Day 7, 3/2 continued
When going to Disney World, if possible I like to include another park into the drop. We didn't really have time to spend another day at a different park since we also had a Spring Training game to go to the next day, so I thought if we had some spare time after Animal Kingdom I would try to get to Fun Spot since there is no admission to get in.
Unfortunately, there was a shooting there 9 days before I went there but wasn't going to let that stop me. I had also read that starting the Friday before I was there they were going to be having bag checks and using hand held metal detector wands on everyone entering the park. I don't know if it was because of low crowds on a Monday around 6:00, but they weren't doing either of those things.
The rides are $3 each except the coasters that are $9 each or you can buy a wristband for $45 ($40 if you get a coupon from Walgreen's right near the park). As much as I would have wanted to get the wristband and ride White Lightning as much as I could for a few hours, I didn't have the time because we were going to Downtown Disney later for dinner at the T-Rex Cafe, I decided to just pay for 1 ride on each of the 2 coasters. They have a deal if you spend $20, you get $24 worth of ride credits but that wouldn't have helped me since it still wouldn't have been enough for another ride on a coaster. I skipped the 3rd coaster which is a Miler kiddie coaster that was running at Playland's Castaway Cove in Ocean City until 2012 and had already gotten the credit years ago.
I went to Freedom Flyer first. There was no one riding and no one in line. Instead of scanning a card or wristband at a turnstyle like at Morey's, the ride op has a handheld scanner that they used to scan the card or band and if using the card, it deducts the cost of the ride from the card.
Since there was no one riding, I went for the front row and had a solo ride. I know the earlier Vekoma family inverted coasters are supposed to be rough but this coaster was very smooth and had very comfortable seats and restraints with just a lapbar connected to a seatbelt. The ride was good for a family coaster and tame yet still fun.
Next was the coaster I was really looking forward to, White Lightning. The last time I rode a GCI in Florida was horrible and I was hoping that this coaster would be better. The coaster runs 6 row Millennium Flyer trains and they have 2 trains (as does Freedom Flyer) but only 1 train was running because the park was so empty.
White Lightning was very smooth and I really liked the double up followed by the double down and the banked turn around. GCI did a great job of fitting the coaster into the space and if it wasn't for the smaller trains, I think it would be a great coaster style to see to see at Great Adventure for something more thrilling than Skull Mountain, Runaway Mine Train and the Dark Knight but not up to the thrill level of the B&M coasters, Kingda Ka and El Toro. White Lightning ended up being my favorite coaster of the trip and I am putting it as #5 on my wooden coaster rankings. It was also my 99th coaster and I'm hoping whatever coaster #100 is, it is a good coaster unlike number 50 that was Rollie's Coaster at Morey's.
Next time I am in Orlando, I would like to plan on spending a few hours here, get the wristband and check out the rest of the park since I only walked in, rode both coasters and left.
After dinner, we did some final shopping at Downtown Disney. I got a baseball to add to my collection. It was a little disappointing that many items like most of the baseballs said both Disney World and Disney Land on them rather than just being Disney World specific. Even worse, some items like a Big Thunder Mountain jigsaw puzzle I saw only said Disney Land on it with no mention of Disney World. I ended up getting a 2015 Disney World baseball and a set of 12 attraction posters that are 12" x 18" and smaller versions of the posters that are under the train station in the Magic Kingdom when you enter the park. The set was $20 which seemed surprisingly cheap.
We got back to the hotel and packed the car up for the drive to Clearwater the next morning.
Day 8, 3/3
After about an hour and 40 minute drive we arrived at Bright House Field. The entrance to the stadium is in a shopping center parking lot with stores on one side and a Buffalo Wild Wings on the other side which was different. It was the first game of Spring Training against another MLB team and it was nice to be able to watch baseball again. The Phillies were beating the Yankees 5 to 1 until the 9th inning when Mario Hollands gave up 4 runs to tie the game. Since Spring Training games end in a tie, that was what happened since the Phillies couldn't score a run in the bottom of the 9th inning.
After the game we ran into some rush hour traffic around Tampa and got to Georgia.
Day 9, 3/4
Not much to say about this day as we spent the entire day driving back home and I did get to see some of King's Dominion when we drove past it. I have to get back there eventually to give the park another chance since Cedar Fair bought the Paramount Parks.
It was a very nice trip and it was fun to be able to ride some coasters in February and early March.