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Archived Photo Trip Reports of Theme Parks, Roller Coasters, and Donkeys!
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Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:38 pm

Yay Steve's reports are back for 2012!

Great shots at Universal. Haven't been there since 2001. I loved Incredible Hulk. I must get back to Florida someday.

Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:32 pm

Hooray! I love reading your TRs. While Universal has dropped down on my list of favorite parks I still think it's one of the most photogenic parks out there (as evidenced by your pictures). Personally, I like HRRR for how unique it is and the sound quality of the onboard audio, and the MCBRs only make the cycles fly. But I have to agree with you that it's nowhere near a great coaster. BTW, I know what you mean about having to wait several ride cycles just to snap the perfect shot of the train lol. Great report, can't wait to see more :b

Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:23 am

Alright so the day after our Universal adventure, Jen and I ventured down to her hometown (Winter Haven) to check out Legoland and all their new offerings since being transformed from Cypress Gardens. I will admit that I was almost 100% in the dark about everything at Legoland. I didn't really know anything about the other parks, and I purposely avoided early trip reports from this one so I could have a genuine new experience at a park for the first time in a pretty long time. The result was pretty good! All I have to say after visiting this park is Lego sure knows how to appeal to kids!

The rides themselves all had some sort of Lego theming included, from Lego statues around the ride to the actual ride vehicles themselves. The attention to detail giving to practically everything in the park was absolutely stunning! During the day, I kept saying that if I was a kid when this park was around, I literally would have been there every day. I would even go so far as to say that park would have appealed to me more than Disney ever did when I was younger (I was a HUGE Lego fan as a kid). I also loved how they included the old gardens in the park experience, as it's pretty neat to see (not to mention a nice way to get away from the crowds and be in the shade for a while). Miniland was also maybe the coolest thing I've ever seen, but I'll have a separate trip report for that. The staff was also some of the friendliest I've seen at any park.

That being said, they definitely have room to improve. For starters, the food offerings weren't anything spectacular, although the pizza/pasta buffet was a nice option to have when we were starving in the middle of the day, and it was very popular with families, too. And they had the apple fries, which were delicious! But other than that, it was standard park food that was a little pricey. Ride wise, they had a pretty good amount, but they still could stand to add a few more (and they have more than enough room to do it). Opening the water park is going to be a great addition for them heading into the hotter months.

All in all, I was very impressed with Legoland as an overall experience, and I'm insanely jealous that kids get to experience it and I didn't! I took 200+ pictures during the day, but I'm only going to share about half of them on here. I have the full album on facebook (which is public), so if you want to see them all, go here. I will say again though, I'm going to have a separate report for Miniland photos, so if you don't want those spoiled, don't go to the facebook album until after the second report!
Time to check this place out!
The horses on the carousel were Lego horses, love it!
They had tons of Lego characters around the park, many of which came with sound effects. This one was snoring.
The Vekoma indoor/outdoor roller coaster/dark ride. The dark ride section was terrific, the outdoor was a Vekoma roller skater. Ho hum.
This ride was called the Joust (I think), and the Lego horses "galloped" around the track. Unfortunately I was too big for this one, otherwise I probably would have ridden it.
Revenge of the Lego Mummy!
They had an indoor shooting ride that was probably the easiest I've ever been on. Still fun though.
Legoland kept the old Triple Hurricane coaster from Cypress Gardens and re-themed it.
While in line, you hear a REALLY loud roaring coming from the back of a truck. Once you round the corner and see into the back of the truck, it's really a tiny dinosaur with a megaphone. The creativity of these people is off the charts!
Is this a "Coastersaurus"?
For a kiddie woodie, this actually wasn't that bad. They had retracked basically the entire ride with the exception of the station and lift, so it was running pretty smoothly.
Over in Imagination, you could build all types of Lego things. I loved the half giraffe and Einstein creations.
They also had the Rescue Academy (from what I understand, a staple of Legolands everywhere), probably the best family attraction anywhere!
You have to "race" to the "burning" building in a hand pump-operated truck, put the "fire" out with hand pump-operated fire hoses, and then race back to the finish line.
Not only is it an attraction that the whole family can do, it also promotes exercise. A win win for everyone!
They also have several "schools." This is the Driving School, where kids can drive Lego cars around a road system complete with lanes and traffic signs. They even get their own "driver's license" at the end!
Flying School is a Vekoma Junior Hang and Bang. It wasn't too rough, although once or twice it punched me in the jaw.
And the third school, the Boating School, let kids drive mini Lego boats around with their parents.
This ride was almost like a "whip on water," and while it looked like a lot of fun, Jen and I didn't feel like getting wet. Although I'm 100% sure kids love it.
The "biggest" coaster in the park is the wild mouse.
It's one of those wild mouse coasters with a big drop at the beginning. The only other one I've been on is at KD, although I do know there are others elsewhere.
Love the theming on these cars. This was also the smoothest wild mouse I've ever been on, as the cars were probably just fully rehabbed when this coaster was brought over from Legoland Windsor.
Legoland also took advantage of the ski show setup from the old Cypress Gardens and made their own ski show out of it.
Complete with skiing Lego men!
And Lego men doing jumps!
These Lego men were supposed to protect the ship from the pirates, but they just danced instead. So......
Pirates invaded and did backflips. Then they came in the stadium and started splashing the front rows with water.
And then, the most dreaded Lego pirate of all stopped by......
Thankfully this shark chased him away.

