instead. Black and Blue's Orlando Magic Blog: Orlando Trip Recap

Monday, September 10, 2007

Orlando Trip Recap

Back from the Orlando trip and I miss it already! My time there was wonderful, the weather was amazing, and overall it was just a spectacular time.

I'd write about everything chronologically, but everything just seems like a blur in retrospect. I think a more suitable format would be what was good and what was bad on the trip. Not much was bad, so I'm splitting hairs in that respect:

The Bad:

Jungle Jims - One of the first things I learned when I landed, to my dismay, was that Jungle Jims went out of business in Orlando! For those of you who remember, I wrote about Jungle Jims as part of my Orlando preview, saying that I wanted to once again conquer the Headhunter burger. Well, when I drove up to it there was nothing but a sad empty building. I learned later from some locals at the Marble Slab Creamery (one of the best scoops of ice cream I've ever had) that Jungle Jims closed down after new years. The place had not been doing well in terms of customers and needed repairs, so the privately-owned franchise called it quits. R.I.P, Jungle Jims. You'll always have a place in my heart.

Magic Kingdom- I'd hate to say it, but I was pretty dissapointed with the old park. I knew that it was for youngsters, but I was completely surprised how little of it was enjoyable to those over the age of 12. The people I was with disagreed, saying that it "was alright, but didn't suck", but I had higher expectations. The few rides that actually were good were Space Mountain, Snow White's Scary Ride (which scored points for being marketed as a kiddie ride, but was non-stop child-traumatizing witch cackling), and Pirates of the Caribbean. Other than that, it wasn't worth the price of admission.

The Disney Marketplace- This area, which included a Lego store, a Christmas Store, and several Disney stores was incredibly crowded and overpriced. I had enjoyed previous trips there, but this time everything they sold was rather shoddily made and expensive. I know that is a big generality for a place with many stores, but unless you are a lego fan or a chocolate lover (they have a Ghiradelli store there) I'd say you'll probably be disappointed and broke afterwards.

The Finding Nemo and Mexico Rides At Epcot- I single these two rides out since the rest of my time at Epcot was really quite enjoyable. I had never ridden the Mexico ride before, and the Finding Nemo ride was a new one for the park (at least since I had been there last). Wow, what a pair of crappy rides. The Finding Nemo ride was just an add-on to the aquarium at Epcot, but it was just a slow trip on a clam past a few television screens. I felt like I was sliding past the television section at Circuit City. The Mexico ride was even worse as it was composed of a seemingly nonsensical mish-mash of tv screens with Donald Duck and his mexican parrot and roadrunner friends. While this ride at least had little mannequins playing instruments, as you took a boat through the TV screens they all exploded with sound, which collaborated with the mexican music to make a dense cacophony of noise. Afterward, I said aloud that it was the worst ride in the history of man and I stand firm on that claim.

The Good

Bahama Breeze- With Jungle Jims out of commission, it was time to find a suitable replacement. That replacement came in the form of a restaurant by the name of Bahama Breeze. When I went there, inside was a trickling waterfall, live music featuring steel drum players, and an area where you could smoke cigars. On top of this, the food was spectacular (I recommend the almond-crusted Tilapia), and I highly recommend trying it out.

The Orlando Ale House- If Bahama Breeze was the new, shiny place, then "old reliable" would have to be the Orlando Ale House. I ate many of my meals there, which saved me tons of money on the trip. Some of you might thumb your nose at the food they have there since it is largely bar food, but the lobster they have there is some of the best I had tried in a while. Where else can you find $1 margaritas and lunch specials that were about $4? Insanity! The Orlando Ale House consistently surprised and delighted me and those I was with with how much it offered to the customer.

The Mall at Milennia- This mall really is amazing and I had a great time there. In the midst of a bajillion outlet malls, the Mall at Milennia stays competitive with high end stores and new facilities throughout such as fountains and LCD screens. Since I am furnishing a new apartment, I spent much of my time in the Z-Gallerie store, but had plenty of time to walk around and loved many of the other stores as well.

Pleasure Island and Downtown Disney Area- One of the nights I spent in this area, and it was one of my favorite nights there. I danced at the clubs, I laughed at the comedy and adventurer's club, I shopped at the enormous Virgin Megastore, I ate at the always good House of Blues, and a ton of other things I barely remember under the influence of alcohol. The 21 bucks to get in is totally worth it.

The Hyatt Grand Cypress- This really was the best part of the entire trip. For those of you with limited cash, I even recommend taking a trip here just to spend a little time in the lobby. One of the most relaxing and wonderful places I have ever stayed, and truly the highlight of the trip.

There are plenty of other things to recount, but those will have to be saved for another time. Overall, I had a wonderful time and am already planning my next Orlando trip in my head. For those of you lucky enough to live there, slop on some sunscreen, walk outside, and admire the palm trees and beauty of the area. Once you realize how stupid you look, run inside and hope no one saw you, but still quietly realize how great a place you truly live in.


Mike from Illinois said...

Hey, welcome back Black and Blue! Sounds like you had a fantastic 5 days in Orlando... awesome that you had great weather.

I was on vacation in Orlando for 17 days in July... I'm lucky that my dad, sister, and brother-in-law all live there, and I can stay with them for free! Of course, I had access to a swimming pool, which is all I need to keep me happy.

Looking forward to going back over the Xmas holidays, and seeing my beloved Magic play in person!

Anonymous said...

Being that absolutly no one gives a flying fuck about your trip to Orlando... back to basketball. Denver traded Evans and some rookie to the 76ers for Steven Hunter and some other scrub. In other words, yes we could have gotten Evans for Garrity and Dooling and Otis Smith ruined another deal by running his mouth and taking a vacation during the clutch. Good luck over the net 6 years with no cap money, a mid level player in rashard as our scorer, and dwight getting pissed having a bunch of scrubs around him . GO MAGIC!!!

Ben Q. Rock said...

I always liked the Mexico ride, but the last time I was on it was 5 years ago and there was no Donald Duck nonsense. Sounds like they might have butchered it. Sorry about that.

Black and Blue said...

"Good luck over the net 6 years with no cap money, a mid level player in rashard as our scorer, and dwight getting pissed having a bunch of scrubs around him . GO MAGIC!!!"

I rarely respond to hate talk, but are these really the words of a fan? Pretty nonsensical as it would have been more concise to just write "I hate our Magic team right now!...Go Magic!"

Also, given the volume of positive emails from Orlando residents for painting their city in a positive light, I am quite happy talking about my trip there.

Haters are just part of the job. Thanks to all of the supporters out there.

Jareth Cutestory said...

Glad to see you liked Orlando!

BTW, did you check out Disneyquest while you were in downtown Orlando?

Black and Blue said...

I did not get a chance to check out Disney Quest, unfortunately I didn't have enough time. Next time though!

Anonymous said...

pretty sure that was exageration but i guess that doesnt pass over a computer. and i'm sure memphis grizzlie fans or cleveland brown fans arent saying DUDE I LOVE OUR TEAM. WE HAVENT WON IN 2 DECADES BUT IM LOVING THE ROSTER!!! being a fan doesnt nessesarily mean agreeing with idiotic moves by the franchise. if something stupid is done it should be called out not just twisting it into a "well if you look at it with rose colored glasses..."

ccb said...

If you're going to Orlando, there are a number of sites out there that offer internet only rates for Orlando attractions and tours but Orlando Trusted Tours and Attractions offers some REALLY good discount ticket rates especially for some of the smaller attractions like Silver Springs and Cypress Gardens.