Abby’s Pre-Orlando Adventure

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Its nearly time…….

If you watch our bi-weekly Facebook Lives you’re bound to know that i’m due to go on a ‘Super Fam’ trip and in particular, how excited I am about it! Well it’s time and i’m finally leaving tomorrow to embark on what is sure to be the best trip EVER.

If you follow our Facebook or Instagram accounts you’ll be seeing loads of videos and photos from yours truly over the next week including all things Disney, Universal and SeaWorld. Before I start packing (yes I know I’ve left it very last minute) I thought I would give you guys a run-down of what my trip is going to involve.

Soooo.. I arrive in Orlando at 5pm -ish on Sunday and by 9.30pm i’ll be at Universals Halloween Horror Nights!! Nothing like throwing us in at the deep end aye?! I’m absolutely terrified but also mega, mega excited for this (I do feel sorry for the people who are going to have to keep picking me up off the floor in the houses though) The house i’m most excited for is SAW: The Games of Jigsaw, SAW hasn’t featured at HHN for 8 years now and i’m pretty eager to see what’s going to be involved this time around.

For the first few days i’m going to be staying at Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort which I’ve heard is very nice indeed. 😛 On my first full day i’ll be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley, Hogsmede Village and Universal Studios. I’m absolutely buzzing to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – I’ve heard so many amazing things about it and I just can’t wait to see it all for myself and i’m especially excited for  Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.

On to the next day.. On this day I will be visiting Volcano Bay in the morning and Universals Islands of Adventure in the afternoon, woooo!!! I can’t wait to ride Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster and teeny bit scared to do Ko’okiri Body Plunge™ I feel like this is going to be a fantastic morning and I can’t wait to get loads of snaps of the Volcano! For Islands of Adventure I’ve been warned not to wear white tops or any denim and this is because i’m bound to get ABSOLUTELY SOAKED on the water rides.. Hopefully it’s a warm day (oh I forgot to mention, the weather forecast for next week is BEAUTIFUL.) Oh i’m also very eager to ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster We have a surprise evening with Universal on this day and i’m super excited to see what this is going to be, of course, i’ll keep you updated!

Day 4 is the day i’m most excited about… anyone who knows me will understand why. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to swim with a dolphin and now i’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to do it YAY!!! If you haven’t guessed already, i’ll be visiting Discovery Cove in the morning. I’m not going to lie there will probably be some tears buy hey, who cares it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! After Discovery Cove i’ll be travelling over to Busch Gardens where I cannot wait to ride all the big coasters and ALL of the pressure is on me to ride Falcons Fury.. i’ve got this!

On day 5 i’ll be visiting SeaWorld in the Morning , Aquatica in the afternoon and back to SeaWorld for the evening! 😉 Very excited to ride Manta and Mako at SeaWorld as everyone in the offices always raves about how good they are. Especially excited to be lucky enough to ride them in the dark also! Psyching myself up for Ihu’s breakaway falls at Aquatica!

I’ll be staying over night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, ready for day 6.. On day 6 i’ll be visiting EPCOT in the morning and Animal Kingdom in the afternoon. Can’t wait to visit all of the different countries at EPCOT and i’m so buzzing for Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom, the reviews i’ve read about Avatar – Flight of Passage have all been great so I cannot wait to experience it for myself too.

On the 7th Day i’ll be off to Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, I am really looking forward to seeing Cinderella’s Castle, meeting all of the characters and getting to experience the iconic rides and attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I also hope I get to watch Happily Ever After, could possibly shed a tear or two here as well!

On my last day I get to go SHOPPING at the Orlando International Premium Outlets and the Florida Mall, I’ve got all my pennies saved up for this I’m just hoping i’ll have enough room in my suitcase!! After that it’s home time 🙁 🙁

Only 1 more sleep to go and i’ll finally be off!! If you would like to follow my action packed week make sure you keep checking our Facebook and Instagram as i’ll be trying to post as much and as often as possible.

See you all soon!!

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment’s Retired Attractions

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Of course, we have looked at Disney and Universal’s retired attractions so there is only one other place to look…SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment! Anheuser Busch (better known as Budweiser, Abby’s favourite drink) bought SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in 1989.

During the ownership time’s of Anheuser Busch, there was a hospitality lounge where you would get free beer samples and be able to see Clydesdales whilst sipping your beer!

