In one month, I’ll be taking my annual family trip to Disney World. I’ve also been seeing a lot of my friends Disney vacation pictures turn up in my news feed.
In anticipation of that, and in celebration of their trips, I wanted to share this entry about a previous trip I took. This is reprinted exactly as originally written, with one small editors note. You’ll know why when you get to the entry.
For those who haven’t been in a while (or at all), on the televisions in the rooms, there is a channel strictly for Disney, where a very perky brunette flits around the park and gives you tips on all the Disney “Must Do’s.” This was my response to her suggestions. A review of all the “Disney Must Do, Re-Do, and Don’t Do!”
- At Hollywood Studios: On the AFI list of 38 Lifetime Achievement Recipients, there are only 37 pictures and names listed. Yes, we’re sure. We counted and checked. Number 10, Fred Astaire is missing from your board. Yes, we’re sure it’s Fred Astaire; we made one of the employees look it up on Google. She said someone else had pointed it out to her eight months ago. EIGHT MONTHS? Shouldn’t the Disney Staff have jumped on that by now?? Don’t they know that mistakes aren’t allowed in Disney??
- Get rid of the “Sounds Dangerous” exhibit. Just get rid of it. It’s stupid and pointless and a waste of Drew Carey’s time. I won’t even give it the dignity of an explanation. They know what I’m talking about. There’s a reason there’s never a wait!
- At Epcot: Give Laura from the Italy World Showcase some extra lessons in “Disney Spirit.” When asked in a jolly manner by Brian, “What are you doing here, Laura?” (Meaning, how did you come by this job), she replies in a manner most surly and quite snarky, “What you see. Working. What are you doing here? Bacationing?” (The manner in which she spit out the word, “Ba-ca-tion-ing, was quite intimidating….as in perhaps she would be better suited as a dictator of a small country).
- Get rid of the World Showcase Norway.* After walking through the entire display and watching your movie (made in the early 80’s from the looks of it) I still am not sure where your country falls on the map of the world. However, apparently, you have LOTS of “Spirit.” The “Spirit of Norway” was not impressive. There are Vikings and Trolls. And not the cute, fuzzy haired trolls. The scary ones with big noses and blazing yellow eyes. This will keep me away from your country. Way to go, Norway. Why not give their space to someplace better, like Australia? We could watch clips of Crocodile Dundee or Steve the Crocodile Hunter. Both of these men and their crocs are more entertaining than Norway. Then again, I heard from another bacationer that Norway is the second richest country in the world due to their oil empire. Maybe it IS their secret strategic goal to keep us away by hiding behind poorly done films and trolls. Well, played, Norway. Well played.*
- Fix the squeaky door at the Caribbean Resort.
- Souvenir Prices: REALLY? Do I have to pay Mr. Disney’s great-great grandchildren’s way through college?
- For the love of Pete, have a Downtown Disney Bus that will pick you up at each park, instead of making us take a bus to a hotel before we can take a bus to downtown Disney. We just want to eat our extravagant dinner without having to travel two hours to get to it!
- Speaking of transportation and food, can we have like a bus or scooter or really strong man to carry us around the World Showcase? I mean, wow. That is one intense walk. I’ve never worked so hard to get to see the American Spirit in my life. I know it’s awesome to put us as the centerpiece to the whole World Showcase, but not even a jet ski to zip us across the lake? We’re Americans! We celebrate luxury and not having to exert ourselves! Get on board, Disney! And while you’re at it, fix me another sandwich!*Editors Note- This was originally printed in 2010, so I’m assuming Disney took my advice about Norway and created “Frozen” as a way to boost tourism to their World Showcase. You continue to surprise, Norway. You continue to surprise.
The Awesomely Positive
- Disney has soy milk! (Weeps with joy)
- They gave us so much food on our dining plan that we stuffed ourselves every day. A fast food meal, a snack, and a full dinner (WITH dessert) every night. I don’t eat that well when I’m at home!
- Downtown Disney: La Nueba. Cirque Du Soliel. Edge of your seat entertainment. A French Circus that appealed to all ages, all races, all languages. No dialogue, just music and acrobatics. We were a theatre full of people with nothing in common sharing an experience and both understanding and loving it. I respected their abilities immensely. The audience was on their feet at the end of it. Entertainers can learn a lot from these folks.
- Magic Kingdom: Pirates of the Caribbean Ride. Classic yet never gets old. We rode it about seven times.
- Epcot: Soarin’. Exhilarating and beautiful. The closest feeling you will ever have to flying.
- Test Track. Best Car Ride Roller Coaster EVER.
- World Showcase. Despite the long walk, my absolute favorite part of Disney. Not being a world traveler, getting to walk from country to country and talk to natives and sample their culture and learn more about them was beyond description.
- Animal Kingdom: Dinosaur: The Ride. Scared many a small child and quite a few adults. I’m still not certain that those dinos aren’t real. Epic. Frightening. Overwhelming. Fantastic!
- Finding Nemo: The Musical. One of the best Broadway Shows in 30 minutes I’ve ever seen.
- Hollywood Studios: The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights. This deserves its own paragraph. Or twelve. It was phenomenal to me that all over Disney was sensation overload and people were walking around with these intense, grumpy, miserable faces. As if they were determined to see all of Disney THAT DAY. They were in such a hurry to have a vacation that they were missing out on the point of a vacation. But when the sun went down and the darkness was suddenly illuminated with dancing light, there was a collective intake of breath and a spontaneous explosion of cheering. Then the “snow” began to fall and carols began to play over the loud speaker. Sure it was only soap, but people were smiling and looking up at the “snow” and talking to one another. Little children and adults were reaching out their hands to touch it, let it fall in their hair, on their hands. People were actually making EYE CONTACT and some were singing along to the carols. It was so moving, I actually got tears in my eyes. No amount of pictures or videos can capture that moment. It proves a very significant point to me. That no matter what technical advances we make, how many things we try to overload our senses with, the simple act of turning on Christmas lights (albeit a million of them) with carols and snow put people in the purest of happy moods. THIS is what Disney should be all about. I wanted to stay there for hours.