May/June 2001 Trip -- Part 23: The Orlando Roller Coaster Tour My Very Own Cedar Point May 29, 2001 The cast: Me (the 29-year old) I woke up at 5 am and was about to head to Wild Adventures, but at the last minute, I decided to do the Orlando roller coaster tour. There were two things that kept me away from Wild Adventures. First, I wasnt in the mood to drive four hours to get there. Second, Wild Adventures had planned on opening a new wooden roller coaster, Cheetah, around May, but it wasnt due to open now until June. I decided to put off a visit until the coaster was opened. Why did I plan on doing an Orlando roller coaster tour? I had read an article in the Florida Coaster Club newsletter where a member did a Florida roller coaster tour. He did every coaster in Busch Gardens, Disney World, and Universal (this was before Kraken at Sea World opened). It took him all day, but he did it. I decided that was an interesting idea. I wanted to do something different during this visit. Theme parks are fun and I visit them every few months, but sometimes I get into a rut. During several visits, I go on the rides in the same order and use the same techniques. I avoid crowds and finish the major rides in the park, but after a while, it becomes monotonous. The vacation becomes a little less special. I wanted to try to ride all the roller coasters in Orlando on the same day. I wasnt worried about the cost since I had annual passes to Disney World, Universal, Busch Gardens, and Sea World. I might as well get good use out of them! I also had a car, so transportation wasnt a problem. I wanted to stick with Orlando only since a Florida roller coaster tour would involve too much driving. In addition to the Orlando coasters, Florida also has them in Panama City and Dania Beach. There was no way I could do them all in one day. It would be too much driving. I didnt have time for a two-day tour either. I decided to do these roller coasters: Magic Kingdom: Barnstormer, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Disney-MGM Studios: Rock N Roller Coaster Sea World: Kraken, Journey to Atlantis Islands of Adventure: Flying Unicorn, Dueling Dragons, Incredible Hulk Coaster, Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls Universal Studios: Woody Woodpeckers Nuthouse Coaster Old Town: Windstorm, the kiddie coaster (I cant remember the name), Sky Coaster Every coaster means every coaster, even the kiddie coasters, the water coasters, and the Sky Coaster. The one I was most fearful of was the Sky Coaster. It seemed expensive to pay $30+ for a few seconds of thrill, but I found a $40 Sky Coaster gift certificate for $6.25 at City Auction. Now I have no excuse! I watched the Cartoon Network until 7 am and headed out. I caught a few minutes of Josie and the Pussycats. Talk about an un-animated animated show! It seemed the things that moved the most were the mouths. The characters moved their arms and legs in repetitious patterns. These guys shouldve animated the Star Trek cartoon too! I checked out the parking lot of the hotel and it seemed deserted. The whole hotel had a deserted feel. It was nice not to have strange people making unusual noises in the middle of the night, but it felt kind of lonely too. I headed to breakfast and drove down Osceola Parkway to Disney World. Tolls were around $2, but it was worth it to avoid the construction mess on I-192. As I was halfway to Disney, I realized that I forgot my Sky Coaster certificate! I didnt want to go back for it since it would be a long drive, so I would either skip it or pay full price. I didnt realize it then, but my tour began to fall apart. I was on my way to Disney-MGM Studios.