Electerik wrote:That thought occurred to me, as well. But I'm not so sure. There's a lot more there than just Lolita. And it's amazing to me how many zoos survive without have any kind of "star attraction."
Actually, your report proved that they really have cleaned the place up a lot since I used to live down there. In fact, and this might sound odd to some, but considering that 99% of the controversy surrounds both the whale and dolphin show tanks, the place might prosper with the eventual removal of both, and a new "image" which highlights what would remain in the park.
I think some upgrades to certain habitats like the manatees and sea lions (a la Sea World Orlando), along with a stronger focus on conservation would help the place prosper for years to come. I also think the "local park" feel to it is a strong selling point....but then again, that's just my opinion.
Displaying "Online Enthusiast Morality" since 2006, with 99.9% more sarcasm.
In 1993, inspired by the film Red Dawn, China invaded the United States. But the Chinese had learned a valuable lesson from the thrill-a-minute action/adventure extravaganza: You can’t beat Patrick Swayze with guns. Instead, the Chinese invasion would be a cultural one. Instead of soldiers, they sent artists, acrobats, and model-makers. And rather than landing in Washington, DC, this invasion struck the heart of America’s imagination, Central Florida’s theme park district.
The operation was dubbed "Splendid China," and the war for the hearts and minds of Central Floridians and Walt Disney World tourists dragged out for 10 long years.
At first, it was not clear what the Chinese were attempting to do. But then, in 1995, the film “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar” came out--and, well, you can’t fool America forever.
Disorganized pockets of resistance quickly formed, and by 2003, the Chinese were driven back to their godless lands, shamed and defeated.
Still, not everyone had rejected the mystical and ancient ways of their invaders. A few even embraced them, converting to Chinese customs and ways of thought. Traitors, right in the heart of the good old US of A. And some survive still, living in secret, protected by the very Americans who drove out the Chinese invasion fleet. Why?
Low, low prices. Every day.
Now branded by Winn-Dixie as a "Marketplace," the store actually began its life as a Gooding's. But not everyone has the stomach for sheltering abominations.
Though it may not look special from the outside, it becomes clear immediately upon entering that something is very, very wrong.
A bridge over a reflection pool brings you to magazine racks filled with Chinese propaganda. Don't fall for it, Smisty!
The bakery area, where the only recipe calls for evil.
What kind of food can be found here? You know, normal stuff.
The Chinese invaders did not shy away from co-opting our own cultural symbols for their own twisted purposes.
Believe it or not, the figures above are actually animatronics that occasionally perform a little show.
What America under communism would look like.
Here, you'd never even know that the good guys had won.
Ping pong balls might not seem like an obvious choice as an impulse item in the freezer section of your local grocer. At least, not to an American. But you know how the Chinese always dominate in ping pong (or as they call it, "table tennis") in the Olympics? Well, there you go.
Obviously, I don't have to explain the significance of the snowman.
The check out aisles. (The employee has been deliberately blurred for his own protection.)
No place is safe.
Must not sleep. Must warn others.
Do you feel warned? Awesome, I'm gonna go take a nap.
Last edited by Electerik on Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:17 pm.
Ok, this is very odd. I've been to this location SEVERAL times but never really noticed all of these details!?!? I excuse myself though as I used to visit this store to stock up immediately after getting off a redeye flight. I assume this theming has been in the store since Splendid China? Or perhaps they purchased it all at the big Splendid China Foreclosure sale!?!?
Full disclosure, I now show at the Publix a mile down the road instead!
My friend has a townhouse just behind ex-Splendid China, and we went here over Thanksgiving... and yes, it's about as odd of a shopping experience as you've described. It took me until I got the receipt to realize it's actually a front for Winn-Dixie, and what's worse, it took me until just now to realize it's Chinese-themed because of its proximity to the former attraction.
/Scarier still is driving past Splendid China and seeing decaying palaces et al.
mcjaco wrote:^ The first year I went on the TPR Orlando trip we went there to go shopping, and get TPDave his first taste of Taco Bell.
Funny you should mention that; that Taco Bell had the oddest hours I'd ever seen. Granted, it was Thanksgiving weekend, but I'm talking open for three hours, closed, then open for four with drive-thru open for six, all in the same day.
We talked to an employee who said that she'd been with the store since it opened, 16 years ago. That would put it around 1994 or 1995, just a couple of years after Splendid China opened, and long before it closed. She went on to say that all of the Gooding's stores back then were given individual themes, and that the one across from WDW's "back entrance" on Apopka-Vineland had a Disney theme.
So, of course, we headed over to check it out. Unfortunately, this "Disney theme" turned out to be a very subtle old-time Main Street sort of thing, and certainly no match for the other store's full-on China theming. Still, if we run across any more current or former Gooding's stores in the area, we'll make sure to check them out, just in case.
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