Nastya: What’s your favorite cartoon? Anton: I like Lion King. Nastya: Mine is Little Mermaid. Anton: Why? Nastya: Because. Top of the morning to ya. This is Heads and Tails Reloaded and you will never believe where we are. We are about to live your childhood dream! Anton: We arrived in Orlando, FL. A childhood dream can only be fulfilled by a tourist with a gold card. Nastya: That’ll be me! Anton: Not in this lifetime honey. Heads! Nastya: Tails. Anton: Well, hello Orlando! 1, 2, 3! Nastya: Is that heads or tails? Anton: Why are you stuck on stupid? It’s tails! Nastya: That means I’m rich? Anton: Yes. Nastya: Don’t get discouraged. Remember to fully explore your opportunities! Can you bring me a balloon and some cotton candy? Nastya: Fine. Anton: You swindler. Orlando is a city of wonders! There are things you can do here that go beyond your craziest fantasies… : Here you can be carried away to another planet… Experience a surge of adrenalin! Mount a fairytale dragon! And even fall through volcano’s crater! This is the most unusual airport that I have ever seen. It looks more like a casino or a hotel than an airport. Kids’ party atmosphere is everywhere. Seemingly, everything was created to entice spending. As soon as you step outside of the plane, your kids will drag you to official store of Disney World or a Harry Potter shop. During the last visit, our poor host came to find out that $100 is peanut change in Orlando. Nastya K: It wasn’t meant to be. Bye Snow White. So long Mickey Mouse. It wasn’t meant to be. I’ll consider my time here squandered if I don’t visit at least one amusement park. Game on Orlando! No matter what it takes, I’ll make sure I get to an amusement park! I’ll starve, sleep on the sidewalk, steal… no I won’t steal, but I’ll reach my goal no matter what it takes. Things are much easier with a gold card! I will party, live glamorous life and spend lavishly. Behold the hippest modern car – Tesla X Model. Is there no driver? We’re going somewhere without a driver! Is this okay? Feels eerie. What in the world was that? The car drove itself to me, opened the door and took off. Tesla X Model has an autopilot feature.
Tesla X Model has an autopilot feature. Frontal cameras, rear cameras, cameras on the sides all read contours of objects and traffic signs. All road hazards are being tracked by radar and sonar. Ultrasound sensors are tracing traffic lanes. All data is then sent to a CPU that drives the car and even reacts to traffic lights. Space shuttle! This feels like the year 2035 when cars will drive themselves! This is awesome! Anton would be so jealous. I don’t have time to be jealous. I need to find a bus to leave the airport. I hope you know by now that you should always bring small bills on the bus. Machine does not give you change. Driver was very polite, bus is neat and clean, ready for inspection almost. Little details in the U.S. make me feel comfortable. Orlando is the world’s largest amusement park designed for kids from ages 6 to 60! Orlando is like a giant slot machine that makes 35 billion dollars annually. Mickey Mouse’s revenue equals to a budget of Ukraine. New amusement parks are constantly constructed to keep the cash flowing. Miss Fortune Falls Water Park, Kraken 4-D Park, Electric Ocean, Ninjago World Park, Volcano Bay Aqua Park, Pandora World of Avatar and Orlando Eye were opened in Orlando while we were away. Here it is by the way! Orlando Eye is a 40-story high Ferris wheel. I’ll get a perfect look at all of the amusement parks at once. Cannot wait to get up there and look at Disney World! A regular ticket is $28, but in that case, you’ll have to share a capsule with 15 other people. You can also rent the whole thing for $275. These folks could have been riding solo like me if they had the money. A giant car, wonderful acoustics and all of this is for me! This is money well spent, because I will see the best attractions in the entire city. This is unbelievable, from up here the amusement park city of Orlando looks like… Melitopol! I can’t say I dig what I see. Landscape looks pretty plain and grey. Enjoy a $275 view. I can’t accuse them of false advertising. That tiny dot over there really is Disney World, while a check mark on the other side is Universal. Sheesh. How can you be complaining? At least you can visit all of those amusement parks, while I’m gonna have to scrap every penny for tomorrow’s ticket. I can’t wait for this wheel to bring me down,
I can’t wait for this wheel to bring me down, but it’s moving at a turtle’s pace. Boy, am I gonna party when I get down there! 