Florida/Las Vegas Trip

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 3:22 AM
I have a two in one holiday booked for Las Vegas and Florida in October and was just wondering if I have missed any good parks, resorts or amusement areas off of my 'to do list'. The parks/resorts I am visiting include:

(Florida) = Universal Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens Tampa, Wet 'n' Wild, and Sea World Orlando.

(Las Vegas) = New York New York Hotel, Stratosphere Tower, Nascar Cafe, and the Adventuredome.

You will notice I'm not doing any of the Disney parks as I had to choose either them or IOA and Busch Gardens Tampa, and I went with the latter two, was this a good decision?

On the Las Vegas Trip I also hope to visit Buffalo Bills primarily for Desperado, but I'm not actually sure where it is. I know for certain that it isn't on the main strip, so could someone inform me on the relevant details relating to how far away it is and how long it takes to get there? Is it actually worth making a journey especially for it?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 4:21 AM
Buffalo Bills is about 40 minutes away from Las Vegas. All you need to do is hop on I-15 South, until you see Desperado looming in the distance! :)

When you ride Manhatten Express, make sure you bring some headache pills. That coaster is, without question, the roughest ride I have ever been on. Non-stop TOGO head banging. When I went to Vegas in April, I rode ME again only because I had the 2 tickets comped (I refuse to pay $12 for the "experience" ever again). Look for 2-for-1 or half price ticket coupons in the freebie mags floating around. Also, a book called the American Casino Guide 2003 has some coaster coupons in it (among others).

Also, check out the Star Trek Experience at the LV Hilton. It's a niffty little motion simulator, plus some cool extras. Enjoy your trip!

EDIT: I forgot to mention that Vegas also has a Wet-N-Wild water park (although I don't know how it compares to Floridas).

Jerry
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Pinball and Coasters...Any Questions?
*** This post was edited by Outlane 5/28/2003 8:48:19 AM ***

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 4:28 AM
Although not a coaster, hit Blue Man Group in Vegas. Also Mission:Space will be open at Epcot in Oct, so go and ride that.

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Love,
The Mole

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 4:34 AM
You'll also want to hit Speed which I believe is at the Sahara. I haven't been it yet.

There are also some neat sims at the Luxor and Ceasar's Palace.

Star Trek the Experience is an experience. The queue has the entire ST timeline and a lot of props from the shows and movies. Well worth the time and money.

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
http://www.webtechnik.com/ebony/CPLady.htm

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 4:46 AM
If I were you I would skip Wet 'N Wild and take in Disney's Blizzard Beach instead. That is, unless, you bought a combo pass for Universal, Wet 'N Wild, and BGT.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 4:52 AM
I agree with Wahoo, skip Wet 'N Wild and go to Blizzard Beach. I have been to both, and Blizzard Beach has better thrills, including Summit Plummit, the worlds tallest and fastest body slide at 120 ft tall and 65 mph. Also, unless you really want to see Back to the Future or Twister, I would skip Universal Studios (still go to IOA, that place rocks), and go to either Epcot or the Disney-MGM Studios and ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster & Tower of Terror or Test Track and Mission: Space.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 4:58 AM
I had quite the opposite experience that Outlane had on Manhattan Express. I was lucky enough to get a front seat, and I didn't experience a bit of headbanging. It was smooth, intense, and the best coaster in Vegas, in my opinion. Of course, if you're one who hates Togo coasters (unlike myself, who thinks they're highly underrated), you probably won't like ME.

Personally, I think you've made the wise choice by sticking to the Universal and Busch parks. I haven't been to Sea World or Universal Studios, but I'd choose either Islands of Adventure or Busch Gardens over Disney any day. Again, personal preference, so don't take my word as gospel (though it's darn near ;) ).

Here are directions to Buffalo Bills Resort and Casino from Adventuredome (which is located at the North end of the Strip):
Directions to Desperado
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-Mike B.
Son of Hulk
*** This post was edited by Vater 5/28/2003 9:01:23 AM ***

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 5:13 AM
I'd side with Alexander. If you are strictly looking for thrills then substituting either Epcot or Disney-MGM for the original Universal Studios is probably a good choice. Disney-MGM has Rock 'N RollerCoaster, Tower of Terror and Star Tours. I still think Star Tours is the top simulator around though Back to the Future ain't bad either.

If Mission:Space is everthing it is being touted as then an October trip to Epcot might have to be on top of your list.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 5:31 AM
Vater -

Maybe the front seat is the key. I've never ridden ME anywhere other than the middle or back. Looks like I've got another excuse to ride it! :)

The price of those coasters is unreal, though. They charge $12 a ride for ME, and the lines are one hour long! I guess it's whatever the market will bear.

Jerry
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Pinball and Coasters...Any Questions?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 5:52 AM
CPLady....Speed:The Ride is actually housed at Nascar Cafe (which Damandan mentioned), but it *does* go through the Sahara sign. Best coaster in Vegas by a wide margin IMO, but the souvies for the ride were terribly lacking...

Also, be sure to check the status of HR/BS at Stratosphere, since it apparently closes frequently for high winds...and at THAT height, it's a good thing...;)

At Buffalo Bill's, Despy may be the signature ride, but I could have easily spent another hour or so on the only shoot-em-up log flume I've ever seen...fun stuff!

As far as Florida, don't know anything about the place...;). Sounds like you've got the plan here...well, 'cept for missing out on DBH and Miracle Strip (Starliner)...but neither of those are close to orlando/Tampa area....