Funny back story, they had mentioned that Brickbeard was afraid of this shark for the whole show, but we kept wondering how they would introduce the shark. Turns out, they had this inflatable shark attached to Brickbeard's jetski so it "chased" him away as he ran off. I almost hyperventilated I was laughing so hard.
Back into the park, they kept this old waterfall that was here with Cypress Gardens, but they added their own "Lego touch."
They had Lego wildlife all over the waterfall area like rabbits.....
Otters, how cute!
And foxes! As previously stated, the attention to detail and the little charming bits sprinkled in throughout the park were fantastic.
This guy was outside the pizza buffet, and he talked to you as you walked into the restaurant. "Hey....I make ah-pizza!"
Jen was once a southern belle at Cypress Gardens, so she had to pose with the Lego belle.

The gardens were still intact and beautiful!
The Legoland catawampus?
As you can see, it was a beautiful day in Winter Haven.
And the vegetation provided some nice shade, which will be beneficial during the ridiculously hot summers.
Very scenic.
I called this the lone palm. Maybe we can give it a proper name. I would name it Dequevarious Shawnterious Smith.
I would have loved an orange, but these were too high up, even for me. :(
This is a banyan tree. For those of you not familiar with banyan trees, "roots" grow from the branches to the ground in order to prop them up when the branches grow too far from the center of the tree. This tree is most likely well over 100 years old.
Yes, this is all one tree!
Apparently Legoland is not just for kids.
And now for more Lego characters, here's an old lady watering her Lego garden with her hair rollers in. Can you spot the Lego mouse?
This guy is trying to bird watch, unsuccessfully it seems.
This guy told corny jokes like "Man, this job really stinks!"
May the Lego be with you!
R2D2 made all his usual sound effects.
We also went up in another holdover from Cypress Gardens, the Island in the Sky!
It's an observation tower that looks like a giant sombrero on a stick.
While waiting, we spotted another kitty doing his business. At least he covered it up when he was done.......
Up high now, we get a nice aerial view of a couple of the coasters.
And a full view of the Dragon coaster. The building and dark ride portion was added on by Legoland to the existing coaster on the right.
The last thing we did was try the famous apple fries.
And they did not disappoint, they were like mini apple pies! Delicious!

Thanks for reading the first half, stay tuned in a day or so for the Miniland report. You won't want to miss it!
Last edited by Skycoastin Steve on Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:26 am.

Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:52 pm

Awesome pics, Steve! Looks like a beautiful park, and I love what they've done with the old Cypress Gardens stuff. Lego's were my favorite thing ever when I was little, and I've always wanted to get to a Legoland. Next time I'm in Florida, I will be sure to get my butt to this park. Thanks for sharing!

Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:36 pm

^Legos were all I ever played with besides marbles and matchbox cars. I used to build cathedrals. Well, more like big multi-colored cubes, but they were cathedrals in my mind. :lol:

Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:43 am

Seems we had very similar opinions on the park. What they have there is fantastic, but a few more rides definitely wouldn't hurt. I'm sure the waterpark will help immensely.

Shame you didn't do the WaveRacer, this was a favorite at the park. Most of the people shooting the canons were only aiming for people they knew which left my group, who all chose to ride, pretty dry. A very unique attraction that I recommend checking out.

And BTW, they're fighting Brickbeard! C'mon buddy, give the man the respect he's earned, haha.

Thanks for the report!

Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:25 am

^Ah, you're right, it is Brickbeard. My memory is getting worse by the day. :lmao:

Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:45 pm

I need to go back to Legoland, I missed a lot of those Lego details during my visit. Due to time constraints, I had to miss the Brickbeard show, but it certainly looks and sounds fun. I have to agree with you that this was a really great place. I read so many reviews that it would only appeal to kids under the age of 12, so thank you for helping me prove that an older crowd can enjoy it just as much.

(on a side note, thanks for updating the info for Test Track and The Dragon on CoasterCounter ;) )
Last edited by VinTheAttendant on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:34 pm.

Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:50 pm

All the little details are what make the Lego parks so much fun to explore--there's no way to take them all in during a single visit. You posted some pics of stuff I missed when I was there back in in October.

Re: Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!

Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:01 pm

Great trip report, and very excited to check out Legoland when I get a chance/excuse. I appreciate you blazing a trail for adults without kids to visit!
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