20 minutes. This damn wheel takes 20 damn minutes to complete a turn. You can go crazy while being stuck here with nothing to look at! Can we speed this thing up a little bit? I loved the view and everything! Can I please come down now? I need to use the bathroom. C’mon! Go! Go! Just a little bit left! Open Sesame! Where are you running miss? She looks like she’s in a hurry. I get it, she’s a referee! Probably late for a game. No need to hang yourself if you came to Orlando with only a $100. Seasoned traveler Anton Ptushkin is here to tell you how to not only survive on that budget, but also make it inside an amusement park! Take notes. Rule #1. Visit free sights. You can watch someone who paid $70 to flip around in an aero tube. Checking out an Upside-down House from the outside is free. A ticket inside is $30. Walking around Disney Springs Park is also free of charge. There is music playing. Plenty of lakes are located around nice-looking hotels and eateries. Yet there are hardly any people here, because they prefer larger fancier parks. While Anton is bumming on the streets of Orlando, I am taking my gold card to Disney World! This used to my childhood dream to visit here and I awaited that perhaps one day it’ll come true. I’m not a child anymore of course, but feeling of anticipation is very child-like. Disney World is the largest entertainment hotspot on the planet. It is an entire city the size of a regional center. 53 million people come here every year. That’s an entire population of South Africa! Something sensational happened while we were away. A new grandiose amusement zone opened up here – Pandora World of Avatar. Getting to Pandora is not that simple. irst, you will need a pass to Animal Kingdom Park that costs $118. Second, you will need to pass through a thorough security check. Just like in the airport. Third, you will need to get fingerprinted. Even 3-year olds have to do this procedure to prevent people from using their ride tickets more than once. Fourth, you will have to make your way through a thick crowd of people and… here it is! Here it is! The Disney World! Located right over on the other of this lake. No chance of getting there without admission. Therefore, I better tell you about savings rule #2 Do not waste money on public transport. All you have to do is come to any hotel and act like you are staying there. I’m about to hop on this free ride. All nicer hotels provide shuttle buses that take their residents to different parks. So you have plenty of options to get around or just see sights. This is impossible! It really is Pandora from Avatar! Here are the floating cliffs; one of them even has a waterfall! The otherworldly flora surrounds me – plants, mushrooms. These creatures are surely not from Earth. Somebody pinch me! Both the idea and execution are great.
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Both the idea and execution are great. These creatures look real. I catch myself staring at things the whole time. There are only two attractions in the Avatar World, but they are more fun than any rollercoaster or carousel. First one is the journey down the Navi River. The wait time for this line is 60 minutes. That’s too long. There also is a fast pass, but you can’t purchase it on the spot. You have to register at a Disney World website and book your ride at least a month ahead of your visit. Date and time must be specified. If you haven’t done that it won’t matter how much money you’ve got. You’ll stand in line. Let the Pandora journey begin! Look, this is Pandora’s night forest! Glowing luminous plants. Here are the animals! Very cool! Unbelievable how much technology went into production of this, fluorescent paint, holograms. I can’t imagine how much effort and resources it took to build something as astonishing as this. Look! There are even robots that speak Navi language. This looks so real! How is that possible? Fantastic! The ride was amazing, but very short. I just started to get into the magical fairy tale atmosphere and felt like a child. Right when my emotions were at the peak the ride was suddenly over. Yet it was still awesome! While Nastya is making lifelong lasting memories, here’s an Orlando savings rule #3 – do not eat out. Cheapest Margarita pizza is at least $12. Chicken Caesar salad is $11. Salmon filet is way out of my league – $26. Therefore, make sure you get your groceries at a supermarket. The cheapest food is the one that will soon expire. My meal budget for two days turned out to be $3! Ikran flight is Avatar World’s second attraction. Before I could fly a dragon, I had to go through a secret lab. A giant avatar is floating in a capsule. Looks real! Fantastic. After your body is scanned and decontaminated, an avatar is created according to your likeness. You can ride Ikran once you feel at home at Pandora. 3D glasses were passed around while we mounted simulator bikes. Something incredible is about to happen. What transpires next is nothing short of magic! This is surreal! This is what folks call 7D. Fans create an illusion of the wind. Built in sprinklers make sure you get splashed at the right time. You can even smell jungle and ocean aroma! Just bravo! The wait was totally worth it. The detail level amazed me. I felt like I was inside of that world! I was flying and swinging in every direction. This has to be my life’s best virtual experience for sure! Take a bow! Fantastic! If I stick to savings rule #4 I too will have my life’s top experience. Still taking notes? Do you want to make it to an amusement park? Stay away from hostels, a night there is $30 at the very least. When you don’t have money to rent, couch surfing will come to the rescue. It’s a website where people from around the globe offer their homes to travelers. Let’s log in and look for open options in Orlando. All there’s left to do is waiting, hoping and believing. Time to unpack my pouch.
