TR: Chilly Florida (Feb. 6th,) (Part 1 of 4)

Associated parks:

Monday, February 11, 2002 6:04 AM
 A bit of history before I get into this trip report.

  In June of 1990, I was totally afraid to ride any 'big' coasters. One week after I graduated high school, one of my best friends asked if I wanted to go down to Kings Island with him with some other friends. While I loved to look at coasters, I knew I wouldn't be riding any. I agreed to go on the trip.

 One the ride down to KI, I kept thinking to myself that I was with a car load of people that actually ride these large coasters I am terrified of. I wasn't afraid of heights, falling, or going fast. I don't know what I was afraid of, just that I didn't like large coasters. I had ridden mid-sized coasters like CP's Corkscrew and Mine Ride quite a bit, but nothing over 100 feet.

 The drive down to KI that day was a bit difficult for me. I kept on thinking of excuses I could use to avoid riding those monsters. I went through the whole list of things. Everything from a sore neck, heart issues, and high blood pressure. I think I may have even thrown in the expectant mother card. Given that I had none of these issues, I still had to find a way to avoid riding.

 While we were at KI that day, I managed to ride King Cobra, as well as a few other coasters that aren't over 100 feet tall. They still freaked me out, but I still had two larger ones to worry about.

 We walked back to The Beast. There was NO way I was going to ride something I could not see. All I could see was a lift going WAY up in the air, followed by, well, trees.  No way. Forget it. See ya' later.

 My friends thought differently.

 They actually grabbed my arms and pulled me into the line insisting that I would love to ride The Beast. I looked for a escape route more than once while in line but I was surrounded.  I soon found myself sitting in the front row of The Beast getting ready to see what fate had in store for me.

  The lift was scary as was that huge first drop. The rest of the ride I became a bit more relaxed and even think I raised my hands off the, then, single lap bar.  As we started to crest the second lift, I looked over to my friend, Tracy, and told him, " You don't know what you have done. You have just shattered a wall!"

Tracy says, " See. I told you it was cool."

 I continued and said, " No, you don't understand. You just got me to brake my fear of these things. I am going to be riding for the rest of my life now"

Tracy looks at me and says, ," Yea, sure. That's what they all say".

.....the rest is history.

 Three hundred and ninety four coasters later, I am still going at it with a vengence. I am so addicted to these machines that I think it has gone WAY beyond a hobby, but more of a lifestyle. When I don't ride for a while, I go into withdrawl as others do.

 Fast forward to 3 years ago....

 Tracy and I have been best friends for a long time. We have worked many jobs together among other things. One day at work, Tracy mentions he wants to go do a coaster trip with me. I thought it would be cool, but he wasn't into coasters as much as I was, but he still liked them. He even thought I was nuts for joining a club of riding crazies.

 Fast forward to one month ago....

 On and off we talked about a possible trip down to Florida. Tracy now has a kid and a non-riding girlfriend, so he doesn't get to ride much. He called me from work one night and said he had a vacation scheadule with him and needed to tell his boss what days he wanted off. The Florida trip was again mentioned, and 5 minutes later, after looking at some sites online, we had a cheap flight, rental car, and hotel booked for a quick trip down to Florida.

 I try to go down to Florida every year. Ever since Islands of Adventure opened, I try and visit as many times as I can. I really love that park.  So, on Feb 6th, after I got off work, I picked up Tracy, and away we went to Port Columbus to catch our flight.

 I could tell this was going to be a special trip because not only was I going to see the parks through someone else's eyes, but as soon as got on our plane for the trip down to Cincinnati, there were only 4 people on our flight, including the flight attendant.

 We had one of the smoothest flight down to Cincy I have ever had. Once in Cincy, we had to board another flight to Orlando.  One thing about the Greater Cincy airport is, well, first off, it's in Kentucky, which I find to be a bit odd for some reason. Another thing is, if you are flying Delta, be prepared for a mess once arriving at your gate. Delta has it's own gate area, and it is quite congested and IMO, not very organized. Our gate was moved twice but only after we were told to go to the wrong gate, twice.

 The flight down to Orlando was packed. We left late so we ended up arriving in Orlando around 1:30AM. We go to pick up our rental car and are told by a Budget rep that they didn't have any cars left, dispite our reservations and a previous call back in Columbus to verify we would have a car.  Is it no wonder why some people think Budget stands for 'Bet U Do Get Extremely Ticked?"

 As luck would have it, someone had just retured a vehicle. We quickly were given the keys for it, and walked across the street to pick it up. The 15 people behind us in line would have to wait for another vehicle to arrive. We ended up with a nice Frontier truck. While the outside looked nice, the inside was a mess. There was actually a hamburger sitting under my seat. How does one lose a hamburger? The car also smelled like a 600- pound sweathog took a drive after playing some Dance Dance Revolution.  Never the less, we had a vehicle, and had to get to the hotel.

 I checked into the hotel. I was told they booked me for Wednesday night because I didn't call and tell them I would be late. After some mild arguing, I agreed to it for the main reason that I was REALLY tired, and we needed to get some sleep if we wanted to be at a park at opening, in just a few hours. We quicky checking into our hotel, and fell asleep before waking at 8:00AM.


Next up.....

 Islands of Adventure and Universal

Thanks for reading,


Tuesday, February 12, 2002 8:58 AM
Sean, your TRs are great ... they are more about getting there and the people you are with than the coasters!  (that's not bad at all - just different. :))
You can't spell "dishonorable" without "honorable."
Tuesday, February 12, 2002 9:25 AM
Thanks Dennis!

 I think the people I travel with provide many memories to amplify my trip experiences. I sometimes will do trips alone, and I am cool with that also, but if I travel with a group of about 3 or 4 people, I find that I usually end the trip with some great memories.


Tuesday, February 12, 2002 12:41 PM
Thanks, Sean, I need a new sig...

(still dying!)

"How does one lose a hamburger?" -- TR from Sean Flaharty

Thursday, February 14, 2002 10:25 AM
appropriate Seinfeld reference..."you may know how to TAKE a reservation, but apparently you don't know how to HOLD the reservation, and that's really the POINT of the reservation, isn't it?"...

I've said it before, I'll say it again...IOA did for me in my thirties what Disney did when I was 5 or 6.  Bringing the THEME to theme parks in a way Walt would seriously approve of...I love that park!  Can't wait for the "official" announcement...

Florida needs an Intamin and/or CCI soon...PLEASE!
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2002 10:27 AM

rollergator said:
"Can't wait for the "official" announcement...

I tell you like I tell all my female friends.

Being coy is cool, but teasing is cruel!

and you know what I mean

Saturday, February 16, 2002 11:00 AM
I know nothing until I read about it in ThrillRide or The Enquirer...THEN, and only then, do I consider it "official", at least official enough for "public consumption", LMAO...
Florida needs an Intamin and/or CCI soon...PLEASE!
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

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