Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Electerik » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:46 am

crazydaveh wrote:Do you guys plan on going over to the Fantasia Gardens to play? I hear that course is a mean mother....


Absolutely. In fact, we've already done the Fairways course. We just haven't played the Garden course yet (since we've been back).

And yes, the Fairways course is very challenging. Maybe too much so.
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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby PriestofSyrinx » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:53 am

Absolute Favorite "Minnie" Golf Course :lmao: :lmao:

Hahahah, aww I crack myself up :mickey:

Anyway great update! Now do Gatorland or Blizzard Beach next!

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby gisco » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:32 am

I love your reports. I just blew off an hour of work getting caught up!

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Electerik » Sat Mar 20, 2010 7:47 pm

Jambo, and welcome to Harambe!

Or, as it appears on the map at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Africa.

The thing about Animal Kingdom is, there's not much in it. And, perhaps worse, only about 60% of the park is well themed. Harambe is not very large, in terms of pure midway area. And there's only one real ride. Still, this is one of the good sections.
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The bridge from Discovery Island to Africa.
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A side view of the bridge, with Asia's Expedition Everest in the background.
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See? Harambe. Told you so.

The six badges on the left and bottom of the sign represent all the things there are to do here. The two on the bottom are stores. Two of the ones on the left are restaurants. Are you impressed yet?
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The view from the bridge. (Who knew Africa was so green??)
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Most of Africa's main midway. Like so many things at WDW, it's hard to get a photo of it NOT crammed with people.
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The first stop on our adventure: Tusker House, where an African band is just now setting up for a performance. It's easy to miss Tusker House, as it looks for all the world like a basic outdoor eatery, from the front. It's not, though. The tables out front are for the bar, and overflow seating for the quick service eatery across the way.
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The restaurant itself is accessed from around back, and all of its seating is indoors. (The outdoor tables are for people waiting to get in.)
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A host gives Misty the quick tour. It's a buffet, you see. It's $22 a person for lunch, and $28 for dinner. (A fact that they stress repeatedly before they seat you. I guess they've had complaints...?) It's well worth it, though.
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The food has a distinct African flair. (Not that I'm any great expert on African food, mind you. Alls I know is that I like it here.)
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A peanut butter and jelly sandwich bar for the less adventurous members of your party.
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One of the seating areas, just to give you a feel for it.
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Misty insisted I include a photo of this sign. I guess in Africa, health concerns are more basic.
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Okay, let's see if I can name this stuff from memory. Starting from the mashed potatoes and going clockwise: chocolate chip cookie, pecan bread pudding with vanilla sauce, rice and fried potatoes, tofu tandoori, curry chicken, coffee pork loin and tenderloin (both with some weird spicy African sauce). Oh, and one green bean.
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My new favorite restaurant at Walt Disney World, and my favorite thing there. The first person to correctly guess what it is gets...well, you don't get anything, really. But go ahead and guess anyway. What crazy African thing am I eating???
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Misty was very good in the restaurant--but outside, she goes bananas.
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Random theming. "Think 10 times before you dabble."
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Some cool theming around back. Like many of the park's prettiest quiet areas, it has been impressed into a smoking area.
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Heading back down the midway. The left and middle facades are for Tusker House, but the base of the tower on the right contains a small seating area for...
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The walk up "Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery."
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Face painting. And it actually kind of fits the area! Cool.
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Random "Africans like to work on their cars on the front steps" theming. I guess so. Really, Disney could just tell me anything; I've never been to Africa.
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Africa is so primitive, they still use "film."
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Kilimanjaro Safaris is Harambe's only ride. Luckily, it's huge, elaborate, and very high capacity.
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The queue. Jambo, Wilson.
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Actually, the queue has several different sections. This is the "booking room."
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Just how high capacity is this ride? This is (part of) the stroller parking. I have seen as many as four employees assigned just to this area at one time.
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Time to board our big A$$ truck.
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Our driver demonstrates...er, something. (Whatever. He was really good.)
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So, it's not really a "car on a track" type of ride. More like a "guy drives you around in a big A$$ truck" kind of thing.
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I think there's hippos in there somewhere. (Don't worry. There'll be a super awesome hippo pic later.)
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Crocodiles are proof that the gods hate us.
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If you look closely, you can just about see Wes cowering inside that hollowed out tree trunk.
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Wide rhinos, casting a spell of some sort.
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These gateways divide different parts of the reserve. I presume that the row of wires across the road provide enough unsureness of footing to keep the animals from wandering from one area to another.
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There are those damned elephants they're always on about. (I sure hope those poachers don't see them.)
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Texas cows.
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I'm pretty proud of this one. Should give you some idea of what Kilimanjaro Safaris is all about.
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The lions are tough to photograph, on account of the fact that they primarily lay around behind rocks.
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Wait, we're gonna drive through that?
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There's a bit of a storyline to this ride, but it mostly kicks in at the end. Poachers in the reserve, blah blah blah. Anyway, this is their camp. But don't worry, we saved the day by riding around in this truck.
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Unfortunately, our run in with the poachers cut our intended two week safari a bit short. But just as well; I forgot to pack extra socks.
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The ride exits into this small monkey exhibit. You then have the choice of heading back into Harambe, or...
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...walking the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
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Though it looks a bit like a zebra, the okapi is actually a relative of the giraffe.
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I love half-aquarium things.

