TR: Cleanup In Aisle Orlando Pt. 3 : Central Florida Zoo, Sanford, Downtown Orlando (9/21/2015)

Having blasted through park after park, we entered the final day of our trip with the knowledge that a return flight was coming that evening. Having that knowledge floating around in the back of our heads, we made the decision before coming down that perhaps we’d skip the usual theme park nonsense for this last day. With almost every theme park facility in Greater Orlando having been visited, we chose to go off script and see some things tourists rarely do in the area. The Marriott App’s online checkout was pretty fabulous to use, with the breakfast room being packed again, we opted for eating left over Papa John’s from the day prior as our breakfast.  Continue reading

TR: Cleanup In Aisle Orlando Pt. 2 : Wet N’ Wild and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (9/20/2015)

The impetus for this trip was the official announcement of what we knew was coming: Wet N’ Wild was closing. It isn’t imminent. We’re still talking about over a year of operation left before the gates close and the bulldozers arrive. But we know the end is near, and we know that we’ve been talking about going without actually doing it for a solid decade. This is our opportunity. We must make the most of it. I did no favors by getting back to the hotel room at 1:30AM, but we all make choices we sometimes regret or recognize as being silly afterwards. This wasn’t among the worst, honestly. Continue reading

TR: Cleanup In Aisle Orlando: Legoland and Fun Spot (9/18-19/2015)

I’ve simply lost track of the number of trips I’ve made to Orlando. I’ve written ten trip reports/trip report series about the place, and I’ve gone on even more trips then that dating back to my first when I was all of 9 years old in the year 1992. I have seen and done many things, and yet, for all the flights, all the hotel nights, all the park entries, there are things which have gone untouched and undone. Rides not ridden, sights not seen. This trip served to get some more nights under my belt with Marriott and to gather up some more ride experiences somewhere comparatively cheap to fly to and get hotel stays at. Continue reading

TR: Columbus Zoo & Zoombezi Bay (9/5-9/7/2015)

My wife and I understand that we don’t exactly fall into any easily definable category of traveler. Yes, we like theme parks. But we like a lot of things. And one of those things we like happen to be zoos. Zoos are a lot like amusement parks these days: heavily themed areas intend to immerse you in a different world, with the occasional ride somewhere nearby. They’re also often much cheaper, much more family oriented, and did I mention they’re much cheaper? Yes. They’re much cheaper. There’s that too. Value is a difficult to describe thing, but we definitely do look for it, and zoos have that in spades.

That intro brings me to the more salient point: We went for Labor Day weekend and spent practically the entire time in or around the Columbus Zoo. After skipping visiting in 2013, we would be back with a vengeance and hitting it all up. Our three-day plan featured a behind the scenes tour, a visit to the water park, and some good ‘ol fashioned animal viewing. We spaced it out pretty well also as to not overload ourselves with activity or with time spent at the zoo. And it worked really well. Continue reading

TR: Cedar Point w/Toledo Zoo stop (8/29-31/2015)

We hadn’t made any “on property” stays at Cedar Point this year due to Breakers being newly refurbished and our expectation of some growing pains related to that. But as summer went on, prices began to drop, and we have more vacation time than ever before. So why not take an extra day off and stay longer at the Point?

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Adventuring in West Michigan: Your 2015 Michigan’s Adventure Update (8/22-23/15)

Our buddy Joe made his way up to visit us, and as you’d expect, it was a requirement of sorts to go visit Michigan’s Adventure. He’d never been, and there’s some stuff there to ride, so why not? Platinum Passes are key for adventures such as this. Strange fact about them: they detail how many times you’ve been in a specific park. Since this was to be my one and only Michigan’s Adventure, I had yet to register a visit, leading the gate attendant do chide me for my poor use of my season’s pass. It was in a jocular way, yeah, but like, c’mon. Do I need to come here repeatedly? Continue reading

TR: Wisconsin Sprint Trip – State Fair, Mt. Olympus, Timber Falls (8/8-8/9/2015)

In the never-ending battle to find new coasters to ride, I often find myself looking at fairs. Fairs bring big rides to towns within striking distance to me, and I like big rides. Call it a weakness if you must. I do like them. But this is a complicated thing, as I’ve done most of the significant fairs within reasonable distance of me. That means I start to get into “unreasonable” distances for fairs. And that’s a challenge to justify to my wife, who generally doesn’t like carnivals. My solution: Just go solo. She’s OK with that. The problem: Single rider rules at many fairs. Solution to that? Have friends. Continue reading