In 1992 they introduced their first simulator ride to SeaWorld Orlando, Mission: Bermuda Triangle, based on the real life Bermuda Triangle (Devil’s Triangle). This was then re-themed into Wild Arctic which was combined with the amazing animal exhibit when you exit the ride. Here you can view the gorgeous Beluga whales and walruses.

Wild Arctic is also known for having seasonal changes every so often including turning into The Polar Express at Christmas time! Although this wasn’t seen last year, you never know if it will return! I hope so because I love The Polar Express!

SeaWorld used to have a fairly large penguin habitat which was upgraded into Antarctica: The Empire of the Penguin a trackless dark ride in 2013. You’ll meet Puck the Penguin and be able to follow him on his adventures around the Antarctic. You can even choose whether you would like a ‘mild’ or ‘wild’ experience!

Once you disembark from the ride, you’ll enter into the breathtaking penguin exhibit. When I say breathtaking, it literally will take your breath away with the freezing cold as well as the beautiful penguins! Some might call this a ‘2 for 1’ attraction, with the ride and the animal exhibit. Another 2 for 2 attraction is Manta. It opened in 2009 and has one of, if not the smoothest tracks in the world and is a one-of-a-kind ride with riders taunted by a head-first, face-down inverted nose dive. At the end of the ride you have the Manta Aquarium and the Stingray Lagoon.

SeaWorld is also known for it’s many stunning shows. The most popular and well known show has got to be One Ocean where you can capture Orca’s performing the most amazing flips and somersaults. One Ocean opened in 2011 after Believe was there from 2006.

Over in Tampa Bay, you can visit Busch Gardens which is also part of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment!

Python was the park’s first roller coaster that opened in 1976 with corckscrew and U-turns. Python was demolished in 2006 to make way for Jungala.

Busch Gardens also had African Queen Boat Ride which closed in 1989 to make way for Tanganyika Tidal Wave which is still in the parks to date so you can get a soaking on a hot, sunny day!  Crazy Camel was a coaster that closed in 2003 to be replaced by Sand Serpent which is also still around today.

Sandstormer was an oribter ride that was running from 1980 all the way through to 2013 before they took it down to make way for Falcons Fury which opened in 2014. Not only that, but there was Rhino Rally that opened in 2001, another water boat ride but this one was closed down for Cheetah Hunt to open in 2011.

The one ride that most people know about closing down in 2015 has to be Gwazi. I think me and Gwazi had a love hate relationship like most people! At 90 feet tall it was the park’s only wooden roller coaster!

 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also own Aquatica and Discovery Cove however Aquatica being their newest park, nothing has yet been replaced and Discovery Cove is already perfect just the way it is! 🙂

What else can you think of that’s no longer at any of these parks that maybe you’re happy are no longer there, or that you’re sad to see them gone?

Smiles Included…

Louise

 

Top Secrets at SeaWorld Orlando

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’ve looked at Universal, we’ve looked at Disney and now we’re gonna have a look at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. I’m looking forward to this one because so many people don’t know about all the great things that SeaWorld get up to and how good they really are!

What you may not know, is SeaWorld actually rescue hundreds of animals, treat them and then release them back into the sea when they are ready!

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SeaWorld have a talent for providing attractions for everyone and by that I mean if you’re a thrill seeker you’ve got Kraken, Manta and Mako. If you’re not so much of a thrill seeker you have Journey to Atlantis and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin which are smaller, fun rides. If you don’t like rides at all, SeaWorld cater for you too with all of the animal exhibits! There really is something for everyone at the SeaWorld parks.

For those of you that aren’t thrill seekers at all and prefer to visit the animal habitats, while your party are on their way to Manta, you can pop into the Manta Aquarium just opposite. Holding more than 3000 marine animals, including a Pacific octopus, you will be amazed by the 360-degree aquarium.

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Similarly, Journey to Atlantis has the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium inside the rides gift shop. The colour and luminescence is waiting to be explored. This aquarium also has an interactive back-light to keep the kids entertained for ages!

If you haven’t had enough of aquariums yet, there is another one. My favourite one. The Shark Encounter is alongside the Sharks Underwater Grill. You don’t have to be eating in here to visit but it is one of the worlds largest underwater viewing tunnels filled with sharks!

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Most people that visit SeaWorld will walk straight past Sea Garden not realising what it actually is. Here you can experience close-up encounters with some beautiful animals and learn about how SeaWorld care for the natural world. Here is where you can learn more about the rescuing of animals that SeaWorld takes part in too.

