Thursday, May 17, 2007

Busch Gardens - The Day Before

I've spent the entire morning running errands and getting things (partially) prepped for tomorrow's trip to Busch Gardens.

It's been a long time since I've visited there. At least 4½ years since the kids came to live with me. Plus the year or so before that when I was constantly sick with respiration problems. So, 6 years or so.

Since my last visit, they've added new rides: Gwazi, a dueling wooden coaster; Cheetah Chase, a wild mouse coaster; Pirates 4D, a comedic show with all sorts of sensory stuff; Rhino Rally, an off-road safari adventure including a river raft ride in the truck; and SkeiKra, vertical drop coaster that is going floorless (not until June, so it'll have it's floor when we go).

There are new shows, too. I am especially eager to see KaTonga. It is a 35 minute, Broadway-caliber stage show. Characters in costumes that look like real animals (sorta), singing, dancing ... think Lion King show and you've got the idea. There's also the Mirage Canteen musical show that looks interesting. Done in a 1940's style musical review. Should be cool.

Then, of course, are the animals. Tons of animal exhibits where you can get close to them ... sometimes as close as a pane of glass. A very, very thick, shatterproof, pane of glass, but a pane of glass nonetheless. And when I say tons, I means tons. A great exhibit is one with hippos who swim right next to the glass which is half submerged. Okay, the viewing chamber is half underground, but you know what i mean. There are lion and ape exhibits with similar glass viewing areas. Very cool!

Busch Gardens has tons of animals to see. You could spend most of the days just wandering the park, looking at the animals. I like the Serengeti Train ride. You get to see a lot of animals you couldn't easily see otherwise. The sky-ride is pretty good for that, too, but my mother will be using a mobility cart, and I don't think we'll be able to ride the ski-ride. Maybe a round trip or something. We'll see.

I wish we had more money to spend, because you can actually purchase special safari tours where you get to feed giraffes, or be a zookeeper for the day. Several price ranges for matching experiences, but ... we're close to tapped for entertainment funds before we start to dip into the bills' money. That's a strict no-no.

I was going to take pictures to post, but my digital camera (old as it is), seems to have misplaced it's memory card. It was only a 16MB card, and could hold about 30 or so decent quality images.

I looked for a replacement (and bigger memory) while at Wal-Mart picking up some fill-in shopping and fanny packs, but they didn't have what I was looking for. Plus, the employees were unusually unhelpful. Well, unknowledgable is more true. But if you don't know what you are talking about, especially if you work in the photography department, then you're also unhelpful.

I may hit Walgreen's down the road later today and price 512MB cards. If I can get one for around $20, I will.

Health-wise, let alone weight/size-wise, I won't be able to ride too many rides. The coasters are likely out unless they have bench seats. My seat won't fit in their seats. *sigh* Plus I'm not sure inversions will be too kind to my sinuses. The water rides should be okay; I know they are bench seats with drop bars. Well, Congo River Rapids might pose a problem, but I don't think it will.

Some flat rides, like the bumper cars, should be okay. I don't even know if they have flat rides any more. There used to be a ton; bumper cars, swings, crazy camel, sandstorm, pirate ship, carousel ... Guess, I'll see.

I'm going to play those rigged carnival games. I love playing those. Plus, now I don't have to carry a wad of sweaty, crumpled ones around. Busch has introduced a game card you buy and load money on. Now all I have to do is hand the card ot the bgame barker, he swipes it, and I play. It'll be great fo the kids, too. I can give them a card pre-loaded with the amount they may spend on games, and not worry about them spending their lunch or water money on games. >_> Same goes for me, too. hehe

There are some nice restaurants to eat at in the park, fancy to casual. With prices to match, I'm sure. We'll eat at the less expensive of the non-food stand places. Likely the Desert Grill.

The Desert Grill has tons of good food, at fairly reasonable prices. Spaghetti, pastas, steaks, ribs, chicken ... good eats all around. It used to be the OktoberHaus, with awesome German food and live polka band and shows. I used to love eating there as a kid. We'd get up and dance around in a polka line. Great fun!

It was right next to the Scorpion coaster and the Sandstorm flat ride, too. So you could go throw up every thing you just ate.

Well, time to go hit the laundry so we have clean clothes for tomorrow. Plus spares. Those water rides can soak you good. Or, maybe we'll need them after a ride on the Scorpion after eating at the Desert Grill. ~.^

Too, remember tomorrow will not have a post. This one is long enough to tide you over, I hope. hehe

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 137 days is:



Russell said...

That is on the top of my list for vacation destinations. We're actually making plans to spend a week in Florida next Spring. I hope we can work that in!!

Bruiser said...

My kids are going to Florida in January. I told them to skip Disney and Universal this time around and go to Busch instead. They're looking into it. I was there once as a kid and even though I don't remember much about it, I do remember that I enjoyed it.