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Unread 9 Jul 19, 08:14 PM  
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gjdjud
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HEY MICKEY YOU'RE SO FINE,YOU'RE SO FINE YOU BLOW MY..MONEY. MAY 2019 Day 14: BUSCH GARDENS&MILLERS!

HEY MICKEY YOU'RE SO FINE,YOU'RE SO FINE YOU BLOW MY..MONEY. MAY 2019 Day 14: BUSCH GARDENS AND MILLERS!

HEY MICKEY YOU'RE SO FINE,YOU'RE SO FINE YOU BLOW MY..MONEY. MAY 2019 Index

Day 14

So today we would be going to Busch Gardens before heading back to Orlando. This was another day I was a little nervous about as on our last visit to Busch Gardens it had been a bit of a disaster!

We were up fairly early. Busch Gardens opened at 10am and according to google maps was a bit further away than I thought. It would take an hour with the traffic. Wed all had a pretty good nights sleep but I still felt a bit rough although I was slightly better. Lily woke up not feeling great and had a bit of a cough so was cause for some concern. Once she was up she was ok though.

We washed and dressed and I noticed a bill had been slipped under the door. This confirmed the cost would only be the resort fee. We checked out roughly about 8am going from there to valet to collect the car which was brought round fairly quickly. We had enjoyed our night at this hotel and if your looking to do something similar then Id recommend it. There are cheaper places but also more expensive. We drove towards the exit of Clearwater discussing whether or not wed do it again. Like I wrote about yesterday, it was a maybe! If I get my way then it would be a yes but maybe for 2 nights

We wanted a little bite to eat so I said wed stop at the first McDonalds we saw that was in our side of the road for breakfast. This was about 20 minutes in to our drive.

Not somewhere I'd planned to be eating but we didn't want anything massive and this was a quick easy option on our way from Clearwater to Busch Gardens.

The staff were really friendly and it was very clean inside.

The girls both has sausage McMuffins which they love.



Kelly had an old favourite of hers, the big breakfast.This is no longer on UK menus so she was pleased to see it. Only difference was the inclusion of a U.S. style biscuit.



I had something I'd never had before, a sausage McGriddle. This basically replaced the muffin with pancakes with maple syrup. It was nice but a bit sickly.



Not much to complain about for a breakfast pit stop at $20.

We continued our drive with once again Kelly in Edge the whole time. We soon approached Busch Gardens. I definitely wouldnt stay anywhere close to the theme park for the night as its not a particularly appealing area.

We arrived about 9.30am praying for one of the famous quiet days at Busch Gardens that many seem to get yet we never do. First impressions werent great as we were stuck in a queue to drive into the car in. This took a good 15 minutes just to get to the parking booth mainly because of the volume of coaches. When I went to show my part ticket for the free parking I had to produce a photo ID which I hadnt had to do at any of the other SeaWorld parks. Luckily I had my wallet handy and I was able to show my driving license.

We drove through to the disabled section which is separated from the other bit of the car park so there would be no need to get a tram. We parked up and I could see absolute ocean of the multi coloured T-shirts from the school trips. Our worst fears had come true. I had bought myself a Quick Queue unlimited and the ladies quick queue junior so I was hoping this wouldnt be too much of an issue.

I picked a line and we got in fairly quickly given the crowds waiting to get in. First port of call was to collect our tickets for the Serengeti Safari that I had booked for today. This was a paid extra that I thought everyone would like. This included a section where the girls were able to feed the giraffes and they were really looking forward to this. As with SeaWorld there was no wristband for the quick queue which was a little bit annoying which meant again wed have to keep showing the A4 bits of paper. I also got the ride assist past for Evie in case she wanted to go on any of the rides that were covered with her quick Queue Junior.

We had a quick restroom break but again this was easier said than done due to all the kids everywhere. I think its a myth this place is ever quiet!

Our first port of call would be Cheetah Hunt.



This one is always the ride people recommend to go on first before it gets too busy. We used Evies ride assist pass and we only had to wait a few minutes to go on. Kelly wasnt keen on riding this so it was just me and the girls. They were a bit apprehensive about this as it would definitely be the biggest rollercoaster they would have been on. They asked me if it went upside down and I said no as thats what I genuinely thought was the case. I dont think they wouldve gone on if they had known that it did go upside down! I didnt know until we actually did go upside down!