When the park opens, SeaWorld employees get the pleasure of walking the flamingos through the park from their home behind the scenes to their in-park exhibit. If you’re there early enough you might get to see them on their walkies!

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When someone says there’s a show on at SeaWorld, most people think about One Ocean or Blue Horizons etc but I bet you didn’t know that they also have street shows on throughout the day?! You can catch these around the waterfront area near the gift shops!

What else do you know about SeaWorld?

Smiles Included…

Louise

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Top 10 Orlando Attractions 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We’ve seen the top 5 attractions in each park and now it’s the big one, the top 10 attractions in Orlando overall.

1st Place: Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts – Universal Studios.

2nd Place: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – Islands of Adventure.

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3rd Place: Expedition Everest – Animal Kingdom.

4th Place: Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster – Hollywood Studios.

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5th Place: Soarin’ – Epcot.

6th Place: Crush ‘n’ Gusher – Typhoon Lagoon.

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7th Place (joint): Summit Plummet – Blizzard Beach & Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – Magic Kingdom.

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8th Place: Hard Rock Cafe – Universal City Walk.

9th Place: Manta – SeaWorld

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10th Place: Falcons Fury – Busch Gardens

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So it is clear to see that the Harry Potter attractions are extremely popular amongst our thrill seekers and why wouldn’t they be, they really are incredible.

With the opening of Volcano Bay next year I wonder how different this list will look at the end of 2017?! If you’re heading out to visit the parks don’t forget to leave your feedback and vote for your fave attractions!!

Smiles Included,

Jess
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SeaWorld’s Top Attractions 2016

Hey Thrill Seekers,

SeaWorld is renowned for its hugely thrilling coasters as well as its incredible shows so there’s a lot of competition within this park. Storming in at first place is the unique Manta.

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Manta is a one of a kind coaster on which you will experience a impressive amount of G’s! You’ll glide like a Manta Ray experience inverted nosedives, loops, twists and turns all whilst laying flat on your back , parallel to the track. You will sometimes be above the track and sometimes below as you continue to switch orientation throughout the whole ride.

It’s known to be one of the smoothest tracks in the world and totally different to your every day coaster which is why I think it has been voted as the top attraction at SeaWorld this year!

Second Place: Mako – Its Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest coaster and is named after one of the oceans fastest sharks, Mako is our offices favourite coaster at SeaWorld.

Third Place: Kraken – This is Orlando’s only floorless roller coaster and is based on a underwater mythological beast. Your feet will dangle as you speed your way around this enthralling track.

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Fourth: One Ocean – Watch majestic killer whales tell a story and be careful if you opt to sit in the splash zone you will get VERY wet!!

Fifth: Dolphins Up-Close Tour – This hands on experience lasts around 60 minutes and allows you to interact with the beautiful bottlenose dolphins and even learn some of the hand signals used to communicate with them!

Smiles Included,

Jess

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Kelly Reviews SeaWorld Orlando

Hi Thrill Seekers,

I am unhappy to say that I am now home and my FAM trip hosted by the wonderful team at Seaworld Parks and Entertainment went far too fast for my liking, but I am very excited to tell you all about my time in Orlando.

Once I reached Florida (I missed my original flight, but thats another story) we were given our itinerary for the week, Day number 1 would take place at Seaworld, Orlando. This was literally a few minutes walk from our hotel and couldn’t have been easier to get to.

Arriving at SeaWorld we were lucky enough to be met by a Seaworld tour guide who was going to show us around so we didn’t miss anything. I was keen to get as much information from the guide as I could and she  proved to be very knowledgeable and helpful. First stop was to the amazing Dolphin Cove to feed the Dolphins.

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Dolphin Cove gives you the opportunity to watch a playful group of bottlenose dolphins in their everyday habitat, you can also touch them and feed them I found this amazing. Before this trip I had never physically seen a Dolphin let alone touched or fed one so this for me really was a dream come true. I would advise if you don’t want to get wet don’t get too close as they are very playful and splash around an awful lot, I think I came away looking as though I went for a swim with them.

