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Weekly Recap: Searching for Unicorns and Mystic Timbers

Today is the last day to grab a Unicorn Frappuccino at your local Starbucks.  For the unaware, this colorful frozen drink is a promotional product which has become an internet sensation.  Starbuck unleashed this fruity, pixie-dusted, sweet-and-sour beverage on an unsuspecting public for less than a week.  The resulting feeding frenzy lead to many locations selling out of the ingredients necessary to make the drink.  On Friday night, I was informed that my oldest daughter just had to have one.  So off we went in search of a unicorn.  In this week’s recap, I’ll be covering all of the goings-on here at Le Blog as well as a few details about my week outside of the site.

The week has been a bit of a haze.  Remember that puppy we adopted last weekend?  Not surprisingly, she isn’t remotely house broken.  This weekend, my wife was throwing a 40th birthday party for her brother.  With all of her family coming, messes were to be avoided at all costs.  The ground floor of our house has hardwood floors which are easier to clean than carpet, so for most of the week I slept on the couch.  A couple of times every night, I was awoken by a playful puppy who thought my time would be better spent entertaining her rather than sleeping.

Friday night was when the real party preparation started.  When my wife goes into “cleaning mode” I call her Hurricane Mindy.  Things disappear forever when Mindy starts to clean.  Once, she threw way all of my shoes.  All of them.  At any given time, I might have four or five pairs of shoes.  After this fit of spring cleaning, I had only the shoes on my feet.  Both Josie and I make it a practice to be out of the house whenever Hurricane Mindy hits.  If you try to help, you will likely get yelled at for getting in the way.  And if you’re not going to clean, you’d best be scarce.  We opted for the latter.

Last weekend was opening day at Kings Island.  We usually attend, but this year the park was opening a new roller coaster and the weather was perfect.  That meant there would be big crowds, so I figured we would sit that one out.  Friday nights are typically not very busy at the park, so we decided to check out the new ride while Mindy was scrubbing the house.

Unfortunately, Kara wouldn’t be able to join us.  For about a week or so, she had been complaining about her ankle.  I reached a point where out of frustration, I told her that she either needed to go to the doctor to get her ankle looked at or stop complaining about her ankle.  Long story short, Mindy took her to Urgent Care one night and her ankle was fractured.  For most of the week, Kara has been hobbling around on crutches.

Kings Island has a very large Starbucks in the park, but I was concerned they wouldn’t carry Josie’s specialty drink.  We called around to see if any of the local Starbucks had the Unicorn Frappuccino in stock.  The only store we found that was still serving them was in the Kenwood Mall – an upscale shopping mall which always has a packed parking lot.  But with only a couple of days left before the sparkly beverage disappeared, we decided it was worth it to stop on our way out.

When we got to the Starbucks, we were relieved to find that they were still in stock.  The barista was not at all shy about making his feelings known on the Unicorn Frappe.  Apparently they were not fun to make.  But a few minutes and $5 later and Josie had her drink.

With one of our two missions successfully completed, we hopped back in the car and headed for Kings Island.  The weather was overcast, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Good weather makes for long lines.  Ideally, the weather is foreboding enough for people to stay indoors without actually being uncomfortable.  On the way there, a light rain started falling, but we carried on anyway.

When we arrived at the park, the rain had mostly stopped.  The weather was cool, but tolerable.  We made our way back to the Rivertown section of the park to ride Mystic Timbers.

Most readers outside of the region probably aren’t familiar with Kings Island’s new coaster.  It’s a wooden coaster set in a timber yard in the woods.  The ride vehicles are themed to look like beat-up old cars.  The ride itself is fast and twisty with lots of air time.

Ever since the ride was announced last fall, Kings Island has been hyping the twist ending with the hashtag #WhatsIntheShed?  After an hour-long wait in the cool night air, we finally got the answer to the mystery.  If you want to avoid spoilers, skip the next paragraph.

The inside of the shed is pretty sparse.  Colored lights come on to set the spooky mood.  There’s an old radio which clicks on and plays an 80’s song with lyrics that relate to the ride’s theme.  There are actually multiple songs which might play.  We got “Cars” by Gary Numan.  Once ride stops moving for a minute or so, but not a lot happens during that time aside from the lights and the song.  Up ahead, there is a screen which shows the door to the shed.  As the ride starts to pull forward, some kind of monster appears on the screen to menace riders.  Once again, there are multiple possibilities potentially adding to the rides repeatability.  We raced past a giant snake.

Some coaster junkies are complaining that Mystic Timbers isn’t big enough for a park already full of thrill rides.  I thought it was a unique addition to the park even if the “shed” didn’t quite live up the hype.

The next day was a busy one as Mindy prepared for her party.  Josie had a volunteer event first thing in the morning for Earth Day.  She also had a friend who needed a lift.  I was nominated for chauffeur duties.  Once that was done, I ran back out to Kenwood Mall.  Kara really wanted to try that Unicorn drink before it disappeared from stores.  As you can see, she was a happy girl when I delivered her brightly colored drink.

