Do you remember your first Tim Tracker vlog? I do. And since summer is rapidly approaching, and bringing with it sweltering, sunny days – the kind that make rational people want to get drenched on water rides – it feels like the appropriate time to share the first The Tim Tracker video I ever watched.
I’d always been “strictly Disney” on my trips to Orlando. My motto was “always stay on Disney property” and never leave. Until my folks offered free lodging for my family in a vacation club villa at an off – way, way, off – property resort. I’m not cheap, but I’m also not stupid.
This resort, it turned out, was close to Universal, and since I’d been reading the Harry Potter series to my son, I decided we should visit the Wizarding World in person. The girls opted to spend a day at the pool, but early on a Monday morning, my son and I passed under the majestic archway of Universal Orlando for the first time.
Universal quickly made a convert of me. And the Big Pink donuts in Springfield made a convert of him. From Transformers to Men in Black to the Potter areas and Jurassic Park; it was mind-blowing. But something else caught my eye – the water rides of Islands of Adventure. Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls and Popeye & Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges to be specific.
Yes, you can get wet on Jurassic Park, and even One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish over in Seuss Landing, which we loved, but they don’t soak you to your core the way it appeared Ripsaw and Bilge-Rat did.
We watched as park guest after park guest came off both rides wetter than I’d ever imagined a human being could get. And the rides looked fun and unique. Sure, we have similar water rides at our local theme park, but without 1/3rd of the theming and quality. The kid in me wanted to get in line immediately. Sadly the real kid I brought was leery of spending the day weighed down by drenched underpants – which I had to admit I understood. So it was not to be.
When vacation ended and I returned home to real life, and my morning ritual of YouTube and coffee, I decided to search “Universal Orlando Water Rides.” One of the first videos to pop up was titled: “Riding Every Water Ride at Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando!!!”
It had been posted by someone called The Tim Tracker. I poured another cup and pressed play. I was immediately greeted by a fellow with an intense handlebar mustache. They were driving past the still under-construction Cabana Bay resort. Like Jack Skellington himself, I thought: “What is this?”
Tim and Jenn first made a stop in Hogsmeade to try the Strawberry and Peanut-Butter ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour (Universal is so detail oriented, they even threw in that extra U.) By the way, peanut butter is my kryptonite so I kicked myself for missing this treat. But then they hopped on Ripsaw Falls. I was immediately impressed by the level of theming Universal’s creative team put into what could have been simple water rides. The animatronic characters. The inclusion of story. This is what I want from a theme park. Few parks include these elements in flume or rapids rides. And that you came off looking like you’d just been dunked head first in Lake Michigan was a plus. I was also impressed by how well Tim captured it all without losing his camera!
More importantly, this fun couple vlogging their way around the park with the stated mission of getting soaked captured my imagination. I watched a few more videos on their channel. And then, what the heck, I hit Subscribe. Soon they were part of my morning routine. I loved the quality, the level of detail, and helpful information they provide. Four years later, I still watch daily, and find myself thinking “I didn’t know that” or “I want to try that next time.”
Something tells me I’m not the only one.
What was the first The Tim Tracker vlog you ever watched?