Time to unpack my pouch. My meal today is a can of black eyed peas. Don’t you love it? Anton had no idea that a new posh restaurant was opened five meters away from where he was choking on his beans. I decided to have a dinner Reloaded style! Newest, freshest spot in town – Boathouse! The owner is crazy about boats! They’re on the walls. Boats instead of booths. Boats on a ceiling and flower pot boats. V.I.P. tables are located at the dock. Waitress: Would you like prosecco and dessert today? Amusements are found everywhere in Orlando. Just look at my restaurant. While I wait for my meal, I can ride this classic automobile. American dream circa 1960. Nothing-special right? Check this out! This car is amphibious. German engineering straight from the sixties! There’s a whole fleet of these amphibians! How weird is this? We’re driving a car over water! A car. Over water. A twenty minute ride will amount to $125. What is up with my lobster? Is it ready? Black Anastasia Gold caviar for a snack. Look at the can’s size. There’s only one layer of caviar. $85 for 10 grams. You have to pardon me. No way would I eat this if it was not my job’s obligation. I don’t want to, but I need to. It’s time to try the main dish. Lobster stuffed with crabmeat. Really good. Look at all this meat, and that’s just the tail! This is the life! Dessert time! Waitress: Here’s your dessert! Dead serious! This dessert is called Alaska, inside is the chocolate ice-cream with almond crust on the bottom, topped with marshmallows and chocolate. Would you like me to cut it for you? It reminds me how you cut a nice piece of ham. Only it’s a dessert. Waitress: It takes five whole days to make in multiple stages. Here’s my conclusion – this isn’t exactly gourmet dessert, but it will surely satisfy your sweet tooth. I’ll have just one more. Great news! I got a reply on my request. Sergey and Evgeniy. Could be my fellow countrymen. Nice! We now have an apartment! Tricky part is getting there, it’s pretty far away. No free buses here unfortunately. Walking there takes two hours. Fine by me. I decided to stay at Disney World’s Art of Animation resort to remain close to all the attractions. This resort is as big as a city block and has 2,000 suites. Rooms are divided into four cartoon areas: Finding Nemo, Lion King, Cars and Little Mermaid. This hotel is so popular that they are fully booked six months in advance, so I can’t be picky. I’ll take what I can get. Is this my room or a kindergarten? Interior in all of the rooms in this hotel is based on a certain cartoon. I got Lion King, so I live in an improvised savanna. Chairs shaped like leaves, flower lamps, giraffes are staring at me from behind the couch. Oh well. There’s a schedule here for all the kiddy events. What about cartoons? I do not think there are any. The finest cartoon is right outside, so kids are motivated to explore instead of sitting in front of a TV. Parents are being motivated to spend more on rides and condiments as well. It is what it is. I have been walking for an hour now. About 40 minutes left according to my map. 39 to be exact. I don’t think I’m on the outskirts, I may be out of town by now. There’s forest and a highway, nothing else around. I’m getting a bad feeling about this. I wish I could fetch a ride, but it’s illegal to stop here. Not bad. Pretty dope! I thought I was going to some shack on the outskirts. Check out these rides. Looks like I found local bourgeoisie. Hello! How are you? Anton. Nice to meet you. Quite a place you have got here. Very spacious. Let me drop my bag. Meet Zhenya and Seryoga, Ukrainian programmers. hey work for IT companies and rent this luxurious apartment. Sometimes they take tenants just for fun. Zhenya: Come with me. I’ll show you something. Anton: Let’s go. I could live on this balcony. My apartment back home is smaller. Zhenya: You can crash here. Anton: Dude everything is super. Especially this big leather couch. Anton: How many rooms you have? Zhenya: It’s a 2 bedroom, but our hall is huge, so basically