Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A Magical Place

So this past weekend, or long weekend, I went down to Walt Disney World with one of my oldest friends and her family. The last time I was at WDW was with these same kind folks, except it was during Hurricane Katrina and they're from New Orleans which means it wasn't that much fun towards the end of that trip. I have collected some thoughts about this place from my weekend and will share them with you:

  • The flight to Orlando from anywhere is always filled with kids who are so excited. Our plane had just taken off from Boston and the runway was falling away underneath us and one kid points to South Boston and asks his Mom, "Is that Orlando?" Cute in one way, but not in a "your kid eats paste sort of way." These same kids are generally pretty quiet on the flight back. If not, that's why God invented these. (Thank you Santa)
  • Disney has this thing called Magical Express. In short, they send you luggage tags for your checked baggage. You check in with them at Orlando International when you arrive and magic gnomes whisk your luggage from the carousel and drop them in your room. All pretty cool, unless your tags don't arrive on time. Not a huge deal, but I waited through this long line and told the "cast member" this and she smiled and said "Hakuna Matata." Then I punched her. Not really, but that crap might work on 11 year olds, but not on this guy who wants to make sure his bag isn't stolen.
  • We stayed at The Boardwalk Inn. Which faithfully recreates a Jersey Shore town in the 40's. It's cool because it has a few token businesses along the Boardwalk, like a bakery, pizza place, piano bar etc. I sort of wish it captured the Shore era from the 70's and 80s. They could have real life junkies hanging out underneath the boardwalk, fighting seagulls for leftover pretzels.
  • There are a lot of fat people at WDW. But the most sedentary of the bunch, choose to rent a motorized scooter. Because God forbid you lose weight walking. It's quite the site seeing couples driving down the paths in these things. Like a sad, slower CHiPs for large people. My favorites were the ones with the awnings. I was amazed at how quickly people would alight from these things when they needed to get in line for a ride, or get a beer or an ice cream cone that looks like Mickey.
  • There appears to be some compulsion to wear branded Disney clothes. Every other person had on something made in China with Disney's logo on it. And not just mouse ears. No, fake hockey jerseys, designer looking T-shirts, sweatshirts and leather bomber jackets. I mean you're at the godddamn park? Why the hell do you feel the need to wear their stuff? It reminds me of the people who would come to New York and buy some shirt that says "Bada Bing" on it from Little Italy in rhinestones. While, if they wanted to appear cool and with it, they could buy something unique that says more than simply the name of the place they have visited. I like this option myself.
  • You should do the World of Beers tour at Epcot. There are 11 separate countries represented around a lake and you can stroll around and drink a native beer in each of them. Realize that as you get older, these countries seem much closer together. Take it from me. I respectfully submit that if you chose to do this, start in Norway or France and make your way around. It's fun to end up in England. And if you start in Norway, you get to wear of these official hats.
I'll have some more Disney Observations soon. If you're drinking, tip a glass to Millard Fuller, founder of Habitat for Humanity who died today at 74.


alohab said...

I've had Disney brain-washed in to me since I was 8. Can't get around it. It's really the only place you can wear a Mickey Mouse tee shirt without looking like an idiot, so I admit, I did it the last time I went. I was a fan of the $5 I "Heart" NY tees myself when I was there. Especially when you saw the family from Idaho buying the street vendors out of their entire stock to take home for souvenirs.

maikib said...

there's nothing wrong with branded disney tees.