Florida Vacation: Individual Element Ranking

If I were to stick to the pattern I have been on I would blog about the Universal Parks as a group… but what’s the point Universal was awesome… going there, being at the parks, and coming home were all awesome.

So today I am going to break down the vacation into discrete parts in order of awesomeness:

  1. Universal Studios, particularly Diagon Alley (#1 by a MILE)
  2. Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
  3. Disney’s Pop Century Resort
  4. Universal’s Loews Royal Pacific Resort
  5. Cocoa Beach
  6. ESPN Wide World Of Sports
  7. International Palms Resort In Cocoa Beach
  8. Universal City Walk (Bubba Gump, Whopper Bar, Movie [Ant Man], Turkey Leg, Cinnabon, Shopping)
  9. Disney’s Animal Kingdom
  10. Disney’s Epcot

Those were all very good experiences. Disney Epcot was wonderful, the competition is tough though.

I think there was just one experience that I would call not good… a little bad, but everyone was trying to get through it.  The not good experience was the Disney Transport “System,”  the drivers are very nice though.

There were two bad experiences:

We lived in Orlando for over 10 years and I graduated from UCF (a college in Orlando) so we know the area very well.  For some reason every previous year we spent time on I-Drive.  For about a year we worked on I-Drive at a Pizza Hut that is now closed.  This year we skipped I-Drive and the vacation was MUCH BETTER.  I-Drive looks like fun, but the workers are all exhausted and down right mean.  If you want to have a fun experience SKIP I-DRIVE if at all possible.  The workers in I-Drive are too over worked or too odd to care… seriously.

The Worst Experiences:

  1. We spent 20 minutes at a Walgreens on I-Drive.  We hopped off of the exit and found ourselves on I-Drive.  We figured we’d stop and get some waters, sodas, and snacks to eat at the Hotel.  It was 10:00 PM and the place was a mad house.  The workers were very tired, grumpy, and slow.  The cashier my wife ended up with kept trying to pick a fight with my wife and the cashier kept wanting to call the manager.  It was weird… not that weird for I-Drive.  The snacks and drinks were good though.
  2. Cowfish – The place is really really really weird.  It’s like going to the zoo and seeing really intelligent animals that don’t have enough to do.  I watched a show called “An Idiot Abroad” and he visited a “Monkey City” which was a city full of monkeys and the monkeys have nothing to do all day so they just torment anyone that comes around… That’s what Cowfish seemed like to me.  The staff (who are not monkey like in any way) seems way too bored, complacent, and entitled.  I have had a long time to think about it, and I don’t think a place like Cowfish can work in a community where being polite is not very important.  Central Florida is an amazing place and the people around there are so great, so efficient, so friendly, so hard working… the one thing they are not is polite.  I believe people in Central Florida prize results over process… kind of like “The Ends Justify The Means.”  My take on Cowfish is that it is set up to be a nice process, but that doesn’t fit in with the culture in Orlando.  The Orlando Staff at Cowfish want to see results, not have good experiences… I believe they see good experiences as a side effect of good results.  I think Cowfish is set up to be the other way around, it is set up so that people can have a good experience and that makes the product even better because it’s being served in a very positive context.  I think Cowfish is a square peg in a round whole.  I don’t think that business model works in Orlando. I think Cowfish should pull the plug on that Orlando Disaster.  I heard that they are opening a location in Atlanta… I am really looking forward to giving it a try in Atlanta… They have a burger on the menu that looked divine.


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