Once inside again it was very disorganised which was reminiscent to SeaWorld. It took us a good 25 minutes to actually get on the ride even though we were only metres away from the start of it which was a little frustrating. They were so slow loading the ride. Once we got on the girls screamed with delight as the ride pulled away quickly. It was really fun. We then got caught out when it did a little barrel roll but the girls loved it! They got off the ride really happy that they had been upside down on a rollercoaster for the first time! They were desperate to ride again so we got another ride assist pass for later in the day.



After how long it had taken to do Cheetah Hunt we didnt have that long before we had to check in to our Safari time slot of 11:30 am. We werent exactly sure where this was so we began a slow walk towards where we thought it was. It was very hot and it was very busy and Im not sure how well we were going to do today. We paused occasionally looking at some of the animals that we passed on the way.





I had a map but I still wasnt exactly sure where we were going so I did have to ask someone and they told us we were on the correct path. We eventually made it and checked in about 20 minutes early. There was a nice shaded area for us to wait where they had water as well for us to drink. I knew it was going to be hot when we did the Safari so we made sure the girls had plenty of water. Over the 20 minutes we had to wait various people came in. Some on our Safari and others doing the various other tours they offered.





A few minutes before 11.30am we were led to the safari vehicles. There was about 12 of us in total. The girls were the only kids on the tour. There was no seats so we stood just holding as the vehicle went round. Also in the back was a safari guide and a photographer.



We saw various animals like zebras, rhinos and giraffes. The Safari guide was nice and the vehicle stopped so we could see the animals. We had a good view of things and Evie managed ok. In all honesty though I thought the Safari was just ok. I think the Safari at Animal Kingdom was just as good if not better and we didnt pay extra for that.











The standout was feeding the giraffe though and this took it above Animal Kingdoms. Each person took a couple of turns to feed one greedy giraffe called Cupid. The girls enjoyed this. It took in total about half an hour. It was good but I dont think Id pay to do it again. We didnt buy any of the photos as ours were the same











We stopped to have a look at the elephants as well.







From here we headed to the Panatopia section. The girls saw the Scorpion Roller coaster. This had a much bigger loop but the girls were keen to try it. With our quick queue we managed to bypass a pretty hefty queue. The girls were really nervous but once the ride started they really enjoyed it. They had conquered their first proper loop!





We then went on the SandSerpent. This to be honest belongs in a museum. It was the sort of ride you used to see at the seaside. It was just brutally painful. Never again.

We then headed out and saw the Stanley Falls log boat. The big question was would Evie go on? Would the world end if she got wet? She decided she would as it was so hot. Kelly decided against it as she didnt want to get wet. We got on quickly with our Quick Queue. It was an ok log boat. It certainly barrelled along at a fair speed! The drop was ok and luckily for everyone in the vicinity Evie didnt get too wet.

Next on the agenda was a couple of rides for me! Well that was the plan. I had bought a separate quick queue for the new rollercoaster Tigris. I was so excited to ride this. I knew there would be a queue thats why I bought the Quick Queue so I wouldnt keep them waiting. I walked pretty much to the front. It was nearly my time when the announcement was made that the ride was shut due to a technical issue. I was so annoyed. It got to about 20 minutes and no info was forthcoming. The ride attendants were just saying they didnt know when it would reopen. I without my phone was panicking that Kelly would be getting annoyed. I asked a ride attendant if could I come back later as I had paid for the quick queue. I was given a pass to ride later. As far as I know it didnt reopen that day. I was really annoyed.

I thought Id console myself with Sheikra which was near by. I explained to Kelly about the ride and could I try Sheikra. She wasnt impressed about me going on as they had been waiting a while while I got stuck on Tigris. I wasnt happy as it wasnt my fault. I moved towards Sheikra anyway and my heart sunk when I saw the Quick Queue line was horrendous. There was no doubt Sheikra was down as well. This was all time favourite ride and like Tigris I didnt get to ride. I well and truly had the hump with Busch Gardens now.

