Florida 04/22 – Legoland + Busch Gardens
Day 9 – Legoland Florida
Against our better judgment we allocated time and money to yet another Legoland property for this trip. I’ve skipped past several others in the world by this point but Florida has just the one trick up its sleeve that meant I simply couldn’t resist the hit of extra coasters for the count.
Mercifully rain was in the air, so the crowding at opening seemed very light and manageable. Let’s get this done as quickly as possible so we can move on to better things.
Unmercifully, we walked straight up the queue for the Dragon first, only to be told that it wasn’t ready yet.
Masters of Flight, the flying theatre attraction was just around the corner and already being operated hideously slowly, so it seemed like the best time to get that done. It was nice to see a fresh theme and video on this, giving the park a tiny bit more individuality. I don’t particularly get on with Lego Movie stuff and this was basically flying a sofa around different Lego scenes while Chris Pratt used words. What stood out for me the most was the clever use of scent. The cloud land smelled like sweets, the Minecraft land smelled like a forest and even the sea had a satisfying freshness to it.
#1 Coastersaurus was the main draw for me of course as I feel like I’m on some sort of vendetta now when it comes to wooden coasters. Having basically completed Europe for them, I get the slightest sense that riding the full collection some day isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. It’s good to have at least one unhealthy goal to aim for.
And so even though this one really isn’t up to much, it was a satisfying lap. Barely gets above walking speed and none of the hills have any feeling to them. I know it’s for kids, but the Woodstock Expresses are far better for starters.
In fact the coaster selection here is just poor all round. These Vekoma SFCs with shoulder restraints are awful, somehow still managing to cause grief without even trying. #2 Flying School couldn’t be further from the simulation of flight.
Got to lay eyes on our old friend Jungle Coaster again. What a life it had in Windsor with those terrible scream shield greenhouse pods that folded over the cars. No +1 to be had here sadly.
While I’m on a roll, I think this was the worst Miniland I’ve ever seen. It’s distinctly smaller than average, all chucked in under a canopy. There’s not a huge range of stuff to look at, nothing in the way of a world showcase, just a few American bits and bobs. Some nice little details here and there, but nothing on the scale of any of the others. Doesn’t quite have the heart somehow.
We circled back to the Dragon which now had the staff at the entrance turning people away, backed up by a couple of entertainers with swords attempting to diffuse the mild disappointment. Don’t let us be spited by the stupidest part of the trip.
Short of things to do in the meantime, took a quick lap on the interactive dark ride Lost Kingdom Adventure. Believe this is also the Windsor layout which at least means it isn’t the oval one.
Tried to take a lap on Ninjago, but it broke down as we got to the station. The staff, as with many other rides we had observed throughout the morning, didn’t seem to know a whole lot about what they were doing while handling the breakdown announcement and it was decided we really don’t need to stick around for another one of these.
The app was still saying Dragon was down and things were getting desperately dull, so we headed over to guest services to see if they had any better intel than ‘I really can’t say if it will open.’
To our surprise, they said it was open. But your app and the queue boards say… well that was bad timing.
+1. It was rather novel to have the #3 Dragon dark ride experience bolted onto yet another Vekoma Junior for the trip. A clever mod at the very least.
With that we walked over to Peppa Pig land to see if they had any deals going on entry tickets for Legoland visitors. We had actually booked our park tickets online before the announcement and eventual opening of the second gate (if you can call it that) and, not through lack of trying, were unable to upgrade to the combo version afterwards.
Nope, nothing doing, full price at 30 quid on the door or go home.
Even I have my limits.
Could actually be riding something good right now.
Though we had completed the park very successfully on the first visit, our business here wasn’t done just yet.
God damn Iron Gwazi was of course the main draw in that, perhaps the only one if I’m really honest.
Here’s an angle I’m sure you’ve not seen yet.
We whiled away the afternoon getting as acquainted with it as we dared, only pausing to break things up a bit with some courtesy laps. Nothing in the park had any queue at all, so that made things somewhat easier to digest.
Montu didn’t really benefit from a second go. Still left me feeling jaded at best.
Kumba was worse from a second go. Not as refined in the outside seats.
I already knew enough about Sheikra.
Cheetah Hunt earned that second go, I kinda like it.
As did Cobra’s Curse, at least it’s something a little different.
As the night with Gwazi wore on, it began to break down a lot as with everything new in Florida right now and operations ground to a halt again. It was a little frustrating given that we had been walking straight onto it mere moments before. We had a chance encounter with Rollercoaster David, who happened to be directly behind us in the queue before the final lap of the night and was in the midst of a much more adventurous trip than we were – clearly I’ve got to step my game up. As a season pass holder, he very kindly offered up a sizeable discount on a t-shirt one of us had been eyeing up, have to say thanks again for that!
As for the ride itself, it quite clearly stood out as the highlight of the state upon return. I had pretty much figured that out anyway, but you never quite know how these things are going to behave from one day to the next. It’s fast, intense, out of control, wonderful, insane and a whole other bunch of superlatives.
Competition is terrifyingly tight at the top though and it hit that ceiling for me where I didn’t quite get emotionally attached to the thing. Technically brilliant, I can’t even begin to fault it. My head says top ten, but my heart says no, that’s not possible any more because it’s only my third favourite RMC.
Better than Zadra.
I prefer Hakugei.
and Twisted Colossus.