For those of you just joining us, I am reposting everything from my running commentary on my recent trip to Walt Disney World on Twitter, since it is easier. (NOTE: Turns out that reposting things written and uploaded to Twitter, especially with pictures, is not easy at all.)March 6
Dreamed I wrote picture book very like "The Important Book" but for adults and titled "People Who Are Different From You Exist. Get Over It"
Just queued Feed The Birds and poured one out for Robert Sherman. From the fourth floor of Wilderness Lodge... (While on Twitter, I learned that Robert Sherman passed away. Hell of a place to learn that, surrounded by his music and all.)
Got to watch a Bald Eagle and Osprey dogfighting from here.
Pony butt at Tri-Circle-D Ranch (Tri-Circle-D Ranch is where all the livestock "cast members" from Magic Kingdom are kept when they aren't working. It used to be a major attraction back in the 70's; remember they had to prove that WDW wasn't just Disneyland East back then.)
Paying my respect at one of the last educational attractions at Disney Hollywood Studios
How's this for vintage paleoart? (I'm guessing this is concept art for Disney's Primeval World, a World's Fair attraction that was later recreated in Disneyland's steam train ride. It's also heavily referenced in the Universe of Energy for reasons that remain frankly unclear, aside from a surprisingly common misconception many people have that associates the Mesozoic era with fossil fuels. Dig those rubbernecked swimming sauropods and weird, lizardy triceratops.)
Sadly they do not say whether these guys are the ones made by Bob Clampett. (Supposedly, Robert Clampett, the director of the incontrovertible very looniest of Looney Tunes and very likely a big fan of Walt Disney, also created the very first Mickey Mouse dolls. They were very similar to the toys in this cabinet. I just love little bits of animation trivia like this. This one's particularly incredible if you stop and think of it.)
Note to parents in WDW: if you bring your daughter to Bibbidy Bobbity Boutique, expect her to act insufferably entitled the rest of the day. (For those who are blissfully unaware, BBB is a "fantasy makeover" salon where you can spend truly ungodly amounts of money to turn your daughter into a princess for... however long until the glitter wears off, I guess. Yeah, have fun with that.)
Awwwww yeah, Glowtini!!! (Technically, this is the identical-in-every-important-way Page Turner Martini at Brown Derby. It still counts. Somebody please scream at my OCD that it still counts.)
At Fantasmic long before the show starts.
I will now summarize the Disney Hollywood Studios version of Fantasmic for your enjoyment.
Act One: Mickey doing Mickey stuff.
Act Two: So, Disney movies, right?
Act Three: Big long Pocahontas segment for... some... reason...?
Act Four: Random Villains show up and chuck special effects at Mickey.
Grand Finale: Mickey is all like, "Imagination is the most powerful force in the universe! It's even stronger than Chuck Norris!" and schools Villains. (This does not actually happen, but it would be the cutest thing ever if it did.)
Holy crap there were a lot of little kids at Brown Derby. Wouldn't they be just as happy with a cheap turkey leg?
Lots of exhausted little ones at Fantasmic too. This could be a long show...
Seriously, WTF big long Pocahontas scene in Fantasmic ?March 7
Ah, Walt Disney World - where you are never more than ten feet away from a kid having a tantrum.
Going to be doing the Keys To The Kingdom tour this morning for the first time ever. You get your own Keyblade at the end of it, right?
I must turn this iPhone thingie off during the tour to avoid angering the Oompa Loompas...
Until then, here, have a thing that exists. (Yes that's Mickey Mouse as Steven Tyler. Yay for Misaimed Marketing!)
(Okay, so Keys To The Kingdom was incredible. It's one thing to read about the history of the Magic Kingdom and it's enormous backstage areas and Utiladors. It's entirely different to be actually standing in these normally restricted areas and getting a real sense of their incredible scale. Our guide was very funny, but also very smart and informative, and he was happy to answer all of our questions. If you've been to Disney theme parks a lot and are looking for something new to do, I cannot recommend this highly enough.
And if you love Disney theme park trivia, to the point where you can tell which Land is which in the Magic Kingdom simply via the ambient music, I also cannot recommend the Disney Dish podcast highly enough. Run by Unofficial Guide-er Len Testa and Disney historian Jim Hill, it's one of those things like the Animation Podcast that I am amazed I hadn't known about until just now. It's essentially a trivia-packed free audio tour of each Disney park. Look out for [or listen out for, I guess] the sweet story of the Boardwalk Carousel model and the heartbreaking What Could Have Been tales of Animal Kingdom.)
DOLE WHIIIIIIIIIIPS!!!!! (I am not explaining this any further. Just, next time you are at WDW, go to the little ice cream shop right after the entrance to Adventureland, across from the Swiss Family Treehouse, and order one. They're amazing.)
