IHOP, Almost Aquatica, SW and Tony Romas - 4 Aug 2008
This morning we were up super early as it was the day we intended to start off in Aquatica and we (or I) had also planned to stop off in IHOP on the way to try out what was on offer (this was after much salivating on my part over other trip reports and deciding we had to try it)
I had set my alarm clock for this morning but we actually woke before it. I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to test out the hot tub. In all of the villa’s we’ve visited in the past, we’ve never stayed in one with a hot tub and we all loved it! It was lovely to return from the parks in the evenings to the warm bubbles and a cold glass of Rose!:p015:
Anyway, a quick soak in the tub, quick swim and an even quicker shower and out. As soon as we stepped out of the villa today it was scorching!
We loaded up the car with the towels and bags etc and also the cool box which we kept in the boot of the car for the holiday. We’d filled the cool box with plenty of ice, bottled water and soft drinks to cool us down throughout the day.
We drove the short distance down Formosa to IHOP thinking we’d be amongst the first to arrive, it turned out that IHOP is open 24 hours and it was already busy, not full but definitely busy for that time of the morning!
We were seated in a booth in the window and our server Patti came over and introduced herself. We ordered drinks, coffee’s for them and a tea for me and then sat back to study the menu, there was so much choice!!!!
Patti returned and after a quick lesson in American egg cooking – (do we want our eggs done over-easy, over-medium..pardon?? ) we ordered. We all chose the Breakfast Sampler that comes with your choice of pancakes.
I chose the smaller breakfast as did my DM and it was the large for the men. DM and I chose the berry pancakes, Alun chose the Banana and pecan and my DF had his plain.
Well, the food arrived and DM and I were glad we’d ordered the small! The breakfast was delicious and the pancakes were gorgeous if slightly sickly towards the end. My DM was very impressed with the coffee too!
The Breakfast Sampler
My berry pancakes
Alun’s banana pancakes
Next stop, Aquatica which was another first for us all. As we turned into the road, we could see that the queue of cars waiting to be let in. Also, in the distance, we could see the huge queues for the higher up rides which are more visable than say the ones in TL or BB. Now we’d expected this place to be swarming with people as both my DF and I had read posts on the Dibb, but at the entrance to the park it was chaos!
We made our way through and followed the string of people snaking to the right. We passed the Dolphin slide which had queues of well over an hour!
We made our way over to the dolphin viewing area where I took a few pics but noticed that a lot of people who were coming down the slide through the pool wouldn’t have even seen the dolphins as they were hidden behind the rocks.
Taken from the viewing area, you can see the slide just behind the dolphin
We all went for a walk around to the main pool but there were people everywhere and we soon decided not to stay, there were no seats and not much shade either- to us it didn’t have the same feel as TL and BB. I appreciate that it’s new and not as well established but it all felt a bit mad if you know what I mean.
It looked great for families with smaller children though and as we made our way out, we stopped at the children’s play area to watch the water tipping out all over the children, and more than a few adults too!
Back at the car, we all dived into the boot to grab a drink from the cool box and Alun even rubbed some ice on his head to cool down! It was boiling already today!
Maybe we’ll have to give Aquatica another try in a few years time when it’s not so new and some of the hype has died down, it was a shame because I’d really wanted to like it here and be one of the ones to be positive about it!
Anyway, all was not lost as our parking ticket was also valid for Sea World which was next on the agenda. As we drove back past the entrance for AQ we noticed one of the staff moving the traffic cones into the road to block the entrance – the park was full to capacity.
Over to Sea World, we first made our way around towards Kraken, this is one of my favourite rides and it didn’t disappoint, we queued about 15 minutes and were soon on near the back. I think we went straight back on again when we came off too, we loved it!
Next we decided to brave Journey to Atlantis. I remembered that when we’d been in the past, DM and I got a soaking but I couldn’t remember where in the boat we’d sat. This time, Alun and I sat up front with my DM and DF behind us and another family behind them. I should have guessed it but yet again, Alun and I got a soaking! Alun had the worst of it to be fair and there was hardly a dry spot on his t-shirt, I don’t think he was expecting it after the gentle start to the ride, it was so funny and he got even wetter on smaller drop!
We were all pretty drenched so we decided to stay out in the sun for a little while to dry off, we picked up some of those iced slush drinks and made our way over to the Pacific Point Reserve, the sea lion viewing area where I took some pics. They were on top form and were so noisy today.
It was now time for us to make our way to the Sea Lion and Otter Stadium for the Clyde and Seymour show. Luckily we were seated early enough so that the mime artist didn’t catch us, but he was great and entertained us all in the run up to the show!
We all enjoyed the show and then made our way over towards the Penguin Encounter for another blast of much needed air con! I love watching the Penguins and today there was a lady in there with them cleaning the windows, she looked freezing!
From here we headed around to Shark Encounter and walked through the tunnel of sharks and fish. We then walked around and had a look at all the fish on the way out.
We then made our way around the park towards the Shamu Stadium for Believe. On the way we ducked into the Nautilus Theatre as a show had just started. We happened to be in the right place at the right time and quitely took our seats as the show had started, I don’t think we had missed much though. I didn’t take any pics in here as I don’t think you were meant to. Some of the acts we saw were absolutely amazing! In particular, two young acrobatic girls, if that’s what you can call them! They were soooo strong for such slight girls and some of the thngs they could do was shocking!!
Next was over to the Shamu Stadium I was really looking forward to seeing Shamu again and to see Alun’s reaction to the ‘splash’! I had suggested that he go to get a seat near the front for a ‘better view’ lol but I think he was onto me
We took our seats and enjoyed the trivia before the show and soon the whales were let out to play! The show was great if a little bit cheesy with the little whale tail necklace story but I loved it! Here are some of the pics
After the show we decided to leave the park, we would be coming back to see the nightime show later in the holiday and by now it was towards the end of the afternoon. We made our way back to the villa for a relax, read of our books, check emails and dip in the pool etc for a few hours.
Tonight the plan was to hit Tony Romas for my DF and Alun to sample their Monday night all you can eat ribs!
Once we were all showered and ready for the off, we set the Tom Tom up and made our way to Tony Romas. The one we thought we were going to (and drove to) had closed down or moved or something because we didn’t find it! So we then drove up to I Drive and went to the one up there instead! By this time we’d driving around in the car for so long that we were starving and weren’t sure they’d still be serving!
Panic over, as soon as we went in, the nice lady gave us one of those things that light up and told us to take a seat at the bar and she’d light the buzzer when they were ready for us… so we did!
The buzzer was soon flashing and we were seated in a booth at the far side of the restaurant. We ordered An Onion loaf to start which looked similar to the Blooming Onion at Outback.
The Onion Loaf
I then ordered a burger and fries. Our food came and was all very nice and was washed down with a few buds and a coke for my DF, the designated driver.
Sorry about the relish taken out on the side lol
DM had a pasta dish which she enjoyed
DF and Alun had ‘Monday night’s all you can eat ribs’ which was great value, even if they couldn’t look at another rib for the rest of the holiday!
The impressive mountain of ribs they got through!
We were supposed to be having an earlier night tonight because it was up at the crack of dawn for the much anticipated Segway tour at Epcot in the morning! So it was then back to the villa for a little bit of TV before once again setting the alarm and collapsing into bed