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Aug 28, 2012
      My wife and I took a trip to Floridafor our anniversary this year and we made it to 6 parks in the week we were there, we did not go to Universal or IOA this year. My family used to go to Florida fairly regularly since we had family there but recently we have hardly gone. I have never been to BGT before and have not gone to Sea World since I was little, and don't remember any of it.

      The first two days of our trip,Thursday and Friday, we went to BGT and it was a cold 45 degrees and rainy. We spent a good amount of time shopping for souvenirs and exploring the park since it was all new to us. First thing in the morning we went to Cheetah Hunt with great anticipation, mainly since we love the ride Maverick at Cedar Point and it bears a certain resemblance. The ride unfortunately had some issue with one of the trains so the opening was delayed, but only by about 10 minutes. We would have been the second ones on in the front row but then they closed it again for the same problem, so we decided to leave and try later. We came back later when we saw the ride running and beat the large crowd of Cheerleaders that seem to be in Florida every Jan/Feb. We learned last year that Disney has a Cheerleader competition some time in February. Anyways, as we walked around the park I was very impressed with so many things around the park. The landscaping is all well done and well maintained, it makes much of the park seem more secluded from the other sections rather than seeing multiple attractions from one area. In some ways I really like this because it keeps the theme very apparent and gives you a more realistic feel. I also really like the way BGW is set up too, though. I like that you can go for a ride on the train and look down the Rhine River at multiple attractions. Speaking of the train... we did not get to ride the train until the second day because we were having a hard time getting to a station any where near the arrival time of the train. We eventually did get on the train and realized that it does take a very long time to go around because you get great views of the animals out in the open and the train may have to wait for animals to cross the track. At first they were only running one train which is why it would take at least 30 minutes for a train to arrive at each station.

      I did enjoy all the rides that we got to go on, even Gwazi. I was actually surprised that we both enjoyed Gwazi as much as we did. Normally neither us of really like wood coasters, but we appreciate them. I was expecting the worst based on what everyone had been saying about it. I am wondering if the cold, dry air may have helped the ride be a little bit smoother than it would be in the hotter, more humid months of the year. Kumba was fun but my eyes ended up closed most of the ride because we were in the front row and the rain was becoming painful and blinding. Montu, we were one ride away from getting on the front and it started raining harder so that had to close it down due to lightning in the area, so we were never able to ride it. Scorpion was interesting..but nothing real special about it I suppose, overall I did enjoy it though. SheiKra was what I expected, since I've ridden Griffon countless times, but the theme seemed slightly better because of the surrounding architecture throughout the ride.

      After a few days at Disney we were onto Sea World Orlando, where neither of us had been in a very long time. The first thing we went for was Manta, which had a pretty cool queue I thought. We have two aquariums in our house so we have a certain appreciation for them. It is one line I would not mind waiting in as much as others since you actually have something interesting to look at while you wait. Throughout the line there are a few tanks filled with different types of fish, sharks, and stingrays. We both loved the first inversion on Manta because it is different than many other rides since you are lying face down. The effect it has on you feels very unique and lasts quite a while throughout a fairly long and tall inversion. We decided to head to the new Antarctica exhibit because we assumed it would probably be crowded later since it is new and a refreshingly cool ride during the hotter part of the day, which was around 85 degrees. We watched the short preview movie for the ride and walked through the doors to board to car and eventually the ride op. noticed us and was clearly surprised to see us. She told us that they weren't ready for us and when we walked through the doors it tripped the sensor and triggered something, I don't remember what. So they had to reset the whole system which took about 15 minutes in its entirety. The ride is a good family ride but nothing to really get excited about in my opinion. The most interesting part is viewing the penguins at the very end and seeing them all swimming around and playing, and without being completely behind glass. We then went to watch the Dolphin show in the platinum seating that we happened to come across by chance. I was very impressed by everything in the show, the dolphins were amazing and interacted with the trainers very well.

      I was trying to not get too detailed, yet this became much longer than I was anticipating. So anyways, I really enjoyed both the parks with only a few minor negative aspects, one of which being the staff could be friendlier or more lively. When compared to Disney's cast members they look fairly inadequate, simply because they don't seem to try quite as hard. If I didn't have something to compare to it wouldn't seem nearly as bad, though.
Sucks that you didn't get to ride Montu. It's one of the best coasters in the world IMO. It's like a rearranged alpengheist.
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That's what I've heard, and I figured I'd like it since I do like alpengheist.  We were hoping we would get to go back one day on our trip, but it just never worked out.
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