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 5:52 AM
ME is ridiculously expensive, but people will obviously pay for it (ourselves included ;) ). However, that was the only coaster I had to wait more than a couple minutes for. When I entered the station for Speed: The Ride, I wondered how it remains open on a daily basis (well, until I remembered that it's part of casino). Maybe it was the time of day, but the ride ops were sending the train out once every five minutes in order to amass as many riders as possible--yet each train was still 2/3 empty.

While I don't think ME's price is exceptionally reasonable, it is an unusually long coaster (and refreshingly so!). I think I just set a record for most adverbs in a sentence...

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-Mike B.
Son of Hulk

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 6:36 AM

Vater said:
I had quite the opposite experience that Outlane had on Manhattan Express. I was lucky enough to get a front seat, and I didn't experience a bit of headbanging... Of course, if you're one who hates Togo coasters (unlike myself, who thinks they're highly underrated), you probably won't like ME.

Where have you been all my life? ;) I had the exact same experience as you did during my single front seat ride. The only thing that really sucked about Manhattan Express was the wait (90 minutes in that hot, stuffy room, ugh). So the moral to the story is, try to get the front seat.

Togo coasters rock the house. Manhattan Express, Fujiyama, Ultra Twister forever! :)

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 6:41 AM
And here I was thinking that you were doing one 'Bass-inspired' mega trip.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 6:52 AM
Yes, the 2 for 1 was the only thing that made ME's price tag even *remotely* reasonable....first ride was in the back, ugh! Since there was virtually no line, I decided to try the front seat ride....knowing already where the *problem areas* were, and being able to SEE those curves coming, made it a LOT more comfy for the second ride...not great, but better.

I remain one of those that believes "good coasters don't require you to know HOW to ride them without getting hurt"....

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 7:48 AM
I liked ME, no headbanging for me. Sat in the front/middle (like row 3 or 4). It was my favorite Vegas coaster. Speed knocked me around more than ME.

I was in Vegas in January, so I don't know if that makes the difference, but there were no lines for any of the coasters. We walked-on to every single one. We rode solo on Canyon Blaster and never saw more than a half full train on any of them.

As for the prices. I'm of the mindset that it's Vegas, it's vacation, it's expected.

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www.coasterimage.com
Dorney Park Visits in 2003: 4

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 8:35 AM

Damandan said:
I have a two in one holiday booked for Las Vegas and Florida in October

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but... aren't these like 2,500 miles apart? :)

-R

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 8:37 AM
Damadan, depending on the time and resources available, I would suggest skipping Busch Gardens Tampa as it is a 70+ minute drive from Orlando. Don't get me wrong, I love BGT, but if you're short on time, the trip to Tampa should be skipped. I agree with bypassing USF as it has zero coasters, but for the replacement, I can't help you. Sea World has Kraken (awesome ride) and Journey to Atlantis, Epcot has Test Track and Mission: SPACE, MGM has Tower, Rock 'n Roller Coaster and Star Tours, and MK has 3 coasters and Splash Mountain. As a Disney Cast Member I am of course biased to the Disney parks, but I'm also an annual passholder at Universal, Sea World and Busch Gardens so obviously, I like them all!!

As for Vegas, I would suggest skipping Manhatten Express, I agree that it is the roughest coaster I've ever been on and NOT worth the cost. Speed however, is my favorite coaster in Vegas!! Desperado is very fun also, if you want to drive out to Primm and the Adventuredome is fun, but it is small and filled with a lot of off-the-shelf rides. I do recommend Star Trek: the Experience (best simulator I've been on) and the Big Shot at the Strat (ride is all about sheer terror)!!!

Have a great trip!!!

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Living in the Theme Park capital of the world!!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 9:25 AM
So BGT is a little over an hour away... Damandan never said anything about being pressed for time, and an hour drive to a great park like BGT is more than worth it.

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-Mike B.
Son of Hulk

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 9:47 AM
Actually, Universal Studios DOES have a coaster, albeit a kiddie one, but one that anyone can ride, called Woody Woodpeckers Nuthouse Coaster. Fun little ride, however, MIB is the reason to go to Universal. Being the ONLY ride in that park worth a reride, it is still worth the price of admission alone.

I imagine you have the five park 14 day deal with Universal/Seaworld/Busch/Wet n Wild. If that is the case it will be difficult for you to substitue any major parks for what you are doing. A lot of people are talking about Blizzard Beach as a good replacement for Wet n Wild. I would say Typhoon Lagoon would be an even better choice! This is the only place in Orlando that you can swim with sharks. Also they have the most kick butt wave pool I have ever seen.

Also, dont forget to visit Old Town in Kissimmee. It is on Hwy 192 (Irlo Bronson Hwy) and is REALLY easy to find. Just look for the giant towers for their sky coaster and reverse bungee ride. You cannot miss them. The sky coaster I believe is the tallest one in the world. Old Town itself is a little shopping area with a few thrill rides (like the reverse bungee and sky coaster), a few carnaval rides, most notably Windstorm which is a portable coaster that is actually quite fun, and a go-kart track. Also on I-Drive there is the Katanga Skyscraper which I believe is at Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf?(Someone please correct me if I am wrong about that)

Oh, and Busch Gardens is definately worth the drive. Many are quoting times of a little over an hour, I made it there in 45 minutes without a problem and only going about 10 over the limit. Leave early before the Disney parks open up or that 45 minute drive will become a two hour drive as you fight traffic all the way up I-4 all the way too Kissimmee (now if you are staying in Kissimmee you wont have to worry about this as much and your drive time can be even shorter :)) The journey back you will probably not be able to avoid the traffic and it will probably start backing up somewhere in Polk City.


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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003 9:51 AM
You couldn't have picked a better time to visit FL: Busch and Universal will have their Halloween events. They're world class and are guaranteed to make you scream!
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