My Favorite Ride at Busch Gardens

Guest Author: Adam

Having grown up part of my childhood in St. Louis, it is hard to ignore The King of Beer and its intriguing history of parks. Who’d have ever guessed that a beverage company would wind up starting one of the largest chains of theme parks?

It is true now that  Anheuser-Busch no longer is associated with Sea World or Busch Gardens (R.I.P. free beer samples and endless supply of bratwurst). There’s no doubt the shape and vision of the parks are the product of a place to show off beer.

The Busch Gardens I frequent the most is the one in Tampa. It’s a fascinating mish mosh of animal themes and attractions built in a mish mosh of styles and times. There’s no doubt it is a stunning park that is constantly growing.

I’m a coaster fan. Been on a lot of them, about one-hundred and sixteen. So That’s a huge reason why I love Busch Gardens. But anyone kind find some great coasters at their local park. What is harder to find, and my favorite attraction, is… (drumroll) the Skyride

There’s something special about seeing animals roam freely in a natural looking habitat without ever having to leave the continent. And sure, there are animal parks elsewhere, and sure you can see the animals from a truck or train, but nowhere else do you get the fantastic views of the big picture of the serengeti like you do from the Skyride.

It’s really special to glide overhead, so silently, gently bobbing up and down and taking in what is really two great vistas. One side you have the elegant spacious land where the animals roam paying no attention to you voyeuristically observing them. On the other you have the busy colorful theme park with coasters in the distance peaking over the trees.

Aside from the vistas, the actual ride is a treasure built in 1974. Gone are the days where sky rides, areal gondolas and ski lifts being common place in theme parks. The mechanics of the ride are fascinating. Like the flexibility but strength of the cable that hold all the gondolas. How did they even string that cable through the supports and make it loop? Or like how the gondolas can be lifted and then rest on the cable, mechanically clenching to the cable. Or even how the Skyride has that ever rare turn where for a little thrill, the gondolas swing down, roll on wheels over head to make the sharp change of direction.

Long ago, there was a suspended monorail that gave a tour over the serengeti and through the brewery. The monorail station shares the building with the Skyride station. Recently, the old monorail load platform has been recently reused as the Cheetah Hunt load platform, cleverly repurposing the clearly charmingly vintage structure. Even more fun is how Cheetah Hunt weaves its way in and out, over and under of the Skyride, not only making Cheetah Hunt all the more thrilling, it adds an indescribable amount of excitement to the Skyride.

Next time you are at Busch Gardens Tampa, make sure to ride the Skyride. Maybe even a few times because what you will see is different and breathtaking every time.


Sea Raycers at Walt Disney World

Guest Author: Zach Nace

As everyone who visits WDW knows, there are so many things to do. In fact most people dont get to do everything they want on their vacation to Disney. Going to four parks and riding, ride after ride and trying to eat as much Disney food as you can, there is no wonder why its hard to achieve everything.

As I found out while living in Disney, there is a new thing that I love to do. No its not resort hoping or even hitting up the parks. My newest favorite thing to do in WDW is using what Disney offers as recreation. My favorite type of recreation Disney offers is called Sea Raycers. These are small 1-2 passenger motorized (9.9 HP) boats that you can rent all over WDW property that happens to have waterways for travel.

Other things you can do within the “recreation” category is fish, Jet Ski, parasail, rent a pontoon boat and on and on. This is truly a neat experience that gets you away from the monotony of lines and outside and having some fun! My favorite thing to do with the Sea Raycers is to rent them from the Contemporary Resort, (I’ve always gone there, I don’t know why…?) when you rent the boats from the Magic Kingdom resorts, (Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness) you are allowed access to the Seven Seas Lagoon in front of the Magic Kingdom. How freaking awesome is that!! Honestly if you have an extra day of two in Disney, do something with recreation, trust me you will not regret it!searay10

Also if you are a Cast Member you get 50% OFF Recreation! So if you’re a Cast Member you can have a whole hour on the water in a Sea Raycer for only $20.00. Now that’s awesome!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read Relocated Tourists!

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel

Don’t Blame Yourself

I must say these words to myself at least once every week, from the simple and mundane things to life’s whoppers.  As I was driving home today, I was thinking about WHY I blame myself for things when it comes to the relocation, and it brought me to the keyboard where you are reading it now- enjoy.

I struggle, and yes, I am human.  Ever since we moved here, every thought in my head, every choice made that comes to my family choices I revert back to “Would this be like this if we didn’t move here?”  I know, some of you read our story and think that we are that “perfect example” of how relocating to Florida can work. Don’t get me wrong, it has, but those knowing thoughts can really get to me sometimes.

