Wears at Toon Lagoon, Islands of Adventure
and photos David Wears (as told to LISA Allen-Agostini)
My wife and I promised ourselves that we would do something
different for our vacation this year. When a relative gave
us a week in a time-share there, we decided to do the theme
park circuit in Orlando.
We found an online special which gave us incredibly affordable
tickets to Disneyworld and Universal Studios, and coupled
with another offer through the time-share, the Inn at Oak
Plantation, we got more free tickets to parks.
We drove from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando to the time-share.
It was on a 50-unit compound with a small water park on
sitebut the main attraction was definitely the big
parks we planned to visit.
We started with Typhoon Lagoon. Its still my six-year-old
daughters best day on earth. It features
water slides that I would never go on, or even look at again.
The highest is 214 feet, about 14 floors high. She went
on the mid-sized one, a twisting tube about 300 feet long.
The Surf Pool, which holds 1,000 people, features a six-foot
wave every 90 seconds. The thrill about it was to see big
men squeal like little children every 90 seconds as the
roar of the wave built up.
On the second day we went to Universal Studios Islands
of Adventure. We discovered how expensive the holiday could
be: a soft drink, one of the cheapest things in the park,
was US $2.59 and a bottle of water was $2.99. Food started
at about $4. Even parking was $12 a day. Thats not
to mention the extras: the Donald Duck Pirates of the Caribbean
hat, Spongebob Squarepants underwear and all the rest.
Islands of Adventures was a bit more thrilling and the rides
had more warnings at their entrances. They were scary! My
daughter came out of one Jurassic Park ride crying. She
thought she was going to be eaten by the dinosaur. I found
the Amazing Adventures of Spider Man ride the best. Its
a 200 mph ridebut its anchored to the ground.
Everything is in 3-D. You are Peter Parker tracking Doc
Ock through New York.
Break from the rides
At SeaWorld the next day, we took a break from rides. I
dont think theres a human being who walked out
of SeaWorld without a Shamu toy under their arm. Shamu is
the world-famous orca who performs in the shows in the huge
pool at the park. Animals are the main attraction: there
are sharks, sting rays, birds, dolphins, whales, seals,
manatees, penguins and polar bears, different shows and
Donning the official ears
The next day we went to the Magic Kingdom. My daughter woke
up that morning bawling, Daddy! Magic Kingdom! Disney!
Secretly my wife and I were just as excited as she was at
the prospect of seeing Mickey Mouse for the first time,
hugging him, donning the official ears
We followed the map and did everything in order. Magic Kingdom
is made up of seven areas: Main Street, USA; Adventureland;
Frontierland; Liberty Square; Fantasyland; Mickeys
Toontown Fair; and Tomorrowland. You take a monorail from
the car park to the park. At the centre of it all is Cinderellas
Castle, a fairytale image from my own childhood. In reality
it seems only two storeys high but the power that it holds
is bigger than that. The memory is what carries you.
This park was all for my daughter. She did every ride in
Fantasyland. Her favourite had to have been Mickeys
PhilharMagic 3-D show. Donald Duck is conducting an orchestra
and it comes alive and gives him a lot of trouble. The 3-D
was amazing; you could almost reach out and grab the flying
A four-eared pirate!
In the Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor, the famous movie monster
Mike Wazowski does 20-minutes of stand up comedy, interacting
with the audience. Guess who ended up as one of the people
on screen? My daughter! She was wearing the Pirates of the
Caribbean Mickey Mouse hat and he said, Hey, look
at this! A four-eared pirate!
Among the other things we did was go to the Universal Studios
park, which features rides about every big movie hit from
the studiofrom Shrek to Men in Black, Jaws to Jimmy
Neutron, Terminator to ET. We went to this park twice, it
was so much fun.
All in all it was ten days of fun, thrills and spending
plenty money. We came back home on Sunday night and promptly
put our daughter to sleep, unpacked one suitcase and started
to check our bills.