Once the tour guide had peeled me away from the Dolphins we then headed off to feed the Stingray’s at Stingray Lagoon. This is where I discovered I’m not the biggest fan of Stingray’s. I did try to feed them but I just couldn’t keep my hand in the water long enough, I can honestly say I acted like a complete girl when they got close to me (This became a bit of a theme, see Kelly V’s Falcon’s Fury). This wasn’t the same for the rest of the group or in fact anyone else around the Stingray Lagoon – one of the Stingrays did show their appreciation of me dropping their food by splashing me in the face!

After all the fun with the animals, it was onto our first ride “Manta” and not Mantra as I’d been calling it previously. Manta is the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the World. Once seated and all strapped in, your seat is tilted so you are facing the floor. I won’t lie my hands got extremely sweaty at this point and I kind of wanted to get off, but before panic could set in we were off travelling up a 140 foot chain lift, there was no going back now, when we reached the top Manta began by nose diving back down the 140 feet adding loops, twists and turns throughout the ride plus a few of my screams. I can honestly say my stomach has never been left behind before as much as it was on Manta but I loved it! I could have stayed on it all day but we had a tight schedule and a lot more of the park see. So we thought it was best to get the rides in before lunch so it we were straight onto Kraken.

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Kraken is the only floorless roller coaster in Orlando. It features a total of seven inversions including two vertical loops, a dive loop, a zero-g roll, a cobra roll and a corkscrew – its safe to say I felt like I was a space cadet when I came off my head was definitely in a spin.

After lunch and a very nice one at that – it was onto the Shamu Stadium for the One Ocean Show home to the majestic Killer Whale. One Ocean touched me in a way I didn’t think was possible. Although the whole show from start to finish is breathtaking with its vivid colors and vitality it is also extremely emotional and you really do connect with these thrilling sea creatures. I didn’t shed a tear but I did leave with a very big lump in my throat.If you are there in the right season you can also catch the seasonal Shamu’s Celebration: Light up the night and Shamu Christmas Miracle night shows.

If just seeing the Whale’s is not enough for you – you can also Dine with Shamu, this is a memorable family dining experience where you can enjoy a delicious poolside meal and get a glimpse into the interactions that occur between the Seaworld trainer and the beautiful Killer Whales. Unfortunately I was not lucky enough to do this experience with our busy schedule – so if you do get the opportunity please share this with me as I would love to know about it.

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Next on our list was Turtle Trek a 3D 360 degree dome theatre experience which tells the story of a Sea Turtle’s journey through life from birth to adulthood. The theatre uses 34 projectors to seamlessly cover the entire surface of the dome allowing you to watch from every angle, even above you. This attraction surprised me, it was quite fascinating to see the life of a Sea Turtle and all the dangers and hazards they face as they mature. I would definitely try and fit this into your day if you are visiting SeaWorld.

Before entering the dome you can visit two natural habitats one filled with manatees and several species of freshwater fish, the other home to more than 1,500 saltwater fish and over a dozen Sea Turtles – these I think is a brilliant touch to an attraction like this.

Our day was nearly over but last but not least we head to Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin this is SeaWorld’s newest attraction. The attention to detail that has gone into this area is unreal, it feels as though you are actually in Antarctica, it’s truly stunning. The Antarctic: Empire of the Penguins ride itself is aimed at families and tells the story of Puck, a young Gentoo Penguin who gets lost in a snowstorm. You have the option of a wild or mild ride. We did the Mild ride which I have been told is not too much different from the Wild. Once the ride was over we were able to get close to some real Gentoo Penguins, as well as Adelies, Kings and Rockhoppers. A little tip when visiting, the environment has obviously been built for the Penguins so it can feel pretty cold, so take a jacket or jumper in with you if you have one, so you can look at the penguins in detail.

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So that was it the end of my very busy day at SeaWorld – one I did not want to come to an end, but everything has to right? Roll on day 2 which was Aquatica so look out for my next blog where I will explain in detail all about Orlando Attraction Tickets first experience of Ihu’s Breakaway falls.

Smiles included…

Kelly

 

Guess How Many Calories You Burn In A Day At SeaWorld Orlando?

Hey thrill seekers,

There are many important questions in life, such as; how did the pyramids actually get there? Did man really descend from apes? Why are there so many yellow ones in a packet of M&Ms? And of course, most importantly…Just how many calories am I burning when I visit a theme park?

SeaWorld-logo-smallRecently I blogged about ‘How Many Calories I Burned at Busch Gardens‘ just because that’s the sort of data we like to collect here at Orlando Attraction Tickets – I know, we are theme park nerds! So when Visiting SeaWorld Orlando recently I decided to collect the same data.