Do you remember the first time we arrived here and visited Celebration High School for Kyra?  I will never forget her tears after the office was so incredibly rude to us…it was in that moment that I remember thinking “If  we didn’t move here, she would be in her normal school, with all of her friends and everything would be fine.”  It would take that entire school year to come to terms with that choice, and even as she graduated, I was more tearful that the friends she grew up knowing were not present for this important t day- nor were many relatives because we moved such a great distance.  And after ALL of those feelings, I had to come to a place of peace that WE ALL had made this choice together, and that this was just a bump that we would all get over.  So, I had to stop blaming myself and breathe.

Where I am going with this is that you have to give yourself the right, the PERMISSION, to cry, scream, and feel the relocation for what it is. But the blame is for no one- you have to keep in your head at all times that it is far more adventurous, COURAGEOUS, to go for the impossible then settle.  It isn’t about happiness, it isn’t about finding that “one thing” to make your life complete because I have news for you, life is NEVER complete! It is about going the distance and never looking back.  It is about letting yourself feel every emotion with this journey called relocation and still come out the other side smiling through the dried tears.

Don’t blame yourself EVER for taking a risk, because ladies and gentleman, THAT is what life is ALL about.  You can’t ever go to that place of “If I only hadn’t done this…” because whatever “it” is is usually done and over with.  Once you’re moved, it’s time to live.  The deed is done, you are here and it’s time to live the adventure- no matter how rocky that road may be.  But I want you to remember this, the joy that you have is what YOU bring to your new home and new life.  Don’t have the money to do certain things? Think of a new way to make more and be happy with what you got.  Don’t have the time to play like you thought?  Find a new way to balance life out. Doormat

Leave the blame under that welcome mat at your new home…that’s where it belongs. Out of sight, out of mind…welcome home new Floridians, welcome home.

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!


First Trip to WDW in 1977

Guest Author: Brian Sunderly

These two pictures were taken on my first trip to Walt Disney World in 1977, when I was six years old (WDW and I were both born in 1971). My parents and I lived in Maryland, and when my grandparents moved to Florida, we knew it was our opportunity to visit the Happiest Place on Earth. The first picture is my dad and me at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom in front of the train station. Notice that he had already bought me a Mickey balloon. The second picture is of my mom and me waiting in line for 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (R.I.P.).

Unfortunately, I did not return to WDW until 1998 when my own son was 2 years old. However since then, even though my family and I still live in Maryland, have made a commitment to visit as often as possible. Thanks mom & dad for instilling in me a deep love for Disney.

Brian1 Brian2

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel”

Merch Mondays…NEW Little Mermaid Mug

Found at Storybook Circus this past Saturday, April 26th, 2013, this mug is super cute but a bit uncomfortable to hold because of it’s chunkiness.  You be the judge, enjoy!


The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel”

MegaCon 2013- Orlando, FL

Guest Author: Heather McClay

 Once a year in the spring International Drive looks like your favorite comic or anime; as hundreds of enthusiasts are dressed up as their favorites.mega1

This is MegaCon, it is a convention that happens for three days at the Orlando Convention Center. There is everything from artists to the 501st to the local Lego group set up in the main room. Every year also features a bunch of different celebrities; this year was the cast of Star Trek Next Generation as well as the actors who played the Weasley twins.megacon4 megacon7

The con features so many cosplayers that you will want to bring a camera or two! The costumes go from the thrown together to the how much time did they spend on that! It is a fun event for the whole family, but some of the cosplayers may be a little less dressed than you would want your little ones to see.megacon5

There are also boardgame rooms as well as a room to play Magic and other card games as well as groups that will get together to play Werewolf.megacon6

Make sure to save up money, you will want to buy everything! Especially if you are a geek who likes to collect things from their favorites shows, movies, comics and anything else that may show up.megacon3 megacon8

Next year’s MegaCon is already up, so start planning now and if you want to go together let me know!


My Review of Legoland Florida

I decided it was high time I get over to Legoland and check it out- not only for myself and my family, but also for you, the reader!  I know when I didn’t live in FL, I combed the Internet looking for reviews on certain Parks and Attractions so I could decide if it was worth the greenbacks to try- so here goes mine, enjoy! rsz_075

I had two tickets, so I decided to take Emily since she was in the age group that this Park is aiming for, even if it, albeit, the latter of the range it’s aimed for.  Even if she hadn’t come with me, like I said, I would have come anyways to check it out for myself and others.  We were only coming for the General Park, not the Water Park area.rsz_090