it’s three rooms. Anton: How many bathrooms? Zhenya: Also two. Anton: That’s classic. Your place is huge. Or is it considered standard in the States? Zhenya: This one is considered a little bit above average. Anton: Is cottage community like this considered normal? I thought I was in a hotel when I was walking down your hallway. The carpet and paintings. No, really! How much is your rent if you don’t mind me asking? Zhenya: It’s $1,500 plus utilities. Anton: So for $1,500 you rent a 120 square meter flat in Orlando? Zhenya: Yep. Anton: It turned out there was more. Zhenya: Over there is our golf field. You can’t see it now from behind that house. Here some folks are renting garages. Anton: Where am I? Can you believe this Alex? Anton: Is all of this communal property? Zhenya: Exactly. Anton: I’m shocked. Zhenya: This is Jacuzzi. Anton: You have a swimming pool? Anton: Is this BBQ area? Zhenya: Not exactly. More like a bonfire. Anton: What is this? Wow. Zhenya: These chairs swing above water. Cool place to chill out. Anton: I haven’t even seen this in high-class hotels! Can I try? Zhenya: Of course. Anton: It would be terrific for meditating. This feels like a dream guys. This is the best time I’ve had after losing the coin toss. Feels like I won the gold card. Everything here is made for the people, so much comfort for what is practically $50 per day. Zhenya: Interesting how they solved a problem with dog poop. They took a DNA sample from each dog that lives in the community, so if they find feces they can easily identify dog’s owner. Anton: I have to applaud. American style of problem solving. Anton: I loved everything. They even treated me to a meal. Thanks homies. Avatar World looks even more magical when the night falls. Everything is luminous – trees, flowers, rocks and even trails. The sight is unbelievable! Notice that there are no crowds. Simply amazing! Today is THE day when I get to go to an amusement park! I don’t have the funds to go to any of the top parks that cost over $100 of course, but I got my eyes set on newest best kept secret park inside Universal Studious – Volcano Bay. They just started their operation so the entry fee is still low. Volcano Bay. I missed sleep, meals, got bloody blisters on my feet for this. Volcano Bay is a manmade tropical paradise. Looks just like a Polynesian island with white sandy beaches and blue lagoons. Fast paced rivers and waterfalls. In the middle of a bliss is a 60-meter high Krakatau volcano. Volcano Bay has lots of new stuff. They boast 18 super up-to-date drop slides, water is warm everywhere, because of the Krakatau volcano’s lava of course. Water mattresses lift themselves up in this park! Each visitor receives an electronic bracelet that automatically keeps track of your place in line. That way you know exact time you’re supposed to show up for each ride without any waiting. Here I go! Chest out! Time to conquer their baddest slides! First up – Ohyah. That was quick but cool! Serpentine tube slide is up next! My eyes were this big! Enough with the child’s blabber, Kala and Tai Nui are the most extreme slides that are located at volcano’s very top! Sliding down from here is equivalent to sliding down from a 12-story building. They shut people in a capsule. Seems ordinary at first, then… Oh shit! Nah, I’m off that. Hum, that slide seems boring to me. Plus they’ve got kids coming, not gonna steal their joy. Let me find something more extreme! That’s what I’m talking about. Definitely beats the tubes! Coming to Orlando and not testing the scariest rides is equivalent to not getting in the water at seaside. Universal Park has the best of the best. Here are the must visit attractions! The Hulk Ride. That was a straight bomb! I don’t remember the last time I had so much fun on the ride! Can we go again? Next up Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls! I hope I make it down in one piece. Here comes the main slide! If you are ready to sacrifice your dry pants, boots, sneakers, hair and make-up make sure to make your way up this slide! Raincoat seemed like a good idea, but in the end it wasn’t much help. All in all, that slide is holding up. I absolutely had to see Universal Park’s newest attraction. Skull Island. The King Kong kingdom! 