza place in Orlando.
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Joey Ciborek FLCC Member
www.FloridaCoasterClub.com
"WE RIDE ALL YEAR!"
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Tuesday, January 15, 2002 6:34 PM
I spotted Flippers, and thought about going there for lunch, but wasn't sure I was ready for that yet (obviously by that evening I was ;) )

Thanks for the tip, though, I'll remmeber that in the future.

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--Greg
"The questions ticket agents ask at airports are useless, but give an illusion of security to the GP. Much like seatbelts on roller coasters...
My page

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Saturday, February 2, 2002 2:06 PM
Would you reccomend hitting Old Town? I was thinking we could do Sea World in the same day, but I'm not sure if Old Town is worth it. Thanks.
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"Go banana!"-Ralph
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Saturday, February 2, 2002 5:07 PM
Greg,

 I guess you weren't aware that ACE members get a free ride or two on the coasters at Windstorm if you show them your card? If so, that sucks. The park doesn't exactly advertise this, but it does work.

I have used this tactic a few times already. I am going to be down there in just a few days and will try again. I hope to get another ride on the Slingshot again.  We were basically test dummies for the ride before it opened a week later so it wasn't running as fast as it could ........so says the ride operators. Maybe now it is broken in it will run faster. I thought it was great when I rode it back in November.

-Sean (who is about to take his 8th ride on the Skycoaster next week) F.

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Saturday, February 2, 2002 6:52 PM
Old Town is DEFINITELY worth it.  Yes, it would be a good thing to split a day with Seaworld.  Based on comments I've heard since my trip, it sounds like the best approach would be Seaworld first, then Old Town later.  Actually, I know that'd be the way I'd do it, since Old Town doesn't even open until noon ;)

Sean -- unfortunately, no, I didn't know about the ACE thing.  I should know better and at least ask ;)  Still, that tidbit's been filed for future reference, and I'm sure there are other readers on CoasterBuzz who can use that info as well.

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--Greg
"The questions ticket agents ask at airports are useless, but give an illusion of security to the GP. Much like seatbelts on roller coasters...
My page

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Saturday, February 2, 2002 7:08 PM
Another question I forgot to ask:

Is this the place with the 300 foot skycoaster? If not, where is it?
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"Go banana!"-Ralph

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Sunday, February 3, 2002 4:28 PM
Yes it is.
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So what is better? SFMM or CP? I don't care! They both have 29 coasters between them that they build so we can have a good time!
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Monday, February 4, 2002 8:04 PM
I went to Old Town on the 26th of January and I had a totally different experience then what Greg experienced.  I did the Skycoaster with my brother, and I found the employees to be the worst of any park I've ever been to as they mumbled the directions for the sky coaster (I've never been on one before and their "Gee I wonder when I leave" attitude was terrible.  I've been to a couple of Six Flags and have never had problems with any employees ever before but Old Town was terrible. 

The pricing is steep, the employees (at least on the day I went were terrible), and I felt as if I could be mugged at any moment.  It basically felt like a carnival in some backwards county and I would not recommend visiting for more then ten minutes to do the sky coaster (which is a fun ride).  

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Just wait till next year!

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