Thanks again for the comments! Moving ahead a little over a week -- and skipping something I'll get back to later -- I'll jump over to Orlando for a visit to SeaWorld.
Though my family has averaged a trip to Disney World about once every three years, I've been extremely negligent in visiting the other major parks in central Florida. Though I got to both Fun Spot parks in 2015, I had not been to SeaWorld since 1995 -- when I was ten years old. It's so long ago that I have virtually no memory of the park, though I do remember riding the Sky Tower -- so hey, at least I got that credit 22 years ago, since it wasn't operating this time.
I visited the park on Monday, February 13. Crowds were very light in terms of locals and domestic visitors, but this was also my first time visiting an Orlando-area park during Brazilian tour group season -- thankfully, there were only a few large groups, and they added only negligible stress to the day. Actually, they kept the coaster trains at least partially full, which was better for photography's sake!
Scorecard for the day:
-- lunch --
My closest comparisons to this park are SeaWorld San Antonio (which I visited with TPR in 2013) and Busch Gardens Tampa (which, well, it's on Page 1). This is definitely a better and more full park than San Antonio, but it probably doesn't win the battle with BGT. Both parks are impeccably landscaped and quite beautiful, and they both contain an excellent (and very different) assortment of animals. However, for as much as I love SeaWorld's three B&Ms, BGT wins the ride battle in a landslide. Kraken's a good mid-tier Floorless, though it's a little shaky in spots. Manta is my easily favorite flying coaster, and the first I've been on that wasn't a Superman clone, a Vekoma deathtrap, or a Volare torture device. Mako was a surprise hit -- I went in expecting a mid-tier B&M hyper, but it's probably one of my favorites, and I'll take it over Diamondback here in Ohio. Yes, most of the air is floater, but don't tell me the first drop in the back row isn't a little more! Unfortunately, that's about it -- Turtle Trek is OK, Antarctica is a disappointment, and Wild Arctic is best not spoken of. Still, I'm totally happy to mini-marathon the B&Ms in between watching the animals and shows -- this park is worth a day for those reasons alone.
Pictures and additional details to follow!