The girls were hungry no we went off in search of somewhere that was inside to get lunch. We made our way back to Pnatopia and the Dragon Fire Grill as it was inside. Everywhere was very busy and it was incredibly hot so we weren't in the best of moods. When we arrived our mood wasn't improved. It was rammed inside. We found a seat while I went and tried to see how long we'd have to wait and what was on the menu. I thought it would probably take ages so we decided to go elsewhere. The amount of school kids in there made me feel like it was lunch time at a huge secondary school.

Disappointed and a bit peed off we made our way to find something else. We walked past Cobra's Curse and thought we'd jump on that while we passed using our Quick Queue passes. As we walked past it was clear that was down as well! This was becoming annoying and really frustrating. We eventually found our way to the Serengeti Overlook restaurant. We walked hopefully in praying we'd find something in here. This place was even busier than the last place. There was a more expensive sit down buffet place upstairs so I said blow it lets go there. We walked up and there was a queue out the door! I walked past the queue to have a look. There was numerous empty tables but there was no one to be found directing people to tables. All that was there was lots of unhappy faces. Frustrated we made our way out. We took a seat outside the restaurant and I went off to find something, anything to eat! It took me a while to find somewhere and when I did the was hardly anything left! I managed to find a pretzel for Evie and a churro for Lily.





Evie wasn't feeling great and didn't want to go on anything else.



Cheetah Hunt was just opposite so I took Lily on again. We got to the front quickly with our passes but once again it took forever from this point. I was so slow loading. It took 30 minutes from the near front. So frustrating. We enjoyed the ride though. We went and found Kelly and Evie. The feeling from everyone was that we'd had enough of Busch Gardens. It was only 2.30pm so Kelly said why didn't I go off by myself to get on Tigris and Sheikra. Looking back now I should have tried but frankly at this point I'd had enough and so had everyone else. I couldn't face trudging back over to see if they were working.

We made our way to the exit. There wasn't even a cursory glance to the gift shop from the ladies! We had a quick rest room break before the drive back to Orlando. We had to wait 5 minutes for the car to cool down as it was so hot. We couldn't drive out quick enough. Busch Gardens. Never again.

To top it off Google Maps was showing a lot of traffic. It took us back through the middle of nowhere. Lots of back roads through Bible Belt. It was a little unnerving because of the beaten path. Perhaps I shouldn't have been humming Duelling Banjos to myself while driving this way. The drive seemed to take forever and I was feeling rough again. I think this was more down to the frustration off the day and me and Kelly hadn't eaten much since breakfast.

We decided that once we'd gotten back to the 192 we'd get an early dinner first before going back to Encantada. It took us about 2 hours 20 minutes to reach the 192. We were all really hangry, yes hangry by now. We stopped at the Millers near us. It was about 5pm so it was fairly quiet.

Our server was very friendly and brought us needed drinks straight away and the massive menus.





Again we ordered appertisers we didn't need but we cant resist.

I ordered Garlic hot Zingers. When they came they were parmesan ones which the server realised as she put them down, she said she'd switch them but I said not to worry. They were ok but nothing special.



She did bring out four of the ones I had ordered as well!



Kelly ordered pot stickers which she said were good.



The girls went for Calamari to share again which they both loved.



For mains both girls went with fajitas, Lily a steak and chicken combo, Evie just chicken. Both found it a bit too peppery for their tastes unfortunatley.






Kelly had a philly cheesesteak which she said it was ok but ended up asking for a to go box.



I had the roast beef with au jus sandwich with fries. I didn't enjoy this at all. The beef didn't have a great taste to it and the one I had at Be Our Guest was so much better.





So overall a mixed bag but its pretty good value at Millers. around abour $100 with tip.



We then happily made our way back to Encantada. the plan was dump our stuff and go for a well earned swim. When we got in we were embarrassed to see how housekeeping had been. We were expecting just the one clean a week from when we arrived which was in two days time. We'd left a bit of a mess and boxes pilled up from shopping. This had all been dealt with. Kelly was horrified! Turns out like mentioned early in the report Kelly's cousin had paid for extra housekeeping.

Kelly decided to stay here while me and the girls drove down to the pool. We were expecting it to be busy but it wasn't too bad.





