Amusement Ride Review: Mission Space – EPCOT

Mission:Space, Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida USA

Mission Space (Earth) EPCOT – 200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32830 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission:_Space

About

Mission space is a great simulator ride offered in EPCOT located in Future Land. This ride opened in 2003 and replaced Horizons at the park.

This ride does tend to have long wait times so I would suggest you fast pass this if possible. The ride is available in a green (less intense) and orange (original intensity). The green ride takes you through blast off, orbit and reentering Earth (Orange does the same but throw Mars into the mix).

The ride does enclose you into a capsule with 3 other people so if you don’t like enclosed tight spaces this may not be the ride for you. Each person is given a role in the ride and at designated times. The ride will ask each person to perform an action (basically its pushing a button that really doesn’t do anything).

When the ride first opening, mission space green and orange options showed the same video, but just had different intensities. In 2017 it was changed to green being Earth and Orange being Mars.

Its a fun ride, but you can tell by the footage, it is a little dated, but its all about the experience.

I enjoy this ride a lot. I had road it in both green and orange for Mars and the latest time in green.

This is a good rope drop ride at EPCOT so get there early and you’ll be able to get on with minimum wait time.

The Score

  • Show length: 5:38
  • Ride length: 3:55
  • Height requirement: 44 inches or 1.12 m
  • G-Force: 2.5g (sustained)
  • Number of centrifuges: 4
    • Capsules per centrifuge: 10
    • Riders per capsule: 4
  • Capacity: 1,600 riders per hour

Wicked Adventure video

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Hotel Review: Publick House Historical Inn – 277 Main Street (RT 131) Sturbridge, MA, 01566

Publick House Historical Inn – 277 Main Street (RT 131) Sturbridge, MA, 01566

https://www.publickhouse.com/

About

This was our first time staying at the Publick House in Sturbridge MA and this first time was for our wedding. Suz and I picked this place out in the Summer of 2017 after we got engaged and feel in love with the old school New England feel. Suz was looking for an New England Winter wedding feel and this place knocked it out of the park.

We go married on site in the actual Publick House Inn that is attached to an old barn, where we had our cocktail hour. The venue has 3 choices of lodging on site, Publick House Historic Inn, The Chamberlain House and the Country Lodge.

The historic Inn is located in the same building where the restaurant, check in, function rooms and bakery. These rooms are clearly from the 1700’s with modern updates but an old school feel. The Chamberlain House rooms are new modern rooms, design to match the feel of the rest of the buildings These rooms have suits available in them and are located on each side of the historic Inn. The country Lodge are older rooms, more of a motel style design and these 3 buildings are located up the hill a bit on site. These rooms are dated but serve the purpose of staying the night after a wedding.

Most of the rooms in the Chamberlain House and Country Lodge have balcony’s. For convenience and modern accommodations, I would suggest the Chamberlain house for sure.

Complimentary baked goods and coffee to guests who stay at the hotel and these are located in the morning at the bakery, who bake fresh food every day. Other than the bakery, there are two food options to eat on site. The first is historic tap room where they serve 3 meals a day there. We ate the breakfast buffet there and it was great. In addition there is also Ebenezer’s Tavern and this is more of a bar feel with a full menu. We had lunch an dinner there a couple of times. The bar is also open later and they have a full selections of beer, wine and spirits.

The hotel is also very easy to get to, right of I 84 about 60 minutes from Boston. They are open all year around and do fill up quickly. Even with the several weddings they have going on at once, you don’t even realize it. For after parties, they have a cottage that is away from all the rooms to ensure you won’t disturb other guests.

Staff is also great there. For our wedding Anthony was in charge and did a great job. Everyone was very helpful and we couldn’t ask for more. Suz and I are looking forward to our next trip out there for either lunch dinner or the night. If you are looking for a quaint New England get away, this is the place. Also if you are getting married, winter or summer, I would definitely suggest this venue.

The Score

  • Room Cleanliness : A
  • Hotel Cleanliness: A
  • Friendliness and knowledge of staff: A
  • Food & Drink Selection: A
  • Accessibility: A
  • Total:  (A)

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Hotel Review: Courtyard by Marriott Lake Buena Vista at Vista Centre – 8501 Palm Pkwy, Orlando, FL, 32836

Courtyard by Marriott Lake Buena Vista at Vista Centre – 8501 Palm Pkwy, Orlando, FL, 32836

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mcobn-courtyard-orlando-lake-buena-vista-at-vista-centre/

About

This was our first time staying at this hotel off of Disney Property. I prefer to stay in hotels around Disney rather than staying on a Disney resort because it is cheaper, there is usually food and drink options around you and unless you are spending big money, the hotel is usually better.

