Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Busch Gardens Africa Updates

Courtesy of Screamscape;
Hospitality House [is] now called the Garden Gate Café. For whatever reason the Myombe Reverve (Gorillas) is now part of Morocco instead of Nairobi in the list of attractions. The bigger change is that the Budweiser themed Crown Colony area been removed from the map like it never existed and the Skyride, Clydesdale Hamlet and Edge of Africa and Crown Colony Restaurant are now part of Egypt. Oh, and the Budwesier merchandise shops (Label Stable / A-B Trading Company) are now also removed from the map.

You can see the new map here (PDF).

Also, in keeping with the apparent policy to gradually remove all beer references from the park, the Brewmasters Club has closed and the Sundowner Safari (with the beer tasting) has been discontinued.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


"No buyers" for SeaWorld

"The Media" has been yammering for months about the sale of SeaWorld based on . . . well, based on nothing much.

Yeah, in mergers of the sort that recently happened between Anheuser-Busch and InBev various components of the new company tend to get sold off to pay for the debt taken on to finance the merger. And the sale of the theme parks seems a logical thing to happen, especially since InBev has hinted at -- repeat, hinted at -- doing just that.

But there's no solid evidence as yet. That why all the "SeaWorld to be sold!!!" stories you read are hedged with conditional words like "might" and "could."

Now comes something that might actually have some fact behind it.
"Are you worried the company might sell the park?" WFTV reporter Eric Rasmussen asked a SeaWorld employee.

"No, it's a good company," the employee said.

Other sources told Eyewitness News that SeaWorld managers met with employees on Wednesday, reassuring them the park would not be sold this year, in part because there were no buyers.

The emphasis is mine.

The same article notes that "profits for Anheuser-Busch InBev are flatter than day-old beer." But the theme parks, from what I've read are consistently profitable. Why unload one of the few profitable parts of your company in a down market?

Of course, for all I know, SeaWorld could be sold tomorrow, but I'm not betting on it.

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Monday, March 23, 2009


Top of the Walk Debuts at CityWalk

CityWalk has added to its fast food options with the "Top of the Walk" food court. It's located in the long unused space opposite Cigarz, at the top of the Promenade near the upstairs exit to the Cineplex. If memory serves, that space was intended to be the home for the E! Entertainment Network's studios!

Pride of place goes to the Whopper Bar, the first of its kind.
Orlando is home of the Whopper Bar. Burger King Corp. introduced its new concept Tuesday at Universal CityWalk. The eatery, the first of its kind, spotlights the chain's trademark sandwich in premium variations with jalapenos, Parmesan peppercorn sauce, sauteed mushrooms and "extra thick" meat patties.

Joining the Whopper at the new venue are Moe's Southwest Grill and Panda Express.

Will this mean that Orlando's "yoots" will find CityWalk a more inviting spot to hangout? Or will the new parking fees keep them away?

Update: DeWayne Bevil has more.

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Adventure Island Is Open

The official season opening was March 21.

More info here.


Sunday, March 22, 2009



Friday, March 20, 2009


Wekiva Marina Gets A New Lease On Life

Here's some good news from one of my favorite spots in the Orlando area.
The Weinaugs are the new owners of the property known for more than 40 years as the Wekiva Marina, a well-known river spot that had fallen on hard times during the past decade. In 1999, the restaurant on the site burned to the ground; palms along the river are still black with fire damage. A bait shop had degenerated into a dive, and aging rental canoes were mottled with patches...

Friends of the Wekiva River Inc., a nonprofit river-preservation group, had part of its annual Wekiva Riverfest at Wekiva Island in early March.

Previous owners had refused to work with the organization, but the Weinaugs are "tree huggers like us," Friends Secretary Leslie Long said.

Long, who said she remembers the "seedy bar" feel of the old marina, looks forward to the eco-friendly atmosphere of the new business.

Wekiva Island offers canoe and kayak rentals, sand volleyball and riverside cabanas. The Weinaugs also want to host small art festivals and open a small smoothie and ice-cream shop, though current zoning restrictions prohibit new construction in the area.

If you've never canoed the Wekiva, do yourself a favor and just do it!

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More Media Hysteria Strikes Universal

People fall all the time. All over the country. All over Orlando.

But if it happens at a theme park, it's news?

Gimme a break.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Sweet Deal at Universal

Universal Orlando is offering the kind of irresistible deal that might be able to lure the true believers from that mouse-ridden theme park down the Interstate.

$99.99 for both adults and children for a seven-day ticket to both parks! Put that in your Park-Hopper and smoke it.

Order online (only) from my friends at Dreams Unlimited.

BTW, I have no financial interest in this deal.

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