We arrived at 9:30 a.m. on the dot, and paid $14 for parking.  We had no wait upon arrival at their very small front parking gate, and found a spot with no problem- in fact we were three rows from the front walkway into the Park- very cool!  (On a side note, I think it is funny that Legoland is off just a normal road, like you would be going to a Store or Restaurant, no real “build up” for it.)rsz_099rsz_094

We did not get to catch the show of Max opening the Park, but we also couldn’t believe that we had no lines to wait in for the turnstile.  I don’t know if it was the weather, or down time in tourism right now, but for a Saturday morning, it was really sad to see so  little people there. I did love the walkway into and out of the Park- it was very pretty with the trees lining the way- but I did think it seemed narrow for crowds that COULD potentially be there.rsz_494

Zero problem getting in, and once we were in, there was noone handing out park maps or schedules- it was fend for yourself.  At least in the morning hours as the Park opens this would be helpful, but again, maybe it was just a really dead weekend so they didn’t bother.rsz_101 rsz_102 rsz_103

From there, we grabbed a map and explored.  It was nice to not have a clue of where we were going and just following the path that looked like fun.  We experienced Lego Kingdoms, Lost Kingdom Adventure, Boating School, MiniLand, Safari Trek, Cypress Gardens, Fresh from Florida Greenhouse, and ate at the Fried Chicken Company.  Click the highlighted attractions to see the detailed posts and pictures of each experience.rsz_111 rsz_113

Let’s get to the pros,cons, and general observations of what I thought about Legoland, hopefully they will help you decide on whether to go or not.rsz_114 rsz_115


*Cypress Gardens- listen to me Legoland!! Make this is a seperate ticket and I will come FOR LIFE!! My absolute favorite part, hands down!

*Miniland was my second favorite- amazing what they can do with Legos! The one day ticket is worth it to see this and the Gardens (if you like that sort of thing) and then that’s about it, besides a Coaster or two.

*Perfect park for little ones to play- but I would still say age 10 would be the cut off, my 12 year old had no interest in many of the rides.

*Picnic areas are scattered through out the Park, nice that they are ok with bringing in outside food.

*School groups area was huge, nice they have an area for them to gather that is away from the crowds.

*The Fried Chicken Company was a great place to dine and was a nice offering to be found in a Theme Park.

*Hundreds of fun photo opportunities all around the Park- it is a very beautiful and clean Park.rsz_144


*Yes, there is plenty for a young child to do, but not enough for an adult to have any remote interest in doing it WITH their child. Sorry, Walt knew what he was doing and he HAS done it the best.

*The food stands seemed sparse- I didn’t feel they were spaced realistically.

*The rides were either meant for 6 year olds or for the thrll seekers on the rollercoasters- where are the inbewteen rides for the rest of us?

*I don’t see this being a “repeat” Park unless you live very close by- not enough to excited about to come back again and again.  If you are looking for something for your little ones to frequent often, then an Annual Pass may be up your ally.

*If you have been to a large Lego Shop, or the Lego area in Downtown Disney, there isn’t that much difference in what they offered here to buy except for the Theme Park merchandise with their logo on it.

*You REALLY have to know your Legos to even have a clue of who the Characters were that were walking around- we had no idea who they were. rsz_365 rsz_334 rsz_331rsz_322

Random Observations:

*The Ladies Restrooms had free feminine supplies for you take or use- I took a pic because I was in disbelief over it!

*You don’t have to sit in the stands for the Pirate Water Ski Show- plenty of hilly area to sit on and have your own space on to watch it around the arena area.

*The Bargain Shop had items that were actually pretty cheap- love that they have that in the Park as an alternative.

*We purchased Lord of the Rings Figure Magnets (they had a lot of movie themed figure magnets), a frame that was on clearance for only $3.50, a Lego Set for Emily to make at home, and a couple of key chains for Kyra.rsz_324 rsz_326 rsz_329

So is it worth it? Again, if you are bringing a child age 2-11 and they like to ride rides, then yes.  If they are too scared for any of that, you are paying a hefty price to use a couple of playgrounds, eat some food and enjoy the rest.  If they aren’t even old enough to fully enjoy even half of it, I don’t see any point of bringing them.  As an adult to come, I would again say it is cool to see the Gardens, Miniland, and ride a Coaster- but if you did all of those three, you would be done in a couple of hours and probably not worth the price of admission (compared to Disney and others that have lots to do to fill the day with).  This is my opinion, and my opinion only, so take it for what it’s worth.  We had a great time, but I would only go back to stroll those gorgeous Gardens one more time.rsz_369

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!




Miniland…Florida Part Three

Below you will see pictures taken at our recent visit to Legoland, Florida. This is “Miniland” and this is the “Florida” section- enjoy! **All pictures are property of “The Relocated Tourist.”rsz_220 rsz_219

Donations for Content

Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!