Florida Day 5 -- Universal Odds & Ends (1/14/2002)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2002 8:00 AM
Last day of my Florida trip.  I'm fully recovered, full of energy, and it's POURING outside for the first time this trip (Thursday through Sunday had been a very repetitive, comfortable, "high around 70, partly cloudy")

Perfect day for some laps.

First I grabbed breakfast (more like brunch by the time I got out of my room ;) ) at the hotel buffet.  Lots of fruit, along with some cottage cheese, eggs, pancakes, french toast, sausage, and of course a HUGE pile of bacon, and I was ready to face the day.  Yes, my stomach was back in shape... :)

Taking advantage of the "unlimited" aspect of my FlexPass, I first went to Universal Studios for exactly 2 rides.

Men in Black -- WALK ON.  Very nicely themed.  When we got in the "elevator", the annoucer said "This is Agent Zeb.  Sorry about that flooded theme park thing.  Anyway, welcome..........."  :)

I did phenomenally poor, as I spent more time looking than shooting, but that's alright.  The ride is very fun, although more of a group thing (remember, I was on my own for most of this trip, which is Ok for coasters for a while, but was starting to get a bit old by the end of the trip)

Next I went over to Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster for the credit.  I must have looked quite the sight as the only rider on a kiddie coaster in my blue Universal Studios poncho.

There are plenty of things at Universal that I'd have done (Terminator 2 3D, Twister, etc.) if I were with a group, but the equally empty Islands of Adventure was beckoning the single rider.

So over to IoA.  First stop, Hulk (after grabbing a blueberry muffin on the way over).  Walk-on conditions, 2 train operation in the rain.  I decided to make it a point to test the left and right seat of every row.

Unfortunately, this would be more work than I'd originally anticipated.  You see, unlike Busch Gardens, they weren't allowing rerides.  I had to get up and walk around for every lap (even though there were no turnstyles or other counting methods that I could note).  In spite of that, I went with it.

Then, just as the rain was letting up, they decided to switch to single-train operation.  Again, I'm not sure I understood this, but oh well.

So, 16 launches later, I'd decided that the back row was better than the front (but I tend to be that way).  2 more bonus laps to pick which SIDE of the back, and I'd settled on back right as the best seat on the ride -- you get some serious floating time through the twist and down the first drop.

Hulk doesn't have the strongest launch out there, or the most Gs, or the most insane pacing.  However, as an overall package, this is one damn good coaster, and I can't wait to ride it again.

Grabbing a slice of rather good pizza from the Fantastic Four Cafe across from the Hulk, I next headed over for some laps on the Dragons.

They were both on single-train operations, but with a deserted queue, this wasn't a problem.  4 quick laps on Ice, followed by 4 on Fire (during which the rain picked up again, resulting in a very wet Greg), and I closed out the riding on my Florida Excursion.  (I could have ridden more, but wanted to get back to the hotel to clean up and dry off in time to meet friends for dinner at Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney that evening).


Overall, in spite of the rocky start, I had a great trip.  I'm not completely sure I'd do the "on my own" thing again.  There were certainly plenty of things I did NOT hit in Florida that I'll be returning for (Disney-MGM, Dania Beach, various rides at the parks I did attend), but those will wait for another trip.

"The questions ticket agents ask at airports are useless, but give an illusion of security to the GP. Much like seatbelts on roller coasters...
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*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 1/16/2002. ***


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