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Old 9 Sep 20, 10:01 AM  
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Andy C
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The Quest For Toad - The No Queues Trip 2019 - Day Ten: Seaworld, and an unexpected bonus

As Day 10 dawns, I wake up completely recovered from my headache. Today is SeaWorld.

DD2 has told us that she has some moral/ethical issues with visiting SeaWorld. I have some disagreements with some of the claims that were pushed in a certain documentary, but DD2 emphasises that she's not trying to pressure any of us, or make any problems, or even ask us to change our plans. She'd just prefer to hang around at the villa today.

I'm not going to hassle her for having a social conscience. After all, she may be more right than I am - just because I've weighed the evidence and come to a different conclusion doesn't mean that I'm right and she's wrong. And, importantly, she's going out of her way not to disrupt everyone else.

We make sure she'll be fine, and there's plenty of food at home for her (given the quantities in most American food portions, she does have a small mountain of left-over Chinese to munch through). And she can contact us by mobile phone if there are any problems. She is eighteen, after all.

The rest of us head off for Denny's and on to SeaWorld.

We're up the I4 and get there bright and early. DW takes The Lad off towards the dolphins, while DD1, DD1BF, and I go on Manta.







The line is short and wends through underground caverns and we're soon on the coaster. Strapping in (and making very sure all our possessions are safe in the locker (same system as Busch Gardens)), the ground falls away and we're tilted face-forwards - and we're off. Whizzing around, as if flying, and it's an excellent coaster (reminiscent of 'Air' at Alton Towers).

Right up there with Cheetah Hunt, Tigris, and SheiKra at Busch Gardens. Difficult to judge a winner from them, although DD1 thinks this one edges the others.

Off to Journey to Atlantis at a fast walk, which is literally a walk-on. And, as expected, we all get rather wet. DD1 (the Watermagnet) especially.

Meanwhile, DW and The Lad are going through Shark Encounter



Hurrying across to Kraken, which makes me thankful I took another of those anti-motion-sickness tablets. Another excellent coaster to put up there with the top four from earlier; DD1BF decides this one is probably the top one out of them all.

We meet up with DW and The Lad for the show Dolphin Days. We have time to pop into a couple of shops to see what stuffed animal toys they have. Not really holding out much hope Toad-wise; we're pretty much reconciled to crossing our fingers for Universal, or trying online. Maybe Ebay.



From there, we weigh up going for Infinity Falls first or Mako first. We decide to bite the bullet and queue for Infinity Falls. A tropical pathway to line up on, and the heat is building up through the day. How wet do we want to get? DDBF1 and I discuss who should sit in the seat next to DD1.

The first part of the ride is a conventional theme park white water raft ride, but there's a couple of long lifts up ... and then literally a lift up. You stop and an elevator carries you way up into the air, over an edge, and straight down. Brilliant fun.

From there, we jog over to Mako. Which is practically a walk-on, and Oh, my God, it's the best coaster in Orlando. Fast, swoopy up and down, huge drops, but no swirly or jolting, and it's ideal for anyone who tends even slightly towards motion-sickness.





We all agree to go straight on again, and take a three minute queue up for the front seats.



We have a winner on the coasters front. Mako is clearly number one, with SheiKra, Tigris, Manta, Cheetah Hunt, and Kraken jockying for position behind.

We head off to meet up with DW and The Lad again. Passing by one of those competition booths (one where you throw three overinflated basketballs into a hoop further away than it should be in an attempt to win a stuffed toy), DD1 stops abruptly.

"Look at that..." she breathes. I look. There, hanging from a peg amongst all the other toys... is Toad!

Oh. My. God.

I hurry across and speak to the lad running it. "Is it possible to simply buy one of the toys?"

I explain the situation. The Lad's condition, his obsession with getting a Toad (while behaving so well and not making a huge fuss about it). DW and The Lad rendezvous with us while I'm discussing it, and the youngster running the stall asks me to stand fast while he discusses it with his supervisor.

We keep The Lad diverted so as not to raise his hopes too much. The game costs $5; I'm willing to go to $50 for the toy. More, maybe.

His supervisor wanders across and speaks with me quietly. "I can't just sell it to you, so this is what's going to happen," he says. "You'll take a go on the game, for $5. Then, whatever happens with your three shots, you'll win. Okay?"

The Lad has noticed what's going on and is now very excited. I pay my $5, take my 3 shots (which are, I must admit, fairly pathetic attempts. To my slight surprise - I was pretty good at basketball at school, especially penalty shots), and he hands me Toad.

And I hand it straight to The Lad, who thanks the supervisor profusely, as do I.





QUEST SUCCESSFUL!

We head through some more exhibits. Towards Wild Arctic - the rest of us going on the ride, whilst The Lad and DW bypass the ride itself (to be frank, they didn't really miss much; it's a bit tired) and into the exhibits. The Lad carefully explaining to Toad what's there.





Through Empire of the Penguins





And in to Sea Lion High.







At the end of which, The Lad gets a high-five from one of the performers.



Having done so much (and achieved THE QUEST!), we depart mid-afternoon for Florida's Mall, to do some more shopping and pick up some more Orange Chicken from the Chinese place in the Food Court (Orange Chicken, plus Five Guys fries and a Five Guys shake with malt - living the dream).

And that's another excellent day. THE PLAN is proving both sufficiently flexible and useful enough. I've now amended the itinerary for Day Fourteen, which had been Typhoon Lagoon and is now down for another Animal Kingdom day (as people have grown away somewhat from water-parks; we do, however, still want to check out Volcano Bay on Day Thirteen).
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Old 9 Sep 20, 12:58 PM  
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Mrs Red C
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So pleased the Lad got Toad, well done all round! 😁
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Old 9 Sep 20, 01:28 PM  
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Nublar
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Been following along and thought Iíd comment on what seems to be an excellent trip thus far. Sounds like THE PLAN is going well, and youíre ticking off lots of rides/attractions on every park visit. So pleased for The Lad, incidentally weíre bringing my fiancťís younger brother for his first visit in 2022, he has autism and will be 16. He has came on leaps and bounds with coping mechanisms and itís great to see your DS has had a fantastic time. Props to the SeaWorld vendor too, all round fantastic!
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Old 9 Sep 20, 04:15 PM  
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WIGGYSMUM
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Iím so happy , Iíve actually cried at the photo of your Lad with Toad ... there are some good people out there , well done Mr supervisor
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Old 9 Sep 20, 05:58 PM  
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dreamofmagic
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Iíve just burst into tears seeing the photo of your lad with toad! My wee boy also has additional needs and the moment he makes a connection with something it then becomes the one thing we canít find anywhere! Loving this trip report!
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Old 9 Sep 20, 08:50 PM  
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MUAlumni
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OMG delighted you got the Toad, I can only imagine the delight you had when the supervisor told you what was going to happen. Props to them for being so understanding and as shown by the pics Iím glad the lad was happy to finally get the toad.
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Old 9 Sep 20, 09:16 PM  
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So pleased you managed to get your son the much wanted Toad

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Old 9 Sep 20, 09:31 PM  
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Brilliant! Love it when something magical happens on a holiday!
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Old 9 Sep 20, 11:08 PM  
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Alllovedisney
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Yeah for the Toad! Really pleased he got it.
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Old 9 Sep 20, 11:43 PM  
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Loobylou_82
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Another fantastic day with the added bonus of getting a toad for the Lad. Chuffed for him, he looks pleased as punch.
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