Well for 10 minutes anyway. All of a sudden a mini bus of kids turned up and invaded the pool. It was like the scene from Caddyshack minus the floater and Rodney Dangerfield. They were a big group of early teens that might have been a football team. There were confused looks from everyone else in the pool. It didn't look like they were staying here but I don't know. It would be rude to presume they weren't but who knew. They showed no consideration for anyone else and the pool became like a war zone. There seemed to be one person watching them and he was out of his depth. It wasn't long before other guests gradually felt forced out and started to leave. The girls didn't want to but begrudgingly we followed suite. It wasn't turning out to be our finest day in Florida!

Kelly had just jumped in the hot tub and got a fright when we turned up so quickly. We then just chilled the rest of the evening only interupted by Lily getting scared by a bit in The Hunger Games that she was now watching. She used to be obsessed by Harry Potter but now Katniss Everdeen now has that honour.

We were pretty tired so had a pretty early night.

Not our best day ever but at least we now know not to bother with Busch Gardens again! Still it beats a day in the U.K! For anyone reading who is going this was just my view of it. I'm sure you'll have better luck!

Thanks for reading.

George

Edited at 08:25 AM.
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Unread 9 Jul 19, 09:19 PM  
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desa
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Ah, so sorry to read that about Busch Gardens ! It is usually one of our favourite parks and we have never found it too busy ... as you say it beats a day in the UK anyway.

Enjoying your trip report.
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Unread 9 Jul 19, 09:28 PM  
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Oh no bit of a disappointing day for you 🙁 but ah, the big breakfast that is no more at McDonald's! Was my fave too 😄 we have never been to Busch Gardens in all our trips but must say I don't feel like it is something I need to do quite yet...may be when Daisy is older who knows. Here's to a better day tomorrow! 👍
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Unread 9 Jul 19, 09:56 PM  
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Yeah we've had a hit and a miss at Busch.

Great photo of giraffe nostrils though.
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Unread 10 Jul 19, 08:29 AM  
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gjdjud
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Originally Posted by desa View Post
Ah, so sorry to read that about Busch Gardens ! It is usually one of our favourite parks and we have never found it too busy ... as you say it beats a day in the UK anyway.

Enjoying your trip report.
Thanks for reading

Originally Posted by GezzasGem View Post
Oh no bit of a disappointing day for you 🙁 but ah, the big breakfast that is no more at McDonald's! Was my fave too 😄 we have never been to Busch Gardens in all our trips but must say I don't feel like it is something I need to do quite yet...may be when Daisy is older who knows. Here's to a better day tomorrow! 👍
A place I feel better with older kids but there is stuff for younger ones

Originally Posted by sotagals View Post
Yeah we've had a hit and a miss at Busch.

Great photo of giraffe nostrils though.
I thought it was a classy photo
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Unread 10 Jul 19, 09:44 PM  
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A frustrating day but definitely not a complete right off, I bet the girls were thrilled with their first upside down coaster experience. It will be something they'll remember forever.
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Unread 10 Jul 19, 10:32 PM  
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Aw thats such a shame that you didnt have a good day - sounds like too many groups and too many breakdowns. I really hope you give it another chance one day as there are loads of fab rides you missed (like Montu). I made the same mistake with Cheetah Hunt and told my youngest there was no going upside down - just a bit high and loopy to start with then a nice leisurely ride looking for cheetahs. Haha got the wrong Goodness knows where I thought the cheetahs would be
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Unread 11 Jul 19, 06:47 AM  
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Originally Posted by collybird View Post
A frustrating day but definitely not a complete right off, I bet the girls were thrilled with their first upside down coaster experience. It will be something they'll remember forever.
Definitely. They absolutely loved that bit!

Originally Posted by vanlou View Post
Aw thats such a shame that you didnt have a good day - sounds like too many groups and too many breakdowns. I really hope you give it another chance one day as there are loads of fab rides you missed (like Montu). I made the same mistake with Cheetah Hunt and told my youngest there was no going upside down - just a bit high and loopy to start with then a nice leisurely ride looking for cheetahs. Haha got the wrong Goodness knows where I thought the cheetahs would be
I think it would take a bit to persuade us to go back. You never know in a few years time.
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