Monday, April 4, 2011

We are Disney

Took a little spring break trip to the Magic Kingdom in Florida. The boys have been to Tokyo Disney (it was practically in our back yard) and Disney Paris (a short train ride from Germany) - but never to the ones in the good ole USofA.  I do realize that the "real" Disneyland is in LA - and probably a little easier to get to - but we decided to head to the MEGA park of Disneyworld.  It was the whole picnic and a bad of chips too.   The kingdom has grown significantly since the last time I was there in 1990.  Two parks has become parks-a-plenty.  We got ourselves a 4 day park hopper pass and hoped we could squeeze it all in.  Mickey, Countries, Animals and Hollywood.  Daunting - but we gave it our best shot.

My big sis, "Aunt Deb-Deb" was our "tour guide" extraordinaire.  I'll just say this...She's a frickin Disney-Machine.  She had notes, she had maps, she brought pins to trade and she was stoked.  I immediately relinquished all park-hopping power after taking care of my tasks which were to make the hotel reservations and dinner reservations and let her run with it.  There was no way I could equal either her knowledge of the park system or her drive to ensure that we sucked the marrow out of the whole disney experience.  After our first day at Epcot, which sported the "early hours for disney property guests" we burst through the gates at exactly 8:00 a.m. and stumbled back to the hotel just a little past midnight.  I had a blister on the bottom of my right foot and the sole depth of my tennis shoes were measurably smaller.  Like I said - - Machine (and the capital M is no typo).

Deb's standard walking rate makes speed-walking look like it's for sissies.  She chucks.  She jives.  She makes managing the fast-pass system a single focused life pursuit.  She can navigate through a crowd like nothing you've ever seen and for the most part we just followed her like a bunch of Vietnamese ducks heading to the next rice paddy.   And, guess what?  On Day One we managed to hit nearly every Epcot ride worth seeing, toured the rest of the world and still managed to get to the Magic Kingdom in time for dinner reservations and our crazy hot seats on the Tomorrowland Terrace for the fireworks show.  Days 2, 3 and 4 were similar.  It was easier to talk about what we didn't see than what we did.  We (the ducks) might have whined a few times as we watched her take off in to the crowd, but dang - - we squeezed it all in.

The only unfortunate part of the trip was the weather on day 3 which sported a couple of "microbursts."  For the uninformed, this is merely a nice compact term for whipping driving rain, large qualities of lightening and loud thunder.  One would think that the prefix "micro" might be an indicator that these little beauties were short in nature - - which might be true, if each little microburst wasn't immediately followed by the next microburst.  It was a little hairy at times.  Thankfully, we sported some of the most fashionable Disney poncho-wear.  Wet didn't slow us down at all.

Day 4 dawned sunny and warm and Florida-pretty.  After a morning race through Animal Kingdom, we headed back to the pool to get some some sun and swim (and a little rest for our throbbing footsies).  All was well until Cousin Charlie (20 years old and on Spring break from his sophomore year at Middlebury) made the unfortunate decision not to sit in the shade with us.  That wouldn't have been so bad, 'cept he fell asleep in the sun.  Let's just say that all the aloe in the world wasn't going to help the pulsating glowing red that he used to call his face and chest.  If all goes well, he should be molting sometime in the next few days.  I did not envy him his plane ride and 4 hour layover in JFK.  Rumor has it he was nearly arrested in JFK for public nudity in the men's room while reapplying his aloe.  I can't be sure, but I suspect that security just had to run away in fear after espying the bright glow of his chest.

All in all - - SUPER vay-kay!
George the Younger, Henry, Deb and Cousin Charlie in line at 7:30 a.m. SHARP on Day 1

Me and my guys after threatening their very lives if they didn't stand up and get a damn photo
 taken with me. They are too "cool" for family photos right now.  I reminded than that the monorail
 back to the hotel was an option I was willing to select for them.

During the rain storms (yes, it was a MAGICAL rainy day), the boys spent some time
 in an arcade.  They chose to spend their tickets on fake moustaches.  Very suave.
  George the Younger may have been mistaken for Juan Valdez.

Sure, they HATE getting their picture taken with me, but give them a giant fake dinosaur....

Back at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, the boys review their pin trading spoils of the day.
  This was a lot of fun for us all.  Who knew?  Even Cousin Charlie, who originally wasn't
 going to "play the pin trading game" was into it by Day 2.  We all ended up
 with our own collections.

One of the BEST things we did was get reservations for the Dessert Buffet on the
Tomorrowland Terrace for the fireworks show.  Great seats.  Great desserts.  And an
excellent place for your aching feet to take a rest!

They did this amazing thing where the use the castle as a HUGE projector screen.
 They show movies on it, photos of park visitors during the day - and this totally cool
 multi-color thing.  Technology is so cool.
These were GREAT seats.  In your face pyrotechnics...

Ever the shrinking violet, I surprisingly got selected from the audience
 to participate in the "Flights of Wonder" bird show.  This is my view of the audience.
 Rumor has it that Aunt Deb has a photo of me on "stage."  I even got a certificate of participation - -
which Deb also says she will send me.  I guess they give you the certificate to show that you
 aren't lying when you tell your friends you were in the show??

Our Disney ponchos in a "between microbursts" moment.  Please note that Deb has her
 own foul weather gear.  Turns out that not only is she the best tour guide,
but she also is one of those "prepared" individuals.  Dang.
Blurry photo by a fellow park visitor...

The new Toy Story ride.  Nothing like 3D AND targets.

Henry learns to draw Daisy Duck in our Disney Cartoon class.

Four days at Disneyworld.  Countless pairs of 3D glasses.
 These were from A Bug's Life.

George the Younger find the perfect hat.  He claims he will wear this to his
graduation in June.

This is the beginning of the "mistake".  Imagine that same nice white chest
 in a color called "Throbbing Crimson"

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