The Adventure Lives On

The Adventure Lives On

This is a trip report from my 2008 trip to Orlando – the full write up is after the jump…

I’ve just returned from a fun-packed trip to Orlando, Florida – the photo gallery is here for those who just want to look at the pictures…

The weather could have been better for the start of the week – overcast for the first few days, with some rain showers too – but as you’ll see in the photos, the weather later in the week dramatically improved – although it was never too cold!

Anyway, the main highlights for me were the new attractions since my last visit in 2004 – namely Soarin at EPCOT, Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, and SheikRa at Busch Gardens Africa…

Soarin’

Soarin' Well, there’s not much to say here really – this is exactly what I expected it to be, an exact copy of Soarin’ Over California at Disney’s California Adventure.  It’s very much a love-it-or-hate-it kind of ride.

You simple soar over an Omnimax style projection taking from a variety of aircraft, with the aromas, sights and sounds of the more picturesque parts of California being the focus of the film.

I for one like it – but it’s not worth a long wait!

Expedition Everest

Everest Even running the “B” programme (with the big animatronic Yeti being replaced with a smaller strobe-lit one) this is a well-paced, fast, smooth and (for a Disney park) fairly intense family ride.

I won’t do a blow-by-blow, spoiler laden write up, but in the tradition of Disney, it’s a ride that tells a story as your train escapes the clutches of the angry Yeti.  A truely great attraction from Disney.

SheikRa

Sheikra SheikRa at Busch Gardens in Tampa has the checklist of gimmicks covered, but manages to make so much of it…

  • Vertical “Dive” Drop – Check and Check (it has 2)
  • Watersplash Finale – Check
  • Floorless Trains – Check

Yes, I said it has both a watersplash and floorless trains – however this works really well, as the water is propelled backwards from the train, rather than all over the riders.

This shows what B&M can do with the Dive Machine concept, beyond that already seen at Alton Towers with Oblivion. A proper layout, even including an inversion, dips and helixes make SheikRa so much more than the list of gimmicks.

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