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Old 3 Sep 20, 10:27 AM  
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Andy C
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Join Date: Nov 05
The Quest For Toad - The No Queues Trip 2019 - Day 6: "Aquatica... wait, you're from the DIBB?"

On to the first Water Park day, and with the heat, this was welcome. Historically, waterpark days were the favourite days for the kids.

Sadly, as it turns out, not quite so much these days. The Lad used to go all over the small children slides and went through a phase of being addicted to larger waterslides. We even had to do weekly trips to anywhere in driving range with waterslides.

Unfortunately, he’s now decided he doesn’t like them any more. Discovering this would have been better before having four waterpark days planned.

Still, he still adores bobbing around in the water, so the wave pools and lazy rivers are a big success with him. DW and I take turns escorting him in the water while the other goes off with the bigger kids to try out the various slides. DW and DD1 make one team; myself and DD1BF the other (going for more adrenaline rides).

DD2, having once been addicted to waterslides and adrenaline, has recently decided that she's fine just lying on sunbeds.

You know, these trips to get great experiences for the kids would be so much easier without the kids.

I won’t go into excessive detail for this day – there aren’t many photos, for a start – but we all got a go on Dolphin Plunge and the various Raft Rides. DD1BF and myself got to go on Ihu’s Breakaway Falls a few times. In the end, we sampled each of the options - there are a number of slides at the top. One of these isn't a "breakaway" slide; you get on it conventionally.

A word to the wise. That one is NOT, by the way, an ‘easy option’ back down.

The actual breakaway flumes are so much fun. You step into a tube, standing on the trapdoor, and they close the transparent Perspex around you.

And (this is a superb touch) they run a noise – a thud-thud-thud noise that sounds rather like a heartbeat. A heartbeat that’s beating quickly and nervously. Clever.

On one of them, there was an unfortunate girl who changed her mind when she’d got in and the tube had closed. It may seem a bit presumptuous of us to guess what she was thinking, but there was a big clue when she shouted “I’ve changed my mind!”

The attendant looked sympathetic and then just pressed the button and she was gone. Oh well. Quickest way to get down and have it all over, I guess.

Partway through the day, DD1 preferred to spend some time with DD1BF (quite understandably), and DW took a rest whenever we switched off on our “guard The Lad” duty. I decided to go on a few rides solo.

Unfortunately, some of the raft rides require you to be in a group. In a surprising turn of events, when chatting to the people next to me in the queue for one ride, found out they were Dibbers.

Small world.

(No, we do not want the music from that ride).

Please forgive me, though; I’ve completely forgotten your names! I’m always terrible with names at the best of times, and the year since has eroded them away completely. I do recall having a very enjoyable chat with them and gratefully sharing a raft a couple of times.

Then DD1 and DD1BF volunteered to watch The Lad for a while as he was finally flagging and had thrown himself down at the sunbeds we’d staked out, so that DW and I could get to go on a few raft rides together, which was very nice.

KareKare Kurl was a bit more adrenaline-y than anticipated – the way you swoosh up the sides makes it feel like you’re going to flick straight off and arc gracefully out of the flume and into the road behind, which would rather put a downer on the day. (Spoiler: you don’t actually go plummeting to your death).

We were originally thinking of going from there to Disney Springs to take in “Into The Void” if we left early enough, but we enjoyed the day so much we left mid-afternoon and decided to go straight to Florida’s Mall for some shopping. And food. I’m fond of Five Guys burgers, and there’s one at the food court there, which is a happy side-effect of going there (I’m not much of a shopper, unlike DW, DD1, and DD2).

We bomb-burst through the Mall (just getting indoors before the regular rains arrived - superb timing), with me marshaling The Lad (and wandering almost accidentally into the occasional ice-cream place every so often, to The Lad's approval) while the others shopped to their hearts' content.

Let no-one say THE PLAN fails to cater for everyone.

DD1 even tracked down a stuffed toy place. Surely here would have a... dare I even say it?

Answer: no. Because of course it doesn't. No Quest worth the name can be resolved by going to a Mall. Lord of the Rings would have been shorter and more boring if they could have gone and bought a Ring-destroying device at the shops (although the Gap of Rohan would have had less to do with mountains and more to do with selling branded clothes. Probably horse-themed.).

She did find something called a "Digglet" for a work colleague who had a child who was similarly questing for something.

After filling up on ice-creams, I bravely managed a Five Guys burger and shake while the rest of us rendezvoused at the food court. The others mainly got Chinese, after a successful free-sample offer of Orange Chicken to all those wandering into the food court. Eventually we rolled out and back into the car for the journey back to the villa.

An early night tonight, because we had an even earlier-than-usual morning tomorrow to get to Busch Gardens early.

Edited at 10:47 AM.
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Old 3 Sep 20, 05:42 PM  
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