My friend suggested I write a blog about Florida, a place where I’ve just spent the last 2 weeks. It was the longest – and shortest – trip of my life. Physically the longest, but now I’m home it feels like we were there 2 days or something.
I could write a mega post about the whole 2 weeks, but it’d be laced with injokes and “you had to be there” moments and would thus be a bit pointless for the average reader. Instead, I will list my top 5 rides. And for someone who used to be shit-scared of ‘big rides’, I am proud I can make this list and proclaim that I went on every rollercoaster I was faced with!
1. #1 has to go to Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. This rollercoaster will hold a special place in my heart for a long time because it was the first big rollercoaster we went on in Orlando (the Mummy doesn’t count, it’s too ‘small’). Any rollercoaster that allows you to listen to your own choice of music is automatically a winner – I picked ‘Stronger’ by Kanye West for both my rides (boring but whatever, it sounded good). Although I am still interested in retrieving stats on this ride to see just how many people pick songs from the country genre…. Nevertheless, it’s a great ride. The vertical climb right at the start is fucking terrifying but I found keeping your eyes open worked better than closing them. After that initial climb, the rest of the ride is a piece of piss. A fun piece of piss. Shame it breaks down so often (it broke down two times out of the three I attempted to get on). My second and final ride was at the front, and it was awesome AND hilarious – mainly because my co-rider’s nipple came flying out to enjoy the ride. We laughed. A LOT.
2. Rock & Rollercoaster with Aerosmith – it’s an indoor, Hollywood-themed rollercoaster that shoots you off at a billion miles an hour straight into a loop. It also plays Dude Looks Like A Lady as you whizz round. We rode it 3 times. Need I say more?
3. Hulk – I love this ride for no other reason than it’s fast and it has a hilarious spoken introduction bit at the initial launch-climb. This provided the catalyst for me to drunkenly recite the whole speech later that evening, complete with a live-action demonstration and a butchering of the dialogue. WARNING! WARNING!.
4. Spider-Man – My favourite motion simulator, even outmanoeuvring The Simpsons Ride and Harry Potter. It’s fun, it’s 4D, it has the Manhattan skyline. And it has Spider-Man, who I later met at a merch store. I’ll forever regret not riding it a 3rd time (until I go back…).
5. Last but not least, The Simpsons Ride. First ride we went on in Orlando and the first of many motion simulators. My experience up to this point had been in British-equivalent simulators where you’re meant to feel like you’re in a Red Arrow aeroplane. US simulators take this concept so much further and shit on any simulator you’ll ever ride in a British theme park. The effects blew my mind & this ride was only beaten by Spider-Man by virtue of SM being 4D. But as our first proper ride in Florida, this too, like Rip Rockit, holds a special place in my heart.
It’s no coincidence that all my favourite rides are from Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure. Our hotel was at Universal and it was the first park we visited during our holiday, and for those reasons alone it has much sentimental value. I’ll love Disney forever, but it was simply too crowded, too overwhelming and too hot to truly appreciate. I aim to stay at a Disney resort should I go back to Orlando so I can experience Disney as it should be experienced.
P.S. Special shout out to Ripsaw Falls for being fucking exhilarating and having a much scarier end drop that you would imagine!