So as 2014 begins, I wanted to get back on here and reflect about the year and look forward to what promises to be a great 2014. I was able to make 5 separate trips to different parks (2 solo) and visited 7 different parks total.
A quick summary of the trips:
Jan – A solo trip to Orlando to hit Universal Studios Florida and Islands Of Adventure. By getting to the parks early, I was able to ride 9 different rides a total of 10 times in 3 hours and 40 minutes. Made the entire trip in 31 hours.
June – A 5 day trip covering over 2000 miles. Kaswell (my eldest daughter and partner in fun) and I left very early on a Wednesday in order to be able to spend the afternoon at Universal. Was at USF by 6:15 am for the opening of the Transformers ride. There was a great show put on for the opening and we ending up spending all day at the park, finally leaving the park just after 9. Friday brought a drive to Richmond, VA, and KIng’s Dominion. We arrived at the park just after 5pm and managed to ride all the rides we wanted, including riding the Dominator 3 times. A quick drive to Williamsburg after that put us right next to Busch Gardens for the weekend. If you have never been, I highly suggest going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The park has great theming and landscaping combined with world class roller coasters, including Apollo’s Chariot and Alpengeist. The food and wine festival was also well done. We spent 2 days and was able to ride all of the roller coasters at least twice. These five days equaled a great and exhausting trip.
August – After flying into Tampa to pick up a car for Sean (my stepson), I drove to Orlando and spent the night so I could get in another solo trip at Universal. Thanks to Universal’s early admission for passholders at 8 am with onsite guests, I was able to be the first person to ride Forbidden Journey followed by breakfast at the Three Broomsticks. Between 8 and 9:30 am, I rode 6 rides (Forbidden Journey, the Dragons, Hulk, Dr. Doom and Spiderman). After the quick walk over to USF, I rode the rides I wanted (Rip Ride Rockit, Mummy, Transformers and MIB) and had a great lunch from Krusty Burger. After hitting my favorites one more time (Mummy and Transformers), I headed out with another successful solo trip behind me.
October – In what is becoming an annual tradition, Julie and I went to both Halloween Horror Nights and Mickeys Not-So-Scary Halloween along with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. The details of the trip have been covered here so I will just say it is a tradition I look forward to continuing.
November – Some of the details have already been posted here so I will fill in the rest. The day at Epcot was better than expected. The Candlelight Processional was even better than expected and walking from country to country listening to the presentations on Christmas traditions was an unexpected surprise and a great learning experience. Sunday brought the Magic Kingdom and Mickey’s Christmas party. We arrived early to see the Welcome show and ride a couple of rides early. This also put us in a great spot to eat at Be Our Guest, which we managed to do before the line formed. The restaurant was very well done and the food was good, only wish we had been able to try the Grey Stuff 🙂 (only available at dinner, when you have a special occasion). After taking a break, we went back for the party. The Jingle Cruise was a great change from the normal ride and show and the cookies and hot chocolate make most anything better. The Tommorowland dance party with Stitch/Sully and Mike Wazouski was quite cute as well. The parade and fireworks were well done but the Halloween versions are still my favorite.
As you can see, it was a wonderful year filled with theme park trips and good times. Plans for 2014 are still forming with two on the calendar so far. I have a solo trip planned for January, which I will be revealing details for in the next few days, and Julie and I are taking a trip in March. There are many more ideas and possibilities and I look forward to sharing them with everyone. Have a Happy New Year!!