I used a Nike Fuel Band to clock my daily calories and steps. Read on to find out just how many I burnt and how I did it, you’ll be surprised! Here’s how my day panned out;

1) Journey to Atlantis – Water/Thrill ride

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What better way too start the day than with a water ride! Water ride enthusiasts are in for a thrill as this mythical paradise reveals its darker side. This exciting flume ride/roller coaster hybrid treats you to more than its share of surprises as you explore dark, watery passageways through the sunken city before being flung from its gates down a thrilling plunge into the waters below.

2) Kraken – Rollercoaster

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SeaWorld mighty Kraken is a monster coaster like no other. Consistently ranked one of the world’s top coasters by ride enthusiasts, this blazing fast floorless steel coaster rises high above the horizon. Kraken; The mythological beast has been unleashed to lift you higher, drop you longer, and spiral you faster than any other coaster in Orlando.

3) Manta – Rollercoaster

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Manta lets you find out what it’s like to spin, glide, skim and fly like a giant ray when you experience the only flying roller coaster of its kind in the world. A seamless blend of up-close animal encounters with a head-first, face-down thrill ride! Riders are taunted by a head-first, face-down inverted nosedive…and that’s just the beginning. This powerful ray leads bold adventurers on a journey to experience the full force and power of riding the high seas, all on one of the smoothest tracks in the world.

4) One Ocean – Shamu Show.

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Amazing Killer Whale Splash Show! Dive into the exhilaration of the sea in our all-new Shamu show, One Ocean. The energy and spirit of the ocean envelops you in a multi-sensory celebration of life underneath the sea that entertains as it educates and inspires. Majestic killer whales join you on a journey into a world that drenches your senses in the vivid colours, vitality and global rhythms of the ocean. Dancing fountains set the stage as you connect with thrilling sea creatures and realize we are all part of one world, one ocean.

Break for lunch

I took a quick pit stop at Mango Joe’s – If you like wraps and fajitas then you cant go wrong with this place. But they are loads of great places to grab a bit to eat so whether you like pizza, burgers etc you are sure to find something tasty to tuck into. One tip would be to either have a late lunch or an early lunch. Between 12:00 and 13:00 hours are the busiest periods so queues are very likely.

5) Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island – Sea Lions, Walrus and Otter Show

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Wow! What a funny show! Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island, and instead take the stage using the one language we all share—fun! This sensational tale of lost loot, pirate plunder and misadventure is full of hilarious hijinks. Come aboard for some slap-flap comedy and pure family fun. Look out for the mime at the beginning of the show who keeps everyone entertained while you take your seat.

6) Turtle Trek  – 3-D Turtle exhibit

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The first 3-D movie presented in a domed theatre! No animal’s life journey is more incredible than that of the sea turtle. From hatching on a beach and making the mad dash to open waters to the dangers and hazards they face as they mature and return to the very same beach to lay their own eggs, their tales of life underwater have in the past been impossible to show. And no theme park in the world is better equipped than SeaWorld to share that journey with millions of people. Check out this post for a complete Turtle Trek photo walk through  

7) Dolphin Show – Blue Horizons

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An amazing show with spectacular Dolphins. Join a young girl named Marina as she discovers the secrets of the sea and sky in a mesmerizing blue world of adventure and wonder. This unique, theatrical spectacular features dolphins, tropical birds and acrobats. Let Blue Horizons take you on a journey usually reserved for dreams.

8) Antarctica – Empire of the Penguin – Exhibit

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Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin™. This epic exploration of a mysterious world blends animal encounters with an exhilarating family ride for a one-of-a-kind experience the whole family will enjoy. Be transported to an icy world like you’ve never seen before. Experience the majestic grandeur of the South Pole and see it through the penguins’ eyes on an exhilarating, first-of-its-kind family ride. Check our our recent review of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. 

So after a full day at SeaWorld how many calories did I actually burn? Well I actually burnt 786 calories and took just under 10,000 steps. Not as many calories or steps as I did at Busch Gardens but you have to admit it’s still pretty impressive, especially, when all I was doing was having fun! 

 *Remember that we all burn calories in different ways. My data is based on my own personal experience and body type.

Here is the information you’ll need if you plan on visiting SeaWorld Orlando;

SeaWorld Orlando is included within the following tickets

If there is a better way to burn calories, I’d be interested to hear from you.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Karl

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