Sorry Merlin, can't save the world today. Dole Whips are more important. Dole Whips are more important than EVERYTHING EVER. (By this I mean that we did get the cards for the new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game. About the only thing everyone is in agreement about this new game is that the card art is very nice. The game itself is really more of a hassle than anything, given the layout of Magic Kingdom.)
Ah, sweet mother of Walt and Roy, do I want pineapple or orange?!?
What makes this worse is I'm in front of a family who is assuming Aloha Isle is just another ice cream stand...
One of their kids "just wants attention". Yeah that or he's been on his feet in the Florida sun in an over stimulating environment all day.
Important Dole Whip update: You can get pineapple and orange SWIRLED!!! (This may be a variation on the legendary Cirtus Swirl that reappeared on the Sunshine Tree Terrace roster a while back, much to the delight of basically everyone I follow on Twitter who enjoys Disney. Methinks the little Orange Bird deserves some fanart for this, no?)
Stuck in line for Buzz Lightyear. Ah just like the old days.
(A little later on, the same Twitter feeds that alerted me to the Citrus Swirl announced that it was Michael Eisner's birthday. Well...)
Happy Michael Eisner Birthday Day from the Place Where Dreams Come True and Memories and The Future and Magic and Imagination Could Beat Chuck Norris
Hello, I'm Trish. Welcome to The Magical Wonderful Sunday Movie World.
Eh... ain't gonna say nothin bad 'bout Eisner today. Kinda owe the dude my childhood.
What a depressing thing to realize.March 8
Taking a breather from the Disney magic at Bok Tower Hey there crazy plant! (It's called a Staghorn Fern and I am sad that I couldn't find one for sale at the Flower Show because holy s**t, look at that thing! It likely wouldn't grow as huge up north but still!)
Tons of snapdragons
By the way, I SORT OF got my own Keyblade after yesterday's tour. Now I can hit monsters with my giant key!
We also finally got to see MK opening. If you're unfamiliar with this ritual, it looks like this.
Park opening also involves this creepy blinking Mickey costume.
This mural signifies a ladies room in Fantasyland. Because women are like a giant bird that could kill a toddler easily
And this mural points toward the men's room. And men are like partridges because...?
The trip to Bok Tower has been worth it for views like this:
(Back in Disney for EPCOT's Flower and Garden Festival.)
Is it me or did I see that same Goofy ice-skating late last year?
Martin houses by Tinkerbell's garden.
Yeah it's basically advertising, but I love the snow Fairy's all-icy garden. (They do a different Tinkerbell-themed garden every year and they are essentially here to advertise whatever Tinkerbell movie is being released next.)
"Seriously, why don't you love me, America???"
I want one for my yard!
Celebrating fond memories of Mater making an ass out of himself around the world.
Slightly unnerving Mickey and Minnie...March 9
Checkout day today. Always a bummer.
I tell ya what, I won't miss the amazingly unreliable wifi. Or always being within earshot of a kid having a tantrum. Or this Klingon bed... (Now the Disney Vacation Club suites are very nice. I think we've decided that Bay Lake Tower is the best so far. However, if you are the third and/or fourth person staying in said suite, you are going to have to sleep in the pull-out couch. Said couch may have a decent mattress or it may be *slightly* more comfortable than the hard board Worf enjoyed.)
By the way, was it just me or were there a LOT of kids coughing all over the parks?
Hopefully we'll spend the morning at the Lodge pool for the first time ever. (This did not happen, and I am somewhat bummed that we didn't really have time to explore the Lodge itself due to extenuating circumstances.)
I'm having a hard time imagining a Disney movie about chimpanzees...
Cause we didn't have anything scheduled for our departure day, we visited this little city. Perhaps you've heard of it?
One of Celebration's famed Roads That Dump You Into The Forest.
Geez, really? Bars that aren't in Boston want to be in any way similar to bars in Boston?
(Ah, yes, Celebration. This was essentially a planned community started by Disney in the early 90's. Disney is still somewhat involved but no longer is strongly associated with the city. It is both exactly what I expected when I first read about it all those years ago... and wildly different somehow. It's also quite a strange place to ride around in.)
Jedi Academy is cute but ye gods does it need to be moved to the old Sounds Dangerous theater instead of out in the sun
In the utterly depressing animation building. Where's this dragon character from?
Yeah, lizards, yeah!!!
Beware the Terror Toad!
I'd love to see evidence that every state has some variation on this thing.
Final Walt Disney World / Weird Disney Things observation for now: Bibbidy Bobbity Boutique makeovers look freakish. There I said it.
Going to start in on the tedious flight back to Logan very soon. As usual, full of tired kids who don't want to leave Orlando. Fun times...
Rabbits do not work that way!!! I demand biological accuracy in my baked goods!
This time there are lots of COUGHING tired kids who don't want to leave. Oh boy...
Ah jeez, here we go...
Obviously, I got home okay though the plane ride was not fun as you can imagine. We took off in rain and landed in snow, with turbulence all the way. Overall, we had a great trip as usual.