3D screens continue on both sides of a moving cart. Graphics are so realistic that I feel completely submerged. King Kong is throwing primeval enemies left and right, much to a delight of a crowd of tourists. My assessment is that is wasn’t too bad at all, especially King Kong’s head in the end. That was tight. Encouraging you to spend your money is any amusement park’s general design. To make sure you do not overpay where you don’t have to keep in mind my savings life hacks. I’m walking around with my backpack because storage costs $12. We are in the United States, no one’s gonna steal my stuff. I’m using free shelves right next to a slide. The cheapest snack you can find in the park will total you $12. When you need to save just do what I do! Never count out trashcans too. Especially clean trashcans. Bottled water is expensive, so look for a free drinking fountain and don’t be shy to fill yours up. Always bring your own towel, because here they charge you $5 for one. Having a towel is expensive. Not having one is freezing. Two days of intense savings allowed me to go to the park and I still have $14 left. That’s nothing in Orlando, but there’s a life hack. Discount websites like Groupon are very popular in the U.S. You can find savings here up to 80% off. Most of them are only available for U.S. citizens, but seek and ye shall find. There’s a balloon ride. $11.50 I can afford that. The problem is that you need a credit card in the U.S. for online purchases, which I don’t have. I have an idea. How’s it going Zheka? You’re flying out? All right, safe travels. That didn’t work. Let’s try Plan B. Hi mom, can you transfer some money to my card real quick? Yeah you. I showed you how to do it at least ten times. Ugh. Okay. Click on Start menu. My documents. Right. Find payments. Mom, it’s just $11.50. Promise that you will at least try. This would really mean a lot to me now. Please mom. Thanks. I love you. Would you look at that! Look at how it’s glowing! I did not trouble mom for nothing! I don’t see any people though. It can’t be because the tickets were sold. Let’s try going around that way. Manager: Groupon? Manager: It works till 6 pm only. Manager: Yes. From 9 am till 6 pm. This means I’m not going to fly tonight. We can’t fly. I let my mom down and I feel ashamed of myself. Bummer. Make sure you read instructions carefully. I got so excited that I completely missed the part where it said that Groupon deal ends at 6PM. To make your childhood dreams come true you will have to conquer your childhood fears first. At least I think this place is spooky. Here’s a $100 for you. It would take more than one lifetime and more than one gold card to try all of Orlando’s attractions. Each year they come up with new ones… Do not upset yourself by going to Orlando for two days with a $100 in a pocket. Although, if you can survive all levels of poverty you will experience the best emotions of your entire life… Anton: Hello! Nastya: How was your weekend? Anton: It was bad. Nastya: How come? I bought a Groupon with my last change to ride this balloon and I even asked my mom to transfer me money, but I did not get here in time. I don’t have money for a new ticket neither. Nastya: Well, how much is it? Anton: Twenty dollars. Nastya: So what’s the problem? Let’s go! C’mon! My gift to ya! Anton: Nastya thank you for this gift. Wow! Would you look at the view! Nastya: From here I can show you a restaurant where I ate lobster. Over there is Disney World where I went on a bunch of rides. Here is where I spent a night, hotel was incredible! Anton: Nastya, this is so cool. We’re flying. Do you know where we’re flying? Nastya: Where? Anton: We’re flying to reload the next city. Nastya: True that! Anton: Yep. Nastya: See you guys. Anton: See you. Why are you reeling?