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Archive for July, 2008


Great Indian Near Busch Gardens Africa

Since man cannot live by theme park food alone, I am always on the lookout for good places to eat nearby and I hit the jackpot just a short drive from Tampa’s Busch Gardens Africa. I consider myself quite the Indian food aficionado, and Cilantro is a superb Indian restaurant. Every dish I’ve sampled here [...]

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Suite Life at Royal Pacific

Here are two views of the hospitality suite, Room 3718, on the Club Level at Royal Pacific Resort. As the name suggests, it’s designed to be used for entertaining such as a corporation might do. There is a small kitchenette (not visible here) that has a full size refrigerator, microwave, and sink. The windows look [...]

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Awwww

Another reason I love SeaWorld. SeaWorld animal care specialist Devi Wise bottle-feeds a days-old orphan manatee today at the parks’ Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. The female calf — just two-feet long and barely tipping the scale at 21 pounds — was rescued from Ormond Beach Wednesday July 23. She is the third orphan manatee [...]

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Royal Pacific Return

I’m back once again at Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, which has undergone a major redecoration. The “dark” wood accented rooms that some people complained about (but which I rather liked) are no more. In the place of the more subdued palette are light pastels that still evoke the South Seas. Very nice and [...]

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Shiraz Grill – A Restaurant Find

If you are staying at one of the moderate hotels near SeaWorld that I recommend, you should know about Shiraz Grill. It’s a nice little Persian restaurant located in a largely deserted commercial building between the Sleep Inn and Hawthorn Suites. A large hedge makes the sign virtually impossible to see when you’re driving by, [...]

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Aquatica Copes With Success

I swung by Aquatica yesterday at 11 and the gates were already closed, the park filled to capacity. The young guy providing info to disappointed new arrivals told me this happens every day. A recent report in the Tampa Tribune (no link) said that Aquatica has added 1,000 lounge chairs to the park with 500 [...]

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Is Shamu Packing Heat?

Some years back the Orlando Sentinel declared war on the region’s largest employer, the engine of the area’s economic success, the tourism industry. The Sentinel ranked tourism right up there with citrus blight and category 5 hurricanes as a threat to Orlando’s well being. This editorial stance so outraged local tourism officials that hotelier Harris [...]

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What Next for Worlds of Discovery?

Worlds of Discovery is the overall brand name Busch had given its ten theme parks well before InBev came a-courting. Now that the sale’s a done deal, of course, it remains to be seen if these worlds will be spun off (to use a scary galactic metaphor). Theme parks are well down the list of [...]

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SOLD! Bye Bye Busch

It’s a done deal. InBev is buying Anheuser-Busch. Lotsa questions now. Whither the theme parks? What about A-B’s corporate philanthropy on behalf of conservation and animal rescue? My guess: Since in Europe the government does the lion’s share of philanthropy and looking after the social welfare, Busch’s commitment to the environment will seem quaint and [...]

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Harry Potter Makes Attractions Disappear

From the Universal Orlando web site: A portion of Lost Continent at Islands of Adventure has been closed as work progresses on Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guests will use a newly created bridge to walk between Lost Continent and Jurassic Park. Specific attractions and venues affected include The Flying Unicorn attraction, the [...]

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