Okay, remember that hippo photo I promised you?
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Bam!
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Pressing deeper into Pangani. (Also the name of my new Tanzanian porno film.)
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We stop on our way to check out some amphibians.
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Like these gross ugly bullfrogs.
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Back outside for some fish and some orange ducks. (Shouldn't they be in Asia?)
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I like anything where you watch animals outside from under cover.
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Meerkats and *cough*umblemeers*cough*
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People come from miles around to see gorilla A$$.
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That one has a baby. Or, some kind of adorable mutation.
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Wait, the scientific name of these animals is "gorilla gorilla gorilla"? Did Bunsen Honeydew name them??
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Yay for bouncy bridges!
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"I hate you all."
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"You want a picture, Mr. Man? I'll give you a picture! Now get out."
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Back in Harambe. I know some gorillas that might be interested those bananas.

Wait, does that say $1.29 for a banana? I hope those gorillas get a discount for working at Disney.
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This, um, "theming" is attached to...
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...the Ziwani Traders gift shop.
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I like the bongo tree.
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Smisty found something she wants.
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This is Mombasa Marketplace. But really, the two gift shops are connected in a way that makes the distinction pointless.
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Coolest door handle ever.
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Dude, you're Swedish. You look like a tool.
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Tama Tamu is located across from Tusker House, and features more-standard burgers and such. Its primary seating area is located around behind it (through the wooden doors on the left).
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Here's a photo of Tamu Tamu's courtyard.
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On the path to Asia, you'll find these drums, and some pretty nice views of the park's icon, the Tree of Life.

Hamba kahle.
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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby astro » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:42 am

Great TR! I like the hippos fighting. Did you happen to see the bats? Those things are crazy looking. Anyway, thanks for posting! Keep it coming!

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby dandaman » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:44 am

Pressing deeper into Pangani. (Also the name of my new Tanzanian porno film.)


+1 Internets

Glad that the awesome adventures are continuing in great fashion!
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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Disney Freak Andrew » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:51 am

I hate to disagree with such an AMAZING post, however, I fail to see the 40% of Animal kingdom that is not themed extremely well, all I saw was that crappy area behind the Zambezi traders. Otherwise, great pics guys!
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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Wumbology » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:24 pm

Thanks for the Africa photos. Kilimanjaro Safaris is an awesome attraction, and the whole Harambe town is very cool.

I have bad memories of Harambe... On our last trip (first time in AK,) my family was walking through Harambe to get to the Safari, and a little boy was running in front of his dad right behind us. By the face-painting booth (pictured,) he ran into a rope set up for a line and smacked onto the ground. It's hard to see a little kid get hurt and then try and go enjoy a safari ride. It goes to show ya', don't run in the parks! :?r

And I don't know if I agree with the 60% well-themed idea. Disney's Animal Kingdom comes from the creators of Tokyo DisneySEA, and I'd say the Animal Kingdom could be just as amazing as DisneySEA if they had a foreign company willing to dump money all over it. You can't deny that Animal Kingdom is well-themed. The only place I can think of is Camp Minnie-Mickey; that isn't so great with theming, but that's because it was meant to be temporary. Dinoland U.S.A. is often a point that AK-haters like to bring up, specifically Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama, but this area has a deep storyline. It weaves through the Dino Institute, Restaurantosaurus, and the Dino-Rama store. People that think it isn't well-themed really just don't like the theming, I think.

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby PriestofSyrinx » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:49 pm

Wumbology wrote: Dinoland U.S.A. is often a point that AK-haters like to bring up, specifically Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama, but this area has a deep storyline. It weaves through the Dino Institute, Restaurantosaurus, and the Dino-Rama store. People that think it isn't well-themed really just don't like the theming, I think.


The tacky tourist trap area at AK is PURPOSELY themed to be quite tacky! I read somewhere when they brought up the question why did Disney just build a coaster? The Imaggineer replied, It was really hard for us not to make it look good! :lmao:

It's just a part of Route 66 themeing that does fit in to the USA part of Dinoland USA.

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Re: Erik & Smisty's Florida Oddventures

Postby Steelinwood » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:27 pm

One thing I love about these Disney parks is no matter how cultural they are you can usually always find chicken fingers there at some restaurant. Great to see you had a good time!
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