The last time in Disney  I stayed at a Courtyard in the same area. This year we wanted to try something new. This hotel is 2 miles from Disney Springs and about 10 miles from Magic Kingdom. Over all to Magic Kingdom in the morning it would cost about $11 for an uber or Lyft. The hotel offers complimentary shuttles to Magic Kingdom, Sea World and the Orlando Parks. For us we didn’t use the shuttle because the first one for MK is at 8:50 and we wanted to be at the park by 8, but it i a good solution if you are in no rush to get there. The bus also will bring you back as well at night.

To and from the airport is very easy. About a 20 minute drive and $20-$40 uber or Lyft depending on the time of day. The Hotel does offer a shuttle that needs to have a reservation be made a day in advance and that is $20 a person.

The hotel has a large store and a full service restaurant on site. The only problem is the restaurant opens for breakfast then closes and reopens at 5 PM. Also the store does basically the same so if you need something to drink or eat, you have to leave site in the middle of the day.

The only problem we had there was one lady at the desk who couldn’t help us with a bottle of water around 3 PM when the store and restaurant was closed, BUT we did find a vending machine in the hall (just make sure you have cash on you).

The hotel has a nice outdoor pool in the sun with a shaded hot tub. We didn’t get a chance to use it because it was so cold while we were there. Not sure how crowded it gets in the Spring – Fall. There is also a fitness center on site.

Overall Suz and I had a great experience there. They were doing some painting, but that didn’t really get in our way. We had a large king suite at the end, the only problem that room had no balcony. They were able to get us checked in early and took care of their Marriott rewards members very well.

The Score

  • Room Cleanliness : A
  • Hotel Cleanliness: A
  • Friendliness and knowledge of staff: B
  • Food & Drink Selection: B
  • Accessibility: A
  • Total:  (B+)

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Hotel Review: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Minneapolis Bloomington/Mall of America

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Minneapolis Bloomington/Mall of America, 2401 American Blvd E, Bloomington, MN 55425

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mspbl-fairfield-inn-and-suites-minneapolis-bloomington-mall-of-america/https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bdlsm-sheraton-springfield-monarch-place-hotel/

About

We stayed here at the end of October for our yearly New Orleans Saints Away game. Hotels in downtown Minneapolis were a little pricey, so we decided to stay closer to the airport. The hotel had free transportation and it was right across the street from the Mall of America as well.

I like Fairfields because of the free breakfast in the morning, which we take advance of. As I said above, it was a quick walk to the Mall of America where we spent a good amount of time. There were 2 light rail stations in walking distance, 1 actually in the MOA.

The only dis-advance was the noise of the airplanes being so close to the airport and other than the MOA, there was not much else going on. The store at the front desk didn’t have the greatest selection of snacks and I think MN laws prevent them from selling beer as well. The airport shuttle leaves every 30 mins on the 15 min mark and you need to call when you get to the airport to let them know you are there.

There is an indoor pool (because when can you use a outdoor pool in MN). Plenty of parking and right off the highway. Would consider this an option next time we are in Minneapolis, St. Paul or going to the Mall of America.

Wicked Adventure video

The Score

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Tourist Attraction Review: Mall of America – 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425

Mall of America – 60 E Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425– http://www.thepointboston.net/

About

This was my second time here but Suzi J’s first time. This time we spent a good amount of time exploring the biggest mall in America.

As part of our yearly New Orleans Saints road trip, we took this opportunity to see what all the talk is about this large indoor shopping and entertainment center. We stayed across the street from the mall, which is close to the airport. Doing this allowed us to walk across the street to the mall, where there was also a light rail station that took us downtown.

The mall is located in Bloomington which is a suburb of the twin cities. There didn’t seem to be much to do other than the mall here, but the mall has several restaurants, an amusement park (Nickelodeon Park), an aquarium and plenty of stores. We didn’t do the aquarium, but it seemed pretty cool from what we heard. We did the flight across America ride which was like Soarin at Epcot (they also have the flight across Canada for our friends to the north). I had done the roller coasters there in 2010, which are pretty cool for an indoor park.

The mall was built on the site of the old Metropolitan Stadium where the Vikings and the Twins played. In the middle of the theme park, there is a bronze home plate exactly where the plate was for the stadium.

There are so many stores in this mall, it would take a day or 2 to see them all. Plenty of food choices as well, both food court and sit down. The mall has weekly events so check the site to see what is going on at the mall. This would be a cool 2 day trip for a family with kids.

Wicked Adventure video

The Score

  • Total: (B) Worth a destination trip to this location

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Amusement Ride Review: The Cyclone Roller Coaster Coney Island NY

The Cyclone Roller Coaster Coney Island NY – 101 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY 11224 – http://www.thepointboston.net/

About

A bucket list ride that I finally checked off this summer. Suzi J does not like roller coasters so I decided to take on this assignment. I rode this coaster on the 4th of July 2018 on a day trip we took to NYC.

This coaster opened in 1927 and was part of the Astroland park that was in Coney island. Since then, the parks have change some and now is part of Luna Park. The cool part of this ride is that you can just pay to ride it and don’t have to get a day pass or anything. I think it was about $7 – $10 to ride.

