007 Travel Story: Florida (USA) 2019: Disney World, crocodiles and other attractionsOctober 31, 2021
In order to read our Florida 007 Travel story from day one, click here
Friday 12th of July:
We woke up at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood and ordered breakfast in our hotel room.
We ate breakfast and continued driving to our first destination today.
A very interesting place to visit is Lion Country Safari, which is located at 2003 Lion Country Safari Rd, Loxahatchee. Lion Country Safari is the USA’s first “cageless zoo”. It has been the leader in the conservation movement since 1967. Here you can drive your own car or rent a car and drive inside the zoo, where you can see a bunch of amazing animals, like giraffes, rhinos and ostriches. Instructions say that you have to keep windows closed all the time when driving through the area. That was a good piece of advice because ostriches came to knock on the car windows. You had to be careful when driving because animals walked past the roads. One time a big rhino stopped in the middle of the road and we had to wait for the staff to come and kindly ask the rhino to move away.
After the Lion Country Safari we headed to the north and our first stop was Jupiter, not a planet, but a city… One famous person who died here on 6th of September 2018 was Burt Reynolds, who was once considered as James Bond after Sean Connery retired from the role. Reynolds has said that it was one of his biggest regrets not playing James Bond. Reynolds said that “The public wouldn’t accept an American playing 007”, but also that “I could’ve done it and I could’ve done it well.” Burt Reynolds acted together with Roger Moore in 1981 in the movie “Cannonball Run“.
The next stop was as exciting as Lion Country Safari. After about two and a half hours of driving we arrived at Lake Cypress Road in Kenansville. Here we have Wild Florida Gator Park and there are many alligators, crocodiles and other wild animals. It can be recommended if you like such animals. But it the weather is really hot, remember to reserve plenty of water when visiting…
Crocodiles remind us of Bond film “Live and Let Die” (1973), where Bond (Roger Moore) has to jump over several crocodiles to save his ass… In the movie Tee Hee (Julius Harris) teaches Bond how to recognize an alligator. “You can always tell by its round nose”, he says. When Bond ends up on a small island, he has to jump over the crocodiles in order to get out of there. The death-defying stunt was performed by the owner of the crocodile farm / stuntman Ross Kananga. He had to try five times before the stunt was a success. The movie’s villain Dr. Kananga / Mr. Big was named after Ross Kananga. Yaphet Kotto plays the role of Dr. Kananga / Mr. Big.
From here we continued to drive to Orlando. Now we only had about an hour to drive and we found our hotel for the next two days: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Orlando International Drive/Convention Center, which is located at 8214 Universal Blvd.
Accomodation: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Orlando International Drive/Convention Center
Room Type: DeLuxe Queen, two queen size beds
Price: $ 209,25 / 2 adults and one child, does not include breakfast
Booked: Via Booking.com
We checked in and relaxed a while and naturally visited the pool area of the hotel.
In the evening we headed to Orlando city where we met our Bond friends Richard and Leslie Skillman. We drove to a parking garage and started looking for a place called The Pub. It took a while to find it and required a couple of messages to the Skillmans and we finally found the place. It was a wonderful evening with them and they told us about the amazing adventures they have made around the world when organizing Bond events and visiting Bond locations.
It was a bit of a rainy night, and lovely lightning bolts were in the sky. Some thunder storming occurred when we started to drive back towards our hotel, prepare for the next day and meet all the wonderful figures and attractions in Disney World.
Saturday 13th of July:
It was a day of Disney World and we had wondered which park we should choose of four possible ones in Disney World. There would not be enough time to visit more than one a day. We had decided to visit Orlando Magic Kingdom, since it is the most traditional of them all.
First we had to take a bus, which took us to Epcot and we changed to a monorail, which then took us to Magic Kingdom.
It was lovely to see the entrance of Magic Kingdom and Cinderella Castle.
“As on his last visit, in the United States, he enjoyed the Phantom Manor as they called it here with its incredible special effects, the ballroom full of twirling ghostly eighteenth-century dancers; the terrible time-wrecked dining-room set for the wedding breakfast that never was, with the hapless bride’s wraith appearing in the room; then another phantom seated, playing the organ; a glass bowl in which a pallid human woman’s head talked endlessly of terrible portents, and the amazing moment on the way out when a mirror showed him seated between a pair of ghastly creatures. It was certainly value for money.”
Because the Phantom Manor was one of Bond´s favourites, we headed there as well. We had been in Phantom Manor before when visiting Disneyworld Paris and yes, it was our favourite attraction as well. There are really nice graves on the yard before you enter the actual manor.
One thing that we really waited for was the parade. There you can see many Disney characters like The Beauty and The Beast, The Little Mermaid Ariel, Peter Pan and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. You can feel the spirit and mood of the Magic Kingdom.
Some years before we visited Disneyland in Paris, France. You can read our 007 Travel Story of Disneyland Paris here.
Then the wonderful day was over and we headed back to our hotel the same way we arrived. First by monorail and then by bus back to our hotel. There was still time to spend time in the pool area before going to an evening drive and watch the beautiful city of Orlando. In the evening when we were back at our hotel we went out and walked around at Goodings Plaza and bought some souvenirs.
The next day we will go on a river cruise and search for the places where Jaws chases Bond in “Moonraker” (1979). Stay tuned!
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