I just got back yesterday from a spring break trip to Orlando, FL with five friends. The trip was amazing; we experienced beautiful weather almost without exception, partook in all sorts of entertaining activities, and stayed at a kick-ass resort (for free -- thanks Beth!).
Orlando is a great city, but also kind of annoying because its overall design is so slanted toward tourism. They are gouging you for money from the second you leave your plane (almost literally -- there's a toll station on the freeway about 100 feet from the airport) and almost every street is lined with gimmicky crap. Yet, amidst all this, one can't help but enjoy the warm and breezy climate and the amazingly attractive women who litter the streets.
We didn't go to Disney World, but we did go to Universal Studios. This excursion proved both fun and monumentally disappointing. I loved some of the rides -- the "Twister" ride simulated a real-life tornado and featured plenty of Bill Paxton involvement and the "Disaster" ride placed you on a subway car in the middle of an earthquake, with narration by Christopher Walken. However, some of the rides were a bit lame, most notably the E.T. ride which can best be described as a real-life simulation of a bad acid trip (you can watch a very dark video of the ride here). I didn't go on this ride when I visited Universal as a young child, but if I had, I have to imagine I would have been scarred for life. Aside from being horribly crappy overall, the ride didn't even make sense. It is supposed to take place on E.T.'s home planet (cleverly named "The Green Planet"), yet all of the planet's alien inhabitants speak perfect English. In the movie, E.T. learned VERY LIMITED English by observing the behavior of humans during his time on Earth... how the hell would his friends at home be able to speak the language fluidly?!
Despite my hatred for this ride, it did not mark the low point of our trip to Universal. Oh no. The worst part, by far, was that the Back to the Future ride no longer exists. This ride was by far my favorite memory from my previous trip to the theme park (you can see a video of it here, but it doesn't do it justice because you're not sitting in the moving De Lorean), but some complete morons apparently decided that it was too fun and needed to be removed. But yeah, leave the E.T. ride there for sure, because no day at the theme park is complete without some stupid plastic aliens scaring the shit out of innocent and unsuspecting little kids.
Replacing the Back to the Future ride is a brand new ride based on The Simpsons, which looks absolutely incredible. I couldn't even find a picture of it online, possibly because its sheer awesomeness exploded every camera that ever attempted to capture it. It's basically a giant replica of "Krustyland," a fictional theme park from within the show. Nearby is a life-size Kwik-E-Mart:
Pretty sweet, huh? Unfortunately, all I can tell you about is the attraction's external qualities, because it's NOT EVEN OPEN YET! So, in short, I managed to go to the park during the period of time after my favorite ride closed down yet before its replacement -- a perhaps far cooler ride -- opened. Talk about timing!
The rest of the trip was a blur of sun-bathing, drinking, mini-golfing, eating, taking philosophical late-night walks, throwing the old baseball around (or, in Beth's case, into a lake... repeatedly), skim-boarding in the ocean, free-styling, playing Game, and devouring Ci-Ci's Pizza (which is by the way the most incredible place on Earth and should be located on every corner in Minnesota).
All in all, a wonderful time and a great way to spend my last college spring break. Now if only Devin had posted over the course of the week like he was supposed to...