The park is closed for the winter and opens up in April. I would think it probably closes around Columbus day in October. The ride is cool because as you climb up, you have a nice view of the beach and the entire boardwalk. The lines moves pretty fast and if you are going to have someone film you, tell them to go to the side where there is a little alley way and can catch you about halfway into the ride coming down a hump back.

Highest point is about 85 feet and you hit max speed at about 60 MPH.

If you are in NYC and have some time, check this out!

The Score

  • Intensity (1-10) : 7
  • G rating: 3.75
  • Type: Wooden Roller Coaster
  • Total Grade:  (B)

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Hotel Review: Residence Inn by Marriott Nashville Airport, 2300 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37214

Residence Inn by Marriott Nashville Airport, 2300 Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37214

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bdlsm-sheraton-springfield-monarch-place-hotel/

About

This was our first time staying at this hotel. Last time we were in Nashville we stayed downtown, but we did some research and with only being 10 miles from downtown, a total of about $10 for an uber and free transportation to the airport, this seemed to be a good choice for this adventure.

We needed 2 rooms for 6 of us and the Residence Inn style rooms are great because they are like min studio apartments with kitchens, big bathrooms and living rooms. The rooms are spread out in smaller buildings. Each building has about 8 rooms in it.

There is a main building where breakfast is serve and the front desk with a little store (that also sells beer) is located. During the week they have happy hours where they have free snacks and drinks for the guest, definitely a plus. Each room actually has a fireplace which was awesome. $10 for a fire log at the front desk (just make sure the flue is open unlike us).

We had gone down for the Patriots vs Titans game and would suggest this hotel to anyone who was coming in town for a game or just some TLC. In the summer the hotel has a nice outdoor pool. There is a gas station with a store across the street and if you get hungry in the middle of the night, a 24 hour waffle house a quick walk. way. Staff was great and as we said above, would definitely stay here again.

The Score

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Hotel Review: Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel – One Monarch Place, Springfield, MA 01144

Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel – One Monarch Place, Springfield, MA 01144 

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/bdlsm-sheraton-springfield-monarch-place-hotel/

About

This was our first time staying at a Sheraton in a long time. We typically stay at Marriott’s but with the new shared points program we decided to give it a try. We were heading out to the new MGM casino in Springfield, MA, about 90 minutes from our house and didn’t want to drive back at night.

The hotel is located in downtown Springfield with a nice view of the river. It is about .3 miles from the casino and about .8 miles from the basketball hall of fame. As platinum plus members our parking is free, regularly it would be about 18 dollars for over night.

We were able to use the lounge in the upper floor with the status, but the staff there was OK at best. The lounge wasn’t fully stocked and was dirty. The bar had run out of a lot of stuff and had no backups. The next morning for breakfast up there, they had no silverware out and it seemed to still be a mess from the night before.

Our room was nice and in a section of the third floor that had a separate lobby, although I would of rather this be on an upper floor. The window was oddly small in the room too. It seemed like an older building but it was clean and close to where we needed to go, also close to the highway.

This hotel offers discounts for the basketball hall of fame and has room service until 12am. Bathroom in the room we had was large along with the room being a good size.

The Score

  • Room Cleanliness : A
  • Hotel Cleanliness: A
  • Friendliness and knowledge of staff: C
  • Food & Drink Selection: B
  • Accessibility: A
  • Total:  (B)

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Bar & Restaurant Review: The Point – 147 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02108

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The Point – 147 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02108 – http://www.thepointboston.net/

About

First time I was here was before a Celtics game. One of my buddies comes here all the time. I like The Point because of its location, its close to everything. I never have a problem finding a place to sit at the bar before a game and the food is good. They don’t have the greatest beer selection, but I can get over that. At night on the weekends, the place gets a little wild so finding a place to sit is tough since there is a small area in the bar. I guess they have an upper level. Not sure when it is open though. I know you can rent space there.

I have scheduled this place several times on Bar Crawls around the city. The staff here is awesome. The bartender I had while writing this was a sweet heart blonde girl who was very attentive and didn’t keep me waiting for a drink. There is a nice mix of people who drink here. College kids to old men, which is a cool thing for a bar. They get a lot of regulars in here too which always looks good when reviewing a place. Not sure if there is a cover on weekend nights.

There is no parking except for the MBTA lot across the street at 17 bucks, but the train is right there. Its defiantly a place you would go if you were in town for school work or as a tourist. I would suggest this place to anyone who was looking for good service, good food and a good vibe. For a small place, there are TV’s everywhere, so if you are looking for a place to watch the game, go there. Just get there early because space is limited.

The Score

  • Vibe: 8
  • Beer Selection: 5
  • Friendliness and knowledge of staff: 9
  • Food: 8
  • Accessibility: 8
  • Seating area: 5
  • Total: 43 out of 60 (B)

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