Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Try not to let "It's a small world" stick in your head all day

Time for a little decompression from the happiest place on earth (except maybe Baskin-Robbins).

I'm Disneyed out...absolutely and totally. If I hear another burly security guard wish me a "magical day," I'm going to pop a Goofy-sized blood vessel. If I spot another three-fingered, oversized, white glove wave in my direction, I'm going to smuggle in Bugs and Daffy and the Tazmanian Devil and some other Warner Bros. tough guys to perform a little extreme makeover on Donald's beak.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little bit harsh about Disney nation down in Orlando, Florida. It was great to meet up with my sister's family and experience the thrills of the Magic Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios. We arrived on probably the busiest day of the year, or Black Friday, when most of America, with the exception of the retail sector, enjoys a day to shop for consumer items, purchase the consumer items and consume those consumables.

I marveled at the acres of strollers and other wheeled devices dominating the landscape. Some magic-seekers were downright aggressive with their "Little Rascal" electric, adult scooters, carving a swathe through the throngs, blocking like four-hundred-pound NFL tackles to clear the way to some frozen banana paydirt. I also witnessed a very heavy-duty rented stroller roll up the back of a guy's heel. He wore a yellow Pluto cap and was also pushing along his young child, but the sharp Achilles Tendon pain must have impaired his judgment, as he barked out, "Son of a bit*h!" to the horror of the pilgrims to Mickey's Mecca.

My younger daughter and I split off from the older family members to check out "Mickey's Toon Town." Cool place, especially with the architecture mirroring the warped, animated look of illustrations.
We ducked into a place to check out the "Disney Character Hall of Fame," since we believed we'd see some old memorabilia and animations, you know, like a museum. We slogged through a long line, probably for about forty minutes, and then, finally, we reached the entrance, which read, "Disney Princesses."

"Sounds good," we conferred with each other. "Disney's had princesses forever, so there should be a lot of good stuff."

The doors opened, and we walked into a single room with three bays. Standing in each bay, respectively, were Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Belle. We're talking about three twenty-something women, who stood there, talked to the little kids and had their pictures taken with them (for a fee). Thoughts of a warped, Disneyfied, red light district rang through my skull against my better judgment, and my daughter and I gave each other "You've got to be kidding me" looks and ducked hastily out. "No way, Dad," she whispered to me. Seriously, the room looked like a huge, kindergartener's backpack. Forty-five minutes wasted.

I'm dwelling way too much on the glitches of this place. The rides are fabulous. Whether it's Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain or any of the other gut-wrenching thrills, we weren't disappointed. I heartily recommend central Florida as a great place to find some eighty-degree weather in late November. And just a side note about the town of Orlando—we shopped at a grocery store where the Pop Tart section was larger than the produce area. I've got pictures.

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