Moving on to blog stuff, let’s look at the week in celebrity birthdays.  The headliners for Jestak’s daily write-ups were:

KevtheWriter continued a string of weekly Why’d It Bomb articles with a look at the franchise-killing Amazing Spider-man 2.  Then he looked forward to Cars 3 and wondered What’s the Big Deal?  In response, Disney CEO Bob Iger rolled around in a pile of money and laughed.  Pixar founder John Lasseter could not be reached for comment.  He was too busy playing with his Cars toys.

While we’re on the subject, Daffy did Disney with three new videos from his recent Disney World getaway.  First, he toured the World Showcase.  Next Daffy milled around the increasingly ironically named Future World section of Epcot.  After dinner at Nine Dragons, Daffy took a ride on Spaceship Earth before returning to his Little Mermaid room from the Art of Animation resort.

The Movieline archives included an interview with the late, great David Bowie from 1992, a look at some of the standout young actors from 2002, and interview with director Sam Raimi just before the release of the first Spider-man movie, and ten of the most famous actors who never won Academy Awards.

Finally, we had a look at the Harry Potter Team Pack from Lego Dimensions.  We’re running out of new Lego Dimensions product to cover here, so I will probably take a few weeks off before the next Lego Dimensions write-up.

Next week: I’m hoping for a less eventful week, but that seems unlikely to happen.  There will probably be fewer pink and blue, sparkly drinks.

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Posted on April 23, 2017, in Weekly Recap. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I drank the Unicorn Frappucino and, as a Frapholic, it was a little disappointing. I mean, it was okay, but it was a little sour

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    • The girls liked them a lot. I took a sip and all I tasted was the sweet and fruity flavors. As the pixie dust gets mixed in, it adds a sour candy flavor, but I never sampled that.

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  2. As much as I like most concoctions of pure sugar, there’s something about the Unicorn Frappe that makes me think it’d be a little overwhelming.

    How rough was the ride on Mystic Timbers? Wooden coasters sometimes beat their riders up a little. It sounds like the “shed” is a feature guests would have loved if the park hadn’t hyped it so much.

    I hope people are enjoying the Disney vlogs, because if I continue posting them 3 times a week (as is the current plan), I’ve got enough material to keep them coming your way for another month. Once they’re all ready I should be able to get back to one of my previously established series.

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    • Please don’t take my relative silence for lack of interest. I have been watching and enjoying the videos. Time has just been tight of late. With Kara’s injury and two dogs to possibly kennel, we may end up canceling or postponing our trip thus year. So I am living vicariously through your vlogs. Especially with work beating me up lately.

      The common theme between my two weekend quests was that they both involved scarcity and heavy marketing. The Unicorn drink was essentially a fruity milkshake. Very sweet. I imagine the sour candy aspect would be off putting to some. For a lot of people, it was more about following a trend than anything. My impression was it looked like a Katy Perry concert in a cup.

      For a wooden coaster, Mystic Timbers is smooth. I don’t know that will be true 10 years from now. But for now, the coaster portion of the ride is very enjoyable. It’s all speed and airtime. The “shed” lacks a little in execution, but I am just glad to see a regional amusement park trying. I look forward to many more rides this season.

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      • Thanks Lebeau! I made the decision to spread these videos out just a little more than I did back in the autumn. While I think that makes more sense for both the blog and my youtube channel, it also means that I’m still way ahead in editing the things. Because of that, there are moments I’m looking forward to other people seeing that they won’t get to see for another couple of weeks. I’m guilty of being a little impatient on that count.

        I hope life eases up on you a little where it can. I have experience in dealing with dogs, including a new puppy that caused a flood in the house because he thought it would be a good idea to chew on the hose that led from the wall to the toilet. Another time he jumped up on a sink and turned it on, leading to another smaller flood. Puppies need lots of attention.

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        • They sure do! Sadie, our previous pet, chewed through the air conditioning unit not once, but twice! Belle has just been rambunctious and messy so far, but she has a sweet disposition and I know she will be a good dog. I hate the thought of putting her in a kennel so young, but if we want to go on vacation, we’re running out of options. Which is why I initially advocated for getting a dog AFTER the trip, but no one listens to me. Except ironically the dog.

          Things are bound to settle down eventually. Usually work begins to calm down after tax season but this year is unusual in a lot of ways. Time will tell I guess. We’re just hoping for the best with regards to Kara’s ankle. She’s seeing another doctor tomorrow so hopefully we will be done with crutches.

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        • Are your vacation plans already set? If your dogs crate effectively there are towns and places to stay that are pretty dog-friendly. I once spent a week in Savannah Georgia at a B&B that was both glad for us to bring our dogs and within walking distance of beautiful local parks. The dogs had a great time and barely raised a peep when we left them in the room so we could tour. There were also plenty of local restaurants with sidewalk seating so they were able to join us for lunch or dinner sometimes.

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        • We are staying at Lowe’s Royal Pacific at Universal which actually does allow pets. But I can’t see taking a puppy on a plane or having her stay in a hotel room while we tour the parks. It’s either find a relative who can keep her, pet her in a kennel or cancel/postpone. Kara’s ankle is obviously another big factor. If she can’t walk, there’s not much point in going.

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